Sunday, January 31, 2010

5 Features you Probably Didn't Realise about OVI Maps Voice Navigation

Its been a great week playing with the Nokia E72's OVI maps with the newly announced free GPS voice navigation now available on the phone (read more here). So let's have a look at some of the things that I have been particularly impressive, which you may not know about the OVI maps 

Speeding alerts Whilst some people may find this quite annoying, for those that do not like speeding tickets and multanova speed cameras, Nokia has pre-loaded speed limits on all streets it seems in Australia. When you are driving more than 10km/hr over the speed limit, the phone will say "Observe speed limit" once and only once (no nagging). So you now have no excuse that you didn't know you were speeding. 

1. Automatic zooming As you are driving, your map will continue to update with your environment. When you drive faster, the map will zoom out so that you can see the streets coming up in a more timely way. When you slow down, the map will zoom in closer. That was very impressive! 

2. House numbers When you are not using turn by turn navigation, the phone will show you the house numbers that you are passing. This makes it so much more useful, rather than straining at letter box numbers in the dark. 

3. Left or right, quick! One of the problems when people give you directions is that sometimes they don't tell you that you need to turn left or turn right early enough for you to do so safely, without the car behind you ramming your backside or horning you for your seeming incompetence. I compared a Garmin GPS voice navigation with the Nokia one and found that the voice on the Nokia GPS spoke faster, which means I could know the direction to turn faster than using the Garmin. 

4. Driving home With two presses of the keypad, you can find your way home using the Nokia OVI maps from anywhere in your city. 

5. GPS Signal Lost Its good when you are driving along and rather than realising 10 kilometres down the road that your GPS signal is gone, the phone actually tells you when it can no longer detect your current location. It also tells you when GPS connection is restored. 

In case you thought some of the above features were not good enough, here's one more.. 

6. Very quick recalculating routes Another great feature of Nokia Maps new free navigation is the speead at which it will recalculate the route to your destination when you miss a turn. You can continue to drive with peace of mind that the program will quickly come up with an alternative route and continue giving you directions.. so don't look down on the phone, hold your head up high and keep driving :)

Hope you found this

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Nokia announces FREE Voice Navigation for Nokia phones!

"Global Navigation is now Free! Forever!"

- Arshia Varlet, Marketing Manager, Nokia (21/1/2010)

Nokia has just announced that voice navigation is going to be made free for all Nokia phones that can run the new OVI Maps. This new version of Ovi Maps is immediately available for download for these 10 Nokia handsets, with more Nokia smartphones expected to be added in the coming weeks:

  • Nokia N97 mini
  • Nokia 5800 XpressMusic
  • Nokia 5800 Navigation Edition
  • Nokia E52
  • Nokia E55
  • Nokia E72
  • Nokia 5230
  • Nokia 6710 Navigator
  • Nokia 6730 classic
  • Nokia X6

Amongst other things OVI Maps now allows you to see the current weather and upcoming events in the city that you are in. One of the most commonly asked questions over SMS is "Where are you now?" OVI Maps now allows you to even share your current location to friends on Facebook, taking social networking to another level and in many ways, away from the computer and back to real life. Upgrade to the new Ovi Maps by heading over to this website. It is only an 8MB download.

So how much data does navigation use?

 Arshia Varlet from Nokia explained in the online press conference:

Here are some real life examples to give an indication of the amount of data that could be used. These numbers naturally vary depending on the density of the road network, amount of 3D landmarks etc.
• Get A-GPS fix and view your location in your home country with preloaded maps: 4 kB
• Search and view Empire State Building with preloaded maps: 50 kB
• Search and browse map in one city in 3D map mode: 2-6 MB
• Create and show a route from Place A to Place B (56 km): 30kb
• Drive through the created route: 0 kB
• Drive 100 km with no preloaded maps: 5.1MB

The advantage of being able to download the map also means a massive data saving for those on a tighter data allowance (eg in Australia). 

If you are looking to upgrade, we recommend $29 cap plan with Three for the Nokia E72. Read some of the reviews in the more recent posts about the Nokia E72. So what are your thoughts? Leave your comments below. 

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Nokia VIP Invitation.. to what?

We have just received this virtual event invitation from Nokia. What will it be about? stay tuned..

Turns out this was the invitation to the online press conference where Nokia announced that their turn-by-turn navigation features for Nokia Ovi Maps would be made free. Forever. Read more here

How could US$199 be spent to better your local community? - E72 Responsiveness Challenge

As you know, we received a big perspex box with the new Nokia E72 inside. The phrase "how you respond is who you are" is the basis for Nokia's Responsiveness Challenge. My fellow bloggers and I were given the question, what would you do with US$199 to better your community? 

For me, coming from a prosperous nation such as Australia, US$199 is slowly buying less and less. However, Australia has a growing problem.. weight. One idea for a community project with $199 would be to buy 20 basketball chain nets and install them on neighbourhood basketball courts. I can imagine the excitement many young ballers would have on their faces when they discover their local ring now has a chain net. Maybe I would stick a "Nokia Responsiveness" sticker on the backboard if the money came from Nokia :)

Many of you come from various parts of the world and so I thought it would be good for you to give a little back to the internet community by responding to this challenge.. how would YOU use US$199 to better your local community? If you are able to film a response, leave a link to your video on YouTube in the comments below. Here's a video that a few of us put together for Nokia. How will you respond?

Monday, January 18, 2010

Gmail application won't receive mail until you refresh

Just a little pet hate with Gmail. I am not sure why when you load up Gmail, it asks for what type of internet connection you would like to use. You would think that after telling the phone what connection you want, it would immediately retrieve emails. However, it seems that on the Nokia E63, E71 and E72, the same problem is that you need to go to OPTIONS -> Refresh before any emails come through. Can't the emails just come through when you load the application? Would that be too much to ask? or is it a feature? What do you think?

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

How to Install new 022.007 firmware for Nokia E72 without losing data

The phone I was checking out the Nokia E72 firmware using *#0000# when I realised that instead of just showing the firmware version and phone model, the option button was also available (using the left selection key). On the Nokia E63, the left selection key only allows you to select OK and you were soon returned to the standby screen. 

Downloading new firmware 
Opening up the OPTIONS menu, I selected "Check for updates" and the phone connected to the internet to find a 5.8mb file to download a new firmware update. After downloading the firmware, there was the option to install the firmware, or have the phone remind me in an hour, four hours, one day, or a week to install the firmware. 

Backing up
 I went to the PC Suite and realised I don't have my cable with me. Will a backup work over Bluetooth? It worked, so I backed up the phone and went back into the firmware menu using *#0000# in the standby screen. 

Running the firmware
Sure enough, as I selected "Install" the phone went into auto-pilot and within five minutes, the firmware was installed.

Firmware update does NOT need back up?
I was surprised to discover that my phone book, sms, customised phone settings, applications were not affected by this firmware update. I cannot say the same about other Nokia phones, especially with the Nokia E63 which you WILL LOSE data if you do not back it up before you update firmware. So there's another plus for the Nokia E72.

What's changed in 022.007?
Nothing that I can see..anyone want to help with this? 

Here's an unofficial changelog for the new firmware 022.007 for E72 based on you responses: 

- Contacts key can now be held down to create new contact
- More responsive E72
- New background themes
- Faster processing

Can you take the phone back if its faulty?

Lifehacker Australia has just put out an article regarding a recent judgment about warranties on phones. Vodafone lost a court case against the ACCC on the issue of replacing phones that were faulty.

Following the judgment against them, Vodafone has agreed to the following conditions:
  • Provide replacements (rather than repairs) for Nokia, Apple, BlackBerry and INQ phones that fail within the first 28 days
  • Provide an express repair warranty for the life of any service contract on phones from the same manufacturers, excluding Apple
  • Provide an express repair warranty for 24 months for active prepaid customers who have acquired their phone from Vodafone
  • Provide a replacement loan phone for customers and ensure repairs are completed in a timely manner
See the rest of the article here.

Three or Vodafone's Warranty statement is on their website:

3 Mobile’s Repair Warranty
Enjoy peace of mind when you purchase a new mobile or modem from 3. With 3’s Repair Warranty you are provided with FREE protection from the cost of repairing a defective device for 2 years from the date of purchase! This warranty offer applies to new Nokia, Sony Ericsson, LG, BlackBerry, Samsung, HTC, Huawei, INQ and ZTE devices on:

24 months plans

12-month plans

Month-by-Month plans


Nokia E71 now only on Three $29 cap

For those of you who have a Nokia E63 and are wanting to upgrade to the Nokia E71, Three is currently offering the E71 for free on their $29 cap. You can also get the first three months free and if you want to know how to get an extra $54 cashback, contact me. If you are already a three customer, they will offer you $10 credit back for the first 12 months which works out to be $120 off your plan.

The main differences between the E71 and the Nokia E63
  • better camera
  • turn-to-silent mode for ignoring calls, snoozing alarms
  • thinner and slightly lighter
  • GPS included
  • faster
  • no torch
For more details on the Nokia E71, search our website for various reviews.

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Firmware finally upgraded on Three Nokia E63 to 200.21.012

I finally made the decision over the weekend to upgrade my phone to the new (not so new now) firmware for the Nokia E63, version 200.21.012. Although in an earlier post, I decided not to upgrade, I changed my mind when my phone kept dropping out in the middle of a call. Rather than throw the phone at the wall and achieve nothing from that, I backed up my data using PC Suite and then upgraded the firmware also using PC Suite. I then restored the backup to my phone and it seems to have fixed the calling problem. I am not noticing any other changes to my phone yet but will keep you posted. How did your Nokia E63 upgrade to 200.21.012 go? Or haven't you upgraded yet?

To check your current firmware version, type *#0000# on your phone.

Monday, January 4, 2010

Solution to the E72 space bar problem

I mentioned in an earlier post about the problem with the space bar on the Nokia E72.
  • When looking through the contacts list, you can use the space bar. 
  • When typing SMS, you can use the space bar
  • When you are typing a name in the "stand by" screen, you can not use the space bar.
Then it occurred to me, when  you are in the stand by screen, the phone presumes that you want to be in NUMBERS and SYMBOLS mode, not in ALPHA mode. So I figured out that one solution is just to press the function key which is  the bottom left key on the phone before pressing the space bar, which will "activate" ALPHA" mode and you will get your "space". I know it would be ideal that this was the default but you will need to wait for the first E72 firmware update before this may be possible. 

Also if you were thinking that the torch function on the Nokia E72 does not work, try a little patience and hold down the space bar on the status screen a little longer. There, see it does work :) I fell for this too. The torch feature cannot be activated whilst operating any program and opening any program will turn your flashlight off. Hope you found this useful, leave a comment if you are a E72 user and I've made your day :)

E72 Space bar causing more ? and !

Sunday, January 3, 2010

Problems Users have found with the Nokia E72

Looking at some forums around on the internet, there have been some problems experienced by Nokia E72 users who have called for an immediate firmware upgrade to fix certain issues. One user listed the following "problems" that they have found using their Nokia E72.  I've added some comments in italics

  • It does not auto recognise capital alphabet like E71. If he was talking about the first letter in an sms, it does capitalise it. Also capitalises after a full stop. 
  • When u type fast it skips some alphabet. Maybe I'm not as fast but I found it kept up to speed. This could be a problem when you have too many programs running at the same time. I found this with the Nokia E63 when I have the Google application on, the phone misses letters that I am typing.
  • When u insert a Image in a word sheet it doesnt recognise. Yeah same problem I had with QuickOffice. 
  • Whenever u restart ur phone most of the times u lose your email setting. Not that I found. 
  • Web browsing is slower than E71. Seems to be ok 
  • You cannot underline or use bold or italic through shortcuts in word like Ctrl U, B, I like E71. Yeah, ctrl+v and ctrl+c for cut and pasting works but not ctrl+b. Strange huh? 
  • This phones hangs now and then like a windows based. No hang experienced. 
  • Contacts shortkey does allow u to add new contact after long hold. Yeah seems like this option is not available for customising the one-touch key (Solved by firmware update 022.007)
  • Basic Barcode reader is missing. Couldn't find it, guess that was his point..
  • Web Feeds in missing in he bookmark list, u need to go to setting and find it. Never used it before anyway
  • Mailbox clock switches the date at 12 noon. So u get the mail dated to next date. Don't think this happens to me.
  • Memory card in setting is missing which was usefull in E71, like format etc.
  • Nokia has saved it time by not making new O.S. Has used N-Series user interface which does match with the E-Series User Interface.
  • Optical Key not at all useful. Agreed.
  • The System is so slow that even setting come very slow, and if u try to select things fast then it leaves you back to the home screen including surfing mails. I found email checking very slow but everything else seems faster.
  • Battery Backup is only about 1 and half days, and more worse is that u cannot trust this phone as day 1 it shows full battery, and second day you wont even come to know when it comes from full to drain. Not my experience.
  • Even if Wi-Fi server is not found it still says Hidden Wi-Fi found.
  • In Opera 10 Browser u cannot use 'U' it only uses *. Haven't installed Opera
  • Even space bar key hangs now and then and to use it we need to restart the phone.
  • Ctrl + Shift does not activate/deactivate Prediction like E71 does.
  • Space bar does not work in searching for contacts (eg on the home screen, type "Adam m" it will appear as "Adam%". Not quite sure why this happens but seems to be a common spacebar problem for E72. (Try this workaround that I came across)
IF you have a Nokia E72 and you came to this page because you experienced the same problem, maybe leave a comment and tell us also where you are from. Got a solution to any of these or more problems? Add them to the comments and come back for possible answers.

Saturday, January 2, 2010

Nokia E72 means Business like Never Before

Nokia obviously felt that they nailed the market with the Nokia E71 but the show must go on and new phones need to be released. The E72 introduces various new features but in many areas, it is the best combination of the Nokia E63 and the Nokia E71 combined.

The Build
The Nokia E72 comes in with a exterior design and form factor and a much more impressive look that would feel completely at home in a black BMW car kit. The phone processor is almost twice as fast as the Nokia E71 which should be very good to know for E71 users looking to upgrade to the Nokia E72. The keyboard is solidly built with the keys giving good feedback on each press.

The keypad takes a little getting used to because the left and right selection keys can be confused with the Home, Calendar, Phone-book and Messaging keys. The back and front of the phone are very slick but one concern is whether the back lid comes off accidentally too easily. Unlocking the keypad on the E72 is a combination of left and right selection keys rather than the E63 left selection key and the bottom left key (whatever its called).The battery life seems to have improved but this could be due to the more efficient processor installed in the Nokia E72.

The Camera
The phone camera is still not there yet but has a 5MP resolution which helps introduce a very useful feature - OCR scanningThe Camera has an auto-focus which you can toggle on by lightly touching the main navi-key which leads me to the navi-scroll that has been introduced in the Nokia E72. You can scroll up and down, left or right just by lightly dragging your finger over the main navi-key. As other reviewers have found, this feature is not yet completely perfected and for this model, you may find yourself turning the touch navigation off.

With the E72, you can import peoples' business cards into your contact book, identifying what should be a person's mobile, fax, email address, business address and name.. I haven't tried too many business cards but have been very impressed so far. Also, I was able to take a photo of half a page of text and the phone imported the page into NOTES flawlessly, without any mistakes! Perfect OCR!

Navigation on the Nokia E72 is also made more interesting, with the phone telling you when a GPS satellite link has been established and when it has been lost. This will be very useful when using the driving features or just seeing the GPS location in general. Also, I am not sure if this is new but when you are driving somewhere, you can use the zoom-out feature which allows you to get a bird's eye view of where you are going and the phone will automatically zoom back into a closer view of your directions. The Nokia Maps really leaves me wondering whether there is any real point in having a GPS system because the Nokia phone does things so well. You can have the 3D view, top down view or just the directions and how far till the next change of direction (eg 300m Left turn). Also, if you miss a turn, the phone just recalculates a new route for you.

The Small Things
With the inclusion of the accelerometer in the Nokia E72, you are able to do things such as turn your phone over to silence the phone when someone is calling you. Flipping the phone over when the alarm goes off also puts the phone to snooze mode. Another thing worth mentioning is also to do with the alarm clock. Now, finally, you can choose how long you want to snooze your phone when the alarm is temporarily silenced. It would be good if you could choose different alarm alerts for different alarms (eg Weekday work - urgent alarm like "Cubicle", Weekend alarm - soothing wake up call eg Miniature).

Overall the Nokia E72 is definitely a phone worth recommending to my fellow Nokia users. There has been nothing too disappointing to prevent me from honestly saying, well done team Nokia. E72 is a winner for us :)

Wrong phone? Follow the Nokia E72 blog

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