Nokia Trots Out VoIP, Google For 770 Tablet

By James Alan Miller

May 22, 2006

Software upgrade with communication enhancements arrives for Linux-based Wi-Fi device.

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Nokia started selling a Linux-based Wi-Fi-enabled device, the 770 Internet Tablet late last year. The 770 is a detour of sorts for Nokia, as it only accesses the Web and receives e-mail via 802.11b/g broadband wireless, not a cellular network.

This week, the Finnish phone maker introduced a major software upgrade called Internet Tablet OS 2006 edition for the 770. The update includes Google's free instant messaging service Google Talk, which also allows users to make Internet-based voice calls. The tablet also offers Google as the default search provider.

The upgraded can also support SIP based Voice Over IP (VoIP) solutions. Standalone software applications, like Gizmo Project by SIPPhone Inc., is planned to be available for the 770 Internet. The Gizmo Project allows users to make and receive calls from public telephony networks.

Additional features include enhanced text typing with full-screen finger keyboard, improved memory performance and a refreshed look, according to Nokia. There is also an improved home view desktop to allow users to choose from a variety of small applets to enable faster access to Internet services.

The upgrade should be available by the end of June.

At the time of the 770's initial announcement, Nokia vice president of convergence products, Janne Jormalainen, said the company expected Wi-Fi use to continue to grow significantly. So that's why Nokia chose to experiment with passing up cellular voice for WLAN voice communications in the new device.

In addition to Internet and e-mail access, the 770 come with applications to read RSS news feeds, listen to audio, watch video, and view images. While its 802.11b/g radio lets users access the Internet via broadband wireless, support for Bluetooth enables you to use the tablet in conjunction with a Bluetooth-enabled phone; as part of a personal area network.

Unlike most of Nokia's smartphones, which are based on the Symbian operating system and the company's Series 60 (now called S60) or Series 80 interface, the 770 runs on Linux. It has 64 MB of RAM and a RS-MMC (reduced-size MultiMediaCard) slot for memory expansion.

The 770's landscape orientated touch screen display measures 4.1 inches diagonally and runs at a healthy 800 x 480-pixel resolution. The unit itself measures 5.1 x 3.1 x 0.75 inches (141 x 79 x 19 millimeters) and weighs 8.3 ounces (230 grams).

Nokia said it hopes to free people from the Wi-Fi tether that it perceives desktop computers to be. That’s something Microsoft would like the new Ultra Mobile Personal Computer (UMPC) to do as well; but those are full-fledged Windows XP computers, two to three times as expensive, considerably heavier, and larger

"Most Internet use is done from a PC, which is usually fixed to a certain place and is pretty restrictive,” asserted Jormalainen.

Courtesy of PDAStreet.



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