Nokia N97 v2.0 Firmware Q&A Session Concluded

6. November 2009 at 19:00

8627a4da8d474e0fa475b49e29686a8e Nokia N97 v2.0 Firmware Q&A | now is your chance to have your sayOn Tuesday I attend the virtual Q&A session regarding the new 2.0 Firmware update for the Nokia N97. As mentioned earlier representing Nokia were Frank Zillikens, Lead Firmware Developer and Catalin Gheorghiu, a member of the technical team responsible for the new firmware. I want to thank you all for getting in touch and posting your queries, unfortunately I was unable to ask all your questions due to time limitations, however there were other interesting questions asked by the other bloggers during the session. You can find the full transcript after the break. Thoughts and discussions welcome.

Question by Micky Fin – Nokia Users
Skype SIP, VoIP and Internet Radio What are the statuses of these?

Answer by Frank
We have already VoIP into PR2.0 and we are working on the Skype to get the best user experience out to the field.

Question by Steve Litchfield – AAS
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?

Answer by Frank
We still need to get warm here in cold finland… We reworked the application memory mapping model, which uses the RAM more efficiently and reduces the memory errors.

Question by Kip Hakes – Nokia Addict
What is the reason behind the exclusion of Internet Radio? Is this indicative of the direction Nokia is heading or a technology issue?

Answer by Frank
We are currently evaluating the internet radio feature for N97, but it is still in early phase.

Question by Kyron John – N97 Fanatics
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?

Answer by Frank
The PR2.0 release is so new for us that we have not noticed the problem. Nevertheless I will bring this up with the SW team.

Question by Trentonn – TrentSense
Copy/paste via the QWERTY shift key works great in certain parts of the interface, but is absent from the Facebook widget and the S60 Web browser. Would it be possible to ever have copy/paste throughout all apps on the N97?

Answer by Frank
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.

Question by Mike Macias – N97Fanatics
I can also say that the automatic updates in the Web Feeds is broken. This is a huge bug as I’ve come to rely on the RSS homescreen widget and now it is unusable. Can a bug like this be patched and updated through the Software Update app by you guys or do we have to wait for a new firmware to fix that problem?

Answer by Frank
First time we hear about your bug. So thanks for bringing it up! Will take it to our SW teams. Once the route course is understood, we then can see if we can update via the SW update app or only via a new Firmware version.

Question by Mike Macias – N97Fanatics
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.

Answer by Catalin
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 a few days ahead? If this is the case then I will bring this input back to the UI team.

(Mixed responses followed from the bloggers on this issue)

Question by Me – The Nokia Review
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?

Answer by Frank
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 formated my devices while testing 2.0 and it worked OK… If one formats the phone, of course al the legacy data will get lost and the phone will be more responsive giving the fact that there is less data to deal with. The fact that the RAM gets scarce is because there are some memory leaks. Memory leaks could come from the 3rd party applications, it is not always an “OS” luxury.

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!

Question by THETRUTH – Mobile World Innovation
I am wondering will there be more RAM improvements, although it is tweaked a bit my N86 can run rings around my N97 when it comes to multitasking and i don’t have to baby my device to multitask properly. Also why didn’t we give the N97 the same video power of the N96 to utilize this big beautiful screen and can future updates help it in this area?

Answer by Frank
The N96 was featuring a mobile TV standard: DVB-H. With N97 you can have similar experience by connecting via a BT accessory and voila, enjoy DVB-H on N97

Question by THETRUTH – Mobile World Innovation
I am actually talking about handling the same video codecs, when i try to play the same video on my N97 i get either sound or video cannot be played, not a great user experience when going from last years flagship to this years.

Answer by Frank
Sorry, don’t know the answer. We’ll come back to your video codec question on another time.

Question by Vaibhav Sharma – The Symbian Blog
Will we see 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?

Answer by Frank
We have chosen the C: drive, since it has memory paging and therefore makes the apps running faster and smoother. With PR 2.0 we have taken big steps to improve the memory handling mechanism and the PR 2.0 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

Question by Steve Litchfield – AAS
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 week? And if so, which exact problems were fixed?

Answer by Catalin
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.

Question by Micky Fin – Nokia Users
USB Port has problems, often when the connectivity cable or charger is plugged in, the software doesn’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.

Answer by Frank
We have improved the USB connection mode – but still connect and disconnect from USB will bring the phone functionality to resumes to the point left.

Question by THETRUTH – Mobile World Innovation
The RAM on the N97 has been tweaked, but it still is very poor in handling multiple apps, my N86 with same amount of RAM can open much more apps and multitask much better, why is that and will we see more improvements with future upgrades?

Answer by Frank
The N97 has clearly a bigger display and therefore needs more handling on for the screen. So let’s only compare Oranges to Oranges.

Question by Micky Fin – Nokia Users
Some of our members are reporting losing data when removing the data cable, so clearly something is still wrong?

Answer by Frank
That should be prior PR 2.0 and we listened to your feedback. If you still see this, please indicate.

Question by Kip Hakes – Nokia Addict
How is Ovi Contacts going to be expanded and when? more services added or mash ups with other Ovi bits, Ovi Files etc?

Answer by Frank
We will come back to this topic later.

Question by Mike Macias – N97Fanatics
Would it be possible to have Multiple homescreens? 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?

Answer by Frank
We will tackle this later

Question by Kyron John – N97 Fanatics
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?

Answer by Frank
The Nokia World 2008 featured a promotional video of the effects – reviewing that video myself and no problem with it… And personally I very much like the current effects.

Question by Me – The Nokia Review
Future question… Will we ever see threaded messaging and smiley support? If not why? And why can’t i simply access my phonebook and send a contact?

Answer by Catalin
Our platform is under continuous changes and improvements, stay tuned for the next releases, you will love them.

Question by Vaibhav Sharma – The Symbian Blog
Will the browser get shortcuts to open bookmarks etc from the QWERTY number pad like older S60 devices. Eg. 1 for Bookmarks, 2 for Find… Also will a future FW bring any other functionality to the N97 that we haven’t seen yet. Maybe tweaks to the interface? On the lines of say the new UI Video from Symbian?

Answer by Catalin
With a touch device it is much more easy and convenient to use the finger than using the keypad to get a bookmark started.