Popular icons of Symbian era are falling one by one ever since Microsoft decimated the mighty Nokia. Everything related to good old Nokia is a history now. Be it Nokia phones, the legendary OS (Symbian), apps or services – everything is end-of-life now. Recently we noticed that following three popular websites of early “smart phone” period (2000-2007) have also gone offline or have stopped working –
Founded in 1999 Handango was the first mobile app store in the history of mobile phones. It was born in an era when mobile apps were very few (in comparison to now) and developers used to sell their apps individually. At that time Handango pioneered the concept of “app store” and gave developers a platform to list, promote and sell their apps. It had hundreds of apps for contemporary mobile platforms – Symbian OS, Palm OS, Windows Mobile, Blackberry OS etc. Later Android apps were also added as a desperate measure to save the app store. But the site finally went offline recently. (Update the site is up again but in a new avatar – there are no apps now).
Ipmart Forum was one of the oldest and most popular forums for Symbian users. It was the “go to” place to download any app for PDAs and Symbian phones. While other famous forums were strict on sharing cracked versions of paid apps, it was not so with Ipmart Forum. Such cracked apps were freely available there. Sadly it’s no more now – even the domain has expired.
If you are a Symbian fan or used a S60 phone ever then Mobipocket must be a familiar name. Mobipocket developed .mobi ebook format but they are better known for their famous ebook reader called Mobipocket Reader. It was available for all mobile platforms at that time – Windows Mobile, Symbian (S60/UIQ), Palm OS and even S40 (alpha version only). A desktop software of Mobipocket Reader for Windows was also available with an option to browse and download ebooks from their online collection. A huge library of books (both free and paid in the ebook format) was available at mobipocket.com Users could access and download these books from the app itself. Besides .mobi, Mobipocket reader also supported ebooks in prc, html and pdf formats.
After acquisition by Amazon.com in 2005, Mobipocket died a slow death. In October 2016 Amazon finally shut down Mobipocket site. Once a bubbly place, now it shows a heart-breaking message only – “Hello, Mobipocket and its services are no longer available. To shop for digital books we suggest visiting Amazon.com….”
Only the memories of these sites linger in my mind now…and it will remain forever.