Friday, May 9, 2008

Nokia Communicator Center arrives at Beta Labs

Nokia Communication Center Beta is now available via Nokia's Beta Labs. It is an add on for PC Suite (a potential replacement for several existing modules) that allows you to manage contacts and messages on your phone from your PC. This includes the ability to send SMS and MMS messages, view the contents of the messaging folders and view, edit and add contacts. Read on for more details and screenshots.

Communication Center effectively replaces the existing Contacts and Messages components of PC Suite. These take the form of Windows Explorer additions / plug-ins. As such they are relatively limited. There are also components to send SMS and MMS messages. The goal of Communication Center is clearly to consolidate this functionality into a single area. Even in this early release it is a clear improvement - it easier to use and adds a good amount of extra functionality.

The software is available from the Beta Labs site and requires you to be running the latest version of PC Suite ( or later). Communication Center is currently classified as 'early release, with many known issues'. Therefore it may there be best suited to edge users who don't mind software that still has a number of bugs and stability issues.

Accessing Contacts when on the PC is useful, especially when paired with the ability to send messages. But it is the adding or editing of contacts, as demonstrated below, which is particularly useful given the text entry limitations of a phone keypad (especially if youdont sync with a server or PC application).

There are two modes for contact editing, the basics are handled by the simple mode (left), but other fields can also be accessed via advanced mode (right).

One of the key improvements of Communication Center over the current PC Suite implementation is better sorting and filtering support. For each field displayed it is possible to choose the way you want the data sorted and filter it by letter as shown below. There's also a context menu with appropriate actions for each contact (edit, send message, send email etc.). If you have a lot of contacts you will also appreciate the search box (which searches across all contact fields).

There's also the ability to import and export contacts which could prove very useful when transitioning from another device or as a backup alternative. Similarly the ability to print contacts and sned them (via email or MMS) to other make for great sharing tools.


The Messages component of Communication Center lets you view and browse the folders of the Messaging application (Inbox, Draft, Sent Items, Outbox). It has similar context menu (reply, forward, add sender to contacts etc.) and search tools as the Contacts component.

The export option is a handy way to backup messages (text only) and, as with Contacts, there is a print option too.

Communicator Center includes an MMS editor (currently a little buggy) and a SMS editor. Once you have composed the messages they are sent to the phone for sending. There are a number of noice touches such as the auto-suggest when typing in the To: field (see screenshot below) and the ability to preview a MMS message before sending.

As ever Beta Labs are looking for feedback about the application - don't forget to give it if you use the software.

No comments:

eXTReMe Tracker

Add to Technorati Favorites