Applications for productivity and fun on the Nokia E71x

So, it’s officially been over a month since I took possession of the Nokia E71x phone, which is an ATT-modified version of the Nokia E71 phone. My previous posts have focused on getting rid of the many ATT-branded applications that have littered the phone, some free & paid applications that add to the functionality of the phone and now, I’m talking about applications that are fun to have on the phone for the socially connected person. Phew. Here goes:

1) So far, I’ve spent a good bit of time researching what applications I want on my phone. I knew that I would benefit greatly from an application that would let me make screen recordings on my phone and I found an app for that: the Mobiola Screen Capture software application. It takes screenshots and can take video recordings of whatever is taking place on screen! It’s pretty impressive and if you are inquisitive like I am, you will definitely add this tool to your arsenal.

2) Again, being a blogger, I looked for a way to easily create rich posts for my blogs and I found a very robust freeware application for WordPress.com hosted blogs as well as self-hosted WordPress blog: Wordmobi. The installation is easy-peasy and it works as advertised. As a matter of fact, I’ve penned 1 or 2 posts via this application and while it could do better in terms of its user interface, I’m NOT staring this gift horse in the mouth. 🙂 It works via Wifi which is great if you aren’t signed up for a data plan so it scores major points in my book. 😀

3) I love chatting with my friends and family. I’ve signed up for practically all the top instant messaging services there are so I was looking for applications that would allow me to add, at least, Yahoo Messaging, Windows Live, Gtalk, Skype, etc. I’ve searched high and low for an application to do just that. I didn’t want to spend any more money on applications. Thankfully, there were several freeware alternatives. The top two that come to mind are: fring, Gizmo, and nimbuzz. An important source for the freebie-loving Nokia owner is this website, Freeware for Symbian. I LOVE this website because not only do they tell you about the great applications available for free, they allow YOU to visit the publisher’s website to download the program yourself! This behavior makes them much more trustworthy than a site that offers the downloads from their site. So, I feel confident in recommending them to you, but as always, caveat emptor. My recommendation on the IM applications is to install and try them out. Here’s their section on Messengers. As for me, I’ve got Nimbuzz installed on my phone and PC. It fits my needs and you might come to that conclusion yourself so up and away! 🙂

4) This fourth item is a hidden gem and I wish Nokia would do more to advertise it. Nokia is, sort of, transitioning their mobile section to Ovi by Nokia, for lack of understanding and a better word. I’ve signed up for an Ovi account and that gives me access to Ovi Mail (you can’t have too many email accounts, right?), the Sports Tracker website (a great beta application that tracks your exercise routine via the built-in GPS thingamajig. It works great, but since it’s halfbaked literally, I haven’t been able to re-open my saved routes so it’s sorta bittersweet.), Files for Ovi, e71xOvi Share, and a host of other nice applications for free. The best part about having an Ovi account is the fact that you can sync your Contacts, Calendar, Tasks and Notes to your Ovi account!! I’m serious. If you own a Nokia smartphone, you NEED to sign up for an Ovi account here and follow the directions there to connect your device to your Ovi account. Once again, make sure you have a valid backup of all your files on your phone. These products are new and they will inevitably have bugs. Right now, I’m used the sync service several times, but for whatever reason, my Ovi account does not seem to recognize that it has been in communication with my device. See for yourself:

5) Lastly, I understand that ShoZu is no longer available (for free) from their website, and it’s listed for $6.99 on the Ovi Store. Now, I can understand their reasons because when I discovered the application, I was in hog-heaven because it brought my multiple social personas together under one umbrella. It’s a fun application to use and I’m just happy that I discovered them before they became a non-free application. Now, I’ll talk about the bag of HURT that is the Ovi Store. Of all the applications I’ve used, the Ovi Store is probably the most underwhelming. First of all, the installation of the Ovi Store on your phone is NOT what I recommend at this point. Secondly, if you find an application you like on the Ovi Store, simply search for that application using Bing or Google and purchase the application through the original publisher or another reseller like Handango. Seriously. Here’s why:

I purchased the JoikuSpot Premium application via the Ovi Store several days ago and during the course of downloading the program I’d purchasedshozu_pg, I lost my internet connection and I had to restart my phone. No big deal, I figured there had to be a (somewhat) pain-free way to re-download the application I purchased less than, oh, two days ago. Well, I had no such luck. I fired off an email to the Ovi Support folks and they wanted all sorts of information before anything even after I tried to prevent all of that by providing my order number in my very first email. Nevertheless, I went ahead and called the customer support number and they told me they’d be getting in touch with me in 24 hours. Guess who didn’t call me after 24 hours? Now, I’m not an entitled lady wanting what she wants when she wants it, how she wants it. I figured it was a simple matter of them verifying my order and sending me a one-time use link to re-download my application. That would have been the end of this sad story, but thus far, I’ve been sorely disappointed in the Ovi Store’s customer service. Right now, I’ve since re-purchased the application directly from the Joiku website and I’m currently on my 2nd round of talks with the Ovi Store support people who  have again failed to call me in their 24-hr self-imposed timeline for the second time. If there’s one thing that makes me upset, it’s someone telling me they’ll call me at so-and-so time and then, failing to call or update me on the status of things. So, I recommend you stay far away from the Ovi Store until they hire more sales folk to attend to customers.

Well, I hope I’ve helped a few people with my series of Nokia E71x posts. Clearly, there is a need for information on this new phone which came out this year and I’m blessed to be able to write about my experiences, both good and bad. That said, I’d like to shout out to Thorsten, the developer behind PaderSyncFM which is software that allows SFTP,SSH, etc access from your phone. Unfortunately, I happened to be the first Nokia E71x owner to purchase this piece of software and due to restrictions on unsigned software, this program was severely hampered on my Nokia E71x device. If you don’t have an E71x device, give this piece of software a try! However, I’m mentioning this as an example of what customer service is. I emailed Thorsten about my issues and he was very helpful in troubleshooting my issues. So, if he’s reading this, I wanted to say thanks! 😀 In a great turn of events, I discovered a Putty application through the Symbian freeware website!! Get your jaw off the floor, yes, I said a Putty application. Putty is a telnet/SSH client and you can get it here. Finally, check out this great discussion on GDGT about applications for the Nokia E71x.

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