Pimp Your N95!
Update: Pimp Your N95 – 2 is here!
We all have our N95′s safely in our possession, the out of box experience is great, there are a few good bundled in applications but should we stop at that? Shouldn’t we strive for more out of that awesome gadget? After all its a symbian 60 device and the best part about that is customisation! From adding features to changing the complete look of the device it can do it all! But do we? Some of us symbian lovers do, how about the people who are new to the OS? In this post i look at some of the additions we can make to get that little more out of the phone… Err ‘multimedia computer’ as Nokia calls it! For that matter i think it deserves to be called that too!
On Device Setup:
(i) Active Display
Out of the box the N95 has 6 default shortcuts on the active standby screen but are they useful to all of us? I personally use only contacts and calender out of the preset selection! Change the defaults!!
How i’ve personally set it up is: Contacts-Messaging-Calender-Radio-Ybrowser-Profiles
And, i’ve changed the default softkeys too, the first being ‘Camera’ (Useful for activating the front cam) and the second being ‘Gallery’
The option to change these defaults can be found in:
Tools>Settings>General>Personalisation>Standby Mode>Active Standby Apps.
You, can turn off the active display too but i’d recommend not doing that!
(ii) Shuffle The Menu Around
One saves a lot of time look for a particular application if the menu is well organised. The way i do it is make a folder called ‘Utilities’ in which i dump most 3rd party applications i install! By default newly installed apps turn up in the Applications folder which already has a few applications of its own, making it into one big mess. A few of the 3rd party applications like a pdf+ can be put in a relevant folder like Office too. To create a new folder just choose ‘Options’ - ’New Folder’. To move an application into it, highlight the application and select ‘Move to Folder’ and the name of the corresponding folder.
Third Party Applications:
Here comes my favourite part! S60 has do dearth of applications available specially now as most titles have been ported over to the Series 60 Third Edition Platform. I’ll start with a few personal favourites:
This is a must have file manager, the best part about it is that its free too! It allows for ease of navigation and a few advanced features too like changing the attributes of a file! This can then be used to store pictures in your phone which you would not want to come up in the Gallery! Simply change their attribute to hidden with the help of this app n u’r done! Neat utility!
This is probably the most well known freeware file browsers for S60 platform. It does what Ybrowser can and also adds the ‘restart’ feature, use for a smartphone when u need to free some ram! However it has some issues with the N95 as the lower part of the screen fails to refresh (Note the left over from the menu, the names of applications). I keep it for the restart feature and also the ability to take screenshots! Also a must have, the only problem is you’ll have to sign the file your self yourself. Its not as tough as it sounds! Instructions can be found here.
This is a dictionary application that is one of the best i came across. Fast, comprehensive and a wide array of available dictionaries available from translation to English usage. I personally use the Consise English and Thesaurus. One feature that is amiss for me is help with wrong spellings, it doesn’t suggest alternatives! But still worth it.
This is another application i love! Free again! It allows Voip calls, IM with peers on services like Skype, Google Talk etc using the phone’s Internet connection. Make sure you have unlimited data, as the uses a lot of data in calls which of course is understandable!
It a default calculator replacement, which is awesome and really easy to use. Best part again is that its free! I really love quality freeware applications!
6. Video Players!
There are two options in this regard. One is the free Divx Player and the second is the paid Smartmovie. Both are almost similar however smartmovie is optimised for the N95 and works well with TV out. The divx player freezes the phone if u slide to the landscape mode while a file is playing. But if plan to use the viewer only on the phone without TV out, Divx player does the job! However smartmovie has the option of a desktop convertor too. Here is the conversion guide! The files so converted will work with both players.
7. P2P Options!
We have the option on having a p2p client on the phone itself in the from of Symella! Also available is a torrent application which gives us an ability to download torrents on the phone itself, Sym Torrent. The best part again is that both are free!
8. SMS Tools!
Two features amiss in the S60 messaging application are the ability to send flash messages and scheduled messages. Third party applications(paid) can fix that too. SmsOne is a simply fast and easy to use flash sms application. The application that adds sms scheduling ability is SmsChat. It claims to do a lot more, i’ve not tried it out completely though.
9. Mobiola WebCam!
It turns the phone into a webcam! Pretty neat, the setup is fast and easy too. This is one application that is really great, saves you the cost a webcam! There are two versions available, Usb and Bluetooth i’d recommend the latter for great mobility.
Update: From Comment No. 28. Dennis from over at warelex has just said this about a forthcoming update from the software.
“Thank you for mentioning here one of our applications Mobiola Web Camera. Please check for new version of it on Monday it will have some cool features, one of them will allow you to show your phone’s gallery to your Skype or IM friends right from the phone.”
10. Handy Clock!
This adds what the S60 suite should ideally already have a stopwatch! It also includes a nice calendar screen saver, worldclock, a Timer and an Alarm manager, a nice value addition for non feature pack 1 phones that lack repetitive alarms.
11. Nokia Offerings!
Nokia has also launched Beta Labs which give us access too free applications such as Gizmo (A VOIP Client), Mobile Codes (For the Inbuilt BarCode Reader), Wellness Diary and the Sports Tracker application. The sports tracker application makes use of the inbuilt GPS to track progress and also features he ability to save routes and export them into google earth! A must download! Although not officially free but a software caller Theme DIY which allows us to make our own themes in minutes and on the phone itself! I use this to make full screen wallpapers for the phone, which doesn’t happen otherwise on a S60 phone. Its available from the Nokia Site.
Note: Most of this is valid for all S60 v3 phones such as the N93, N73 etc also. In case you feel i’ve missed out on something, just drop a comment and i’ll be happy to update!
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