Opera_2Opera have announced the release of Opera-Mini, a J2ME (Java) version of their mobile web-browser.

In the past the Opera Mobile Browser was only available for powerful smartphones, such as the Series 60 range, which left the majority of mobile users without a high-quality mobile web-browser. Opera-Mini can now cater for that market as it will work on any J2ME compatible phone (The majority of today's phones are J2ME compatible) that has a working GPRS connection. This should help give mobile-browsing a push in the right direction by allowing regular users access to better displayed web-pages on their mobiles just like high-end users are used to.

Opera use the clever process of pre-processing web-pages through a server before they are sent to the phone (the original Opera Browser did this processing on the phone itself). This takes away the burden of processing the pages from the phones processor and also cuts bandwidth usage which is still quite expensive in most parts of the world. The fact that it uses Operas fantastic Small Screen Rendering technology means it will display pages just as the regular Opera Mobile Browser would.

Opera-Mini is only currently available in Norway where it is being trialed and there is no word to when we'll see a worldwide release. More information on the release can be found here.

August 11, 2005 by Tarek Abu-Esber | Permalink | Comments (2) | TrackBack

Papyrus Update

Papyrus2_1SBSH Mobile Software have released a new version of Papyrus, their calender software for Series 60 devices (look here for more information about Papyrus).

The latest version adds some new features such as a Notes field, support for True Fonts and a setting for anti-aliasing. The latest version is also compatible with more S60 mobiles than the previous versions (such as the N-Gage and the 3650). For full details about the update please visit the SBSH Message Boards.

April 1, 2005 by Tarek Abu-Esber | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack


PapyrusSBSH Mobile Software have released a Beta Version of Papyrus, their calender software for Series 60 devices.

I've been playing with it today and it's an improvement on the regular Calender software that comes with a Series 60 device. The Day, Week and Month views are well laid out and are pretty easy to read. Papyrus makes good use of the small screen by keeping the UI relatively simple and using the space as efficiently as possible. Most of the data input (meetings etc.). This is defiantly a step in the right direction and anyone who uses the Calendar software regularly should really upgrade to Papyrus.

During the Beta period you can download the software for free from their download page (You need to register to get it). There is also an online support page which has a message board and, most importantly, an email address where you can send feedback if you find any problems with the application.

[via AllAboutSymbian]

March 28, 2005 by Tarek Abu-Esber | Permalink | Comments (5) | TrackBack

Python: Traffic Cam Dubai

D028Things have been happening on #mobitopia (located on irc.freenode.net). First Christopher Schmidt, having seen this Flash-Lite New York Traffic App (which won Macromedias Flash-Lite Developers Contest), decided to hack together a Python version of the same idea. Under an hour later TrafficCam Version 0.1 was up and ready for download.

Then Jim Hughes decided he liked the idea and could use a London Version. A quick jump onto the BBC Travel News Page found a bunch of London Traffic Cams and some quick hacking of Christopher's code resulted in TrafficCam London.

D029_1Now I've been going through Python tutorials recently so i decided to have a go too. A quick Google search told me that there were no traffic cameras in Abu-Dhabi (where i am right now) but Dubai had a fair number (I visit Dubai often and the traffic there is infamous). So I grabbed the URLs and street names and hacked them into Christopher's code which resulted in TrafficCam Dubai (and it worked first time too!).

Over all the project took just under an hour. Around 35 minutes getting all the Street names and URLs and another 15 minutes to hack that info in to the code. You all should also check out Christopher's other Python Projects for Series 60 which include Wikkit, a python based wikilike scratchpad.

UPDATE: Chris has combined all the Traffic Cams from the three cities (New York, London and Dubai) into one complete program. You can download the program here.

February 20, 2005 by Tarek Abu-Esber | Permalink | Comments (5) | TrackBack

The Flash Lite Exchange

159x120_flash_4Macromedia have started up the Flash Lite Exchange, a place where developers can upload their Flash Lite programs for people to download and try out. The programs are mostly entries from Macromedia's Flash-Lite Developers Competition and can be downloaded for free (They will all run on Nokia series 60 phones as well as any other device that has Flash Lite 1.1 installed). It's good to see people are already starting to develop interesting new ideas using Flash Lite. One of the great things about these apps is that they are all a small size (most are under 100kb) so you can keep quite a few .swf files on your phone without running out of memory.

Below is a random selection of some of the applications available. I recommend you check out the rest of the programs as well.

iShop Pro US

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This handy little program lets you check prices, reviews and recommendations for a range of products from books to DVDs to Electronics (The content is provided by Amazon). You can add items to a wish list or SMS/MMS an item to someone else. You can also email your wishlist to someone (for example your birthday is coming up and you want to drop a hint). This program is great for comparing shop prices to online prices while you are in town and away from a computer.


Pocket Bye Bye

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This neat little application helps you create an excuse to end a boring conversation. Pocket Bye Bye can create everyday noises such as Traffic and a Doorbell so that you can make an excuse to end a call (i.e. "it's too noisy" or "there's someone at the door"). The sounds include crowd noise, a telephone ringing, a pager, traffic noise and a doorbell.



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News-LITE is an rss-reader that can pick up updates from BBC News, Yahoo News, Wired and the New York Times Online. Using the phones GPRS connection, News-LITE check these pages for updates and delivers all the latest news straight to your handset. Sadly you can't add your own feeds which limits this application but hopefully we'll see a new version coming soon with just that function.

Casino BlackJack

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A classic Casino game. Try and beat the dealer at BlackJack (don't get more than 21). A simple game that can kill time anywhere and never gets boring. Can you bankrupt The House?

February 17, 2005 by Tarek Abu-Esber | Permalink | Comments (2) | TrackBack

Macromedia Flash For Series 60

159x120_flash_3Macromedia have released Flash Lite Version 1.1 which finally brings Flash to Nokia Series 60 phones. I've already installed it on my Nokia 6600 an it works great. This looks very very good so far and i can't  wait till the real development starts! There is certainly a lot to look forward to (there are screen-shots if you read on).

You can download the Flash Lite 1.1 CDK here which includes tutorials and example applications which you can run on your mobile once you've installed Flash Lite 1.1. For now it seems Macromedia aren't putting up the .sis installation file for the general public but if you e-mail them I'm sure they'll send you a copy. (UPDATE: Macromedia have made it available here for $10)

Here are a couple of screen shots for you (click on them to see them full-sized):

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           F3_2                                 F2_2


February 5, 2005 by Tarek Abu-Esber | Permalink | Comments (30) | TrackBack

SimWorks Anti-Virus

S60animation1Most Symbian Trojans aren't very harmful and are pretty hard to contract, but they can be annoying if you do find yourself infected with one. The best way to remove a virus, and to ensure that you'll be safe if you are unlucky enough to contract one, is to have an anti-virus program on your mobile. One such anti-virus program is SimWorks Anti-Virus (who were good enough to send me a free copy of their software to review).

SimWorks Anti-Virus runs just like a typical anti-virus program that you would find on a PC. You open up the application and it starts to scan all you Drives for infected files. If one is found, it gives you a warning and asks if you would like to remove this file.

T_1The User-Interface for the program is very basic and mostly text based. The advantage to that is the Anti-Virus application doesn't take up alot of space in your memory. The whole program only takes up 76Kb of memory which means even those with the smallest memory cards can easily accommodate this program. You could even run it from the phones memory if you don't use an MMC card (or if it was full).

VBut don't let the simple look fool you. This software has been updated to cope with all the latest Symbian malware threats including Velasco and Gavno (And you can see how easily it handles Cabir in the screen-shots on the left and right) and SimWorks supply regular updates whenever a new threat is found so you'll always be protected. (Users get a free 12-month subscription to SimWorks Update Service). The program can also be set up to scan your phone at regular intervals just in case you forget and will run a scan when you turn your phone on as well. The program can even detect malware as it arrives onto your phone.

I've personally tested this application by picking up a version of Cabir in a message before installing the software. As soon as i installed SimWorks Anti-Virus and ran the scan it found the file in seconds and asked if i wanted to get rid of it.

You can get SimWorks Anti-Virus right here for both Symbian Series 60 and UIQ phones. (The porgram is transferable between phones so if you buy a new phone you can still get SimWorks Anti-Virus on it without having to buy it again.)

January 23, 2005 by Tarek Abu-Esber | Permalink | Comments (204) | TrackBack

Python For Series 60

Pythons60I'm more than 2 weeks late but i thought I'd mention that Nokia have released Python For Series 60. (For those of you who don't know what Python is take a look here.) Based on Python 2.2.2, the release includes a number of Platform-specific modules for access to native GUI widgets, Bluetooth and GPRS networking, GSM Location information, SMS Messaging, and more.

For those of you who might be interested, Matt has set up a great wiki for Python For Series 60 which is the perfect way to get started. It contains all the up-to-date information on the release along with links, tips and resources. Nokia have also set up a Python Developer Discussion Board
which is growing daily.

All the files and documentation for the release can be found here. You will need to register with Forum Nokia to download the files. A Python tutorials can be found here and here, and a Non-Programmers Tutorial can be found here. O'Reilly also have an online Python cookbook. Enjoy.

January 11, 2005 by Tarek Abu-Esber | Permalink | Comments (3) | TrackBack

IRC On Your Mobile

I've been spending alot of time in #mobitopia the IRC chat-room connected with mobitopia.com which got me interested in Mobile IRC clients. There seems to be a healthy number of clients available for a wide variety of phone types from Symbian to Windows Mobile to UIQ. Here is what i found:


VThis first client i tried, which came recommended by the guys in #mobitopia, was Virca. It's a J2ME based IRC Client which is free to use making it a good place to start. Its a very simple piece of software with no frills. The interface is text-based and very simple and setting-up a connection is easily done. My only annoyance is the fact that you can't just start thumbing in messages but have to push in the joystick first to open the text-input screen. This also means you can't see what people are saying while you are typing a message. The text-based interface also gets very annoying and a more structured interface would be far more appropriate.
Supports any java-enabled mobile phone.


WlAnother free J2ME based IRC Client, WLIrc is almost identical to Virca. It has a very similar UI (text-based) but uses colour instead of the depressing black and white that you have with Virca. Sadly it also has the drawback of a separate text-input screen which means you can't type a message directly and when you are entering text, you can't see what everyone else is saying. There is little to differentiate between WLIrc and Virca, it is simply a matter of personal preference. Both have a simple connection set-up and use multiple windows and both a free and Java based.
Supports any java-enabled mobile phone.

Wireless IRC

Screenshotani1 The last, and indeed the best, IRC Client I tried was "Wireless IRC" (9.99 from Handango). This was by far the slickest IRC client i used and is the client i now use daily. It looks good, it connects seamlessly, its tabbed windows makes it easy to navigate different chat-rooms and since its not freeware/shareware, it has some customer support for when you have problems. It solves all the problems i had with the other clients. The UI is more graphic and far more user-friendly than either Virca or WLIrc and it has far more connection and setting options than the free clients. The text-input problem is also solved as the text-input screen pops-up at the bottom of the chat window which allows you to read other people messages as you type your own. Text can also be automatically thumbed in without having to press any other buttons to open the input box. Another great option is the Download Tab which allows you to see which files you are currently downloading and how far along they are, something which isn't included in most of the free clients.
Supports Symbian Series60 Phones Only.

Other Clients

Here are a few other IRC-Clients i found. SmartIRC is a client for Windows based mobile phones which i am told is excellent. QUIrc and SymIRC are a clients for UIQ based phones (such as the Sony-Ericsson P800).

December 10, 2004 by Tarek Abu-Esber | Permalink | Comments (18) | TrackBack

Nokia Theme Studio

ThemestudioSince i posted a theme i had created myself, i have received alot of e-mails about how i made it. Well Nokia has always had a Theme Studio available for people to download for free. This Theme Studio allows you to create your own themes in fine detail. You can personalise every part of the User Interface from the background picture to the icons in the menu and even the digits of the clock. Sadly this program, though functional, is not very user firendly and is very slow. It will take most people a few tries to produce a them worth using. However i suppose we can't compain as it is a free program provided by Nokia for us to develop our own themes. I have been told there are a few other Theme Editors out there which aren't free but are alot better and easier to use. For now try out the Theme Studio.

Download Nokia Theme Studio here

November 10, 2004 by Tarek Abu-Esber | Permalink | Comments (2) | TrackBack