Feb. 7, 2011, 3:26 a.m.
posted by clayrat
Use the Nokia PC Suite
The Nokia PC Suite allows you to use a PC to control, manage, and extend your Nokia smartphone. It greatly enhances your device experience.
Today's smartphones have computing power similar to PCs. However, due to their small screens and limited keyboards, they are not about to replace PCs. In fact, the phone and PC usage models nicely complement each other. You can do the heavyweight computing (e.g., writing and compiling code, creating gigantic spreadsheets, or designing a company newsletter) on a PC and have mobile data access on your smartphone anywhere you go. The phone is a smart extension to the PC. The Nokia PC Suite lets your Windows PC work with your Nokia phone. Many hacks in the rest of the book use the Nokia PC Suite.
Download and Install the PC Suite
The Nokia PC Suite software is freely available from the Nokia web site, at http://www.nokia.com/pcsuite. You will be asked to choose your phone model, and the Windows operating system version on which you plan to run the PC Suite. Depending on your choices, you will be presented with several possibilities. All of the version numbers in the following list are current as of April 2005. For a complete compatibility table of devices and PC Suite versions, please visit http://www.nokia.com/nokia/0,,72030,00.html#model.
Most Nokia phones work with both the Nokia PC Suite v6.5 (for Windows 2000 and XP) and v5.8 (for Windows 98 and ME). The v5.8 software is provided only to support older Windows computers, and is no longer under active development. It is not as feature-rich as v6.5. Some phone models, including the popular Nokia 7610 (Series 60 [Hack #2]), work only with the Nokia PC Suite v6.5. You cannot install a Nokia PC Suite for those devices on a Windows 98/ME computer.
Some Nokia devices, including the popular Nokia 3650 and 6600 (Series 60), require special versions of the Nokia PC Suite (e.g., the Nokia PC Suite for 6600). Those special versions work on Windows 98, ME, 2000, and XP. However, some of them have known problems with Windows XP SP2's native Bluetooth drivers.
Some older phone models (black-and-white screen models) work only with the Nokia PC Suite v4.8.x, which runs on Windows 2000, XP, 98, and ME computers. Those devices and their PC Suites have limited functionalities.
In this book, I will focus on the Nokia PC Suite v6.5. If your phone or operating system requires you to use another version, please refer to the corresponding user manual and you can probably find features similar to those in v6.5.
Once you download the Nokia PC Suite installer, you can launch it and follow the on-screen instructions to install the program. If you want to upgrade your Nokia PC Suite to a more recent version, you have to uninstall the old version first via the Add/Remove Programs control panel and then install the new version.
A Tour of Key Features
The Nokia PC Suite consists of a collection of programs. Each icon in the PC Suite's main window corresponds to a separate program (see Figure). Figure lists the component programs in the Nokia PC Suite v6.4.
The main window of the Nokia PC Suite v6.4
Backup and restore
Backs up and restores data from and to the mobile device. It can also be used to copy content from one device to another.
Synchronizes personal information items (contacts, calendar events, and to-do items) between the device and the Outlook or Lotus programs on the PC.
Allows you to browse the content on the phone using Windows Explorer on the PC.
Installs Java and Symbian applications to supported devices.
Creates and edits audio clips in formats supported by Nokia devices. It also allows you to transfer audio clips between the device and the PC.
Converts images to formats supported by Nokia devices. It also allows you to transfer images to the device to be used as wallpaper, MMS messages, etc.
Plays video clips taken by the phone's camera on the PC.
Converts generic Musical Instrument Digital Interface (MIDI) ring-tone files to special MIDI ring-tone formats supported by Nokia devices.
Enters contacts on the PC and sends them over to the phone's contacts list.
Send text messages
Sends and receives text messages on the PC via the phone.
Manages the devices connected to this PC via Bluetooth, Infrared, USB cable, and serial cable.
Edit modem options
Enables the PC to use the mobile phone as a modem.
Connect the PC Suite to a Device
The Nokia PC Suite can access devices connected to the PC via Bluetooth, Infrared data port, serial cable, and USB cable. If you prefer to use a cable-based connection, you have to purchase the cable separately (cables are available via many online stores). Refer to your phone's specification in the manual to determine the type of cable it supports before purchasing.
To connect a device to the PC Suite, you can click the Manage Connections icon in the main window to bring up the Connection Manager application (see Figure). Then you can select the connection method for the device and click the Configure button to configure the connection. For example, if you click the Configure button for Bluetooth connection, the PC Suite will walk you through a wizard to search, pair, and connect to nearby Nokia phones.
PC Suite Limitations
The Nokia PC Suite has many useful features that are used by several other hacks in this book. However, sometimes you might not be able or willing to use the PC Suite to connect to the device:
The Nokia PC Suite is available only on Windows PCs. It does not work on Mac or Linux computers.
While the Nokia PC Suite v6.5 is the most recent version of the software, it runs only on Windows 2000 and XP computers. If you use older Windows PCs, you will have to settle for older versions of the PC Suite that have fewer features and are no longer under development.
The Connection Manager program in the Nokia PC Suite
Not all devices work with the Nokia PC Suite v6.5. Several popular devices (e.g., the Nokia 3650 and 6600) require their own special versions of the PC Suite. Yet, you cannot run two Nokia PC Suites on the same computer. This is inconvenient for users with multiple Nokia devices.
The Nokia PC Suite is sometimes buggy. That is especially the case for the Windows 98based PC Suite, and for PC Suites that target specific devices. Apparently, those versions of the Nokia PC Suites receive less development and Q/A effort than the main v6.5 version. For example, some versions of the Nokia PC Suite do not work with the native Bluetooth stack on Windows XP SP2 [Hack #12].
The Nokia PC Suite is a 20MB application that consumes a significant amount of system resources on the PC.
Mobile users sometimes need to use public computers with the phone. It is impractical to install the Nokia PC Suite on public computers.
In the rest of this book, when I describe a hack using the Nokia PC Suite, I'll discuss any alternative ways in which you can complete the same task.