As Ken has mentioned in a few posts already, I’ve recently detached myself from a morbid and somewhat archaic connection to my trusty Nokia E72 and I’ve migrated to the Nexus S. Google’s Nexus S is an Android phone that’s essentially naked, meaning that it runs an untarnished version of the Android operating system. It’s brilliant.
I won’t go into the details as to why I went with Android…. but needless to say I’m not a huge fan of Apple products. I’m not an “Apple hater” as many of my colleagues would like to think; it’s just I’m somebody that is deeply invested into open source applications.
I’ve written Android applications for about a year now and haven’t really had the chance to explore the platform in the kind of detail I would like – and I’ve had to use emulation software to test everything I build. It’s hardly perfect. I’ve refrained from releasing anything into the Android Market for these reasons.
Part of the reason I hadn’t switched from my Nokia previously was the inherent nightmare involved with porting applications, messages and contacts across to a new operating system. Anybody that’s lived with a Nokia handset (and isn’t that all of us?) had to face this geek of faith at some point. Having said that, the advantages offered by Android far outweigh the challenges. Certainly, from my perspective, not changing teams sooner will forever remain a secret shame.
So, the first two biggest issues that I confronted was the process of porting my messages and contacts across to the new device. Here’s how I accomplished the task in about 20 minutes.
Porting Nokia contacts to the Nexus S
The Nexus and Google applications are a magnificent marriage and the handset integrates seamlessly with virtually all of Google’s online offerings – including Google Mail. The contacts in your Android handset should synchronise by default with Google to ensure that your database is up-to-date. All you have to do is update your Gmail contacts which will, in turn, push the updated information into your phone.
Gmail contacts gives you the option of importing a CSV file into the their mail application via a web browser. If you want to move your contacts from your Nokia to your Nexus, all you have to do is create a CSV file with Nokia PC Suite that you’ll likely already have installed on your PC, and import that list into Gmail. If you don’t have PC Suite, you can download it here.
Before you start this process, make sure you export a copy of your contacts from Gmail as a backup. You can do so in multiple formats. I never used Gmail as a means of storing contact information so I simply deleted them all (after a backup).
- Back up your the contacts using Nokia PC Suite as you did above
- On the Nokia PC Suite Contacts tab, select “File”… “Send”… “Contact via Email”.
- This will open an Outlook or Outlook Express tab (if you’re using Windows) and your contacts will be attached as VCF files
- Connect your Nexus to your PC as storage
- In your mail program, select “File” then “Save attachments”. You must save it to your Nexus SD card to a location of your choosing. You can create a folder if you like.
- Unnmount the Nexus One from your PC
- From your contacts menu, select “Menu” then “Import/Export”
Importing Nokia Messages into your Nexus Handset
First, you will need to download a copy of Nokia2AndroidSMS. We’ll use this application to create a list of your messages in an XML format that can be imported into your handset.
Second, you will need to download the SMS Backup & Restore application from the Android market. Search from your handset or scan this QR code if you have a barcode scanner on your handset. This app will read the fomatted XML file created with the previous application
You will also need a copy of Nokia PC Suite and Nokia OVI Suite on your machine.
Importing the contacts into your handset can be a little challenging if you’re really new to the phone but it is easy, and it is fast. Some of these instructions are copied from a post at simail.si.
Step 1 : You’ll first have to download Nokia Ovi Suite. Once it’s installed you’ll be prompted for a username and password – don’t worry about that. It’s not necessary for the process we’re describing below.
Step 2 : Open up Ovi Suite and synchronise your Nokia handset with your computer (via USB cable, bluetooth or however). This will create a local copy of your data on your PC. When the synchronisation is complete, make sure you completely exit the program by selecting File -> Exit. It’s designed to minimise to your system tray which is something you don’t want to happen.
Step 3 : Using Nokia2AndroidSMS (which you can extract to any directory – maybe your desktop), double click on Nokia2AndroidSMS.exe and it will open up a small dialog box. You should see something like this:
If the process should fail to detect Datastores 1 (as shown in the image above) you’ll have to find it by yourself. You can either drag and drop datastore file from Windows Explorer onto the Nokia2AndroidSMS window or use the ‘open button’ to find it… but it should be there. If not, it’s entirely possible that the above process didn’t work.
If you have more than one phone in the datastore than you can select for which you’d like to export the messages, they are listed by their IMEI number.
Step 4 : Click “Convert”. This will create an XML file that contains all your message data in the same directory as the executable file.
Here comes the ‘tricky’ part.
Step 5 : You must now connect your handset to your computer and move the XML file (it’s likely called sms_All Phones.xml) into the SMSBackupRestore folder on your Nexus handset (the folder is case sensitive). If the folder doesn’t exist, you’ll have to manually create it. If you don’t know how to create a folder, see below.
Step 6 : Fire up the SMS Backup & Restore Android application and you’ll find an option to import messages from the XML files you’ve just created.
Manually Creating a Folder on your SD Card
If you’re new to the operating system, it’s likely that you’re not overly familiar with how to create a directory on your SD card. To accomplish this, you’ll need to install a ‘File Explorer’ from the App Market (if you don’t have one installed already). A free application like ES File Explorer will do the trick, but there are literally hundreds to choose from.
With a file explorer it’ll be easy to port over any images and video from old handset.
Next time you hear from me ramble about Android, it’ll be with regard to the first five applications I installed onto my handset and why. We’ll be publishing a stack of free Andoird applications over coming months! If you have any suggestions or requests, let us know.
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