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    Default Nokia series 60 Communicator - New Release, 2007

    Top Nokia E90 tips


    This page is for anyone thinking of migrating to the Nokia E90 with a
    view to using it as their main communicator and entertainment device.
    (Page updated 2nd July 2007)


    The E90 is (as I write this) the highest specified S60/Symbian OS
    device there is. With a good-enough qwerty keyboard, huge internal screen,
    oodles of RAM, built-in 3 megapixel camera and GPS, and that's just
    scratching the surface of its functionality.

    Click here to enlarge

    1.Open up your device
    By default, the E90 and other modern Series 60 smartphones come
    'locked down' in terms of the applications they'll accept, installing
    only those that have large companies behind them, able to afford the
    expensive 'signing' process. But there are hundreds of other great
    applications, many of them free, that are 'unsigned' ('self-signed')
    (although under S60 3rd Edition, totally unsigned applications are
    slightly restricted in what they can do). Don't worry about this (see
    my malware
    article to put your mind at rest). Just go to 'Settings | Applications
    | App manager' and set 'Software installation' to "All". and
    'Online certif check' to "Off". You can now install any
    compatible program without being blocked by spurious security
    warnings!

    2.Use those shortcuts!
    As befits a communicator with a proper keyboard, Nokia have outfitted
    the E90 with lots of shortcuts, although it still falls far short of
    those in its full 9500 predecessor. Here are a few of my favourites,
    some obvious (as they're similar to those in non-keyboard S60 devices)
    and some not so obvious:
    In any text-entry application, Ctrl-C copies highlighted text, Ctrl-X
    cuts it and Ctrl-V pastes it, just as in any desktop application.
    In Web, '8' brings up the mini-Map, '1' gives you bookmarks, '5'
    switches windows.

    In Gallery/Images, '3' rotates images, '*' toggles full-screen on/off,
    while '5' zooms in and '0' zooms out.
    In Gallery/Video clips, '2' toggles full-screen playback and
    navigator-up fast forwards within a clip.
    In Calendar, '#' takes you to 'Today, though watch out that the
    current firmware has a bug that doesn't update the right hand
    information pane.
    There are plenty more shortcuts to find and enjoy, even in third party
    applications, though it's hard to remember them all - the ones above
    should save you the most time.

    3.Levelling up
    Many E90s have uneven rubber feet fitted, seemingly. If yours
    'wobbles', experiment with shaving down or even removing the 'tallest'
    foot. Worked wonders with my device!

    4.Pump up the brightness (1)
    The default themes that ship with the Nokia E90 are mainly dark and
    boring. Maybe they 'fit' the idea of a business device, but you'd be a
    lot better served with a simply bright and white theme, such as this
    one: white_revisited_13.sis
    (sorry, no idea where it came from now!) More contrast and a much
    simpler and less distracting display!

    Click here to enlarge

    5.Pump up the brightness (2)
    Make sure you increase the screen from the default brightness to its
    maximum. Yes, there's a tiny hit on the time between battery
    recharges, but in the meantime you'll see some glorious colours. With
    the clamshell open, press 'Chr' plus the top-left key, to cycle
    through the levels. With the clamshell closed, go to 'Settings |
    General | Personalisation | Display | Light sensor' and adjust away.
    Of course, for night-time use, your smartphone can double as an
    emergency torch or, if you're actually reading from the screen, you
    can use the same settings to turn the brightness right down to save
    being dazzled.

    6.A cleaner, brighter standby screen
    You can do a lot to make your active standby screen brighter, cleaner
    and more useful. See my tutorial
    over on AllAboutSymbian.

    7.Ignore those 'Exit' buttons!
    Because the E90 has oodles of execution memory (i.e. RAM), you can
    have most of your Series 60 apps running at the same time, which means
    no delays while applications are launched. The trick is to ignore
    those 'Exit' buttons. When you need to switch to a different
    application, press the Menu ('Applications') button and select it from
    there, leaving the current app running. Or use the tip below to switch
    between running programs directly.
    [Caveat: watch out for intensive apps like navigation programs, games
    or third party music players, which can eventually drain your battery
    if left running all the time. For these, you definitely should
    press Exit!]

    8.What's running?
    The one utility every computer user needs is a system task manager
    (i.e. what's running). Luckily, the basics are built-in. Just press
    and hold the 'Menu/Applications' button.

    9.Faster GPS
    Things you can do to improve GPS lock-on speed:
    - stay stationary after activating Nokia Maps - the GPS receiver has a
    much better chance of locking on if you're not moving and complicating
    the calculations.
    - stay up to date with latest firmware, which will include optimised
    GPS routines and (perhaps, in the future) Assisted GPS support.
    - be aware of how far on the Earth's surface and how long it is since
    you last used the GPS. The higher each of these numbers, the more work
    the GPS has to do to find and lock onto each satellite. For example,
    if I know I'm 100 miles away from the last place I used it or if it
    was two weeks ago, I'll give it a blast on the window ledge for 10
    minutes before taking the E90 out into the car. Once in the vehicle,
    it should then be locked on almost instantaneously.

    10.The latest and best
    Make sure you keep up to date with PC Suite. Yes, there's a version on
    the CD that came with your smartphone, but Nokia are fixing bugs and
    adding bits and pieces all the time. Most useful is the way you can
    explore your smartphone's folders (including your text Inbox) from
    within Windows Explorer. Very cool. Keep an eye on the PC
    Suite home page and stay current!

    11.The ones you love the most (1)
    With the Nokia E90, there's S60's usual 'active' standby screen. Don't
    just take the shortcuts given, I'm sure you have ideas of your own as
    to your most used applications. You can change any of the six (or
    eight, with the clamshell open) shortcuts in the rather-hidden-away
    'Tools | Settings | Phone | Standby mode | Active standby apps' (Phew,
    you really have to get to know the settings hierarchy on these
    devices!)

    12.Quicker camera and music access
    Although your needs will be different to mine, I've assigned 'Camera'
    to the right hand function key on the standby screen, so that it's
    only usually one button press away. And I've assigned Music to the 'My
    own key 2', again for quicker access, in this case with the clamshell
    open. And, in case you were wondering, I've assigned 'Notes' to 'My
    own key 1'.

    13.Hangup=Exit
    Don't keep switching back to the Standby screen using the Hangup
    button. This was OK on old versions of S60, but in almost every
    instance it closes the current application on the E90 - in other
    words, it acts as 'Exit'. If you want to keep the current program
    running in the background, press Menu/Apps instead, twice if you want
    to get to Standby screen.

    14.The ones you love the most (2)
    If you get fed up scrolling down the Menu screen lookng for your
    favourite applications again, why not shuffle things round so
    that the apps you use the most are clustered right at the top?
    Highlight an icon and use 'Move', and you'll find you can re-insert it
    anywhere in the list. If you have lots of favourites, make the most of
    the folder system (e.g. 'Games') and then put these folders near the
    top of the list, for speedy access.

    15.Download!
    Make the most of 'Download!', a recent innovation by Nokia, on most of
    their smartphones. On a device-specific basis, some relevant 'free'
    tools that you'll need are placed for easy access, grabbing them
    online (via Wi-Fi hopefully, some of them are largish downloads).
    There's also a game and a number of trial versions of commercial apps,
    too, you can ignore these unless you're interested.

    Click here to enlarge

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