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



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


Wednesday, 19 August 2009

Free your phone: HelloOX2 Symbian hack got better

HelloOX Symbian hack for Nokia and Samsung mobile phones
Do you want Nokia to control what you can and cannot do with your mobile phone? Or Samsung? Or would you rather decide yourself?

The bad news: By default, Symbian comes with a lot of excessive restrictions, and the official Symbian policy is that you can't (and shouldn't) have the freedom to do with your phone what you want.

Most (if not all) Symbian phones won't let you install unsigned software, even if the unsigned programs are perfectly legitimate. There's a workaround called Open Signed Online, but this is still in beta testing and in its present state it's inadequate. Symbian also won't let you change the user interface beyond what Nokia (or Samsung, or SonyEricsson) thinks is good for you. Just try to change the name under a program icon or remove "share online" from your active standby and you'll see what I mean. And you can't silence the artificial camera shutter sound if you happen to have the wrong regional firmware edition, even if such shutter sound is not required in your country. The list of restrictions imposed by Symbian (and Nokia, and Samsung, and SonyEricsson) is long, and most of these restrictions are downright ridiculous.

The good news: If you hack your phone you can get rid of most of these restrictions. And rightly so. After all, it's your phone.

Setting your phone free is a cat and mouse game. Some smart people make the tools that let you set your phone free, Nokia strikes back with firmware updates that put the shackles back on, the hackers find a new way to put control back in your hands, and so on.

The latest episode in this comedy is called HelloOX2.

HelloOX by bugb is a way to hack Symbian on phones with firmware that resists the old HelloCarbide method. And now it got even better: HelloOX2 v2.01 plays well on the Nokia E52 and E90, in addition to the long list of phones that are supported by earlier editions of HelloOX and older hacking methods.

Keep in mind that liberating the E52 and E90 is still tricky, because ROMPatcher doesn't work on these phones yet. Check the list of hackable and unhackable phones for the latest info.

HelloOX needs to be signed with a "17 capabilities" certificate before you can install it. The authors of HelloOX2 sell a signed version for US$5, but of course you can also get the free (unsigned) version and sign it yourself.

UPDATE: The first release of HelloOX2 v2.01 had a bug: it would install ROMPatcher without asking you first. The links below point to "HelloOX2 v2.01 fixed," which asks you if you want to install ROMPatcher or not.

HelloOX2 site (free version in .rar file from a file farm with forced countdown counter)
HelloOX2 v2.01 fixed, unsigned (zip file, no forced wait)
HelloOX2 v2.01 fixed, unsigned on Mobile Castle
HelloOX2 discussion at Symbian Freak (login/signup required), the place for technical support questions
how to get a free developer certificate

list of Symbian phones and firmware versions that can (and cannot) be hacked
all Symbian hacking methods (and a list of things you can do with a hacked phone)


Tuesday, 18 August 2009

Music player Kugou still won't shut up

Kugou Symbian mp3 player
Music player Kugou for mobile phones running on Symbian plays mp3, aac, wma, flac, and other audio files. The program displays all your tracks in a big list without filtering by artist, genre, or other mp3 tags. It can sort your files by artist or title, but if you have hundreds of songs on your memory card such primitive sorting is not enough.

The latest edition of KuGou has been translated into english by frenz, but there are still lots of buttons and menus and other parts in chinese. If you don't want KuGou to go online when you launch it, hit the right softkey.

Kugou used to be unable to list my music on my phones (it displayed all tracks as E! instead), but this bug is fixed now.

It's very hard to close Kugou. Trying to exit the program on my phones with the close button or the red hangup key pops up an error message (feature not supported), and Kugou refuses to quit. I had to shut down Kugou with KillMe to make it go away.

Warning: if you uninstall Kugou from your phone, several of its folders are left behind. To remove Kugou completely you have to use a file manager to clean up after the uninstaller.

My advice: forget about KuGou. Use PowerMP3 or TTPod instead. Even the built-in music player of your phone is better than KuGou, especially with this folder structure workaround.

Kugou 2.10 translated by frenz from frenzShare (signup/login required to download) UPDATE: this link expired
Kugou 2.10 translated by frenz on Mobile Castle (open for everybody) UPDATE: this link expired

AUGUST 20, 2009 UPDATE:
Kugou 2.10 translated by CnD Team on Mobile Castle UPDATE: this link expired


Monday, 17 August 2009

Y-Browser took language classes, FileHide fails at hiding files

Y-Browser Symbian file manager
Y-Browser

Symbian file manager Y-Browser doesn't hide the system folders of your phone, so if you've set your phone free you can open those folders and modify their contents. And you can add plugins to Y-Browser to make it display text files, handle ZIP files, and more.

The latest update to Y-Browser makes it speak azerbaijani, catalan, and farsi, and its italian and slovenian language skills are improved. Of course Y-Browser also works in english. It currently supports 37 languages.

Y-Browser comes in two versions: signed and unsigned. Both versions are free, but you'll have to run the unsigned version through the Symbian Signed bureaucracy before you can install it on your phone, or sign it with your own certificate, or hack your phone to set it free from the claws of Symbian Signed. The signed version is bundled with adtronic, an intrusive piece of adware that pollutes your phone with advertisements (even when Y-Browser is not running!), so better get the unsigned version. 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.

Y-Browser

ActiveFile and X-plore do wat Y-Browser does, and more. And you don't need to install plugins to make 'em do it.


FileHide

Most file managers for Symbian have an option to hide files, but you usually have to dig quite deep into the user interface to do so.

FileHide hides your files, and it does nothing else. This could make hiding files a lot easier than having to dig down several layers of menus and other distractions in multi-purpose programs. With FileHide you just have to select the file and hit "Go" to hide or unhide it. You can set a password too, so that other people cannot hide or unhide your files with FileHide when they catch hold of your phone.

Well, in theory that's how FileHide works. In real life things are different, which makes FileHide useless on most modern Symbian phones/

FileHide doesn't encrypt your files, it only hides them from Symbian's built-in file manager. Programs like X-plore and ActiveFile can see and unhide files hidden by FileHide, even if you've set a password in FileHide.

And because FileHide is a mobile Java program instead of a native Symbian application, your phone will pop up numerous security warnings. The many security warnings that you need to click away when using FileHide negate the advantage of the uncluttered interface. The total number of key presses required to hide or unhide a file with FileHide is larger than for real Symbian file managers, which totally defeats the purpose of FileHide.

FileHide from zimbleTech
FileHide at GetJar


Sunday, 16 August 2009

The themes they are a-changin': Theme Scheduler schedules profiles and wallpapers too

Theme Scheduler by Dr. Jukka for Symbian S60
Theme Scheduler changes the theme of your mobile phone on schedule. You 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, and you want a visual indication of the type of active profile all over your phone's user interface instead of just a bit of text on your standby screen. For example, you can use a red theme for normal profiles to warn you that your phone may make noise, a green theme for silent profiles, and a white or dull grey theme to indicate that your phone is offline.

Theme Scheduler can now also schedule your wallpaper, so you can automate switching your phone from a serious corporate style during business hours to a sexy look at night, or add an extra visual cue for the silent, noisy, offline, or online status of your phone.

Theme Scheduler comes in two versions: signed and unsigned. The unsigned version is free, but you'll have to run it through the Symbian Signed bureaucracy before you can install it on your phone, or sign it with your own certificate, or hack your phone to set it free from the claws of Symbian Signed. There's also a signed version of Theme Scheduler, but publisher IDs cost money, so the signed version is bundled with adtronic.

Adtronic is a horribly intrusive application that pollutes your phone with advertisements (even when Theme Scheduler is not running!), so better get the unsigned version of Theme 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

If you like Theme Scheduler, you may also want to try Profile Scheduler.


Saturday, 15 August 2009

PowerMP3 adds eye candy, FolderPlay learns to pause, YouTube mobile website supports uploads, UTube downloader back online

PowerMP3 for Symbian S60 3rd ed., FolderPlay music player, YouTube, UTube video downloader
PowerMP3

Symbian music player PowerMP3 plays mp3, ogg, aac, and mp4 files, and m3u playlists too. It has a sleeptimer, album art display (including the possibility to download album art), and several ways to keep your ringtones out of your music library. PowerMP3 sorts your music by mp3 tags and folder structure.

For all practical purposes PowerMP3 is still in beta testing, but that doesn't stop its maker from selling registration codes for US$25 apiece. The registration process doesn't always work as it should, and since the latest update doesn't add anything useful you may just as well use (or keep using) the last free beta version instead.

The latest version of PowerMP3 comes with extra skins and themes, a new icon (which doesn't look good on dark backgrounds), and PowerMP3 now speaks brazilian portuguese.

But just because PowerMP3 is able to talk brazilian portuguese doesn't mean it is good at playing playlists with brazilian or portuguese songs, or french music, or any other track that has tildas, accents etc. in its file name. PowerMP3 has a very annoying bug that's been left unfixed for ages: songs with characters like ã, é, ç, etc. in their names don't show up in your imported m3u playlists.

If you install PowerMP3 on top of another version and it doesn't work, uninstall the old version first. If the old version won't go away, switch your phone off and back on.

PowerMP3 from MobiFactor (commercial version) UPDATE: this link expired
PowerMP3 v1.17b (no registration needed) at Mobile Castle UPDATE: this link expired
PowerMP3 1.16 (last free version) at MobiFactor UPDATE: this link expired
PowerMP3 1.16 (last free version) at Mobile Castle UPDATE: this link expired
older versions of PowerMP3

FolderPlay Symbian S60 music player
FolderPlay

Symbian S60 music player FolderPlay looks like a file manager. If you navigate to a folder with music, it plays all songs in that folder, but subfolders are still a problem. If you play a folder with songs and subfolders, it only plays the tracks in the first subfolder and ignores the rest.

FolderPlay plays MP3, AAC, WAV, FLAC, APE, AC3, OGG, and other files, but not WMA.

The latest FolderPlay update fixes bugs in pause and resume, and an APE playback problem was repaired.

There are other ways to play music organised by folders. Music Launcher is similar to FolderPlay, but MusicLauncher does it better if you stick with MP3. PowerMP3 and TTPod sort your music by tags and by folder structure, and there's a folder structure workaround for the built-in Symbian music player.

FolderPlay


YouTube

The mobile YouTube website m.youtube.com doesn't look different at first glance, but if you log into your YouTube account you'll find that the new mobile YouTube site now supports video uploading, commenting, and other features that used to be available on the full YouTube site only.

m.youtube.com

Instead of using your browser, you can also watch YouTube videos with Symbian program YouTube for mobile.


UTube

Want to download and save YouTube videos on your phone?

The official YouTube program and mobile website don't support it, but website and mobile Java application UTube does, and you can choose between three video formats (mp4, flv, and 3gp) and different quality settings.

UTube doesn't do much. It just loads its site your mobile phone web browser, which lets you download YouTube videos to your phone. Videos are downloaded to the standard downloads folder of your phone. UTube doesn't have a YouTube search function, 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. Instead of installing UTube you could just as well save the UTube downloader site as a bookmark, since all the program does is launch your browser anyway.

UTube moved to a new web address, and the mobile Java application was updated to work with the new URL.

aztube.co.cc, the UTube downloader website UPDATE: this link expired
UTube v2.10 beta at Mobile Castle UPDATE: this link expired


Friday, 14 August 2009

BrightLight turns your phone into a flashlight: for touchscreen and non-touch phones

BrightLight flashlight application turns your mobile phone into a torch
Are you lost in the dark?

When you launch BrightLight, it switches the flash led of your phone camera on.

BrightLight is designed for touchscreen Nokias, but it also works on non-touchscreen phones. On my non-touch Nokia N78 only part of the user interface of BrightLight shows, but that doesn't stop the program from switching the light on.

To exit the program on a non-touch phone, just push the right softkey or the red hangup button. This will exit BrightLight and switch off the camera light.

BrightLight (direct download link)

BrightLight doesn't work on every phone with a led flash. For example, it failed to run on my old Nokia 6120 Classic. If BrightLight doesn't work on your phone, or if you want to use your display as a torch instead of your camera led, try Light Control.

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.

UPDATE: Now there's a version of BrightLight for non-touch phones too.


Thursday, 13 August 2009

MyNotes and ActiveFile fix bugs, but users of Contacts Transfer be warned

MyNotes password protected notes for Symbian; ActiveFile Symbian file manager, SMS backup restore tool, fake SMS creator, task manager
MyNotes

Symbian's built-in Notes application does its job, but MyNotes does more. With MyNotes you can protect your notes with a password, encrypt them, and organise them into folders. MyNotes used to choke on passwords that contain a zero, but the latest update fixes this bug.

MyNotes is a mobile Java program, so it doesn't launch as fast as Symbian's built-in notes application. But that's a small price to pay for password protection, encryption, and filing your notes into folders.

MyNotes


ActiveFile

A new beta test version of file manager ActiveFile appeared on the ActiveFile website, but was quickly removed. For details about ActiveFile, check this review.

What's new (according to the changelog)?

The beta test version comes as a single installer for all versions of Symbian S60, and numerous bugs were fixed.

What's new (according to my own test, which is far from complete)?

The SMS backup and restore function has improved. The "backup options" entry in the menu of the SMS backup tool works now, so you don't have to click all the way to the settings menu to change your SMS backup/restore settings. And the "ignore duplicate" setting (which you can set to yes or no) doesn't forget your choice anymore.

The "fake SMS" feature has a new bug. When I created fake messages with the beta test version, ActiveFile got the dates wrong. August 10 became July 9, September 11 became August 10, etcetera. If you want to set a certain date for your message, you'll have to increase the day and month by one. This means you can't fake an SMS 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, since one minus one produces an invalid date. On the bright side, ActiveFile can fake outgoing messages in addition to inbound SMSs, a feature you won't find (yet) in Free-iSMS or Fake Messages.

What's not new?

SMS backup files can be stored on your phone's built-in memory or on your memory card, but ActiveFile won't let you choose in which folder you'd like the backup to be stored. It doesn't even tell you the location of the backup file, which makes it unnecessarily difficult to copy the backup to your computer, store it online, or send it to another Symbian phone to merge different messaging folders.

You can move, copy, and send the SMS backup files manually if you know where they are. If you choose to store SMS backups in "internal memory" the backup files are stored in C:\Data\Others. If you choose "memory card" the files end up in E:\Others.

A bug that has not been fixed, and which may cause very unpleasant surprises: when you delete SMS backups from within ActiveFile's SMS backup screen it will also delete phone book backups created by Contacts Transfer if they're on the same drive. To be on the safe site, tell ActiveFile and Contacts Transfer to use different drives to store their backups until ActiveFile is fixed.

Other bugs may have been repaired (or introduced), but I'll wait for future updates to look into that. For managing my files I still prefer X-plore, and KillMe and JBak TaskMan are better than ActiveFile's built-in task manager. What really sets ActiveFile apart from other file and task managers is its nondestructive SMS backup and restore option and the Fake Message creator. These features work, even though there is plenty of room for bug fixes and other improvements.

ActiveFile from Alie Tan
ActiveFile v1.43.1 beta at Mobile Castle


Wednesday, 12 August 2009

Key Lock Clock: more customisation options

KeyLockClock Symbian S60 clock screensaver
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.

And now you can also display the day and date, configure more light settings, and choose your own background color. Key Lock Clock can also use your theme background, which is an easy way of showing your theme on your phone even when it's asleep.

Key Lock Clock


Tuesday, 11 August 2009

Jbak TaskMan: test version with fewer bugs

Jbak TaskMan, Sybian task manager and program launcher
Jbak TaskMan shows hidden tasks, 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.

Since the last "complete" version, about a dozen test updates have been released. New features: a quickstart folder and a "kill all" function. And some more bugs were fixed in the latest release candidate. This test version is not available from the official Jbak TaskMan site, but Mobile Castle has a copy for you to try.

Jbak TaskMan site (latest full version and some test versions)
Jbak TaskMan v1.00 R13 (test version) at Mobile Castle


Monday, 10 August 2009

Chat, VoIP, and surf: updates for Palringo, fring, and UCWEB

fring VoIP Skype instant messaging Twitter Facebook orkut on Nokia Symbian S60, Palringo chat, UCWEB Symbian web browser with tabbed browsing
fring

Multi-network instant messenger and VoIP client fring lets you chat and call on Skype and standard SIP VoIP, GoogleTalk, MSN (Windows Live), ICQ, Yahoo, AIM, Twitter, and social networking sites like Facebook and orkut. In addition, fring is a GMail notifier, last.fm radio player, Facebook tool, Twitter application, and it includes Wi-Fi hotspot finder WeFi.

Update: fring is no longer a multi-network messenger. They kicked 'em all out, fring now only works on it's own fring network. My advice: don't use fring.

The latest edition has less bugs, and should work on all Samsung phones that run Symbian. Of course it also runs on all Symbian S60 Nokias.

fring


Palringo

Multiprotocol chat client 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.

Palringo's latest update lacks a changelog. It seems that all changes (bugfixes?) are under the hood.

Palringo


UCWEB

New beta test versions of UCWEB 6.7 appear often, and they're usually translated from chinese (the original language of UCWEB) into english within a day or so.

The latest version is no exception. As usual, UCWEB offers tabbed browsing, and it reduces data traffic by routing it through its own proxy servers and compressing it.

Now you can also set your own proxy server.

The official non-beta version of UCWEB 6.3 is compatible with the patch by jbpseudo that removes the sponsored links from the start page, uses Google search without the limitations of the official program, and adds online synchronisation to the side panel. But if you don't use jbpseudo's patch, then take the new beta test version for a test drive.

UCWEB 6.7 with custom proxy (beta test version) at Mobile Castle
UCWEB 6.3 (latest non-beta version)

AUGUST 13, 2009 UPDATE: Want the Symbian version of UCWEB with a custom proxy? Check jbpseudo's thread on the Symbian Freak forum for details.

AUGUST 20, 2009 UPDATE: jbpseudo's patch is available for UCWEB 6.7 too.
direct download link


Sunday, 9 August 2009

XSmart: filter your calls by blacklist and whitelist

XSmart Symbian mobile phone call and message filter
XSmart rejects calls and messages that you don't want to receive. You can filter by blacklist and whitelist, or simply reject calls or messages or both from unknown numbers. The program comes from China, but there's an english version on Mobile Castle. Unfortunately the help file has not been translated.

When you uninstall XSmart, it leaves a folder called "XShine" with log files and settings behind in the built-in memory of your phone, even if you've installed the program on your memory card.

XSmart may be useful, but MCleaner does the same and more and is a lot easier to use.

XSmart v1.33.2 english translation on Mobile Castle
XSmart site (chinese)


Saturday, 8 August 2009

HandyWi fixes bugs

HandyWi Symbian S60 Wi-Fi hotspot finder
HandyWi finds Wi-Fi access points around you just like Symbian's built-in connection manager does. But HandyWi does more: it displays unlocked access points in a separate tab so you don't have to waste your time trying to find open routers in an unsorted list of open and closed access points.

Network discovery can be set to manual or timed, you can connect to open networks straight from within HandyWi, and access points can be stored as landmarks so you can find them in Google Maps, Nokia Maps, and Nokia Maps successor Ovi Maps.

The latest HandyWi update fixes minor flaws in the user interface. It won't let you tell the program to open the "public" networks tab by default, and just because a network is "public" doesn't mean you can connect to it. It only means it's not locked by WPA or WEP.

If you want a Wi-Fi hotspot finder with more options, try WeFi or Easy Wi-Fi.

HandyWi


Friday, 7 August 2009

Tame Symbian: send sis/jar/mid files by bluetooth or MMS with ClosedContentListOff, Open4All patch to browse system folders also for Nokia N96

send sis/jar/mid files by bluetooth or MMS with ClosedContentListOff, Open4All patch to browse system folders also for Nokia N96

ClosedContentListOff

Symbian's messaging program refuses to send midi (.mid) music files by MMS, because it wrongly believes every midi file is copyrighted. Symbian's file manager won't send midi files by bluetooth, and it won't send .sis and .jar installers either.

ClosedContentListOff lets you get rid of these restrictions. It's a simple patch that runs with ROMPatcher. Just hack your phone, run ClosedContentListOff, and send your files without the draconian censorship-like restrictions that Nokia builds into its phones.

ClosedContentListOff on Mobile Castle


Open4All

On many new Nokia phones you can't simply switch caps off to give file managers like X-plore and ActiveFile access to system folders like c:\sys\bin.

The Open4All ROMPatcher patch takes care of that. When you let ROMPatcher run the Open4All patch, all your file managers can view, read from, and write to the system folders.

The old Open4All patch works on most hacked phones with ROMPatcher. The Nokia N96 is an exception, but the special Open4All patch for the N96 takes care of that.

Of course your phone has to be hacked and ROMPatcher has to be installed on your phone to make this patch work.

Open4All (generic and N96 versions)
Open4All (generic) discussion at Symbian Freak (signup/login required)
Open4All (Nokia N96) discussion at Symbian Freak (signup/login required)


Thursday, 6 August 2009

Music player FolderPlay adds AAC and random play

FolderPlay Symbian S60 music player
Symbian S60 music player FolderPlay has been updated often lately. Bugs were fixed, random play sequence ("shuffle play") was added, the program speaks more languages, and FolderPlay now plays AAC files too.

FolderPlay now plays MP3, AAC, WAV, FLAC, APE, AC3, OGG, and other files, but not WMA.

FolderPlay looks like a file manager. If you navigate to a folder with music, it plays all songs in that folder, but subfolders are problem. If you play a folder with songs and subfolders, it only plays the tracks in the first subfolder and ignores the rest.

There are other ways to play music organised by folders. Music Launcher is similar to FolderPlay, but MusicLauncher does it better if you stick with MP3. PowerMP3 and TTPod sort your music by tags and by folder structure, and there's a folder structure workaround for the built-in Symbian music player.

FolderPlay


Wednesday, 5 August 2009

Nothing new in new Opera Mini

Opera Mini web browser for Symbian mobile phones
The latest version of proxy-based data compressing mobile phone web browser Opera Mini comes with a slightly altered set of out-of-the-box bookmarks. Other changes, if any, are under the hood. Video support it in its infancy, there's still no T9 predictive text in the URL entry box, and the option to delete cookies remains hidden all the way down at the bottom of the settings screen.

Most S60 3rd ed. Feature Pack 2 Nokia phones are not listed on the Opera Mini download page. Opera Mini works on these phone models, but if you choose "PC Download" you'll have to get the Generic Version. Make sure to choose the "Advanced MIDP2" option.

If you already have version 4.2 of Opera Mini updating is not worth the trouble. Remember to sync your bookmarks if you do update, because Opera Mini deletes them and it doesn't have an "export bookmarks to file" option.

Opera Mini
Opera Mini hidden settings

Opera Mini alternatives: UCWEB and TeaShark.


Tuesday, 4 August 2009

YouTube players YouTube for mobile and Xenozu, YouTube video downloaders UTube and YourTube

YouTube video player for Symbian mobile phones, Xenozu Symbian S60 YouTube player, YouTube video downloaders UTube and YourTube
YouTube and Xenozu

As usual, YouTube didn't release a change log for the latest version of YouTube for mobile. There are no apparent changes or additions, so it's probably just a bugfix update. You still can't log into your YouTube account (that means no adult movies), and erasing your search history and other private data still requires a trip to the help menu. On first launch it makes you choose your location from one of eleven countries, but it doesn't matter which one you pick from the list.

Google offers YouTube for Symbian 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.

If you don't like YouTube's official player, you can use MobiTubia. You can also try the alternative YouTube player Xenozu, but it's not worth the trouble. Xenozu lets you bookmark videos, but its user interface is a mess. Before you can use it, you'll have to edit your phone's RealPlayer settings. The programmers of Xenozu also forgot to add an exit button, so you'll have to quit the program with the red hangup button. To annoy its users even more, Xenozu makes you agree to its terms and conditions every time you start the program. There's no "yes, and don't ask me again" option.

YouTube (official site, on the fly installer, download only works with the default web browser of your phone)
YouTube v2.2.9 on Mobile Castle (downloadable .sis file for everybody, works with all mobile and non-mobile web browsers)
Xenozu v1.0.5 at Mobile Castle


YouTube downloaders YourTube and UTube

The official YouTube player won't let you download videos for offline viewing. That's where UTube and YourTube come to the rescue.

Mobile Java application UTube loads www.s60v2.110mb.com/tube.html into your mobile phone web browser. Through this site you can download YouTube videos to your phone, but you can't choose your own download folder. Videos are downloaded to the standard downloads folder of your phone. UTube doesn't have a built-in YouTube search function, and you have to type or copy/paste the full YouTube video URL into the UTube downloader. Since most Symbian browsers don't let you copy the URL of the current page to the clipboard, this means lots of typing or saving the page as a temporary bookmark to copy the URL. Instead of installing the program you could just as well save the UTube downloader site as a bookmark, since all the program does is launch your browser anyway. Unfortunately the utube pages on 110mb.com were down, so the program doesn't work at all. Maybe it will come back online later?

Mobile Java YouTube downloader YourTube lets you choose your own download folder from the settings screen, but like with most mobile Java programs this requires clicking yes to multiple security warnings. You can choose between three video formats (mp4, flv, and 3gp) and different quality settings as well. YourTube works a lot better than UTube, even though YourTube would be a better program if it would show more information on the search results screen.

UTube v2.00 on Mobile Castle [use the new version instead, see below]
links to the UTube pages on 110mb.com [use the new version instead, see below]
YourTube

AUGUST 15, 2009 UPDATE: the old UTube is dead, but there's a new UTube video downloader.