There. I said it.
Before broadcasting this to the world, I wanted to wait until I had a solution to the problem or a commitment from Nokia or Microsoft to fix this, but I came up empty on all 3 counts. This post on the InternetTabletTalk forums describes the situation in detail, but here’s a brief primer:
- Windows Mobile 5.0 AKU 3 (and higher), SmartPhone Edition no longer has Bluetooth DUN functionality. The Cingular BlackJack has this version of WM and presumably all of the newer SmartPhones are in that boat as well.
- The Nokia 770 and N800 Internet Tablets currently only support Bluetooth DUN as a way to share a phone’s internet connection.
- Windows Mobile 5.0 AKU 3 supports an alternative method for connection sharing: PAN.
- There are scripts available for the 770 that force it to share internet connections over PAN. It’s pretty hairy to get those scripts running, but it works.
- Those scripts sort of work on the n800, but Opera can’t use the resulting connection for some reason.
Nokia hasn’t announced any plans, yet, to officially support PAN. You can make your voice heard on the matter here.
Microsoft hasn’t announced any plans, yet, to put DUN support back in. You can make your voice heard on the matter here.
ThoughtFix has a great video of CarMan, the new utility by the same team that brought us Canola! CarMan works on the Nokia N800 or 770 and interacts over bluetooth with the ElmScan OBD-II device. OBD-II is a port that is installed in most modern cars so that car owners and service stations can debug their vehicles. CarMan exposes the throttle pressure, speed, engine RPM, fault codes, etc in a slick analog interface.
Here are some ideas as to how such a configuration would work. Please add your thoughts.
What are we talking about?
Two Nokia N800 Internet Tablets fastened together. The hinge would connect the bottom edge of the first one to the top edge of the second one. The hinge would allow the two devices to be ‘closed’ by folding them back to back. Ideally, the hinge would also allow the devices to be folded screen to screen. The hinge would also be set up to allow for a flat position with the two being two screens tall. Finally, a slightly angled position would also be supported with the top device lightly tilted ‘in’.
How would this be useful?
- Use the bottom device as a keyboard for the top device.
- Use the top device for watching movies and the bottom device for reading the imdb entry about the movie.
- Use the top device for ReaderMini.com and the bottom device email.
- Applications could be written to take advantage of the screens as though they were one. The application could communicate with the ‘secondary display’ via bluetooth, usb or wifi.
- Use the top device for GPS / directions and the bottom for a browser.
- Use the top for video chat and the bottom for a movie/browser, etc.
Jonathan Greene has a couple great how-tos up for my favorite Internet Tablet.
Meanwhile, ThougtFix has a video demo of Windows XP Tablet Edition running on the Nokia 770. 😉
RingNokia pointed the way to these excellent videos. I’ve reordered them, here, to show my favorite first and my least favorite last. The other two are a toss up. Keep in mind that these videos were shown at a Nokia conference months before the iPhone was revealed. Also check out this new multitouch video.
So, while we were buying N800s at CompUSA and blogging about them left and right, this guy already had one for weeks but was embargoed? OUCH.
I won’t be able to give it a thorough read until tonight, but Oliver’s review looks very complete. I definitely agree with him that a software upgrade to make communicating between nearby Internet Tablets would be great. And, also on his list, I’d love to see a portrait-mode switch for the display.
For another comprehensive review, check out ThoughtFix’s.