Suddenly 2008 feels so much like 96 here in Barcelona, Spain but not because a crazy someone came up with the Time Machine, (except for Apple of course). Time still does its Einstein thing while Nokia evolves in the mobile world with the introduction of the latest and greatest Nseries device, the N96. As Spanish would say, Viva la evolution!
The N96 is still under development and fine tuning, thus it’s really hard to be objective on the hardware side. The samples i got the chance to see had issues with the camera and DVB-H or Mobile TV as Nokia calls it. IMHO what is way more important is the Nokia vision behind the perception of reality through and via the N96.
Speaking of hardware, we’re talking 16GB on board, plus up to another 16GB when using a microSD card. That’s 32GB for the S60 to manage and the user to fulfill with data. Any kind of data if i may say: Photos, videos, music, documents, spreadsheets, data bases, OS images (.iso files) and more. Storage is virtually unlimited with a couple of extra microSDs. Think free!
Software wise, S60 3rd Edition, Feature Pack 2 emphasizes on improved user experience, usability and ever richer development environment. No touch UI yet, instead more mature applications and greater opportunities for the code monkeys out there. The momentum exists and builds up with applications like Nokia Maps 2.0. Think free!
The insides of the N96 do tribad GSM, EGPRS, HSDPA, WCDMA, A-GPS, WiFi b/g with UPnP support, USB 2.0, DVB-H Class C, Bluetooth 2.0 with A2DP and EDR, TV-out support (PAL/NTSC), 3.5mm stereo headset plug. All mainstream radio and more are in there. Think free!
Well, think about it for a moment. Storage is almost free, software is free, radio and connectivity are free except one thing… the cloud. Till now, you had to pay a little something for (great) services like Flickr but this is about to change with the introduction of Ovi Share. In a word, Share on Ovi is the new place to upload and share all your pics, vids and other files for free. Plus, organize all your media from your mobile “using the 1-click method” and share things even further by uploading media onto other sites or your personal blog. Again, Think Free though and via the 2.8” QVGA display of the N96.
In a nutshell, we’re heading to a point where hardware will cost almost nothing, software will be absolutely free and the connective web will do all the archiving, sharing and tagging for free. That said, an on the go unified platform, open to others and created for non members is right here, evolving and listens to the high end name of N96 and Ovi. The potential is there. It’s up to the users to digg on that or let it go.