After looking for a new phone for some years, I recently bought a Nokia N900. The combination of decent hardware (a fast CPU, built-in GPS, hardware keyboard and sane size) and the open software stack convinced me to spend the money. Today I’m pretty satisfied with that decision. One of the great things about it is that it runs Linux and is extensible.
Marble’s properties — fast, visually appealing, easy to use, minimal hard- and software requirements, offline usable, free software and open standards — make it appealing for a Maemo port. Working on the base of earlier ports, we’re polishing things up for the N900 for some time now. Some parts of the user interface clearly need more work, but we do have a functional and reactive version running already.
In the spirit of “release early, release often” I’d go for a first release soon. We set up a Marble Garage Project for that. Give us some weeks for final polishing and we’ll have packages ready.
The internal GPS device and routing via openrouteservice.org are supported as well. Does that make it a navigation device? Kind of.
You can use Marble on the N900 to plan a route and track your current position. But there is no guidance yet and other features one expects from a real navigation device are lacking as well. Call that a chance: Until Friday, students can file an application for Google Summer of Code “Marble to Go (Navigation Mode)“. I’m happy to hear from you 🙂