Monday, June 27, 2011

Why Meego will be a success!

After 6 days from the launch of Nokia’s flagship model N9, I’m writing this post today (27-06-11)! Finally, Nokia fan boys could really stop scratching their heads about the much awaited Meego phone. Since, Feb 11, when Elop Devil, current CEO of Nokia has announced its partnership with Microsoft to use WP7 as its future smartphone OS, there had been a war happening about Nokia’s Meego Phone N9.

Nokia fans and developers had showed their hateful in Nokia blogs and websites for dumping Meego OS and choosing WP7 as its primary OS Broken heart, and why not I was one among them. I was a pure Windows user and fan of the same till I tried Ubuntu a year before. Although I have used Red Hat Linux during my twelfth grade (2007), the UI didn’t manage to attract me. But now, Ubuntu is my favourite OS because of its speed and the options that we have to customize its appearance, after all its free. Ok! Just wanted to tell my experience with Ubuntu and Windows.

Now lets discuss about the child of Intel’s Moblin and Nokia’s Maemo, the Meego. As per the title of this post, this is going to be praising session for Meego rather than a discussion, of course I cannot discuss with myself.

Ok here we go,

Its Linux:

Lets differentiate things first. First of all, the major advantage is, its a Linux OS, and not a “Linux based OS”. So it is like any other Linux distribution, so no modified Kernel, no Virtual layers etc. This makes is different from Android, which is a Linux based OS.

This means, we will have a lot more freedom than other Smart Phone operating systems like IOS, WP7, Web OS and Symbian. And why not?! it will have a slight benefit over Android too, because as it is like our PC Ubuntu or Redhat so we are already used to it in terms of usage. The Linux community can also use their existing knowledge with Ubuntu or RedHat to modify this new comer.

I’m touching the support of PC Linux here, because Meego is not just limited to Smart Phones but also for Tablets and Vehicle infotainment systems. The WeTab is currently using this Meego platform and Big players like BMW and General Motors are committed to use Meego in their vehicle’s entertainment system.

Linux is not just limited to these capabilities but a lot others are already known to us! So Meego might close the gap between PC Linux and Embedded Linux, which Moblin failed to does.

I have seen a comment in YouTube which stated
Android is a wannabe Linux and Meego is real Linux
and eventually it got most users Thumbs UP!

Power of Multi tasking:

As we have already witnessed the speed and power of Linux in PC, it is also the same with Meego. Its assumed that it can run 200 apps simultaneously. Remember, this time you don’t have to hold a key to switch between apps, just a swipe can do it. At the same time, the real time view of that application will be displayed in this view. This will surely make multitasking a cake walk for users.
Maemo was also famous for this multitasking capability. View the video below if you don’t believe.
Maemo 5 Multi Tasking in action!
I have also read some comments from frustrated Apple fans regarding this Winking smile, one guy stated
Does Meego has 200 apps at all?
The answer for this comment is the next point.

Its faster and faster:

Being overwhelmed by the announcement of Nokia N9, I could not help searching YouTube for every video about this phone. Eventually I didn't miss to read about the response from users. Some users has commented that, the Nokia N9’s CPU was out dated and slow. I really don’t know about whether  its CPU but if it is old as they said, then Meego is faster than any other OS in existence.

I don’t understand the point of a modern CPU when it is already capable of running 200 apps at a time. Atleast 20 apps I believe! Smile with tongue out.

The speed is because it is native and does not contains a virtual layer(Thinking smile) as Android has. Neither it has a managed code environment as WP7 does.

Apps from Linux, Mac, Windows and Symbian:

I’m not sure how many are writing apps for Mac and Windows using Qt, but if there is something, they can be quite easily to this platform with just a compilation. But I’m sure that there are decent amount of apps available for Linux which are developed using Qt, that can be installed right away into this platform. With enough libraries KDE apps can also run seamlessly, but may suffer to support touch gestures.

With the announcement of Qt for Symbian in the year 2009, there is been a huge amount of interest shown by developers and users for creating apps in Qt and QML (Declarative language based on JavaScript, can be extended using Qt). Qt Mobility is an API used to access system based services like Messaging, Contacts, Sensors etc. is same for Symbian, Maemo and Meego, which is a huge advantage.

And who knows, with a custom Wine, we may able to run Windows executables too.

May emulate Android in future:

The only disadvantage that Meego  has is, the apps availability. Even though it will be  shipped with some featured applications, it may miss fun applications like we have in IOS and Android. To balance this, there is a group of people developing a Android emulation layer and its said that they can run Android apps seamlessly like native apps.

If you think this is not possible, then the two points are for you:
  1. Already, there is a similar kind of Android emulation layer for Black Berry!
  2. Alien Dalvik, is already under development phase which can run a fair number of Android apps.
Myriad Alien Dalvik.

Wide range of development options:

This is a huge advantage to both end users and also for developers, in my opinion. As a twelfth grade student I have used m-Shell scripts for my Symbian phone (Nokia 3230), so I think so will the other users will be privileged to have a variety of languages for their mobile.

Python & PyQt:

Personally I love Python for some simple scripting and because of the amount of libraries it has. So even if you want to generate a list of number that ends with ‘9’ for your vehicle registration number, it wont be a problem. PyQt is a Qt port for Python which is useful for both UI development and simple coding conventions, like Python.

Standard C & C++:

I’m not sure with this programming option, but having said that it is a Linux, it should support  C & C++.

HTML5, JavaScript and CSS3:

Meego website says that, HTML5, JavaScript and CSS3 are used to developed games for Meego, so it wont be a problem to write apps too.

May be Silverlight:

Silver light is basically focussed on cross platform deployment, so in future Silver light may also be used to create games for Meego. Remember, we already have an open source implementation of Silverlight for PC Linux.

Qt & QML:

Here come the heroes (IMHO), Qt and QML are really the building blocks of Meego. This language deserves to be highlighted separately. I personally believe that Nokia Engineers are working hard to dig every possibility out Qt framework. Since last year, I believed C# was the best language Shifty. With a recent project called Qt Lighthouse, the Qt Engineers have made the possibility of porting Qt to <any operating system>. And there is already a Qt port for Android is available unofficially. A single guy could achieve this port within a year time. So this tells the story about Qt. You can also see the IOS port of Qt using the same Lighthouse project.

I have read somewhere that editing the GUI for Android applications in XML (in 2011)Shifty is fair difficult and tiresome. So, I believe that, Qt and QML will be used by the Android developers hereafter. Again, with the cross platform capabilities they can target users from Symbian, Android, IOS and Meego environment for better profit. This symmetrically increases the number of Meego apps too. QML is another story and it leverages the power of Qt C++ and the simplicity of JavaScript. If you do not know about this, just Google it, it has a lot of features and is very easy to create beautiful fluid and animated interfaces. Can be used for creating Games very easily.

Intel AppUp Store:

If you ask me about the success of IOS and Android, its highly because of the range of apps and games it have. Obviously, the touch interface of both OSs provide good environment for fun games. Apple has the most number of apps despite the irksome Objective-C is only because it provided a platform for developers to make money with their apps, AppStore. But the story with Android is different, here the number of Java developers in the world are relatively higher. In the past Nokia has not realised the importance of apps but lately came up with OVI store which became a huge success inspite of the number of apps being low. But Intel has done things right right from the start by providing their SDKs and by awarding the best developer. So, it won’t be a big deal for Meego to get a streamline of developers, provided the nice Qt and QML languages.
As already said, Apps for Meego = Apps from Symbian + Apps from PC Linux + Apps from Window & Mac + Apps from Android + HTML apps from Web OS and Web.

Its Open Source:

Last but not least, its open source. I know, open source merely is not a synonym to quality, but Meego seems to be a quality product. Even serious Nokia critics has said good things about Meego after the launch of Nokia N9, YouTube videos are flooded with appreciating comments from open source and Nokia lovers, Blogs are lined up with a lot of happy comments from users about this product. An online petition called Twitition is also created by some Meego fans to get users support. If you feel like you are loving Meego for any reason, please sign up here and don’t forget to spread this among your friends.  Let’s hope that Nokia regroups with Intel to produce god damn Meego mobile phones in the future and continue to support Linux and Open Source.
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