MIR: Nokia N-Gage: Possibilities & Potential

MWC – Wow. Cool. Loved it.

2260438012_d1ea0ec723_oI was there on official business with SpinVox and the one KPI I had was to make sure that the headlines on the SpinVox message board were updated constantly (see pic ).

So off I trotted around the congress to get the latest news and views and convert them, quite literally, into text.

And where did I end up? In all sorts of places! One of those places just happened to be the Nokia hospitality suite, on-hand and asking questions to the product managers of their new devices and services. The one I want to write about today? N-Gage – and what fell out of that particular session.

Here goes:

If we, the power users, (according to Jaakko Kaidesoja, lead director at N-Gage) define how future handsets will be created/designed then please, please, PLEASE allow us to DO MORE.

So – what do I want to do? Well, me personally? Not that much. I just want to have the option, the ability to do more with my devices.

Sitting in the Q&A with Jaakko, it struck me what was missing.

It was odd that, of the four Product Manager Q&A sessions that I was able to attend at MWC; OVI, N78, N96 and N-Gage respectively, the one I thought I would enjoy the least was the one that had the most potential.

Given that I went into the N-Gage Q&A thinking that I probably wouldn’t enjoy it that much, Ricky ‘Symbian-Guru‘ Cadden and I, have often traded blows about mobile gaming (he loves it and I hate it), I was immensely surprised at a) how much it got my brain going and b) how much untapped potential S60 apps as have as a whole.

Maybe it was thanks to the previous three sessions I attended that this one got my brain ticking over so much. Geo Tagging for example, something I wrote about recently and has been possible (thanks to ShoZu) for over a year, is now ‘as standard’ across Nokia’s new hero handsets (the N78 and N96) but – hey guys, why stop at images?

The three questions I put to Jaakko were as follows:

Forgive if I’m taking this a step too far but given that the geo tagging functionality has been announced recently, wouldn’t it be cool if I could geo-tag my stats? i.e.: Dude! I was HERE when I beat you!

Jakko: That’s not possible but a good idea

Can I upload my stats to my OVI?

Jakko: Not yet, but it is something we would look at in the future

Can I sync my N-Gage contacts with the contacts in my phonebook?

Jakko: Not yet, but it is something we would look at in the future

THIS is when my brain went into overdrive and I started systematically going through the applications on my handset to find which ones would make logical sense to link up. Starting with N-Gage, why can’t I browse my contacts, click on Ricky and send/book him a time to play [insert ngage game title here]? Ricky would then get an invite from me which he could accept, and in the background the handset would place an appointment into his calendar and link my name with my N-Gage username on his phone – synchronicity inside N-Gage and out – it just makes sense.

I can already attach images and suchlike to contacts; MP3s/Ringtones for example (which is great if you’re away from your phone; Imperial March playing? That’ll be Mum) so, let’s do more.

Given the functionality demonstrated by Jaiku’s presence information, and also some features which are disabled in the current client (but have been seen on the private beta – ie: direct to stream photo uploads and ‘what am I listening to?’ – Last.fm-esque scrobbling on the move).

If Nokia can build in Location tagging, (which, to be honest, is a big ME TOO app that everyone will applaud them for, and yet us early adopters will continue to thank ShoZu) then why not put presence in as well?

This whole stream of consciousness leads me into what originally got me worked up. Strategic alignment across S60 (and why stop there?) applications.

Why not link everything up?!

Only by enabling these things from the off and N-Gaging (heh) the consumer with simple and easy to understand education, will you benefit from mass-adoption.

And I’ll leave it there, for now.

I’ve got a lot more that will hopefully filter through over the coming weeks.

So, stay tuned!

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