July 22, 2007

More on the Nokia N95 - my first 2 days with GPS, updated Shozu and more

More comments on the Nokia N95... well, it's been 2 days since I got going with the N95. I spent Friday night messing around with the device, reading the manual, running through video demos, and migrating data from my old device (N80) and trying to get the new system up and running. For those of you that have never switched smartphones its similar to trying to migrate all your data and apps from your old PC to a new one. Luckily the device comes with some useful utilities that make it a relatively painless process... although I've done this several times now and I likely have a leg up on a "newbie" smart phone user - FYI, I've been using Nokia smart phones for about 3.5 years now. Friday night I did the following and suggest a similar route should you ever get one of the spanky units...
- first, I loaded a 2GM microSD card into it and updated the device's firmware... Nokia just released an update for the N95 that provides additional enhancements supporting A GPS. Updating firmware on a new device is simple and much easier than attempting it on your regular device that would likely be packed with data and apps.. think formatting your PC hard drive!
- I then transferred most of my data from the old device to the new N95 using Bluetooth. The N95 comes with a useful transfer utility specifically for this. I say most because it kept barking at me that the device memory was full and would bail on the process.. weird because the N95 has a ton of free data! A simple solution using file manager that comes with Nokia PC Suite - the PC companion utility for file and application management, used from your PC.
- Once all my contacts, notes, emails etc.. were loaded I then installed a couple of applications that I needed, like Shozu, and configured a flickr upload utility. My flickr is all configured now and shozu helps send all my data in a compact format... fast and cheap!  Shozu is a MUST have. Unfortunately flickr doesn't seem to want to auto post my photos to the blogger blog so I'm still trouble shooting that.
- finally, I loaded a few more songs onto the N95 since I have so much space on the SD card! The MP3 player on the N95 is awesome and the FM radio is great... I was listening to the broadcast at a baseball game on Saturday! This will come in handy when I go see the Rockies play the Padres next week!
- the rest has just been trial and error, mostly trying to figure out how the mapping and GPS is working. It's a learning curve but so far I've managed to capture my position at several locations and then added way points/ POIs for certain features (home, the gym, CSU etc...)  Using the GPS has been fun.. imagine calling up the "Map" application and the map auto centers near my exact location. Then as I update my position from a driving vehicle I can see my location displayed on the map and it moves along with me.. this is way cool! Once I'm more comfortable I'll be making sure that my flickr photos are geotagged and being mapped... I'll likely also try the Google Panoramio service as well (I have an account but don't use it much so far.. it pales in comparisson to flickr IMHO.
- a couple of things I like.. the display is freaking HUGE, the color of the screen is way cool (especially using a dark theme) I had no issues using the device outside on a very hot and sunny day; the music player rocks, GPS is simple so far and fun, the bundled services are plentiful (ie. configure flickr, data transfer, radio station search, etc...
I've already connected with the PictEarth guys since I got the device... maybe I'll send my N95 up for a fly on a UAV.. how cool would that be to capture some aerial photography with it! See http://pictearth.ning.com/ for more on PictEarth
Stay tuned for another update in a day or two.
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