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Top Nokia E70 tips

This page is for anyone thinking of migrating to the Nokia E70 with a view to using it as their main communicator, information and entertainment device.

Nokia E70

The E70 has lots to recommend it, from the quite useable QWERTY thumb keyboard and switchable portrait/landscape screen to the very latest Symbian OS and Series 60 versions, and with multimedia and Office functionality thrown in by the bucketload.

  1. Nokia Software UpdaterGet up to date!
    Hopefully this won't apply to you, but if your E70 is quite an early model, check its firmware (*#0000# on the standby screen) - if the top number starts with '1.' something, then you've got a very old version of the internal software and need to upgrade it. Do the usual full sync and backup of anything important on the internal disk and then pay a visit to Nokia Software Updater, which will bring your firmware up to '2.' something and bring a faster and more efficient device. Really.
  2. Ignore those 'Exit' buttons! Usually...
    You can have many of your Series 60 apps running at the same time, which means no delays while applications are launched/switched to, with the usual trick being to ignore the 'Exit' buttons. When you need to switch to a different application, press the Menu ('Applications') button and select it from there, leaving the current app running.
    However: don't do this for Camera or Web or games or Java programs or sat-nav suites, any of which can hog RAM and cause your other main programs to close down. In other words, DO use Exit for these specific programs to make sure memory is freed up.
  3. Security settings for appsOpen up your device
    By default, the E70 and other modern Series 60 smartphones come 'locked down' in terms of the applications they'll accept, installing only those that have large companies behind them, able to afford the expensive 'Symbian Signing' process. But there are hundreds of other great applications, many of them free, that are 'untrusted' (although under S60 3rd Edition, untrusted applications are slightly restricted in what they can do). Don't worry about this (see my malware article to put your mind at rest). Just go to 'Tools | App manager | Options | Settings' and set 'Software installation' to "All". and 'Online certif check' to "Off". You can now install any compatible program without being blocked by a spurious security warning!
  4. Use those shortcuts!
    As befits a communicator with a proper keyboard (in landscape mode), Nokia have outfitted the E70 with lots of shortcuts. Here are a few of my favourites: In any text-entry application, Ctrl-C copies highlighted text, Ctrl-X cuts it and Ctrl-V pastes it, just as in any desktop application. Ctrl-left/right moves the cursor back/forwards a word, Ctrl-up/down moves back/forwards a paragraph.
    With keypad closed again now, in Gallery/Images, '3' rotates images, '*' toggles full-screen on/off, while '5' zooms in and '0' zooms out.
    In Gallery/Video clips, '2' toggles full-screen playback and navigator-up fast forwards within a clip.
    In Calendar, '#' moves you immediately to the current day, while '*' toggles between the different views.
  5. Pump up the brightness
    Make sure you increase the screen from the default brightness to its maximum. Yes, there's a hit on the time between battery recharges, but in the meantime you'll see some glorious colours. Go to 'Tools | Settings | Phone | Display | Light sensor' and adjust away. Of course, for night-time use, your smartphone can double as an emergency torch or, if you're actually reading from the screen, you can use the same setting to turn the brightness right down to save being dazzled.
  6. Cleaner active standby screenA cleaner, brighter standby screen
    You can do a lot to make your active standby screen brighter, cleaner and more useful. See my tutorial over on AllAboutSymbian. In particular, note the inclusion of Inbox/email entries. You can turn display of these on (with the latest E70 firmware) in Tools | Settings | Phone | Standby mode | Active standby mailbox).
  7. The ones you love the most (1)
    With the Nokia E70, there's S60's usual 'active' standby screen. Don't just take the shortcuts given, I'm sure you have ideas of your own as to your most used applications. You can change any of the seven shortcuts in the rather-hidden-away 'Tools | Settings | Phone | Standby mode | Active standby apps'
  8. Messages overview
    If the tiny font used in the display of each folder really annoys you as much as it does me, simply go into 'Settings>Other' and set 'Folder view' to '2 lines'. This is an Eseries perk and makes message overviews much, much clearer!
  9. Clearing up the trash
    It seems that in S60 3rd Edition, the entire install SIS files from some third party applications get stored on your internal flash disk (C:), completely unnecessarily. If you've installed several meaty games or applications, you can easily lose 10 to 20MB in this way. Use the built-in File manager to navigate into 'Installed files' and delete the SIS files, to reclaim the space. (It won't hamper removal of the applications later, don't worry)
  10. The latest and best
    Make sure you keep up to date with PC Suite. Yes, there's a version on the CD that came with your smartphone, but Nokia are fixing bugs and adding bits and pieces all the time. Most useful is the way you can explore your smartphone's folders (including your text Inbox) from within Windows Explorer. Very cool. Keep an eye on the PC Suite home page and stay current!
  11. AD-15 stereo adapterGo Stereo!
    For some penny-pinching reason, Nokia only supply the E70 with a mono headset. Run, don't walk, to your nearest accessory online store and get one of Nokia's Pop Port stereo adaptors and you'll soon be rocking to music from your miniSD card. If you find the music too quiet, try my Equaliser hack. Also, for greater efficiency on your miniSD card, you may want to use .ogg files and OggPlay rather than the standard Music player.
  12. Hangup = Exit
    Don't keep switching back to the Standby screen using the Hangup button. This was OK on old versions of S60, but in almost every instance it closes the current application on the E70 - in other words, it acts as 'Exit'. If you want to keep the current program running in the background, press Menu/Apps instead, twice if you want to get to Standby screen.
  13. What's running?
    The one utility every computer user needs is a system task manager (i.e. what's running). Luckily, the basics are built-in. Just press and hold the 'Menu/Applications' button. For more control, grab the trial version of Best TaskMan.
  14. The ones you love the most (2)
    If you get fed up scrolling down the Menu screen looking for your favourite applications again, why not shuffle things round so that the apps you use the most are clustered right at the top? Highlight an icon and use 'Move', and you'll find you can re-insert it anywhere in the list. If you have lots of favourites, make the most of the folder system (e.g. 'Games') and then put these folders near the top of the list, for speedy access.