Nokia N95 firmware update v. 21.0.016

This isn’t exactly news, because the firmware was made available 26th of March but I only saw this yesterday when I was recommended to upgrade my phone to install the new Nokia Maps app:

Nokia N95 software version 21.0.016 released – 26 March 2008

This software version includes Flash Lite 3 support (enabling users to watch Flash video web sites such as YouTube) and Widget support. The release also includes standby-time improvements and improvements to Bluetooth headset interoperability.

See Nokia software update news (Europe) (RSS)

The new Maps application, however, adds aGPS functionality to the device. Why do I want it? Especially when the original Maps application didn’t require you to pay for directions? Well, before I used to have really slow GPS first-time-fix time, e.g. the time it takes for you to get a first lock onto the 3-4 satellites "in your area". aGPS or Assisted GPS use the telecom protocols (e.g GPRS, EDGE, 3G etc.) to triangulate a more or less exact position hence aiding the satellites’ actual work. Of course this requires a connection to the phone network so it costs whatever data you transfer (Nokia states 10kb) according to your data plan, your service provider and your location in the world.

But to reduce the painful 10 minutes it has usually taken for me to lock on initially, I’m ready to pay a little sum those few times I actually use GPS. It’s a turn-on turn-off feature as well, so I can still remove the a-part of it whenever I feel like it. Check out this little excerpt from the N95 manual for a few simple tips in GPS use: N95 GPS Connection Guide.

I’m a little paranoid about satellites knowing my position, but it can’t be denied that GPS removes a step from your physical fold-out map apart from actually carrying the map: You don’t have to locate your whereabouts. Which is good. I’m always a little lost in terms of coordinates. And who knows, maybe I’ll check out the geotagging feature for ExtGPS that connects to the laptop via bluetooth, I will be able to use GPS on my laptop. Add MySQL database and Kismet and you have a wardrive setup, baby.

Whatever you do, remember to BACK UP ALL YOUR FILES from the phone using Nokia’s backup tool and that you cannot downgrade once you’ve upgraded. More info in the Software Update FAQ. Some 3rd party apps (I have Kama Sutra illustrated, a pizza timer and ScreenSnap for instance) will have to be re-installed from phone memory — which I wasn’t able to — or from your PC. So keep your .sis sources even though their certificates are likely to run out.

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