More N85 and Device Stage

I got a question on how I had tried the N85 connection to my Windows 7 system and did some more exploration in order to better understand how it works. My usual habit is to select PC Suite when prompted on my phones as they connect to my machines. I’ve done that but also gone through the other modes of the phone to compare the differences Windows 7 presents.

If you are not familiar with the Nokia set up, when you connect to a computer, you are prompted to choose a mode which gives your computer a better sense about what you might want to do and then the appropriate apps know how to communicate. The options are PC Suite, Mass Transfer Mode, Image Transfer Mode and Media Transfer Mode. What follows are the on-screen prompts from Windows for each mode.

PC Suite:

2009-01-22_1923 - N85 in PC Suite in Windows 7

Mass Transfer Mode:

2009-01-22_1922 - N85 Mass Storage in Win 7

Image Transfer Mode:

2009-01-22_1925 - N85 in Image Transfer in Windows 7

Media Transfer Mode:

2009-01-22_1927 N85 Media Transfer in Windows 7 - zoomed

The Device Stage clearly kicks in when you connect in Media Transfer mode which I supposed I should have realized last time I tried this since as noted earlier Device Stage really picks up where the MTP (Media Transfer Protocol) left off in XP and Vista.

The other bonus about Media Transfer mode is that the devices stay pinned while connected in the Task Bar which is a very powerful option given the options within the right-click menu.

Right clicked on the N85:

2009-01-22_1949 - N85 right click in taskbar in windows 7

To give you an even richer sense about how this works, I’ve captured a screencast though admittedly it’s a bit jerky. The actual experience was smooth … unlike this video.

Nokia N85 on the Windows 7 Device Stage

As a follow-up to my previous post on the Windows 7 Device Stage, I spent a bit of time today exploring further and discovered that the Nokia N85 is in fact supported by the Windows 7 Device Stage.


In order to see the Device Stage today you need to navigate to the Control Panel > Hardware and Sound > Devices and Printers> and then click on the Nokia N85.   The options are focused on support with links to the manual, additional S60 applications, product info on as well as a link to Ovi, Nokia Services.

When you connect the N85 over USB you get the standard AutoPlay option.  I’m not sure if there’s a way around that, though for now given the limited As you can see from the offering inside the Device Stage for this device, I’m not really missing anything.  In fact looking at the AutoPlay options there’s quite a bit more function there. While the Device Stage seems to be centered around support for the N85, Autoplay enables some real actions you might want to take.


Windows 7 Opens New Ways of Interacting with Devices

A friendly tipster shared a particularly cool feature in Windows 7, the Device Stage …

“Windows 7 introduces a new way to interact with your phone, camera, printer, or portable media player from the Windows desktop. Device Stage is new visual interface that makes it easy to find the things you want to do with your devices on your Windows 7 PC. You could think of Device Stage as a multi-function version of Autoplay where it displays all the applications, services, and information related to your device. Device Stage not only works for devices connected to a Windows 7 PC via USB, but also Bluetooth and Wi-Fi as well. In many cases, software installation isn’t required for Device Stage – with any additional drivers that might be needed automatically retrieved from Windows Update. [Windows Experience Blog]

As a Mac user, I’ve always been either puzzled or frustrated by the amount of driver installation required by Windows. Windows 7 seeks to change that to make it easier but also adds a new level of customization for either the manufacturers or even a wireless carrier.

The example shown on the Windows Experience Blog is for the Nikon D90 and as you can see it really is an enhanced way to handle the old Autoplay function.

D90 on the Windows 7 Device Stage

In this case it’s pretty straightforward, but Nikon is offering access to Picturetown (their online picture service and Nikon Transfer in addition to standard Windows functions for importing or browsing. They’ve also included links to the support site and to the device’s manual.

What I really like about this though is the opportunity provided to tailor what you are shown based on what you have… or even who it’s from. This next view is for the Nokia 5800 Express Music.


Here Nokia promotes both Ovi and S60, and provides an easy link to the manual. The view is an S60 branded view though could very easily be from a carrier with links to their services or support content.

I’ve already seen how well Windows 7 handles new hardware installation by adding a printer, changing my wireless card and connecting a few phones. In each case, Windows 7 was able to easily connect and inform me of the various drivers (if more than one) it was simply taking care of … it’s your call whether you want to see the details or not. I’ve yet to see the Device Stage in action even though the N85 which I’ve connected over both bluetooth and usb is allegedly a supported device. I”ll chalk it up to beta for now …

At WinHEC in November Microsoft shared how the Device Stage will evolve to enable common tasks to happen within the OS rather than requiring proprietary applications from each company. As you can see in the screenshots, the Device Stage can bridge both standard “in house” functions with those the manufacturer would like to handle themselves. Apparently we’ll be able to be notified and perform advanced tasks like firmware updates in addition to simply syncing or browsing which is the main purpose at the moment.

I’m very pleased with what I’ve seen so far in Windows 7. When I added an Epson Artisan 800 printer (supported by Device Stage), it was seen on the network and Windows just did what it needed to activate the device within a few moments. On my Mac I needed to actually find, download and install software in order to get it working. Quite the change for Windows to offer the simpler process!