I recently found Vaibhav Sharma’s site, The Symbian Blog. The name is a little misleading as focus of the site seems to be mainly Nokia and S60 rather than Symbian as a whole. There’s very little about UIQ and MOAP. But I suppose that’s OK as those platforms are likely to soon become history and Symbian will become a synonym for S60.
The site is updated daily and features product announcements, hardware and software reviews and tips for getting the most of your S60 phone. It’s not pure Symbian boosterism either. Vaibhav doesn’t hesitate to take S60 and Nokia to task in the areas where they deserve it; like the slow, convoluted and unreliable Nokia Software Update application or that the N96 is in many ways a step backward compared to the N95. I’m really enjoying The Symbian Blog, it’s timely, nicely designed, well written and makes good use of images and videos. A worthy addition to the ranks of S60 news and review sites.
The Symbian Blog just launched a mobile edition using a new mobile WordPress Plugin called MobilePress. MobilePress does what Alex King and Andy Moore‘s plugins do which is to detect mobile devices and deliver the full content of your blog in a stripped down, single column format. But MobilePress adds a few tricks. First it supports themes using the same structure as regular WordPress themes. There don’t seem to be any custom MobilePress themes yet but I’m sure there will be soon. Another nice thing that MobilePress does is to support different themes for specific devices. You can have four themes. One each for the iPhone, Opera Mini, Windows Mobile and a generic theme for everything else. You can also tell MobilePress to deliver the default PC version of your blog to one or more of the three non-generic platforms.
One thing MobilePress doesn’t do which I think is really needed in a true mobile plugin is to split pages and re-size images to control page weight. To be fair the other WordPress mobile plugins don’t either but it’s still a problem that needs to be solved. As it stands, The Symbian Blog’s pages average about 40 KB, too large for feature phones using the Openwave and Motorola Browsers. Other than that MobilePress looks quite promising, I’ll try to set it up on a test site and share my impressions.
Ratings: Content: Usability:
Mobile Link: thesymbianblog.com
Ready.mobi score: 2 “bad”