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back to article Nokia pumps up Lumia browsing with Xpress

Nokia's server-side compression platform is now open to Lumia users, in beta at least, providing a 75 per cent reduction in traffic, SkyDrive integration as well as an entirely new browsing paradigm. Xpress has been available for the Asha series of handsets for a while, interpreting web pages in the cloud and delivering only the …

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I'll stick to Opera thanks.

Heres hoping the wait is not too long for Mobile & Mini on WP8. I dont want to use any other browser.

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Re: I'll stick to Opera thanks.

I'm pretty sure other browser engines are still forbidden on Win Phone.

So, you'll be waiting quite a while...

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Re: I'll stick to Opera thanks.

Problem is there is No Opera browser for the wp7 yet/ever

i know as i have an wp7 phone (nokia 800) apps for it are incomplete or not up to scratch or no app at all

good thing is once windows 8 (PC/Phone/ARM tablet) is out, if its on the windows marketplace it will be most likely be on the phone as well as the framework is setup so you can port the app between the 3 different types of hardware very easily

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Anonymous Coward

Re: I'll stick to Opera thanks.

You can download this app already from Nokia BetaLabs. And NBL redirects you to Marketplace to download it.

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Why aren't others doing this?

The list of *really useful* apps from Nokia is staggering when compared with the bloated piles of festering donkey poop that other manufacturers and network operators bundle with their phones. There are many more, but these are the ones I use:

Camera Extras (group shot and panorama, amongst others)

City Lens (augmented reality)

Nokia Drive (turn-by-turn nav)

Nokia Maps (walking, cycling and public transport)

Nokia Music (free streaming)

and for two days, Nokia Xpress.

Nokia have shown that you don't need to be Apple to produce good bundled apps. Not sure why no one else bothers.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Why aren't others doing this?

Simple, Android OEMs spend all their time developing UI veneers to try to get you to buy the phone. Once you've bought it they don't really give a toss.

Nokia spends no time developing UI veneer as it's not allowed, so they spend their time making lots of useful apps instead. It's also part of their plan to try to get you to buy their phone instead of HTC and Samsung.

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Re: Why aren't others doing this?

Having just moved from an HTC windows phone to a Nokia one, I would rather have the HTC collection. Only drive seems a worthwile addition.

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Silver badge

Re: Why aren't others doing this?

All available with android

Camera Extras - too many apps to name on the play store

City Lens - aurasma

Nokia Drive - Navigation by Google

Nokia Maps - Google Maps

Nokia Music - Spotify

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Bronze badge

Re: Why aren't others doing this?

Developing UI veneer for WP is also not really needed, IMO.

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Re: Why aren't others doing this?

"Nokia Drive - Navigation by Google"

Err... offline vs online so not the most suitable comparison I'd say. Even as an ex-Nokia now-Android user I prefer not to have to rely on a signal if using the phone as a satnav (other than the GPS one of course).

A better comparison would be with NavFree World by the way - if only it did waypoints...

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Silver badge

Re: Why aren't others doing this?

Android has analogues of all those apps, oftentimes MANY analogues. The problem with some Android handset manufacturers is they choose to bake some half baked app into their firmware rather than allowing their users to pick the best of breed from the store. Then that app just sits there stinking up the UI when the user never wanted it in the first place.

One good thing about the Nokia apps is you do have to download them. I wonder if this was deliberate or whether MS forced that model on them. Either way being able to download by choice what apps to use rather than having them foisted is a benefit.

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Silver badge

Re: Why aren't others doing this?

You can download maps offline on Google maps. Since you have to download maps onto Drive by country / state I don't see it being a huge difference. Nokia Drive does offline directions though they can be hilariously bad sometimes. For Google you have to be online. On the flip side, Google's directions tend to be more useful "Take the 3rd left at the roundabout following signs for M25"

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Mushroom

Re: Why aren't others doing this?

Meanwhile on the Symbian 3 side of things e-mail gets worse, not better, with every update. That's a fairly useful app which should at least work, but one gets the feeling they don't really give a toss.

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Re: Why aren't others doing this?

"...Android has analogues of all those apps, oftentimes MANY analogues..."

WP similarly has analogues. None of those alternatives come with the credibility and trust that Nokia comes with. Jesus Christ, even the PayPal app from PayPal* wants access to your contacts list. WFT business does PayPal have wanting access to my contacts?!?

So far Nokia only asks for permission that make sense for the app I use. Nokia only pre-installs Drive and Maps, which I can uninstall without doing a 360° back-flip while promising some dodgy Siberian to marry his moose of a daughter for a copy of a dubious ROM of Chinese origin that only works when the 360° back-flip is done in flip flops.

* Yes, the official app.

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Re: Why aren't others doing this?

Can't say I've ever heard hilariously bad directions on Nokia Drive, or anything but examples like you quote. ymmv, as they say

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Re: Why aren't others doing this?

"Can't say I've ever heard hilariously bad directions on Nokia Drive, or anything but examples like you quote. ymmv, as they say"

I experienced all kinds of crazy out of Nokia Drive on a Florida holiday. Wife was using the Lumia 800, I had HTC Desire. If we were around wifi and I had the battery power I'd get directions from the Android, otherwise we'd rely on the offline mode of Drive.

First issue I encountered was I'd pull off the road to get directions and many of the side roads / lots simply didn't exist as far as Drive was concerned. If you were on a side road you might as well have been in a field. Thus it would frequently tell you to a join a road which you had no possibility of being able to connect to. Other times Drive would get confused and say to make a U-turn up ahead, so I'd make a U-turn, then it would tell me to make a U-turn ahead putting me back where I started ad infinitum. After a while I decided it wasn't very trustworthy and I took its directions with a grain of salt.

Google's directions was generally very accurate though it could get confused too, in particular because once I grabbed the directions I would be offline and if I wasn't on the route it had planned it couldn't help me. When I was on the route though it filled it in with traffic info, names of roads and the route avoided tolls which are plastered all over the Orlando area. Still, having offline is better than nothing and it proved its worth as a backup on a number of occasions.

My advice is have both but favour online when you have it.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Why aren't others doing this?

Opera's had this up and running on mobiles for years.

Even on Java based non-"smart" phones.

Yawn.

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Re: Why aren't others doing this?

Would love another Nokia, just not a Windoze one, that is overemphasising twatter and Facebork, and Symbian is soo 20th Century.

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JDX
Gold badge

I'm confused, am I supposed to go to the "give it a go" page from my PC or browse their on my Lumia phone?

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You can do either. If you do it from the desktop, you'll see one of those square barcode thingies (QR code, that's it!). Point your Lumia at it in visual search, the link will appear. Tap it.

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I realise showing any sort of enthusiasm or support for a Microsoft product is considered an act of high treason around here, but I'm beginning to think that the new WP8 platform on Nokia hardware bundled with some truly useful Nokia apps and services could be a compelling product.

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Stop

What About the Security?

Rendering the HTML on a server means breaking the end-to-end security model of SSL/TLS browsing. Opera Mini is great and I use it a lot for reading public web sites, but I'd never do any payment transactions with it. Even if you trust Opera/Nokia/whoever-else, what happens when they get hacked?

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Re: What About the Security?

Whether you have recourse or not, when they get hacked you get nailed.

This is as true for Xpress, Amazon and Opera as it is for SSL/TLS in any other browser (IE, Chrome etc. present orders of magnitude slimmer pickings than honeypots, but if you KNOW there's £1M there...). The risk is yours.

That said, the risk should be weighed against the benefit. And the benefit of THAT is that (hopefully) more people understand how it works, and what that implies.

I find the risk acceptable.

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Silver badge

Re: What About the Security?

I think if I were a bank I'd ban these proxy services on the basis that they fundamentally break the purpose of security which is to prevent eavesdropping and man in the middle attacks.

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Happy

Re: What About the Security?

LOL. My first ever mobile transaction was international transaction of 15 000 euros from my Finnish bank account to German one over WAP browser in late 1999. Can not remember, which Nokia phone it was; probably Nokia 9110 Communicator or Nokia 6120.

Just calculated, that if something is screwed up on the transaction, the bank is liable for that as it hosted the service. Worked like a charm.

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Thumb Up

Great promise

Nokia has been lomg time good on data compression. That's why US style evaluation of mobile OS popularity on data usage has always amused me.

I registered to Nokia BetaLabs just to test this piece of SW and it really striped down every fifth or fourth byte from the data stream in average. 1 MB consumed, 4 MB saved in ten minutes. Not bad.

Otherwise the application is clearly Beta. But it holds good promise. Really good. In Symbian Nokia was touting around 30-40% reduction, but this is insane.

FB heavy user can consume easily 1 GB/month only with FB updates. Think about: using Nokia Xpress Browser instead of competitor will allow you to surf the web 5x longer with your data plan. Also the overage (if it would realize) will be 1/5 of other browsers. True money saver this one!

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JDX
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Hmm

I tried this a bit, it seemed a lot slower than using IE9 for some reason. And appeared to muck up presentation slightly.

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Meh

" tracking browsing habits... with user permission"

What about the other party to the communication?

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Holmes

One other thought...

doesn't this - effectively - transform Nokia from a device manufacturer into a quasi-telco?

How is this regulated? What law applies?

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