Mobile World Congress – Day 1 round-up

It’s been a busy first day here at the World Mobile Congress as some of the biggest names in the business attempt to make an impact from the kick off.

Nokia

Nokia kicked things off with the announcement of several new devices, apps and services. Highlights included three new S40 devices (202, 203 and 204) complete with the new Nokia Life SMS-based content channel; the cut-price Nokia Lumia 610; and the Nokia 808 PureView, which boasts a preposterous 41MP camera (below).

Nokia also unveiled its new Nokia Traffic service for Windows Phone. We had a chance to try out the app and it makes getting around town an effortless process as you’ll see from this demo video. The application shows you the best way to get somewhere on public transport, complete with live departure time information and maps of the parts you need to walk.

You can try out a scaled-down version of Nokia Traffic as part of the Nokia Maps HTML5 app, which runs across all mobile platforms. Just visit Nokia Maps (maps.nokia.com) from your device and click on the public transport tab.

Facebook

Later in the day, Facebook CTO Bret Taylor said that the social network is investing its energies into encouraging web application development for mobile. In his keynote address Taylor announced that the company is joining the W3C Mobile Web Platform Core Community Group, a body which works to improve mobile web standards.

Taylor revealed that Facebook is making a new mobile browser test suite called Ringmark available. He also said that Facebook is working with operators around the world to add carrier billing into mobile apps, a move that will enable web app developers to charge users for content through their mobile phone contracts.

Opera

Opera announced some important new apps, too. The first, Opera Mini Next is a Java-based mobile browser designed to make it much quicker to browse the web on a feature phone. The app uses a smart page with shortcuts, quick links to your most visited pages, as well as a speed dial feature to get you to the sites you like without hassle.

Opera Mini 7 is an updated version of the browser for iOS which adds support for uploading files, more speed dials, and a platform dictionary. It also announced new versions of its full browser, Opera 12, for Android and Symbian, with improved HTML 5 support, the ability to interact with the phone camera, and the ability to add unlimited Speed Dial entries.

Skype

Elsewhere in apps, Skype finally launched its Beta version for Windows Phone 7 devices. The long awaited VOIP app is now available to download free for selected mobile devices. See it in action here.

Photoshop

The other great app news today is that, you can now get Photoshop on your iPad, as Adobe today announced Photoshop Touch for the Apple tablet. The photo editing application, available from today in the App Store, allows users to create stunning photo compositions, including support for layers.

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