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Best Free Symbian Applications

Published on: at 2:16 PM | Posted By:

Google Maps

The first really huge third party S60 application to get a full touch makeover, this works superbly on S60 5th Edition, on all phones, in both landscape and portrait modes, and with touch-panning of maps and of the StreetView displays (in countries where this is supported). Version 3.2.1 is the latest and has built-in Latitude (friend-finding), Traffic and Wikipedia (layers) support.

It's also terrific as a general purpose location-centric search tool (e.g. find the nearest plumber or pizza or hairdresser).

Google Maps Screenshot


Yes, there's now a mobile version of the YouTube main web site, but exactly what it serves up is dependent on the device you use to browse it - and there are the delays caused by having to bring up different pages and by waiting for RealPlayer or Flash Lite to do its thing. Better is to use the dedicated YouTube client for S60 5th Edition. It's fast to search and browse from clip to clip, works over Wi-Fi or 3G and the only trick is in getting hold of it in the first place.

Picture quality is QVGA, scaled up, but it's quite good enough for casual viewing.

Youtube Screenshot


The third big Google application, GMail is Java-based, which means that you need to take a trip into Settings | App Mgr | Installed apps and turn off the S60-supplied navigation and function 'keys'. That done though, you've got a fully touch-enabled.

Full-screen view into your GMail, complete with all features, such as 'Stars', 'Drafts' and your full list of emailed contacts. Try it - it'll work better than you expect.

Gmail Screenshot

BBC iPlayer

For UK residents only, of course, and almost certainly only really practical while in Wi-Fi range, this presents the best of the BBC's TV output in very high quality, in streaming or DRM-protected download form. There are hundreds of programmes on offer, mostly from the last few weeks, plus a number of radio programmes as well, better for listening on the move since the bandwidth requirements are somewhat lower.

It's the download option, available for many programmes, which really impresses, since you can grab things for watching later while travelling, with no worries over needing expensive connectivity. The DRM isn't a problem as long as you watch your downloads fairly promptly (within a week, usually).

BBC iplayer Screenshot

Opera Mini

Why on earth would you want another web browser? You have S60 Web, after all? Moreover, why would you want a mouldy, ol' Java app? Because it's faster, slicker and more frugal than Web, that's why. Once you get past the initial Java hand-holding 'Do you want to go online?' question, Opera Mini, quite simply, rocks. Backed up by special proxy servers, even huge web pages like BoingBoing can be opened in just a few seconds and browsed around with full touch-panning.

If you find S60 Web too slow for tradition text-based pages then Opera Mini is a definite candidate, especially if you're not on a flat rate data plan. The new version 5 beta introduces multi-tab browsing and an integrated touchscreen keyboard to save you messing with the standard Java text box forms, but the production v4.2 is also well worth installing.

Opera Mini Screenshot


It may seem a little odd to see Quickoffice in a list of freeware and, it's true, I'm cheating slightly. But by default, Quickoffice's document viewers aren't in the 5800 XpressMusic's ROM. Instead, they're a free addition, giving you Word, Excel and Powerpoint viewing with full touchscreen support. And on other S60 5th Edition phones, the viewers included are often 'old' v4 or v5 editions.

So, make the most of the downloads and upgrades offered in your phone's Download! or 'Sw update' system. In particular, note that all Nokia phone owners are entitled to a free upgrade to the latest v6 viewers, giving extra document compatibility - look in the 'Updates and upgrades' section of Quickoffice if you're not already on v6.

QuickOffice Screenshot


As with Opera Mini, don't write this off because it's Java-hosted. Snaptu offers to bring whole swathes of your online life together in one, streamlined and optimised application. Social networks, news, TV listings, the works. And it's extensible, with new modules being added weekly.

Snaptu Screenshot


One of S60's best kept secrets, AccuWeather was always a useful little widget to have installed. With the advent of S60 5th Edition and touch control, it has been dramatically improved, now with hourly and daily forecasts, weather charts, maps, and even GPS integration, to query the exact forecast for your current location - and all for free, quite amazingly.

Admittedly, it takes a good ten seconds or so to retrieve the necessary weather data over the Internet, but in this case it's well worth the wait (and anyway, with your multitasking smartphone you can just switch away to something else and come back shortly, can't you?)

Accuweather Screenshot

Files on Ovi

A terrific way to keep your important desktop folders automatically backed up (you get up to 10GB free, amazingly, in Nokia's 'Anytime files' system) and to have remote access to your master documents - on either Windows PC or Apple Mac - through the phone, Files on Ovi is fully compatible with Nokia's S60 5th Edition phones - it's just that Nokia doesn't make it easy.

Files On Ovi Screenshot

Wireless keyboard

Although this hasn't been fully updated officially yet for S60 5th Edition and thus shouldn't qualify for this list as not being optimised, I couldn't resist adding the necessary install for driving a Bluetooth wireless keyboard.

With this onboard, you can treat your S60 full-screen touch phone (a 5800 is shown below) as a mini-laptop and the solution works rather well.

Wireless Keyboard Screenshot

France 24 Mobile

Full credit to France 24, the TV/media company, for putting out their content for free on all mobile platforms. And no, don't worry, you don't have to speak French. There's general news, business, culture and weather content here, in pre-edited (but regularly updated) 10 minute segments, all in either French, English or Arabic, plus a genuinely live stream onto the appropriate language France TV channel.

Video quality's not the best by default, but you can change the stream to 'Highest quality' in Settings, after which picture quality is easily up with that of the BBC's iPlayer.

France 24 Screenshot


Fabulous. With the dual LED flash system able to be used during video recording, why on earth didn't Nokia let us use the LEDs as a torch when needed? Why indeed, which is why PhoneTorch is such a little God-send.

On devices with the LEDs covered in normal use (e.g. the Nokia N97), you'll need to prepare the way by opening the camera slider and then closing the Camera application.

PhoneTorch Screenshot

JoikuSpot Light FREE Hotspot

Perhaps a pinnacle of modern software engineering, JoikuSpot turns your S60 phone and its data connection into a mobile Wi-Fi hotspot for other devices (of yours) to hook into. The premium version has loads more functions and security, but for cheap, cheerful and ad-hoc use, the free 'Light' version does very well, letting you surf away on your laptop, for example, using (in this case) the Nokia 5800 XpressMusic as the hotspot.

Yes, PC Suite also allows through-Internet connections, but isn't is just so cool to be making your own Wi-Fi hotspot?


Fring is Nokia 5th-Edition-optimised VoIP and chat clients, include Skype integration.

Fring Screenshot


Nimbuzz is Nokia 5th-Edition-optimised VoIP and chat clients, include Skype integration.


This well known live video capture utility. The quality of its output usually disappoints (relative to capturing video with the native Camera app), but hey, if you need to stream live then you need to stream live...!

Qik Screenshot


This is a Last.fm radio player and 'scrobbler' for S60 smartphones.It allows you to listen to your Last.fm radio stations and to scrobble (share) tracks played using the S60 Music Player.


Aside from Skype, its one omission, this is perhaps the ultimate instant messaging client for S60, building in every other chat system, including (unusually) FacebookChat.

There's GPS support too, so that your contacts can see where you are in the world. Get it from the Nokia Ovi Store or from www.palringo.com in Web on your S60 5th Edition phone.

Palringo Screenshot

Psiloc World Traveler

Similar to Worldmate (but here compatible with all S60 phones and not just Nokia ones), this offers free travel related functions, including daylight globe, currency conversion and 5 day weather forecast. It's all rather slick and, like Worldmate, Psiloc probably plan to make their money on the premium flight information, coming soon.

The rest of the application is free, however, which is why it's included here.

Psiloc world Traveler Screenshot

Paint Pad

A rewritten version (allegedly) of a Forum Nokia source example, Paint Pad does a good job of standing on its own two feet, with proper load/save/background/send options, plus many more painting tools.

It's the paint utility that Nokia forgot to add!

Paint Pad screenshot


Yup, it's a full blown Twitter client and a whole heap more friendly than using the Twitter mobile web site each day. Not in the same league as Gravity but then this is free, after all. The functionality's mainly there, with the usual columns/lists for tweets, replies and direct messages.

Sadly, there's no web-like 'kinetic' scrolling, so you have to use the fiddly scroll bar.

Tweets60 Screenshot


With a decidedly non-standard interface, X-plore is still mightily functional and is the current file manager of choice on S60 5th Edition.

Although shareware, it only has the one 3-second nag screen and there's no time limit to your trial.

X-Plore Screenshot

TFL Tube Map

A little specialist, to be sure, it's only appropriate to someone visiting London, but it's a slick conversion from paper to pixels (as the company name suggests).

Browse around the London tube network without having to remember to bring your paper tube map.

TFL Tube Map Screenshot

S60 Internet Radio

Nope, not Nokia's nice, friendly version, which has yet to be ported to S60 5th Edition, unbelievably apparently. This is the original Shoutcast player from a few years ago. It's been minimally updated since, but does work. It only comes with a handful of Shoutcast stations, but it's reasonably easy to create.

pls (playlist) files yourself on the desktop and then copy these across to a /shoutcast folder on the device.

S60 Internet Radio Screenshot

The Musician's Swiss Knife and Chords

Two sister apps from the same developer, both shown/grouped here. The perennial BPM counter, metronome and note generator, implemented here in full-screen Java. Impressively, there's a range of different instrument tones that can be generated.

And... a guitarists chord database deluxe - just pick the root chord and the variation and the fingering is shown - and can be played by tapping on the plectrum. There's even a choice of four guitar tones, but I was disappointed not to be able to scroll up the neck to see the various inversions as well. Still, for a freebie.

The Musician's Swiss knife Screenshot Chords Screenshot

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