Monday, January 11, 2010

Retrospective on 101

The first maintenance release is out. What you can see as the biggest news items is that application manager looks quite a bit different, and Ovi store is out. These two things go hand in hand. The work on application manager is on improving the user experience for installing applications from Ovi store. In addition to that, it's on improving the user experience of installing content from the community and nokia applications catalogues. Application manager is now fast enough to use - if only would be updated soon, then so would the community catalogues.

Ovi store content is not visible in the application manager installable applications. This is intentional, as we want the official Ovi store front-end to be the only place to browse for the great applications, backgrounds, ringtones and wallpapers. For this reason, the red pill mode was removed as well.

Here's a look at the application manager categories list (In finnish - it's time you all learned it ;) )
Great work from Vilja on the icons. Kudos! And for Gabriel for turning it to reality.

What you don't see immediately on the outside, is the work on preparation for the next big update. We have been working hard in making sure the OS update really works cleanly over the air and that it can be done with as little free space avaiable as possible. The end result is something to be proud of. I would like to thank especially Lokesh, Victor, Mario and David for the hard work, long days and tiresome weekends that resulted in the flawless update experience you guys are about to embark on. Without these guys raising to occasion when the going got tough, we would probably be pretty shaky about how the big updates will work. Now I'm content it will work great for all of you out there.

So, this is the step 1 only, you should be able to enjoy it and the Ovi store applications while waiting for the big update coming your way soon.

Hildon icon cache has been removed and update-icon-cache is now a no-op. Reason is that it was consuming vast amounts of space on rootfs and it was too slow to use on opt. Dropping has no human detectable differences in anything, so I'm sure it won't be missed by anyone. Computer measurable startup difference was within some percents give or take for most of the apps, but media player is 30 % faster without the cache, while maps is about 20% slower. Anyway, a good trade off.

Another thing that was removed is the red pill mode, as we didn't see any particular need for it anymore.

A word of warning: The next big update will require 45 megs of free space on the rootfs. This is pretty difficult for an end user to understand, so I'm calling all you developers who might have wasted end users rootfs space: please do what you can to optfy end users devices for every byte you can spare.

Read more detailed comments on the application manager work from here:


  1. Some ovi apps depend on qt4 which doesn't seem to be optified. Fixing this will probably fix many of those apps. My suggestion is to fix this before launching the next upgrade.

  2. Qt4.5 will become part of the platform on 1.1. It won't be optified.

  3. What do you think the best way to have a space on the rootfs folder for the end-user who don't have enough space available ? it will be cool if there is some steps .

  4. the best way is to reflash the new fw to device.... if it is the most suitable one for you is another story.

  5. I live in Ivory Coast and i'm not able to access OVI Store from the n900 and from my PC too!! it says service not available in my area!! it would be cool if i could access apps from Ovi store in the App Manager! I hope nokia will fix it...

  6. Apparently the python libs were also not optified for early apps. Optifying that gains about 20M on the rootfs for early adopters. It seems to be the quick fix for most people with updating issues.

    Love the new design & look, and the speed is definitly improved. There's already a new sys menu (Catorise) in Extras-Devel that sets up a near identical interface using same theme icons to make the system menu look like the app manager.

    I'm sad to see red-pill mode go away, but understandable. Can do all of that from command line anyway, just was easier sometimes in fat-finger mode vs hitting xterm. :)

    Great work!

  7. Does the N900 still not support MMS though?