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My mobile phone and my fingers are much happier now. Having recently purchased a Nokia DKU-5 cable, I have been able to connect my Nokia 6610i phone to a USB port on my PC and do all kinds of cool things without giving myself "SMS thumb".
In order to be able to do cool stuff with your phone, you have to make sure that you choose the correct connection method. Depending on your phone model and PC, you can choose between a cable connection, infrared and Bluetooth. Nokia offer two kinds of cables - DKU-2 and DKU-5. Obviously, if you desire to use infrared or Bluetooth, then your PC must be infrared or Bluetooth enabled. If you are unsure which connection type to use for your phone, you can find a compatibility table (including system requirements) at Nokia.com. PC Suite supports all three types of connection methods.
Once you have your connection method installed, then it's simply a matter of installing the PC Suite software package. My DKU-5 cable came with a CD of software including several versions of PC Suite, but I chose to download the latest compatible version for my PC and phone from the Nokia website as later versions usually provide better stability and functionality.
The range of features available to you through PC Suite will, of course, depend on what your phone is capable of (each application is shown in the compatibility tables for your phone). Upon loading the main PC Suite screen you are greeted with a range of different icons, indicating the programs that are available to you. First of all, though, you have to create the connection to your phone using the easy-to-use Connection Wizard.
If everything's been done correctly, then this should be fairly quick, and your phone will show up as "connected". Of the eleven applications in the PC Suite available for my phone, I've only used five of them. That's not to say that the other applications are poor, but just not of interest to me.
Certainly one of the most important uses of PC Suite (and one that I don't think you can do without PC Suite or similar piece of software) is the ability to backup your phone. A few simple clicks of the mouse and the entire contents of your phone can be saved to your PC in case your phone gets stolen or damaged. This saved information can be reinstated to another phone if ever needed.
The synchronization feature was something I found to be incredibly handy to use, but also incredibly fiddly to set up and get the results I required. It copies information from your phone to your personal information manager (Microsoft Outlook, Lotus Notes etc.) and vice versa. Using PC Suite with Outlook 2003 eventually copied my entire contacts folder to my phone and all my contacts from my phone to my Outlook Contacts folder. This took quite a while to collate any data into one place and to delete all the duplicate entries that this created. However, now my contacts list on my phone is well organised and each person listed in my contacts has entries for multiple phone numbers, email address and postal address.
The synchronization feature can also copy things like "To do" lists or Calendar events should you choose to enable that option.
There is also a file manager application available which should enable you to copy files to and from your phone. Files available for movement would be 'wallpaper' files, and photos taken with a camera (if applicable) and ring tones. This is as easy to use as Windows Explorer on your own PC.
My favourite feature is the ability to send SMS messages via your phone, but type using your PC. Even with predictive text, SMS messages are a pain in the arse, so being able to type messages using a proper keyboard is helpful. I suppose it also encourages me to be a bit more verbose and use all 160 characters rather than send the briefest messages possible.
The other applications deal with adding or removing music, installing or removing Java applications on your phone etc. I've only used the installation application, but this is extremely easy to use. If you're used to using a mouse around Windows and copying and pasting files in Windows Messenger, then most of PC Suite will be second nature to you.
Apart from the problems getting my phone connected to the PC, which is a separate issue not related to the PC Suite, I've found this to be an invaluable collection of tools. I've already started to make more use of my phone simply because the connection enables me to type stuff normally on my PC (contacts, calendar entries etc.) and move them across to my phone rather than fiddle around with small keys while squinting at a small screen.
As stated previously, I bought my cable off eBay at around £10. I am quite happy with this price, but I am not sure if I would feel the same way if I'd paid the full retail price (around £25) from a high street shop. In general, the applications are easy and straightforward to use, but could certainly do with a bit of tweaking here and there, but you can't quibble with free software, especially when it's this useful and enables you to get more out of your phone.
The most recent version of PC Suite is 6.5, but the version you will require will depends on your phone.
I have recently acquired a new mobile phone, one which I have of course already reviewed. It was the Nokia 6630 Smartphone, making it very high-tech and up to date. It has a number of different functions on it that make it difficult to manage and maximise the handsets full capabilities. The phone comes with Nokia PC Suite software, included in the package. This piece of software allows you to manage the phone via your computer. This has a number of benefits, mainly that it speeds the whole process up and you can see the things more clearly.
-Purpose of Nokia PC Suite-
The main underlying purpose of a piece of software like Nokia PC Suite is to allow owners of Nokia handsets to remotely manage their phone. It makes it much easier to add and remove files and also to move them to different parts of the phone. It also allows for interaction between the handset and the PC, in order to backup files, update contacts and calendar details and store other data. It has been around for a while and I can't help feeling that it is massively under used and people aren't really getting the most from their mobile handsets.
-Installing Software Package-
The installation of the software is relatively simple and similar to any other software that you may have put on to your computer in the past. The CD-Rom needs to be place in the computer and it should automatically start the installation process. The menu will open on your computer and you will be given a number of options. To initiate the installation of the software, simply click 'Install Nokia PC Suite'. There will then be a number of simple menus that take you through the process step by step. You will need to connect your phone to the computer when prompted, via the USB port on the computer. There should be a USB wire included in the package and simply connect it between the handset and computer. Your PC will then pick up the new USB device and the software will install the correct drivers. That is pretty much it and you are ready to use the program.
It is possible to download a version of the PC Suite via the Nokia website at: http://www.nokia.com/nokia/0,,72014,00.html. It is pretty much the same as the one provided with the phone package. There was a problem with the CD-Rom supplied with the phone, which is why I had to use the website. It is important to remember, that you should wait until the software prompts you to connect the phone to the computer, before doing so. It will prevent the computer from not recognising the device and then refusing to accept it. It is a simple enough piece of software to set up and I am very satisfied with how easy and simple it was to do. I'm sure that anybody would be able to do it, no matter how little you claim to know about computers.
The phone can be connected to the computer via on of the following. The provided USB cable can be used, via a wireless Bluetooth connection or even using infra-red.
It is advisable to install the software via USB cable, but after that you can connect via Bluetooth. You will of course have to have a Bluetooth reader in order to do this and that will of course come at an extra cost, should you not already have one. I don't have any problems connecting via USB cable; it doesn't take anything away from the level of interaction between phone and computer. You can connect and disconnect the phone from the cable whilst the computer is one and it will still pick the device up without having to restart the PC.
There are a huge number of different functions that the PC Suite is able to perform. They are all useful in their own way and some people will find some of the features to be more relevant than others. They are all relatively simple to use and their purpose is pretty clear. I would certainly recommend that you do have a play around with all of the different settings and tasks that you can perform. It is pretty much impossible to cause any problems or faults to occur with the phone, so do have a try and a play with a few things. I will pick out a few of the key features and try and explain what they each do and how beneficial I feel they are.
The very first option present to you is 'Backup'. It is identified by the filing cabinet picture and from that you can pretty much guess what it does. It simply copies all of the data from your phone and stores it on the PC. It will copy content such as contacts, pictures and videos, messages and even your profiles and individual settings. This means that should you lose your phone or you have an unexpected fault occur or you damage the handset, you will still have much of your data. The content can then be restored to the existing or a new handset. It is advisable to backup your phone every week or so, if there are important details that you really can't afford to lose. It will also save time, as you can quickly upload any data to your phone at the click of a mouse.
I haven't found this to be of need as yet, because I haven't lost my phone and it is still working efficiently. I am careful to back up the data on my phone every few days and I am certain that I won't lose any data should something happen to the handset. It is a very good function and I am glad that it is at my disposal. It is easy to use and you can benefit hugely from it. The process of backing up files involves two simple steps and the wizard takes you through them.
This feature is again pretty self explanatory from the heading at the two arrows that symbolise it. This is another form of backing up your phone content, including calendar entries, contacts and all your messages. If you add a new contact via the handset whilst you are out and about, when you synchronise it is sent to the contact list on your PC automatically. This is something that I like, because you can view the contact name and their number side by side and it makes it easier to pass the number on to someone else. These contacts or messages can then be sent to another phone via the USB connection. It is the simplest function to use; you simply need to select 'Synchronise Now'.
This has to be the best feature of the lot in my opinion and really makes things so much easier. It basically allows you to view the entire content of the handset and enables you to move things around and add or remove files. It is in many ways like a cheat, making some of the other functions of the software redundant. When you want to add a music file from your PC, you simply have to go to the containing folder, copy the file and paste it into the appropriate place on the memory card. It also allows you to add and remove any images, in a very simple way. You can select images already on the phone and view them. Then you can remove them to free up memory for future pictures that you may wish to take. I do like this feature because you can add and remove files very quickly and it is very clear and easy to do. It does take a little time to get used to, but you will soon get the hang of it.
-Add a Contact-
This is a much quicker way of adding new people and their telephone numbers to your phone. You can simply type in the name, all of their contact numbers and their home and email addresses. It is much faster and much more efficient. When you have done this and saved the new contact, you can simply synchronise with the handset and the contact will automatically be added to the handset. It made swapping my numbers from the old phone so much quicker and I had done all them in about five minutes. I am really impressed with this and can't thank Nokia enough for it. You can even add a picture, so that when they call it appears on your screen. It does also act as an address book on your computer, so you can easily find people's home addresses with relative ease.
There are various other functions that you can perform and also use to change how your handset works. You can write text messages on screen and then send them via your handset. It makes the whole process much quicker and less erroneous. It is also possible to create your own ringtones using audio files from your PC and any composing software that you have available. The same can be done with images, to create your own specialised wallpapers. The handset can also be used a modem, to allow the computer to connect to the internet. This isn't something that I have a need for, but if you have a laptop and are on the move then it can be very useful indeed.
I have found this invaluable to getting the most out of my new handset. It has made it possible to get what I want out of my phone and also to make things much faster and more efficient. I have really benefited from it and I am sure I will do so long into the future. I am always changing the music files that I have stored on the phone and it is so easy to with the Nokia PC Suite. It is definitely something that I would recommend to anybody who owns an up to date Nokia handset. I am sure that many people have the software still in the box and have never actually considered using it. As I have said before, don't be afraid to try a few things out and you may get some quite positive results.
For details on this and other products visit: www.nokia.co.uk