Nokia troubles, Google goes cartographic and game urges…

Two people I met today were bemoaning their new mobile phones. Both had moved from Nokia phones but one had stuck with Nokia while the other was on Sony Ericsson. Their troubles stemmed from new user interfaces which they were struggling to cope with. What really struck me was that both noted how the 'old Nokia' phones were much better. Nokia isn't really losing marketshare because other phones are so much better… it's because their phones are so different now – there's no real benefit in sticking with Nokia as the phones work differently from your old one. If you want to upgrade to the latest technologies the other phones look better and often are technologically slightly better. The market is wide open for someone to establish an easy, memorable and long-lived interface which will grow as phones do.

In other news Google have released their astonishing Maps service (in Beta of course). What's so incredible is not that they've left off the rest of the world but the whole thing is HTML/Javascript based and darn usable! Goodbye Java applets, imagemaps and other such cruft – hello fast and easy maps – you can even drag the map around with your mouse. Extraordinary.

Finally I've been dealing with an urge to buy a computer game. It's been ages since I last played a game.Coming off watching 24's third season on DVD my trigger finger feels itchy. Is their some subliminal programming going on?!? I really dig the Tom Clancy-inspired games such as Rainbow Six, Ghost Recon and Splinter Cell (which I haven't played yet). I don't have time to play games but the temptation is there… I can't believe that there isn't a game version of 24 – a realtime game would be brilliant fun to play (with a pause and save option obviously!) I am in the Mac time warp of games so options are limited so perhaps 24 – the game, is in production. Well Splinter Cell it probably is then…

UPDATE: BoingBoing pointed me to an excellent analysis of how Google Maps works