12 January 2010

More notes on N900

The N900 is lovely, but the more I use it, the more I get the feeling that releasing it as a mass-market phone might have been a bit premature.

Take the "grid" icons. Technically, you can sort them: each icon can be given a "priority" number, and the lower it is, the higher it will appear. Technically, you can create additional subfolders and even auto-sort icons depending on the application classification (office, media etc). Unfortunately, all of this must be done *by manually editing an XML file* (/etc/xdg/menus/hildon.menu) plus several other text files (the .desktop and .application files in /usr/share/applications/hildon). For a consumer-grade device, this is shocking. It's even worse: if you mess up said files, the system goes in a "reboot loop" from which is very hard to escape (hint: get the flasher tool and use it with only parameter --enable-rd-mode, then fix the file, then use flasher again with --disable-rd-mode; if that doesn't work, you'll have to do a full reflash).

Also, it does not work with the SIM cards from network Three in UK and Denmark; considering that Three is a favourite of data-heavy users, who should be the main target for this device, this was a big mistake.

Some applications are clearly half-baked (Maps), and the Ovi Store is still closed. You make a big launch taking over the entire ad-space on Gizmodo for a day, and your supposedly flagship applcation store is not working ?

Nokia are slowly addressing these issues by releasing over-the-air updates, which is good, but the overall feeling remains: as released (late), the N900 is for hackers and hobbyists. Which, considering the platform potential and role, is a crying shame.

1 comment:

sswam said...

the key to getting out of a reboot loop (for me) was:

flasher-3.5 --set-rd-flags=no-lifeguard-reset

see: http://wiki.maemo.org/R%26D_mode

in case anyone else stumbles across this page while trying to unbrick their n900 without a reflash!