Monday, May 16, 2011

N900 Application Round Up

In the past I've done two different application round ups for the Nokia N900 handset which runs the Maemo operating system. Today I would like to add to my lists of applications I find useful for a device I use for many hours each day.

Widgets -
There are three non-default widgets I enjoy using on my N900 very much. They are:
  • Connect Now
  • Conversations Inbox
  • Recaller
The connect now widget allows you to define an internet connection (either 3g or wireless) that you connect/disconnect from simply by tapping on the widget. I've found this is useful for quickly disconnecting from the net when I am not using it to save some battery life. Conversations inbox shows the contents of the last text message you received and allows you to quickly open said message and respond to it. Recaller gives you a red diamond on your desktop that when tapped begins recording your current call (try not to get into too much trouble with this one).

Applications -
I'd like to add two more applications I use constantly on my N900.
  • pyRadio
  • Countdown Timer
The first is the evolution of an application I have previously reviewed that was called pyPianobar. pyRadio no longer uses pianobar as a back end for streaming and as such I find it works a small bit better. It still has a hiccup every now and then, but I often stream music for hours at a time from Pandora with pyRadio.

Countdown timer is just a simple count down timer that is fairly customizable. It will count down up to sixty minutes and is accurate to within one second. There are four different (configurable) time options for quick use or you can manually adjust the settings via the up and down buttons.

Camera Lens Launcher -
By default when you open the camera shutter on your N900 it launches the camera application. This is great for most people I am sure, but I use several applications with my device that involve the camera. The camera lens launcher gives you a list of options to choose from when opening the shutter. Personally I have the following applications to pick from when I open the cover on my N900.
  • Camera
  • Flash Light
  • mBarcode
The camera is just the boring camera application. Flash light when launched allows you to trigger just the LED bulb on the back of the device to turn on. You can then turn it off via the status area or simply by closing the cover. mBarcode is a nifty application that reads bar codes (not much surprise there). After scanning a bar code it will even offer to go online to amazon and look up pricing (or do a google search).

Community SSU -
With Nokia kicking FOSS to the curb not long ago, many where left wondering if there would be any support for the N900 left. The SSU shows us that yes, indeed there is! SSU stands for "seamless software update" and the community repository continues to provide updates to N900 users. In addition to patching a good deal of bugs the SSU also adds new features such as portrait support in many of the default applications. Please note the Community SSU is still considered beta software, but if you like to test things you can install it by following the instructions found here.

Any other applications or things you use on your N900 every day you would like to share? If so please drop a comment below letting me know what they are!

~Jeff Hoogland


  1. I heard that we can install meego and android on n900.. have you tried that..

  2. I started using Panucci for podcasts recently. Much better for that purpose than the standard player!

  3. I use FCamera which gives me more control over my camera, gPodder for all my podcasts (it's nice because you can set up the list of podcasts on their site via a Desktop PC), ForecaWeather which replaced OM Weather when I went from the n810 to the n900, Jamendo and MediaBox for medial playback, Mappero and GPXView for mapping, PaddwordSafe, Tweak Flash plu and of course Widelands.

    I've been very impressed with MyPaint and Ansel-A but I think both need more CPU. I have a few more apps but I'm testing them to see if I like them. I use the Pedometer widget as well as the Facebook widget.

    What I really miss is Maemopad+ and I need Yelp and Onebusaway app. I'm going to write the latter when I get around to it. Mapping could be better as well, Android has killer mapping.

  4. I'm currently running 1.3. Why should I use the SSU and how buggy is it? I tried viewing their webpage but each link just sat and sat and sat and I gave up.

  5. @Grant I use Sygic for my maps. Not FOSS or free, but it does a good job at what it does.

    @Unknown The SSU makes the whole device feel much more seamless. Fixes a good deal of those "rough edges" Maemo tends to have. Only bug I have with it is that the email application crashes on me every once and a while.