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N-Series PC Suite Beta – Don’t Bother?

September 16th, 2007 by abhishta

Nokia released a beta version of the N-Series PC Suite (Download link). To start off, its a whopping 350mb download! I mean c’mon Nokia, not everyone lives in places with high-speed internet access. In many developing countries (which ironically are Nokia’s main markets), downloading 350mb is like a cardinal sin in itself.

UPDATE: I feel like a heel as I post this. Windows Blinds was causing these insane problems as it conflicted with the N-Series PC Suite. Most of the irritating aspects that I’ve mentioned below DON’T EXIST and they will be stricken out . However, I still stand by the last paragraph. A filter to select applications based on your N-series device is a must.

The real fun however, begins when you start the install. You are prompted with an install screen where you MUST use your keyboard to navigate. That’s right, no mouse interaction whatsoever. No Ok, Continue, Cancel buttons. Pathetic!

The N-Series suite in itself is a collection of various common apps such as Maploader, Nokia Music Transfer, Download! and a few others. The installer will install everything into the C:/Program Files/Nokia folder. You cannot customize the install directory unless you choose to install EACH AND EVERY application separately. To make matters worse, the default install directory is shown only after you start your install. If for some reason you wish to cancel the install (you might want to), then good luck trying to do so. The ‘Cancel’ button is absent, thanks to the ‘keyboard only’ navigation and trying to exit the application by pressing the close button – ‘X’ doesn’t work. Press Ctrl+Alt+Del to kill the installer. At this point, I was frustrated enough to Shift+Del everything and didn’t bother to actually proceed with the stupid install.

I think the folks over at Nokia simply put all of their apps in a glorified package and prettied it up and put it up for download. They couldn’t even design a simple filter to preselect the applications to be installed based on your N-series device. The N-Series PC Suite tries to install apps like Maploader and Download! which are not compatible with my N91. I know you can choose not to install certain apps but honestly, how many casual users will know about compatibility? No one likes bloatware. This just shows the amount of effort, or rather, the lack of it that went into the conception and design of the N-series PC Suite.

Was any effort every made to make this application usable? Did it even pass through a usability testing phase? I realize this application is a beta, but in the Web 2.0 world beta is almost always associated with a fully-functional and working application, not some pre-alpha release that should still be labeled a prototype.

Now that the above issues have been sorted out, I am giving it a try.

I am not the only one who has voiced their opinion on this matter.

I like the fact that Nokia is trying to separate out the applications so that you can only start up an application you need, unlike PC Suite, which will be convenient, but this uninspiring attempt by Nokia only makes matters worse.

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