Google Sync Services with Nokia smartphone

google_sync_icon Something I wanted to do for a while, but Symbian OS in my Nokia E60 rarely makes things easy. I have number of email addresses in my Google contacts, accumulated since I consolidated my email there. And I have number of phone numbers in my phone.

So I thought it is time for them to meet.

How it works

Happy Google cloud needs to put up a serious front for such important business task as getting some data in and out. So it adopted number of scary words such as SyncML and ActiveSync and unified them under Google Sync Services – blanket name for set of instructions related to various device types.


In my specific case Google told me I would need to make use of Nokia native app for Microsoft Exchange.

Preparing the phone

Google strongly recommends backing stuff up before sync, because potential to lose some stuff is there. I mean Nokia and Google communicating over Microsoft protocol – that is as friendly as catfight.

I synced up contacts to my Nokia Ovi account and created full backup from Ovi Suite (after update available – cannot install update – manual update –reboot dance).

Setting up software

So I needed Nokia Mail for Exchange and I had business series E60… How hard could it be?

  • first page (or five) I googled up had no download link, at last I got a mention that it was moved to Ovi Store;
  • I hit applications catalogue on my phone and it said that I am ready to be wooed by Ovi store awesomeness, then it failed to install it;
  • so, maybe Ovi store site has its client app download? nope;
  • I googled up that mobile site has a client download link when you log in there… nope;
  • oh and by the way store doesn’t even show Mail for Exchange for my phone;
  • …and it just went down for six hours of maintenance;
  • googled damn file name with asterisk instead of version and I got this Nokia X6 FAQ page that for some reason has excellent set of Mail for Exchange direct downloads. yay;
  • now I just need to install this, Ovi Suite should be… should be, but there is actually no option to install app in sight or even transfer generic files;
  • screw Ovi-anything, I just beamed package over bluetooth from my notebook.

Setting up settings

Google has step by step setup instructions. They seem little outdated, for example I couldn’t leave domain field empty and setting up server required additional steps.

By default only email is synced, which I disabled and enabled contacts and calendar sync instead. Set it to manual as well so traffic doesn’t bite me (sadly phone has a bug that makes it unable to connect to my home Wi-Fi because of security settings I use).

There is also important and required setting for each sync tab that makes you choose if you want to keep data in phone or overwrite it from server. Choose to overwrite and you are going to need that backup.

After first sync my contacts appeared in Google Contacts just fine (only without groups), but calendar events did not.


Except calendar hiccup, that I expect to be poked and solved later, Google has you covered with decent setup instructions and working contacts sync. It could be easier with phone-native ActiveSync, but not all Symbian smartphones have it. They probably went for most universal solution.

Nokia yet again confirms impression that they make good phones, but their software and sites are batshit crazy. Seriously, hardware only takes you so far, you need to actually provide decent software experience to get things done.

Related Posts


  • Marco #

    AMEN. The Nokia phones are fantastic, but Ovi and the other Nokia services are terrible.
  • glenn Bazell #

    Don't have a Google sync icon but need one!