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The Nokia N-Gage: A Current Development Environment

The Nokia N-Gage: A Current Development Environment

Nokia’s bold but failed attempt to merge a Symbian smartphone into a handheld console was the N-Gage. Although it may not have been able to replace the Game Boy Advance, it still has a few fans. [Michael Fitzmayer]Who has produced? A CMake-based toolchain to support the original Symbian SDK. This is an attempt to make it easier to develop the devices using the tools of the 2020s. It may also serve to bring a new generation to the old Nokias that have been forgotten in dusty drawers.

The release of the first Apple iPhone in 2007 is often credited with the invention of the smartphone. Hackaday readers will of course trace the smartphone back much further than that to an original IBM prototype, and will remind any doubters that the Nokias which the iPhone vanquished were very successful smartphones without any of Cupertino’s magic in sight. Nokia’s tragedy was that they appeared not to understand what they had in Symbian, and released a bewildering array of devices intended to satisfy every possible market without recognizing that the market they needed to serve was their customers being easily able to run the apps of their choice on the things.

Symbian is now a piece of abandonedware. But, during its turbulent history, Symbian had a period. In which an open-source version of the program was released. It would be great to think that projects like this one might revive interest for this powerful but forgotten operating system. After a decade, the cost of hardware necessary to run it has fallen to a point where it is affordable. Do you want to live in the 2000s again?

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Header image by Evan-Amos Public domain.


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