Yann Vernier’s Blog

2009-04-29

SmartConnect and the wonders of DRM

Filed under: Nokia E71 — yannv @ 15:25

When I updated to firmware 210, I found I needed to reinstall a lot of software. BirdStep SmartConnect was one of them.
SC provides a function that is standard with many other phones, that of automatically selecting a useful Internet connection from those currently available. This is missing in S60 3fp1 which the E71 (but not the E71x, with the same hardware) uses. This was quite the drawback for an ambitious E series device, so Nokia found a workaround. They licensed BirdStep SmartConnect.
It still required the user to find the program, though. You do so using the Download! service, where it is one of a myriad items marked as costing 0. Or was – now it’s marked “try for free”. The first time I installed it, it worked fine. The downside of installing this way is that I got no SIS file, so when I needed to reinstall after a firmware upgrade, I had to find it all over again.
So I did. It was marked “try”, and after installation, considered itself unlicensed and refused to work.
I looked the issue up on the ‘net and found two plausible culprits – an online license check during installation and stale data files from the previous install. It turns out that enabling online license checks merely causes the download to fail. The other fix, which was listed on BirdStep’s FAQ, actually worked.
After three reboots, two manual erasures, and a bunch of reinstall attempts, I had managed to wipe the botched licensing data, and the newly installed program automatically reported a licensed E series device, for a feature that should have been included from the start (and could – remember, this was with a firmware update). How astoundingly convenient and helpful for the customer, wouldn’t you agree?

Update: The Download! service is no longer available. Nokia now expect you to use Ovi Shop, which requires a huge download, apparently does invasive stuff to your system as it demands you reboot the phone, and yet leaves the now useless Download! app in place. It also forces updates, which mean downloading and rebooting all over again. I haven’t searched through that to find SC again, but it certainly complicated the process further.

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