Applications can either be stored on the N8’s:
- internal phone memory (C: drive; 256 Mb),
- internal mass storage (E: drive; 16 Gb), or
- external memory card (F: drive; microSD card up to 32 Gb).
Some applications must be installed on phone’s internal memory (C: drive) in order to work properly. These applications typically do not prompt the user to select the install destination, and automatically install to the C: drive. For example, Pixelpipe Share Online installs on the root memory (C: drive) because the application integrates at the system level through the Send menu.
In general, it is not advisable to install all new applications to the phone’s internal memory as 256 Mb can fill up quickly. The default is to rather use the 16 Gb of internal mass storage for these applications. However, there are exceptions to this rule which I will explain in more detail later. First, you need to understand how your phone connects to a PC.
An important and particularly useful feature of the N8 is to connect the device to a PC using either a CA-101 or CA-179 USB connectivity cable. The USB connection manager on the phone facilitates three USB modes:
- Nokia OVI Suite – select this mode to manage the phone using either OVI Suite or preferably PC Suite (discussed in an earlier post: “PC Suite vs. OVI Suite: The saga continues!“).
- Mass Storage – select this mode to access the phone’s internal mass storage of 16 Gb and the external memory card (microSD up to 32 Gb in size). Both the mass memory and memory card appear as removable disks on your PC.
- Media Transfer – select this mode to synchronize music on the PC to the N8 using Nokia OVI Player (download here). In this mode, OVI Player can transfer DRM-protected content (songs and their associated licences) to the internal mass storage.
The Mass Storage mode is useful when I transfer large amounts of data between the N8 and my PC. For example, updating the street maps used by Garmin’s MobileXT application requires the transfer of a 156 Mb file to the internal mass storage. As with any memory device (memory or flash stick) connected to my PC via USB, I always Safely Remove the Hardware to prevent data loss.
Your Nokia N8 may become unstable if applications stored in mass memory are running when you select the Mass Storage mode. In this mode, the mass memory is unavailable to the N8. In other words, you will be unable to access the 16 Gb of internal memory using the N8’s File Manager (try it if you’re in doubt!). You will also notice that icons on home screens which link to applications stored in mass memory are gone! Don’t panic, these icons should automatically re-appear when the Mass Storage mode is deactivated (by selecting the N8’s Nokia OVI Suite mode or the Safely Remove Hardware option on your PC).
I recommend that any application that may be running most of the time on your N8 should be installed on the phone’s internal memory (C: drive). Examples of such applications on my N8 include:
- SPB Mobile Shell (enhanced user interface).
- SPB Black Theme (theme for the user interface),
- SlideUnlock (slide unlock utility),
- Best TaskMan (more powerful task manager)
Hence, all regularly used themes should be installed to the C: drive as well as any widgets downloaded from the OVI Store.