Mobile

If you browse back through my blog, you’ll see that I’ve been a long time fan of Nokia phones. However, after Nokia switching to Windows Phone, and killing a, in my opinion, superb device with the Nokia N9, I decided to switch to Android. So, May 2012 I got myself the Galaxy S3, which I’m still using today.

I quickly realized I wanted more power as well, such as full access to the filesystem, so I rooted my phone and flashed a custom ROM.

Why root your Android?

Looking back over the last 18 months, I still don’t know why I needed my phone to be rooted. I maybe used it once or twice, for stuff like screen sharing in Airdroid, but there wasn’t really any day to day benefit.

Many people will say that they root it to specific applications that require rooting, backing up of your phone, remove carrier stock applications, etc… but to be honest, I’ve never had the need to. Vodafone kept the bloatware to a minimum and it didn’t really stand in my way.

Custom ROM Galaxy S3 detailsCustom ROM?

So, this is the main reason why I had to root my phone. Wanting to improve performance of my Galaxy S3 and increase battery life, I had a look around to see which custom ROMs would be a good fit. Following a recommendation of a friend of mine, I then went with Android Revolution HD. This ROM kept the Samsung specific apps, such as the Camera app, S Voice, AllShare Cast, etc. It basically was exactly the same interface (TouchWiz) but with a lot of tweaks under the hood. My phone instantly became a lot more responsive and battery life increased as well. Great!

However, there are some risks that come with flashing: You void your warranty with most ROMs. And you may encouter some strange issues down the line. In my case, this happened about 1 year after flashing the custom ROM, my phone got stuck in a reboot loop. Some application seems to have broken my phone. So, there were a few options: I could re-flash the same firmware, and potentially encounter the same issue down the line, or I could try something new.

Following another recommendation by a friend of mine, I decided to try an AOSP (Android Open Source Project) ROM. These run none of the Samsung code, and are generally a lot lighter. I took a look around, and not wanting to stick with 4.1.2 (latest version available for the Galaxy S3 supported by Samsung), I went with a ROM that was based on Android 4.3, CarbonROM.

After struggling a bit to install it (note: you’ll have to manually install all Google Apps!), I finally got it running.

All I could say was: Wow. It’s like having a new phone.

The phone was a lot more responsive. Truly worlds apart. I felt like I just bought a Galaxy S4, but it was free, only costing me an hour of tinkering around — if done right the first time, it’ll take you 10 minutes.

So what did I loose by going with a AOSP ROM?

Well, the Samsung apps. The only app I miss is the Camera app, as the stock Android one takes a bit of getting used to. Besides that, I didn’t notice anything that I’m missing. S Voice, well, I use Google Now which is a lot nicer anyway. And the speed boost makes it worth it. Battery life is similar, if not slightly better compared to the custom ROM I had before. Did I mention it’s a lot faster?

My Galaxy S3 homescreenHaving run CarbonROM for the last 3 weeks, there is no way I’m going back to the original Samsung ROM. It took a bit of customizing but it now looks great and I’m back up and running at full speed. There are a few bugs I’ve encountered, but these are mainly related to Android 4.3 itself and are getting fixed on a daily basis.

All in all, if you’re willing to take the risk of rooting your phone, then going with a AOSP Rom like Carbon Nightlies (the 4.3 branch) is definitely worth a try. But be aware that if something goes wrong, the warranty won’t cover it. I may write a small post with some instructions on how to flash CarbonROM onto your phone in the near future.

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Last Friday marked a massive change in Finland. The by far largest Finnish company announced that it would drastically change its direction. Stephen Elop decided to jump from a “burning platform” into the unknown, but realized that by doing so he could not take everyone with him. Nokia’s decision to adopt Windows Phone 7 as primary operating system and terminate all long-term development of Symbian will result in many Nokians having to look for new jobs. But it’s not just the Nokia employees that will suffer, but also the countless contractors that worked for Nokia. The Minister for Economic, Affairs Mauri Pekkarinen, expects 20,000 jobs across Nokia’s sites in Finland to vanish: “You’re talking about 20000 people, it’s a big number”. One of those sites is Oulu. Nokia’s R&D facility in Oulu is currently the home of approximately 2000 engineers, of which 1500 have been working on Symbian and MeeGo. Most of them will face their jobs being axed.

Having been to Nokia in Oulu, I have met some of the most amazing people I know. And it is one of them who has come up with a rather nifty idea. Kristian Luoma, Product Manager turned Entrepreneur decided to do something about this situation.

What would happen if an extreme incubator would be set up in Oulu, where these bright minds can work together on the next big thing. Nokia started out as a small Finnish company and became the world’s leading mobile phone manufacturer with an annual revenue of €42.45 billion. What would stop the Finns from reclaiming former glory?

If there’s something that every Entrepreneur I’ve met has said to me, it was: Dream big! Achieve the un-achievable! “Oulu Fifty” is a vision for a programme with the insane goal of producing fifty start-ups in twelve months. That’s roughly 1 start-up per week! It would be a programme giving these talented people all the tools they need, such as shared office space, legal advice, exposure, chances to get in touch with VCs and much more. The goal is to create a vibrant community that fosters innovation and spins out seedable companies.

“Oulu Fifty” would run innovation and idea exploration sessions which would be open to anyone to attend. It would regularly have hackfests to perform rapid prototyping. It would seek out to consumers to vote on the best ideas – every week. It would educate its members on technology and other necessary skills – by mentoring and by leasing inspiring speakers to visit the campus occasionally.

This could be an amazing opportunity for both the Finnish government which is strongly encouraging entrepreneurship and the Nokians. But such a programme requires a few things to be successful. On one hand, “Oulu Fifty” would need support from the industry. Getting Entrepreneurs and VCs involved that would be willing to visit. On the other hand, this programme would need financial support to pay for facilities as well as a limited staff running the programme which would approximately be €0,5 million for 1 year of operation.

I personally love this idea, but all the credit has to go to Kristian Luoma who dreamt up this idea. This programme could bring Oulu back to the forefront of technological innovation and save the by Nokia abandoned local community. I sincerely hope that there is a future in this idea, but we will see what happens in the next few weeks.

Just in case you have €0,5 million lying around, and want to support this programme, do contact me: florian at florian jensen dot com

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Nokia E71

Nokia E71

Finally! The phone I have been waiting for has been released! About a year ago I bought the Nokia E61, and I have been extremely happy with it. It’s a great phone, and there are a lot of cool applications that run on it.

But now, Nokia has released the E71! If you haven’t heard of it yet, you should definetly read the full report over at boygeniusreport.com.

In short, it has all the features you could ever dream of. A 3.15 Megapixel camera with autofocus, flash, a secondary video call camera, built in gps, MP3/AAC/MPEG4 player, a normal headphone Jack…. it’s a dream phone!

Now, you might think, thats nice, but I will never be able to afford it. And thats where you’re dead wrong! Nokia.de officially sells it at 459€. Thats quite ok! I will try to get one for less ofcourse, but 459€ is very ok for that phone!

The full phone specs can be found over at gsmarena.

Over and out!

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Hey,

yesterday I acquired an Nokia E61, which turned out to be one of the best investments I ever did.

My E61! My E61 … again!

It’s a great mobile phone. You can install a ton of applications, and it has WiFi. Here is a small list of the things I currently do with it:

E-mailing

I have setup my E-mail account on it, using IMAP. It even supports IMAP IDLE, which is a really great feature if you have to pay for the data connection traffic. I use my WiFi mostly though, so I don’t really care.

My E-mails

Jabber-ing

I installed Talkonaut 3.0, which is a great Jabber client for Symbian OS. It supports alot of features, such as File Transfer and Jingle Audio. The key feature though is, that it supports data compression. This is very nice if you use it via 3G.

Talkonaut 1 Talkonaut 2 Talkonaut 3

As you can see on the last screenshot, Jabber is the perfect IM Platform. Thanks to Jabber data compression, you can chat for nearly nothing using GPRS or 3G! That was actually the result of 1 day chatting.

Vodafone Live! and Proximus Mobile TV

You’re bored? Well just go onto the Vodafone Live! portal and watch TV on your E61! The screen is big enough, and it is quite cheap. Just 0,49€ per session. You have a choice of 30 live TV stations and alot of on demand content. I just watched the Looney Tunes! Great fun.

VoIP!

I call quite alot to foreign countries, which leads to a very high phone bill. But now I can call via my VoipStunt account on my Mobile Phone. The quality is as good as via the GSM Network. All that routed via WiFi means that you don’t pay anything for the calls. If you want, you can also call via VoIP over the 3G network. Haven’t tried that yet, but I will in a bit. Atleast VoIP calls via WiFi are that good quality, that you don’t notice any difference! And it is integrated seamlessly into the general OS.

A Keyboard!

You actually have a nice Keyboard on the E61. I hate writing SMS with these numbers, like on the normal GSMs. Now I have a full keyboard on it. Very easy to type. Even with my fingers.

A really good Webbrowser

There actually is a very good webbrowser on the E61. It’s based on Webkit, and even runs complicated JS. It’s very nice to browse the Web from your mobile phone.

E61 Webbrowser

As you can see, it displays perfectly!

iPod Video without stupid iTunes.

I wanted an MP3 player with Video support. That was why I was thinking of getting an iPhone, but that is not available in Belgium at the moment. A hacked one, would be a possibility, but it’s also quite expensive. But now, with the E61, I have a MP3, OGG Player and Video Player.

Music Video

As you can see, I still love The Simpsons 🙂 I need to tweak my encoding quality though, as in Fullscreen it isn’t that nice.

Google Maps & GPS

I also installed Google Maps on the E61. It is a really great app. The next thing I am going to buy, is a TomTom GPS adapter, so that I can use it in my car as a GPS.

Google Maps

What other application would you like to see on your Mobile phone? For me, I have everything I want on my E61. I can just recommend it.

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