The New Home Screen and Internet Related Applications

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Home Screen

One of the unique selling point is, I think, the new home screen. Many people have many ideas on what a widget is. Well, for N97, you can choose up to 5 widgets to display on the home screen. You can stream the latest news feeds from local papers, social media network sites, latest weather forecast, and stock market indexes onto the phone’s home screen. Hence, every time you wake up the phone, all the latest information is literally at your fingertips. It is one of those functions that if you don’t have it, you don’t think too much about it. But once you have it, you just can’t do without.

Home Screen of Nokia N97

The widgets follow the Internet Destination priority, which is great. What it means is that it will try to connect via your home Wi-Fi network if possible. If the connection is lost, it will switch to the next on your priority list, which is a 3G network I suppose.

To set the priority, head to Setting, Connectivity, and Destinations via the menu. I would propose to group all your Internet access points into one destination. Much easier to manage the priority that way. You can set priority within one destination, and not across destinations. You can however set one default destination. I set “Internet” as my default destination. Within which, I have my home wireless network as the priority 1 and the 3G network as 2.

N97_mo1_dest

“Destinations” can be quite confusing to some. Some applications allow you to define the access point directly. Some ask you to define the destination and it will figure out the access point based on the priority. Some allows you to “ask when needed”. What it does is to take the default destination as you specific and will attempt to connect to Internet based on the priority list. Probably the smartest of all. Most applications are smart enough to switch access points as and when new network is discovered (like when I return home, some of the applications will utilize my home wireless network without my intervention). Some, like the email function, for the life of me, I can’t get the network switching to work.

One last point on the home screen before I move onto the next topic. If your widgets perpetually stuck at “Loading Content”, you are not alone. One friend told me over Facebook that she has or had that problem. I too have encountered that after restoring the backup contents to my phone. It is one of those problems that doesn’t affect many, but if you can’t get it work, it is kind of annoying. I have lived through the days whereby I have to manually remove all the widgets before I switched off the phone at night and then in the morning, after I switched on the phone, I added all the widgets back to the home screen, one by one.

So, how did I manage to resolve this? You can Google all that you can and fiddle with the Internet setting like what I have gone through. Or you could try what I did: a hard reset. And it works. Check out the reset section of this article.

Phone Browser

One time, I tried to use the phone to book a movie ticket. That involves choosing seats on the screen, entering credit card information, and so on. I didn’t expect it to work (really, I didn’t). But it did. The speed of the whole purchase process is comparable to what I usually do on a desktop, which is pretty amazing.

N97_mo1_web

In as such, I think the browser works well. It is fast and if the contents take a long time to load, just toggle the application to background mode and do something else. If I could name a few improvement opportunities, that would be:

  • Allow us to open new window. This function is present, if you open a link via another application like Nokia email or SMS.
  • Persist the zooming setting through pages. Right now, I have to set the zooming value every time a page is refreshed.
  • Enable the clipboard functionality. The clipboard is already present, for notes and messaging. All we need is a control-C and control-V button on the keyboard!
  • Give us a little mechanical scrolling mechanism to scroll the web pages (or even any list). That would be so cool.
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