Sunday, 13 June 2010

Nokia N900 Gets New Firmware, Video Calling, Portrait Browsing

Grab PR1.2 for the Nokia N900.

Grab PR1.2 for the Nokia N900.

It’s been a while since my last post. This is mostly due to a nice, long three-week vacation in Japan which I’ll be writing about soon. Anyway, I arrived yesterday to the welcome news that PR1.2 was finally let out of the bag and released to the masses. The new firmware brings Skype/GTalk video calling, portrait mode browsing, and a slew of minor improvements to the Nokia N900 smartphone.

For me, PR1.2 is more about the minor fixes than the big name additions. I’m not interested in video calling, or portrait mode browsing which I find pretty useless. But being able to rearrange the shortcuts in the menu? Thank you, yes. Email search? You bet.

Here’s a list of the more notable improvements :

Press-and-hold keyboard keys – Holding a key now displays that key’s special character (the blue number or symbol).
On-demand Portrait Mode – Most applications support a test portrait mode. To activate the mode, press the Ctrl-Shift-R keys at the same time. You can then close the keyboard and rotate the phone – the application should automatically switch to portrait mode.
Rearrange the menu – Press and hold any icon in the menu for 2 seconds – you should see a message that says “Select an application then tap on a new position”.
Email widget – There’s a new widget that shows new emails. You can find it in the Desktop Menu -> Add widget -> E-mail.
Email search – And it’s fast too!
Update All button – The Application Manager now allows you to update all of your installed applications with one click.
Night Video option for the camera – I generally don’t like taking video with the N900 because it absolutely destroys my battery, but there it is.

Firmware PR1.2 is available over-the-air (you should have received a notification for the update) or via Nokia Software Updater. I’d recommend backing up everything before upgrading though.

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