Nokia has set up a countdown on an event page tagged as ‘Everyone Connect’. We’re not too sure as to what exactly this countdown may be about, however rumours indicate something to do with messaging, possibly an Ovi Maps/Nokia Messaging integration. More rumours are guaranteed to emerge within the next 20 or so hours that are left, so in the meantime let us know what you think it could be about after the jump, or maybe what you think it should be about.

Free Voice Guided Navigation Now Available For The Nokia E71 & E66

Nokia has stuck to its word, and has increased the compatibility of Ovi Maps v3.03, which provides free voice guided navigation on Nokia handsets. The announcement today is that you can now utilize both walk and drive navigation on your Nokia E71 and Nokia E66 for absolutely no cost whatsoever. This news comes after the announcement of the Nokia N86 8MP, which also recently joined this exclusive bunch. The compatibility of Ovi Maps v3.03 has now reached around 14 devices, and more and more handsets will gradually be supported. To get started, download the Ovi Maps 3.03 instillation file from our S60 3rd Edition Applicationspage.

Once you have installed the application on your handset, simply launch Ovi Suite on you PC to download all the maps and voices you desire. This is one of the best things about Ovi Maps, once you load up all the maps on your device, you never need an Internet connection when navigating, which not only cuts down on cost, but also saves you some precious battery power.

Note to users: If you do not install the new Ovi Maps application, you will continue to be prompted to pay the license fee. So make sure you download the newer version if you see this message.

New Firmware v21.0.102 | Nokia N97

The Nokia N97 has just received a new firmware update taking it up to v21.0.102. There is no official changelog however reports suggest that the new update includes a mass memory content update feature for the newer models, desktop installation files of Ovi Suite 2.0 and Ovi Player, and preloaded maps data along with the new Ovi Maps v3.3 with free voice guided turn-by-turn navigation. New firmware updates also generally contain bug fixes and optimizations necessary for the software on your device to perform properly, therefore we recommend you always keep your device up to date. The new firmware will gradually make its way round to you over the coming weeks depending on your region and product code.

How To Update The Firmware

There are many ways of updating the firmware on your Nokia handset. To install the software on your device using FOTA (Firmware Over-The-Air), type in *#0000# on the home screen or go to Device Manager. Then select Options, Check for updates and follow the on screen prompts. If the firmware update is not immediately available via FOTA, or the device you are using does not have support for this service, you can also update your firmware using NSU (Nokia Software Updater) and or Nokia Ovi Suite on your PC. Once you plug your device in, select the PC Suite option, ensuring that the phone has a Sim Card inserted and the profile is set to General. Some devices support UDP (User Data Preservation), which will preserve all your data and content on your device during these updates. However we still recommend you do a full backup in order to guarantee the safety of your data. Please share your thoughts and experiences with the new firmware in the comments below.

MeeGo Development Commences | Public Release Date Set For May

After all the OS switching in such a short period of time, it seems that Nokia’s new MeeGo OS is starting to gain some headway. Earlier today, Imad Sousou, Director of Intel’s Open Source Technology Centre, announced that the MeeGo development is now officially underway. After opening the repositories and moving all the ongoing development work into the open, developers can now begin to work their magic. Unfortunately if you own the Nokia N900, this doesn’t mean you can begin using MeeGo today, however the first public release of MeeGo is set to be unveiled in May.

What is opening? The MeeGo distribution infrastructure and the operating system base from the Linux kernel to the OS infrastructure up to the middleware layer. The MeeGo architecture is based on a common core across the different usage models, such as netbooks, handheld, in-vehicle, and connected TV. The MeeGo common core includes the various key subsystems including the core operating system libraries, the comms and telephony services, Internet and social networking services, visual services, media services, data management, device services, and personal services.

Rightware Kanzi Cross platform 3D UI Demo On The Nokia N900

During Mobile World Congress 2010 in Barcelona, Rightware demonstrated its ‘Mobile App Store’ application running on various mobile devices. Mobile App Store is designed and implemented using the Kanzi user interface solution that enables designers to quickly have their applications running in different target devices. Key advantages of the Kanzi solution is “design-once, deploy everywhere” cross-platform support for the leading mobile operating systems, including Android, Blackberry, Linux, Maemo, Moblin, iPhone OS, Palm Web OS, Symbian and Windows Mobile. Kanzi solution is build on top of industry standard OpenGL ES graphics API. Check out the demo of the app running on the Nokia N900 after the break. It also supports gestures using the front-facing camera.

Nokia Announce Ovi Store Improvements

Nokia has finished its scheduled maintenance of the Ovi Store and has provided us with a quick update as to what changes have been made. The main focus for this update was to make it easier to browse, search and discover content, improve the quality of content reviews (e.g. change from 3 to 5 star rating system) and provide more detailed product information to help consumers decide on what to buy. Check out the rest of the details of this update after the break.

When you click on an item in this new version of the Ovi Store, the details page offers more useful information. It is now easier to find and scroll through example screenshots to decide what to download or purchase (see examples below).

The new content rating system is now based on feedback from the global user experience panels, that preferred a 5 star system to the previous 3 star system. With this release and going forward, customers who have actually downloaded something will only be allowed to rate and/or comment on it, preventing misuse of the service. In addition, you will know the reviewer’s device and when it was posted, ensuring the freshness and relevance of the reviews you read.

Some additional changes have also been made to the desktop version of the Ovi Store, which includes the way you choose your Nokia device. If you’re not logged in and click to view content, you are linked immediately to the “Nokia Mobile Device Selector.” This experience is cleaner than the previous carousel-based interface. It ensures that your chosen device is continually matched with the correct content in Store. You can easily change your device by clicking the “Select your Mobile” link at the upper right hand corner of the page.

To get this latest release onto your device simply open up the Ovi Store application on your handset and click “accept” when prompted to install the new software.