Congrats to fellow Mood Swing member Kevin Hilditch for scoring his very first S60 handset, an unlocked and gently-used E61 courtesy of his missus.
He’s been asking me about apps and such, and since there are undoubtedly other Eseries newbies out there I’d thought I’d present a beginners guide here for all to enjoy!
Note that while some of the stuff I talk about here pertains to the E61 specifically, most of it can be applied to any Eseries (and indeed any S60) handset…
So then, one of the best things about the Eseries line of enterprise-minded handsets is that they come with what’s widely-considered the best battery that Nokia makes — the mighty BP-4L, which will literally go on for days before it needs to be recharged.
Still, the first thing I’d recommend for any new E61 user is to switch their 3G-enabled phone to GSM-only mode, since the 2100 MHz 3G bands in this particular device isn’t compatible with North American carriers:
The path to get to this setting is (I think) “Menu > Settings > Network > Network Mode”. Turning off UMTS (3G) will prevent your handset from looking for a 3G signal where there is no GSM service — like underground on the TTC, for example — and make that battery last even longer!
Since Kevin’s lucky enough to have the E61 and not the blasphemous E62 with the WiFi stripped out he doesn’t really need a data plan from his carrier. But without one he’ll be charged 5¢ per kilobyte for using Google Maps — therefore I’d recommend Nokia’s own mapping app instead, if for no other reason than the ability to pre-load local map info onto his handset.
It should be noted here that Kevin, like myself, uses a Mac for his desktop computer; fortunately for both of us, Nokia has just today released a Map Loader for OS X!
To connect to Skype I would recommend the excellent fring, and cross my fingers that it’ll work on Kevin’s E61 (I was never actually able to make a Skype call with fring on my E61i). Failing that, the next best thing would probably be iSkoot, which uses the caller’s local GSM network to connect to Skype — so they save on long distance charges at the very least.
As most Nokia fans know the E61 doesn’t have a camera. But that doesn’t mean that there aren’t any available media options for this phone. Quite the contrary, in fact! emTube is so good that it easily trumps the iPhone’s YouTube app. The last known version is 1.0.10 and can be downloaded here. While you’re at it, Kevin (and everyone else), you might as well go ahead and sign up for a MOSH account — it’s no iPhone Apps Store but at least everything can be downloaded for free!
For music I can recommend the latest version of Mobbler, a Last.fm client for S60 handsets. Of course, to get the most out it of you also need the iTunes plug-in — You know what? I’ll just let the Last.fm folks explain it themselves.
And finally, what kind of friend would I be if I didn’t provide a link to possibly the best game for S60 mobiles EVAR?!1! And no, it’s not Snake…
2 responses to “Getting Started with Eseries”
I always wondered if a wi-fi equipped phone meant you wouldn’t get dinged for mobile surfing (provided you’re in a wi-fi zone, of course).
I’ve added another criteria to my Next Phone list….
Unlike Windows Mobile, which isn’t exactly intuitive about data connections, you can set up an S60 smartphone to always ask how you want to connect (WiFi, carrier, WAP). Here’s a screen grab of it on my E71.
There’s also a search for WiFi networks built right into the home screen — very handy in the days before I signed up for the $30/6GB plan from Fido…