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Maemo 5 Review Part 1 (N900 review part 2)

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Bond, Desi Bond!
This is in continuation to the N900 review that I posted earlier (Nokia N900 First Impressions Bandla's Blog). The history of Maemo 5 and N900 was explained in short in the earlier review. I will be diving straight into the review of Maemo 5 this time.

Home Screen and customization:

This is how the Maemo home screen looks like. Similar to Linux desktop, Maemo 5 has 4 home screens which are totally customizable. After some customization, here is how my Maemo home screens look like:

You can move around by swiping across the display (horizontally). These home screens are tied in panoramic view which means swiping right from Screen 1 takes you to Screen 4 and swiping left from Screen 4 takes you to Screen 1. And the action is very slick and fluid without any lag while swiping. Even when there are handful apps were running, there seems to be no lag here.Unlike Symbian home screen, there is no limit to what you can put on Maemo Home screen.

On the top left corner, there is an icon that takes you to Symbian styled menus.

At the centre of top bar, there is digital clock, Signal, battery level, online status indicator and Network provider name.

So, how to customize the home screen? A tap on the screen (anywhere) shows a gear style icon at the top

A tap on this icon opens up customization mode and top menu gives couple of customizations options.

Shown below is the snapshot of Home screen's Top Menu.

These are the operations that you can do from Desktop Menu:

1. Remove existing icons of apps from Home Screens. Each icon has "x" on top right corner clicking on which removes the icon from home screen.

2. Move icons around the four Home Screens. Holding an icon and dragging it horizontally across moves it to adjacent home screen. This is one action that is not as fluid as seen in iphone OS. Sometimes to move the icon across two screen, I had to drop the icon in adjacent home screen and move again.

3. Add shortcuts for installed apps. As shown below, clicking on 'add shortcut' gives a list of all the apps that are not yet added to home screen. This means that once the app is added to home screen, it is removed from the 'add shortcut' menu.

4. Add contacts. Contact home screen icons can be used to call or text.

5. Add bookmarks.

6. Add Widgets. Not many widgets are available right now for Maemo 5. Weather and pedometer widgets are my favourites though and they work very well and show real time data very well. Do remember that having widgets that connect to data networks for real time info (RSS feed, weather apps etc) can reduce battery life.

7. Change Background and Themes

8. Manage views. This options lets you select how many home screens you can have. Do remember that once you uncheck a home screen, the icons on that home screen will be cleaned up too. To be precise, those icons will not be moved to adjacent home screens. You need to add those icons again to any of the remaining home screens and enabling the home screen will not bring back the configuration done before deactivating the home screen. Instead, it gives you a clean home screen. So, in this mode, do be careful in what you are doing as a wrong touch can make you pull your hair out. The following snapshot shows the views setup window. A tap on tick mark disables the respective home screen on desktop.

Read On

This bloody rule of 15 images max in post is not allowing me to write full size reviews in TDF. WTF!!!
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