Since the launch of the Nokia 5800XM one area it has failed horribly with is e-mail, the in built client is looking very sad these days, and is flakey as hell (on V 20.0.012). S60 3rd Edition users have had the superb Nokia Messaging to handle their email requirements, which has been flourishing with each release. Sadly us 5th Edition users have been left in the dark. Until now.
Nokia Messaging 5800 – 10.0.0.2 is an early beta release of the software optimised for S60 5th Ed and its touch screen interface. Ricky at Symbian Guru had a preview a few weeks ago of the alpha release. Now Nokia seem keen to get feedback on the later beta release with copies of it being touted last night on Twitter. I’ve been playing with it today, and it’s a promising start.
The install, using my Google Apps account, wasn’t totally smooth. My first attempt told me that I had the wrong password – I didn’t. Closing down the set up and starting again did the trick and within 20 secs of entering my email address and password my mail was being synchronised. Superb.
The main screen allows you to see a sorted list of your email, which can be sorted by ‘Subject, Date, Sender, Flag, Priority, Unread and Attachment’. The scroll bar on this release cannot be used (bug?), scrolling up and down through messages is slow and a bit chuggy. I want to see whizzy kinetic scrolling like that on Gravity! Tapping once on a message will ‘expand’ it slightly – allowing you to read the first four lines (handy for previewing!), tapping twice opens it.
When reading the email at the top of the screen you have arrows to cycle through the previous / next mail and switch between showing you brief headers or full headers. Underneath you have the message itself, and beneath that a ‘Reply/Forward’ button, a ‘Delete’ button and a ‘Flag’ button. This doesn’t leave masses of space for the message (less than half a screen with the headers expanded). Would be nice to have more of the content on show and pop up buttons, or have them transparent maybe? Flicking between the previous and next mail is very nippy indeed – no lag at all, even on emails with lots of attachments. Again it would be nice to have a bit more eye candy – and speaking of eye candy, at the moment HTML e-mails are NOT supported in this beta.
Another addition that has crept in is a ‘Call Sender’ feature, which as it says allows you to call the person who has sent you the email (obviously you need their details in your Contacts!). Handy for those moments where you need further clarification from the sender. Sadly something that is very much missing from this release is any form of integration with the Standby Screen. The S60 5th Ed Standby Screen is a very dark and lonely place right now – Nokia Messaging should really be integrating some how. Heck you don’t even get a notification icon when a mail comes in (that is VERY poor!).
Still, this release is showing potential, and is looking better in places than the alpha version The Guru looked at. There is still a long way to go, in my opinion to reall make this a killer app, but at least it is stable (something the in built client is not!). This release also didn’t seem to play nicely with Handy Shell (something i’ll be reviewing shortly), the app was prone to crashing and oddly, not listing email that had been read, once Handy Shell was killed, all was good.
Roll on May when it goes on general release!
Here are some screenshots :-