back to article Ten Essential... Symbian Apps

Nokia may have come a little late to the app store party, but it's Ovi Store now has plenty of software to choose from, whether you're looking for games or utilities, productivity, comms or entertainment apps. Not sure where to start? Well, you can start by downloading the following ten apps that will help you get the most …


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  1. Syd

    As an E71 Owner

    I have to say that this just demonstrates the paucity of what is available, compared to the iPhone or even a gPhone.

    Admittedly, the OVI Store is an improvement on what went before, but...

    / Green-eyed monster of jealously icon!

  2. Notorious Biggles

    Good to see...

    Good to see some Symbian coverage, what with it being the biggest smartphone platform by a quarter of a billion units or so...

    Some of the apps I've used and like, a couple I've not heard of, like PDF+ Basic.

    That said there's two I'd strongly recommend - Nimbuzz which is a combined messenger that would replace eBuddy AND Skype in one application. Because you create a Nimbuzz profile, it'll automatically pull everything in if you install it on a new phone (or have to re-install it etc) which saves a bunch of time. The other I'd recommend is Opera Mobile, the big brother of Opera Mini. It's got the same sort of features with tabs etc, but it renders pages much better. It's also the first mobile browser to have been fully Acid3 compliant and gives an excellent browsing experience.

  3. Carlos.
    Jobs Horns

    In addition.......

    Mobbler is a fantastic (free) app that not only scrobbles music played on the device back to Last.FM, but also lets you access radio

    Traffic Info is a (free) live traffic alert app, that will automatically alert you of traffic incidents in your vicinity, and up to 30 minutes ahead of the direction you are driving

    Mobile Documents is a (free) email client that is optimised to handle email attachments, allowing you to preview, store and forward these without downloading them to the handset.

    SPB Shell replaces the Symbian S60 5th ed GUI with a much slicker front end (expensive, but worth it)

    Gravity is a Twitter / Foursquare / Facebook app that does a much better job then Snaptu.

    Nice to see symbian getting some love on El's been a long time :p

    Sent from my Nokia that doesn't have a detuned antenna.

  4. Nigel Whitfield.

    Gravity, Profimail, Handy Profiles, and more

    I don't think I have any of these on my E72.

    But I do have others that I regard as essential; no idea if they're on the Ovi store, since you can of course buy Symbian apps from anywhere you like.

    Profimail: a very good email client, with support for multiple POP3/IMAP accounts, full support for IMAP folders, message rules.

    Gravity: Twitter client; apparently also supports Facebook for people who use that

    Handy Profiles: An improved profile manager, which supports rules such as switching my phone to a 'private' profile overnight that means only family and some friends can wake me up, or other profiles based on calendar entries or even which cell I'm connected.

    An honourable mention to Telexy's SymVPN too, which provides a PPTP VPN (couldn't get on with IPsec) and allows me to use the built in Nokia SIP client to connect to my home PBX from wherever I am.

  5. Shinobi87

    but what about


    Opera Mobile arguably better than mini

    miRGGI - the only none java client for Symbian s60

  6. Chris Griffin
    Thumb Up

    Not very interesting but..

    I'd add SmartConnect to that list. Allows you to set up connection groups that automatically try a series of connections in order, e.g. Wifi, 3G, WAP.

    Means you only ever have to select one connection again.

  7. imcdnzl

    You forgot Gravity

    Gravity is probably the best Symbian app out there - have a look at It does Facebook, Twitter, Google Reader etc etc

  8. zaax

    OVI = Rubbish

    Just using (OVI which I think is rubbish) you'd miss Calcium for a better calulator; Opera Widgets games and apps.; Mobile Gmail; google maps; Internet radio. I wish I could get rid of some of the bloat-ware that is hoisted on us by Nokia.

  9. Andy Scott

    Ovi for Nokia

    The main problem with the Ovi store is that it only allows Nokia phones to get stuff from it, rather than all Symbian phones, to me that's a fail as they're trying to compete with the Apple apps store and the Android marketplace

    1. Steve Evans

      There's a trick to that...

      Assuming the installs will work on your non-Nokia symbian device, try this:

      With Firefox, get the user agent switcher add-on. You can use another browser if you like, but you need to be able to change the HTTP user agent field.

      Set up a new user agent of

      "Mozilla/5.0 (SymbianOS/9.4; Series60/5.0 NokiaN97-1/10.0.012; Profile/MIDP-2.1 Configuration/CLDC-1.1; en-us) AppleWebKit/525 (KHTML, like Gecko) WicKed/7.1.12344"

      Now you can visit the OVI store and it will think you're an N97. Download the sis and sisx files to your pc... Now you can either use whatever equiv you have to Nokia/ovi suite to install them, or copy them onto the phone and run the installer locally.

  10. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Thanks for the article

    Found a couple of very useful pieces of information in it. Unfortunately the app descriptions on the Ovi Store are not always that good and the user reviews don't help much...

  11. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    Ravensoft Battery extender isn't worth paying for, when you could install Nokia Energy Profiler for free and adjust the settings to reduce battery load manually.

    Does the Map boost thingy work any better / faster than getting a lock using A-GPS?

    Interesting to see the apps that you've not included.

    Things like:

    Y Browser

    Handy Wi

    Birdstep Smart Connect

    Core Player

    T9 Nav

    Last FM Mobbler

    are far more worthy of being in any list of essential Symbian apps than a couple of your choices IMO.

  12. Lee Chong Yew
    Thumb Up

    My recommendations

    I'd recommend the following for the geek within:

    1. Opera Mobile (particularly, the 10.1 beta). Opera Mini is great, but if you want to impress your geeky friends with a full blown browser that could actually pass the ACID3 test with flying colors, this one's for you. Now all they need to do is add flash support (can't be that hard or far away, the WinMo version already has it)

    2. Palringo. An alternative to eBuddy. It's all down to preferences I guess. The basic version is good enough for me. Connects to all 6 IM networks I'm on, and even allows sending of short recording clips.

    3. mIRGGI. The only native-code IRC client for Symbian. Installation is a pain tho, because the certificate on the last version released has expired and requires one to mess with the phone's calendar to get it to work, but once you get it in, it works beautifully and even handles text codes like color, underline, boldface, etc. (not that there's a choice anyway)

    4. Youtube. The app's interface is much slicker than using a web browser to access the page. And oh, iPlayer is not available in Malaysia. At least Youtube is available almost everywhere.

    5. Quickmark. Know those QR codes that seems to be everywhere nowadays? Well, this program decodes it, using the phone's camera as a scanner. Pretty cool if you're really geeky (and hence browse ThinkGeek a lot).

  13. Pawel 1

    What about sourceforge?

    There are some nice apps for Symbian there as well, e.g. AlternateReader (open-source PDF and DjVu reader).

    Also, quite a few nice apps are popping up in Nokia Beta labs.

  14. lumpenfolk


    I purchased a Nokia E51 specifically to run Joikuspot. Have been using it as our main internet access for over a year - up to 4 laptops (yes it does slow down as you connect more devices, but it still works). Probably the best value software I have ever purchased. 100% recommended if it suits your circumstances.

  15. Dave Harris Silver badge


    @Dave Stephenson, what were you using to get the screenshots? The only app I've been able to find was reliant on a dedicated camera button, which the E63 conveniently doesn't have

    1. Nigel Whitfield.


      I use Screenshot for Symbian:

      Works fine on all the devices I've used

  16. Death_Ninja

    Is that it?

    I'll buy a dumb phone next time - thats a utterly rubbish set of apps.

    Never ceases to amaze me how people will hoover up stuff thats completely pointless.

    Where's the app that gives me a new Linda Lusardi/Sam Fox wallpaper every day and lets me play Galaxians.

    This new fangled 5h1t3 will never catch on!

  17. Dan Keating

    You forgot

    What about the world famous 'Symbian Baked Potato Simulator' where you got an oven door view of a foil wrapped King Edward going through a 90 minute roasting. The 'imagine the smell' tag line justifies the £5 outlay alone.

    You also forgot the '90's smartphone theme' app that comes installed and active by default with all Symbian phones.

  18. Steve Evans

    Curious list...

    No y-browser, no Nimbuzz, no Fring, no Opera Mobile...

  19. Robert Forsyth

    My phone

    came with: Maps, Mail for Exchange (MfE), File manager, Calculator, Converter, IM, Recorder, RealPlayer, Bounce, RT GR, Notes, etc.

    I've added:

    Touch Guitar, Zip, BBC iPlayer, AccuWeather, OggPlay, Google Maps, QuickOffice, Adobe PDF, Facebook, ovi Store, Brain Challenge, Point & Find

    I've downloaded, but not installed yet: Opera

    One has to laugh when one finds drive C: and E: in Symbian's file manager and cry when Nokia's helper applications only run on Windows

  20. bob 46


    Its been around a while now, but ViewRanger on my N95 beats my Garmin Oregon 300 every day of the week. Anyone who goes walking / cycling should have ViewRanger.

  21. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    That is all.

  22. Bod

    Gravity & Sports Tracker

    Can't believe you didn't have Gravity on there, or Sports Tracker! The two killer apps for Symbian (and there aren't many).

    Skype - yeah, but don't forget most Nokia's with WiFi have in-built ability to VoIP without having to use proprietary stuff like Skype, and the in-built stuff integrates with the phone's contacts list. Want dial-in number and all that? Just sign up to sipgate or any number of similar SIP services. Free dial-in number, cheap calls, free wifi calls, etc.

    Batter Extender - Not required on 3.2 & 5th edition phones. These phone automatically conserve power on things that you are not using, and especially when the battery is getting low.

  23. Andrew Orlowski (Written by Reg staff)

    And another vote...

    ProfiMail is the best IMAP client I've ever used. The ability to query the server and pull down an email from a store of 45,000, within 20-30 seconds, was quite impressive. And the built-in web browser is so well written I used to send myself the bookmarks every day. ProfiMail is not exclusive to Symbian (it's also WM) but moving away was painful.

    "Nice to see symbian getting some love on El's been a long time :p"

    It's been a long time since Symbian showed its users any love. 2007?

  24. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Down

    but which symbian version

    the incompatibility between all the symbian versions don't help

    and where is a decent e-reader?

    i can't wait to dump symbian

    the apps should be free

  25. Robert Hill

    But where is...

    ...but where is the iOS emulator? Or the Android emulator?

    Because I have to say that either of those would be more useful than the list presented...

  26. Grozbat
    Thumb Down

    Symbian is dead

    The iPlayer only works on a very few Symbian models, and only works in the UK. Contrast that with the fact that the BBC recently cut off support for RealPlayer - which is standard on all Symbian phones and worked outside the UK (at least for radio). This suggests that Symbian is a dying OS, with dwindling support.

    1. Anonymous Coward


      Yes, the fact that iPlayer only works in the UK is DEFINATELY Symbian/Nokia's fault.

  27. Watashi

    Some more apps - Nokia 5800

    Skyfire is the best browser - it supports normal web pages really well.

    s60SpotOn is a great app for keeping the screen on all the time.

    Offscreen's Stick Notes is great for phones with a stylus - write Post-it notes and stick them to a virtual cork-board.

    ShoppingList is a good, er, shopping list app.

    Widgetizer is a great app for adding extra shortcuts to the HS, plus HS buttons for flashlight and bluetooth, and HTC style clock and a (basic) music player control. Still in beta but best app I've got on my phone.

    Exclusion - great game to play with stylus.

    Ayofe by Dsma theme is ultra-stylish theme - like what a 60s sci-fi movie thinks our phones would be like now. What phone interface would look like if people cared about "interesting" rather than "efficient". All default icons stylised so they no longer look like what they're icons for and many third party apps also have new icons, plus new skin for music player and for keyboard.

    I also think Symbian is dying out, and think Android will take over. Android = MS Windows, iPhone OS = MacOS and Symbian = AmigaOS. Shame, 'cause I love my 5800 with s60v5.

    And Ovi sucks - so dull and devoid of useful apps.

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