Tonight I attended the WOM World hosted Q+A session about the N97 v20 Firmware Upgrade, along with a handful of other Nokia bloggers. We were all given chance to ask questions to both Frank Zillikens and Catalin Gheorghiu from Nokia. Frank headed up the N97 v20 Firmware, and Catalin works on the Firmware Development Team. After the jump are the questions posed and the answers given, it took form of a text based chat so please excuse any errors, I’ve tried to correct them all!
We have been given the opportunity to have more questions answered via e-mail so as we only had time for 2, i’ll compile them all and e-mail them over.
Q – Skype SIP, VoIP & Internet Radio What are the statuses of these? (Micky Fin – Nokia Users)
A – We have already VoIP into PR2.0 and we are working on the Skype to get the best user experience out to the field.
*We all noted the lack of response on Internet Radio.*
Q – PR 2.0 was said to introduce a new memory model. Can you give more details of this? I’ve observed that built-in apps do seem to use RAM a little more efficiently – do they share RAM better? (Steve Litchfield – AAS)
A – We reworked the application memory mapping model, which uses the RAM more efficiently and reduces the memory errors.
Q – Will this help 3rd party apps too?
A – Yes, this will help all the apps running in the device.
Q – What is the reason behind the exclusion of Internet Radio? Is this indicative of the direction Nokia is heading or a technology issue? (Kip Hakes – Nokia Addict)
A – We are currently evaluating the internet radio feature for N97, but it is still in early phase.
Q – Now it’s been discovered that there is an issue with Web Feeds and Automatic Updates where the auto update feature turns off almost randomly (I’m noticing it on reboots), is this a known issue and what is the status on this? (Kyron John – N97 Fanatics)
A – The PR2 release is so new for us that we have not noticed the problem. Nevertheless I will bring this up with the SW team.
Q – Copy/paste via the qwerty shift key works great in certain parts of the interface, but is absent from the Facebook widget and S60 Web. Would it be possible to ever have copy/paste throughout all apps on the N97? (Trenton – TrentSense)
A – As long as we use standard UI components the COPY/PASTE will work, if we use custom components then we need to implement the functionality at the component level
Q – Can you make the calendar widget more useful, showing details of future events. You should easily be able to fit the next 3 events and their subjects. (Mike Macias – N97Fanatics)
A – The calendar will show the entries for the current day. For instance, if you have no entries for today, it will show like the picture you attached. Do you guys feel that it is important to see the entries for few days ahead ? If this is the case then I will bring this input back to the UI team.
Q – Users found that formatting the phone and memory after the 2.0 update made the UI more responsive. Why is this? Surely there should be no need. Also where is the New Ovi Maps homescreen, shown on many press images? (Ibrahim Jogee – The Nokia Review)
A – You do not need to format the phone after the SW upgrade. The speed perception is a subjective matter and I can tell that I have never formatted my devices while testing 2.0 and it worked OK. If one formats the phone, of course all the legacy data will get lost and the phone will be more responsive giving the fact the is less data to deal with. Regarding the maps – you can find since Nokia World from the Beta labs. And for sure we are working on getting it more widely rolled out. Key here is a good user experience ! So, please be patient
Q – Will we see a an option for moving the browser cache and apps such as Nokia messaging into the E drive. Hacks can do this to an extent, but Nokia clearly doesn’t like people messing around in that area. Also, will we ever see Virtual RAM ala N900? (Vaibhav Sharma – The Symbian Blog)
A – We have chosen the C: drive, since it has memory paging and therefore makes the apps running faster and smoother. With PR2 we have taken big steps to improve the memory handling mechanism and the PR2.0 memory status will allow users to run the apps in a smooth way. Getting virtual RM is not an easy task, we encourage users to install the apps into the big 32Gb memory and not get everything into the C drive
Q – Is there any truth to the suspicion that the v20 build on Nokia’s servers on that first Tuesday is different to the build that was available later in the first week? And if so, which exact problems were fixed? (Steve Litchfield – AAS)
A – There are no different SW versions out ! All are the same. But admitting here as well that we had a build problem for our MEA versions, so we needed to re-build those.
Q – USB Port has problems, often when connectivity cable or charger plugged in, the software don’t read it correctly. You have to unplug, and plug in again. Also when plugging in the USB to computer, sometimes it asks you to select the mode several times. Also, a bug from V10, and V11 is still present, Screen Lock switch still has some issues in V20. (Micky Fin – Nokia Users)
A – We have improved the USB connection mode – but still: connect & disconnect from USB will bring the phone functionality to resumes to the point left.
Q – Some of our members are reporting losing data too when removing data lead, so clearly something is still wrong?
A – That should be prio PR2 and we listened to your feedback. If you still see this, please indicate.
Q – How is Ovi Contacts going to be expanded and when? more services added or mash ups with other Ovi bits, Ovi Files etc? (Kip Hakes – Nokia Addict)
A – We come back to this topic later.
Q – Would it be possible to have Multiple home screens? I assume that would greatly reduce the available RAM which is why it might not be possible. Is this something that you’ve already thought about? (Mike Macias – N97 Fanatics)
A – We’ll tackle this later
Q – Theme effects (transitions). We all noticed that most of them were removed between Nokia World 2008 and the phone launching in June 2009. I’ve found that turning Theme Effects on, negatively affects performance of the phone. Is there any plans to add the effects back to the phone or fixing the problem that exists with them now? (Kyron John – N97 Fanatics)
A – The Nokia World 2008 featured a promotional video of the effects – reviewing that video myself and ho problem with it …And personally I very much like the current effects
Q – Will we ever see threaded messaging and smiley support? If not why? (Ibrahim Jogee – The Nokia Review)
A – Our platform is under continues changes and improvements, stay tuned for the next releases, you will love them
Q – Will the browser get shortcuts to open Bookmarks etc from the QWERTY number pad like older S60 devices. E.g. 1 for Bookmarks, 2 for Find… (Vaibhav Sharma – The Symbian Blog)
A – With a touch device it is much more easy and convenient to use the finger than using the keypad to get a bookmark started.