Sunday, 11 April 2010

Nokia Lost the Plot

Nokia has abandoned the 4-digit naming convention for its mobile phone models and adopted four series of N, E, C, X instead. The N series is supposed to be the top notch flag-ship products of Nokia with the latest and greatest technologies. The X series are supposed to be the device for social, entertainment and youth. However, the way Nokia allocates the features to their devices is quite messy and inconsistent.

The 5800 XM is supposed to be a great music player. However, it does not have the Home Media application although the machine is equipped with uPnP capability. Also, it allows you to configure SIP settings but there is no built-in SIP client! On the contrary, N95 has both features built-in.

I was ecstatic when I heard about Nokia freeing up its Ovi Map including voice turn by turn navigation since late January 2010. So I quickly went to Nokia’s official maps site and installed them on my N95. In order to install Ovi Map, it had to upgrad my N95’s software version and wiped out all my applications, history and address book during the process! So I had to spend days to re-patch my phone, re-install all the software and games, re-download and reload the map and voice files and restore from a 2-year-old address book backup… But hey the Ovi Map (v3.01 09wk44 b01) got installed and actually worked. But my joy was short lived. My expired trial license for navigation did not get renewed or removed. So when I tried to start navigation, Ovi Map will nag me about purchasing licenses and if I don’t it will quit navigation. So meanwhile I have to feel content with TomTom 6 and its 3-year-old Australian map.

Frustrated, I did some digging and found out that the ‘Free Forever’ maps is not compatible with my N95 – as it is not in the device list. Yet you can still download the software and maps for it – it is just not free! However, Nokia’s marketing machine does not tell you this. No wonder so many N95 users share this frustration.

A glimpse of hope remains for my 5800 XM as it is in the Ovi Map compatible devices list. To install the free version (v3.03 which only works on S60v3 FP2 and S60v5 and it is designed/optimised for touch screen user interface) I need to upgrade the phone’s software to 31.0.008 or greater. I have yet to do so as I want to make sure I back things up before the upgrade…

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