<firstimage=”//static.makeuseof.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/05/Scr000038.png”>One thing that MakeUseOf does not cover in great detail are Nokia phones that use the Symbian operating system. Often we write about the iPhone, Android and Windows Mobile, but never Symbian and Nokia. On a recent poll that we conducted, Symbian was the 4th used phone by our users, and the 3rd most used Smartphone. So today, this post will be dedicated to everything Nokia and Symbian.
For those people who are wondering what the heck I am talking about, Nokia is a leading phone manufacturer in many countries, and especially in Australia (where I live). Most of the new Nokia mobile phones are using Symbian as their operating system which the recent version is known as S60.
Now that the history is out of the way, I can focus on the main point of this post – mobile phone software for your Nokia.
Just like the well known Apple Store, Nokia’s store is called the Ovi Store. If you are a Nokia user (I have the Nokia 5800 XpressMusic and the E71), you may find that Nokia doesn’t have many great apps, however there are a few that do stand out.
Ovi Maps used to cost more than $300 for a one year license, but recently Nokia made theto a number of devices. So if you have a compatible handset with GPS, you should definately give Ovi Maps a go. Instead of spending a few hundred dollars on a GPS device, just buy a Nokia phone and you’ll get free voice navigation for life – that’s what I did.
However, the only downside to Ovi Maps is that it can take quite a few minutes for it to pick up a satellite signal. So if you need to know where you are quickly, but don’t really need voice Navigation, you should also try Google Maps.
Ovi Maps also offers a number of other services such as live traffic updates, weather, and other things.
The below image is a screenshot of the Ovi Maps home screen.
Google Maps usually pinpoints your location within seconds, unlike Ovi Maps. Google Maps for your S60 device doesn’t offer anything special compared to what you get on the browser version, but if you get lost or want to find directions to a place near by, Google Maps is the way to go.
However, if you want voice navigation, Google Maps won’t do that for you on your Nokia phone. If you’re tight on mobile internet data, I would suggest using Ovi Maps as the maps are installed on your phone, unlike Google Maps where you have to download them each time you use it.
WLM for Nokia was only released a couple of months ago and only works on a couple of devices. The 5800 XpressMusic isn’t one of them unfortunately – however I found a version on the Internet somewhere else and it works like a charm. (I can’t find the website where I got it off, if I do, I’ll post it in the comments). You can however download it from the Ovi store on some models.
If you use Windows Live Messenger on your desktop, you must get this app for your mobile – it’s just full of features and very easy to use.
If you use Skype, Twitter, Windows Live Messenger, GTalk, Voip and other services, you must install Fring. Fring contains all these services plus more. It’s like your entire IM clients all packed into one small box. However I found that the quality of the voice calls are not as good on Fring as they are on Skype, and for Windows Live Messenger, you can’t show your contacts by email.
Although I don’t use Skype much, it’s a great app to have on your phone. Especially if you have a large dataplan, you can get away with cheaper calls (if you have Skype credit). When I tried it out on the Skype Call Testing Service connected to my WLAN network at home, the call quality was pretty reasonable and it used about 2-3 kb/s on the call which isn’t too bad.
If you have the XpressMusic phone, you will know how bright the flash light is on the camera. So to make good use of this camera’s flashlight, install BrightLight. Just flick the switch and your light is on. It’s a really good substitute for a torch.
If you don’t need a bright light, FlashLight is a useful app. Basically you can set the colour for your entire screen, whether it be white, red, blue, yellow, pink or green – any colour you want. I use it all the time for sneaking around the house because it produces enough light to see where I am going and not too much where it will wake everyone up (like BrightLight does).
If you want to see how much energy your phone is using, or the transfer rate of your mobile internet, Nokia Energy Profiler will do the trick and a whole lot more.
If you had been wondering how I have been taking the above screenshots on my 5800XpressMusic, I have been using ScreenSnap. It’s really simple to use, just run the application and press your phones camera button and it will take a screenshot of your phone.
What Are Your Favourite Apps?
The above are my favourite mobile phone software apps for my Nokia S60 device. Have I missed out on any that should be in the list? If I have, please let me know in the comments.
Also, if you think Make Use Of should cover more posts about Nokia and Symbian; please say so in the comments.