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



Friday, 18 September 2009

Nokia thinks Ovi Suite 2.0 is almost ready for release, but they're wrong

Nokia Ovi Suite
Nokia Ovi Suite 2.0 is still in beta testing, but the people at Nokia Beta Labs believe it's almost ready to turn loose.

Nokia Ovi Suite combines the functions of Nokia PC Suite, Map Loader, and Nokia Software Updater. Unfortunately the program still runs like quicksand, and Nokia apparently has no plans to release lightweight standalone programs for simple tasks like using your phone as a modem or moving files from your PC to your phone and vice versa. If you use a netbook or other mini computer without the system resources of a fully equipped desktop machine you'll find Nokia Ovi Suite close to useless.

It's unlikely that Nokia will make a Linux version of Ovi Suite, and it doesn't work under WINE either. Nobody knows if and when Mac support will be added. Nokia believes that everybody mails with Outlook, and keeps ignoring you if you use programs like Lotus Notes or Mozilla Thunderbird.

the new Nokia Ovi Suite UPDATE: This link is dead. And so is Symbian.

the old Nokia PC Suite UPDATE: This link is dead. And so is Symbian.
trick to make Nokia PC Suite let you into the system folders of your phone memory

Alternatives for Ovi Suite or PC Suite:

Linux programs with a little bit of PC Suite functionality
DAO4Sync, a lightweight computer-to-phone-and-back synchronisation tool
download maps for Nokia Maps with just a web browser
backup options for hacked phones: access points, bluetooth devices, bookmarks, calendar, cookies, messages, notes, profiles, and T9 dictionary
ActiveFile backs up and restores SMS messages much better than PC Suite
Contacts Transfer backs up, restores, and transfers contacts including pictures and caller groups


Thursday, 17 September 2009

Opera Mini 5 beta test: some things got better, some things did not

Opera Mini 5 beta test version, mobile Java web browser, Symbian phones
Proxy-based data compressing mobile phone web browser Opera Mini received a major overhaul.

The start page now shows nine bookmarks ("speed dials") as big squares with page previews. "My Opera," "BBC News," and "Wikipedia" came out of the box and I couldn't find a way to delete or edit them, which leaves only 6 bookmarks on the start screen to play with.

When you select "menu" you don't get the normal menu that every other mobile phone program displays, but a horizontal menu bar with a shortcut to the home screen, back/forward/reload buttons, an exit key, and a dropdown menu to go to your bookmarks, settings, etc. This may work on a computer screen with a mouse, but it gets annoying real quick on phones with a classic keypad.

Opera Mini 5 comes with tabbed browsing, but changing tabs requires a trip to the menu, because in normal page view the cursor gets stuck just below the tab bar.

There's no T9 predictive text in Opera Mini 5. Copy/paste works, but to make it work in the URL entry and search box you have to dig deep down into the settings menu and switch "inline editing" off.

Google comes as the default search engine. I couldn't find a way to change it, but maybe custom search engines come in a later version? Opera Mini 5 has a password manager, and if you click into the settings screen you'll find a submenu called "privacy" to delete passwords, cookies, and other information that you don't want to fall into the wrong hands.

You can select and copy text from web pages in Opera Mini and feed it into a Google or Wikipedia search. You can't paste copied text into other appications (Notes, text editors, etc.) directly, but there's a workaround for that: if you paste the text into an Opera Mini Google or Wikipedia search box and copy it again (this time from the search box), you can paste it into other programs.

Opera Mini 5 crashed occasionally on my phones, but maybe the program gets more stable as testing continues. Bookmark synchronisation and file download should be added later as well.

The beta test version of Opera Mini 5 installs separately from the old version, so you can test the beta edition without overwriting your old version of Opera Mini. That's a good thing, because version 5 is not ready to replace Opera Mini 4 yet.

• Opera Mini 5 beta test version
the old Opera Mini


Wednesday, 16 September 2009

Counting up and down: EggClock and Timers

Countdown timer and stopwatch for Symbian S60 mobile phones: EggClock and Timers
Every mobile phone has a built-in stopwatch and a countdown timer. Well, almost every mobile phone. If your phone runs on Symbian, there's no stopwatch and no countdown timer. You can download timer and stopwatch programs, but these usually cost more than a hardware egg timer from the supermarket.

Freeware timers and stopwatches for Symbian are in short supply. Buzzer is a free countdown timer, but this is a mobile Java program that requires a profile with warning tones switched on to sound alarms. Things look better if you want to count up, because QuickStopwatch is a pretty good mobile Java application.

EggClock is a free Symbian countdown timer. It works without warning tones, and you can set any sound file on your phone as alarm tone. Drawbacks: it won't store multiple timers, and the maximum timer duration is 100 minutes. EggClock is available for Symbian S60 3rd ed., and also for S60 5th ed., which runs on touchscreen Nokia phones.

Timers has a countdown timer and a very simple stopwatch. Unfortunately Timer is a mobile Java program that requires a profile with warning tones to make sound. It can run multiple timers, but it won't store them: when you exit the program all your timers are gone. Timers won't let you set seconds (only hours and minutes), and it won't let you choose your own alarm tone but only uses its own built-in beep.

EggClock 1.5 (for Symbian S60 3th ed.) from Ziddu UPDATE: This link is dead. And so is Symbian.
EggClock 1.6 (for Symbian S60 5th ed.) from Ziddu UPDATE: This link is dead. And so is Symbian.
Timers (at GetJar)


Sunday, 13 September 2009

Nokia Messaging: instant messaging beta test from Nokia adds Google Talk

Nokia Messaging IM Beta
If you want to have text chats on your mobile phone, there are plenty of free Symbian instant messaging programs to choose from. Nimbuzz, fring, Palringo, Slick, and more.

Nokia Messaging is an email client, Facebook application, and instant messenger combined. For more about its email features, check this review.

The instant messenger part of Nokia Messaging is no match for the competition. Nokia Messaging only connects to Yahoo and Nokia's Ovi chat network, and since the latest update it does Google Talk too.

Since Nokia likes to make things as confusing as possible, Nokia Messaging comes in two flavors. There's Nokia Messaging IM Beta, which only works on the Nokia E63, E71, and E75. Nokia Messaging Social Messaging Beta (UPDATE: This link is dead. And so is Symbian.) works on the Nokia 6700 Classic and the N97. And then there's a third program which does what Nokia Messaging IM Beta finally learned to do: Ovi Contacts is an instant messenger that connects to Google Talk and other Jabber-based networks.

It looks like there are a couple of teams at Nokia Beta Labs who're programming similar applications with overlapping functions, and who don't have any idea what their colleagues are doing.

All these chat and mail programs will probably be merged into a single product. Maybe Nokia Messaging will turn into something useful, but in their present state Ovi Contacts and both flavors of Nokia Messaging are so close to useless that you better stick with the competition for the time being.

Nokia Messaging IM Beta from Nokia Beta Labs UPDATE: This link is dead. And so is Symbian.


Saturday, 12 September 2009

No recording tone: record phone calls without the beep

No recording tone, remove beep, beepless recording, ROMPatcher, Symbian S60, Nokia
When you record a phone call, it's polite (and sometimes legally required) to let the other end know you're recording the conversation.

But Nokia is overdoing it. When you record a call with your mobile phone's built-in recorder (or another recording program) your phone will play a beep every fifteen seconds. This gets annoying real quick.

Some recording programs let you remove the beep, but if you have a new phone with new firmware not only the beep is removed, but there are gaps in the recording where the beep used to be.

But you can have beepless recording without gaps.

If you've hacked your phone and installed ROMPatcher, you can run wadowice's ROMPatcher patches that really removes the beep. When you activate the patch, there'll be nore more beeps no matter what program you use to record your calls.

I got best results when I combined the ROMPatcher patch with Ultimate Voice Recorder. I left the beep on in the settings of Ultimate Voice Recorder (to prevent the program from inserting gaps), because the patch suppressed them anyway. It also works with Total Recall. Unfortunately Ultimate Voice Recorder and Total Recall are not free. For free beepless call recording just run the ROMPatcher patch together with your phone's built-in recorder, but keep in mind that Nokia's recorder application stops recording when you move to the call screen, for example when you need to punch some numbers in. If you know of another free call recorder that works with the No Recording Tone patches, please leave a comment or click the contact link on the bottom of this page.

Remove Recording Tone patches at symbian underground
Remove Recording Tone patches at the Symbian Freak forum (signup/login required) UPDATE: This link is dead. And so is Symbian.


Friday, 11 September 2009

Useless for Symbian: The Ultimate File Explorer and File browser

mobile phone file managers The Ultimate File Explorer and File browser
When you call your application The Ultimate File Explorer the users of your program will have very high expectations. The author promises a lot: "This is the last file manager that you will ever need! The Ultimate File Explorer contains all the essential features that you will ever need in a file manager."

But The Ultimate File Explorer fails on every promise. It's coded in mobile Java, so it starts up horribly slow. Even worse, your phone pops up security warnings each and every time you open a folder, file, or navigate back to where you came from. Some mobile Java programs let you switch off those warnings in Symbian's application manager, but for The Ultimate File Explorer "ask every time" is the best you can get, which makes this file manager useless on all but the oldest phones. Even if you click "yes" on all the warnings, that doesn't mean The Ultimate File Explorer will manage to open all your own, unlocked, supposedly accessible folders. Folders like E:\images and E:\music on my memory card should open easily, but The Ultimate File Explorer chokes on just about everything on my memory card. I tried it on two different phones with two different memory cards, so it's safe to state that the problem is with The Ultimate File Explorer, not with my phones or memory cards.

Another attempt at an alternative file manager is the Python program File browser Modded by Caominh171. This doesn't suffer from the security issues that bite mobile Java programs. Unfortunately the program failed to open on my phones, even though I installed them on the same drive as the latest official release of Python. So I couldn't test if File browser Modded by Caominh171 really opens system folders, RAR archives, and WMV movies as promised by the author.

Until something better comes along, I'll keep managing the files on my phones with ActiveFile and X-plore. These programs are far from perfect, but they're a million times better than The Ultimate File Explorer and File browser Modded by Caominh171.

The Ultimate File Explorer
File browser v1.00 Modded by Caominh171 UPDATE: This link is dead. And so is Symbian.

This review was stolen by the copycats of nokiashare.blogspot.com because these thieves are too stupid to write their own stories.


Thursday, 10 September 2009

Instant messenger Palringo runs slightly faster

Palringo Symbian mobile phone instant messenger
Instant messenger program Palringo connects to MSN (Windows Live), AOL (AIM), Yahoo, Google Talk, ICQ, Jabber, Facebook Chat, and the niche networks QQ, Gadu-Gadu, and MobileMe (iChat). Palringo also runs a collection of chatrooms. You can share your location with other people, but only if they use Palringo too.

Palringo can send voice messages, but it can't make real VoIP calls like Nimbuzz, fring, and Talkonaut. Palringo doesn't connect to Skype, not even to Skype's instant messaging network.

The latest edition of Palringo compresses outgoing data, which makes communications slightly faster, but the speed improvement is so small that you probably won't notice it. If you have a touch screen phone you might find the user interface slightly better, and a bug that bit the Samsung Omnia HD was fixed.

Palringo (download through SMS link)
Palringo direct download page UPDATE: This link is dead. And so is Symbian.


Tuesday, 8 September 2009

PowerGrasp makes and extracts zip, tar, and gz files

PowerGrasp mobile phone zip rar gz manager
Most modern Symbian phones come with a built-in zip file manager, but what about other data compression formats?

PowerGrasp makes and extracts zip, tar, and gz archives.

The bad news: PowerGrasp comes as a mobile Java jar installer. Trying to access the file system (to read and make compressed files) makes our phone pop up a security warning for every file or folder you open. And because PowerGrasp is unsigned there's no way to tell your phone to stop throwing endless repetitive warnings at you. This makes PowerGrasp unusable on many Nokias.

The good news: you don't need PowerGrasp. Bluetooth File Transfer Lite can handle zip, tar, jar, nth, and thm archives, and you can switch off the security warnings for this program in Symbian's application manager. If you need to open (but not create) rar files, FreeUnRAR will do the job. MobileRar unpacks zip, rar, and 7z files, and file manager X-plore can extract zip, rar, and jar archives.

PowerGrasp v2.53 (english translation) on Ziddu UPDATE: This link is dead. And so is Symbian.


Monday, 7 September 2009

Symbian task manager KillMe kills bugs

Symbian mobile phone task manager KillMe
Symbian S60 task manager KillMe groups the processes (including the hidden ones) that run on your mobile phone according to whether your phone really needs them to keep running.

KillMe is the easiest way to close programs that can't be killed from Symbian's built-in task manager. If a program gets stuck and won't quit, KillMe will make it go away. You can also use KillMe to close non-essential processes to free some memory if you're running low.

The latest KillMe update kills a few bugs.

KillMe doesn't have its own website in english yet, but you can get KillMe in english at Mobile Castle. You'll need to sign the program or hack your phone to install unsigned programs.

If you try to install the new version of KillMe on top of an older version and your phone pops up an "update error," uninstall the old version and try again.

KillMe v1.36 at MediaFire UPDATE: This link is dead. And so is Symbian.

This entry was stolen by the copycats of nokiashare.blogspot.com because these thieves are too stupid to write their own stories.


Sunday, 6 September 2009

Talkonaut fixes bugs but forgets Skype, fring twitters faster, Nokia Messaging plays with Facebook, Fake Messages reads your phone book

Talkonaut Symbian call and chat instant messaging and SIP VoIP fring VoIP Skype instant messaging Twitter Facebook orkut on Nokia Symbian S60

Still no Skype and Facebook in Talkonaut

Instant messenger and VoIP client Talkonaut talks to Jabber (including Google Talk), ICQ, MSN, AIM, and Yahoo. And it lets you call using almost every VoIP service that uses the SIP protocol.

The latest update fixes some very minor bugs, but the main Talkonaut flaw remains: Talkonaut doesn't work with Skype. It doesn't work with Facebook Chat either.

On the bright side, Talkonaut lets you store multiple SIP VoIP settings, which competing programs Nimbuzz and fring still do not.

Talkonaut


Faster Twitter for fring

VoIP client and multi-network instant messenger fring connects you to Skype and standard SIP VoIP, GoogleTalk, MSN (Windows Live), ICQ, Yahoo, AIM, Twitter, and social networking sites like Facebook and orkut. Fring is also a GMail notifier, last.fm radio player, Facebook tool, Twitter application, and it includes Wi-Fi hotspot finder WeFi.

The latest fring version adds support for the Nokia E52 and E72, fixes some connection bugs, and Twitter on fring is faster now.

fring


Push email - Nokia Messaging
Nokia Messaging adds HTML email to touchscreen phones and plays with Facebook

Nokia Messaging is an instant messaging progr...- oh wait, that would be Ovi Contacts. Nokia Email is dead, and its replacement carries a confusing name which hints at instant messaging rather than email.

The latest update adds HTML support for touchscreen Nokias like the N97 and 5800 XpressMusic, but the page layout in HTML emails is still not always what the author intended, and some inline images don't display at all.

Nokia Messaging leaves many processes running when you close the program, and these processes keep your internet connection alive. To make sure you really go offline when you shut down the email client, enter the options menu and go offline before you shut down the email program.

Nokia wants to know your phone number before you can download Nokia Messaging. Why can't they simply put a download link online instead of insisting on an on-the-fly install from an SMS?

The push email service is free for the time being, but it may cost money after the beta trial is over, and payment by SMS is definitely an option. Maybe that's why Nokia wants to know my phone number?

Or maybe they want my number because of this:

According to Nokia Beta Labs, "As a part of Nokia Messaging, we expect operators to offer email, IM and in the future, mobile social networking all for one fixed low price."

Mail, IM, and social networking only? Are the people at Nokia Beta Labs aware of operators offering all of the internet for a fixed price? Whether this fixed price is "low" is a matter of opinion, but "fixed high price" doesn't sound good to the guys and girls at the marketing department.

Nokia's answer to their expectation of what operators may offer for a fixed high/low price is the integration of Facebook in an experimental version of Nokia Messaging. This test version is aimed at the Nokia N97 and Nokia 6700 Classic, and it probably won't work properly on other phones. Other social networks may be included later, and support for other phone models is sure to follow.

Nokia Messaging with social networking installs itself on "C" (your phone's internal memory), and that's where it caches pictures too. If you have a crowded C drive and plenty of space on your memory card, the inability to make the program store its files on "E" becomes annoying real quick. To make things worse, all those Facebook images show up in between your photos in Symbian's gallery too. They've got plenty of things to fix at Nokia Beta Labs.

Nokia Messaging
Nokia Messaging beta test version


Fake Messages SMS creator for Symbian
Fake Messages talks to your phone book

If nobody sends you an SMS, why not send some to yourself? Fake Messages by Jukka Silvennoinen does just that. Receiving a fake SMS at the right time may be your escape ticket out of a boring meeting (sorry boss, gotta go, girlfriend just told me house is on fire).

The user interface of Fake Messages is now available in 17 languages.

The message entry box of Fake Messages doesn't support T9 predictive text, and the program only fakes incoming SMSs. If you want to fake outgoing messages as well, try the fake SMS feature of ActiveFile.

The unsigned version of Fake Messages is free, but you'll have to run it through Symbian Signed before you can install it on your phone, or sign it with your own certificate, or hack your phone to break free from Symbian Signed.

The signed version is comes bundled with adtronic. Adtronic is an intrusive piece of adware that pops up advertisements when you receive calls and messages, so better get the unsigned version. Signing the program or hacking your phone takes a bit of time and effort, but allowing adtronic to pollute your phone is much worse.

Fake Messages


Saturday, 5 September 2009

YouTube video downloader YourTube free again, Sleep Music for Feature Pack 2 too

YourTube YouTube video downloader for mobile phones
YourTube

YouTube won't let you download movies to your mobile phone for offline viewing. Enter YourTube, a YouTube downloader that searches videos on YouTube and lets you save them in three video formats (mp4, flv, and 3gp) and different quality settings. YouTube is a mobile Java program, so when you save a movie to your phone it will pop up some security warnings. And sometimes more than some.

YourTube was free, went commercial, but the latest version is free again. Some bugs were fixed too, although that doesn't necessarily mean YourTube will work on your phone. YouTube tries to block video downloader programs like YourTube, and on phones with tight mobile Java security the numerous security popups that need to be clicked away make YourTube unusable.

YourTube

A better way to download YouTube movies is through your mobile web browser:

• Youtube Mobile Downloader: www.mfws.ro/m.youtube.com UPDATE: this link expired
• Youtube Downloader: www.mfws.ro/youtube.com UPDATE: this link expired

You can download movies from RedTube too.


Sleep Music

Symbian mobile phone timer Sleep Music can switch off your music player, any other program, or even our entire phone. If your phone has an accelerometer, Sleep Music can change the song if you shake you shake your phone. Sleep Music responds to the buttons of some headsets too.

Sleep Music only used to work on Symbian S60 3rd ed. Feature Pack 1 (and pre-FP1 phones), but the latest update works on Feature Pack 2 too. It doesn't work with Symbian S60 5th ed., which means Sleep Music is not compatible with touchscreen Nokias like the N97 and 5800 Xpress Music. Maybe a future update will take care of that?

Sleep Music is not easy to install. It comes as four different .sis files which you have to sign if your phone is not set free, and it needs Python too.

Sleep Music


Friday, 4 September 2009

Theme Scheduler, Profile Scheduler, and Key Lock Clock speak more languages

Theme Scheduler by Dr. Jukka for Symbian S60Profile Scheduler

Theme Scheduler changes the theme of your mobile phone on schedule, schedules the background image of your active standby screen, and it can link themes to your current active profile.

Profile Scheduler automatically switches profiles on your phone, so you'll never forget to put it on ultraloud when you go out, or to activate silent mode for classes or scheduled business meetings.

Theme Scheduler and Profile Scheduler now speak eight extra languages, bringing the total to 20.

Both programs come in two flavors: signed and unsigned. The unsigned versions are free, but you'll have to run them through Symbian Signed before you can install 'em on your phone, or sign 'em with your own certificate, or hack your phone to break free from Symbian Signed.

The signed versions are bundled with adtronic, an intrusive piece of adware that pollutes your phone with advertisements when you get called or receive an SMS. That's right: adtronic puts ads on your screen even when Theme Scheduler and Profile Scheduler are not running! So better get the unsigned versions of Theme Scheduler and Profile Scheduler. Signing the program or hacking your phone takes a little extra work, but having adtronic on your phone is much worse.

KeyLockClock Symbian S60 clock screensaver
Key Lock Clock is only available as an unsigned test version. On the bright side, it's not bundled with adtronic.

Key Lock Clock displays a clock on your screen when you lock the keypad, which is especially useful on 60 3rd ed. Feature Pack 2 phones without a built-in "set clock as screensaver" option. Key Lock Clock lets you set your own clock font, light intensity, background color, and light timeout period.

The latest update fixes bugs and adds languages, bringing the total language count to twenty.

Theme Scheduler
themes to feed to Theme Scheduler
Profile Scheduler
Key Lock Clock


Thursday, 3 September 2009

New Nokia Ovi Suite beta test version a little faster and a little less hungry for memory

Nokia Ovi Suite
Nokia PC Suite is about to die. Nokia Ovi Suite is meant to take its place.

Nokia Ovi Suite is a Jack of all trades that combines the functions of Nokia PC Suite, Map Loader, and Nokia Software Updater.

One program to do it all... sounds good in theory, but do you really want to launch a slow, overweight resource hog for a simple lightweight task like hooking up your laptop to your phone's internet connection, making a quick backup of your SMS messages, or installing a program on your phone that you've downloaded to your computer?

If the answer to the last question is yes, Ovi Suite may be for you. The latest update of the Ovi Suite beta test series adds installation of .sis and .jar files on your phone by simply doubleclicking them on your PC.

But Ovi Suite is still horribly slow, and it eats loooooots of memory. The latest test release improves things a little bit, but don't try Ovi Suite or PC Suite on your netbook if you don't have the patience of a monk.

Ovi Suite requires a screen resolution of at least 1024x768 pixels, which may be a problem for netbooks, minilaptops, and other computers with small screens. It shares PC Suite's requirement for Microsoft's .NET framework. It's unlikely that Nokia will make a Linux version, and it doesn't work under WINE either. Nobody knows if and when Mac support will be added.

Nokia still believes that everybody mails with Outlook, and keeps ignoring you if you use programs like Lotus Notes or Mozilla Thunderbird.

• the new Nokia Ovi Suite

• the old Nokia PC Suite
trick to make Nokia PC Suite let you into the system folders of your phone memory

Alternatives for Ovi Suite or PC Suite:

Linux programs with a little bit of PC Suite functionality
DAO4Sync, a lightweight computer-to-phone-and-back synchronisation tool
download maps for Nokia Maps with just a web browser
backup options for hacked phones: access points, bluetooth devices, bookmarks, calendar, cookies, messages, notes, profiles, and T9 dictionary
ActiveFile backs up and restores SMS messages much better than PC Suite
Contacts Transfer backs up, restores, and transfers contacts including pictures and caller groups


Wednesday, 2 September 2009

Google Maps chases americans through traffic, Ovi Maps easier to touch

Google Maps for Symbian S60 mobile phones
Google Maps

Google Maps (with maps, satellite and aerial images, and street view) still doesn't do voice navigation. It has text navigation, but if you don't have someone to read the instructions for you then using text navigation while driving is a very effective way to smash your car into something.

Google Maps can overlay its maps and aerial pictures with Wikipedia entries, public transport lines, and traffic information.

That traffic information has to come from somewhere, and if you happen to drive around in the USA then the traffic info comes from you. If you're outside the USA, traffic info in Google Maps is still useless, if it exists at all.

When you're stuck in a traffic jam your GPS knows that you're not moving, and this allows Google Maps to send your lack of movement to Google Maps HQ. This may help other people to avoid the traffic jam that you got yourself stuck into.

If you're speeding along an empty highway your GPS tells Google Maps that the road is clear, so sharing this information will send more cars your way.

You may feel this invades your privacy, so if you don't want Google Maps to track your movements just keep "My Location" in Google Maps switched off, or use another navigation program. If you want to contribute to Google's traffic analysis, then keep Google Maps with "My Location" running.

Google Maps (on the fly installer, only works from your phone's built-in web browser)


Ovi Maps, Nokia Maps, navigation, Beta, Nokia Map Loader Alternative, Nokia Maps Updater
Ovi Maps

Ovi Maps is the successor of the old Nokia Maps. The beta test version for touchscreen Nokias works a little better now. It starts a bit faster, search is improved, and the menu features one touch access to content and services like Lonely Planet guides (which cost extra, and which are of much lesser quality than the Lonely Planet books).

But it's still a beta test version, and there are still plenty of bugs. If you just want a version that works you're better off with the old version.

Ovi Maps beta for Symbian S60 5th ed. touchscreen Nokia phones
Ovi Maps
free one week navigation trial
• archived copy of the old Nokia Maps 2.0 which lets you try navigation and guides without limits
get Ovi Maps without having to use Nokia Maps Updater
Nokia Map Loader Alternative: get maps for Nokia Maps and Ovi Maps directly, works on Mac and Linux too


Tuesday, 1 September 2009

Dictionary by Vikrant P. Chavan bigger but not better, BabelDict speaks more languages

Dictionary by Vikrant P. Chavan, BabelDict online mobile phone dictionary
Dictionary by Vikrant P. Chavan

The latest update of mobile Java program Dictionary by Vikrant P. Chavan (not to be confused with Dictionary by Simon Judge) adds more words, and the user interface is slightly changed.

But the flaws of the previous editions remain unfixed.

When you launch Dictionary by Vikrant P. Chavan it shows an animated, Matrix-like screen, which is not to everyone's taste. You can't configure it to go straight to the main screen, and you can only exit the program with the red key unless you go back to the Matrix-like start screen.

The user interface has a few more annoying features. The main window features two distracting lines of scrolling text to promote the program and its maker, and "Backspace" is counterintuitively tied to the right softkey. Hitting the clear key of your phone doesn't just delete the letter entered last, but the entire word. And the program still doesn't support T9 predictive text.

Dictionary by Vikrant P. Chavan tries to go online on startup, and it doesn't tell you why. Hitting the left softkey when it's labeled "select" also fires up the "go online?" security warning.

When a word has multiple meanings, Dictionary by Vikrant P. Chavan it doesn't describe them all.

There are plenty of reasons to use another dictionary application on your phone. The only reasons for using Dictionary by Vikrant P. Chavan are its bookmark option, and because it contains some interesting words that are censored by other dictionaries.

Dictionary by Vikrant P. Chavan on GetJar

Other offline dictionaries:
MDictionary
DictionaryForMIDs
Nokia Mobile Dictionary (only works on Symbian S60 3rd ed. feature pack 1)


BabelDict

Online mobile phone dictionary BabelDict added two more languages to its vocabulary and now speaks english, spanish, french, german, portuguese, dutch, italian, russian, polish, and hungarian.

The official BabelDict site offers a .jad file, which fires up the mobile internet connection of your phone to download the corresponding .jar file. But you can download both files to your computer from GetJar and Mobile Castle.

BabelDict
BabelDict at GetJar


Monday, 31 August 2009

Free your phone: ROMPatcher+ updated and included in latest HelloOX2 hack

ROMPatcher, ROMPatcher+, HelloOX, and HelloOX for Symbian mobile phones

ROMPatcher+ by Il.Socio is a ROMPatcher spinoff that's being updated a lot lately. ROMPatcher+ lacks the "caps off" option in the menu. Instead, switching capability checking off is now done with a standard ROMPatcher patch. This may stop people from trying to disable capability checking on phones that don't support it.

You can apply and switch off patches in ROMPatcher+ with a single push on the button now. Some old ROMPatcher bugs were fixed, hitting "patch info" displays all info lines of a patch, and it works on touchscreens too. You don't need to store patches on drive E anymore, because ROMPatcher+ can run .rp files no matter what drive they're stored on.

ROMPatcher+ works on all phones that support the old ROMPatcher, and it works on new phones like the Samsung Omnia HD, Nokia 5630 XpressMusic, and E52 too. The most interesting update under the hood is that ROMPatcher+ supports more patch commands, which may lead to better patches.

Unfortunately the author of ROMPatcher+ included a "donate money" nag screen. Hopefully this annoying "feature" will be removed soon.


Symbian hacking tool HelloOX2 got updated too, and now it includes ROMPatcher+ by Il.Socio instead of ROMPatcher by ZoRn.

If you don't like ROMPatcher+ by Il.Socio (for example, because you hate the nag screen), you can keep using the old ROMPatcher by ZoRn. You can even keep both programs on your phone. Of course the old versions of HelloOX with ROMPatcher by ZoRn are still available. The choice is all yours.

ROMPatcher+ by Il.Socio

ROMPatcher+ on Symbian Freak (signup/login required to read and download)
ROMPatcher+ v2.00 mod by Nima79 on Symbian Freak (signup/login required to read and download)
ROMPatcher+ v2.00 mod by Nima79 on Mobile Castle (signup/login required to download)
ROMPatcher+ on Symbian Toys

ROMPatcher by ZoRn

ROMPatcher by ZoRn

HelloOX2 with ROMPatcher+ by Il.Socio

helloox2.com
(the signed version costs US$5 and is advertised all over the site, the unsigned version is free but the download link is much less obvious)
HelloOX2 v2.02 on Mobile Castle (signup/login required to read and download)

HelloOX2 with ROMPatcher by ZoRn

HelloOX2 v2.01 at symbian underground

HelloOX 1.03

HelloOX v1.03
HelloOX v1.03 with ROMPatcher for Nokia N96

more

symbianhack.site666.info
• list of Symbian phones and firmware versions that can be hacked
get a free developer certificate to sign HelloOX, ROMPatcher, and any other Symbian program


Sunday, 30 August 2009

Turn your phone into a flashlight: BrightLight now for all modern versions of Symbian

BrightLight mobile phone flashlight application
Lost in the darkness? BrightLight turns the camera flash led of your mobile phone into a torch.

There's a version for touchscreen phones which sort of works on non-touch phones, and now there's a real working version for Symbian S60 3rd ed. too.

BrightLight works on many phones, but not on all. For example, it works on my Nokia N78 but not on my Nokia 6120 Classic. It's compatible with Nokia N79 and some N95s, but BrightLight doesn't seem to work on most N95 version/firmware combinations. There's only way to find out if BrightLight works on your phone: try it.

Warning: Keeping the light on for too long may damage the led on some phones. Use at your own risk. I'm not responsible for what you do with your phone.

BrightLight v1.01 for Symbian S60 5th ed. (touchscreen) and v1.0 for Symbian S60 3rd ed. (non-touch) on Mobile Castle
Brightlight v1.0 for Symbian S60 3rd ed. (non-touch) at Ziddu


Saturday, 29 August 2009

Mobile web browsers: Skyfire scrolls faster, TeaShark remembers, UCWEB has new looks

Skyfire mobile web browser for Symbian S60
Skyfire

Mobile phone web browser Skyfire is not a suitable program for routine web surfing on your phone, but it's good for watching video and listening to music.

Skyfire uses a proxy server which turns web pages into a clickable image format before sending them to your mobile phone. This makes Skyfire consume lots of data and eat lots of battery power, but on the bright side it means that Flash, Ajax, QuickTime, etc. work in Skyfire, and it plays movies from YouTube, DailyMotion, and other video sites.

If you don't live in germany, england, or the usa, you can still listen to last.fm radio streams for free because the music is routed through Skyfire's american proxy server.

The latest update speeds up launching the browser and loading pages, the keys "2" and "8" work as "page up" and "page down" shortcuts to make navigating large web pages easier, and Skyfire now tells you when it's dropped a connection (to save battery power) and when it's done reconnecting. Multiline text entry finally works, and there are some minor bug fixes and security patches included in the update as well.

Skyfire is not a browser for "normal" surfing, but you may want to keep a copy of Skyfire on your phone to watch movies that no other mobile browser will show.

Skyfire

Update: Skyfire pulled the plug on its Symbian version. All versions Skyfire for Symbian no longer work.


TeaShark Symbian web browser
TeaShark

Proxy-based data compressing mobile Java web browser TeaShark is a very good replacement for its main competitor Opera Mini. TeaShark features tabbed browsing, blocks many (but not all) ad banners, and its user interface is better than what most other browsers have to offer.

Unlike Opera Mini, TeaShark doesn't reflow text to fit your screen. On the bright side, TeaShark identifies itself as Mozilla running on Linux to web servers, so you'll always get the full web page instead of a watered down mobile version.

New: TeaShark remembers your browsing history and tabs when you exit the program, and restores it to where you left it when you run TeaShark again. To my knowledge TeaShark is the first mobile web browser for Symbian that can do that.

There are some things left to fix, though. TeaShark caches web paes on its server. This speeds up surfing, but it sometimes gets you outdated pages. And although TeaShark lets you search for text on pages, it won't let you copy text to the clipboard for pasting into other programs.

Having a choice between viewing sites "as intended" or reflowed to fit the screen of your mobile phone would be a nice touch too. Maybe in the next version of TeaShark?

TeaShark vs. Opera Mini? Undecided. I use both.

TeaShark


UCWEB Symbian S60 mobile phone web browser
UCWEB

UCWEB is another proxy based data compressing web browser with tabbed browsing. It's made by a very active community of developers. Unofficial translations of new beta test versions of UCWEB appear frequently in between official updates.

There are two versions of UCWEB that work on Symbian phones: a native Symban and a monile Java version. The Symbian version is faster, and it doesn't bother you with the security warnings that pop up very often when you use mobile Java programs.

UCWEB 7.0 (translated into english by akushah) is one of these unofficial test versions. It adds an updated user interface, bug fixes, better download manager, and more. Unfortunately the start page is in chinese, but the rest of the user interface speaks english to you. And it's a native Symbian version, so it's not plagued by the disadvantages of mobile Java.

UCWEB 7.0 unofficial translation by akushah on Mobile Castle

Want the latest official version of UCWEB instead?

UCWEB 6.3 (official english version)

UCWEB extras

If you don't like the built-in search engines (Google, Yahoo, MSN) of UCWEB, just add some more. Searchlets for UCWEB has 17 places to search, including Wikipedia, Youtube, Google Translate, and the Internet Movie Database.

Searchlets for UCWEB

Patch by jbpseudo to removes the sponsored links from the start page, use Google search without the limitations of the official program, and add an online synchronisation option to the side panel:

jbpseudo's UCWEB patch

Back up your UCWEB bookmarks, settings, and custom shortcuts:

MyUCWEB Backup (Python script, requires Python)

Friday, 28 August 2009

Free YourTube died, UTube still alive and free, Youtube Mobile Downloader beats both

YourTube YouTube vdeo downloader
YourTube YouTube video downloader

YouTube for Symbian won't let you download movies for offline viewing, but YourTube does. It lets you search for videos on YouTube, and you can choose between three video formats (mp4, flv, and 3gp) and different quality settings. YouTube is a mobile Java program, so when you save a movie to your phone it will pop up some security warnings.

The old versions of YourTube stopped working. It searches videos and finds them, but when you try to download them you'll get an "invalid server response" error.

The new YourTube update is supposed to fix this. Unfortunately this update also changes YourTube from free to commercial: it limits your search queries to 8 characters, and it wants money if you want to search longer names.

But YourTube is still an open source program, so maybe someone will remove the eight letter limit and rescue the free YourTube?

UPDATE: The free version of YourTube returned.

YourTube


UTube YouTube video downloader

UTube is another mobile Java YouTube video downloader. You can choose between three video formats (mp4, flv, and 3gp) and different quality settings.

That's the good news.

The bad news is that UTube won't let you search YouTube, so you have to type or copy/paste the full YouTube video URL into the UTube downloader. This means lots of typing or workarounds like saving the page as a temporary bookmark to copy the URL, because web browsers for Symbian don't make it easy to copy URLs and paste 'em into other programs.

The latest UTube update doesn't come with a changelog.

Instead of using UTube you could simply save the UTube downloader site as a bookmark, since the UTube program does nothing but launch your browser anyway. Their site isn't even optimised for mobile phone browsers. It requirs lots of horizontal scrolling, because UTube has huge ad banners that won't fit on a mobile phone screen

aztube.co.cc, the UTube downloader website
UTube v2.11 beta at Mobile Castle


Mobile YouTube video downloaders YourTube, UTube, and Youtube Mobile Downloader
Youtube Mobile Downloader

Instead of using YourTube or UTube you can also download YouTube videos to your phone by pointing your mobile web browser to the Youtube Mobile Downloader site.

This site has a new URL.

The Youtube Mobile Downloader site lets you search for YouTube movies (which UTube cant do) without any limits (unlike YourTube). You can download your clips in three video formats at different quality settings, but the default format (.flv) often works best on your phone.

This site also has a big ad banner that causes horizontal scrollbars in your mobile browser, but the search function works and so do the downloads.

The Youtube Mobile Downloader is currently the best way to download videos from YouTube, so make sure to bookmark it in your mobile web browser.

Youtube Mobile Downloader: www.mfws.ro/m.youtube.com
Youtube Downloader: www.mfws.ro/youtube.com

You can download movies from RedTube too.


Thursday, 27 August 2009

Make, change, and sign sis files: SmartSIS and SisBoom

Symbian SmartSIS, Python SisBoom, SignTool2 sis sign service

SmartSIS

SmartSIS lets you pack, unpack, view, edit, and sign .sis installer files. It also turns .py files (Python scripts) into .sis files.

If you want to sign .sis files with SmartSIS you'll need a certificate.

The latest version has less bugs and a better file manager. You can get the english edition (translated by Nima79) at Mobile Castle.

SmartSIS requires Python and additional Python modules. Install Python and SmartSIS on your phone's built-in memory (the "C" drive).

SmartSIS v2.2.7 (english version) at Mobile Castle


SisBoom

SisBoom can pack and unpack .sis files, and extract individual files from .sis installers. Some bugs were fixed in the latest update, and you can change the default installation drive of .sis installers too.

SisBoom requires Python and additional Python modules. Install Python and SisBoom on your phone's built-in memory (the "C" drive).

SisBoom speaks english, russian, and chinese. To change the language to english, select the last option from the menu, and then choose the second option.

SisBoom 3.0.1 at Mobile Castle
atrant.org (creator of SisBoom, russian site)


If you want to edit .sis files on your computer instead of on your phone, use SISContents.


Wednesday, 26 August 2009

New beta test version of ActiveFile with old bugs

ActiveFile Symbian file manager & SMS backup restore tool
There are many file managers for Symbian. The built-in file manager is very limited (but there's a trick to force access to some system folders). X-plore is the best alternative file manager, but the free version has a nag screen. Y-browser is pretty good, and FExplorer does the job too.

And then there's ActiveFile. The latest test release fixes a couple of bugs, but there are still plenty left.

ActiveFile is more than a file manager. It's also a task manager, it can reboot your phone, it can make screenshots, it can back up your SMSs, and you can make fake messages with ActiveFile.

Managing files with ActiveFile

The file manager of Active File gets the job done. It lacks the "tree view" option that makes X-plore such a good file manager, but it has a two pane layout to make it easy to move files from one folder to another.

ActiveFile doesn't make it very easy to mark and unmark files, but neither does the competition. You can't configure the # key to mark/unmark files, but you can use the * key. Unfortunately ActiveFile lacks a single key to toggle file selection on and off, so you need one key to mark files and another one to unmark 'em. I use * to mark and zero to unmark.

What really makes ActiveFile different from other file managers is not the managing of files, but the features hidden under a submenu called tools.

Making screenshots with ActiveFile

ActiveFile can make screenshots. You'll need to capture screens with the C (delete) key if your phones isn't one of the old models that stil have a pencil key. You can configure the camera key for screenshots, but that doesn't always work. On my Nokia N78 the camera key launches the camera, even though it should be making a screenshot according to the settings I entered in ActiveFile.

ActiveFile can back up and restore your SMSs

The best feature of ActiveFile is its SMS backup and restore feature. It can back up and restore your inbox, outbox, sent folder, and all your custom message folders. Better yet, it can restore your messages in a non-destructive way: if you restore a backup, new messages that arrived after you made the backup stay on your phone. If you send a backup from one phone to another, the two SMS folders are merged perfectly. Not even Nokia's own PC Suite can do that.

You can choose whether the SMS backup file should be stored on your phone's own memory or on your memory card, but you can't select the folder in which ActiveFile should store the backup. ActiveFile doesn't even tell you the location of the backup file, and the SMS backup screen has no options for copying backups to your computer, storing them online, or sending them to other Symbian phones to merge different messaging folders. Of course there's a workaround to do all that: just navigate to the backup files in any file browser to copy, send, move, or delete 'em. ActiveFile stores your backups in C:\Data\Others or E:\Others, depending on whether you chose internal memory or memory card as backup location.

A bug that has not been fixed, and which may cause very unpleasant surprises: if you delete SMS backups from within ActiveFile's SMS backup screen it will also delete phone book backups created by Contacts Transfer. ActiveFile wrongly believes that Contacts Transfer backups are SMS backups, even though they have different extensions: Contacts Transfer uses .z, ActiveFile uses .smb.

ActiveFile may crash with an out of memory error when you restore backups with a lot (many hundreds) of messages, so don't rely on ActiveFile as your only SMS backup method.

Fake SMS

ActiveFile can create fake SMSs. Unlike other fake SMS creators like Free-iSMS and Fake Messages (which can only fake incoming messages), ActiveFile can fill your inbox and sent folder with fake incoming and outgoing SMSs.

The fake SMS feature used to work very well, but then came an update which introduced wrong dates and times: a month and a day short, and two hours late. August 10, 3.15 pm becomes July 9, 5.15 pm. September 11 becomes August 10, etcetera. To set the correct date for your message, you'll have to increase the day and month by one in ActiveFile's fake SMS creator. This means you can't fake a message for the last day of the month, because ActiveFile won't accept the 32nd of August. If you set the first day of the month (or the first month of the year) and hit "create," ActiveFile crashes without creating the message, because one minus one produces an invalid date.

The current beta test version still has this bug.

ActiveFile is pretty good, but it can be better. Alie Tan's website has a forum where you can report bugs, so give the program a try and give Alie some feedback to help him improve the program.

ActiveFile from Alie Tan
ActiveFile ActiveFile 1.43 RC1 archived on Mobile Castle

Tuesday, 25 August 2009

Light Control learned to blink, Theme Scheduler learned new languages, Profile Scheduler and Key Lock Clock killed bugs

Light Control, Symbian S60, Nokia mobile phone
Light Control

Light Control gives you much more control over the light settings of your phone than Symbian's own display settings menu.

Lost in the dark? Light Control can turn the camera flash into a flashlight on some phones. If that doesn't work on your phone, Light Control can still turn your phone into a torch by lighting up the screen to full brightness in different colors. And if you're really lost, Light Control can make your phone blink SOS in morse code.

Light Control won't show itself in the Symbian task manager if you send it to the background, so close it from the Options menu if you don't want it to keep running.

The latest update fixes a startup bug (that used to bite the Nokia N78), and you can make the light blink too.

Light Control is unsigned. You can check if Symbian's Open Signed Online will sign it for you, or sign it yourself, or hack your phone so you can install unsigned programs without having to worry about signing programs.

Light Control v1.36 on Mobile Castle (the original Light Control homepage is in chinese)
• if you only need a flashlight, try BrightLight


Theme Scheduler and Profile Scheduler

Theme Scheduler and Profile Scheduler automate changing the looks and sounds of your phone.

Theme Scheduler changes the theme of your mobile phone on schedule. It can schedule the background image of your active standby screen too. Theme Scheduler can also link themes to your current active profile, so that your phone changes theme when you change profile. This can be useful if you often switch between silent, offline, and loud profiles, because then the selected theme tells you what type of profile is active.

The latest edition is available in 6 languages: english, deutsch, español, suomi, thai and català.

Profile Scheduler is similar to Theme Scheduler. This program automatically switches profiles on your phone, so you'll never forget to set your phone on silent mode for your weekly business meeting, or put it on ultraloud when you go out.

The latest version of Profile Scheduler lets you enable/disable individual schedules, fixes a lot of bugs, and it speaks english, deutsch, español, suomi, thai and català.

Theme Scheduler and Profile Scheduler come in two versions: signed and unsigned. The unsigned versions are free, but you'll have to run them through the Symbian Signed bureaucracy before you can install 'em on your phone, or sign 'em with your own certificate, or hack your phone to break free from the claws of Symbian Signed.

Publisher IDs cost money, so the signed versions are bundled with adtronic to cover the cost. Adtronic is a horribly intrusive application that pollutes your phone with advertisements (even when Theme Scheduler or Profile Scheduler is not running!), so better get the unsigned version of Theme Scheduler and Profile Scheduler. Signing the program or hacking your phone takes a bit of extra work, but allowing adtronic to infect your phone is much, much, much worse.

Theme Scheduler by Jukka Silvennoinen
themes to feed to Theme Scheduler
Profile Scheduler by Jukka Silvennoinen


Key Lock Clock

Key Lock Clock by DrJukka displays a clock on your screen when you lock the keypad. This is especially useful on 60 3rd ed. Feature Pack 2 phones without a built-in "set clock as screensaver" option. Key Lock Clock lets you choose your own clock font, and you can set the light timeout period.

The latest update fixes a bug that plagued the Nokia 5800 XpressMusic.

Key Lock Clock is still in alpha testing, and it is unsigned. You can run it through the Symbian Signed madness, or sign it with your own certificate, or hack your phone to break free from the claws of Symbian Signed.

Key Lock Clock


Monday, 24 August 2009

Free mobile maps and navigation: Metro adds and updates cities, Mobile GMaps easier to touch, We-Travel crawls forward, Locify navigates the roads

Métro public transport navigation for Symbian, Locify with online and offline maps and road navigation
Métro

Public transport navigator Métro (subways, trains, trams, buses, and ferry lines of over 400 cities) added three new cities (Verona, Ajaccio, Montluçon), and comes with updated public transport info for London, New York, Lisbon, Chicago, Budapest, Seattle, Berlin, Hong Kong, Rome, San Francisco, Madrid, Washington, Prague, Moscow, Manchester, Manila, Rotterdam, Seoul, and other cities.

The program itself is tweaked a bit as well, but there's still plenty of room for improvement. The competition doesn't sleep, and now that Google Maps is experimenting with public transport info on top of its maps it's a good idea to give Métro a few new features. The user interface could use a facelift as well.

Launching Métro for the first time takes forever, because it will search your phone for stored public transport info. Once you've selected a transit network Métro will launch faster.

When you change network, the search (and wait) repeats. To change the public transport network you'll need to select "network" in the options submenu of the options menu. This is rather counterintuitive, since most people think of connectivity like Wi-Fi, GSM, or UMTS when they see "network" on their phone. Métro would be a little easier to use if "network" would be called "cities" instead, and if the option to change it wouldn't be buried so deep down in a submenu.

The search screen could be better as well. Changing days and hours with the left and right side of the central navigation button makes it all too easy to change them by accident if you try to move to the next entry box. Selecting a station or bus stop shouldn't require a trip to the options menu, and the option should not be called "select," because this uninformative word doesn't tell you what you can select when you select it.

The "places of interest" list isn't searchable, so it requires endless scrolling to find a place of interest. It would be nice if Métro would display maps as well, with lines and stops indicated and clickable. If Métro could be made to talk to your GPS, it could tell you where your nearest public transport options are.

But even in its current state Métro is a very useful program. It stores all public transport info right on your phone so you can navigate the routes and times without a live mobile internet connection. That's a great way to avoid expensive data roaming bills, and it ensures that you have public transport info at your fingertips in places without network coverage, such as deep down in subway stations or remote bus stops in the middle of nowhere. Giving you a choice between the fastest route or the trip with the minimum number of connections is a nice touch too.

Métro from metro.nanika.net


Mobile GMaps
Mobile GMaps

Mobile Java map application Mobile GMaps shows online maps from Yahoo, Windows Live, Ask.com, and OpenStreetMap. You can make your own maps, and you can download maps (including maps from Google Maps) on your computer and store them on your phone to avoid paying for mobile data traffic to view maps on the road. Mobile GMaps can overlay maps with satellite, aerial, and subway maps.

Mobile GMaps used to display online Google Maps too, but Google threw some legal threats at them. You can still download maps from Google Maps and use them in Mobile GMaps offline.

Mobile GMaps works with internal and external GPSs, but you can't use the program for turn-by-turn (voice) navigation.

The latest update fixes some bugs, and Mobile GMaps is now much easier to use on touchscreen phones.

Mobile GMaps homepage
MGMaps Map Downloader
MGaps forum



We-Travel maps and voice navigation
We-Travel

We-Travel is one of the few (only?) navigation programs that has free maps and free voice navigation. It stores its maps on your phone, so you can navigate without keeping an expensive, battery-draining active mobile internet connection running. You can use We-Travel to navigate by car, bike, or foot.

Building a working version of We-Travel on your phone is a complicated job: you have to install the program, maps, voice, and icon set separately. There's a new help file in pdf format, the We-Travel website has a wiki which explains how to to install We-Travel on your phone, and you can use a batch file to collect all the files you need to install We-Travel on your phone (you'll need to use a computer for that), but setting up We-Travel requires quite a bit of technical literacy.

And then you need maps. We-Travel's map generator is not for human consumption, so better get some maps from the We-Travel maps download page. Maps come from OpenStreetMap, and there are some maps from Garmin available that were extracted by We-Travel users. You can download and store as many maps as you like, but unfortunately We-Travel can only load one map at the time, which makes navigation across different countries somewhat difficult. You can work around this limitation by changing maps at every border, but you need to figure out where to cross the border by yourself and make We-Travel calculate a route for every country you drive through.

We-Travel is a mobile Java program, so make sure to open your phone's application manager to give We-Travel read/write permissions, otherwise your phone will drive you crazt with security warnings when you use We-Travel. For voice navigation with We-Travel you'll need to switch warning tones on. The warning tones of your phone are usually a nuisance, so it's a good idea to make a profile with warning tones enabled. This way you can easily toggle warning tones on and off with the power button of your phone, which is a lot easier than navigating down to the profile settings screen everytime you want to toggle the warning tones.

We-Travel.co.cc


Locify maps
Locify

Locify shows maps, aerial photos and satellite images from Google, Yahoo, Microsoft, and OpenStreetMaps. Locify also reads locally stored maps (GoogleMaps 2 Trekbuddy is the easiest way to preload maps to your phone), and it sports location based Wikipedia search, events, weather info, and pictures from Panoramio work OK.

Locify used to have compass navigation only (which was useless for most purposes), but now it comes with road navigation too. It's nowhere near as good as navigating with expensive programs like Route 66, Garmin, or Nokia Maps, but navigation with Locify is free. You don't need to update the program to add road navigation. Just hit Options->Add->Service From List->Road Navigation.

If you're downloading Locify for the first time and the download page says it won't work on your phone model, just try it anyway. Locify will probably work if your phone is not too old.

Locify
GoogleMaps 2 Trekbuddy (the easiest way to preload maps to your memory card)


Sunday, 23 August 2009

Watch wider movies with YouTube for Symbian (or MobiTubia, but not Xenozu) and download 'em with YourTube (or UTube)

YouTube player for Symbian mobile phones, YourTube YouTube video downloader
YouTube for Symbian

YouTube for Symbian is a very simple YouTube video player for mobile phones. You can search and play movies, but you can't log into your YouTube account, which means that YouTube for Symbian won't show any adult movies on your phone. You'll need to visit YouTube's mobile website with your phone's built-in web browser for that.

On first launch YouTube for Symbian makes you choose your location from a short list of countries. It doesn't matter which country you pick, so just choose any country you like if your own country is not on the list.

You can erase your search history and other private data that YouTube collects, but that option is hidden in the help menu.

New in YouTube for Symbian: full screen movies on phones with wide screens like the Nokia 5800 XM, Nokia N97, and Samsung Omnia HD.

YouTube for Symbian comes as an on-the-fly installer, but you can download the program as a .sis file from Mobile Castle. This may help if you can't download the YouTube player because your IP address is not on Google's list of supported countries.


YouTube mobile site (on the fly installer, download only works with the default web browser of your phone)
YouTube v2.2.17 on Mobile Castle (downloadable .sis file for everybody, works with all mobile and non-mobile web browsers)

If you don't like YouTube's official player, you can use MobiTubia. Alternative YouTube player Xenozu lets you bookmark videos, but the program is a mess. You have to edit your phone's RealPlayer settings before you can use Xenozu, the terms and conditions screen pops up everytime you start the program, and there's no exit button so you'll have to use the red hangup button.

MobiTubia
Xenozu v1.0.5 at Mobile Castle


YourTube YouTube video downloader

YouTube for Symbian won't let you download movies for offline viewing. Enter YouTube video downloader YourTube. It lets you choose between three video formats (mp4, flv, and 3gp), and different quality settings as well. The latest release fixes bugs, YouTube is a mobile Java program, so when you save a movie your phone will pop up a couple of security warnings.

UPDATE: The old versions of YourTube stopped working, and the new version turned into disfunctional crippleware that requires money to unlock.

YourTube

UTube is another YouTube video downloader, but it's no match for YourTube.

UPDATE: It used to be no match for YourTube, but YourTube went commercial so there seems to be a future for UTube after all.


UTube


Saturday, 22 August 2009

Palringo looks slicker

Palringo Symbian mobile phone instant messenger
Instant messenger program Palringo connects to MSN (Windows Live), AOL (AIM), Yahoo, Google Talk, ICQ, Jabber, Facebook Chat, and the niche networks QQ, Gadu-Gadu, and MobileMe (iChat). Palringo also runs a collection of chatrooms.

You can send voice messages, but Palringo doesn't do real VoIP calls like Nimbuzz, fring, and Talkonaut. Palringo doesn't connect to Skype, not even to Skype's instant messaging network.

The latest edition of Palringo has fewer bugs, and its user interface is easier to navigate (especially if you have a touchscreen phone). You can now share your location with Palringo, but only with people who use Palringo too.

Palringo (download through SMS link)
Palringo direct download page


Friday, 21 August 2009

Last free version of Bluetooth File Transfer Lite, new beta test version of Jbak TaskMan

Bluetooth File Transfer Lite, Jbak TaskMan
Bluetooth File Transfer Lite

Bluetooth File Transfer Lite from Medieval Software is a file manager which can send and grab files over bluetooth, similar to an ftp client. In addition, Bluetooth File Transfer Lite can pack and extract files in the zip, tar, jar, nth, and thm compression formats.

Similar to Nokia phones without a pencil key (and in contrast to file managers like X-plore and ActiveFile) you can select and deselect files with the # key in Bluetooth File Transfer Lite.

The built-in text viewer doesn't know how to break lines so they fit on the screen without horizontal scrolling, but the built-in picture viewer has a very smooth zoom function. You can get out of the full screen picture mode by pressing the 1 or 0 key, which is not very clearly indicated in the program.

Bluetooth File Transfer Lite is written in mobile Java, so it takes some time to start on a Symbian phone. You also have to go to the application manager to allow Bluetooth File Transfer Lite to read and write data, or else your phone will pop up a blizzard of security warnings.

Bluetooth File Transfer Lite v.1.41 is free, but Medieval Software plans to ask money for future versions.

Bluetooth File Transfer Lite from Medieval Software
Bluetooth File Transfer Lite at GetJar
Bluetooth File Transfer Lite v.1.41 at Mobile Castle


Jbak TaskMan, Sybian task manager and program launcher
Jbak TaskMan

There's yet another test version of Jbak TaskMan. This program shows the running tasks on your phone, including hidden tasks that won't show up in Symbian's built-in task manager. Jbak TaskMan also displays memory status, disk usage, and detailed task info. When the program is running, long-pressing the menu button launches Jbak TaskMan instead of Symbian's built-in task manager.

The new test version fixes a few bugs, lets you set the font size in pixels, and the menus appear faster. And now Jbak TaskMan has a flashlight too. When you activate it, your screen turns bright white, but BrightLight and Light Control are better at turning your phone into a torch.

Jbak TaskMan v1.00 R16 is not available from Jbak's own site, but if you want to test it you can get it from Mobile Castle.

Jbak TaskMan site (latest full version and some test versions)
Jbak TaskMan v1.00 R16 (test version, unsigned) at Mobile Castle


Thursday, 20 August 2009

Updated: Instant messenger Slick, push email program System Seven, and feed reader FlyScreen

Symbian instant messenger Slick, push email program System Seven, RSS feed reader FlyScreen
Slick

Instant messaging program Slick connects to GoogleTalk and other Jabber networks, and to MSN, Yahoo, ICQ, and AIM. Slick does file transfer but not voice chat.

Slick was updated twice lately. The first update fixed a bug that bit Feature Pack 2 phones (hitting the enter key wouldn't sent your messages), but another bug appeared: you couldn't change your Yahoo login details anymore. This was repaired in the second update.

You can use Slick for free while beta testing lasts. But there are so many free instant messengers around that it's hard to believe that Slick will ever cost money.

Slick


System Seven

Mobile push email client System Seven comes with preloaded settings for some popular email services like GMail, which makes it easier to set up your email accounts. System Seven can sync your contacts, calendar, and mail with MS Exchange Server.

The latest update fixes a problem with the * (star) key, which failed to launch the symbol entry menu. And now it can handle multiple accounts with the same username.

System Seven is still in beta testing, and there's plenty left to fix before the program may become usable on Symbian phones. System Seven eats lots of RAM, which slows down everything else on your phone. Your battery also takes a serious hit.

The program installs itself on your phone's built-in memory. If your phone doesn't have loads of built-in memory, forget about System Seven, because it stores your email including attachments on your phone's built-in memory, and you can't tell it to use your memory card instead.

When System Seven runs for the first time, it sends an SMS to +447624802625 without asking you first. It also snatches an active standby shortcut for itself without asking you first, and it does so before you accept the license agreement. Uninstalling System Seven does not necessarily restore the original active standby shortcut.

Before you can download System Seven, you'll need to sign up first. Even if you want to read the FAQ on the System Seven trial site you'll have to register, because the FAQ is part of a closed user forum. You can test System Seven for free while beta testing lasts, but you'll probably need to pay when the program is ready.

System Seven


FlyScreen

FlyScreen is an RSS feed reader with Twitter, Facebook updates, a Google search box, and it shows the weather forecast too. If you leave FlyScreen running in the background you'll always have your updated feeds at your fingertips. If you don't want to keep FlyScreen running in the background you'll have to dig deep into the settings menu to find the exit, or fire up the task manager and use the delete button.

The program does little more than displaying links to websites, and even launches your web browser when you try to edit your collection of feeds. The FlyScreen site made the Symbian browser on my phone display a certificate error.

New in FlyScreen: previews of articles. When you click a title in a feed, FlyScreen shows a snippet of the story. But if you want to read the entire entry FlyScreen still needs to launch your phone's browser to display the content.

Not new in FlyScreen: FlyScreen won't let you merge RSS feeds into a single feed, and it calls all your custom feeds "Custom RSS" in the header without an option to choose a name yourself. The RSS feed box only fills part of your phone screen, with lots of empty space around. And switching tabs often sends you back to your menu or standby screen by accident.

A very annoying "feature" of FlyScreen is that it always remembers the last used access point, even if you don't want it to. The settings menu doesn't have an "always ask me which connection to use" option.

On the bright side, FlyScreen correcty displays the RSS feed of this blog.

FlyScreen wants you to create an account with your phone number as your username, and they want your email address too. If you don't want to get too personal with the makers of FlyScreen you can enter a fake email address and some numbers that look like a phone number.

FlyScreen