I've talked in the past about bookmarking specific URLs in order to get to the 'HTML5' (/touch) versions of Google mobile web sites, i.e. the versions that iPhones and Android phones see. All too often, Symbian phones get served up the very low tech 'feature phone' versions of each page - which is a shame when Symbian OS and modern hardware can do a pretty decent job of handling whatever Google serves up. Google HD Browser automates the signing into Google and making sure the right URLs are used, giving - in effect - an (almost) complete Google touch experience. See below for comments on how effective it is and notes on some caveats.
Recent Reviews - Applications
The market for sports trackers is increasingly competitive, with the freeware (and eponymous) Sports Tracker leading the way, perhaps. However, the actual cost of the application is rather irrelevant in this market. With applications that are going to accompany you, hour after after, up hill and down dale, what matters is how much they fit what you want them to do. MeeRun is certainly a polished application and is available for both Symbian and Meego here. The highlights for me are the efficient UI and the integral power saving lock screen.
It's fair to say that ViewRanger has come a long way in seven years, since my initial 2006 review on a sub-QVGA device and I can only apologise to all concerned that we haven't updated our coverage of it on All About Symbian since then. The first versions concentrated more on the unique 'panorama' and photo sharing functions, but it's fair to say that ViewRanger is much more of a general GPS and off-road navigation tool now. Best of all, it's now much more Internet aware in terms of getting new maps as and when needed.
It's all very well having 'Voice recorder' built into every Symbian smartphone, but there's not exactly a lot of choice in terms of settings (quality can be 'MMS', 'standard' or 'high') and there's a one hour limit hard coded in. What if you want to record in higher quality? Or for longer? Or using a different codec or sample rate? That's where Audio Recorder Pro comes in, offering all of the above. Here's my assessment, complete with audio samples to check out.
Symbian's Music Player is now pretty good for most people, it has to be said, producing decent playback with very little hassle, and with an intuitive tabbed interface. However, real music afficionados might want to go further. Fancy gapless playback? Fancy playing back Ogg Vorbis and FLAC files as well? Fancy integrated, fully working cover art, lyrics, and artist bio downloading? Fancy a full 10 band parametric EQ with additional bass and treble customisations? Fancy comprehensive genre-based playlist construction? You'll be wanting QuasarMX then. Read on...
It's a fair cop, Nokia Car Mode has been available for a while, and has been gradually introduced to more and more Symbian-powered handsets via the Store. But it's something that I'd never really used for more than a few seconds, it's something that AAS has never covered in depth, and when I came across a comment on the site wondering where our review was, I thought that revisiting this much-underused Symbian application was definitely in order. If, like me, you spend a fair amount of time in your car then you might find that Nokia Car Mode simplifies your interactions with your phone for the better...
If you're a phone geek, customising one's smartphone is one of the best things about owning it. Since the release of Symbian^3, we have enjoyed the always-on clock and notification display from our AMOLED displays. Screenlock FX is an alternative lock screen that attempts to replace the original with far more functionality, but does it warrant the £4.00 price tag? Read on to find out.
We all know how useful it can be to have access to our files in the cloud, not just for sharing but for having access to a much larger library of data than we would normally carry on our mobile devices. Dropbox and SugarSync have been the big hitters in this line of business, but Microsoft has been developing its SkyDrive solution, which goes a step further by providing Office web apps so you can edit and create your files in a browser. SkyDrive also gives more free space than anyone else, 7GB. Until now though, SkyDrive coverage on Symbian has been pretty weak. However, with its latest update, SkyFiles Pro now brings a first class SkyDrive experience to Symbian. We put it though its paces.
Calling all power users, if you're interested having a widget that can show you exactly how your phone is performing, then qooSystem is something for you. Symbian^3 brought better task management options with live previews of apps and a 'Close All' feature. However, a dedicated task manager goes well beyond that with the ability to audit, close or kill running processes, which is exactly what qooSystem does. Read on to see how well it all works.
Astronomy is an app genre that thankfully never seems to go away. Mobile devices are the electronic companions always at our side and can provide an excellent guide to the night sky. We've had quite a few astro apps through our doors here at All About Symbian (see our Top 5 apps list), and Smart Planetarium is the latest astronomical discovery in the Nokia Store. Let us take a look to see where it fits into the constellation of other Symbian astronomy apps.