Sunday, December 19, 2010

Skype 1.5 for Symbian

Skype recently released Skype 1.5 for Symbian.  Still no video support, but the SILK coded is now included.  The interface has been updated slightly, the biggest change being the ability to use your phone contacts rather than maintaining a separate list of contacts in Skype.

On a few Skype-Skype calls, the sound quality was noticeably improved with the SILK codec.  There was still some distortion of background noise, but the voice quality was great - crisp and clear.  Even calls to the PSTN sounded a bit better.  I like Skype for it's ability to work under packet loss and behind firewalls when SIP calling fails - something I commonly encounter with public hotspots and hotels.

Another feature I only recently became aware of but was apparently added in v1.2 is DTMF support.  The user has to switch the keypad into numeric mode first, but once it is done it is possible to navigate IVR menus with touch-tones.  I hope in a future version the Skype app will switch the keypad into numeric mode automatically during a call.

Its free, installs easily, has no intrusive ads and works well; I recommend installing it on your E71 and any other supported Symbian device.

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Google Sync with Nokia MFE

I had been using Googles SyncML service for contacts & GooSync for calendar. When the GooSync free service ended, I looked for alternatives. CalDav may be an option in the future, butNokia MFE was all I could find that is available now. It was an easy download from, and I soon had MFE 3.00(50) installed.

Configuration involved entering my gmail address & password, using for the exchange server, enable calendar & contact sync, and disable mail sync (GMail supports IMAP so there's no need for MFE support in GMail). One glitch I ran into was after running the MFE setup I got an error trying to access my email through nokia messaging. MFE gets added to the Messaging settings and it seems to reset the mail storage to phone (I store my mail on my microSD card).

After the initial sync I ended up with a couple duplicate calendar entries as I had set them up on the phone and online. I tested updating a contact on my phone, and I was able to see the changes in Google contacts within minutes. So far so good...

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Maps 3.0

Nokia/Ovi Maps 3.0 is available for the e71. The Ovi Maps 3.0 download is a 19.3MB file - "Setup_Nokia_Maps_Updater_1.0.10.exe". I first loaded Nokia PC Suite with my E71 connected via USB. The update ran smoothly, replacing the Nokia Maps 2.0 with Ovi maps. After launching (Menu -> GPS -> Maps) it complained about "incompatible licenses", and after connecting online it reported "no compatible licenses found".

I downloaded and installed the Map Loader; a 27.5MB file "NokiaMaploaderSetup_ENU.exe". I had previously tried loading v2.0 maps using the Symbian Underground instructions. I always ended up with map layer synch issues, and the official Nokia Maps 2.0 loader was missing from the nokia site. In the end I just used wifi & mobile data to load map data.

The map loader reported as version 3.0.28, and appears to use MS .NET. I chose to download the Canada maps since their isn't enough room left on my 2GB card for all of North America. After loading the maps I tested zooming in/out; there was no sign of out-of-sync layers. My saved places were all maintained from Maps 2.0 and the map graphics look a bit better too. Assisted GPS still requires a GSM data connection, something Google Maps can do with just a wifi connection.

Monday, October 5, 2009

Nokia firmware tools

I've found that Nokia usually releases firmware for European e71 models before North America, and even then only for certain product numbers of the North American (RM-357) e71-2.
I've found a few programs that are helpful for getting the latest firmware.
According to Navifirm, Nokia has posted a v300.21.12 for the RM-357 product code 0559453, so now you can use the official Nokia software updater after changing your product code with NSS.

Thursday, August 27, 2009


I tested out Truphone 4.00(8362) on my e71. On installation, it adds a truphone SIP account to the phone's SIP settings. This is nice in that the service can be used without running the associated application. The call quality was good for a couple test calls I made to Google-411. I also tried calling to my gmail voice & video chat. To call from truphone, call The truphone contact will show up as

The call quality was good, but the latency was high (over one second) for both of my test calls to gmail voice & video chat. Unlike Nimbuzz, Truphone doesn't display presence information for gmail contacts.

Truphone is available through sipbroker; I tested calling a sipbroker local access number and used *878 to call my phone and to call into truphone voicemail (*8781571).

Truphone promotes their long distance and SMS messaging services. Long distance calling to the US/Canada is 2.1c/min; reasonable but good quality voip termination is available from other services for half that rate. At 20c per message, I can't see why anyone would use their SMS service. Google voice lets you send to US/Canada for free.

Truphone gets points for being easy to setup and use, but lacks skype calling and its paid services are a bit overpriced.

Monday, August 17, 2009


I tried out Nimbuzz 2.0.3 rev 1535. The interface is good for chat; google chat presence detection was reasonably fast and chatting worked well. The program beeps when a chat message arrives, so I could leave my phone logged and respond when I hear the beep.

Support for Google Talk is claimed, but not GMail voice chat. The program has it's own interface to the Symbian address book for making calls; it seems rather redundant to me since the phone can already make SIP calls from the built-in address book.

Skype presence detection and calling seems to work well, which IMHO is one of the best features of the program. fring is supposed to do this too, something I intend to test out.

Monday, August 10, 2009


Nokia's SIP calling works very well. Configuration can be a bit cumbersome, but with Gizmo(SipPhone) it was easy to use their application that does the configuration for you. I often use Wifi SIP calling for toll-free numbers, and using Google 411 lets me call any business (or at least those that Google can find) for free.

I also use CallWithUs because their service allows me to set the caller ID; with Gizmo I can't (without paying an extra fee), which leads to problems calling some toll-free numbers.

For good call quality, the wifi signal strength needs to be high; I find anything less than 75% leads gaps in the audio. And if I try using a bluetooth headset, I need close to 100% Wifi signal strength or else the audio gets choppy.