All About Symbian - Nokia (S60) and Sony Ericsson (UIQ) smartphones unwrapped

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Old 19-08-2008, 07:18 AM
blizzardwarning blizzardwarning is offline
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e90 + Mac OS X (Leopard) + Gizmo5 + Google Docs?

Hello All --

In this sometimes confusing world of mobile phones, telephony, services, and such, I have pretty much narrowed down my need for a smart phone, and am considering two options: 1.) the e90 Communicator or 2.) wait-and-see what the Android HTC Dream turns out to be like. Either way, I love open source based systems that provide options and we have that now with Symbian for the e90 and of course Android. But it seems to me that a tighter integration of software and hardware, which is Nokia's specialty (which of course the media touts is also Apple's specialty), gives the e90 / Symbian Foundation an edge over Android and whomever makes hardware implementations for Android (e.g., HTC).

Now, for the challenges. I do in fact like UNIX running on Mac OS X. I'm an information specialist and I can run Windows if need be (I have Parallels on a Mac Pro tower with Windows XP Pro installed on virtual machines, and I also used Apple's Boot Camp used on a MacBook Air to have an XP Partition but I almost always use Leopard (OS X 10.5) on both of my machines.

I also want to use the Gizmo5 software. Gizmo5 looks to be very friendly toward Symbian and Nokia phones (with specific support of the e90 listed on their web site), so that I can surely send and receive SMS messages and avail of the other benefits of using Gizmo5 including the built-in IM client that works via their Gateway to several different IM networks). The Gizmo5 desktop software for Windows and Mac OS X does not currently support allowing the recipient of an SMS message to respond, as Gizmo states in their FAQ: "Desktop clients may not yet be able to receive SMS replies". Thus the vital importance of the e90. Of course there are other Nokia phones besides the e90 that can run the Gizmo5 software for two-way SMS through the Gizmo5 gateway, but I decided that if I am going to bite on something, then I might as well get a phone that gives me various other options (for example I could watch a recorded sporting event on the e90 while riding an exercise bike at my health club - has anyone taken their e90 to a health club and used it to watch video or listen to music?).

I am in the U.S. and despite the hype and hoopla about 3G, now that the iPhone 3G has been out and about, its interesting to hear some of the feedback such as, "3G is faster but its not that much faster". I am lucky in that I didn't set my expectations too high for 3G. In fact, I can live with 2G "edge" if need be, or really I might just use the e90 more often on WiFi networks with minimal telephony use, and I don't plan on setting my expectations too high for web browsing on an e90 (or any other PDA / smart phone for that matter). Despite cool iPhone stuff such as pinch and zoom, reality is that I prefer a laptop or larger desktop monitor for reading / browsing whether its Web formatted content, PDFs or office documents. However, this leads me to a question: for infrequent use (maybe an emergency or a small time - space consideration before I can get myself to a MacBook Air or Desktop), has anyone tested the e90 with the Google Docs cloud-based web-based services (e.g., you can edit spreadsheets in the Google Apps cloud)? The Google Apps web based service is something I have been using from a Desktop and laptop system, and it has worked quite well allowing for collaboration with my distanced business colleague, and it allows us to use ISO standard open document formats such as OpenDocument all in the cloud!

Speaking of the clouds, I do have the MobileMe service and as the IT media has reported, Apple has been having problems with MobileMe so I am not expecting MobileMe to be a "blackberry exchange server" killer any time soon. I also do not expect a MobileMe cloud-based 2-way sync with a Nokia e90, but is it possible and not too difficult to 2-way sync the e90 over WiFi or Bluetooth with Mac OS X Leopard (10.5.x)? This is something I've never tried but I would guess that others have tried before? It would be of utmost importance for me to be able to sync as I very much prefer to use Apple's Calendar and Address Book (I could then use, at least in theory, MobileMe to further sync via the cloud, a Mac Pro with a MacBook Air and thus in theory the family of Mac Pro / MacBook Air / e90 could possibly be one happy family).

What about iTunes on OS X 10.5 Leopard and the e90? Is there anyway I can easily update an e90 via my iTunes music collection (I always buy my music as DRM-free mostly as .m4a)? And for video, I presume MPEG-4 is also ok? How is the screen brightness and resolution (dpi) of the e90 compared to the iPhone?

An unlocked e90 is still quite a relatively expensive purchase choice (I've seen them being sold for about $720 USD) so I have to do all this research ahead of time or else my boss will have my head. Also, I am worried a little bit that I haven't thought of all of the correct questions to ask (asking the questions is often the hardest part), so if anyone has some additional suggestions, questions, feedback, I'd be grateful.

Cheers!
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