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28 September 2010

Watch How You Update Your Firmware

I've reposted this article to show some updates below. Whilst the replacement phone that I received has been working quite well, I can't help but want to get to the bottom of this mystery.. does Nokia recycle IMEI numbers or is there another explanation? For example, did someone at Nokia Care swap THEIR E72 with my new one before I went to pick it up?

One moment it was sending emails, calling people, checking the weather, giving directions, looking up Bible passages and the next moment it was lifeless. This was no crash which I had started to get used to on a daily basis. There was no turn off, turn on, wait 30 seconds and watching the hand shaking. The phone wouldn't even turn back on!
My Nokia E72 as dead as this

After experiencing numerous crashes, I finally decided to reload the firmware, yeah, the one that we have been waiting for, for so long! However, half way through the update, the phone died. After efforts of googling for solutions, changing batteries, leaving the phone out for 5 minutes and then trying to turn it on again, I realised the phone was very, very dead.

I took it to the Nokia Care Centre in Perth, or rather Morley and after 15 minutes, I walked out with just my memory card and a pamphlet from Nokia Care suggesting we stay connected. I checked my E63 and I had received an SMS from the care centre, probably straight after getting my details.

b. Nokia Care Morley. Job #_____. Your product has been booked into our system. We will contact you when it is ready for collection. Thank you.

The phone is now with the Nokia doctors and hopefully I can get it fixed, or even better, a replacement because I am sick of the crashing. Noka, you can do better than that, I know. We'll wait a few days and continue posting here. For now, this blog as with the phone is "under construction".

Update: I received an SMS from Nokia Care Centre a few hours after I went into the store. It seems that the software update well and truly bricked the phone because the SMS said

d. Nokia Care Morley. Job #____ is awaiting delivery of your replacement Nokia handset. We will contact you when it is ready for collection. Thank you. 

Update 12/7/10: Called the Nokia Care Centre to find out the status of the replacement phone. They said that they usually receive replacement handsets on Tuesdays and Thursdays. They double checked my mobile number and said that they will send an SMS when it is available.

Update 15/7/10: Received a replacement phone but when I tried get the phone unlocked to go overseas, I found out from my phone provider (Three Australia) that the replacement phone had an IMEI number belonging to someone else!!

Update 28/9/10: I called Nokia Care and after "investigating", the guy contacted me again telling me that they could have given me a NEW phone with a RECYCLED IMEI number! I don't believe this is the case and have even asked some higher-ups in Nokia (face to face in London during Nokia World) whether this is possible and they have said that there is no such thing as recycling IMEI numbers. I tweeted @NokiaHelps for a better explanation. The answer: @My_E72 When repairing/replacing Product, Nokia may use products/parts that are new,equivalent to new or re-conditioned http://bit.ly/bzfbxL. I am not sure of the legal ramifications of having a phone with the IMEI pointing to someone else but at least we all know now that the call centre's explanation that Nokia recycles IMEI numbers was proved to be absurd as we thought it would be.

Pros and Cons of the Nokia E72

One of our readers, Ashutosh, has shared with us his views on the Nokia E72. 
I have been using E72 since December 2009. Generally, I carry only one phone and most of the time, do not carry cameras also. The phone acts as my primary point and shoot spontaneous moments.

1. Have heard lot of negative reveiws about the build quality. Mind you, I have a 3 year old daughter who has subjected it to some very grusome crash tests! Lol!!! Apart from a scar at the rim, nothing has happened. Build quality is a win for me.

2. Superb qwerty keyboard. The keyboard is awesome. Keys are upped and soft and your thumbs don't hurt even after pumping long emails!

3. Awesome office support. I edit my office documents on the go.

4. Nokia Messaging life time licence. Gives me the liberty to choose my plan and enjoy push mail all along.

5. Very decent camera. I have captured some very memorable antics of my daughter through its 5mp camera. Coupled with qik, it becomes awesome media creation tool for personal video creations for folks who may be apart.

6. 1500mAh battery is a life saver.

1. Resolution of 320*240 is a no go.

2. Lack of app support.

3. No default HTML view for emails forces me to use profimail as my email client.

What are your pros and cons of the E72? 
Write a review of the phone that you currently have (hopefully you have an E72), naming the pros and cons of having that phone. Send in the review to mye72b@gmail.com before the end of September for the chance to win the app SMS Diary.

25 September 2010

E72 free on Optus $29 cap

If you have been admiring the Nokia e72 from afar because of its price, this may be for you. Australian mobile provider, Optus, has the Nokia E72 for free on the $29 cap plan. This includes $180 included value and 200MB data a month. You can also sign up online to get 2 months free access saving you $58 as well. Social media addicts will also be happy with unlimited Facebook, Twitter, MySpace, ebay, Linkedin and Foursquare.

24 September 2010

Fixing Your Internet Connection

In the past three months, I have been overseas twice, to Singapore, Thailand and London and one recurring issue was having to reconfigure my internet connection each time I was in another country. Although each place has its idiosyncrasies, there is one general tip I can share about checking your 3G connection.. Take a look at Control Panel - Settings (not Connect.) - Connection - Destinations.

Even though I have been using the internet on mobiles for well over four years, I still struggle with the difference between Internet and WAP services. The main thing to check when arriving in a new destination are the access points listed in WAP and Internet. If the local access point is not within BOTH of these, go into Options - New Access Point - Yes (to Automatically check for available access points). You can then select the Packet Data that appears. After doing this, you can copy that access point to WAP or Internet by going to Options - Organise - Copy to other dest.

Hope that helps you out in one way or another. Next time I go overseas, I may have to google my own blog to find out how to do it again.

22 September 2010

A video summary of Nokia World 2010

How the Nokia N8 will change the way you work

The Nokia N8 has so many features but often its not about the technology, but what you do with it. One distinction that people seemed to use between the Nokia N series and E series is that the N series is meant to be for play whereas the E series phones are for work. However, after checking out the phone at Nokia World, some applications of the N8 in an office context came to mind and here are just a few that we could come up with. I'm sure there are much more than this so feel free to make suggestions but for those considering the Nokia N8 as a future purchase, consider these possibilities: 

  • N8 replaces the projector - With the Nokia N8, the next time you walk into a meeting room, you may not need to bring in your projector, but your Nokia N8 and a HDMI cable. Plugging the N8 straight into the TV/monitor, you will be able to control your powerpoint presentation from your phone. 
  • N8 replaces your iPod/wireless mic? - A little known feature that comes with the Nokia N8 as well as many other N series phone is the FM transmitter. This means that you can have an MP3 or a call broadcast to a FM frequency (for example 97.7FM) so that it can be picked up by a radio nearby or a room next door. This is also useful in your car if you would like to listen to an MP3 but you forgot your handsfree kit. Just switch the FM transmitter on and you can tune into your phone on your radio. 
  • N8 replaces your media player - Whilst we do not advocate piracy, the Nokia N8 does enable you to play dolby digital surround sound via the HDMI cable so if you are a media professional, this could be one very cool way to show off your portfolio to a potential client. 
  • N8 replaces your GPS - On the way to the meeting, you can use the in-built GPS and Navteq-powered Ovi Maps to navigate your way through the streets of a new country which you can download and use without incurring data costs. 
  • N8 replaces your printed out documents - With the new pinch and zoom and large touch screen, many office users will find the N8 very useful for referring to documents on the road.
Many of these applications will also be achieved with the Nokia E7, but that can be discussed another time. For those who continue to use the Nokia E72, a later post will show how I used the E72 during my recent trip to London. 

16 September 2010

Nokia World Closes With One New Beginning

Nokia World has just finished with the surprise appearance of the new CEO of Nokia Stephen Elop. He only appeared very briefly to hand out an award of $1 million award to the Calling All Innovators competition but it was one opportunity for Nokia employees and enthusiasts to see the man that holds the future of the company in his hands. No doubt the rest of the day was made up of meetings with various heads in Nokia but it provided an interesting finish to what has been a small revival for Nokia. Maybe the #NokiaWorld hashtag can now get a well earned rest.

15 September 2010

Day Two - Connecting People with the Father of the Internet

Sir Tim Berners Lee took the stage for day two of Nokia World to talk about the future of the internet. The first thing he discussed was the future of the internet being in the area of location awareness. He encouraged web developers to start developing online applications that would take advantage of GPS technology.

As his second point, he discussed the importance of utilising the increasing amount of data on the internet. The UK and USA have been competing in a friendly way to see who could get the best type of information to the internet on websites such as http://www.data-archive.ac.uk/. Sir Tim said it was then up to the world wide web to take advantage of this information to improve the information internet users could access.

HTML 5 which enables easy video embedding and scaleable vector graphics will also be the future of the internet with the increasing variety of devices accessing the internet.

Sir Tim also discussed the concerns with the internet such as the issues surrounding privacy. The other concern was that the internet needs to maintain a neutrality, which allows fair access to all websites, not being limited by a country or a company. Everyone should have a fair opportunity to set up a website, make money and become famous just 'because someone blogged about it'.

The limited access to the internet was also mentioned because only 20% of the world has access to the internet even though 80% have the signal to access the internet. This concern has been largely ignored by the world.

Firmware 051.018 available to some

You may already be able to download the latest firmware for the Nokia E72. If you were wondering, the following is a list of things that have changed in version 051.018:
  • Browser upgrade into 7.2.6
  • Freestyle Baseline 3.0 (latest version) update
  • QuickOffice upgrade into 6.2.439
  • New languages introduced, Office 2007 compatibility
  • OVI Music client Inc9Br5 update
  • Music 3.0: full album purchase, PIN less activation
  • Lotus Notes Traveller 8.5.1 update
  • Smart Connect 1.3.55 update
  • OVI Store 1.6 update
  • OVI Files widget update
  • Windows Live removal
  • New chat functionalities for the users
  • Microsoft Office Communicator added to vanilla SW UDA content
  • Nokia Messaging for Instant Messaging / Nokia Chat 2.0 added to vanilla SW UDA content
  • Improved Email, Calendar and Contacts experience
  • Performance improvements
  • Stability and usability improvements
  • Menu layout changes, among other things:
  • Maps moved to Main menu from Applications – GPS folder
  • Help moved from Main menu to Applications folder
  • Main menu re-ordered
  • SW update moved from Phone folder to main level of Control panel folder.
  • Facebook, YouTube, MySpace, Bloomberg moved from Internet folder to Applications folder
  • No changes to vanilla memory cards
  • Altogether 450+ errors are fixed
Personally, this firmware has not been made available for my E72.

First Impressions of the E7 - E7 v N8

At the Nokia Experience Lounge, there were plenty of demo phones for people to play with and compare. The E7 is naturally what we are mostly interested in as it is the next in line in the E series development. The screen was very impressive, with what they call the ClearBlack Display or CBD which makes true black the new black in black. The screen size was described as 4 inch but it is only when you see it in front of you that you realise the sheer size of it. Reading emails make you forget that you are opening the email on your phone rather than your desktop, with the touch screen also enabling pinch and zoom and press-and-hold for "right-click" type features. 

What was quite interesting was to put the two new big hitters side by side. Noka E7 and the Nokia N8 compared. Spot the difference? Some bloggers mentioned that it was like the E series was just an N8 with a keyboard. 
N8 on the left, E7 on the right

Similar thickness

The E7 comes with all the features of business security for emails and exchange friendliness. However, I have mentioned in earlier posts about the Nokia N97 that the keyboards of this sort don't excite me, but seeing how many people were using N900s, perhaps its just something you need to get used to.

But with many things its the feel you get when you have the device in your hand. if that is the guide, the E7 as well as the other phones launched today will be winners in their own right. Tonight, Nokia puts on a party in Central London and that's where we are headed in ten minutes. Would you buy the E7? leave your comments and your reactions to the press releases posted earlier.

14 September 2010

Everything Nokia wants you to know...


Nokia announces powerful family of smartphones and Ovi services at Nokia World

London – 14 September 2010. At Nokia World, Nokia today announced a new family of smartphones powered by the all new Symbian platform that will deliver significant enhancements in speed and ease of use to Australian mobile users.
The new devices, which are tightly integrated with enhanced Ovi services and apps, reinforce Nokia’s vision of a mobile industry defined by socially connected, location-based devices and experiences. 
Highlights include:
·         Three new smartphones – the Nokia E7, Nokia C7 and Nokia C6 – join the highly anticipated Nokia N8 to complete a strong line-up of Symbian products
·         The latest version of the Symbian platform brings more than 250 new features and improvements to millions of smartphone users worldwide
·         Showcase of the Nokia N8, the ultimate entertainment smartphone and world's best cameraphone
·         Availability of a richer Ovi Store experience – starting with the Nokia N8 – that includes a friendlier look and feel, and more popular and unique apps and games
·         The latest beta release of free Ovi Maps with new pedestrian and motorist features
“Today our fight back to smartphone leadership shifts into high gear,” said Niklas Savander,executive vice president, markets, Nokia. “Despite new competition, Symbian remains the most widely used smartphone platform in the world. The new smartphones introduced today feature the latest Symbian OS, which is faster, easier to use, more efficient and developer friendly.”
Savander also commented on the high level of anticipation for the Nokia N8. “Based on the level of consumer interest and the highest online pre-orders in Nokia history, we expect big things from the Nokia N8.”
A smartphone for everyone…

In addition to the Nokia N8, the new Symbian smartphones includes:

·         Nokia E7 – the ultimate business smartphone. With Microsoft Exchange ActiveSync on board, the Nokia E7 provides direct, real-time and secure access to corporate email inboxes and other personal applications.  Equipped with a 4-inch touchscreen display featuring Nokia ClearBlack technology for improved outdoor visibility and a full keyboard, the Nokia E7 is the perfect shape and size to work on documents, review spreadsheets, or read and edit slides. For corporate peace of mind, a combination of business grade security solutions is available. Australian pricing is yet to be confirmed but it will be in line with global pricing estimated at EUR 495, excluding taxes and subsidies.

·         Nokia C7 – a well crafted, sleek social networking smartphone. Get live updates from social networks such as Facebook and Twitter and keep track of new email from your Yahoo! or Gmail accounts directly on the homescreen. The Nokia C7 features a 3.5-inch AMOLED display and a stunning combination of stainless steel, glass and soft edges. Australian pricing is yet to be confirmed but it will be in line with global pricing estimated at EUR 335, excluding taxes and subsidies.

·         Nokia C6  the small and stylish smartphone. Sporting a 3.2-inch AMOLED display with full touch capabilities and Nokia ClearBlack technology for improved outdoor visibility, the latest Nokia C6 (C6-01) features the best of social networking and mobile entertainment in a stainless steel and glass design. Stay connected to email, access millions of tracks through Ovi Music, and download apps and games from the Ovi Store. Australian pricing is yet to be confirmed but it will be in line withglobal pricing estimated at EUR 260, excluding taxes and subsidies.

All of these devices are built on the new version of Symbian, the world’s most popular smartphone platform. It strikes a balance between innovation and intuition offering new improvements and features such as support for multiple homescreens, visual multitasking, gesture-based interactions and a noticeable reduction in prompts. People will also discover free Ovi Maps, access to Ovi Store, messaging, social networking and other experiences as standard.

The Nokia E7, Nokia C7 and Nokia C6 are all expected to begin shipping before the end of the year.

…with content for everyone
A completely updated Ovi Store experience, driven by a friendlier user interface and a new collections feature, will allow Nokia smartphone users to quickly access popular apps and games. Additionally, Ovi Store will continue to offer exclusive apps such as Audiotube and favorites including Fring, Shazam and Asphalt 5.
For developers, the uniform Symbian platform together with the Qt development environment enables easy smartphone application creation and extensive reach.
A mobile world centered on where you are
Free access to Ovi Maps, the world’s most comprehensive walk and drive navigation, to Nokia smartphones was only the start. The latest beta release of Ovi Maps, available for download today, provides new features and greater map detail plus visibility to subways, trams and trains in 85 cities around the world, real-time traffic, safety alerts in or out of navigation mode, visibility to parking and petrol stations, and speed limit warnings. People can also use the improved search capabilities and share their location immediately via text messages or email.
New gear for on-the-go
Nokia also showcased the Nokia Bluetooth Stereo Headset BH-905i offering an improved audio experience with active noise cancellation and a collection of five unique new Bluetooth headsets designed for a variety of needs, including hands-free multitasking, talking and navigating in the car with voice guidance.


Nokia makes it easier, more lucrative to develop apps and reach 175 million plus smartphone users worldwide

Design, develop, distribute key theme at the Nokia Developer Summit 2010

London – 14 September 2010. Nokia today unveiled a number of major improvements in developer tools making it simpler and more lucrative for people to build apps that can reach the world’s largest audience of mobile users.

Highlights include:
·         Significant enhancements to the Nokia Qt Software Development Kit (SDK) resulting in a 70 per cent reduction in the amount of code required when developing for all Symbian smartphones
·         New look Ovi Store to improve user experience, making it faster and easier to find apps
·         Lower barrier of entry and increased monetisation opportunities for developers, including free Java and Symbian signing, in-app purchase, improved revenue share and advanced developer analytics

Forum Nokia’s vice president, Purnima Kochikar, said: “We have made it much simpler, removed obstacles and made it more lucrative for people to build apps for Nokia handsets. We believe that this will convince more developers to build great apps for the millions of people, in more than 190 countries, that are using the Ovi Store on their Nokia handsets.”

Design, Develop
Today, developers can distribute apps to approximately 175 million Nokia Symbian smartphones - the largest smartphone user base in the world. Qt is pre-installed on all new Nokia smartphones and available to millions of existing smartphones. Using the Nokia Qt SDK to build their apps, developers will discover an easy-to-use tool that simplifies development, offers intuitive UI libraries resulting in 70 per cent less code and cuts creation time dramatically.

New opportunities for developers include in-app purchase, enabling a wide range of app pricing options in Ovi Store such as subscription models, micro-transactions,  or ”try and buy.” This means if people enjoy the free version of the app, they can easily upgrade to the paid version. It also allows developers to build added value into their apps such as the sale of virtual goods, additional levels for games, or enhanced or localised in-app features. 

With the Nokia Qt SDK, developers can easily adapt their apps enabling them to run on future mobile platforms such as MeeGo, while taking advantage of any additional features or APIs those platforms bring.

Nokia is Back - Our thoughts on the Keynote Speech

We're sitting in the keynote and introduction speeches at Nokia World with 25 of the busiest bloggers from around the world. Its been an inspiring and interesting look at the coming year for Nokia. The words you will see around the world today in media outlets is "Nokia is Back". The keynote speech unveiled some exciting phones coming up including the Nokia C6 C7 N8 and E7. We were especially interested in the E7 which was announced as the best smartphone Nokia has ever produced. The E7 will bring back much of what makes the E72 one of the most popular business phones. The E7 will be a massive 4 inch touchscreen device with a ClearBlack display allowing a stronger contrast and display on the phone.

The highly anticipated launch of the Nokia N8 was also part of the keynote speech starting with criticism of commentators who judged the N8 on screenshots. "You can't judge a car by how familiar the dashboard looks, you have to get in and drive it!" The HDMI output and an insanely overwhelming 12.1MP camera has also been described as making the N8 the best smartphone for media and music. Nokia is experiencing unprecedented demand for this N8. Much more has been announced but we'll post a press release summary following this post as we make our way around Nokia World. Keep up to date with minute by minute updates on twitter @my_e72 and leave questions you would like to ask the top brass in Nokia.

Bloggers Meet on the Eve of Nokia World

It's been a packed day in London on the eve of the Nokia World expo. About 10 of the bloggers who had already arrived in London had lunch with Lydia and Chris from 1000 Heads and then went for a quick look around central London before an afternoon meet up of bloggers hosted by 1000 Heads at their office which also happens to be where the old trainng ring Muhammad Ali used to train in. Around 60 bloggers, developers, Nokia and 1000 heads staff mingled and traded ideas over drinks and recorded personal videos to the new CEO of Nokia as to what we would like to see change with Nokia.

In the evening, we had drinks at the Lamb Tavern where Ovi presenters demonstrated what is coming up with the Nokia N8 and what to expect with the integrated apps suite for Nokia phones - Ovi. The vibe was, watch this space, meanwhile Nokia is listening to users such as you and me so share your feedback and concerns and they will be heard. Late registrations to Nokia World have also resulted in packed hotels all around Excel One where Nokia World goes live in just under 6 hours!

Some general observations from today
  • Biggest shock - Anssi Vanjoki, Executive Vice President of Nokia announces retirement. 
  • Most talked about upcoming phone - Nokia N8
  • Most mentioned message recorded by bloggers as to what they would like Nokia to change - Shorten the time between announcements and release dates for phones.
  • Most common phone seen in peoples hands today (Nokia managers, bloggers) - Nokia E72!
  • Highlight of the day - winning a Nokia N8 along with Roman from S60Inside and Mike from MobileFanatics, and meeting the 1000 Heads staff and bloggers.

06 September 2010

How to Unlock an E72?

Some networks around the world lock their phones so that users are unable to use a SIM card from a rival network. It is not illegal to unlock your phone, and depending on your network provider, it may involve a fee. For those using a Nokia E72 on Three or Vodafone, you can unlock your phone by calling up customer service. The best reason to give for unlocking when they ask is that  you are going overseas. They will then:

1. Ask for your IMEI number by asking you to type in *#06#2. They give you a code that looks something like #pw+23489729429834+1#3. The phone will say "sim card restriction off"

If you are not with one of these network providers, there are websites which allow you to unlock your phone for a small fee. With some plans that networks lock you into, the fee is usually worth it. Just make sure you do not try unlocking more than three times.

04 September 2010

We're heading for London's Nokia World Conference!

Last week, an invitation arrived to attend Nokia World in London! Next weekend, I'll be flying 18 hours from Australia to join the Nokia World Conference in London as one of 25 guest bloggers from around the world. 

Nokia World is the Nokia main event each year where new phones will be showcased and the coming year's marketing strategies and directions are discussed. This year's speakers include the CEO of Nokia 
Olli-Pekka Kallasvuo, Nokia's Executive Vice Presidents of Mobile Phones Unit and Mobile Solutions, Vice President of Forum Nokia and Group CEO of Vodafone.

Stay tuned as I file updates live from Nokia World using the Nokia Booklet 3G and my E72. Keep an eye on twitter as updates will appear @my_e72. I intend to join some Roundtable discussions and contribute some ideas for the future development of Nokia phones so if you have an idea, please feel free to bring them up here.

What will the Nokia N8 offer? How will Nokia deal with the ever increasing threat from Android devices and the marketing juggernaut that is Apple? Where will social media take the future development of Nokia phones? Looking forward to a great week in London!

For those travelling, check out our 12 essential tips for travelling with your smartphone. This may be revised in the coming week as I start packing.