In a previous post I wrote about how easy it was to use Nokia’s N900 out of the box. Today I’ll give you just a taste of what’s possible when you unlock the its full potential as handheld Linux computer.
Hint: All you have to do to get started is activate the Extras-devel software catalog…
You don’t even have to activate any extra repos to enjoy the Maemo-optimized version of Firefox — getting it is as simple as clicking on the Maemo Select shortcut on your home screen; Firefox should be front and centre at the resulting site.
This mobilized Firefox offers a number of improvements over the stock MicroB browser, including the clever implementation of tabbed browsing shown above. Getting to the tab menu is as simple as “pulling” the page to the right; pulling it to the left reveals another menu for settings.
Firefox seems to render pages about as fast as the default Maemo browser, and does a better job of fitting them to the N900’s 800 pixel-wide screen. But a major disappointment is that there are only limited plug-ins available, and not the vast library of add-ons that the desktop version of Firefox enjoys.
Though Mozilla’s other big project is noticeably absent on the N900, another excellent email client is available — it’s called Claws. Here’s how Claws displays my Ovi Mail IMAP account, complete with all the mail folders I set up on the web.
As you can see I don’t use my Ovi Mail account very much, so there’s no need to spam me, is there?
And here’s the very same account accessed through the default Maemo client. The extra mail folders are there, but I have to scroll down to the next screen to see them. I prefer Claws’ more complete default view; others may prefer the cleaner presentation of the default app. There’s never anything wrong with choice…
As you can see above, lots of options for rich text are on offer. And while I couldn’t get a screen grab of the save window, you can rest assured that AbiWord offers full support for a wide range of document formats, from .doc to .pdf to OpenOffice .odt files.
As stated off the top of the post, this is but a taste of the wondrous FLOSS apps available for the N900. If there’s something specific that you’re looking for leave me a comment below and I’ll see if it’s available…