Nokia and Intel has announced today the MeeGo Project, a new open source, Linux project for both Maemo and Moblin. The new Qt development environment will feature easy to use and flexible UI for a better app development experience. The Linux Foundation in turn will handle the open source project organization. MeeGo aims to target netbooks/entry-level desktops, handheld computing and communications devices, in-vehicle infotainment devices, connected TVs, and media phones.
I’m currently testing WordPy 2.0, a blogging client for the N900 that supports Wordpress, Blogger, and Livejournal.
What’s new with v2.0 is it’s Maemo 5 look, sporting new, much professional looking screens and buttons.
It lets you easily pull in images on your blog post from your local N900 drive(s), Flickr, and/or Picasa, and even gives you the option to proportionally resize, crop, roatate, flip, colorize, and change the brightness of images.
You have the option of crearting new tags and categories, although you can pull all your pre-defined tags and categories from your blog system as well. While it works great, I wish the way to select tags and categories would mimic the way you tag images and videos on the Maemo 5 gallery app.
Another feature that I like is that it lets you retrieve previous blog entries, edit, and post changes, direct from your N900. It lets you even manage comments, letting you add, approve, and delete comments on a specific blog entry.
This is easily a killer app for bloggers and I can see myself using it to blog anytime anywhere with just an N900.
WordPy 2.0 is still in extras-testing. Hopefully it gets released in Extras soon.
Gary Birkett (aka lcuk) has posted several short single-subject videos and a comprehensive overview of liqbase at YouTube.
The overview is presented in a new liqbase presentation app that has live graphics (instead of screen captures) that he clicks into and uses to demonstrate each app along the way. (Mind-blowing when you see it and think back at the long history of buggy, slow and futile efforts to do this sort of thing before.)
Among other people, I have strongly encouraged Gary to follow his imagination and keep creating the fast, visual, and kinetic apps that constitute liqbase. He’s taken our advice to heart and devoted himself full-time to N900-and-maemo (e.g, liqbase) development.
If you want to see the apps continue to flow, you probably want to visit Gary’s website, liqbase.net, and make a PayPal contribution to enable him to keep going. I have. I hope you will too. This is one developer I want to see keep developing.
This is the second in a series of posts called “3 New Things About the Nokia N900.” Link to first post.
Here is a video made in London in which Gary Birkett explains the Identity controller’s features. Note that the first and last sections, showing the Identity projection, were taken on an N900 (and the middle section by a simple POS camera):
EDIT: Here is onedotzero’s official video with Karsten and Gary:
The onedotzero festival is about the moving image, not computing or mobile telephony, which made it a non-obvious showcase for the N900. It combines “collaborative music, film and live performance, and playful interactivity, digital arts and culture,” and it inhabits a creative space exciting to the Wieden+Kennedy London advertising agency. (They explain that “the ideas and curiosities of Wieden+Kennedy inevitably overflow outside the traditional world of advertising. We are constantly experimenting with new forms of communication and creative expression.”)
So it seems really natural that W+K would attempt to express the identity of onedotzero this year by visualizing all the online discussion about the event on Twitter and the blogosphere, as well as at Flickr and Vimeo. To instantiate their idea, W+K turned to programmer Karsten Schmidt, who collected the various feeds, processing them in real-time using six powerful computers (and programming in the Processing language) to stream ribbons of text, very Matrix-y in its feel, into the shapes of letters.
To accentuate the real-time and interactive nature of, well, everything, the shapes formed by the text-ribbons were actual SMS messages texted from cellphones to the system. And to make it emphatically interactive (and mind-blowingly fun), the letter-shapes and text-ribbons could be stretched, twisted, revolved, animated, enlarged and frozen interactively.
To transform this conception from a mere artistic expression on a computer screen into festivalgoer-involved experience required those six HD projectors and an easily accessible (and easily used) controller.
That’s where Gary Birkett, our own lcuk, came into the picture. That and the events of 13 November 2008.
That’s the date that Wieden+Kennedy London was named “lead global strategic and creative agency for Nokia’s Nseries business.”
So instead of utilizing a Wii remote or Apple iPhone, both familiar, handheld devices with accelerometers in them, W+K opted for the jaunty, new soon-to-be-released N900 from its client, Nokia.* And Gary created an interface for the N900 for the accidental gameplayer handed the device. His app interprets a user’s twirling or shaking or screen-drawing for a seventh computer in Karsten’s array, which causes the huge projection to respond instantaneously.
To manage this, Gary used his own liqbase framework to create his application. And, like other liqbase modules, this controller will be distributed as open-source software.
* That’s the real world, and I’m not complaining or ruing the events that led to my being invited to London to see the whole thing come together. Thanks to WOM World / Nokia, in fact! But the uniqueness of the N900 will come across more clearly when the PUSH project winners appear.
Thinking of creating an app or widget for the Nokia N900? The official Maemo 5 User Interface docs are now at forum.nokia.com detailing usability principles, device orientation, controls, icons, dialogs, etc. There is also a GUI design interface template in PSD format, so User Interface / Experience designers out there can start mocking up apps.
The brief is simple: tell us how you would hack and mod the N900 & Maemo to connect the N900 to something you love. An expert judging panel will be selecting winning submissions and the groups behind them will receive N900 devices, funding and support to develop their PUSH idea. And once they’re complete, we’ll share them with the rest of the world with a series of installations in Nokia Flagship Stores across the globe.
During the London event, sample projects were on display, connecting the Nokia N900 to the Arduino, Speak and Spell, Rolodex, Last.fm, and a View-Master. Checkout PSFK’s coverage.
Nokia is now accepting PUSH N900 submissions until October 5. An expert panel will judge the submissions, and the winners will be announced on October 25. Submit your idea now.
The British Film Institute (BFI) onedotzero_adventures in motion event kicked off at London last night and as earlier reported, the Nokia N900 made its appearance by wirelessly controlling the display, projected on to the 50m BFI Southbank’s facade.
From the looks of it, if you are at the event, you can look for the Nokia folks and play with the Nokia N900 that lets you spin, zoom, and pause what is displayed on the gigantic screen. Jussi Makinen, Nokia Maemo Devices Marketing Manager, tweeted that he was doing just that.
We have heard that some key people from Nokia will be at the event. Maemo Talk will be there this weekend to cover the Maemo specific events as it unfolds, so expect more pics and vids.
It must have been lost somewhere in the specs, but the Nokia N900 actually does have an Infrared (IR) port. A programmable remote control app is coming to the N900 called Irreco, which will take advantage of the N900’s IR.
From the looks of it, you can program your own remote, customize the buttons layout, and download pre-programmed remotes and themes. If the N900’s IR is strong enough, this can eventually replace the $250 Logitech Harmony Universal Remote.
Any chance of adding bluetooth remote support for the PS3?