Nokia killed Symbian. Many links to Symbian apps on this site have expired. Check out Android Underground.

Thursday, 11 December 2008

Nokia PC Suite 7.1: few new features, many bad habits

Nokia PC Suite and Linux alternative methods
The old versions of Nokia PC Suite took forever to install, especially if you don't have Microsoft .net framework already set up on your computer, which is a heavy requirement for a program that's bloated already. Once installed, they didn't run very fast either. But since PC Suite is a necessary evil for tasks like backing up your phone, it's hard to avoid it.

The latest edition of Nokia PC Suite has the same bad habits as the previous versions, but it comes with some extra features. Nokia Communication Center is built into PC Suite 7.1. Main advantage: it's a lot easier to edit the calendar of your phone from your computer.

As usual, Nokia PC Suite adds many entries to your list of autostarting programs and services. It takes lots of tweaking to ensure that the bits and pieces of PC Suite only speak when spoken to instead of launching all by themselves.

You can access Nokia Map Loader from Nokia PC Suite, but there is another way to get maps on your phone without having to install any Nokia software on your computer. PC Suite won't let you into the system folders of your phone, but there's a method to get in anyway.

Mac? Linux? Then there's no PC Suite for you. Linux users have a few alternatives to get some of the functions of PC Suite on their computers.

Nokia PC Suite:

Nokia PC Suite

Nokia PC Suite extras:

Trick to make PC Suite let you into the system folders of your phone memory
Nokia PC Suite Cleaner trashes the junk that PC Suite's own uninstaller fails to remove

Nokia PC Suite alternatives:

Back up messages without PC Suite
Back up calendar entries without PC Suite
Get maps on your phone without Nokia Map Loader or PC Suite

Nokia PC Suite alternatives for Linux:

PC Suite alternatives for Linux

1 comment:

Richard said...

As the relatively happy owner of a smart new N85, I immediately set about trying every possible software add-on that looked useful; some bad experiences but in the main I now have a tool that is useful and fun. Noting that the latest Nokia PC suite enables editing the calendar from ones computer I offer my experience. With total distrust of PC suite "upgrades" I have not gone this route. sticking with version 6.86, it works although tends to burn temporary marks on my desktop wallpaper. My first add-on was the excellent "Google mobile" which gives access to Gmail, Gcal, YouTube, GoogleMaps etc (one has to install some of the individual software packages as well, but all went smoothly for me). For syncing my phone calendar I use Googasync. I happily paid for this utility after trying it and, in comparison, the "Mail for Exchange" route (too ugly to mention. Googasync enables two way syncing of multiple Google calendars with to-dos, alarms, appointments... and has turned my phone into a real workhorse.

I tried the Nokia Messenger (Email) add-on but it is really unnecessary with gmail and the existing messaging email utility. It's not clear to me what Nokia are thinking of doing with this (possibly paid for once out of Beta) application. It is quite smart but it should replace the existing email application rather than confusingly run alongside it.

I also installed the nice VNC+ app for controlling any computer OS. Very cute and works nicely over WiFi.

The other great app I installed is Fring. A little marvel which only needs the addition of Myspace to make me happy. Mind you, video calling would be fun given that the N85 has the hardware for it.

I'm not sure about the Opera Mobile trial. It is possibly worth a few Euros but the N85 onboard browser solution seems pretty good so far.

I note that it is a good idea to take full backups of the phone before every new app install. This saved my bacon once as I was able to restore the phone to a previous working state.

Oh well, back to some real work now.