Thursday, July 17, 2008

Nokia E66

The E66 has an impressive specification list - slider form factor with a 2.4 inch screen, 3.2 megapixel autofocus camera, GPS, 3.5G cellular connectivity, WiFi, Bluetooth and IrDA, around 100MB of on board flash memory (plus 128MB RAM), microSD slot, FM Radio and accelerometer sensor. As you can see, in major hardware at least, it nearly measures up to Nokia's top end Nseries devices, with the most notable exception being the camera. The E66 has some extra tricks up its sleeve though, with a couple of unique features and the same customised, business-focussed version of S60 as found in the E71.

However, at Nokia's recent Eseries launch the E71 took most of the attention and, as a result, its little sister, the E66, was left in the shade. The E71 with its compact size and QWERTY keyboard is an outstanding device and has strong appeal for power users. QWERTY keyboards are often considered a key component in an enterprise device. However this isn't really true - QWERTY equipped phones are still in the minority even amongst business users. And this is why the E66 will likely outsell the E71 by some margin.

The launch of the E65 had a similar story, except in that case it was the E90 that was casting a long shadow. However, the E65 went on to become the best selling Eseries device - it accounts for nearly half the Eseries devices sold up to Q1 2008. Moreover, some of the E65's success was down to its ability to break out of its categorisation as an enterprise device and find success as a consumer device as well. In the UK, for example, it became a surprise best seller, as a consumer-orientated device, for operator '3' last year. This suggests that the E66 might also have the necessary attributes to become a best seller and, as such, is a device that is well worth examining in detail.

The E66 can be considered a replacement for the E65; it will have a similar launch price - around £320 (as ever, you can expect that to fall in time). The improvements in hardware and software (especially in multimedia capabilities) over the E65 are testament to how fast the mobile industry moves. Remember, it is only 18 months since the E65 reached the market. Happily for those markets which missed out last time, the E66 will see a wider distribution than its predecessor; there are three frequency variants, one for Europe, the Middle East and Asia, a second for the Americas and a third for the Latin America (Brazil) market. However it is open to debate whether either of the new Eseries devices will receive carrier support in the US market.

General Design and Hardware

At first glance the E66, at 107.5 x 49.5 x 13.6mm and 121g, appears slightly bigger than the E65 (105 x 49 x 15.5 mm, 115g), but because of its thinness it has a smaller overall volume - 62.6 cc versus 74 cc. This is all the more impressive when it is compared to a device like the N78 (76.5 cc) or the N95 8GB (90 cc). The E66 is thicker than the E71 (112 x 57 x 11 mm), but is notably narrower and, practically, this makes it a more pocketable device.

The majority of the device is in the 'bottom' section of the slide which means it feels balanced in the hand. The build quality is excellent; there is little or no leeway in the slide so it feels very stable. It is an assisted slide, which gives an extra feel of solidness and 'crispness' as you slide it into the up or down position. The slider mechanism is restricted to the middle and top of the device; this is a welcome change from the E65 where a significant portion of the keypad was lost to slider rails.

The E66 comes in two colour variants - white and black. The black version uses grey and black hard plastics on the front and sides of the device. The white version uses shiny silver plastics on the top slide portion of the front and white plastics on the keypad and side of the device. Both versions have a large metallic silver battery cover on the back, top and tailed by their respective coloured plastics. It is clear the use of materials has been very carefully considered - for example, the catches for the battery cover are a different colour and texture giving an intuitive guide for their usage.

The 2.4 inch screen sits above the main control cluster (D-pad, softkeys, send and end keys and three one touch keys), which is made up of keys which illuminate from beneath; unless the keypad lights are illuminated it is not possible to see which is which. This can be problematic outside in bright light when it is difficult to see the illumination, especially on the white variant, although most people will probably memorise the positions of the keys quickly. Usability aside, the illumination gives a stylish feel. The D-pad is excellent and the send and end keys well positioned. The delete key is directly below the D-pad, a potential problem for those with large fingers, but extremely useful for quickly working through email. The S60 key (represented by the home icon) is less accessible that on some handsets, but this is made up for by the presence of the one touch keys, which give access to the key PIM applications - messaging, calendar and contacts, a real time saver for business users. A long press on each key creates a new item in the respective application. These are the default settings and you can change these shortcuts if you like.

The numeric keypad, on the lower slide, is good, with great tactile feedback and plenty of room. Experienced T9 users should be able to achieve fast text entry rates. There is a small gap between the top of the keyboard and top part of the slide which means that the E66 avoids the cramped-top-row feeling that many slider keypads have. The keypad may be a little small for those with large hands; as ever, there is compromise between usability and size.

The left-hand-side of the device has, from bottom to top, an infrared port, microUSB port and 2.5mm audio port. The microSD card slot is just above the audio port, but is only accessible when the battery cover is removed. On the top of the device there is a distinctive red power key, which really stands out. Apparently it has been coloured red to emphasise that it is a decision making button (business users like such clarity I assume!) and to encourage its use for profile switching (one of my favourite S60 shortcuts). The right-hand-side has, from top to bottom, volume up and down keys surrounding the mute button (which acts as the voice control shortcut when no call is active) and a two stage camera capture key (focus and capture). The camera key is a significant advantage over the E71, which has to make do with the letter 't' for focussing and the central D-pad for capture. The bottom of the device houses the power port. A 3.2 megapixel camera with accompanying LED flash and mirror is found on the back of the device. The camera is housed in a slight hump which probably reflects the fact that camera modules tend to be the limiting factor in device thickness.

Compared to the E65, I welcome the move away from the proprietary Pop-port to a standard USB variant. In addition, the one touch keys now serve applications (rather than mute and conference calling), which is sensible, given their frequency of use.

The E66 has a reasonably generous BL-4U 1000 mAh battery; it should get busy users through 24 hours easily and most people will find it lasts two days. The GPS aerial is located at the top of device, in the optimum position. Along with the A-GPS functionality, it is able to achieve most locks in a handful of seconds, though environmental conditions or getting a first time lock can increase this.

Design-wise, what stands out most about the E66 is that it has a greater feeling of style than any other Eseries device. Of course, such judgments are subjective, but the light up keys, rounded corners and choice of materials do give a sense of a more stylish device. At the E66's launch, the device’s designers mentioned that creating a sense of style had become much more of a priority for the Eseries range. Their market research, unsurprisingly, showed that people preferred a device that had a noticeable style language over those which were more utilitarian. Moreover, they said that the E65 had caught them by surprise by being very popular among women business users, who felt it matched their style better than other devices. Therefore Nokia decided to put more effort into the design of the E66 in order to continue this trend. This also explains the white versions of both the E66 and the E71; they are perceived to be more feminine, although that's a broad generalisation.

More generally, market research indicated that people felt that their phone should be representative (or an extension) of their image - think of a person placing a phone on a table in a meeting as a way of projecting personality and style. Clearly there is a personal element to style - however, for business users, this is balanced alongside other considerations, primairly a desire to project a professional business image. The designers noted that while business professionals may want a stylish device, they also want to be taken seriously and therefore have a professional looking device. The design of the E66 can therefore be seen as a marriage between these two elements.

This dual nature is echoed in another area - the split between home and business, between personal and professional. Both the Eseries designers and the marketing team explained that people want a device that could be both a business and a personal device. This is especially true for a numeric keypad-based device, where there is a less obvious business-centric distinction at first glance. While this idea is reflected partly in design language, it is also part of the reason for the inclusion of multimedia hardware capabilities such as a reasonable camera, FM Radio and 2.5mm audio jack (the E65 handled audio through its Pop-port). Although, as we shall see, it is in the software customisations that this duality gets its most obvious implementation.

As you would expect, the E66 has a full range of connectivity options - 3.5G (HSDPA) cellular, WiFi, infrared (included because it is popular in Asia), USB (mass storage, PC Suite and Media transfer [MTP], but sadly only USB 'Full-Speed') and Bluetooth (including support for multimedia profiles such as A2DP and AVRCP). The WLAN scanning wizard is onboard to help find and use hotspots, but it still near useless with many pay-for hotspots (I'd recommend using a third party tool, such as Devicescape). Because the E66 runs S60 3rd Edition Feature Pack 1, the access point system is still muddled and confusing for novice users and it is difficult to switch back and forth between connection types. Business devices really do need the ability to group access points together and it's a shame that Nokia hasn't done more work here.

On the bright side, the E66 comes with the full Internet telephony application so setting up standard SIP-based VoIP services is relatively easy, and very simple if the user sees a pre-configured wizard. This plays into the E66's strength as a voice centric device. In the corporate environment, it should be relatively easy to integrate the E66 into existing enterprise VoIP infrastructures.

The E66 is optimised for use as a tethered modem for the PC. There's a specific 'Connect PC to web' option when inserting a USB cable into the device. The first time you do this, it installs an application on the PC, Nokia PC Internet Access, which helps simplify the connection process. For the majority of users, this negates the need for a separate USB dongle modem, although heavy users may want to consider the implications for the E66's battery life.
S60 Software customisations

We've already seen that the E66 means the Eseries is keeping pace with other S60 devices in hardware terms, but this is only one piece of the puzzle. S60 devices aimed at business users have perhaps suffered in the past from S60's consumer focus. The PIM applications in particular are under-powered when compared to their equivalents on more enterprise-focussed platforms such as Windows Mobile or Blackberry. In common with the E71, as mentioned in our in-depth review, the E66 has a customised version of S60 and some of its applications go some way to addressing this deficit.

The first changes are to the home screen (previously known as the Idle or Standby screen), which now has the ability, via the Switch mode application, to swap between two different layouts. This allows you to effectively operate the phone in two different modes, not dissimilar to having two separate devices. It is similar to the virtual desktop idea from the PC world, but this is the first time I've seen an effective out-of-the-box implementation on a mobile device. By default, these are labeled as Business and Personal and this is the most obvious usage scenario, but you can rename and use these as you please. The switch is carried out by activating an application shortcut (the black and white icon on the far right) and takes around 5 seconds to complete.

The layout is customised using the Modes application, accessible from Settings or as an application in its own right in the Tools folder. You can customise the theme and the wallpaper in each mode, which is helpful for giving a clear visual differentiation (think of a theme with the company logo versus a personalised theme), but the real value is in customising the application shortcuts and home screen plug-ins (enabled applications). For example, with application shortcuts you might choose to show those applications which you use most in the 'business versus personal' context (e.g. File manager for business, Music player for personal). Similarly, with the home screen plug-ins you can opt to enable only those which are most relevant to the current mode; this helps the home screen from becoming too cluttered and is something I'd like to see on all S60 devices.

Perhaps the most useful tweak though is the ability to customise what is shown by the two e-mail homescreen plug-ins. You are able to specify the account and preview type (header only, header and pop-up, header and unread) which will be displayed and this means you can display different email accounts in each mode. In practice, it is a effective way to show the relevant email at the relevant time; I suspect many will use this functionality to 'switch-off' work email at the end of the day. Switch mode functionality will be welcomed with open arms by those looking to separate their home and work lives and, as far it goes, it is a good implementation. It does have its limitations and the separation is really only skin, or rather home screen, deep. At the launch, Nokia acknowledged that there was room for improvement but pointed out, quite fairly, that they had implemented the basic (and most requested) functionality first. Doing a deeper mode separation becomes increasingly difficult (e.g. do you really want completely separate calendars for example - how do know which time is free if you maintain more than one? Does anyone's life, or contact list, really split into a simple division between business and personal?).

Staying on the home screen, there's now a smart dialler - if you start typing in the name (T9 style) of a contact (first or last name) a list of matching contacts will pop up. You can then select one of these and, via a pop-up menu, choose to start a call, message or e-mail. This functionality has long been a staple of Windows Mobile (and a number of third party S60 applications) and is fairly intuitive - and a great potential time saver. Of course, if you keep typing you can still make a manual call in the usual way.

Contacts has been lightly customised. It now, via a 'right' keypress, has the same context-sensitive pop up menu as the smart dialler, allowing quick access to common contact-specific actions. In my opinion, this is more useful than 'contact groups', which were previously accessed this way and are still available via the options menu. Users coming from other platforms may still find the search function underpowered (first name, last name only), but it does now allow you to use predictive input for a search query and, of course, you can use the separate Search application for any more advanced queries.

The Calendar has undergone a bigger retrofit, most notably in the month and day views. We've summarised these changes in the next two paragraphs but they are best illustrated by the screenshots below.

The month view splits the screen in two with the upper half showing a calendar, complete with notations for days which have entries. The bottom part of the screen shows the entries for the day currently selected in the calendar shown above. If necessary, the day-listing scrolls up and down in order to show the complete list of entries. This view works very well (it is possible to use the Calendar from this screen alone) and makes very good use of screen real estate.

Week view has also been modified; rather than just being a simple grid showing current entries (and free time), it now expands the currently selected day column and shows additional information. This makes it easier to schedule entries in the context of other events. The previous Day view (a list of entries for that day, which was accessible via the month or week views) has been renamed 'agenda view' and is unchanged except that access is via the Options menu. The new Day view has an hourly layout, making it easier to see, at a glance, what your schedule looks like. Day view does require a bit of scrolling, but the advantage of having things laid out hour by hour is that it is easy to see free time slots. If you start typing some text then a new meeting will automatically be created starting at the currently selected time, just as happens in week view. You can also create new Todos, Anniversarys and Memos by pressing the D-pad in. The new event dialogs have been compacted to make better use of the available screen space; it is now possible to see (for adding and editing) all the crucial meeting information in one screen - this not only saves scrolling but makes things much clearer.

Week view
With changes to Contacts and Calendar, you might think that Messaging would also be getting an upgrade. Unfortunately this is not the case, the Messaging application is unchanged. While this is not a big an issue as on the messaging centric E71, it is a real shame given the effort that has gone into improving the Contact and Calendar applications. There are some positives - set up of basic email accounts has been greatly improved; if you use a common email service you should only have to enter your email address and password, the rest will be automatically configured for you. There remains strong support for a range of push email solutions such as Nokia Intellisync and Microsoft Exchange.

However all of this is rather let down by Messaging, with its inefficient application layout, lack of support for rich (HTML) formatted emails, relatively poor mail browsing, sorting and searching, stilted attachment handling and somewhat awkward integration of push email systems. Messaging simply looks poor next to the messaging implementations of Windows Mobile 6.1 and Blackberry. The app is not unusable by any means, but given that this is an enterprise-focussed device and email is one of most important functions after voice, the lack of changes to Messaging is very disappointing. With that said, I do expect to see a new version of Messaging in a future software update. However, I should stress that there are no guarantees and that Nokia has not made any commitments in this area (despite numerous promptings).

A more positive area is the use of the accelerometer in the E66's software. As you might expect, there is optional automatic screen rotation, but it comes with a nice extra - turn to full view. This optimises the use of screen real estate in landscape view. In Web, turning the phone into landscape will automatically trigger full screen mode, similarly in Gallery and Real Player, which in landscape mode show pictures and movies using the full screen without any accompanying UI elements. Of course you can achieve the same result yourself with a few extra steps, but it makes much more sense to have this happen automatically. Generally landscape mode works very well throughout the device - some applications (e.g. Month view in Calendar) are optimised for it, and the switch between portrait and landscape is around half a second - impressive.

And there's more - if you turn over the E66 when there is an incoming call then the ringing tone will be silenced (this also works for alarms). This works best if your phone is sitting on a table and you simply flip it over, but will also work with a similar action in the air. There is a third party piece of software that implements the same idea, Flip Silent, but this is the first time that it has been available out of the box. The final use of the accelerometer is in bringing the keypad illumination back up after it has automatically switched off. You 'nod' the phone and the keypad re-illuminates - in practice this didn't work very well for me - I found it needed more of a back-and-forth shake than a nod and it didn't always seem to work. These may be relatively simple uses of an accelerometer, but using sensors in this way is intuitive and the implementation on the E66 is a sign of things to come.

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

N78 updates

The Nokia N78 has just received another firmware update, to v12.046, available over the air or via Nokia Software Update. v12.046 "includes a number of performance improvements including softkey selection, Bluetooth stability, video playback, email sending and alarm clock functions."

Monday, July 14, 2008

Send Locations From Google Maps on Computer To Nokia Maps On Phone

Before I travel to an unfamiliar place, I usually look up the address on Google Maps on my computer. With Map 2 Nokia created by Justin Hourigan, I can send the location of that place to my Nokia phone that have Nokia Maps. I’ll show you how simple it is.

Not only can we send locations from phone to phone with friends, but now we can also send locations computer to phone.

* Go to Google Maps on your computer and find the place you are looking for.
* Center in to the location by double clicking on it.
* Click on the “Link to this page” link
* Copy the link from the “Paste link in email or IM” box
* Go to
* Paste the link into “Google Maps URL” box and type a title and description accordingly.
* Press the “create .lmx” button to create and download the file.
* Bluetooth or email the .lmx file to your phone.
* Open the .lmx file and select options -> show on map.
* Done! You can save the location so that you can start navigating when you’re ready.

This works great on GPS-enabled phones like Nokia N95 8GB, Nokia N82, Nokia N78, Nokia E71 and more coming soon. Justin states on the site that he is still debugging it, so contact him at justin [at] if you encounter any errors.

Saturday, July 12, 2008

Nokia Chat

Nokia Chat is a new, GPS-aware software and instant messaging service which is being previewed through Nokia Beta Labs. Nokia Chat is an instant messaging and presence application with added location features. Generic location information can be shared via your presence message, via matching GPS position with selected existing (Nokia Maps) favourite places or you can send an ad-hoc exact location as a chat message. Read on for more information, a brief review and screenshots.

The basic features of Nokia Chat are similar to any other IM service. There's a friend list and you can activate a chat window for anyone on this list. There's an option to send smileys and voice messages (the latter didn't work in our tests), but overall the functionality is relatively bare bones (e.g. no file sending, no group chats and so on).

There is also the expected presence (status) indicator: Available (green), On the phone (blue - set automatically), Away (yellow), Do not disturb (red) and Offline (Grey). You also have the ability to set a customised presence message which could be used to describe what you are doing (e.g. down the pub).

However what makes Nokia Chat stand out are the location features it offers. One of these is the ability to use your phone's built-in GPS to send a 'location link'. This appears as a hyperlink in the chat window of your friend which will open up Nokia Maps and show them your current location. This is similar to the ability to send a location (lmx file) from within Nokia Maps, but is clearly more useful in the IM/contact list scenario.

The second location feature is integrated with your presence message (appended, in brackets, to any status message). It will selectively show your location based on your proximity to chosen locations. These, configured in settings, are based on your stored Landmarks (as used in Nokia Maps and Google Maps). In practice, what this means is that your location will be shown in your presence message (e.g. Phil's Cafe) when your phone detects that you are at (or at least near) the location. You can choose which landmarks will be used in this way (e.g. home, work, pub, cinema etc.) It is a rather neat solution to some of the privacy issues that surround location information, since your location can only be seen at places you have chosen. The key advantage is that, once you have set it up, it is completely automatic.

Nokia Chat has some limited integration with Contacts. You can switch back and forth between the two using a drop down menu accessed by pressing the left direction pad (a similar feature is found in the Gizmo VoIP software). Hopefully future versions will see better integration between the two contact lists. There's also integration with the status icon bar of S60 - a small icon showing a chat bubble indicates a new IM has been received.

The application itself has some nice touches. The connection settings allow you to specify both WLAN access points and a GPRS/3G access point. The application will automatically and seamlessly switch between these. Other settings include the ability to auto-accept friend requests and login automatically at start up. There are also application functions to invite a friend to join Nokia Chat and to add profile information (e.g. an avatar/photo) from within the application.

If you are interested in this sort of application then it is well worth downloading, even in its beta state.

Nokia Chat is based on the XMPP/Jabber protocol and can federate with other such services. For example, you can add Google Talk contacts to Nokia Chat, talk to them and see their presence information. You will be able to see generic location information because it is part of your status (i.e. locations set through Landmarks) on federated services, but you cannot send precise location information (no Nokia Maps to integrate with).

Nokia Chat uses the new unified Nokia Account service (as does the recently announced Files on Ovi). You can get an account at or sign up from within the chat application. Your user id will be (e.g. - you can use this to add friends directly instead of using the search feature.

Nokia Chat is in Beta and there may be a few stability issues. Bear this in mind before deciding whether to install the application. Nokia are looking for feedback on the application and service. You can give your feedback these at the Nokia Beta Labs website.

I expect Nokia Chat could potentially become a very important platform for Nokia to deliver location and presence based services in the future. These are two of the hottest areas in mobile services. However, operators may not be entirely welcoming, given that IM has the potential to seriously impact SMS revenues and many have their own ideas about presence and location platforms (though we're getting a little too far ahead of ourselves here - this is just a beta application).

Clearly, at one level, IM is only as useful as the number of people you have in your contact list. Another isolated IM platform clearly would not get very far on its own. However by using the XMPP standard, Nokia is doing its best to get round this problem - XMPP (eXtensible Messaging and Presence Protocol) is an open standard for near-instantaneous exchange of message and presence information. As we noted above, this mean it can be used with Google Talk or any other XMPP based service (e.g. Gizmo, Apple iChat). Theoretically, XMPP based services can also use 'transports/gateways' to other IM networks. These have to be implemented on the service side, but they can be used to connect with users on other IM networks. I would not be surprised to see some activity from Nokia in this area in future releases. Equally you should be able to use Nokia Chat with any XMPP/Jabber enabled IM client on another computer.

Download File here
Nokia Chat

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

SIM card data recovery and repair

A prerequisite for the use of SIMIS, is that the SIM card must be functional. A physically damaged, broken or dirty SIM may not function correctly, resulting in the recovery of corrupted data, or no data at all. In the forensic data recovery environment, SIM's will be presented in a variety of different conditions, ranging from good, but lightly soiled, through blood soaked to physically broken. Lightly soiled and blood soaked SIM's may be cleaned using appropriate methods, ensuring that the SIM is not further damaged taking care to preserve surface printing where possible.

However, physically damaged or broken SIM's require more specialised processing to produce a viable SIM for data recovery purposes. Crownhill has extensive experience in the area of SIM data recovery through its activity in the SIM manufacturing process. Crownhill works directly with the SIM silicon manufacturers and SIM card manufacturers. Processes developed to aid fault analysis and qualitative measurements are an invaluable advantage when attempting to repair and recover data from physically damaged SIM modules.

Crownhill have invested in purpose-built laboratory facilities to provide professional card cleaning, data recovery and card repair service. Based in discrete, secure premises, Crownhill can provide the full compliment of services required to clean, repair and recover data from damaged SIM's. Drawing on its own expertise and relationships with Card manufacturers and silicon vendors world-wide, Crownhill have created a centre of excellence for this specialised work. An overview of the procedures can be found here

Where a SIM is thought to be functional, Crownhill can provide a SIM cleaning service. Blood, soot, general soiling and body fluids are handled in an environmentally secure fashion, relieving the client of responsibility for Bio Hazards and other Health and Safety issues. Cleaned SIM's are returned without undue delay, ready for data recovery by the client. Cleaning by Crownhill must be carried out after the SIM has been pre-processed for any physical evidence required, such as Photography and DNA sampling.

Forum Nokia Opens Doors to WidSets Developer Community

ESPOO, Finland, July 3/PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- WidSets, a mobile content consumption, creation and sharing service is getting a boost from Forum Nokia, Nokia's (NYSE: NOK) global developer program. Developers can easily develop widgets for WidSets and instantly make them available for download to a rapidly growing user base. WidSets work on more than 300 mobile device models currently supporting MIDP 2.0, including some 500 million Series 40 and S60 devices worldwide. Developers can visit to get started.

Forum Nokia has launched a comprehensive developer offering for WidSets to arm developers with the tools and technologies needed to take advantage of this unique opportunity for immediate visibility to a content hungry community. At, developers will have access to WidSets documentation, the WidSets SDK and be able to view examples of widgets created through WidSets, plus the ability to contribute to articles and receive feedback from the world's largest mobile developer community.

"The Forum Nokia developer community welcomes WidSets with open arms," said Tom Libretto, vice president, Forum Nokia. "Our developers consistently create innovative applications and services. With the addition of the WidSets developer offering, they will now have the ability to easily create and publish widgets through WidSets and collaborate with other developers while doing so."

As developers publish new WidSets widgets directly to an already extensive widget library, consumers gain access to popular Web content optimized for mobile including news feeds, multiplayer games and a large variety of user-generated content. A renewed My Profile widget makes it easy for consumers to share their favorite WidSets content, as well as follow and comment on the content other WidSets members are enjoying. Consumers can visit from their mobile device to download the latest widgets.

Monday, July 7, 2008

SpeedCam: GPS Speed Camera Detector for S60 3rd Ed

SpeedCam for S60 3rd Ed
Freeware Speed Camera Warning System Speed Camera Warning

The speed cameras can be tricky and very annoying. They don't prevent infractions and sometimes are misleading and you end up being charged hundreds for driving only a couple of miles over the limit.

A new survey of motorists across Britain has revealed that over 90% of drivers worry about being caught by a speed camera, especially when driving on unfamiliar roads and that more than 81% are confused because speed limits are not effectively signed.

The survey also highlighted that 84% of drivers do not always notice speed camera warning signs. If caught on camera, 14.4% say their 'biggest concern' would be the cost of the penalty fine, but a larger number (24.7%) now rate the fear of increased insurance premiums as their chief worry.

Fortunately there are several ways to protect yourself from speed cameras and just announced Speed Camera Warning application sounds as perfect solution for the S60 devices owners!

Speed Camera Warning is software based solution which turns your GPS equipped S60 phone into a fully-functioning GPS speed camera warning system. Because it's a freeware software solution, it will basically cost you nothing which making it much better solution than a dedicated camera warning system

Applications is designed to operate either in conjunction with Nokia Maps, or in the background (e.g. whilst using another application or in standby) and popup to the foreground with an audio visual alert, then return to the background.
SpeedCam SpeedCam

A suitable speed camera data file is required. A dummy file speedcam.txt is provided to illustrate the required format of the file.

For the UK, a good source of up to date files is available at Pocket GPS World (I have no affiliation with them) who now provide a file specifically for this application - an annual subscription is required to obtain the relevant file (look for Nokia SpeedCam) from:

An old pocketgps_uk_sc.csv file that can be used to try out the application is available free in:

This application has only been tested on a N95-1 running V21 firmware and latest Nokia Maps v2 using both the internal GPS and an external BlueTooth GPS, but should work with other S60 3ed phones that support Location Based Services. (Users have reported it working on N81, N82, E90) The application is developed in Python

8GB HDD Necessary? Not with SoonR

There's a big push in the mobile arena lately for more and more local storage on devices. With the iPhone (and soon the N95) having up to 8GB of local storage, this blogger often wonders where the tipping point is. At what point will we try to cram so much physical storage on our devices that the batteries and processors required make them unwieldy?soonr home screen I think there's a better solution, and it will become more and more realistic as networks improve. I think that in the next 2-4 years, we won't care how much local storage our mobiles have because we'll be able to access all of our data over the 'cloud'.

I've been doing this already with an application called SoonR. This installs on your home computer and runs 24-7. Right now, there are only versions for Windows and Macs (sorry, Linux, you're left in the cold for now). The application is very small and basically runs in the background. You're able to select which folders are made available, as well as numerous other options. As long as your home computer is on and connected, so is SoonR.

SoonR basically allows you to view, share and download your files from your home computer onto any internet-connected device, including mobile phones. It will also tie into your MS Outlook and .Mac systems, allowing you to send out emails and access your contacts on the go, which is extremely handy. soonr download sample

Another great feature is the ability to use Skype through SoonR. Again, if you have both Skype and SoonR running on your home computer, you're able to view your buddy list and use SkypeOut to initiate a call from your PC to your mobile, and then from your mobile to your buddy, seamlessly. Depending on your mobile, this may not be the best option to use Skype, but it's certainly nice to have in an emergency.

Now I know you're asking, "but what if my host computer gets turned off somehow, is there a way to have certain files available still?" The answer is a resounding YES. SoonR gives you 100MB of online storage that you can sync with your computer. I realize that in this day and age, that's not a lot, but it's still a really cool option to have your most important files available.

It's important to note that SoonR does not stream media to your handset. You can't stream playlists and you can't stream movies. It's not designed for that, it's designed for access to your files. With SoonR, I can access all of my pictures, wherever I'm at. I can access my resume, or a presentation I might need urgently.

The biggest drawback to SoonR over having an 8GB HDD (or bigger) in your device is coverage. We're still not in a time where wireless internet access is ubiquitous. However, with 3G and WiFi becoming more widespread, and WiMax on the way, it may not be too long before you'll truly always be connected.

Saturday, July 5, 2008

BEDD New Release v1.81.08

We've made a new release for BEDD. Cool Please find the new v9 3rd Edition BEDD v1.81.08 SIS file attached to this post. You could also download directly from the BEDD website at BEDD supports all Symbian S60 devices.

We've combined BEDDmates and BEDDbuddies, and removed BEDDbay. Other misc improvements have made the file size smaller and created an easier more intuitive user experience.

The business model is a 3 day trial, after which the user can purchase a one-time license for unlimited use from their operator WAP site or from the BEDD website. Please contact us with any comments and for further information about exciting revenue share opportunity.

With best regards,
The BEDD team

Viruses for Symbian OS and S60 - the truth

Don't be panicked by media hype about viruses targetting Symbian OS smartphones!

Fact: there are NO viruses for any Symbian OS 9 smartphone - the OS makes access to dangerous 'propagating' functions restricted to proper 'signed' (checked) applications. So you if you own a S60 3rd Edition or UIQ 3-based smartphone you can stop worrying permanently.

Fact: no-one can pass a virus to your Symbian/S60/UIQ smartphone over Bluetooth or MMS without your knowledge. See a plea for sanity, below.

Fact: the Symbian (pre-OS 9, pre-S60 3rd Edition) 'viruses' you read about aren't really in the wild, in the same way that Windows viruses are. Most Symbian malware has been created as 'concept' software and sent straight to an anti-virus vendor (who naturally make a pretty penny out of advising people that they need a-v utility software). Because it's realistically impossible for these apps to spread in most sensible societies, you simply will not come across them in the real world unless you happen to hang around with teenagers with older handsets bent on trying all the latest trojan-infested 'warez' (see below).

Fact: it's impossible for any piece of malicious software to make your smartphone unusable. Even if you allow a piece of 'malware' (i.e. a malicious program) onto your unit, it can't touch the OS and applications in ROM, which means you can always do a hard reset (typing in ‘*#7370#’ works with most Series 60 smartphones, 'Dial'+'*'+'3' while powering on for newer ones, procedures for UIQ and Series 80 units are in the manual) to get back to a working system.

Fact: the biggest hazard in the Symbian world is the 'warez' scene, where unscrupulous people 'crack' commercial software and then put it up for free download. Quite apart from the ethical considerations about putting genuine Symbian authors out of business, these cracked versions are the perfect opportunity for a malicious cracker to insert routines designed to cripple your phone or scramble your data.
You can stay clear of such malware by downloading your Symbian OS third party software from recognised software sites and staying clear of warez. This isn't just me quoting a party line here - this is simply practising safe computing. Only download from trusted sources.

The deal: I'll stand in a room with you and all your infected toys. I'll have a old Series 60 smartphone, a UIQ device and a Series 80 smartphone, all set with Bluetooth to 'Discoverable'. I'll give you as long as you want to try and infect me in any way whatsoever, I'll even accept your SMS and MMS messages and generally communicate. If you succeed in infecting me, I'll hand over an obscene amount of money. No-one fancy the challenge? I thought not.
Symbian OS viruses - just keep your software legal and move on....
Footnote: in 4 years, no company has EVER take me up on the challenge..

You can keep your Symbian smartphone completely free of malware by following a few simple rules:

1. Use an up to date (S60 3rd Edition, UIQ 3, etc) smartphone
2. Don't accept unsolicited Bluetooth transmissions from other phones. Or trust applications tacked onto MMS messages ('e.g. Hey, try my new, kewl game!')
3. To avoid mischevious 'trojans', don't install applications unless they are ones you've asked for or have downloaded from reputable software sites.

In most cases, it's quite safe to leave Bluetooth visibility as 'Shown to all'. If you do get bothered by too many unsolicited connection attempts, simply change the setting to 'Hidden'. Although given that the number of 'infected' older Series 60 phones worldwide is truly tiny, you really don't have to worry! You're 100 times more likely to be hit by lightning or to win the lottery..

Starting the phone in Safe mode

If you experience problems with booting the phone (e.g. it restarts during startup or right after the system finishes loading) and you can't or don't want to format the internal memory you can try to start your device in so called "safe mode". In this mode only the neccessary system task are being run and all autostarting 3rd party applications are being skipped.

To start your phone in the safe mode press and hold the "ABC" or (depending on phone model) the "Pen" key, turn on the phone and hold the ABC / Pen key pressed until the system finishes loading.

PsiLoc - Archiving your SMS and MMS

New app by PsiLoc for archiving your SMS and MMS messages.

Download File here

SMS back up

Here we go.

Best messagestorer, 3

Does the trick for me. export possibilities to csv and txt.

Good luck

How to reformat S60 phones using a code ?

If you want to restore your S60 phone back to factory state, i.e. remove all applications, settings, user files and set all options to default, enter the following code:


on the standby screen. This will completely format your smartphone. The device will reboot and it will be in a state you bought it.

Formatting storage memory takes some time. Do not touch anything during the process! It is recommended to only do it with fully charged battery and your phone connected to a charger to ensure that your battery doesn't run out of power in the middle of formatting.

N81 has 3D accelerator inside ?

Near Say:

Dear All,

can you adv if N 81 has 3 D accelerator ?
I read on the specs it doesn't have 3 D accelerator like N 95 has.

But it's said it can play N-Gage games
My question is can it play N-Gage games smoothly ?

I'm interested with N 6120 c which also has the same processor speed as N 81 but also doesn't have 3 D accellerator.

One more important 6120 classic capable running N gage games ?


Ester say:

According to the official Nokia Specifications page - No.. It does not.

See here (N81):

Compared to N95 (with accelerator):

The N81 uses the faster "single" CPU (369Mhz - same as the 6120 CPU) whilst the N95 uses the slower "dual" CPU (333 Mhz + Graphics accelerator).

Even though its listed as "N-Gage" machine, so is the N73 (which does not have the accelerator either).

For 2D, Java and software based 3D games - it will be "tad" faster (<10%) but the N95 will kill the N81 in any GL hardware accelerated games (eg. System Rush or Global Race) by a good 10x (according to most mobile mark benchmarks)..

Nester Say:

No, it doesn't... N81 has single FreeScale MXC300-30 ARM1136 Processor with 369 MHz clockrate.

3D-accelerator installed only on devices with Texas Instruments OMAP 2420 ChipSet (Nokia N800, N810, N93, N93i, N95, E90, Motorola Z8, etc.). OMAP 2420 includes ARM1136 Processor with 330 MHz Clockrate, TMS320C55x DSP with 220 MHz Clockrate, 2D/3D Graphics Accelerator, Imaging and Video Accelerator...

N81 actualy has the i.MX31 Freescale CPU
Does anyone know anymore details about this CPU, and what advantages it has over the TI OMAP 2420 CPU besides clock speed?
Im just very curious to why Nokia would use this CPU if it has absolutely no 2D/3D Acceleration?
I also see that Moto used this same CPU on the RAZR V8 yet it's doing 500mhz!!

Yes you right, it has i.MX31 instead of MXC300-30...
As for advantages, it's cheaper, nothing more...

While the OMAP 24XX line is dual core, that just means a DSP and an ARM core. There are other cores on it; like the 2D/3D accelerator. So just because a chip has one core, doesn't mean it does have 3D capabilities.

That Freescale processor does have 3D support: nodeId=01J4Fs2973ZrDR
"The i.MX31 processor adds an integrated 3-D Graphics Processing Unit (GPU) that delivers an incredible 1 MTri/sec (double textured, bi-linear, Gouraud shaded) at about 100 Mpix/sec (effective) to drive screen resolutions of VGA and above and color representation up to 32 bits per pixel. The GPU is built around the ARM MBX R-S™ graphics accelerator. It offers full scene anti-aliasing for superior image quality and provides OpenGL® ES and Java Mobile 3-D support."

The GPU is not considered a core on the Freescale or the Ti OMAP line.


There is a new edition of interactive s60 3v signed freeware which covers all tourist important information of croatia , thus being a comprehensive guide to 157 croatian towns. Check it out

Another Opinion bout E71

I have been using mine for the last two days as well, only a couple negatives from me

No Access groups like E61i
Shame the case shows every mark but it is superbly made with no creaks and groans like the E90.
The one thing i cant understand, they put the new micro usb connector on it for data cable connection but dont enable the charging facility, I know it has the normal small pin charger connector but why o why miss out this feature it would have just made it that little bit speacial with two options to charge it.
Could not get the altered version of Tom*** to work with the internal GPS which is a shame.

Keyboard is great, having used the E90 for several months I feared it was not going to compare but it certainly does and in my opinion is even better.
Mine came with 3 months access to the full nokia maps.

Nokia reset code

My nokia 6708 doesnt turn on. only nokia logo comes in. the batery is full charge...

Try entering the engineer mode: when you power on the phone quickly type *#7589 when the initial startup screen is shown.

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

N-Gage: Best or Bad

"It seems to me that some kind of editorial comparing the two eras of N-Gage might be appropriate - along the lines of N-Gage 1: middling hardware, great games / N-Gage 2: great hardware, poor games – might be in order."

In short order Krisse and I looked (electronically) at him and said that it’s way too early to make that sort of comparison. After all, the games Steve is probably remembering from the N-Gage classic are titles like Pathway to Glory or System Rush, while the new N-Gage titles springing to mind are titles like Midnight Pool (AAN's review) and Sims 2:Pets (AAN's review). This isn’t a fair comparison – not because they are different games, but because they are at different stages in the life cycle of their respective platforms.

The classic N-Gage games we all remember are from the very end of the cycle of the platform, when the programmers had been playing with the system for years, when they knew all the tricks and didn’t have to worry about basic things like control interfaces, UI and such like. When you can do the foundations of code easily, that’s when you push a system.

The early games for the N-Gage, the games which we should compare to the current crop on the next generation platform, show just how far mobile gaming has come. The launch titles were all the N-Gage had for the first four or five months, and while there was a Tony Hawk conversion in there (and a Tomb Raider conversion) which were both good 3D representations, the titles written from the ground up were dire.

Puyo-pop and Puzzle Bobble, which are staple game styles for any gaming platform, were two of the most dreadful mobile games on S60. Ever. Scoring a mightily high 30 and 22 respectively(!), these titles, along with the initial marketing and the ‘Taco Side Talking’ meme did enough damage to the N-Gage brand to ensure it would not get a fair hearing in gaming circles for a long time.

Some would argue it has still to recover.

But games on any platform invariably take 12 to 18 months to come up with the titles that define a platform. Sony Playstation Portable had a bundle of average launch titles. With more money and muscle, Sony had 24 titles, including a number of conversions, and only one title in that launch really stood out (Wipeout Pure, for those interested). Around 18 months to two years later (i.e. Q1 2008) the PSP got its triumvirate of superb games – Wipeout Pulse, Patapon and God of War. Unfortunately, they’ve now stalled in game releases, and risk losing momentum.

Anyway, back to Nokia’s gaming platforms. The original N-Gage had the aforementioned Tony Hawk, and looking at the Next Gen platform, I suspect that, with hindsight, Hooked On: Creatures of the Deep will be seen as the stand-out launch title.

Looking back at the N-Gage Classic, it took around 6-7 months for the first big title to come out that showed the promise of the system. That was the 3-D Horror-inspired shooter, Ashen, which was previewed to the world some months previously. That started a run that increased in quality, including System Rush and Pathway to Glory, but also titles like Catan, Rifts and High Seize.

While N-Gage is essentially S60 3rd Edition programming, the majority of developers that will be working on N-Gage will be new to the platform. Even those coming from the older N-Gage platform have more to learn, and the gaming industry never stands still. The standout titles previously may be seen as just run of the mill now. It’s a constant battle to be ahead and setting trends. And that needs complete familiarity with the code base. That takes time, and that’s why platforms need the two year window for a full suite of games.

But there are always gems as you go through that period. The N-Gage Classic had a massive impact with Pocket Kingdom, especially in the gaming press. It was that title, headed up by Scott Foe, which showed the commentators that N-Gage could be serious. Heck, even Penny Arcade liked it!

And it’s to Scott Foe that I think the Next Gen gaming is going to be turning to. His vision, and implementation, of Reset Generation is going to be here very shortly. And if you take the beta launch of the N-Gage Client in December 07 as the starting point, then that title is about on course for the 6-7 month 'see, this is what the platform can do' title.

So what now? Well, like any platform, Next Gen N-Gage will take time to bed in. The balancing act for Nokia is to keep the positive stories and influence about the platform afloat until the tipping point is reached. Something they failed to do with the original N-Gage. They’re just about weathering the storm now, and Reset Generation should give them some breathing space to get some monsters ready for later in 2008 and the one year anniversary. The best is yet to come, but the road there is very easy to get lost on. Focus is needed all round. Let’s see if Nokia have learned that lesson.

eXTReMe Tracker

Add to Technorati Favorites