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The Nokia N900 is the first Linux-based Maemo 5 powered device from Nokia and it not only brings forward new technologies and new features, it also brings a new ‘Maemo’ way of doing things. Most Nokia users have become so accustomed to the Symbian platform, that any other manufacturer’s OS seams clunky or limited in comparison. Maemo 5 has built on that very success with this cracking new OS, and today I want to share a slice of this device with you, taking you through the ins and outs of the Photo Gallery on the Nokia N900. Enjoy.

Photos Menu

Opening the Photo Gallery will display all your image thumbnails in a finger friendly size. The menu option is located at the top in the status bar and gives you the option of filtering your images, either by folder, date or tags. This can be extremely useful in the long run, when your snap happy fingers have had time to work their magic. You can also tag, share and delete images in bulk through this menu.

The settings let you sort your images, by either date or name, give you the options for grouping your images in months, and allows you to display or conceal metadata indicators. There is also an option to set the speed for the slideshow.

Viewing

Touching an image will display it automatically in full screen mode with the option to commence a slideshow. Sliding your finger across the screen will let you browse through your images. The speed at which the image loads is very quick and the accelerometer is allows you to rotate the screen as you rotate your device. Note that the screen will rotate 360 degrees (not just 90 degrees like it did with previous Nseries devices).

When viewing photos in full screen the keypad has no functionality, and you can only zoom by using the volume rocker on the side/top of the device (depends which way you determine the device is upright). A single tap on the image will bring up a quick launch bar and the menu in the status bar. Opening the menu gives you the option to save, save as, rename, edit, set as background image, mark as favourite and display details of the image (title, description, tags, geotags, creator, including more specific details about the file and the camera that took the image).

Editing

The quick launch bar at the bottom allows you to easily rotate, crop, tag, share and delete an image. If you wish to do more to your image, then you can edit it further by clicking the status bar at the top and selecting ‘edit image’. This brings up the rest of the editing functionalities, which include flipping the image either horizontally or vertically, removing red eye imperfections, adjusting the brightness and contrast of the image, and resizing it.

This complete editing package provides the perfect tools to manage your images and although I’m sure more functions will be added as the firmware updates begin to roll in, I believe the N900 already has everything it needs in this department.

Tagging

Tagging you images from the Photos application couldn’t be easier, simply press the tag option from the quick launch bar and select the tags from a tag cloud. You can add new tags or clear all tags, and even edit the geotags in the same way. There is also a dedicated favourites tag.

After you have tagged an image, a small icon will be viewable in the top right of the picture, and if you tagged the image as a favourite, it will also place a star next to this icon.

Sharing

Well once you’ve edited and tagged your image, its just natural to want to share it, and this can also be done easily using your Nokia N900. The share feature is also one of the quick launch icons and lets you send using Bluetooth or email and share online. Unfortunately there is no MMS support, which is very annoying to say the least. In my opinion this is the first thing Nokia need to fix with a new firmware. The share services available to use are Ovi Share, Flickr and Facebook.

Before sharing you have the option of making some last minute adjustments, which include editing the title, description and tags of the image. Another great feature when sharing an image is the ability to select the size of the image you would like to share and which metadata you would like displayed.

Once you click share, the screen will bring you back to the image and the sharing process will take place in the background. You can always view the status and progress of the shared image, simply open the universal status bar and select ‘Sharing’.

Conclusion

The built in Photo Gallery is a great leap forward when compared to Nokia’s previous solution on Symbian devices. Editing photos has never been easier, even when compared to S60 5th Edition devices. The options menu are hidden in the status bar in almost every application, making it simple and reducing clutter. The Maemo 5 OS has allowed Nokia to easily implement very user friendly features, key to the experience as a whole. This is just a snippet as to what this device has to offer, and I aim to bring you more soon so make sure you subscribe below.

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