N73 in 400 Words

As the new year turned, I bought a Nokia N73, my first Symbian phone as well as my first phone with a color display. My initial plan was to get a Sony-Ericsson K800i and I still think K800i is a much better phone than N73. But Nokia wins my heart by offering great development tools . Python for S60 is especially delicious.

After playing with it for more than two weeks, I’m surprised of how powerful mobile platforms have become and how little mobile applications have improved. Maybe I shouldn’t. Isn’t that exactly the same case on the PC platform, with software always trying to catch up with hardware? Sure, N73 has an excellent 3.2 megapixel camera and its 2.4″ display is brilliant. But its applications are so lacking that even simple, routine jobs require tinkering. For example, history of recently used numbers is limited to voice calls only and is not available for SMS. For example, while typing the recipient of an SMS, address book based hinting is not available, a full address book search has to be performed to extract a number from it.

And of course, N73 has to get along with my PowerBook. There’s a PC Suite from Nokia, but no one has heard of a Mac Suite. Never mind. Bluetooth works out of box. Sending file back and forth is easy. The default iSync does not work with N73, but here is a nice free plugin. N73 is now in sync with iCal and Address Book. Another nice option to back up address book is ShoZu .

I also use Google Calendar and there are two options to access it from N73. Option one, get GCalSync and access Google Calendar directly from N73. Option two, subscribe to Google Calendar from ICal. The URL to personal Google Calendar can be acquired by going to Calendar Details and clicking the green ICAL button under section Private Address. In addition, GCalDaemon can be used to keep the local copy of calendar file in sync with the online copy. This would allow Google Calendar events to be added directly from within iCal. The local calendar files are kept under ~/Library/Application Support/iCal/Sources .

There’s still no message backup. With Bluetooth AT Terminal , AT commands can be directly sent to the phone. It should be straightforward to create a utility to back up messages and contacts.

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