May 142010
 

Dr. Jukka is not most popular individual at Tamoggemon H.Q. – one of our most-read interviews was caused by the editorial team being pissed at him. Old love stories left aside, our friend produces and peddles a program called Y-Tasks…can it stack up?

After installing Y-Tasks, you are greeted with an extra folder containing but the icon for Y-Tasks:
0 Y Tasks   the review

The program itself is made up of a launcher and multiple submodules. You can launch a submodule, and its icon turns green – and you can also exit the launcher afterwards if you so desire:
1 Y Tasks   the review

One of the most useful modules is the CPU and mem watch:
2 Y Tasks   the review

It can even be set up to always display a little box with the CPU status in a fashion similar to Sony Ericsson’s developer machines:
3 Y Tasks   the review

Another cool feature is the memory analyzer. It provides a quick overview of all memory states:
4 Y Tasks   the review

And can reserve memory to simulate low memory conditions:
5 Y Tasks   the review

Various lists inform you about running processes, tasks and installed applications:
6 Y Tasks   the review

You can also use Y-Tasks to set file associations:
7 Y Tasks   the review

Finally, the product also contains some sort of font viewer which I wasn’t able to get up and running:
8 Y Tasks   the review

This review looked at version 1.00(4) of Y-Tasks on a Nokia XM5800. The program can be downloaded here

In the end, it’s not possible to say something bad about Y-Tasks. Dr Jukka deserves the excellent reputation he has, even though one doesn’t always have to agree to his excessively defensive and authority-believing stance taken in many matters. If you are a developer, get it asap. You’ll not regret the free download…

Mar 142008
 

On my dual-screen workstation, I permanently have task manager open in order to show me how much of my CPU capacity is being used. With S60 being a multitasking OS, compiling similar numbers should be ultra-easy…but my task manager’s programmer apparently didn’t find it worth the effort. Can CpuMonitor satisfy me?

Once the application is started, it starts to draw a chart showing CPU and RAM usage. Unfortunately, the time base cannot be changed:
0a CpuMonitor   the CPU load indicator for S60v3

The image below shows Resco Neeews starting up and updating a few feeds. Interestingly, the program does not show free but rather used memory – a higher line means less free memory:
1a CpuMonitor   the CPU load indicator for S60v3

Last but not least, the application also shows the CPU type and its frequency:
2a CpuMonitor   the CPU load indicator for S60v3

This review looked at version 1.10 of the program on a Nokia N71. It needs 73KB of memory and can be installed onto an external memory card. The program’s Chinese homepage(you can’t find anything here) is here, version 1.10 can be downloaded from tamoggemon.com for your convenience.

In the end, CpuMonitor is an absolute must-have for every power user. If you don’t have this cool bit of freeware on your phone right now, get it from the link above. What are you waiting for?

Feb 142008
 

Use the discount code CHEAPWRITE3 in the TamsShop for a 20% rebate on the list price!
Entering texts on devices with MultiTap keyboards has always been a royal pain in the butt – even the oh-so-famous T9 utility cannot change much about this. MobileSystem’s QuickWrite plans to do something different in order to speed up your typing – instead of forcing you to enter a full word and then guess what you meant, their application lets you enter the first letters and tries to guess the rest. Can it stack up?

After installing the application, you are presented with a slightly confusing screen asking you to choose a “text engine”. A text engine is a special “driver program” that converts key presses into characters – AknFEP is the default S60 one, while QuickWrite is MobiSystem’s improved version:
0a QuickWrite for S60   speed up your text input

Once QuickWrite is the active text engine, various settings can be configured in a fashion similar to the various Settings panels of the operating systems:
1a QuickWrite for S60   speed up your text input 1b QuickWrite for S60   speed up your text input 1c QuickWrite for S60   speed up your text input

QuickWrite can be enabled/disabled via the Shift key(#) – if it is enabled, three horizontal lines are shown next to the input mode indicator:
2a QuickWrite for S60   speed up your text input 2b QuickWrite for S60   speed up your text input

Here’s an example of the program in use:
3a QuickWrite for S60   speed up your text input

After having tested QuickWrite in the Note Pad, I decided to torture it a bit with Opera – no issues whatsoever. Entering long URL’s and other stuff not contained in the dictionary is no problem whatsoever – you just keep on typing and ignore the suggestion box:
4a QuickWrite for S60   speed up your text input 4b QuickWrite for S60   speed up your text input 4c QuickWrite for S60   speed up your text input

This review looked at QuickWrite v2.50 on a Nokia N71. The program needs approximately 2MB of RAM and CAN NOT be installed onto an external memory card.

In the end, QuickWrite is a true must-have for every MultiTap-keyboarded device. While the price of 30$ before our discount looks a bit hefty, rest assured that it is worth every penny if you enter a lot of text. Save yourself time and frustration – get the free trial and see if you can live without it(hint: you can’t).

Jan 312008
 

When I began testing the N71′s LED flash, I was very disappointed with its range. However, further testing has made me think about using it as a torch – a feature that some Samsung phones have had years ago. Since Nokia omitted that feature from the N71, I was full of hope that NiceLight helps…but can it?

NiceLight’s menu is very simple. You click the desired choice, and get a screen announcing what the phone does:
0a NiceLight review   the software torch for S60 3a NiceLight review   the software torch for S60

Keeping the screen backlight up was a no-brainer – but the program’s developers apparently had a different perception of the meaning of camera LED. For them, camera LED means the useless red thingy that lights up whenever the N71 is filming:
 NiceLight review   the software torch for S60

As an added bonus, the product also contains a ‘night clock’ mode. It keeps the backlight on(at a configurable level) and displays a clock. While this can be useful for some, I recommend everyone with insomnia or other sleep problems to refrain from using it:
2a NiceLight review   the software torch for S60

This review looked at version 1.0 of NiceLight on a Nokia N71. The program needs whooping 506 KB of memory and can luckily be run from an external memory card.

In the end, I am a very disappointed with. The white flash LED of my N71 can emit significantly brighter and stronger light bursts than the small red video LED used by NiceLight. The program basically is a night clock combined with a program that keeps the backlight on permanently(which is decently useful on my N71, but can probably also be achieved by pressing a key repeatedly). Get the free trial to find out if the app is worth its asking price of 9$…

Jan 212008
 

Back in the age of the Siemens SX1, file managers for S60 devices were dime a dozen. When S60v3 came along, many manufacturers stopped to maintain their applications due to Symbian refusing to certify file managers for the ‘allfiles’ capability giving access to system folders. Lonely Cat Games’s X-plore is one of the few file managers still around – can it beat Nokia’s included one?

After starting up X-plore for the first time, the product displays its tree view interface. Unlike Nokia’s included file manager, X-plore always shows the full directory tree….a big plus:
1a X plore review   the file manager for your S60 3rd Edition phone

Most ‘advanced’ operations are launched from the main menu accessible with the left soft key:
2a X plore review   the file manager for your S60 3rd Edition phone

X-plore truly excels at handling zip archives. Zip archives are treated as ‘folders’ – and can be created easily on the go:
3a X plore review   the file manager for your S60 3rd Edition phone 3b X plore review   the file manager for your S60 3rd Edition phone

The program can also search for files(it always searches the contents of the currently selected folder):
4a X plore review   the file manager for your S60 3rd Edition phone 4b X plore review   the file manager for your S60 3rd Edition phone

An unique concept called ‘Favorite folders’ allows you to define folders that you frequently use. You can then visit them via the menu – without having to traverse the entire file system:
5a X plore review   the file manager for your S60 3rd Edition phone

Incoming files can be analyzed by using the ‘messaging’ option:
6a X plore review   the file manager for your S60 3rd Edition phone 6b X plore review   the file manager for your S60 3rd Edition phone

Hidden/System files can be masked or shown:
7a X plore review   the file manager for your S60 3rd Edition phone

Last but not least, the program features Lonely Cat’s classic scalable user interface – changing the size of the font affects the whole application:
8a X plore review   the file manager for your S60 3rd Edition phone 8b X plore review   the file manager for your S60 3rd Edition phone

This review looked at version 1.20 of X-plore on a Nokia N71. The program needs 416KB of memory and can be installed to an external memory card.

In the end, X-plore is an excellent file manager and can be considered a must-have for power users. The zip support alone is worth the small price of 10€; the additional features and excellent UI make managing files pleasant. Get this app now – you will not regret it!

Jan 092008
 

A recent data-theft incident made me start to think about safety on mobile devices…our small computerized helpers contain tons of personal data. Palm OS/Windows Mobile devices can lock themselves; but S60 can not – can Advanced Device Locks fix this?

Advanced Device Locks is modeled like a Settings panel- the various modules can be toggled on and off here. Scrolling to the left allows you to configure the numeric unlock code:
0a Advanced Device Locks review   lock your Series 60 device automatically 0b Advanced Device Locks review   lock your Series 60 device automatically

Autolock locks the phone after some idle time – the time can be set in multiples of one minute using the menu:
1a Advanced Device Locks review   lock your Series 60 device automatically 1b Advanced Device Locks review   lock your Series 60 device automatically

The lock screen is very well-done; it covers up all on-screen data. As Advanced Device Locks supports numeric unlock codes only, unlocking the phone is painless even on a t9 multitap phone:
2a Advanced Device Locks review   lock your Series 60 device automatically

Last but not least, Application-level locks can be used to protect specific apps from unauthorized use. For example, the bluetooth and IRDA applets can be ‘protected” so that the master password is needed in order to access them(even if the phone is unlocked):
3a Advanced Device Locks review   lock your Series 60 device automatically

This review looked at v1.06(67) of Advanced Device Locks on a Nokia N71. The program needs 108KB of RAM and must be installed into phone memory for security reasons.

Overall, Advanced Device Locks is the king of automatic locking programs for S60 phones – and it’s the one I use. The program is small, stable and does an excellent job at keeping your phone’s data safe(even the data currently on screen) – if you have important data on your phone, use the discount code SAVEME to get 20% off this must-have title in the TamsShop!

Dec 182007
 

As the cost per SMS has begun to droop lower and lower, SMS spam starts to become a significant problem for many users. Webgate’s SMS Spam Manager promises to be a spam filter for your S60 phone’s short messaging service inbox – can it stack up?

The Active Mode toggle allows you to configure he filter mode. The program can accept or block all incoming messages. Additionally, it can accept SMS only from people in the phonebook – or use a filter list:
0a SMS Spam Manager   the SMS spam filter for S60 0b SMS Spam Manager   the SMS spam filter for S60

Filters can be set up using the Rules tab. Filters can target specific phone numbers, number ranges(e.g. no calls from Zimbabwe for me) or specific text passages in the message body(e.g. no SMS from the ex for me):
1a SMS Spam Manager   the SMS spam filter for S60 1b SMS Spam Manager   the SMS spam filter for S60 1c SMS Spam Manager   the SMS spam filter for S60

SMS Spam Manager can lock itself as a “system service’, and can automatically start whenever your phone is powered up. Additionally, it can display a small icon whenever it is active:
2a SMS Spam Manager   the SMS spam filter for S60 2b SMS Spam Manager   the SMS spam filter for S60

Incoming spam messages are absorbed silently – they can be analyzed in the log tab. False positives can be moved to the inbox manually:
3a SMS Spam Manager   the SMS spam filter for S60 3b SMS Spam Manager   the SMS spam filter for S60

This review looked at version 1.05(70) of SMS Spam Manager on a Nokia N71. The program needs 121KB of RAM and can be installed onto a memory card.

In the end, WebGate’s SMS Spam Manager is a killer tool against all kinds of SMS spam. Should your phone ever come under attack, get this application by all means. The price of 10$ is a small fee to pay for total peace of mind…

Dec 052007
 

A recent case of personal data being stolen off one of my mobile devices has made me think about ways to protect the data on them. While my Palm OS and Windows Mobile devices have had some sort of data guard right from delivery, my S60 phone still cannot lock itself after a short period of inactivity. Phone Guardian is marketed as universal security suite – but can it stack up?

After installing Phone Guardian, a master password must be set. This password is then needed for all Guardian operations – it must not be lost under any circumstances:
0a Phone Guardian review   lock your Series 60 phone automatically

The application’ main menu is modeled after a Settings panel – most of the options are relevant only for the theft-protection features:
1a Phone Guardian review   lock your Series 60 phone automatically

The item at the very bottom of the list allows you to specify a ‘timeout’; after which the phone gets locked automatically. Unfortunately, time is measured in hh:mm – and the shortest lock interval is a minute.
2a Phone Guardian review   lock your Series 60 phone automatically 2b Phone Guardian review   lock your Series 60 phone automatically

When the phone is idle for the specified time, a password entry dialog is popped up over the currently-running application. While this dialog does a great job at blocking the arsonist from interacting with the phone; the data currently on-screen is left unprotected:
3a Phone Guardian review   lock your Series 60 phone automatically

Phone Guardian can also be remote-controlled by sending SMS to the mobile phone, allowing you to find the phone’s current location,…. The program also keeps you updated whenever the SIM card in your phone is changed.

Last but not least, Phone Guardian contains a very detailed help system explaining both local and remote operations in considerable detail:
4a Phone Guardian review   lock your Series 60 phone automatically 4b Phone Guardian review   lock your Series 60 phone automatically

This review looked at version 2.0 of the program on a Nokia N71. It must be installed to RAM by all means, taking up 200KB of storage space.

Overall, Phone Guardian does lock your phone automatically after some delay. While the autolock system definitely still has its quirks(e.g. long minimum time; password dialog); it nevertheless manages to keep your phone safe. As for the thief-tracking features…while I am not sure of their practical value against professionals(they format phones IMHO); they definitely can help tracking down semiprofessional arsonists. The price of 13$ is well-invested money; especially considering all the phone numbers, private messages and photos/videos on your phone!

Aug 072007
 

Symbian phones have been able to multitask right from the beginning of the platform…even the now-outdated Siemens SX1 was capable of running multiple programs concurrently with ease. Pushing the menu button for a second brings up a list of running apps…and Handy Taskman wants to improve this.

After installing Handy Taskman, the small task list gets replaced by it. As a default, it shows a list of currently open programs and an overview of memory usage. The list’s font is smaller…more programs fit on the screen:
0a Handy Taskman review   a better task manager for  Series 60(S60)

Handy Taskman offers more than just switching and changing applications. The close all option(accessible from the menu) closes all currently open apps with one tap.
1a Handy Taskman review   a better task manager for  Series 60(S60)

The program also offers a list of last-used apps in a tab next to the currently running applications. This tab is very very useful and can save a few clicks:
2a Handy Taskman review   a better task manager for  Series 60(S60)

As an additional gimmick, the product supports a ‘lookup list’ of all applications. This allows you to find applications by typing parts of their name:
3a Handy Taskman review   a better task manager for  Series 60(S60) 3b Handy Taskman review   a better task manager for  Series 60(S60)

Handy Taskman can give detailed memory status information, too:
4a Handy Taskman review   a better task manager for  Series 60(S60) 4b Handy Taskman review   a better task manager for  Series 60(S60)

Last but not least, the program allows exceptions to be defined. Programs declared as exceptions don’t get closed by Close all:
5a Handy Taskman review   a better task manager for  Series 60(S60)

This review looked at version 1.06 of Handy Taskman on a Nokia N71. The program needs about 300k of RAM and cannot be installed onto a memory card.

Overall, Handy Taskman isn’t a tool for everyone…the native Task list works well enough for the average user. However, if you run multiple programs at the same time often; the time saved by Handy Taskman could well justify the 10$ investment!