In this edition...

  1. Front Page
    • Apps for MeeGo - how to use, submit & help evaluate applications
  2. Applications
    • mplayer for Harmattan
  3. Development
    • Font metrics change in Harmattan part 3 - designing truly flexible UI layouts
  4. Devices
    • Maemo devices in movies

Front Page

Apps for MeeGo - how to use, submit & help evaluate applications

Via: @Jaffa2

Editor: Andrew Flegg

Niels Breet has posted an introduction to "Apps for MeeGo" for users, developers and people willing to test apps:

We have been working on for a while. The idea is to have a community driven Apps catalog for open source applications. Created by the people who also contributed to Downloads (More than 100M downloads and counting!), many of the concepts born there were brought along.

This site includes a community driven QA part, where you can test apps and fill in a simple score card about the app. Once a certain amount of positive reports have been made, the app will automatically go to the stable Apps site. Apps will also go through some automated tests, so we can prevent broken applications from entering the repositories.

Unfortunately, the site and processes weren't in place for the N9 launch. This has meant the Nokia Store has become the default place for developers wishing to ship applications for the N9 (and N950). Discoverability of applications is also easier with Nokia Store for users; with no central Application Manager on Harmattan, users have to go to a specific client to see the apps available to them.

As touched upon by Thomas Perl last week, fragmentation of the N9 experience is a big problem for a niche platform - one it can ill afford. The extra overhead for developers of targetting the mainstream Store, updating meta-data sites like n9-apps and also dealing with OBS for Apps for MeeGo is something your editor, as a developer, does not look forward to. Metrics such as download counts will also be fragmented, giving developers - and users - inconclusive statistics.

Hopefully, Apps for MeeGo will succeed - but your editor can't help feeling it might be too late. Especially since there won't be any other MeeGo devices for which it could host content.


mplayer for Harmattan

Via: @qole

Editor: Andrew Flegg

alan bruce highlighted that the KMPlayer Garage site also hosts an mplayer deb for Harmattan. Unfortunately, it doesn't seem to be as optimised as the Maemo 5 version, and is still best used through the command-line.

However, if you have a file which you can't play any other way, this may prove useful.


Font metrics change in Harmattan part 3 - designing truly flexible UI layouts

Via: @Jaffa2

Editor: Andrew Flegg

The N9 Developer blog has a third part on the upcoming change to the font metrics in Harmattan. Already shipped in PR1.1 in the Middle East & Africa, this change in PR1.2 will have an important impact on the appearance of almost every single application. The two previous blog posts discussed two options for fixing text item height (e.g. Qt Quick Component Labels) so that the resulting text renders (almost) exactly the same on the screen, independent of the software release that the device has. However, in many cases changing the height of the text is not the best idea. Often, it is better to create a flexible UI layout that contain text items of varying height/size and still keep the application UI beautiful and fully usable.

Although these tips are useful, until developers actually have a running system against which they can test, it is likely to be forgotten. It is important that developers get access to PR1.2 as soon as possible, in your editor's opinion.


Maemo devices in movies

Via: @Jaffa2

Editor: Andrew Flegg

Thomas Perl highlights some of the occasions Maemo devices - primarily the 770 - have appeared in TV and film as props: Jukka just posted "No such thing as silver N950 except for Transformers 3 ;)", which reminded me of the movie appearances of the Nokia 770. But first to the silver N950 appearance which I somehow missed. As for the 770, it starred in a Harold and Kumar movie, in a Fantastic Four movie and in a Die Hard movie, but you probably already knew that. The 770 appearances are well documented (with screencaps) over at if you don't have the time to watch all three movies. Any other movies in which Maemo devices appear? What about the N800, N810 and N900?