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N80, Truphone, Fring + Notes

A few blogs this week and still time for some weekend notes!

N80 Upgrade:
I upgraded a Nokia N80 to Internet Edition specs! So now I will stop grumbling about how Nokia released a software upgrade in a new phone and obsoleted for awhile a group of early adopters. You can upgrade via the latest PCSuite and the Nokia Software updater. (I'm not sure the update works for all countries yet. I changed my product code from the Asia version to Euro. Before doing this upgrade and after doing a full reset.) The upgrade provided an unexpected barcode reader. I don't know how to use it. If there is one thing better than one N80 it is having multiple N80's. Now.. when will these upgrades be passed through to some others n-series phones. Example the N-91?

Truphone:
I really did hear it! James Brody of Truphone confirmed in a blog comment that they use the more efficient voice AMR-NB codec (vs G711).

It is gratifying to see that all the effort that we put into getting the AMR-NB codec configuration in Truphone is really appreciated. The difference in RTP payload between AMR-NB and the more widely used G.711 codec is about a quarter (AMR-NB consuming around 18-20 kbps worst case versus around 80 kbps for G.711). The end result is that Truphone offers excellent voice quality in situations where others croak!

While I am a complete advocate for wideband codecs they aren't much good when the bandwidth isn't there. I can confirm that Truphone has worked when my PC can't even get email and Skype cannot log in.

Fring:
I've continued playing with Fring. Not easy to do as the Fring Skype gateway is a little erratic. I think I also need some form of connection meter or something. I see buddies online. It just isn't delivering chat messages etc. I hope their system is scalable.

On the... needs a solution side. I'm a member of some multi-chats. Fring breaks these up and delivers by person when they come in. I've logged on or rebooted my phone and the "Fringing" thing doesn't stop "Fringing" as these messages catch up. Thus there are some of the usual synch issues with using Skype with more than one client. I have no idea what happens to history. Be nice to know.

The chat still has a little bug. Each time you get an update from a buddy it kicks you out of where you were chatting. With more than one chat on the go this is even worse. So I found myself having to watch the keys and restart sentences. It will get fixed.

On the what's cool. I set up two phones with Fring. I made a call from one Skype buddy to another. While it looked like Skype it was Fring to Fring. The call was clear as they come. I couldn't make the same call at almost the same time to my SkypePC. So... FRING is applying PhoneGnome's PSTN SIP strategy to Mobile. Registering SIP Id's for your Phone Number. The upside. It could be convenient. The downside.  Most of us don't want to make a mobile number even more available.  Yet another number with no  interruptions or availability management.

It's  not quite clear to me what happens when you try and make another call to a Fring buddy when you are on a GPRS connection. I think it connected. Hard to tell if I got a call back.... Still trying to understand the details.

Mobile Web Pages:
The more I use my mobile on WiFi the more webpages and their format matters to me again. They need to be quick to load on GPRS and simple to see when I'm trying to manage things. Each new application I try now gets a "does it work easily on mobile test". Most don't. This will soon be critical.






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Comments (3)

MIKE:

I'm really interested in finding out how you upgraded your phone
I have a N80 I bought on ebay from the UK, but I'm in the US. Have been able to use Nokia s/w upgrade to upgrade from rev 3xxxx to rev 4xxxx but it is not an N80ie. Any suggestions?
thanks
mike

The "does it work on my mobile" application test is similar for Blackberry users, who have a reasonably robust browser as long as the application isn't trying to do anything too funny.

I wonder how much the web 2.0 train will be derailed or at least rethought by the mobile web browser world - it's a simpler world in many ways with more constraints and a lot more on-the-road opportunity.

Duxeno:

I think there's a lot of learn n appreciate on the latest Fring software. Using it on n80 n fine 4 me.

Cheers.

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