« | Blog Home | »

Nokia’s Updater

Nokia N800

One of the things that I love about Nokia’s Nseries line of phones is that they are mini-computers with a phone, camera, and internet connection. On top of all of that, one can update the firmware / software of the mobile device just like one can update their computer’s firmware or software.
Does your mobile start to get a little slow after a while or have blips & burps or freeze or crash? Well, if it is a Nokia, you can download the Nokia Updater to your PC, plug your mobile into the data cable and then into the computer, back it up, and then Update. Couldn’t be simpler, right?
Well, if you are me, an ardent Nokia fan, but also an owner of 2 Mac computers (15″ MacBook Pro & a 12″ PowerBook G4), you have a wee bit of a problem when it comes time to update one’s phone or internet tablet… it is called… how to borrow a PC… Trust me, do not, DO NOT, whatever you do, think you can run Nokia’s Updater from the Windows install of Parallels on your MacBook Pro. JUST SAY NO. I have a lovely little N80 brick that no amount of the Kings Men or repair people will put back together again…
Now every time an update is announced for the N95 or N800 tablet, I am VERY VERY VERY reluctant to even think about updating, even though both need it. I call my brother, ask if I can borrow his work PC laptop, drive over there, run the Nokia Updater application and find out if there is an update available. The N800 has had several updates since it arrived in October and the N95 (RM-159) has only had one last July, even though all the other N95’s in the world have had at least 3-5 updates since then.
My N95 is starting to sssslllllloooowwww down. It really needs a good firmware shot in the arm or in the patooty. I would love for it to focus and shoot a photo faster than its current stop, focus, focus, focus, pick nose, focus, focus, hey-look-theres-a-squirrel, focus, focus, hey! maybe I should take a photo speed. It is driving me crazy. The lower the light, the slower the focus with our friend the N95 v.1.
Mind you, my N95 is faster than my N80 was, but now that I have tasted the delights of the N82, the N95 is looking and working old & slow. Dang! It is only 6 months old and cost me a lot of $$$. Where is my update? Where is my update that I can do natively from my Mac?
A few days ago, I went and checked to see if there was an update available on the local borrowed PC for my N95. No new update. So sad.
But there was an update available for the N800 tablet. Ok, let’s update.
Updating. Updating.. Updating…
Nokia’s software tells me to turn off Tablet, disengage the cable, and reboot. Ok.
No go. No turn back on. Oh crap. Oh crap. Oh crap. Look at borrowed PC. Swear. Swear again. Crap.
Google problem. Find that there is a Mac hack to flash the firmware updates for the Nokia 770 and 800 available. So, I download it to my MacBookPro, download the last update and the newest update. Use my Mac to flash the N800 to its last update and… it turns back on… it works… it restores its data. All is well in N800 land, thanks to Mac!
Then I try to use my Mac and the flasher software to update the N800 tablet to the OS 2008 Tablet software. All is well. It works. Birds sing.
Then I use the Mac flasher to send it back to OS 2007 as a test. All is well. Take N800 tablet to borrowed PC, attempt to flash the OS 2008 tablet firmware using the PC. Bricked again. Crap. Use Mac to reflash. All is well again. Birds sing.
Moral of Story? Use a Mac. PC’s suck, esp. ones running MicroSquash. (My Dell with Ubuntu Linux is very nice. Linux gets less love from Nokia than Macs do.)
Moral of Story? Hey Nokia, increase your market share and profits by supporting Macs! Give your Mac owning fans some love. Do not accede all the market to Steve Jobs and the iPhone.
Moral of Story? I would like to see all Nseries devices get updates at least every 3 months. If I am going to spend over $500 US, I would like consistent support for at least 2 years.
Moral of Story? I want a Nokia Updater that works with my Nseries mobile device natively on my Mac.

2 Responses to “Nokia’s Updater”

  1. Faye

    You bet! I was hesitant about using 770Flasher, but it works like a treat. You can also use the commandline tool inside the app to enable/disable maintenance mode. It would be nice to have an updater for phones too. If there’s a 3g iPhone this year, then I’ll be moving to that, I expect. You’ll definitely get Mac love from iPhone.

  2. Rob McLean

    I had much the same experience – tried flashing with the window’s update wizard in windows emulation in fusion on an intel mac, and made my N800 brain-dead, it went through the whole update, then failed at the end, with an error notice referring to a USB problem. Then I found the 770 flasher for mac – and I had just about nothing to lose – and it flashed almost flawlessly – I had one bad attempt, then reading the instructions more clearly adjusted the name of the folder I kept the flasher in, and it worked.
    It’s not an ipod touch- but the N800 design is elegant, and the tablet concept creates an extremely useful appliance – something I think a lot of Mac owners would appreciate – and would gladly integrate more closely with their macs — it’s a pity that NOKIA can’t make the N800 more MAC friendly to capitalize on that.