Friday, January 23, 2009

New s60 freeware: deli.s

In the series of small s60 utilities I have made for myself: deli.s is an application which helps the user to post links to http://del.icio.us from the handset.

I was tired of copy-pasting URLs and using numerous dialogs. With deli.s you can send a link to delicious just by selecting the right bookmark and adding the tags and extra description you want.

As a piece of software made just for myself, it is a bit rough on the edges with known and unknown bugs and limitations. Decided to share this anyway as I bet I am not the only one that needed something like this.

Download and check it out from the following page:

http://huopio.fi/simo/software/delis/

Any comments and suggestions are appreciated. I am not promising quick turnaround on new features - as I am coding this only when commuting on a bus ;).

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Thursday, August 07, 2008

To The Point (TTP)

To The Point (TTP) v0.90 screenshot

Here's a public launch of a tiny background project of mine. To The Point (short: TTP) is a small native S60 3rd edition application specialized for quick viewing of screenshot-size images on your mobile screen with minimum clicks.

What you can do with TTP? I use it like this:

  • I have either imported full-screen size images (320x240 on my E61i) from my photo collection or taken full-screen screenshots of them e.g. with http://www.antonypranata.com/screenshot.
  • I have loaded them into TTP under separate number keys for quick viewing
  • I have put TTP as one of my active standby applications
  • Now I can access full screen images with maximum of two clicks straight from the idle screen!

    • When TTP is run, the image assigned to the number "5"-key is loaded immediately
    • If I now press e.g. the "3"-key, or the left arrow, image assigned under that key is now displayed. The same goes with all the number keys.
    • "*" and "#" keys cycle through the images

The use case above was my reason to write this application. Basically it does that but not much else. It is not suitable for generic gallery application as it does not e.g. scale your images, and you are not able to browse the images that are on the phone.

Naturally the application has bugs and known issues. If you find a bug that can be easily reproduced please let me know. There are no guarantees of timely fix, though. ;)

For more information and the download links, please check http://huopio.fi/simo/ttp/

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Thursday, June 12, 2008

Perfect pair of keylock applications for Nokia E61(i)

In order to fulfill my needs for key lock with my Nokia E61i, I use two little freeware applications:

First one is AutoLock ( http://s60addons.com/autolock/ ) , an automatic keylock utility which triggers the key lock after given time of inactivity. Pretty standard stuff and there must be dozens of other little utilities doing the same.

The second application is mLock ( http://cooga.ch/ ), an application originally meant for the N80 slider for quick manual activation of key lock. I use it with my "own key": I can quickly lock the keys with that regardless of the application that is in front. With that I can e.g. quickly fetch a pretty picture on screen, lock the keys and give the phone to my 19 mo daughter ;-)

Has anybody found a single freeware utility combining the both of these functionalities?

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Thursday, December 20, 2007

emTube: youtube videos on mobile

emTube, is an application for browsing and viewing YouTube videos on a S60 mobile. I tried the application quickly on N95 8GB and successfully viewed couple videos. (Ron Paul supporters seem to be very active doing ratings over there, thank god you can also do free-text search for videos.. )

MobiTubia, a winner of Nokia OpenC challenge seems to be a very similar application but with a quick search I wasn't able to find a installation package for comparison.

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Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Panoman, upgraded version of s60 panorama capture app

mobile panorama from Ruoholahti

Very not-pc name for us Finns, but a nice mobile application: panoman. Great upgrade to previous version: now the panoramas are captured by the native resolution of the mobile camera, not the puny video resolution..

Panoman takes the full frame photos automatically as you pan the camera sideways. The UI is very clear and intuitive:

panoman screenshot

After taking the last photo you want, you just press stop or ok and the application stitches the panorama together for previewing.

The included sample is not very good, nor is the camera of the Nokia E61i by itself. In good light conditions and with a steady hand this will deliver good results.



Sadly no demo version available at the moment. I bought the app for testing as I was eager to see what's new. I used the previous version quite a lot and I bet this one will be worth the money for me too.

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Friday, November 30, 2007

Use rsync through ssh on your S60 device

I have been waiting this to appear: rsync and ssh forwarding working on S60 phone. Surely it will be a bit rough to use at this early stages but being open source I bet it will gain some volunteers to make it better. Let's see if this will eventually replace the multi-step process to get media files to my phone wirelessly.

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Saturday, October 13, 2007

Google Maps Mobile now to Symbian and with GPS

Google Maps Mobile got its first public native Symbian application yesterday. I do not yet have decided whether I do like the new one better over the old J2ME one. The native version is sure faster and more slick, but it does not (seem) to have all the functionality in. GPS support is of course very long awaited and useful addition.

What I would like to see is the integration of the locations and maps stored in the online service (My Maps) with the mobile version. This would allow storing the important locations conveniently with the browser and just have access to them when needed. Also placemarking on the go, with some kind of annotation would be very useful. I have no doubts that these features are on the Googles list too..

Note: If one's wondering why not just use Nokia Maps - the reason is that these tools are for different use cases. I use Google Maps for quick check for the neibourghood or the street names. The satellite imagery feature of the GMM is naturally also a good for showing off what can be done with the mobiles and Internet. Nokia Maps is then for a bit more serious stuff: It has more solid searching funciton and POI database. The navigation feature is also very useful to have. Nokia Maps starts up much slower so it is not really for quick checks.

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Sunday, September 30, 2007

One way to get your TV shows to your S60 mobile for viewing

I commute daily via either bus or train & underground. The one-way trip is 40+ minutes door to door. Sometimes I read or listen to podcasts or audio books. Once in a while I watch a TV show from my mobile or Nokia 770 tablet.

I have moved just lately to following tool chain to get the shows to my mobile is eyetv, iTunes, MyTunesRSS and S60 podcasting. It is not by all means perfect but it is definitely usable.

1) Recording the TV shows
On my iMac I am using Miglia TVMini for watching and recording . I bought the stick when the Elgato eyetv (http://www.elgato.com/) was still bundled with it. I just love the eyetv software. I haven't seen a match of the similar software in the Windows world.

So, I record the TV-shows as usual from the terrestial DVB. We use the iMac as primary TV at home as the pvr functionality is just so convenient. This might change when we buy a proper set-top-box to the living room - this move would free the mac for use as a computer ;)

2) Converting the files suitable to format suitable for the S60 phone

In this easy-as-possible route, I use eyetvs built in "convert to iPod" functionality. To make it happen automatically I tick the "convert to iPod" checkbox for the scheduled shows I want to view from the mobile. I found that though the "Fastest MP4" option produces files which are viewable on the phone. The E61i cannot handle the H.264 which would produce much smaller files. There is an interactive way to export files from eyetv with more suitable parameters but you cannot make that automatic.

eyetv_export_choises.png
Default (iPod) export options of eyetv

I have not yet checked whether the default option that uses H.264 codec produces files that are viewable in N-series models. The E61i does not have the codec nor the horsepower to do view them.

3) Making the files available

In this stage I used to transfer the files via USB cable which is reasonably fast but requires manual steps and time with the computer: Not usually doable in a busy morning with a little girl living in the house. I wanted to have the phone update the shows wirelessly in automatic fashion during the night.

As I use the S60 podcasting application daily I thought to give it a try also with the videos. E61i has WLAN and is therefore able to contact our home network. The missing link was a server software to produce RSS feeds with the video files as enclosures.

MyTunesRSS
MyTunesRSS generated page

After some googling MyTunesRSS (http://www.codewave.de/products/mytunesrss/) seemed suitable for the job. The ease of installation was also reason to try it first. The software is intended for interactive browsing and streaming for your iTunes library, especially PSP in mind. PSP browser seems to support RSS nicely to make it work. When trying out the software and browsing the generated pages, I found out that the generated RSS link is static per iTunes folder, and can be therefore reused. As the generated pages require login and password, having the RSS feed to change its address would render the software unusable for me. The link is very long so copy&pasting and e-mailing was only practical way to get it to the phone.

4) Getting the files to the phone

The S60 podcasting application (http://www.nokia.com/podcasting) was able to use the RSS feed without problems. Setting the app to use the home WLAN and updating the feeds resulted the shows and their sizes to show on the screen exactly the same way as audio podcasts.

TV programs from iTunes
S60 podcasting view to the served videos

Downloading the shows is slow business. I haven't investigated this further whether it is due to the S60 application, MyTunesRSS, WLAN encryption or the WLAN throughput in the phone in general. The download speeds are around 70-80kb/s, which adds up to really long download times - over an hour per 500M episode.

Despite long download times I prefer this approach over the USB cable. If I just remember initiate the downlaods in the evening the mobile is "topped up" in the morning.

5) Things to improve

- Make the files smaller than the eyetv default (e.g. using applescript and external utilities)
- Better alternative to MyTunesRSS (easier RSS feed link(s))
- Enhance the transfer speed
- The S60 podcasting application has some bugs & annoyances.
- Get a bit more suitable phone, e.g. N95 8GB, which is faster and could handle also the H.264.

Update 20071005: Tried the system with N95. The WLAN download rates were considerably better being between 300-600kB/s. With those speeds rather quick covert+download cycles could be possible.

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