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Archive for August, 2009

Winners of the SmartMovie Licences give away

August 31, 2009 5 comments

Together with Lonely Cat Games, creator of SmartMovie, we gave you the chance to win one of 5 licences of SmartMovie.

All you had to do was spot and name a video title that was played in the walkthrough/video review of SmartMovie (BELOW)

This afternoon (3PM GMT) entry was closed, correct entries were collated and the winners were selected using a random number generator.

The five chosen were (in no particular order)

  • Aravind
  • James
  • llaadd
  • Wampyre
  • m.mewitt

[You guys should have been contacted by email – pls check it as we’ll need your IMEI :)]

Thank you to everyone who entered. For a first run at licence give-away it went better than I expected.:)

Thanks also to the Lonely Cat Games team for the licences. 🙂

For more details on SmartMovie check out the text/picture review

If you missed out and still haven’t tried out SmartMovie yet, there’s a free trial at http://www.lonelycatgames.com/?app=smartmovie

Free Game: Boomshine for Nokia N97/5800/5530/i8910

August 31, 2009 1 comment

bsBoomshine by Danny Miller is addictiveness in simplicity. The aim of the game is to set off consecutive chain reactions. Touch a moving coloured dot and it explodes – any on coming dot will also explode and so forth. bs2

With each increasing level, the number of available coloured dots and the target chain reaction also increases. The soundtrack by Tim Halbert is also oddly very soothing.

You can try the online flash here but even better is the S60 5th edition port by Jamie Fuller. He’s rewritten the game from scratch but optimized for S60 touch whilst keeping the feel of the original game.

You can download the S60 version >>here<<

boomshineNote – it only works with touch and in landscape.

Demo Video by 30dirtybirds

Via Jamie Fuller

Freeware: Converter for Nokia N97/5800/5530/S60 5th Edition

August 30, 2009 Leave a comment

This is a nice touch based alternative to the default S60 converter. It’s free at the Ovi Store.

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  • Prominent number pad – very useful particularly for touch only use (and this app only recognizes touch input). Default S60 converter can of course use the keypad/keyboard and keypad touch (though only visible when you click on “Amount”)
  • Scrolling bar of icons that allows you to switch between
    • Area
    • Energy
    • Fluid Volume << Not available in default S60 Converter
    • Length
    • Mass
    • Power
    • Pressure
    • Temperature
  • Within the type, you can  of course switch to different units – just tap in the unit box of the starting/ending amount

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  • Conversion is instant – the moment you type an amount – though you can only change the value of the starting amount (you can change the end amount in the default S60 converter)
  • It does lack the currency option, though I don’t use that in the default converter as “PSILOC World Traveler” has a much better currency conversion tool with 4 instant currency view selectable from every major currency all of which with an always up to date exchange rate. PSILOC World Traveler is also free on the Ovi Store and may already be preinstalled on your phone. PWT has its own host of great features – Weather, World time with 3D Globe etc)

Video Review: MobileBurn’s Nokia E55 Unboxing and Review

August 29, 2009 1 comment

This is a two part video unboxing and review of the Nokia E55 by Russel from MobileBurn.

They are in HD so click the HD button to see the extra detail in the handset.

E55 is a

…slim candybar phone, running S60 3rd edition, with a 2.4″ QVGA screen,  3.2MP camera, GPS (with compass) and a compact (half) QWERTY keyboard….

For full specifications, >> click here <<

Part 1

[YOUTUBE=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gvJ62lx1KBk]

Part 2

via mobileburn

Here’s an alternate video review and some comparison’s with other Eseries by Rafe Blandford

Freeware: Midomi. 7 reasons why I love the Midomi app on the Nokia N97(and think it’s a better music search tool than Shazam.)

August 27, 2009 2 comments

You’re probably aware of these two apps already – again just another highlight.

Shazam and Midomi are similar music discovery engines that are currently free the Ovi Store. Get the app to listen to a piece of music – sends that recording online then immediately gets back to you with the details. Shazam is free to use until 30-11-09 and for a limited time (undisclosed) Midomi is offering a free trial. You should go to the Ovi Store now and try them both whilst they’re still free. (After the promo, Shazam Lite app lets you have some limited features and free tagging)

This post focuses more on Midomi – for Shazam details/screenshots, here’s a post from Daily Mobile

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check out my erratic and poor T-Mobile reception at home.

Shazam is quite a prominent name in finding music track details simply based on an audio recording – and it’s pretty good at doing that – saving your track searches and also integrating a music store should you wish to purchase that rack.

Midomi is very similar to Shazam – it does exactly what Shazam does. Search and identify tracks and then some to make it more than just a song recognizer/finder.

7 reasons why I love the Midomi app on the Nokia N97

1. Midomi can recognize humming/singing in addition to the actual proper track itself. I was surprised at how it could do that, -I took it as a compliment when it got my humming/singing correct. ^_^ (Shazam only recognizes the actual track) Both are very accurate – though it is brilliant that Midomi recognize more than just the original, unmodified song.

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2. Midomi stops “listening” either:

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  • after a predetermined time (max about 20s?) or
  • when I stop it or
  • when it knows it has enough and has recognized the track.

Against a speaker and the real song, Midomi often recognizes early, within 8 seconds. Shazam only stops listening after the full 14seconds (I think it’s 14)

3. Midomi saves my searches – no need to write down what that song was. But Midomi also saves:

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  • the additional browsing that I’ve done that’s related to that track (see point 5) as well
  • noting what day I and  time I searched for that song.
  • Saving recordings that weren’t matched – either due to poor reception/or bad recording. This is useful if you hear a track and haven’t got an internet connection – the recording is saved to check back later
  • Shazam saves tagged tracks and untagged tracks but all in a single list.

4. Midomi has an abundance of things you can do with the matched track

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    • You can listen to the actual track itself or other tracks that Midomi thought was similar to the recording – really useful if you just hummed a tune that you weren’t exactly sure about.
    • Watch videos using that song – it lists YouTube videos using that song, be it the official video, an acappella cover, parody etc. Opens up browser on a youtube search of that song. Really neat.
    • Mail track details
    • Find lyrics of that song (opens up web browser and a google search for those lyrics)
    • View the album that song belongs to, seeing track list, album review, artist info (then similar options for each new track you browse)
    • You can easily bookmark tracks/albums by clicking on the star
    • You can even listen to other users’ recordings of that same track – their singing/humming/track recording.

5.  Midomi has a nicer looking interface, easier to navigate and more finger friendly (input completely by touch, works only in portrait).

6. If you already know the title/artist/album you can search for them by typing in those details.

7. Midomi connects you a music store – if you want that track, you can purchase it using the Nokia Music Store App . Shazam’s also has Music Store integration, and is slightly better too (though at times temperamental) in that it searches that track at the music store too. Midomi just brought me to the Music Store

Four Three things I liked about Shazam (over Midomi)

There are four features I prefer in Shazam over Midomi: The larger album art (Midomi has a separate option to view a large album art), it works in landscape, better Music Store integration  and the free black/silver theme that comes with the Shazam install. (When you use Shazam, only the black/silver theme works. Midomi’s colour scheme changes with the theme. )

Otherwise, in terms of music searching features, on the current version I used (at time of writing) Midomi on the mobile is a much better music identifying solution.

Suggestions For Midomi

I love how Midomi interacts with tracks/albums – it makes it much more than a music identifier. The only things I could ask for is for Midomi to work in full screen, better integration with the music store and perhaps integrate kinetic scrolling. Both Midomi and Shazam have pretty cool online counterparts (such as Chart listings on topped tags/recently tags/communities) and would be nice to see this integrated in Midomi.

Suggestions for S60 music player app.

There are also so many cues that S60’s music player can take from Midomi –

  • big thumb-friendly listings
  • Quick bookmarking (great for playlists) – S60’s playlist feature is currently Options>Add to Playlist>Saved/New Playlist. Being able to simply favourite a track by a single tap for later listening is really convenient. – Perhaps then give the user the ability to organize those favourites into playlists.
  • Linking to related videos
  • Finding track lyrics (if applicable)
  • linking to other users with the same songs (maybe not so much for listening to their recording, but could build up some sort of chat app. The Ovi Store’s already got a few random social networking/chat apps and this one could be different in that there’s already something in common – taste in music, “Oh I’m listening to ….”

Nokia N900 Technical Specifications

August 27, 2009 2 comments

Some beastly specifications coming from the N900,  for around  500EUR/440GBP/712USD unsubsidized.There’ll definitely be some good UK contract deals if it starts unsubsidized 440GBP.

My only complaints right now is the battery (1320mAh, not 1500mAh) and of course, no Xenon. But apart from that, what a power house! 1GB RAM (256 physical, 768 Virtual) OMAP 3430 ARM Cortex-A8 600 MHz, OpenGL ES 2.0  – Extreme multitasking of even the most resource intensive of apps?

Some neat little features too with DLNA, Digital Stereo Audio RECORDING, Full Screen viewfinder for both 5MP camera and video – which is at 848 × 480 pixels (WVGA) videos at 25FPS – I’m guessing lower VGA res at 30FPS. No mention of the gesture areas/shortcut buttons seen in the hands on video.

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Nokia N900 Technical Specifications

Display

  • 3.5 inch touch-sensitive widescreen display
  • 800 × 480 pixel resolution

Processor and 3D accelerator

  • TI OMAP 3430: ARM Cortex-A8 600 MHz
  • PowerVR SGX with OpenGL ES 2.0 support

Memory

  • Up to 1GB of application memory (256 MB RAM, 768 MB virtual memory)

Connectivity

  • 3.5mm AV connector
  • TV out (PAL/NTSC) with Nokia Video Connectivity Cable
  • Micro-USB connector, High-Speed USB 2.0
  • Bluetooth v2.1 including support for stereo headsets
  • Integrated FM transmitter
  • Integrated GPS with A-GPS

Mass Memory

  • 32 GB internal storage
  • Store up to 7000 MP3 songs or 40 hours of high-quality video
  • Up to 16 GB of additional storage with an external microSD card

Keys and Input

  • Full QWERTY tactile keyboard
  • Full QWERTY onscreen keyboard

Camera

  • 5 megapixel camera (2584 × 1938 pixels)
  • Image formats: JPEG
  • CMOS sensor, Carl Zeiss optics, Tessar lens
  • 3 × digital zoom
  • Autofocus with assist light and two-stage capture key
  • Dual LED flash
  • Full-screen viewfinder
  • Photo editor on device
  • TV out (PAL/NTSC) with Nokia Video Connectivity Cable (CA-75U, included in box) or WLAN/UPnP
  • Landscape (horizontal) orientation
  • Capture modes: Automatic, portrait, video, macro, landscape, action

Video

  • Wide aspect ratio 16:9 (WVGA)
  • Video recording file format: .mp4; codec: MPEG-4
  • Video recording at up to 848 × 480 pixels (WVGA) and up to 25fps
  • Video playback file formats: .mp4, .avi, .wmv, .3gp; codecs: H.264, MPEG-4, Xvid, WMV, H.263

Music and Audio Playback

  • Maemo media player
  • Music playback file formats: .wav, .mp3, .AAC, .eAAC, .wma, .m4a
  • Built-in FM transmitter
  • Ring tones: .wav, .mp3, .AAC, .eAAC, .wma, .m4a
  • FR, EFR, WCDMA, and GSM AMR
  • Digital stereo microphone
  • DLNA

Size and Weight

  • Volume: Approx 113cc
  • Dimensions: 110.9 × 59.8 × 18 (19.55 at thickest part) mm
  • Weight: Approx 181g

Box Contents

  • Nokia N900
  • Nokia Battery (BL-5J)
  • Nokia High Efficiency Charger (AC-10)
  • Nokia Stereo Headset (WH-205)
  • Video out cable (CA-75U)
  • Nokia charger adaptor (CA-146C)
  • Cleaning cloth

Email and Messaging

  • Supported protocols: Mail for Exchange, IMAP, POP3, SMTP
  • Support for email attachments
  • Support for rich HTML
  • SMS and Instant Messages as conversations
  • Support for Nokia Messaging service
  • Instant messaging and presence enhanced contacts
  • Multiple number, email and Instant Messaging details per contact, contacts with images
  • Support for assigning images to contacts

Web Browsing

  • Maemo browser powered by Mozilla technology
  • Adobe Flash™ 9.4 support
  • Full screen browsing

Operating Frequency

  • Quad-band GSM EDGE 850/900/1800/1900
  • WCDMA 900/1700/2100 MHz

Data Network

  • GPRS class A, multislot class 32, maximum speed 107/64.2 kbps (DL/UL) EDGE class A, multislot class 32, maximum speed 296/177.6 kbps (DL/UL) WCDMA 900/1700/2100.
  • Maximum speed PS 384/384 kbps (DL/UL) HSPA 900/1700/2100. Maximum speed PS 10/2 Mbps (DL/UL) WLAN IEEE 802.11b/g

GPS and Navigation

  • Integrated GPS, Assisted-GPS, and Cell-based receivers
  • Pre-loaded Ovi Maps application
  • Automatic geotagging

Personalisation

  • Background pictures
  • Widgets on your desktops
  • Intelligent contact shortcuts
  • Shortcuts to your favourite websites
  • Shortcuts to applications
  • Themes

Battery

  • BL-5J 1320mAh

Colour

  • Black

Box Contents

  • Nokia N900
  • Nokia Battery (BL-5J)
  • Nokia High Efficiency Charger (AC-10)
  • Nokia Stereo Headset (WH-205)
  • Video out cable (CA-75U)
  • Nokia charger adaptor (CA-146C)
  • Cleaning cloth

Via Maemo.nokia.com

Videos: Hands on Video and Product Show case Maemo UI action of the upcoming Nokia N900

August 27, 2009 Leave a comment

The Product Show Case

  • live application switcher? Notice the video that’s still playing when in “dashboard” view.

Maemo UI in action

Erm. Wow. Fantastic advert.

Are those gesture movements gonna be real or just some idealistic interaction to make the video look better (like what happened with the N97?)

FireFox on N900 = win!

Full Screen viewer for photos  = great!

I really want one of these!

The hands on

  • Loving the multiple desktops, “Panoramic Desktop”.
  • Flashing blue light – I love these! It’s gimmicky but something I’ve loved ever since the T68i
  • Dashboard with live task switcher to switch between your applications.
  • Has Flash 9.4
  • Gesture areas! Swiping finger from left side of the screen gets you a mouse pointer in web browser. I hope it does more than that in other apps.
  • Instant Web Browser history – sliding carousel of previously viewed pages opening instantly without reloading.
  • Zooming either by circular gesture or double tap.
  • Multiple browsers “No matter how many web tasks you have open, it works pretty smooth”. Ah…extreme multitasking on a Nokia Nseries.

There seems to be a continuing theme of having the desktop in your pocket. I wonder how good the firefox browser is on the N900 – There’s so many mobile browsers but none really that are giving close to desktop web browsing experience.

via Nokia Conversations.

Freeware: 7 free (flash) apps/games for your Nokia N97 – Stopwatch & Countdown/Pacman/Kitty Cannon/Helicopter Game /Spank The Monkey/Touch Type/Hardest Game in the World

August 26, 2009 1 comment

flash app

Here are some popular online flash files for your  N97/5800/5530- basically most S60-flash capable devices, although some will only work with Touch/keyboard/D-Pad (though an onscreen D-pad is available). All app menus are accessible via touch

It’s advisable to set flash quality to “low” for increased frame rate on the games and then set to full screen (open keyboard up in N97)

1. Stopwatch

The online stopwatch is my favourite stopwatch app. It’s simple and has a countdown with alarm too.

Input: Touch

Download

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MNBx000161MNBx0001622. Pacman

The classic game – complete with iconic sound effects such as the timeless “wakka wakka wakka” 🙂

Input: D-Pad

Download

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3. Kitty Cannon

[Kitten Cannon] Aim the cannon and launch the cat. Try to get the furthest distance by hitting bombs, explosives and trampolines. Avoid sharp spikes and cat-eating-plants. Good animation and good sound effects.

Warning: Contains cartoon violence to cats.

Input: D-Pad (or virtual D-Pad) – Spacebar to fire/continue

Download

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4. Touch Type

You will need a keyboard for this. You can either create your own text or select a pre-generated text from 15 different lesson sets. Type as fast and as accurately as you can. Get a key wrong and you won’t progress until you’ve pressed the correct one a hand appears suggesting what digit you should use but of course, not applicable on thumbboards.

Input: Keyboard

Download

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5. Helicopter Game

Another classic game. Navigate the helicopter by holding down on controls – has the chopper sounds.

Input: Touch.

Download

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6. Spank the Monkey

Drag the hand around and flick from right to left, making sure you let go of the hand to Spank the Monkey. The faster the better. Surprisingly fluid, with sound effects/music. Go beyond 200MPH and you get a little song to celebrate.

Input: Touch

Download

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SPTM

7. The Hardest Game in the world.

A series of puzzles where you must move the red ball from one location to predefined positions.

Input: D-Pad or on screen D-Pad

Download

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Videos: Nokia 5800 ‘hacks’: HTC Sense UI, Nokia N97 Homescreen, Alternate launchers (iPhone/Android) and Improved theme effects

August 25, 2009 6 comments

Here’s a collection of videos (by TommyHecker and StL1ntL ) showing some modifications for S60 5th edition handsets like the 5800, N97, 5530, 5230, Satio and i8910.

If you’re ever get tired of how your S60 5th edition UI is looking, you may want to try altering it with some hacks and/or legit apps.

N97 style Homescreen

First is the 5800 running something quite close to the Nokia N97’s homescreen. From 3:33 there’s other homescreen styles – ending with an app launcher that has a 6×4 grid of icons.

No need of course for N97 users.

HTC Sense UI

Second  is the HTC Sense looking UI running on the 5800. Again, it’s just a theme/app launcher that attempts to imitate the HTC sense i (e.g. the clock isn’t a real clock, and the scroll bar at the bottom never moves)

iXP Launcher and MyPhone Launcher

Third is an XP looking launcher and of course the infamous MyPhone application that turns your S60 5th edition phone into something closely resembling the iPhone’s UI. The latter is a safe flash app and is the best looking alternative app launcher for S60 5th edition phones. Both created by iMMMOOO.com crew.

Here’s another look at the MyPhone app on the N97 by smashpop

Try MyPhone or iXP for free at www.immmooo.com/

Improved Theme effects, kinetic scrolling and Handy Shell

Fourth –   a nice looking theme effect with  improved animation and kinetic scrolling in contacts, along with the Handy Shell app (which makes your icons nice and fat, as well as giving you another alternative homescreen and a 12 icon grid of contacts; all interchangeable with touch, i.e. not needing to press the menu button-)

Try Handy Shell at Softpedia.com

Android like interface and M1 Android Launcher

To round it off, by StL1ntL is a very convincing Andoid like interface on the 5800

Here’s something similar, again an Application by the iMMMOOO.com crew, though it does seem to be less functional.

[YOUTUBE=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RW-SdrYxrWY]

Try M1 for free at www.immmooo.com/

Freeware: Mobipocket eBook reader for S60, 3rd and 5th edition (Great for the Nokia N97)

August 24, 2009 9 comments

You may be aware of this app already – this is just a highlight for those who haven’t come across it yet.

  • to download go to m.mobipocket.com on your browser (select S60 3rd edition) or Click here and then send the .sis file to your phone.

Mob

One of my favourite applications on my N82 was the Mobipocket reader, MobiReader, an excellent free eBook reader for S60 phones – and with the N97’s 3.5″ 640×360 screen – it looks even better!

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Library View

It’s such a feature packed application:

With the current S60 3rd edition, release (same file compatible mostly with S60 5th) you could:

  • resume each document at the exact section you left it
  • search/copy things within the document
  • add bookmarks, after which opening the annotations will bring you directly to that section
  • Highlight portions of text/add notes/links and even modify the text.
  • Select page numbers to view
  • Read with autoscrolling
  • change a whole banquet of settings; colour of text/background/highlight/items modified – change font sizes /margins/line spacing and more.
  • Supports images

What I love best about the Mobipocket format on S60 phones is that formatting is that whatever I set the font sizes to, be it a tiny size 7 or a very large size 19, the pages automatically the amount of words in a window so that you NEVER have to scroll left or right as you would if you were viewing a PDF file. Even if you set it not to view in full screen, or change from landscape to portrait, Mobipocket reader adjusts accordingly. Mobipocket ignores the original document’s page numbers and page formatting making it absolutely perfect for reading on a mobile device.

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Size 7. Scroll bar at bottom fills up as you go along the book. At smaller fonts, you will have less pages.

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Size 19. Dynamic "zooming"

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Size 7 (portrait)

This makes it such a joy to read on a Mobile device – as often, zooming to a point where text is comfortable in Acrobat reader means having to continuously scroll from left to right with each line. The other option was to decrease the font size to reduce the need for horizontal scrolling, but that meant the text was uncomfortably small.

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Although MobiReader’s compatible with S60 5th edition (You can use touch to navigate through your library/options/settings), you cannot navigate between pages with touch/select text. On S60 5th edition, you have to use either the volume keys (which is actually a decent enough solution) or the D-Pad/ space/enter button on the Nokia N97. Delete button on the N97 is the only way to exit the document and return to the library if you go full screen (how do 5800/5530 users manage this?)

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Selection was quite random

You can’t do much of the “selection mode”functions (highlight/copy/add note/look up) and the ability to do this disappears completely when you’re viewing in full screen.

qweOnly adding a bookmark works. We can only hope that there’ll be some optimizations for S60 5th edition to bring it to the same functionality as found on 3rd edition.

Lack of 3rd edition functions maybe understandable given that it doesn’t seem to be officially supported for S60 5th edition (no 5th edition devices are listed as compatible in the downloads section.

Regardless of the lack of additional “selection mode” functions and some odd behaviour when going into fullscreen (in S60 5th edition), as a tool for making eBooks easier to read on a phone, MobiReader is absolutely great. On S60 3rd edition devices like the N86/E75 – MobiReader is fantastic and you should try it out if you’re not a user already. Hey, it’s free. 🙂

Update: Akademy has found some great qwerty shortcuts for the N97:

Thought you might like some key combos for N97 though.
‘j’ switches between fullscreen (I couldn’t see another way out),
‘right’, ’space’ ,’return’ go to next page,
‘left’ goes back a page,
‘3′ goes back to the beginning of the book (quite annoying when you’re half way through…)
‘2′ is something to do with annotations…
‘1′ or ‘delete’ go to the book select page
‘8′ goes to settings.

To download MobiReader, either go to

  • m.mobipocket.com on your browser (select S60 3rd edition)
  • Click here and then send to your phone.

Oh yeah, this may sound blindingly obvious but Mobipocket requires documents to be in the Mobipocket format.  You can get content via:

  • the eBook store from Mobireader
  • Mobipocket compatible catalogue sites such as Project Gutenburg
  • Or simply convert your existing files via the mobipocket creator.

Mobipocket Creator

To download Mobipocket Creator, click here. <<It’s free too.

It converts HTML, Word Documents, Text documents and PDFs – all into the mobile friendly Mobipocket format.

It’s very quick and easy – drag and drop your file, click build (select no compression), open the newly made folder for your file, then send to your phone.

If you send Mobipocket files via bluetooth, once you open them from your inbox, MobiReader opens it and creates another copy in the Mass Memory “eBook” folder. Nice touch.

Mobipocket creator