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Impressions of the N9 After A Month


Its probably something near ironic the posts that have been hitting the web lately about the N9. First, there's the series of N9 revisits by Alvin Wong over at Unleash the Phones. Here, we've got a refresh on the apps that are on Andy's N9. I'm still a bit new to the N9. In talking about how I've gotten along with it in the past month, I've got my own suite of apps and usage, and some of which will kind of lead to what to expect from me in my contributions here.

Previous Devices
As Shaun stated nicely in my introduction, I've been around mobile for a long time. My 1st mobile wasn't a phone, it was a Franklin Planner. I went from that to a few other calc-planners, then to a 3300-Series Nokia on Voicestream. My 1st smartphone that I owned was a Palm Treo 600. Before ownership, I reviewed several devices, especially those in the Windows Smartphone camp. After the Treo, I went totally to N-Series Nokia devices, with my last being the N8 that I've owned till this point of getting the N9. I iterate forward, always looking to tweak, challenge, and augment my reality with this tech as I learn more about it.

Getting Started w/the N9
The N9 isn't the first MeeGo Harrmattan device in my possession. I've also got an N950. To that end, I'm already familiar with the software landscape and much of my intentions of getting the N9 came as a result of having some paradigm-(re)shifting moments with the N950.

As others have remarked, apps are indeed somewhat important to the use of one's N9 and so I've started with a small but healthy list of apps on my device:

Now, that might not seem like a lot of apps, and there's definitely an absence of plenty of popular favorites on there (notice, no games). But, that's kind of my usage. I tweak core activities and then move from there.

ExtraPlugins is pretty much a no-brainer for me. Honestly, I wish that it had LinkedIn, Google+, and a few more services in there. The services management end of the N9 is possibly my favorite aspect of this platform and one of the key places I plan on pushing growth forward for me in mobile.

Notekeeper and the Evernote Sharing Plugin speak for themselves. In fact, I'm writing this in Evernote across several devices before it gets to our WordPress backend (I've also written the guide on posting to WordPress from Evernote; crazy right).

One of the areas that I submitted that I would not give up in moving from the N8 to the N9 was my use of the Zeemote Bluetooth joystick. I just can't do presentations from the device and not have that working. So, having QZee Control is just handy as all get out for me.

Same for Situations. This is just the kind of app that no mobile should ship without. I'd like to see some tweaks here in terms of service integration (since that's already present on the device) and probably some more tuning to the actions. But, its solid. Comparatively, I've got ProfileMatic on my N950. That's a powerful program as well that does similar and more in areas to the device (writing scripts to do more is more along the N9 ethos).

NFC Interactor is something that I downloaded to see if any of the RFID cards I have can be worked with any. I'd really like something of an app that manages those cards (barcode cards too) but also fits within the Accounts API so that you can do a bit more with transactions other than be scanned.

Shortcuts is because I use Search more than anything (really wonder why that wasn't something built-in by default to change). And Scrobbler because I still adore my last.fm stats and account. Perhaps I'll redownload the app and see what music genres I've missed lately.

I've had a few flops. I tried File Manager, but didn't like the UX (even though the UI was fine). I see FileCase, but am not sure about its Dropbox support (necessary for me, a point of contention in its reviews). I'm on the fence about MeeIn for LinkedIn, mainly because I don't see any integration to the Activity Stream with it (its a social network right).

Usage Impressions
At this point, my mobile stays in the pocket unless its needed. One of the neat things that I've noticed with my personal mobility is that I don't need to have the mobile in my hands all the time, but it does have to be ready for me when I do poke at it. The double-tap to turn on, the ability to see updates from the Activity Stream, and the general feel of the N9 have lent it to getting plenty of eyes at it.

I've met the slow and unresponsive PR1.3. I get where some of that comes from. I also am finding that sometimes, that slow moment (usually caused when Twitter is refreshing) is a cause for me to rethink if I need to be on the device at that moment. I've not yet added any fitness tracking apps, but Sports Tracker was a favorite and I look forward to getting back to that one. I've also had some play with transferring content via NFC. The first try was to an Android device, and the second try was to the Lumia 920. Suffice to say, that's something that's neat, but is still not yet easy enough to do for everyone.

Yes, many people might see it from the rear and think Lumia. What can I say, I'm in the USA and that's just the state of the marketing of those devices here. What gets people eyes open is when they see the ease at which I get updates to whatever, and then just slide from screen to screen and then it turns back into my pocket and I'm back concentrating on them. That aspect of the N9 (and BlackBerry's new devices) won't be lost on people who stay heavily productive.

In the future, I plan to explore a few more areas of this N9, including Inception and other context-shifting-kinda tweaking. I'd also like to see about integrating more items as services rather than needing an app for it. Instead of downloading an app that has content, integrating an API that allows me to do more with the content than simply read and share it. That's not normal, but I think that's the kind of outside-the-box thinking and doing that's missing from mobile these days. Here's hoping that I can make this community, and my own itch to do mobile better, proud.



Any comments or questions on this article can be posted below.

Please note: Prior to undertaking any modification detailed above, understand that there are risks involved. Whilst every modification has been tested to work on the author's Nokia N9, there are no guarantees it will work on a different Nokia N9 or other mobile phone. EverythingN9 will not take responsibility for any effects of a mod, including hardware or software damage, telecommunication charges, or legal implications.

About the author

Antoine

Mobility, Creative Thinking & Experiments, and a Maturing Faith's Passion; @mobileminmag Founder/Primary Voice

8 comments

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  1. Tales Barros

    Great stuff. Congrats for this very in-depth first article. Hope to see more stuff from you!

    1. Antoine

      Thanks. Looking forward to more for sure.

  2. Anthony

    Great article
    Hope to read more from your N9 journey ;)

    1. Antoine

      Many thanks. An already working on the next one. But it might be a bit before it's done.

  3. Ruben

    very nice article, and welcome Antoine!

    hope you enjoy your "ride" with N9 with us =)

    Cheers

    1. Antoine

      Thanks. Looking forward to the adventure for sure.

  4. Dou

    I am still very interested in the nokia N9 and wanted to know if it is a phone that u would strongly recommend for someone in the US. Thanks

    1. Antoine

      I don't know about "strongly" but I do like it. There's not much that you can't do. I'm even using mine with an MVNO (Simple Mobile). I'm a fan of art as much as I am tech, so the N9 did for me and good quite well. What specifically are you seeing as reasons for it? Perhaps one of my next pieces here can help on that.

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