After the positive feedback received since the launch of the beta service Nokia Bots earlier this year, it was about time for a new version. The recently released update adds a location-aware Contact Bot, developed based on Nokia Beta Labs
Contact Bot is an adaptive contacts bar placed on the smartphone's homescreen. It has a simple job and it does it well. The Bot automatically learns what contacts users call the most and places them as shortcuts on a homescreen widget
. The four most called contacts are displayed here, including the contact name and photo. This makes dialing frequently used numbers easier than ever.
And this is not all; the new addition is also the first Bot to make use of location information. This feature, considered experimental, can differentiate between home, work and other places, and show different contacts on the homescreen depending on the user's location. It appears only after a few days of use, time during which the bot learns user's behavior at various locations.
Though Nokia received many suggestions from users, not all of them have been implemented. A much requested feature, namely support for more phone models, was left out due to technical reasons. According to Nokia
, many limitations of the homescreen implementations make the porting to other touchscreen-enabled smartphones impractical. Also taken into account was the option of using pop-up style notifications instead of the widget-based user interface, but user experience proved to be degraded.
For those who don't know what Nokia Bots
is all about, the application includes a collection of add-ons that learn users' habits, making phone usage much easier. The Bots observe how the device is used and automatically configure and activate themselves. Currently provided Bots can control sound profile, alarm clock, application shortcuts, low battery alerts, and frequently used contacts.
Owners of Nokia N97 or N97 Mini smartphones can try out the application here
. As always, sending bug reports and feature suggestions to Nokia Beta Labs is highly encouraged.