In a surprise but very welcome development, the N82 and both variants of the N95 have received a firmware update, taking them to v35. Specifically, the N95 (RM-159) is upto 35.0.02 & the N95 8GB (RM-320) is at 35.0.01 and the latest firmware for the N82 is now v35.0.002.
There is no changelog available yet and I am going through my drawers to look for my own N95 to update. Just a word of caution before you dive in yourself, just remember there is no user data preservation, so make sure you backup before you hit the NSU.
Hot on the heels of updates for the E63, E71 and the E66 comes the v201 update for the E75. The update is a 153 MB download via the Nokia Software Updater and currently isn’t available over the air. The new firmware is a major update and brings a host of improvements and bug fixes such as an update to the Nokia Messaging application and the web browser.
Quickoffice is now upto v5.3 and Ovi Contacts have also been integrated with the contacts application. Steve over at AAS has compiled a list of changes for Nokia E75 v201.12 firmware and it is a definite must update.
- Ovi Contacts now integrated
- Facebook, YouTube and MySpace shortcuts in Applications folder
- N-Gage client updated
- Calendar speed improvements and synchronisation bug fixes
- Share online client updated
- Qwerty keyboard optimisations to increase accuracy
- Nokia Messaging client updated
- Contacts speed improvements
- Web update to next-gen browser, v7.1 – faster, smoother
- Overall S60 UI speed improvements
- Quickoffice updated to v5.3, with Office 2007 support (v6.0 Quickoffice Premier is a free upgrade within the app)
We have just wrapped up the Q&A about the N97’s new 2.0 firmware. We had limited time, so I could unfortunately not get through all the questions that you had asked. With that said, here are the key aspects I’m sure you would like to read about.
- On the reworked RAM management – “We reworked the application memory mapping model, which uses the RAM more efficiently and reduces the memory errors”. It will help third party applications as well.
- On an early and a later build of the v20 firmware being released via the NSU – “There are no different SW versions out! All are the same. But admitting here as well that we had a build problem for our MEA versions, so we needed to re-build those….” (Q’s by Steve from AAS)
- On VOIP/Skype/Internet Radio – “We have already VoIP into PR2.0 and we are working on the Skype to get the best user experience out to the field”. “We are currently evaluating the internet radio feature for N97, but it is still in early phase”. (Q by Micky from Nokia Users)
- On Installing Nokia Messaging & Others on the E: drive – “We have choosen the C: drive, since it has memory paging and therefore makes the apps running faster and smoother”. (Your’s truly)
- On the possibility of Virtual RAM – “With PR2 we have taken big steps to improve the memory handling mechanism and the PR2.0 memory status will allow users to run the apps in a smooth way. Getting virtual RM is not an easy task, we encourage users to install the apps into the big 32Gb memory and not get everything into the C drive”. (Your’s truly)
- On threaded messaging and smiley support: “Our platform is under continues changes and improvements, stay tuned for the next releases, you will love them”. (Q by Ibrahim Jogee from The Nokia Review)
- On the Browser getting numeric shortcuts to options like bookmarks: “With a touch device it is much more easy and convenient to use the finger than using the keypad to get a bookmark started”. (Your’s truly)
There was a bit of discussion on bugs and a few other subject, click through to Nokia Addict for the complete transcript. Our questions were answered by Frank Zillikens and Catalin Gheorghiu from Nokia. Frank headed up the N97 v20 Firmware, and Catalin works on the Firmware Development Team.
I would like to thank both of them for their patience and answers. They have kindly agreed to take more questions, so if there is still something that’s troubling you, please make a note below. Also, they would also like some feedback on the new 2.0 firmware, as Catalin said, “Many of the PR2 improvements came from your ideas, you can see that already”.
At 17:30 GMT today I and a few other invitees will be attending a Q&A around the N97’s v20 firmware. We will be joined by Nokia representatives Frank Zillikens, the Lead Firmware Developer and Catalin Gheorghiu, a member of the technical team responsible for the recent firmware upgrade to talk about:
- Where you see the N97 going in the future.
- How you’re getting on with the device.
- What you do and don’t like about v20.
- What further improvements you would like to see.
- Why certain aspects of the Firmware are like they are – This is the one I’m really interested in.
I’m sure you have questions, so please put them down below and I will try and get an answer for you. Although I doubt questions like, ‘When will v20 be out for my region?’ will get a specific answer. Time is running out.
It is time to fire up the Nokia Software Updater now. The long awaited v20.0.019 firmware for the N97 is now available and I cannot stress the importance of this firmware enough. It will transform the N97 experience and will lead many to say that this was the firmware Nokia should have shipped the device with. The update is currently only available via the Nokia Software Updater and is a 134 MB download. We should also start seeing the over the air rollout soon. The N97 features user data preservation so you can upload without the fear of loosing data but I suggest a clean install after formatting the device (*#7370#) for the best experience.
It brings better RAM management, better internal storage management, speed improvements, stability and the biggest improvements of them all being all round kinetic scrolling across all lists. The update will also bring a few new widgets among other things. There is no official changelog yet, so I will keep updating as I find new things.
Incidentally, the N97 Mini will ship with the same firmware.
Periodically upgrading the firmware is the best care you can provide to your device, it not only helps improve performance, at times it adds functionality that previously did not exist. I am certain most of our readers are power users like myself, who probably upgrade device to the latest version within days if not hours of its coming out. But what about the not so savvy users? Do they ever upgrade? Chances are pretty bleak. So what can be done?
But before we get to that I was looking for a bit of perspective on firmware updates. Have anyone of you ever updated a friend’s or a relative’s phone’s firmware? Have you ever told them that there exists such a thing? Personally speaking, I try and let that everyone I meet know about this basic concept, for quite a few I even do it myself, if its a new device I do it then and there via OTA. But clearly a handful of users trying to spread the word isn’t helping too much.
Considering the fact that one of Nokia’s strongest plus points is the support they provide to the handset even months after the purchase in the form of firmwares that keep coming out. When the N97 came out, I was confident that Nokia will do justice to it, sooner or later and the v20 firmware promises to do that. What about the experience of the person who will never update the firmware himself?
WHAT NOKIA DOES:
- Over the last few months Nokia has started to emphasize the importance of new FW’s via service like My Nokia, even informing people when new firmwares come out.
- They also have included a ‘check for updates’ application to help in the process.
- User data preservation and over the air updates have become the standard in all new devices.
WHAT NOKIA SHOULD DO:
- Enable automatic updates. The device should be able to automatically update without the user having to press a key. But if they were to do this a lot of people will cry foul, at least the power users will. Therefore, the work around to this is:
— During the initial setup ask people if they are happy with automatic updates. Most people will be, the powers can shut them off there.
— Then, when the phone detects the presence of a new FW, it should prompt the user telling him that the firmware update is downloading and if he does nothing, it will be installed automatically at a particular time or the next time they connect the phone to the charger. The power users if required, can shut it off here.
— Then 15 minutes before the firmware installs, inform the user via a popup that the install is scheduled to commence in the next 15 minutes. This will give users a chance to cancel if they have something important planned for the next few minutes.
- There will still be a few users who will not be able to update because of a lack of data connection or a few other reasons. Educate them about FW’s. Put a small poster in the retail packaging of the device telling users about firmwares, their benefits and how to update. This should be separate from the user manual.
- Release a detailed change-log at the same time as the firmware. The OTA update should also become available simultaneously with the NSU client.
- Make the Nokia Care Center firmware update experience better. The turnaround time should be within a maximum of two hours, preferably less.
- Make the Nokia Software Updater compatible with the Mac OS.
If this is done, I think it will go a long way in improving overall customer satisfaction. Nokia is already working towards improving their notification system and I hope that this step is only the tip of the icerberg. Do you have any other suggestions?