Friday, October 23, 2009

Nokia 97 and Google Calendar

I am the proud owner of a Nokia N97 - my new work phone. It immediately fixes some problems I was having with my old E51. I couldn't read the screen on the largest font size without reading glasses making me feel rather decrepit, Also it was absolutely painful to send emails on it.

Out of the box it works fine as a phone and email with the University of Manchester's IMAP email server. The big touch screen means I can even read email while walking. I have not got used to the scroll and would like a scroll wheel. The slide out keyboard is fine.

But my other problem is being in meetings and not being able to check my diary or add things to it. I use Google Calendar. Its great as I can just paste appointments like "External Affairs Committe meeting at on July 26th at 9:00 in the Council Chamber Sackville Street" and the google calendar parses it and puts it in the right time. Sometimes even gives a link to a map!.

Ok so how to sync with the N97? On my E51 i used Goosync. That was good but they have just made it a paid for service and I knew other people had got the N97 to sync with its own software.

First thing about the N97 you need to know is that Mail for Exchange is installed (you dont need to get it from the Ovi store) but it is integrated in the mail program. You have to set it up (with the wizard) to point at the server m.google.com. But if you just put in your google mail address it just sets up google mail automatically with IMAP. Well done Nokia/Symbian. Good thing to do. But then you cant change to an exchange server. So start setting up another email account. Put in any rubbish for the email address but be sure to type m.google.com as the server, your google name and password. Then you get to edit the settings. In particular when it has looked at the server and decided it is an exchange server you can choose Exchange rather than Imap. Now you can go through the sync options. I turned off mail, contacts, todo and turned on calendar. Ok so now I can see my Google calendar in the calendar app on the N97.

More when I have some experience of it working.

Thanks to UoM IT support for sending me a helpful link. Vodafone were willing to help but had no real experience of the N97. I spoke to someone called "John" at Nokia support who was very jolly and not called John. He was keener for me to rate him as 5 on the online survey than he was to help me. I called the special N97 help number he passed me to. The first suggested I send the link to the Ovi download from the Nokia site. He didn't have a clue. The second guy I spoke to did know that it was now integrated, and then I figured it out.

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