The PhoneBoy Blog


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Nokia Phone as a USB Drive?

When I plugged the data cable into my Nokia N73 today, I was prompted to select the mode. The available modes are:

  • Media player
  • PC Suite
  • Mass storage
  • PictBridge

Media player is some sort of mode that allows you to transfer music from the Nokia Audio Manager application, which requires PC Suite. PC Suite is the "normal" PC Suite mode that lets you use the functionality of PC Suite with the phone, which allows you to do things like install applications, browse the directories on the phones, backup/restore/sync contacts, etc. PictBridge lets you print to a PictBridge-compatible printer. I'm not exactly sure how this works, but since I don't have a PictBridge printer, it's not something I am going to be able to easily test anyway.

The "Mass Storage" option is the most interesting to me. What it basically does is turns your "phone" into a USB drive. Your MiniSD card simply mounts on the computer like a USB drive. My volume, which I call "GIGMINISD" shows up as a USB drive on my MacBook as if I had plugged the MiniSD card into my reader. The Mac even fires up iPhoto and offers to suck down the pictures and movies I've taken. I didn't do speed testing, but it was able to keep up with a file I downloaded directly to the MiniSD card on the Nokia N73 using Mass Storage mode. Maybe Ken Camp can use this mode to get stuff on and off his Nokia N73 instead of using PC Suite.

I should also note this trick appears to work on the N93 as well, though the option is called "Data transfer." Other Nokia phones may also support this mode. Of my higher-end phones, I've verified that the Nokia E70 and Nokia E62 also have this functionality, and I presume other Series 60 3rd Edition phones also have it. Also, the feature only works with MiniSD cards or whatever removable storage option the device supports. It will not work with the built-in memory.

The only downside to this mode is that the phone is taken completely offline, i.e. it switches into the "offline" profile and thus completely switches off the GSM/UMTS radio. You are warned about this, however, so at least you are given a chance to not make that choice. The moment the data cable is disconnected, the phone switches back into the last profile you were in and the GSM/UMTS radio comes back on.


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