Software Update v.3.28 for the Nokia E71x and modest Improvements to Ovi Maps

So, after using the ATT Tilt phone for awhile (read less than 2 months), I went back to using the Nokia E71x phone. Why? For starters, I discovered that I did *not* become more productive primarily because of the slide-out keyboard which is a good idea in theory, but not in practice. Secondly, for whatever reason, there was NO way I could turn off the touchscreen option in the ATT Tilt phone when making a phone call so a lot of times, my phone calls ended rather abruptly because I’d accidentally hit the “End” button. *sigh*

Needless to say, I was very nervous about returning to the Symbian 60 platform. I remembered very clearly how much installing Ovi Maps was a PITA (pain in the ass), but I decided to brave the headwinds (so to speak). It is my pleasure to report that times have changed with the installation of Ovi Maps to this phone and I’d like to go over some improvements that I’ve experienced since the time I dumped the E71x for ATT Tilt and now.

A quick summary of this post:

  1. No need to go through all the drama of this post anymore. Using Ovi Suite and your USB cord, Ovi Maps 3.0 will install just fine on your phone.
  2. Firmware updates are out for the Nokia E71 and E71x phone. It’s version 3.28 for the Nokia E71x and I’ve installed it on my phone. It works fine, I haven’t noticed any major UI changes and sadly, GPS fixes are still just as slow. Sorry! I don’t have a data plan with ATT so don’t fret if you don’t have a data plan either.

e71x-updatedfirmware.png
e71xdeets.png

  • Previously, I used the Nokia PC Suite software for synchronizing, editing, saving my contacts/appointments/tasks, etc. It worked fine, but I remember reading online that Nokia was pushing the Ovi Suite as a more streamlined way doing the above tasks. So, I recently reinstalled Windows 7 on my laptop and instead of installing the Nokia PC Suite software, I installed the Nokia Ovi Suite software. One of the first things that it did was alert me that the software on my Nokia E71x was out-of-date. Whoa!! If you recall, the version shipped with the E71x is v. 3.27 and the Ovi Suite software told me there was v. 3.28 available to upgrade. Now, I’m not crazy, but the thought of doing firmware upgrades on my phone makes me queasy because so. many. things. can go wrong. Before I go on, I’d like to share my story of how I successfully installed this update:
    • First, find out what firmware version you are running because these instructions are for the E71x phones with version 3.27. If you are already syncing with the Ovi Suite software, then check the “Updates” tab and you’ll be told what software version your phone is running. Another way to find out what firmware version you’re running (in Windows 7) is to go to your “Devices and Printers” section and rightclick on the “E71x” device and check the properties tab which also tells you your IMEI number. You will have to have connected your E71x phone in either Mass Storage mode or Image transfer mode to get the E71x” device to show up which is different from the phone
    • Second, please plug your charger into your phone. This is a long-ish process and you don’t want to be running out of battery life or else you’ll end up with a nice coaster
    • Third (and possible most important) Please backup your phone. You can use the Ovi suite software to do this. If you haven’t connected your phone to your PC at all, then install the Ovi Suite software first and follow the instructions to connect your phone via USB. If you’ve already connected your phone to your PC and are using the Nokia PC Suite software, feel free to download the Ovi Suite software and completely uninstall the Nokia PC Suite software. Again, please make sure you have a backup of ALL your phone’s data using the Ovi Suite software. It creates a .nbu file holding the image of your phone’s files. In addition to backing up my phone, I usually export my contact and appointments from Microsoft Outlo0k 2007 just to be on the safe side.
    • Click on the “Updates” tab and you’ll be instructed not to panic if your Windows PC shows your phone connecting and disconnecting rapidly. At one point, the driver installation process appears to have stalled and I simply removed my battery, removed my charger, remove the USB cord and rebooted the phone. After, I put the phone back together (battery, charger and USB cord into the computer), I hit the “retry” button or whatever it instructs you to do after rebooting the phone. Whatever you do, don’t panic if you see an image like this:e71x-firmware.png
    • Long story short, if you feel the installation has stalled, remove the usb plug from your phone, remove battery and charger. Put those items back in and restart the installation.

    So once I updated my phone’s software, I rebooted the Nokia E71x and began the process of synchronizing my contacts/appointments/texts etc with Microsoft Outlook 2007. Here’s what my device manager says about the firmware update:

    Software version: V 03.28
    Software version date: 17-08-09
    Custom version: PI01.01
    Custom version date: 08-18-09
    Language set: 6000.01
    ModeL E71x
    Type: RM-462

    Overall, my return to the E71x hasn’t been too bad. I don’t miss accidentally hanging up calls as I did with the ATT Tilt phone which (shockingly) didn’t have an option to deactivate the touchscreen feature while in a call. Anyway, enjoy and feel free to browse my series of posts about the Nokia E71x through the “Nokia E71x” tag .

Setting up Google Sync with your Nokia E71x phone

Because syncing my contacts and calendar with the Nokia PC Suite application was not enough, I decided that I was going to utilize Google Sync to store my contacts and calendar appointments “in the cloud”. After a couple of tries at getting Google Sync to work on my phone by myself, I realized that I should have just googled it or in this case, binged around on the internet. 🙂 So, I did and turns out that you need to enable only Contacts and Calendar sync to avoid the “System Error. Please try again later” message I was always getting. Here’s a brief video showing as proof that yes, Google Sync will work on your Nokia E71x phone!

Now, a word of warning, if your Google account is filled with random email addresses, guess what will happen when you run synchronize your phone’s contacts and calendar with Google? Yes, it fills it up with said random email addresses. Thankfully, I don’t mind wading through my 350-some contacts and removing junk so good luck and happy hacking on your E71x phone! So, before touching your phone, backup your phone’s contacts, calendar, etc. Caveat emptor. As always, you can keep up with my Nokia E71x posts through the tag, Nokia E71x.

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. Continue reading Applications for productivity and fun on the Nokia E71x