Skype, the very popular VoIP (Voice over Internet Protocol) internet telephone/text tool has been available for a while free from www.skype.com and is now available free from the online Ovi Store. It just confirms the worldwide popularity of Skype when you’re online on a PC to see in excess of 15,000,000 Skype users online; actually at the time of writing this blog, I’ve seen 20,794,949 online!
Since I’ve used Skype online via 3G from ‘3’ on my Nokia N97 Mini, I’ve found connection to be stable especially when travelling. Skype is a particularly useful method of communication as calls are free and won’t use up an adverse amount of your data allowance from your home/work broadband or mobile 3G contract. Most data users on their mobile smartphones luckily get (if they ask for it) from 250MB-1GB/month. I particularly get 1GB/month (along with adequate talk time and a load of texts) for a mere £15/month from ‘3’! 🙂 🙂 🙂
I’ve been using Palmtop Computers and more recently Mobile Smartphones for 21 years now! Supporting users of: Symbian Smartphones, Psion Palmtops, Palm, Blackberry, Pocket PC, Windows Mobile, iPhone & iPod Touch and Android devices, otherwise known as PDAs, oh AND the great new PsiXpda UMPC with:
- TECHNICAL SUPPORT & TRAINING…
- Transfer of data from old PDAs (E.g. Psion, Palm, Pocket PC etc) to new PDAs (E.g. iPhone, Blackberry etc);
- Synchronisation of PDA data (Calendar, Contacts, Tasks & Notes) with PC software (E.g. Microsoft Outlook);
- Back Up of data on to PC/Mac or memory card;
- Configuration of email;
- Advice on upgrade options and
- MORE! (BUT, PLEASE NOTE – I don’t sell PDAs/Smartphones OR repair them)
Look no further, you won’t be dissapointed! get in touch with Ozzie on +44 (0)7889 374086 or via an email to ozziehallosman [at] btinternet [dot] com, also see http://www.palmtopman.com. I trust you can understand my email address (to avoid spamming software!!!).
These days new smartphones are released sadly with SO many bugs! (E.g. The Nokia N97’s currently at v.22!) Resulting in a rediculous situation of ‘Joe public’ ending up effectively as Beta testers! Well that’s what I think. But luckily new devices are generally followed by firmware upgrades from the manufacturers. Now, if you’ve got an unlocked device you can benefit from getting the very latest firmware upgrades as they’re released; either as an upgrade directly on the device (best via a 3G or Wi-Fi connection) or during a connection with PC Suite or Ovi Suite on your PC via a broadband connection. BUT, if your device is locked to a network provider such as Orange or Vodafone etc in the UK, you’ll unfortately have to wait for firmware upgrades to first be approved by the networks, uurrgghh! Which could mean the upgrade which positively fixes problems and adds enhancements may take weeks/months to be available! 😦 So, my recommendation is to try where possible to get hold of factory unlocked devices. I’ve also been told by a great local Nokia Care Centre to me (Fleet Communications, Eltham (SE London)) that if ‘Care Centres’ do a firmware upgrade to a (High Street) unlocked device it is likely to be re-locked after the upgrade to it’s original network!
Then I found this site… http://www.unlockedmobilephones.org.uk/
Having been a user of PDAs (Portable Digital Assistants) for 21 years now! since the days when Psion Palmtop computers ruled the world 🙂 well, not exactly but certainly when I stopped using paper in my good old FiloFax for my PIM (Personal Information Management) for diary/calendar, address book, notes, to-do lists. Right from the start I soon grew into a ‘power user’ utilising features/utilities of all the models of the good old Psion Palmtop Computers.
Over the last 21 years my use of PDAs and since mobiles evolved into smartphones (my very first one being the world’s first from Ericsson, the R380) has very much stayed utilising the core functionality of PIM with electronic management of Calendar, Contacts, Tasks, Notes. Then soon after mobiles were born, I utilised mobile data comms alongside a PDA at first via the aged Infra Red; for emails and early web browsing. Also synchronising PIM data with Microsoft Office and Photograph Albums.
Then as smartphones evolved my use other than PIM extended to music, videos, photography and file exchange with Microsoft Office Word documents & Excel spreadsheets. Now utilising built-in GPS receivers for Satellite Navigation.
So, here is a list of what I want to use in my next Smartphone: Calendar, Contacts, Tasks, Notes (all in Sync with Microsoft Outlook 2003, must move on to 2007 soon), File exchange/creation of Microsoft Office Word & Excel documents, Multiple Email accounts, Web Browsing, SatNav, MP3(Music)/MP4(Video) Player, QWERTY Keyboard, Alarms, MSN Messenger, Facebook, Twitter, Skype, File Manager, PDF Reader, Dictionary, Calculator, Voice Recorder. Screenshot and iPlayer apps. Don’t ask for much, do I! 🙂 I did say I was a ‘Power User’ of PDAs 🙂
Well, to be honest, more or less all the latest Smartphones give what I’m looking for and in some cases a bit more. So now, what OS platform will I go for…? Well, in summary:
- Blackberry – although my use over many months was good, with great PIM functionality, I have the bad memory of RIM’s Blackberry ROM Firmware upgrade messing up my calendar, see my blog. So, Blackberry? No I don’t think so.
- Palm – although, this OS has been resurected in the form of the Palm Pre, I keep moving away from touch screens/pen input to QWERTY keyboards.
- Android – although, I’m impressed with my first insight, the T-Mobile Pulse, again – I keep moving away from touch screens/pen input to QWERTY keyboards.
- Maemo – too new, expected to be buggy, out of principle, don’t want to be a beta tester for new designs, being a power user, I need my chosen OS to be ‘sound’ with minimal bugs etc.
- Windows Mobile – although this is the ultimate match for sync with my desktop PIM from Microsoft Office, I fell out of love with the Windows Mobile OS on my last Samsung Omnia, my experience wasn’t great.
- iPhone – tempted due to the fanastic touch screen utility and lovely large screen, however, I just love a physical QWERTY keyboard.
- Symbian – my current love, in the form of S60 3rd Ed.on my Nokia E55. Very very tempted by the Nokia N97 Mini. All my needs met, nice screen and good QWERTY keyboard.
As I stressed to the sales assistants when I visited a Vodafone and CarPhone Warehouse store today; my priorities in order of importance apart from my full power-house spec is: Maximum (unlimited would be good) Data allowance: for SatNav, Emails/Web Browsing, Minutes and Texts.
In my opinion and as their current posters say “Our 3G network was made for surfing the internet on the go”, 3 give the best data allowance for your money. Unfortunately, 3 only do the Nokia N97 Classic, not the N97 Mini. The Classic is bigger and has wasted keyboard space with a D-Pad on the left.
So at the moment, my No.1 choice is the Nokia N97 Mini…
What I need to decide on is, do I go for a ‘locked’ Vodafone device for free on an 18 month contract and ruin the warranty by getting it unlocked so I can get firmware upgrades when Nokia issue them. From Steve’s great Phone Show video or side-line Phone Show Chat Podcast, I hear that it’s currently at v.11 with fixes to it’s RAM management. Steve’s productions are a great reliable source of information. Or, do I buy any unlocked device from my favourite second-hand store www.cex.co.uk (with a 1yr warantee) or take a chance on www.ebay.co.uk. Hummmm, undecided at the mo.
Introduction – Having used PDA gadgets rather than paper diaries etc for over 20 years now! since my beloved Psion CM; I thought that some of my blog readers might like to read how I’m currently working with PIM (Personal Information Management) with my current electronic devices: Desktop PC, PsiXpda and Nokia E55 Mobile Smartphone.
On my PsiXpda in Microsoft Outlook 2003 I have 820 Contacts, my Calendar, Tasks and Notes, all this data is synchronised daily with my new Nokia E55 Mobile Smartphone. I also have a collection of Word and Excel documents that I share between by my PsiXpda and Nokia E55. I use Nokia’s PC Suite (v.188.8.131.52) primarily to sync data between Outlook on PsiXpda and Nokia E55, although I do have the latest Nokia Ovi Suite (v.184.108.40.206) on my Desktop/PsiXpda, I don’t use it as of yet. PC Suite is set up to auto-sync periodically every 15 mins whilst connected via USB. I have tried a Bluetooth connection but couldn’t get a connection to the Internet via 3G/GPRS between by Nokia E55 & PsiXpda.
SatNav (Satellite Navigation) via Ovi Maps is great 🙂 and I’m very impressed 🙂 🙂 🙂 with the way Nokia’s Ovi Maps works with your saved favourites synced with the Ovi Maps server and as such available not only on your Nokia but online on a PC/Mac! I’m getting on with SatNav via Ovi Maps so well on my Nokia E55 that I may well use it as my primary SatNav tool, especially as it’s now FREE which includes voice guidance navigation when driving/walking, traffic updates, speed cameras and more (thank you Nokia) and the fact that my aged Garmin Nuvi 300 needs a £29.99! annual upgrade for safety cameras and a further £59.99! for map upgates.
Day-to-Day use – I use my PsiXpda during my working week from my desk where I use Calendar, Contacts, Tasks, Notes, Email/Messaging, Word & Excel; as I mentioned before, all changes to Calendar/Contacts/Tasks/Notes are then wonderfully sync’ed onto my Nokia via USB (oh and charging it too). Ensuring that when I go mobile away from my desk, I have all my important data on my smartphone 🙂 For easy text messaging with the great keyboard on my PsiXpda I use the great 🙂 ‘Messaging’ feature within the PC Suite. Text messages can be written/sent/read/deleted from the PC Suite on PsiXpda/Desktop PC whilst connected to the Nokia.
Nokia PC Suite being installed on my home Desktop PC, PsiXpda and family PC (connection via USB Cable or Bluetooth) enables me to update/review my Nokia (not Outlook) Calendar, Contacts, Text Messages, Files (Word, Excel etc), MPs, MPEGs and JPEGs. This is a great quick way of working, alongside Outlook.
Wi-Fi connectivity via my home BT Broadband whilst I’m at home is used by my Nokia E55, making it cheaper and quicker when using Skype (via Nimbuzz), IM and downloading from the WWW.
Backing Up lastly but by no means lowest importance is carried out regularing using PC Suite onto my Desktop PC.
Blackberry now redundant in my ‘bottom draw’, my Nokia E55 actually does more than my Blackberry did! albeit with a smaller screen, but with the 1/2 QWERTY keypad on the E55, data entry is ok; and with QuickOffice as standard on my E55 letting me create word/excel documents :-). So, the question is, will I go back to a Blackberry? eemmm… at the moment, I’m not planning to; especially after RIMs recent Blackberry software upgrade that deleted over 10yrs of my calendar!