Swim now supports S60 3rd Edition FP2 and 5th Edition

Monday, January 18th, 2010

I’ve covered Swim before, a tool for automating syncs on your Nokia (Symbian) phone.  I use it every day with GooSync to keep my Google Calendar and my local Symbian calendar in sync with each other, but one problem was that Swim only worked on S60 3rd Edition FP1 phones.

Well, the team behind Swim have apparently been working direct with the Symbian Foundation to resolve the issues, which they have managed to do succesfully, so they have now released an updated version with S60 3rd Edition FP2 support (eg Nokia E72) and S60 5th Edition (Nokia N97, Nokia N97 Mini, Nokia 5800 XpressMusic) too.  It should be noted that the updated version only supports these new platforms, and for regular FP1 users, there is no new version at this stage.

This is one of those utilities you really should consider with Symbian, and it’s a shame it’s still not included automatically by Symbian; if, for example, you go and buy an Android phone (especially a Google Experience one), you simply enter your Google details, and your calendar (even multiple claendars, if you are a power user of Goolge Calendar) will be automatically kept up to date with your device with no further intervention by you… it’s these little integration points that make Android so popular at the moment…


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INQ Mini 3G Review

Wednesday, November 18th, 2009

INQ Chat & INQ Mini

Well, I’ve had an INQ Mini 3G (courtesy of 3mobilebuzz) for a couple of weeks now, and overall, I’ve been quietly impressed by the phone.  From the automatic importing of Facebook and Skype contacts into the Contacts list, to the fact the phone has support for these Social Networking sites, and Twitter support, and all for less than £50!

Now, let’s be honest, I’m used to smartphones, and there are a number of little things that annoy me with the device; the start up sound can’t be cancelled by pressing a key (as per Nokia devices), and the whole menu system is a little bright and colourful for my taste (and with no theme support, no opportunity to change it either), but these are minor niggles, and certainly don’t detract from the phone.

Supporting Social Networking sites directly in the device, combined with the standard 3UK support of Windows Live Messenger makes this a well supported device, and well worth a look.  I liked the fact the homepage supports 3 widgets (I used weather, world clock and an RSS feed of the BBC website, all options built into the phone), although I have heard some people warn there may be a memory leak, as I’ve heard of people needing to reboot the phone after a long time turned on with widgets in use.  That’s a key issue to me; I rarely turn my phone off, so long term stability is key, and it maybe that a firmware / application update is needed to resolve these issues; hopefully they will be addressed before the INQ Chat ships.

The phone also shipped with Google Mail and Google Maps (v2.3.2; nice!), which was useful for people like me who use Google a lot, and the phone can be used with GooSync to sync data from the likes of Google Calendar too.  Personally, I found the calendar a bit simple when entering new entries, but I suspect most people will use the phone linked to Google or Outlook, and not enter directly onto the device (again, I’ve been spoilt by smartphones offering a decent Calendar app).  In fact, the only thing missing is the Last.fm scrobbling support that the INQ1 had, and it’s still not clear why INQ dropped this function, especially with the likes of Last.fm and Spotify moving more into the mobile space…

Again, a personal point, but it uses miniUSB (not the end of the world, although many manufacturers are moving to microUSB), which is used for both the headphones and charging.  With Bluetooth support for a headset in the car, this isn’t the end of the world, but I’m not a fan of the combined port; let’s hope when INQ move to Android next year we’ll see a dedicated headphone socket on their devices.  Whilst I’m looking at the hardware, I wasn’t a big fan of the way the rear cover clipped on (it did have a release button at the top, which makes it better than the Sony Ericsson T715 I reviewed here), but only just, and I couldn’t find any sight of the other 6 coloured interchangeable backs on the 3Store, so right now you’ll be stuck with the red back).

Let’s be honest, for the price and based on the software on this device; if you are not in the market for a smartphone but want connectivity options to keep upto date with your Social Networking sites, then the INQ Mini 3G should be high on your list of options, if not at the top.  Here at UK Gadgeteer, I’ve covered a number of hints and tips over the last few weeks, and INQ Mobile should be congratulated for providing online support, and being willing to engage with their customers.

When the INQ Chat arrives with the QWERTY keyboard, and GPS, it’ll be interesting to see whether INQ can still compete in the mid-tier marketplace against devices like the Nokia E63

Oh, and finally, a small point, but having performed a master reset of the device to return it, the phone still had all the contacts on it, plus the sign-in details for Skype, so if you ever decide to sell your INQ Mini 3G, be careful about removing all your personal data as well as performing a master reset.


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How to get Facebook Events into your Symbian phone

Wednesday, November 4th, 2009

Facebook Logo

This article will take two separate techniques, and show how to combine them to get Facebook Events into your Symbian phone.

Firstly, using Sean Bonner’s guide, you can configure Google Calendar to subscribe to your Facebook Events, which will result in your Google Calendar now having an additional calendar which contains these events.

However, we want to get them into our phone.  To achieve this, you’ll need to sign up at GooSync and pay for a premium account.  This then allows you to configure GooSync to synchronise multiple Google Calendars, and you’ll need to include this additional Facebook Events calendar in the sync process.  GooSync costs £20 for 12 months, £30 for 24 months, or £40 for a lifetime subscription.

Then, and finally, you need to use the built in SyncML services within Symbian to point to GooSync (GooSync will lead you through this process) which will then result in the calendars all coming down to your Symbian phone.

Finally, if you want to make the whole process look even smoother on your Symbian phone, invest a few extra pounds for a copy of SBSH Calendar (formally Papyrus), which has built in GooSync support to separate out the multiple calendars into different categories, which will allow you to colour code them too (something we find very useful).

If you don’t want all the hassle and faff of paying and setting up all these different tools just to achieve this single function, then head to an Android phone, as these natively support multiple Google Calendars, allowing you to achieve the same thing for free!


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INQ Mini First Looks

Wednesday, October 21st, 2009

INQ Chat & INQ Mini

I know INQ will be moving to Android next year, but the INQ Mini and INQ Chat are two key devices for early 2010 for INQ, and from the first looks, this phone may well achieve great things for INQ…

When you turn it on, the homescreen includes access to the Switcher app, which allows you to scroll through the key applications on the phone.  Included on that list, right next to Contacts, are Facebook and Twitter icons, showing the Social Networking aspects of this phone are key to INQ. Not just that, but having inserted a SIM into the phone, there were no lists of access points to choose from (as you would with Nokia’s Symbian) and in fact, the phone seemed to benefit from easy internet access, offering and performing updates in the background.  The level of integration is impressive; the Facebook app will not just download your Contacts from Facebook, but will include their photo and their latest status update direct from within the Contacts app; it can’t bring phone numbers down to the phone, but that’s a licensing limitation by Facebook, not a technical limitation in the phone.

The phone supports 3 widgets on the homescreen, the first two are weather (which needs configuring with a city) and world clock.  Obviously the phone has the normal range of additional 3UK specific applications, which we’ll look at as part of our main review of the phone.

There are many more features of this phone to study before we publish a more detailed review, but on first looks, this phone shows some very impressive features.  At only £60, it’s a bit of a bargain too, with little touches like SyncML support (so sites such as GooSync can be used to sync your Google information to the phone), and with the QWERTY keyboard and GPS support, the INQ Chat should be even better, even with it’s higher price…


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Google launch Sync for S60

Thursday, May 21st, 2009

Google Sync for S60

Google have finally launched Google Sync for S60, allowing you to sync your Google Calendar and Google Contacts between your Google account and your Symbian phone.  One caveat though, the Google Calendar support is limited to the primary calendar, and you’ll need to install the Nokia Mail for Exchange client onto your phone too (if it is not already pre-installed by Nokia), as “Google works best with version 2.09 (also called 2.9) or above”.

If you want more information on the client, how to set it up, or to discover the range of supported phones, then head to Google’s Sync Mobile Help pages (we’ll note here it doesn’t currently support S60 5th Edition phones).

Personally, we’ll be sticking with SyncML clients for the timebeing (the GooSync service will happily handle multiple Google calendars, and even multiple phones), but this is one to watch in the future.


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Google improves web calendar too

Thursday, April 9th, 2009

Google web calendar

On top of the Google Mail improvements we covered yesterday, Google have improved the web calendar interface for iPhone and Android users.  Simply head to google.com/calendar/gp from your mobile and you should see your calendar.  You can now change your attendance status, edit the details, or even add or remove guests.  Like the mail announcement, if you are on a flaky connection, or lose the connection completely, you will still have access to the last viewed events.

Although Symbian users seem to be being left out of accessing these new features, it’s much easier on a S60 device to use Goosync to sync your calendar directly to the native Calendar on the device, giving you full access to your calendar even when you have no connection.


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Want your Symbian to automatically sync?

Monday, December 15th, 2008

If you use your Symbian mobile phone for syncing via SyncML, for example, using GooSync, to sync your calendar with Google Calendar, then one thing that may bother you is the fact you have to manually select the sync application each time.  Well, Swim may well be the application for you.  It allows you to specify how often to automatically sync multiple sync options, and best of all it’s free.

Story courtesy of The N82 Blog (although since that article was written the author has fixed the bug mentioned).


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GooSync on Symbian review

Friday, September 19th, 2008

Goosync

We’ve featured Goosync a number of times before, and we have been users of the service for some time now. Two pieces of news have happened in the last few weeks regarding Goosync.

Firstly, GooSync now supports up to 4 different devices (on the Premium service only). This allows you to sync your Google data onto multiple devices without hitting lots of sync problems.

Secondly, Symbian Guru have produced a detailed review of the service. Head here to read more. Their main issue with it is the lack of automatic sync capability, but equally we like the fact it uses the built in Sync functionality of the devices, not needed additional software (and the native Sync application does not support regular scheduled syncs). Also, they mention the ability for GooSync to support multiple calendars, and this can be enhanced further by the use of a third party Calendar application, Papyrus, which supports the GooSync way of creating separate categories for your separate Google calendars. Papyrus is in the process of being renamed as Calendar by the authors.


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Google announce better sync options

Thursday, July 31st, 2008

Google

Google have announced support for CalDAV, which allows a whole range of additional applications which can now natively sync their data with Google. Over at Lifehacker, they’ve written up a long article on how to configure this for a number of applications. These include Microsoft Outlook (via Google’s Outlook Calendar Sync program, which is free), Mozilla Sunbird, Apple iCal , and Mobile devices.

On that final point, they mention Goosync as one method of syncing your mobile to Google, and it’s one we use all the time. If you are an existing subscriber, they are currently offering a July only (which means it ends today) special offer to upgrade your account to a Lifetime subscription for only £20 (a saving of £20). If you aren’t a member, then sign up and you can get that Lifetime sub for £40.

Thanks to James Whatley of SpinVox for pointing out the Lifehacker article.


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Goosync news supports Google authentication

Friday, June 6th, 2008

Goosync

If you were nervous about using Goosync before as you have to provide them with your Google username and password, fear not, as Goosync have just announced they are now using Google’s authentication service removing this requirement. Goosync allows you to sync (via syncML) your calendar directly to your Google Calendar.


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