Update: It turns out clearing the cache in my phone’s browser cleared about 10MB of data on the phone memory. Solved that problem.

Sigh. This is one of those days it is a little difficult being a Nokia user. I have been using my N97 since I figured out how to configure Mail for Exchange on the device to the point where it became usable for me again. I say “again” because it wasn’t my first attempt to get the software working. It was the first time I got it to work though (which is probably more about me than the software).

Anyway, from that point on I was a N97 fan again. Sure my expectations were a little lower. The N97 is not the device I once imagined it would be but with Mail for Exchange working it wasn’t too bad. There are a lot of features I like and a number I don’t but what has really gotten me excited is the direction Nokia seems to be going with its location-based services and the devices it is producing to support that. I especially like this one video (despite the fashion which is way beyond me and my decades old fashion sense):

It took me a while to realise that the video features a N97 and a N97 mini as well as multiple ways of interacting via Facebook. Nokia seems to be moving at a pretty brisk pace acquiring companies like Plazes and, more recently, rumours about its Dopplr purchase. This direction Nokia seems to be moving in has me more excited about my N97 than I have been for a couple months now. If only the phone didn’t have a huge memory leak that has rendered it practically useless.

I’ve been getting error messages lately about low memory which increasingly lead to something about Mail for Exchange running out of memory, automatic retrieval being disabled and a red warning icon that just screams “oh crap, oh crap, oh crap …!”. My phone memory has dwindled away to the point where there are a couple hundred kb left and the phone stops responding. I removed apps that were installed on my phone memory as well as a host of photos which made their way on to phone memory despite me firmly instructing my phone that anything that could possibly be stored on the 32GB main drive be stored there. Today my efforts came to naught and my N97 stopped doing anything but giving me the abovementioned “oh crap, oh crap, oh crap …!” error message.

There is good news and that is a version 2.0 update to the N97’s firmware introduces a few UI and usability improvements.

(also take a look at this review video from the Nokia N97 Forum)

Reviewers who mention the update talk about the system wide kinetic scrolling. Ok, that is nice but what I am really interested in is better memory management and the phone memory that will apparently be given back to me when I update. The rest of the features are irrelevant if the phone doesn’t have enough memory to keep running.

Version 2 is due next month (hopefully the beginning of the month) and it is likely to be an update you will need to perform using your PC rather than over the air. The bigger updates seem to only have the option of updating via PC for some reason.