Bloody Nokia

I just bought — well, changed my contract to — a Nokia 6220: a very flashy phone with a nice camera, a GPS receiver, and in fact everything you could possibly want in a phone — except one tiny thing: any phone numbers.

For some reason the software that comes with it won’t import from anything except Outlook, and Lotus Notes. This is not software that I use. It won’t read normal interchange formats like CSV or even vcard. I have my contacts in several places on the PC, but all the phone numbers are at the moment consolidated in google contacts. This worked well enough with my old Sony Ericsson phone, but to make it work on Nokia, you have to subscribe to a service called goosync. I did that. All my calendar entries were imported flawlessly. The 540 or so phone entries, on the other hand, came in with all their detail except the phone numbers. Further attempts failed in ever more baroque ways, so that there is at present one entry in the contacts book of the phone: it’s called “unknown” and has no telephone numbers of any sort. I would like to complain to tech support at goosync, but in a remarkable refinement of customer-unfriendliness, they only accept complaints through a web board interface, after you have registered, deciphered a captcha — yes, a captcha to make a support request — and then responded to the email sent automatically. Except that the email has not been sent.

I know that bits of their system are working, as the email thanking me for my money turned up five minutes after I had filled out that form. But the request to be allowed to log into their support forum and ask for help was made six hours ago and I still haven’t had a reply. I’m wondering whether to send the phone back. It’s no use to me at all right now.

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10 Responses to Bloody Nokia

  1. Nick says:

    That is somewhat shabby, I’m sorry sorry to hear that. What phone did you have before? If it was also a Nokia they have a *very* handy transfer app that is clever for you. As for GooSync, I also use it and had a lot of problems initially before working out that there was an issue with the types of contact fields it would copy over. It was a *very* manual process sorting it out. Google’s native sync can’t come soon enough.

  2. acb says:

    No – my previous phone was a Sony Ericsson and I used it with a neat piece of software called MyphoneExplorer which did all I wanted to keep the phone book up to date, and synced with Google and Thunderbird if I wanted it to.

    The Nokia PC suite is horrible. There doesn’t seem to be any equivalent to MPE. If you don’t use Outlook, it’s just impossible to get information into it quickly or easily. It won’t read vCard files with multiple entries, and while I could break the vCard export up into single entries I don’t know how to import thre or four hundred of them.

    In the end, I got some contacts over by exporting from an old Thunderbird address book, importing to Goosync’s own contacts app and then syncing with that.

    Part of the problem is that Google’s contacts app is a terrible mess; but I don’t know anything better as a central contacts repository.

  3. Nick says:

    Agreed. It is somewhat poor given the demonstrable need but there is nothing good out there. The only consolation for me is that the intersection of Nokia, Apple and Google software needed to make it work is slightly more bearable on a Mac.

  4. acb says:

    Nick, you won’t thank me for this, but it turns out there is a Python version for S60 pphones, which has full access to the phone book. So world domination is but a few keystrokes away. I think. If you can get get world dominaiton in Python 2.2 without using “From __future__ import …” or whatever the syntax was.

  5. acb says:

    To make this point clearer: I can now, in theory, write a quick python script that will import to the phone book everything in a large vcf file. It is astonishing that no one has done so before. No doubt if I tried I would be less astonished by other people’s lack of success…

  6. Nick says:

    I had not realised that S60 python had access to the phonebook. Consider me chastened.

    (I can’t express this well but I feel that a combination of Python and Mobile Web Server is closer to the real future of mobile computing than the iPhone.)

    (Also: I finished Fishing in Utopia this morning. Thanks)

  7. Take the Nokia back and get an iPhone! It’s so simple and beautiful to use and everything just works!

    (And I am really enjoying Utopia!)

  8. acb says:

    I’m glad you like FiU.

    My chief reason for not having an iPhone is money: it’s a good £15 a month more expensive even after you have paid for the handset, and I don’t use my mobile enough to justify that. But it’s also quite big, and — you would notice — the camera is not much good. One of the things for which I buy phones is as fishing cameras. They take up very little room and allow me to make quick records of unusual things. The camera in the Nokia is really very impressive.

  9. You’re quite right the camera isn’t brilliant – although I use it for records and notes – and pics of the dog! I justified getting th e phone for myself because of being able to use the internet properly without any extra charge.
    I had found myself needing to use my Sony Ericsson for emails etc every now and again and had been fleeced for the data download fees, it’s all inclusive on the iPhone, and you really can use the internet. Everything has been rethought to make it more intuitive – and it’s slimmer and lighter than my SE850i – even my technophobe husband is wondering if it is time for him to get a cellphone! For taking snaps I carry a Fuji finepix f31fd, small, quite light and often good enough quality for the photo library!

  10. Alex says:

    Oh God. A couple of months ago I was able to import a multicontact vCard file to my Nokia E71, but I’m trying at the moment and it refuses to behave sanely with either 2.1 or 3.0 files. Why, why, why does contact management have to be so painful?

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