Today marks a new project release of the MeeGo software, the open-source next-gen operating system for computing devices that Nokia and Intel kicked off earlier this year. The release brings it to version 1.1. This includes updates to the Core operating system, together with the Netbook, In-Vehicle and Mobile Handset packages. An updated Software Development Kit (SDK) for version 1.1 will follow shortly. So MeeGo’s well on its way and showing great progress.
So what is a “project release”? Let’s start with what it isn’t. This isn’t a finished product for you to load up on to your phone and use on a day-to-day basis. The user interface is neither finished nor is it representative of what the experience will look like on future Nokia devices (we’re creating our own unique experience using Qt). What it is, is a generic version intended to allow developers and device manufacturers to get familiar with the code and the capabilities of future devices.
The main updates in this new release are that key mobile technologies such as cellular and sensors are built into the core OS. In the handset package, there’s a basic user experience for tasks like voice calling, SMS messaging, web browsing, music and video playback, photo viewing, and connection management. The in-vehicle package also has a sample home screen and features speech recognition. The whole bundle is available for download from the MeeGo site.
The Netbook release will work on Intel Atom netbooks, while the Handset release will work on the Nokia N900 and Intel’s Aava reference device. Developers who have the N900 with the latest 1.3 update can set their device to dual-boot into MeeGo on a memory card and play with what’s on offer. Note that we don’t recommend that you do this if you aren’t a software engineer. MeeGo is intended for as-yet-unreleased handsets and other mobile computers. Really. Don’t do it unless you’re a developer or a phone manufacturer.
So there we have it. We have an OS that has solid internal workings for developers and manufacturers to build on. We have loaded MeeGo 1.1 on a NetBook and also a Nokia N900. The Netbook is working very well and we feel it could very easily be used as an everyday device (Review shortly), as for the Nokia N900, that is another story. Not an everyday device. Not any day device for now, but there are a lot of excited people at Nokia knowing that the foundation is there for them to build on, improve and release.
We look out to the Horizon and set our sites on Meego 1.2 in April 2011 now. This third iteration of the OS WILL be something special I’m assured.