What will next firmware release for N900 brings?

What will next firmware release for N900 brings? That is common question asked by too many people. Some of them wants impossible things, some wants magic, some mention realistic things. But what really will be included? That’s other story…

I can write what I found in bugtracker (numbers at the end are internal build numbers):

  • bug 3675: backup will loop nearly infinitely for directories containing pairs of symlinks that do not point to descendants because backup is following them — 2009.47-5
  • bug 3728: Modest reports email username / password incorrect when it is correct — 2009.43
  • bug 3762: Performance is unusable on IMAP accounts with a large number of messages in one or more folders (e.g. INBOX) — 2009.46-16
  • bug 4851: libosso assumes that all ARM platforms has VFP instructions. — 2009.50-5
  • bug 4917: wdgt_va_full_12h_time, wdgt_va_12h_hours should be replaced by wdgt_va_full_12h_time_am/wdgt_va_full_12h_time_pm and wdgt_va_12h_hours_am/
  • bug 4976: Add option in modest to add/not add new contact when replying to mail — 2009.50-7
  • bug 5161: Fix some compilation warnings in GNOME version — 2009.46-16
  • bug 5309: Don’t show “Update All” if no updates are available — 2009.45-14
  • bug 5314: Easy to enter ~ ^ ‘ ` ” symbols with 3rd row of special character view — 2009.44-5
  • bug 5315: 3 Mobile SIM card rejected — 2009.47-20
  • bug 5341: Can’t disable email notification – makes notification unusable if you receive lots of mail — 2009.50-7
  • bug 5343: “More…” applications launcher does’t allow scrolling — 2009.44
  • bug 5347: address book cannot import vcards from benq/siemens phones properly — 2009.47-17
  • bug 5384: Confusing empty window shown after deleting unavailable catalogue — 2009.45-14
  • bug 5388: Allow keyboard input to jump to an entry in a list (“type ahead”) — 2009.51-8
  • bug 5413: microb doesn’t trigger onchange — 2009.46-2
  • bug 5415: Contact widgets move to active desktop after merge — 2009.45-8
  • bug 5493: When ISO sensitivity is set to automatic, ISO EXIF value in resulting image is 0 — 2009.47-17
  • bug 5505: DTMF tones are not sent through SIP — 2009.43-2
  • bug 5518: Bluetooth DBUS UI dialogs – wrong args in the example code — 2009.47-5
  • bug 5523: High latency between UI and SIP events being sent — 2009.45-7
  • bug 5527: Page is not rerendered when JavaScript actions increase page length — 2009.46-9
  • bug 5545: Artifacts (visual noise) when tapping screen in Screen Calibration — 2009.46-16
  • bug 5597: First Synchronization between N900 and Exchange 2003 Server always fails — 2009.49-5
  • bug 5601: libsdl: Task switcher area can be a dead area — 009.47-17
  • bug 5602: IP address field in WiFi advanced settings partially hidden (“Recuperar automáticamente direccíon IP” string too long) — 2009.44-5
  • bug 5603: Vertical photos from other devices should fill more space when shown in portrait. — 2009.43-2
  • bug 5605: “Already at minimum / maximum font size.” not translated — 2009.44-5
  • bug 5607: Call forwarding settings not being saved — 2009.46-5
  • bug 5626: Button style in Bluetooth file receive applet is wrong — 2009.47-5
  • bug 5633: No hint that it is impossible to paste an strings containing non-numeric characters into a phone number field — 2009.44-5
  • bug 5676: Audio does not sync with video (and is ultimately unsyncable) — 2009-44.4
  • bug 5687: “Update” progress bar pane misaligned — 2009.45-14
  • bug 5688: Improve zooming — 2009.46-9
  • bug 5694: Application Manager moves to background after start when quickly clicking — 2009.46-5
  • bug 5725: docpurge is not aware of /opt — 2009.46-7
  • bug 5744: Volume slider doesn’t notice when you plug in headphones — 2009.45-7
  • bug 5761: Bluetooth GPS reconnect dialog refuses to go away after clicking “No” — 2009.47-5
  • bug 5768: Inconsistent layout on similar Sharing/VOIP applets — 2009.45-7
  • bug 5857: Inconsistent keyboard behaviour when configuring a static ip address — 2009.42-7 (not included in 42-11)
  • bug 5868: Games do not respect master volume (“sound effects” enabled though) — 2009.51-5
  • bug 5870: Long emails can’t be read – distorted output on screen after scrolling — 2009.50-7
  • bug 5879: Media player track search only matches the beginning of title/artist — 2009.42-9 (not included in 42-11)
  • bug 5911: Shaking device switches between landscape and portrait modes — 2009.47-9
  • bug 5945: URL proposals in browser disappear after some hours — 2009.50-7
  • bug 5948: N900 needs to be rebooted if media player fails to play video (h264dec) — 2009.45-7
  • bug 5972: Race condition with hardware shift key — 2009.46-7
  • bug 5993: Home view blurs on triple-tapping the launcher grid icon — 2009.47-17
  • bug 5998: Skype does not allow entering DTMF tones — 2009.44-2
  • bug 6004: N900 sometimes ignores USB data cable — 2009.46-16
  • bug 6017: Clicking the dashboard icon highlights it but does not open the dashboard — 2009.51-8
  • bug 6039: Hanging application menu requires system reboot — 2009.46-5
  • bug 6060: Application manager finishing an installation in background blocks keyboard input — 2009.51-8
  • bug 6100: The menu item “copy” in the browser menu does not work — 2009.46-2
  • bug 6107: Background image settings not restored — 2009.43-9
  • bug 6138: Skype Support>Report problem leads to an error page — 2009.47-17
  • bug 6139: skype: Call does not support DTMF tones — 2009.47-17
  • bug 6203: Rotation in 42-11 is not as smooth as in 41-10 for some third party apps — 2009.47-23
  • bug 6261: Delete dialog text missing a space — 2009.42-5 (not included in 42-11)
  • bug 6268: The required #include directives are not documented for Hildon — 2009.51-8
  • bug 6269: Can’t reuse the name of a bookmark that has been deleted — 2009.50-7
  • bug 6349: New email notification leads to blank email instead of email itself — 2009.47-23
  • bug 6361: ‘base’ and ‘more’ applications are visible sametime (messed) — 2009.51-8
  • bug 6470: Charger not recognized when plugged in when in Touch & Key lock — 2009.42-2 (not included in 42-11)
  • bug 6530: Drops WLAN connection to Linksys WRT610N after 10-15 minutes — 2009.48-5
  • bug 6544: USA localization displays distance in kilometers — 2009.49-2
  • bug 6570: Double-tapping “Inbox” sometimes opens ’empty’ Inbox — 2009.46-16
  • bug 6612: File manager fails to show folder sizes beyond 999,9 MB — 2009.45-14
  • bug 6622: nokia messaging doesn’t synchronize selected imap folders — 2009.45-7
  • bug 6669: Browser window checkerboards and repaints when navigated to from multi-task view — 2009.47-5 probably fixed it
  • bug 6675: after failed pairing to bluetooth car kit bluetooth can’t be turned on — 2009.51-0
  • bug 6752: Low power/battery beep does not sound if you’re on a call — 2009.46-5
  • bug 6770: Can’t delete route waypoints in Map application — 2009.47-1
  • bug 6771: Currently active connection should be first in Connections list — 2009.42-7 (not included in 42-11)
  • bug 6792: FM radio transmitter does not play while USB cord is connected — 2009.51-5
  • bug 6807: Wrong default region in E-mail accounts dialog — 2009.48
  • bug 6811: Incorrect entries in the Birthday Smart Calendar — 2009.42-7 (not included in 42-11)
  • bug 6877: Pin / lock code entry dialog reveals digits on backspace — 2009.43-9
  • bug 7027: Changing to next week is very slow — 2009.42-7 (not included in 42-11)
  • bug 7067: gtk-icon-theme-name unset — 2009.43-5
  • bug 7073: Changing password on Exchange 2007 makes MfE go crazy — 2009.42-5 (not included in 42-11)

Impressive list isn’t it? I have to admit that this shows me one thing — integration of Maemo5 in OpenEmbedded will be done sooner then later. Why? Because I want to get such stuff as fast as possible without waiting for official firmware releases.

Will all those bug fixes end in next firmware? No idea as this is not granted:

(Note: 2009 is the year, and the number after is the week.)

A future public update released with the year/week later than this internal build version will include the fix. (This is not always already the next public update.)

Please verify that this new version fixes the bug by marking this bug report as VERIFIED after the public update has been released and if you have some time.

To answer popular followup questions:

  • Nokia does not announce release dates of public updates in advance.
  • There is currently no access to these internal, non-public build versions.

And one more thing — xulrunner 1.9.2 (version used by Firefox 3.6-pre) was tested on N900 and may land in one of next releases (rather not first one).

Released sources of my Protracker module player

I just released sources of my Protracker module player. What this application is and what it can do you can read in one of my older posts: I wrote module player in Qt.

What are features:

  • UI created with Qt Designer (so it is easy to change if you want)
  • separate UI for desktop and other for Maemo5 (automatically selectable during build)
  • Maemo5 uses 3 stacked windows just like UI Style Guide requires
  • uses Phonon to play (with GStreamer modplug plugin underneath)
  • fetching modules from modland archive
  • author/song selection
  • playing next song on song end (with looping on author)
  • seeking (works only in desktop version — bug reported for Maemo5 version)

Things to do:

  • error handling (especially fetching related)
  • moving of download progressbar to QDialog
  • playing counters
  • favorites
  • playlists

Everything licensed under LGPL v2.1 — same license as Qt uses. That because I used many Qt examples as base for my application.

How to get it? I made repository on Gitorius server — go there, fetch, try, comment, share improvements.

Things to check with Nokia N900

As I have my Nokia N900 from DDP I have just one week to test does everything works properly — after that I am on my own.

So far I checked:

  • microphone by doing some GSM calls. This also shown that GSM modem works for voice.
  • GPRS data connections — from EDGE to HSDPA (did not checked speed)
  • WiFi connections
  • Bluetooth connections — synced PIM data from my Nokia E66 phone, used headset for calls
  • FM transmitter — played some children songs today during driving with my daughter
  • FM receiver — “FM Radio” application from repository works and plays (app still need work)
  • TV-Out — playing movies on CRT and LCD television sets
  • screen — to bad that I found bad pixels… but good that they are now not later
  • headphones — just included ones
  • USB charging and storage access modes
  • normal charging (included charger and standard Nokia one)
  • keyboard — works, things could be better
  • SIM slot — my card works but slot itself feels cheap and reminds me one from Openmoko phones. I hope that they will get rid of it in next devices — my E66 has better one.
  • microSD slot — works with 8GB card but mechanically it is disaster. Prefer to not use it too often as it can break.
  • main camera — nice photos
  • front camera — complete disaster… Now I know why there is no video calls. hint: install “Mirror” application
  • internal storage

My feelings after first days? Hardware is nice and (as usual) there is a space for improvements:

  • SIM slot should be changed to sliding one — current one can break too easily
  • microSD slot also should be sliding one — look at Nokia E66 for example
  • give fullscreen button back
  • battery cover should be thicker so device will not bounce on camera when left on table
  • move microusb to right and headphones to left side of device
  • move lock slider to left side (so it will be top when one hand operated)

I hope that I did not missed anything on list of things to check. I excluded Irda from it because I do not know is it supported at all.

UPDATE: Eugene Antimirov posted that his N900 from DDP has a problem with playing videos — bug 6823.

N900 — second day

I plan to write blog post on each working day about my experiences with N900 device. Today I planned to concentrate on PIM applications but decided to write about other things.

Brainstorm

Brainstorm — the person which invented that was genius. In normal projects if someone wants to request enhancement then bug tracker is used. Bugzilla even has such value in severity field. What is a result?

Bug like this, this or that got “moved” to brilliant Brainstorm area of Maemo website. Ok, you can add idea of solution there or vote for (or against) that. But you can not comment on solutions or ideas. For some entries in brainstorm there were comments with “discuss that idea in this forum thread” but seriously — how many developers likes to use forums? I do not like — prefer to get email notifications from bug trackers where I can comment on bug and vote for it. I can quickly search for all entries where I commented etc. Brainstorm does not give me that. But I do not know, maybe the idea was to make users shut up and be happy with software which they got.

UI

Maemo5 UI is slick, nice and finger friendly. Last thing also means that most of screen resolution is used for paddings, margins and frames. Basically do not expect more then 6 lines on list widgets.

Application manager

Kinetic scrolling of course is present but also scrollbars are hidden so most of time it is hard to notice how many entries are available. Problem is even bigger when layout object is scrollable — it took me some time to find out where I can change ringtones to the ones which I used on previous phones (I use same ones for over two years). The problem was this screen:

Settings/Profile

There are options under them… but no visible mark that user should scroll ;( It was discussed in bug 5750 and bug 5426 but for me it looks like it will not be fixed.

Portrait mode would improve things a lot but is not available and looks like will not done for Maemo5 (except few applications). Contacts list in phone dialer (the only one portrait enabled app) contains 10 entries. Kinetic scrolling works much better in that orientation and user got also alphanumeric shortcuts to scroll list even faster (due to lack of keyboard in portrait).

To summarize: UI is nice, but some work should be done to make it more useful.

N900 arrived

After 4 weeks from ordering Nokia N900 device arrived at my place. Now I have one week to check is everything working and if not then request RMA from Nokia.

First feelings? Heavy and bulky. It is bigger then each of phones which I owned and feels bigger then N810 tablet (due to thickness).

Nokia N900 with my other Nokia devices

OMAP3 processor which is in N900 has lot of power and it is nicely used — transitions are nice, normal DivX movies plays without problems. No lag noticed so far.

But how about software? This is other thing ;( Some things are just like they were in Maemo — more or less broken by design, some are missing, some things which were in previous releases are missing etc. For example application manager still does not allow to install more then one application at once and still does not scroll on keypress or limit entries on typing (which Contacts do).

Contacts application integrates also Instant Messaging. It looks like someone read my previous post about defining good contacts application — you have people and can add Jabber/Skype/ICQ/MSN/SIP/etc protocols to each of them. Looks really nice. But lacks any way to automatize merging of entries from different accounts so it took me a while to get most of them merged ;(

Contacts with IM statuses

Email application is a disaster. It looks like it does not cache any data so going into my inbox (with just 550 mails) require half minute to get it refreshed — Profimail on my E66 phone handle it much much better. And I still did not found a way to go into inbox->mailinglists->development->oe folder which currently has ~14000 (yes, fourteen thousands) emails. According to talk on #maemo channel Maemo5 email client do not have an option to subscribe IMAP folders yet.

Email application

Software launcher is changed — no longer editable menu with categories but just set of icons sorted randomly(?).

Launcher screenshot

Good thing is that PIM data got fetched from my Nokia E66 without any problems — I just had to pair them and everything got synced. Bad thing is that so far there is no way to sync with SyncML servers like ScheduleWorld ;(

I hope that some of problems will disappear after some use and/or in next software releases.

And one more thing — this is first Maemo device which has Polish language support out-of-box!

Video calls are important feature of today phone

When I was choosing my current phone (Nokia E66) one of things which I wanted was ability to make video calls. I did not know what for I will use them but why not having them? Especially when they are treated as normal calls by my GSM operator (except roaming).

Some time ago I discovered why video calls are good to have. I have small daughter (~20 months now). When my wife has to travel somewhere (or I have to) we use video calls to wave her on good morning or before going sleep etc. Mira’s reaction is always positive and we usually have to be careful as she wants to keep phone and look at caller’s face.

And so far Nokia failed to implement video calls on N900 device 🙁 So people — fix it or my daughter will force me to take my phone as a backup 😀