Nokia Map Update

Tuesday, October 25th, 2011

Back in July I mentioned that Nokia had released a map update for Nokia Maps for v3.06, but not v3.04 (as used on some elder devices such as the Nokia E71).  However, someone mentioned to me the other day that Nokia had updated the maps again. Sure enough, a quick check via the Maps Update function confirmed new maps were available, so I downloaded them via my PC (I don’t have quite enough spare space on the phone to download them directly).  These new maps are dated 26 September 2011, a little over two months since the last update.  As this was the third map update this year, it will be interesting to see whether they have moved to a more regular two-monthly update process, or whether they simply release one update per quarter (ie the July update was just very late).

Also, although the elder v3.04 Maps client doesn’t have a built in Map Update facility, I still connected my Nokia E71 to my PC, and it also offered a map update.  I’m not sure exactly when the update was released, but based on the map data (there’s one major new road near me that’s appeared in both these updates that was not included in the July update), it looks like the maps for the elder client are also very recent.

If you have a Nokia Symbian phone, don’t forget to update the maps every now and then.


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Nokia release Map Update

Thursday, July 14th, 2011

As soon as I published the story yesterday about Nokia not having released any map updates since the February 2011 update what happens; yes, yesterday Nokia released an update to their Ovi Maps data for v3.06 (S60 v5 devices).  I should add that to the best of my knowledge there is not an update for the v3.04 Ovi Maps client for the S60 v3 devices, such as the Nokia E71.

If you are already running v3.06 then you can simply go into Ovi Maps and select Update and the update will be available for you.  The UK map is about 219MB to download, but you’ll also need a little free space for it to install the update too, so if you are tight on disk space another option is to use Ovi Suite, which downloads the file onto the PC and seems to need slightly less overall disk space to install the update.

Personally, I seem to always end up having trouble with the update working directly on the phone, but have generally found the Ovi Suite method more reliable.  If you do manage to do the update on your phone, it can take some while, so don’t be impatient.

Interestingly, the update is dated 14 July 2011, which is 5 months since the last maps of February 2011; it will be interesting to see how long we have to wait for the next maps…


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3UK: New phones & updated unlimited data tariffs

Monday, March 7th, 2011

It looks to be a good week for 3UK; they have already announced they will be selling the new Samsung Galaxy Pro, which combines a QWERTY keyboard with Android to provide a Nokia E71 / BlackBerry type experience.  With many people (including me!) moving away from Nokia in the short term, this may well be one device that attracts their attention.

The 2.8″ touchscreen and 3 megapixel camera may not be sufficient for many road warriors, but I think this will be a popular device.  With rumours that BlackBerry will be providing access to their BlackBerry Messenger application from Android and iOS, someone could buy one of these to replace an ageing BlackBerry and not miss the BBM IM support they are used to (once it’s actually made available).  It also features:

  • 800MHz processor
  • 3MP Full Focus Camera
  • Android Froyo+ version 2.2.1
  • 2.8” Capacitive touch screen (320 * 240)
  • 108.6 x 66.7 x 10.6 mm
  • 2GB microSD, expandable up to 32GB
  • Portable Wi-Fi hotspot

If the QWERTY phone doesn’t interest you, and you are looking for a budget Android device, possibly on PAYG, then the Samsung Galaxy Mini may well be for you.  Available in April in either Black & Silver or Black & Green, it features:

  • 600MHz processor
  • 3MP Full Focus Camera
  • Android Froyo+ version 2.2.1
  • 3.14” Capacitive touch screen (320 * 240)
  • 110 x 61 x 12 mm
  • 2GB microSD, expandable up to 32GB
  • Portable Wi-Fi hotspot

However, on top of these phones, 3UK have announced that they are extending their unlimited All-You-Can-Eat data package to a couple of PAYG tariffs too.  Today, the All-You-Can-Eat data (with no limits at all) is generally available on The One Plan (available on contract with a new phone, or on a SIM Only basis), but now it will be available on some of the current PAYG tariffs.

That last point is key; many people are still on the slightly elder PAYG tariffs, which offered lots of extras simply for topping up (the latest tariffs provide a greater range of value options once you have topped up); so you may need to change to the latest PAYG tariff first.

However, if you topup with enough money, and then select either the All in One 15 (£15) or the All in One 25 (£25) then you will get:

  • All in One 15: 3000 texts, 300 cross network minutes and All You Can Eat data (all valid for 30 days)
  • All in One 25: 3000 texts, 500 cross network minutes and All You Can Eat data (all valid for 30 days)

We should point out that the All in One 10 continues to have 500MB of data (valid for 30 days), or you can simply purchase “500MB data” for £5 (valid for 30 days); what the previous tariffs offered was “Internet Max” which gives 2GB for those same 30 days.

A lot of people stayed on the old PAYG deal due to the better data allowance available, but with these new unlimited offers, it may be worthwhile people moving to these new tariffs.  Of course, if you are regularly spending £25 per month on PAYG, you may well be better to look at the One Plan SIM Only (12 month contract) which gives you 5000 texts, 5000 3UK3UK minutes, 2000 cross network minutes as well as All-You-Can-Eat unlimited data for £25 per month, but does come with that higher commitment.

If you are on the older PAYG tariffs (anyone who had a PAYG SIM from before September 2010 and hasn’t already elected the newer tariffs will be) will need to call 333 from their Three phone, or 0843 373 3333 to request the latest PAYG tariffs.

We also note that Tethering is not supported on the All in One deals, but is supported on the One Plan.

As always, more details are available in the 3Store.

Picture courtesy of Samsung Hub.


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Ovi Maps updates

Friday, February 25th, 2011

There have been 3 key Ovi Maps updates in the last week and a bit, and I thought it was worth recapping on all of them.  Firstly, these only apply to the Touch devices, so although other devices such as the Nokia E71 still have free Ovi Maps, it’s not yet clear whether it will ever see these updates, which would be a shame if the elder devices were abandoned.

Many users have been using the v3.06 Beta that was available via Ovi Maps, and one feature this version added was the ability to check for, and update the mapping data directly from the phone.  Well, for those running this Beta, two weeks ago Nokia released updated maps.  Unfortunately some of us suffered crashes when trying to update, which left the phone without any mapping, and no ability to update to the latest maps.  This was resolved by using Ovi Suite on the PC to apply the “latest” maps (although this took you back to the Q4 2010 maps, which were released with the original v3.06 beta).  However, a little while later, Nokia resolved the issues, and it was possible to update to the Q1 2011 maps (either on the phone or via Ovi Suite).  I can’t say that there were any major updates in my local area, and in fact a major road project (the new A421 between Bedford and Milton Keynes) was missing from these February 2011 maps, despite the road opening in November 2010 (and Google Maps managing to get the new mapping available the same day the road opened).  Although I can understand minor road updates not making it into their database, one would have thought a key update like this would be there; let’s hope it’s there for the next map update.

Then, Nokia formally released the v3.06 Ovi Maps, which is now available in the Ovi Store.  Due to the way Nokia doesn’t really handle updates, it depends on the phone whether or not you will be notified that the update is available (phones that support applications within the Software Update application should see a notification, either on the phone or in Ovi Suite).  Other phones will have to go and pick up the update manually.  It’s worth noting that this version was slightly newer than the last beta, so it was still worth upgrading to.

However, yesterday, Nokia went one stage further and released another Ovi Maps v3.06 beta version.  This version is still newer than the Ovi Store version, and adds the ability to use the CheckIn facility to checkin to both FourSquare and Qype locations.  Bringing support for FourSquare makes a lot of sense, and seems to work pretty well in the testing I’ve managed so far.

So, if you have a Touch Symbian device, it’s well worth looking at all of these updates; a combination of application and mapping data updates continue to make Nokia stand out from the crowd with their free SatNav application, but there’s a risk the Nokia-owned Navteq mapping data is falling behind TeleAtlas (and hence Google Maps) in terms of quality of the UK major road network.


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Pixelpipe release new Symbian version

Wednesday, November 17th, 2010

Pixelpipe have updated their Send & Share application to v1.02.  This new version adds:

  • You can now select service(s) for upload from a GUI with the new ‘Destinations’ field in advance of upload
  • New enhanced UI for handsets with Qt installed
  • Ability to specify a reduction value for resolution of photos from 100-25% under Pixelpipe/Options/Settings/Image Resolution
  • Single service upload plug-ins for over 25 services. These plug-ins are currently in beta & simply allow you to select the service for upload by name from the Send menu.

The screenshot above shows the difference between a “normal” handset, and a newer handset with the Qt support installed.  This I have to say, makes the application look and feel much nicer, and it’s nice to see Pixelpipe embedding everything into a single application install that can provide the best UI as available to the user.  It should be pointed out that Send & Share needs a minimum of S60 3rd Edition FP2, which rules out many popular Nokia phones such as the Nokia E71; however, for the majority of phones launched in the last year or two, this version will work fine.  For those elder handsets, Pixelpipe are still supporting their Share Online method.

This new version is available direct from Pixelpipe (here), and should soon be available in the Ovi Store.

Update: It’s now available in the Ovi Store.


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3UK launch Nokia E5

Friday, October 1st, 2010

3UK have announced that as from today they have the Nokia E5 available for sale.  Although still S60 3rd Edition (FP2), this might be a contender for users who bought the Nokia E71 a couple of years ago, and are looking for an upgrade.  Although the phone supports many of the same features, applications and 3UK specific services that the Nokia E71, it also features a couple of upgrades from the Nokia E71:

  • 5MP Camera with Fixed-Focus and LED Flash
  • Social Phonebook is present, pulling info from Facebook into Contacts
  • The handset is available in 2 colours: Black / White (although only Black is currently on sale)

As always, more details are available in the 3Store.


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FourSquare release official Symbian client

Tuesday, September 28th, 2010

FourSquare have released their official Symbian client, which is available from the Ovi Store (simply search for FourSquare and it should come up top).  Having tried the client on a couple of devices I can say it has one major advantage over the Sym4Square client released last week (on S60 3rd Edition at least); it supports landscape devices such as the Nokia E71.  Unfortunately the Sym4Square client only seems to support a portrait mode at this stage, and so doesn’t work at all with devices like the Nokia E71, and for those devices I heartily recommend the official FourSquare client.

Of course, there’s also the Socially App client I covered yesterday which also includes FourSquare support (plus there’s always Gravity too).  With each app having it’s own strengths and weaknesses, I shall continue to use all 4 over the next few weeks to work out which really offers the best FourSquare experience of them all.  It’s certainly nice to see things change from a few months back where there was no FourSquare support at all…


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Nokia release new firmwares

Monday, July 5th, 2010

Last week Nokia released 3 key new firmwares.  Firstly, the Nokia E71 (and I suspect the Nokia E66 and Nokia E63, as they seem to share a common base and seem to get updates at the same time) was updated to v500, although at the time of writing, this was not yet available for either the generic EURO1 codes nor the operator branded versions in the UK, but hopefully it will become available over the coming weeks.

v500 contains the following updates:

  • Maps v3.03 Lite which has Free Navigation support
  • Music Player upgrade
  • Quick Office v6.2 which has Office 2007 support
  • Ovi Store upgraded to 1.6.0.18 and Download! Removed
  • Ovi Suite included in Memory card
  • Functionality improvements in E-mail configuration
  • Qwerty keypad improvements
  • Emergency call termination with RSK key corrected
  • Corrected Bluetooth link drop when an outgoing call is made in a carkit
  • Corrected localization issues in world clock
  • Fix provided for selecting desired mailbox when multiple mailboxes are configured

Probably more important is the Nokia N97 firmware update to v22, and the Nokia N97 Mini firmware update to v12.  Given the Nokia N97 is always accused of not having enough memory and space on the internal C: drive, then having to install Ovi Maps (over 10MB) to that area is always a burden. Well, this new firmware at least includes v3.03 Ovi Maps within the firmware, removing the need to have that additional 10MB application install (although we note that v3.04 is now out with the added cell ID and Wi-Fi based positioning, so without using a third party app such as Maps Booster, there is still, ironically, a need to install Ovi Maps in addition to the version in firmware for some of us).

The other new features include:

  • Ovi Maps v3.03 with free Navigation built-in
  • Nokia Messaging stub built-in
  • Default screen brightness raised to 75%
  • Default theme now the jet black ‘Nseries 2’, giving longer battery life than the previous ‘Nseries 3’
  • RAM optimisations
  • Miscellaneous bug fixes, including “Default Nokia tune is played as ringing tone for incoming calls instead of the one user has defined in Profile settings. Also sometimes device has stopped alerting for incoming calls. Both issues are now fixed” which has plagued a good few users.

As with all firmwares, you will need to decide between the impact of applying a new firmware (and the need to wipe the phone and start again with all your contacts, bookmarks, application and settings) against the fixes provided by the new firmware.  As always, expect to wait longer (and potentially forever) for operator branded versions to arrive; for example a 3UK Nokia E71 is still on v300, having never released v400 (or v410) for their devices, so the chance of v500 being released is quite small (it’s not all 3UK; an Orange N97 will still be stuck on v10, as they have never released v11, v20 or v21, let alone the new v22).

Nokia E71 firmware information courtesy of Symbian World, Nokia N97 Firmware information courtesy of All About Symbian.


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Looking for a cheap smartphone…?

Tuesday, June 29th, 2010

3 logo

3UK have updated their selection of refurbished handsets that are available for purchase.  The current range includes (of note):

  • Nokia 5800 XpressMusic
  • Nokia 5230 (although announced, it was not available on the website at the time of writing)
  • Nokia E71
  • HTC Hero

In my opinion these are all good phones (although in different ways), and if you don’t need the latest greatest device, but are looking for something cheap, then you might well want to consider one of these devices.  Although they are generally available with a new contract, some are available on PAYG, such as:

These are also very good value options for someone who has a simpler phone today and is looking for something a bit more special.  Don’t forget you really need an Internet connection to get the most out of these phones, especially the HTC Hero.


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Socially App release another new version

Tuesday, May 18th, 2010

This week Socially App have released v1.40 of their Twitter / Facebook / LinkedIN client, and added the following features:

  • Ability to geotweet (ie include your location within a twitter message), although you do need to enable this within your twitter account too before it will be visible to others.
  • Ability to search on twitter limiting the search to “nearby” people.
  • Ability to define the preferred WiFi and Data access point to use; the app will use WiFi whenever within range, but will then use the GPRS / 3G network when necessary.

I’m really impressed with Socially App, especially as it’s free.  Whereas Gravity is still struggling to implement full GPS access under S60 3rd Edition FP1 (think Nokia N95, Nokia N95 8GB, Nokia E71), Socially App has managed it just fine (I should add Gravity also supports the use of the Google Maps API to locate you via WiFi or cell ID, so still offers location services on FP1), and I really like the way that when you want to see your current position, Socially App fires up the local Ovi Maps to show you where you are (see below); it would be nice, in time, to see even more use of Ovi Maps integrated into the application.

As before, Socially App can be downloaded direct on your phone from their website at m.sociallyapp.com


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