Having read a couple of articles about schools using the iPod touch/iPhone in lessons, I decided to buy an iPod touch to see how the interface and app store works. I was impressed by the interface and slick operation of the way the OS works, but I wouldn’t want to use this device in my lessons. Kudos to those schools that have made it work, but I prefer a bigger screen and keyboard for this kind of use. In fact my usage of the iPod touch has declined as the novelty has worn off, as I prefer using my laptop for accessing the internet/twitter.I installed the latest firmware on my Nokia 5800 (v 40.0.0005) hoping for an iPhone style upgrade! The improvements are worthwhile but how satisfied you are with it will depend on what you want from the phone. In my opinion the update makes the 5800 a better phone, but does very little to address the limitations of the device when compared to the iPhone.For those who wondered what improvements the new firmware makes I’ve listed the ones I’ve noticed below:
New home screen as shown. Contacts and application shortcuts can be added to the home screen (and you can scroll sideways through these contacts).
- The audio widget is much improved and you can pause and play the current track/podcast from the home screen.
- The dialler is renamed Telephone and pushed down to the bottom of the screen with Contacts, to make room for the extra information on the screen.
- New incoming call screen when the phone is locked
- When you are typing in text and rotate the phone sideways, the keyboard automatically changes to the qwerty arrangement (even if you were using an alphanumeric keyboard before).
- Kinetic scrolling makes it easier to flip through long lists of pictures or music.
- The phone feels slightly snappier than before (in the same way Windows 7 feels snappier than Windows Vista)
- One or two new menu entries in the various settings menus.
The phone still lags behind the iPhone/iPod touch when it comes to applications. Whilst the selection of apps available is growing, the pricing of many apps is totally unrealistic and so large scale adoption of Ovi store apps is unlikely to improve until this (together with the interface) changes. The Apple Apps store is excellent and I’ve already purchased many games and utilities for my iPod, the likes of which either aren’t available or don’t represent value for money on the Ovi store. Unfortunately I think Nokia have conceded defeat on this one, and their move away from the Symbian operating system suggests that this is likely to remain a stumbling block for some time.I’m waiting to see how Apple improves their next model before I change to an iPhone. I’m hoping to see better text entry and multi-tasking, as these are the two obstacles at the moment that stand between me and an iPhone. However no manufacturer can fit a full size screen and keyboard into a pocket device so I’m likely to continue using my laptop as my primary computing device.