Getting the N-Gage Online

January 6th, 2004

Ok, so the phone that Nokia officially calls a game deck comes with WAP already set up. Modem use is a little tougher. There’s a number of options for configuring one’s computer for modem use, but the device itself proved painless to set up. Though T-Mobile doesn’t officially support the N-Gage, the profile needed can be beamed via the phone network from Nokia’s official site. The Nokia configuration works quite well. Using drivers from this site I was able to get my Powerbook online over bluetooth just as I was with my T68i before it.

More interesting is that with a color screen bigger than most phones, the N-Gage itself becomes a moderately useful net device. I haven’t yet decided to pay for the Opera browser for Nokia, but it’s remarkable how the browser breaks down pages for viewing on the N-Gage’s screen. It displays graphics and other stuff that phone based browsers don’t usually support.

There are IM clients (though I have yet to get one to work) and various other netty things that make the N-Gage more than a phone, more than a game deck and more like the PDA/pocket computers that Palm and Microsoft are pushing. It’s smaller and more useful in practice in nearly all ways than competing devices, at least for my use. All I really need now is a tiny bluetooth keyboard for the N-Gage and a native SSH client.

Note: I did actually use the N-Gage’s built in radio today as it allowed me to listen to NPR’s radio-only Presidential debate without having to hunt around for another source of FM programming or streaming it over the net to my computer.

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