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Nokia updates N900 firmware

But breaks Ovi Store compatibility for older versions

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Nokia has released new system software for its Maemo-based N900 smartphone and it's a mandatory update if you want your N900 to remain compatible with the Ovi Store.

The new release, PR 1.2 - aka version 10.2010.19-1 - includes a number of tweaks and improvements, including Skype and Google Talk video chat, Facebook instant messaging, and tweaks to the email system, primarily to allow you to respond to invites from within the email app. There's now an email desktop widget too.

Nokia also said that PR1.2 allows you to browse the web with the N900 in portrait orientation, triggered by pressing a button.

Other tweaks include performance improvements, a new virtual keyboard with the ability to detect keys held down for a longer-than-usual time, triggering number and symbol entry.

Crucially, though PR 1.2 supports a revision of the Ovi Store that's not compatible with the N900's previous firmware, PR 1.1.

Coders will appreciate the inclusion of Qt 4.6.2, the latest version of the N900's application development framework and a crucial bridge to MeeGo, the new OS that's a combination of Nokia's Maemo and Intel's Moblin operating systems.

MeeGo 1.0 was released this week and runs on the N900 as well as Atom-based netbooks. A future version will replace Maemo on the N900 or its successors. ®

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