Tag Archives: N9

Useful tips / hacks / tricks / apps for Nokia N9

This is a list of things I find is interesting for the N9. It will not be covering every app or mods as there would be too many to cover. It is merely a list of things which I personally found useful or want to share.

You will notice that I have posted the URL to the forum posts instead of telling you how to do these hacks myself. That is because a lot of information is in them and I can’t just constantly update all of these tips with the latest information for each one.


This article is now VERY outdated and some if not most are now irrelevant.

For the latest set of tweaks, the best place to start is the N9 QuickTweak app:
> http://talk.maemo.org/showthread.php?t=80600 


1. Double tap power button to unlock N9

– You can do more than just this but I personally find double-tap to unlock most useful.
– This is really handy as swiping off the lock screen single handed isn’t always so easy.




2. Change standby clock color

– You can make the standby color to something else instead of white.
– I personally use red (FF0000) as it doesn’t light up my room at night.
– You can also use some other simple colors such as greed, blue, orange etc.


Red color works best at night. Not so much during the day however.


3. Manual brightness control and disable auto-light sensor

– Basically, N9 by default uses the light sensor to determine the brightness of the screen. It changes the brightness automatically depending on ambient light level and you can’t simply fix it at the brightness you want permanently.
– However, if you perform this mod, you will be able to always fix it at the certain brightness level and it will not use the light sensor at all. There is an app which is currently in the works that will allow you to make much finer changes than the 5 levels which is available in the N9 Settings. Once it is out, I will update this part.


N9’s AMOLED is a tiny bit brighter than iPhone4’s Retina display


4. Open Video Player (OVP)

– This is a replacement app to the basic Video Player app that comes with N9.
– It has many many features which the standard video player does not have. Such as continuous playback even when video is minimized / phone is locked, subtitle support, different list views with smaller thumbnails, additional playback controls for better seeking etc, playlist support etc. However, it is also missing some critical features at present such as the resume feature. Developer “marxian” advised that he is currently working on this so I hope it will be implemented soon.
– It’s a must have app for those who play/watch lots of videos on the N9.


Desperately waiting for the resume support.


5. Enable Developer Mode for SSH Server/Terminal and more

– Enabled via Settings > Security > Developer mode > toggle Developer mode on
– This will install some apps and the 2 major ones are SSH Server and Terminal app.
– Terminal app is what it is. It allows you to do a lot more than without. So it’s good to have. N9 is very much a debian linux underneath its pretty Swipe UI. =)
– SSH Server is installed and enabled by default. You can now SSH into your N9 from your PC via WIFI network IP using a SSH client such as Tunnelier (freeware) for Windows. If you can’t login, try reading through this thread.



6. VNC into your N9 using Netview

– This free app is made by Nokia and allows you to remote VNC into your N9 and control your N9 via mouse and keyboard from your PC.
–  You can browse the web, email, sms etc on your N9 from your PC monitor. Mouse and keyboard response is very fast.
– It mimics your N9 display perfectly. So what you see on the N9, is what you get on your PC monitor through VNC. Even the log screen etc.



 7. Firefox for Mobile 10 (Fennec) 

– This web browser is a fully feature packed web browser which works perfectly on the N9
– It can sync with your firefox account and supports many firefox mobile add-ons.
– Seriously, this is a much better web browser in pretty much every way possible than the default browser on the N9.
– Also, if you install “checkCompatibility” add-on, you can then install “Phony” which allows you to change the user agent to desktop/iPhone/Android etc!!


Best web browser on the N9 period.


 8. Record phone calls

– Copying straight from the my-meego’s description, “Call Recorder is an application to automatically record phone calls on the Nokia N9 / N950. The audio is stored as 11,025 Hz 16 bit PCM | 128kbit/s | WAV format. ”
– I’ve tried it out with a few phone calls on my N9 and it does what it says very well. Sound quality of both parties are very clear, no beeps during the call and doesn’t cause any extra lag etc. Very nice.
– However, it does lack a lot of features. Well, it lacks pretty much everything else. Although it lists the recorded files, that’s where it ends. You can’t play or delete them or do anything whatsoever.
– It also creates the files in a non-hidden folder so all the recordings just show up in the Music player. Not good as you now end up listening to your recordings if you shuffle play all the songs I have.
– Anyways, this is still good for those that want it. I’m certainly thankful to the developer, Cuong Le, who made this app for the N9.


 9. Fix the orientation to landscape or portrait and override the orientation sensor

– This allows you to stop your apps from auto-rotating and fix everything to portrait or landscape.
– This can be very useful while lying in bed as it rotates the apps landscape when I don’t want it to etc.
– Currently, there is no GUI app for this. So it is a command line based terminal app.
– Basically, you install the file via file manager app, then go to terminal, type “glol p” for portrait or “glol l” for landscape. Easy enough.



10. Change the default web browser

– Using this simple app which adds an extra setting in the Settings – Applications, you can change the default browser to Firefox / Opera etc.
– I’m using this to change my default browser on my N9 to Firefox Mobile.
– Even the URL App icons made by the default browser launches Firefox instead. (if Firefox is open, it will even open a new tab for it)



11. Gaining SSH Root access (even SFTP) after PR1.1

– PR1.1 blocks you from having root access to ssh and sftp by default.
– This can get annoying if you want to change system files over sftp. (for modding etc)
– But there is a trick to get it working! Just follow both steps in this thread. =)



12. Overclock the CPU on the N9 up to 1.2GHz

It seems for all intentions and purposes, overclocking to 1.1GHz is quite safe/stable. If you overclock to anything higher than 1.1GHz however, it does raise the voltage of the CPU a little and some unlucky owners will notice instability or reboots/freezes. If that happens, just clock it back down.




More to come……




SOURCE for info/screenshots/links etc:
– http://www.my-meego.com
– http://store.nokia.com/
– http://talk.maemo.org
– http://forum.meego.com

Nokia N9 Performance Test Roundup

Here is a bunch of timed and measured raw speed tests of the Nokia N9 64GB for those who likes to see the numbers. =)

My PC:
– Q6600 + Abit IP35 Pro (Only USB 2.0)  + 8GB RAM + 7200rpm standard Samsung 1TB HDD
– Billion 7300N 802.11n WiFi modem/router
– Windows 7 Ultimate  x64

– Your PC setup can affect the transfer rate compared with mine.
– Your WiFi router can affect the transfer rate compared with mine.
– Having more maps installed may affect Map/Drive loading times.


Time to boot up

– Around 55 seconds
– This is from pressing the power button to when the launcher icons show up on the screen.
– As soon as the launcher appears on the screen, phone is fully responsive with zero lag.

Nokia ripple launch animation


File Transfer rate

From PC to N9 via USB cable (mass storage mode)
– 20MB/sec (constant average while copying a 1GB file using teracopy)
– 16GB model seems to be slower in USB copy speed. (~14MB/sec write)
– As I don’t have the 16GB model, please let me know what you get. =)

From N9 to PC via USB cable (mass storage mode)
– 25MB/sec (constant average while copying a 1GB file using teracopy)

From PC to N9 via WiFi 11n (ssh sftp over wireless using tunnelier)
– 4.0MB/sec (copying 300MB file took 1 min 20secs)

From N9 to PC via WiFi 11n (ssh sftp over wireless using tunnelier)
– 2.6MB/sec (copying 300MB file took  1 min 55secs)

Loving the speed!


App loading times

Maps (only Australia map installed)
– 16 seconds (launched after fresh reboot and until it was responsive)
– 15 seconds (when reopened 10 seconds after closing the Maps app)
– It can take up to 30 seconds with more than 5 maps installed.

Drive (only Australia map installed)
– 5 seconds (after fresh reboot and until it was responsive)
– 4 seconds (when reopened 10 seconds after closing the Drive app)

NFS Shift
–  18 seconds (from launch to when the home menu shows up)

Angry Birds
–  4 seconds (from launch to when the PLAY button shows up)

Maps app takes a while to start up


Camera Speed

– I didn’t bother measuring anything as it’s VERY quick. It is quicker than all mobile phones out so far.
– See the following chart by Nokia for total time from when camera is launched to when 1st picure is taken. (source)

N9 is the quickest although the difference is very small.



– Here is a video that I just took of myself opening various apps and multi-tasking between them.
– Apologies for the jumpy focus. I will see if I can fix focus next time. (was taken using my N8)
– I wasn’t really prepared very well so I forgot to try more apps. (missed Angry Birds for example)



Web Browser Benchmarks

– All these browser tests were run with the DEFAULT web browser with no other apps open in the task switcher.
– I will update this with Fennec (Firefox Mobile) later this week to compare another browser’s performance on N9.
– Click on the screenshots to see the full resolution image of the screenshot.

Default Web Browser http://peacekeeper.futuremark.com/
Default Web Browser http://acid3.acidtests.org/
Default Web Browser http://html5test.com/
Firefox Mobile (Fennec 0.9a1) http://html5test.com
Default Browser SunSpider 0.9.1 test http://www.webkit.org/perf/sunspider-0.9.1/sunspider-0.9.1/driver.html
Default Browser SunSpider 0.9 test http://www.webkit.org/perf/sunspider-0.9/sunspider-driver.html
Firefox Mobile (Fennec 0.9a1) SunSpider 0.9 test http://www.webkit.org/perf/sunspider-0.9/sunspider-driver.html


Check out the latest Anandtech’s Sunspider 0.9 test results (including new iPhone4S) to compare the N9 results with.



Most other default apps take less than 1-3 seconds to load. That includes things like camera, facebook, twitter, gallery etc etc. So yeah, I only mentioned stuff which was worth measuring or might be interested in.

I will try to add more as I find more things to add. Please feel free to make a request if you have something you want timed or measured. But do try to request something which you believe will take a good few seconds as I don’t want to start measuring split seconds. I can’t be that accurate and there’s too many factors that can affect such short time periods. =P


Screen brightness comparison – Nokia N9 vs Samsung Galaxy S2

Nothing fancy. 1 photo comparison. My friend also agreed N9’s display is visible brighter than his SGS2.
Not the easiest test to show with a photo instead of you seeing “live” but this is the only way to show it.
Anyways, the conclusion here is that N9 does have a nice AMOLED with very high brightness. (good for day time / direct sunlight)

– Have disabled auto brightness and set it to maximum brightness. Ensured that it doesn’t auto-dim after the timed backlight period. (made sure default web browser was also set to max brightness)

– Have set brightness slider to maximum and also had to shine a torch at the light sensor for a brief moment to trigger the maximum brightness. (You cannot disable auto brightness on N9 currently and hence this maximum brightness is not really achievable indoors right now)

I also have the Nokia X7-00 which has one of the brightest AMOLED of all phones according to gsmarena test. Nokia N9’s display brightness is very similar to the X7. However, as you can sort of tell from the photo above, my N9 exhibits a slight pink tinge at maximum brightness. So this makes it look less much vibrant than the X7-00.Now if your N9 does not show such pink tinge at maximum brightness, let me know. (make sure you trigger that extra level of brightness by pointing something bright at the light sensor)

UPDATE: I have now one other person here in Oz with N9 64GB reporting to have the same pink tint as mine. So I guess this might be normal. However, this pink tinge is not really noticeable while in a bright environment. Only in the dark but you can’t even use that setting while in a dark / indoor environment anyways.

UPDATE2: The pink tint has now been explained by Konttori (Nokia dev) as being intentional. It is called over-saturation which actually makes the colors more visible during bright sunny outdoor situations. It was never really intended for indoor use and hence this maximum brightness is not even accessible manually via the brightness bar. So this isn’t actually an issue. Also, apparently the colors have been adjusted in PR1.1 to make it more consistent at all brightness levels except the maximum. N9 even at its second brightest setting (which is accessible manually via the brightness bar by setting to highest) keeps the color consistent and is still brighter than the maximum brightness of SGS2. So you can say that the over-saturation maximum brightness setting is just an extra bonus for bright outdoor use.