Tag Archives: Mobile Software

My bittersweet relationship with the Nokia E71x, part 1

So, it’s been months now and I can honestly say this about the Nokia E71x phone (pros and cons):

  1. It’s a great starter QWERTY device. I love the keyboard layout and the fact that the @ symbol does not need the shift button to be depressed (you’d be dismayed at how often device manufacturers put extra hoops for you to access this all important symbol). I came from my Palm Treo 750 device which I loved so I was sorta of used to the feel of the keys and I didn’t have a problem with the keys being too small.
  2. Out of the box, it comes with a lot of ATT craplets which (to be fair) are meant to be used through ATT’s data connection. If you signed up for this phone as an upgrade or a new line, chances are you had to pay $30 for the data plan. Don’t ask me how I managed to dodge that bullet, but suffice it to say that I would NOT have purchased this phone if I had to have the data plan. The take home message is: you can get more user-friendly phones for the price you’re paying.
  3. If you purchased this phone to use the built-in GPS properties, save your time and money because my experience with the Nokia Maps software has not been positive. It is worth noting that the Nokia E71x device is not officially supported by Nokia Maps. Thus, it is quite tedious and a bit daunting to install by yourself. The entire idea of the E71x phone was to bring the E71 (worldwide version) to the USA market and thusly, the name E71x. I should also note that ATT preloaded the E71x with their own drive/navigation software which requires another subscription fee. By all accounts, the ATT Navigator software is quite good, but it is NOT available if you don’t have an ATT data plan. the take away is: skip the pain and purchase the E71 phone which is free of ATT’s crippled applications.
  4. My disappointment in the Nokia/Ovi Maps software has been the biggest turnoff for me with this phone. As of today, I’ve uninstalled the Maps application because it royally blows on the E71x. I mean, how hard is it to tell the application to take me from point A to point B? At one point, I had a sneaking suspicion that Ovi Maps had my starting location ‘stuck’ as both the start and end point!! To test my growing suspicion, I decided that I was going to follow the Ovi Map directions strictly. Well, whaddaya know? We ended up right where we started! I would definitely recommend that you do NOT depend on Ovi Maps on the Nokia E71x phone in an emergency. It takes at least 10 minutes or more to get a GPS fix so it’s useless for spontaneous joy rides. I’m officially looking for another alternative software for drive navigation on my E71x. This time, I’ll make sure that the software is 100% compatible with the Nokia E71x phone. Handango’s InHand mobile app recommends the Wayfinder Navigator North America, but I’m not dropping down the asking price of $109 until I read some concrete reviews of the application itself.
  5. Emoze, which is a push email application, can’t handle attachments. Shock and awe! I didn’ t know this until a commenter asked me about it. Sure enough, Emoze could not send a test message and an attachment to save its life. I downloaded Profimail to give it a whirl and I was instantly turned off by the black/white interface. It makes me wish that app developers thought like Apple developers do. Give software some color and soft edges. It makes a world of difference to your software’s usability!
  6. The available twitter clients for E71x are Twittix and Gravity. Save your money and buy Gravity. After suffering in silence with Twittix, I decided to give Gravity a try and I fell in love! His application has color (yes!), it does not require a thousand click (yes!!) and I actually get shit done on it! This app is simply beautiful and it makes living with my Nokia E71x device worthwhile. 🙂 It’s awesomeness is more apparently if you use touch phone. Check this review of the Gravity application out!
  7. For medical professionals, there are a plethora of applications for things like drug interactions, manuals of medicine, etc. Being the curious kitten that I am, I obtained the Mosby’s Nursing Drug reference and the Harrison’s Manual of Medicine. It’s safe to say that I’ll soon become a repository of random trivia about the human body and random drug interactions. The user interface could do with some work, but then again, we are talking about a QWERTY device and not a fancy pants touch screen device. 🙂

I wish I could say I’ve never been happier with this phone, but that would be a lie. Sadly. I’ve got all the applications I thought I’d need so what more do I want? Plain and simple, I am bored with this phone. I thought I’d always be a keyboard/QWERTY girl for life, but I’m a bit tired of peering at small screens. So, my issue is not with the E71x per se, but the fact that I want bigger screen ‘real estate’

PPS: In line with my wish for bigger screen, I’ve purchased a used ATT/HTC Tilt phone!

My recommended gear AND applications for the Nokia E71x phone

So, it’s been close to 3 weeks since I have had the Nokia E71x in my possession. What have I learned?

  1. For starters, get a good case for this slippery phone because it has slipped from my grasp more than once. A skin AND a case would be the recommended because your phone may slip out its case (like mine did).
  2. A good 2.5mm set of ear phones is hard to find so when I read online about the Planktronics Stereo Mobile headset, I was hooked. They arrived yesterday and I’m in hog heaven. 🙂
  3. Invest in a large microSD card. The Nokia E71x officially supports cards up to 8GB, but someone online has a 32GB card in their Nokia E71x phone. Use at your own risk. As for me, I have an 8GB Transcend microSD card and I’ve put a lot of music on it with ~ 5GBs left to spare for applications, files and whatever else. It’s a no-brainer. However, if you refuse to spend any more money on little gizmos, the phone has a generous 140MB of space.
  4. Download the Nokia PC Suite software. I’ve been a Windows Mobile user for a long while and I thought that I had seen all that there was to see. Well, this piece of software from Nokia syncs nicely with versions of Outlook 2003 to the Outlook 2010 technical preview!! I’m using the Outlook 2010 technical preview and that’s how I know. It is essentially a manager for your phone and I can’t sing it’s praises enough. Using the Nokia PC Suite is highly recommended for managing your phone. It’s free and what more could you want? You can choose to connect to the Nokia PC suite via USB or Bluetooth. Hint: use the USB cord for intense work like video transfers, etc. I use Bluetooth when I can’t be bothered with the cord and have time to spare.
  5. Don’t want to spend money on the XM radio application bundled with the phone? Nokia has a free Internet radio application! I’m serious: check it out at Nokia’s website.
  6. Don’t want to spend money on those solitaire apps? Well, I’ve got the ticket for you. Nokia has a free Solitaire application called Top Hits Solitaire. I’ve used it and I can’t see myself spending any more money on games if Solitaire is your thing.
  7. Can’t be bothered to spend yet more money on AT & T’s Navigator software, get Google Maps for Mobile here and if you’ve borked your connection settings, visit this help page on configuration by Google.
  8. Don’t want to plunk down money for a fancy schmancy E-book reader? There are two free Ebook readers available for the Nokia E71x device that I know about and have written about. There are hundreds of free Ebooks available as well for use with the Ebook reader. I will recommend getting a dictionary application if you are like me i.e. wanting to read old texts and realizing that they use a lot of ‘big’ words. Speaking of dictionary applications, I would recommend you pony up for the Merriam Webster Third New International (Unabridged) Edition which is the costliest of all versions on Penreader website, but it’s worth it because of the sheer number of words present.
  9. Don’t feel like using the trial software that ATT loaded this phone with, use X-plore to get rid of the applications and see this post on Nokia Experts for more details. You will save yourself the trouble of accidentally subscribing for something and free up a lot of memory. You’ll be glad you did.
  10. Don’t forget to spread the love by supporting the development of quality software by purchasing mobile software from the developers. My main sources for mobile software are: Handango, Handmark, Penreader and other developers talked about on blogs or websites.
  11. For more information, get product support and software from Nokia’s website here and visit here for Nokia E71x support. Nokia can be reached on mobiles by going to http://nokia.mobi on your device.

I hope this monster post was of use to you. Please leave questions or comments on this post and I’ll attend to them as quickly as I can. Cheers!