SSX 3 On My W960i

Read New W960i World Generic 1 Firmware Available for details of the new W960i firmware.

To install the new firmware you need to download SEUS (Sony Ericsson Update Service) from the Sony Ericsson website but the new version will only install on current generic firmware versions of W960i phones.

Unfortunately we are still waiting for a Vodafone version of the new firmware to be released. Hurry up Vodafone!!!

Included with the new firmware is an amazing snowboarding game called SSX 3.

If you can't wait to sample SSX 3 then some kind person has extracted the game from the firmware. You can find out more at The UIQ Evangelist.

Google Maps Stopped Working On My W960i

All of a sudden Google Maps on my W960i stopped working!!!

At first I only noticed that the MIDlet permissions screen was not being displayed so I was happy that a previous annoyance had gone away although intrigued as to how it happened. Unfortunately I soon discovered that Google Maps could not access the Internet.

The MIDlet permissions screen is a UIQ feature to ensure that Java applications have your permission to access protected system features on your phone such as connecting to the Internet. Software authors can have their applications software signed to avoid this annoying step but signing costs money and more importantly a lot of hassle.

The displayed error message read...

Need network access
"Need network access: This application cannot be used until you grant it permission to send and receive data over the network."

Countless times I changed settings at Tools -> Control Panel -> Security -> MIDlet accounts and MIDlet permissions but to no avail (possibly the most annoying feature of UIQ)

Eventually I gave up and went back to the Vodafone SMS installer message to download and reinstall the entire Google Maps for Mobiles application. The install was completed in a couple of minutes and Google Maps was soon working again with the MIDlet security check feature restored.

It's a complete mystery why Google Maps would stop working like that on my Sony Ericsson W960i.


Using Sky For Mobiles On My W960i

See Installing Sky for Mobiles On My W960i to read how to obtain and install the files to run Sky for Mobiles on a W960i.

This article describes how to use Sky for Mobiles.

Sky for Mobiles

The Sky for Mobiles application runs on your phone and gives you access to the various features of Sky Anytime on Mobile.

  • The entire 7-day Sky TV Guide
  • Remote Record - set your Sky+ box to record from your phone!
  • Latest news updates from Sky News and Sky Sports
  • Daily round-ups from the celebrity world, plus movie trailers and reviews
  • Live scoreboards from top sports events, so you won't miss a thing

The main reason I want to run Sky for Mobiles on my W960i is so that I can use my phone to tell my Sky+ box to record programs when I am away from home.

Please note that Sky for Mobiles is not fully compatible with the W960i phone. The good news is that most features do work and in my opinion is it certainly worth using Sky for Mobiles and in particular the Remote Record feature for Sky+ does work on the W960i.

Before proceeding to follow any instructions in this article please ensure that you have followed the install and setup instructions in the previous article Installing Sky for Mobiles On My W960i.


Unfortunately the W960i is not totally compatible with Sky for Mobiles.

For some commands you can use the stylus to select the menu bar at the bottom of the touch screen. Unfortunately you cannot use the stylus to select items on the screen.

Use the jog dial on your W960i to scroll vertically through menu items and press the jog dial to select. You can use the jog dial to scroll vertically on most Sky for Mobile screens.

If items in a menu are numbered then you can press the number on the keypad to select the menu item.

When viewing channels you can press numbers on the keypad to navigate.
2 is page up
8 is page down
4 is backwards 24 hours
6 is forwards 24 hours
5 is select the current menu item

Unfortunately there is no way to scroll horizontally using the W960i so some features of Sky for Mobiles are at best difficult and at worst impossible to use with the W960i.

Let me know if you find a solution to this little problem...


Login to Sky Anytime on your mobile
Login to Sky Anytime on your mobile...

The secret to the login screen is to enter your password followed by your username.

Use the jog dial to scroll to the password box and press the jog dial. This will cause a text entry window to open. Repeat to enter your username.

If you try to enter your username first then Sky for Mobiles will crash. The good news is that this is only place I can cause Sky for Mobiles to crash and your login and password is remembered each time you run the program so you won't have to enter your details again.

Home Page

Home Page
Home Page...

Choose Sports
Choose Sports...

Read the Sports News
Read the Sports News...

United again
United again...

You can use Sky by Mobile to read Sky News and Sky Sports News but it is fair to say that it is more efficient to use the regular Sky and BBC websites which also have more in-depth content.

Sky TV Guide

Now choose Sky TV Guide
Now choose Sky TV Guide...

Sky TV Guide is the feature I will use most...

Select a program
Select a program...

Use the jog dial to scroll up and down and press the jog dial to select a program. Unfortunately it is not possible to scroll horizontally.

Program synopsis
Program synopsis...

You can read the program synopsis and use the stylus to click record.

Record request
Record request sent to your Sky+ digibox...

The record request will be sent to your Sky+ box using the satellite. This feature does not use or require the use of your telephone connection. Although Sky mention a response time of 30 minutes it is my experience that the instruction is sent instantly and it is certainly worth using Remote Record even for programs that have already started.


Search for a program
Search for a program...

The Search facility is very useful and to a certain extent it allows you to overcome the problem of not being able to scroll horizontally using the W960i because you can still find and select the programs that you want to remote record.

To open the Search screen you must go to the the Sky TV Guide menu and press the * 'star' key.

Press the jog dial and you will change to text entry mode allowing you to enter your search text,

Next use the stylus to press Search.

Search Results
Search Results...

Use the jog dial to select a program.

Press the jog dial to view program details.

Use the stylus to press Record in the command bar at the bottom of the touch screen.

View a program synopsis
View a program synopsis...

Remote record
Remote record...

If you select Record then a message will be sent via satellite to your Sky+ digibox. Not that the recording request is actually sent with the TV signal that is received by your satellite dish. Remote record does not use your telephone connection.

Obviously for Remote Record to work you must have previously created a My Sky account at www.sky.com and registered your Sky+ viewing card number and your mobile phone number. For details see Installing Sky for Mobiles On My W960i.

Sky say that it can take up to 30 minutes for the recording request to be received but in my tests the request is received instantly and within a few seconds of sending the request the Sky+ box starts recording.

Sky Mobile TV

Sky Mobile TV
Sky Mobile TV...

Also included in Sky for Mobiles is Sky Mobile TV. This is live TV which is video streamed to your phone.

Live Sky Sports is available
Live Sky Sports is available...

You can obtain lots of channels including News and Sport.

Subscription pack required
Subscription pack required...

To watch Sky Mobile TV you have to buy a subscription pack from your mobile phone operator.

This page is from Vodafone
This page is from Vodafone...

If I continue with the Sky Mobile TV I am redirected to a Vodafone web page http://prod.vodafone.co.uk/sky. Vodafone is my service provider so it appears that Sky and Vodafone have done a deal. I already have the £10 per month Mobile TV pack from Vodafone so I didn't proceed any further in case I got charged twice.

The information here may be helpful to owners of other Sony Ericsson Symbian UIQ 3.0 phones such as P1i, W950i, P990i and M600i.


Installing Sky for Mobiles On My W960i

See Using Sky For Mobiles On My W960i for a description of Sky For Mobiles in use.

In Sky Anytime On Mobile I was disappointed because Sky Anytime on Mobile would not install on my W960i because the phone was not supported.

The great news is that I have now found the links and now it really is possible to install Sky Anytime on Mobile on my W960i although some features are not fully working.

Sky for Mobiles

The main reason I want to run Sky for Mobiles on my W960i is so that I can use my phone to send remote record to my Sky+ box to record programs when I am away from home.

Register With Sky Anytime

Before installing Sky for Mobiles on your W960i you will need to create a My Sky account at www.sky.com.

Next register with Remote Record which will require you to enter your account details and Sky Viewing Card number. I performed this step long before I got my W960i so I don't remember the specifics and I certainly don't want to meddle with something that is currently working.

Phone not compatible with Sky Anytime
The W960i is not compatible with Sky Anytime...

Unfortunately you won't be able to use the Sky website to complete the Sky Anytime install on your W960i

Connect To sky.com

I had a devil of a job opening these links. At first I could open the web folders and download the files but later I started to get HTTP 403 Forbidden errors. Sometimes I find I can still access the files so if you have problems I recommend that you persevere and you might get lucky.

Screenshot of link to download Sky for Mobiles
Open Sky for Mobiles...

Hopefully this will work for you...

Start Internet Explorer and connect to http://mobile.sky.com. You must view this page otherwise you wont be able to open the next link.

Screenshot of link to download Sky for Mobiles
Use this link to get Sky for Mobiles...

Next open the web folder at http://mobile.sky.com/SBM/SonyE_vid. You may need to cut and paste the URL to the address bar in Internet Explorer.

Download To Your PC

The web contains 2 files called SkyMobile_SonyWithTv.jad and SkyMobile_SonyWithTv.jar. Right click each file and select Save Target As... to download the files to your computer.

If you can't open the above link then try to link to the files directly.

If none of the above work then try these links

If the links don't work at first then keep trying...

Install on W960i

Attach your W960i phone to your PC using the USB cable and select USB Normal Mode, Now start Sony Ericsson PC Suite for Smartphones and click the Application Installer icon. Select either of the above files and download to your W960i.

Install Sky by Mobile
Install Sky by Mobile...

Sky for Mobiles Expires on 26/10/2008
Hmm... Expires on 26/10/2008?...

Sky for Mobiles
Install in your phone memory...

Sky for Mobiles
Almost done...

Sky for Mobiles
I'm not sure what this means. It has something to do with those annoying java warnings...

Sky for Mobiles
Installation complete...

Sky for Mobiles
You need to have a My Sky account to login...

Hint: You must have a My Sky account to login and to get past this screen you should enter your password first followed by your username.

Sky for Mobiles
We're in!!!

Thanks to macjasp and peterwwood at http://www.esato.com for getting me started with Sky For Mobiles.

See Using Sky For Mobiles On My W960i for a description of Sky For Mobiles in use.

The information here may be helpful to owners of other Sony Ericsson Symbian UIQ 3.0 phones such as P1i, W950i, P990i and M600i.

PSP Video 9 Movies On My W960i

PSP Video 9

The PSP Video 9 homepage is located at http://www.pspvideo9.com

PSP Video 9 is a free program which runs on a PC which is intended for converting video files to view on a Sony PSP portable games console but the good news is that converted video files will also run on other devices.

So far I have converted .wmv, avi, .mpg and mov files in sizes from 20Mb to 1.5GB and so far not one video file converted to MPEG-4 (.mp4) has failed to convert and run perfectly on my W960i.

Step By Step Guide To Using PSP Video 9

At first sight PSP Video 9 can be a little confusing to use. By default it uses a wizard screen to manage the conversion and of course it assumes that you are using a Sony PSP.

W960i phone users should bypass the wizard and go straight to the Convert tab and click Convert Video. Now find and select the video file to be converted...

PSP Video 9 conversion in progress...

Depending on the size of the movie the conversion will take several minutes but it is generally quicker to convert a video file than to watch.

Select a profile...

PSP Video 9 supports a multitude of formats and after extensive experimentation and testing the profile that I recommend for the W960i is Fw2.80+ MPEG4 320x240 768kbps Stereo/128kbps. This profile was able to convert every video file and every video file worked on my W960i.

This profile has the correct screen resolution of 240x320 pixels for the W960i so the video player does not have to use extra processing power to resize the video output.

The video bit rate is set at 768kbps which seems to be a rate that the W960i can handle. I noticed that video files with a higher bit rate would not play on the W960i.

The audio bit rate is set at 129kbps which again seems to be a rate the the W960i can handle.

Other profiles include Fw1.50+ MPEG4 320x240 768kbps Stereo/128kbps and Fw1.50+ MPEG4 320x240 768kbps Stereo/128kbps 2-Pass. Using these profiles it was not possible to convert all video files. I could not see any quality advantage of the 2-Pass conversion over the 1-Pass conversion.

Settings Galore

PSP Video 9 Profiles...

Choose your profile carefully. The correct profile will ensure that firstly your video file will convert and secondly that the converted video will play on your W960i.

Select the Encoder...

Sorry I don't know my MI from my MH and my MIMB.

Now select the Video Codec...

My investigations indicate that MPEG-4 will work with the W960i but MPEG-4 AVC will not.

PSP Video 9 provides extensive settings which you can experiment with. In particular you can select the MPEG-4 AVC Video Codec. According to Sony Ericsson the W960i should support the AVC variant but I could not get any video files converted using the MPEG-4 AVC Video Codec to play on the W960i.

It is possible that other converter application that support AVC will work with the W960i so it is very much a case of matching your video file to your converter program to your device and also take into account the video software installed on your W960i phone.


File Size
File Size
.wmv 28.6 Mb .mp4 29.5 Mb Converted to a slightly larger file but at least it played on the W960i
.wmv 302 Mb .mp4 158 Mb Reduced file size on conversion
.mov 111 Mb .mp4 26 Mb Massively reduced
.avi 1,484 Mb .mp4 733 Mb Massive file which W960i took in its stride

Every video file I tried was converted by PSP Video 9 and played without problem son my W960i.

Beware The File Name...

Another issue that I noticed was that the video player provided with the W960i can be very particular about the video file name. One video would not play until all the spaces were removed from the file name while another video file with a longer name and also containing spaces would play without problems.

The information here may be helpful to owners of other Sony Ericsson Symbian UIQ 3.0 phones such as P1i, W950i, P990i and M600i.


New W960i World Generic 1 Firmware Available

A new W960i World Generic 1 firmware is now available from the Sony Ericsson website.

To install the new firmware you need to download SEUS (Sony Ericsson Update Service) from the Sony Ericsson website but the new version will only install on World Generic 1 firmware versions of W960i phones.

If you have a firmware version that is customised by your mobile phone provider then you can also also use SEUS (Sony Ericsson Update Service) to check if a new firmware version is available to update your customised firmware.

At the time of writing the firmware update will only install on World Generic 1 versions of the W960i and there is no update currently available for Vodafone users.

I will try to find out more information such as what new features and bug fixes are included and if it is possible or even suitable for flashing over the standard Vodafone customised firmware.

The new firmware does include a great new snowboarding game called SSX 3.

One problem that I can foresee is that Vodafone have probably customised their standard firmware and if I flash my W960i with a generic firmware then I will lose any Vodafone customised applications and features.

One good thing would be that the locked down bookmarks in the web browser would be blown away.

More details to follow...


W960i Web User Guide Found!

The user guide booklet provided with my W960i was the generic Sony Ericsson offering with no Vodafone customisation. The standard user guide is useful up to a point but it really only gives vague indications of what can be archived and how it is done and certainly does not qualify as a user manual.

One comment near the beginning of the user guide states that an PC version of the user guide is available at http://www.sonyericsson.com/support and additionally I should be able to access the web guide from my phone by following Main Menu -> Web -> More -> View -> Bookmarks -> Web Guide. Unfortunately Vodafone seems to have omitted this link from my W960i.

W960i Web Guide on my PC
W960i Web Guide on my PC...

I finally managed to track down the PC version of the W960i Web Guide which is located at http://www.sonyericsson.com/webguide/w960i/pc/en/.

The online guide is not identical to the printed user guide but I'm not sure if it is much more use. My main criticism is that none of the user guides from Sony Ericsson or Vodafone contain any meaningful help for the UIQ 3.0 user interface let alone useful examples and screen shots. Still if you find you are lost with UIQ 3.0 then this site should set you on the correct path.

I tried to load the W960i Web Guide in my W960i phone using Opera and Opera Mini but the online guide uses a heavy javascript menu and exercise was not very satisfactory. Trust Sony Ericsson to write an online user guide for a mobile phone which can't be read on a mobile phone.

Perhaps there is a mobile version of the user guide which I haven't found yet. If know of one then please let me know.


My W960i Service Menus

Shush... Do you know the secret code?

Enter the following sequence using the jog wheel and keypad...


Now you will see the secret Service Menus

Service Menus screen...

I think I will leave Format Phone Memory for you to try...

Service Information screen...

Model Information screen...

Software Information screen...

Hardware Information screen...

SIM Locks screen...

Anyone know what the SIM Locks screen is for?

Configuration Information screen...

Service Tests screen...

I won't show each of the test screens but they are interesting to play with especially the free scribbling application...


That's what I call a scribble...

The scribble test threw up some interesting results. My scribbling was limited to small circles but occasionally a glitch seemed to write a line all the way across the screen. These glitches are visible along the top edge and in the bottom quarter. The last few pixels around the edges do not appear to be accessible.

I was very impressed by how accurate the stylus was and at just 1 pixel width just how fine the the recorded line really was. Contract the line thickness with the handwriting recognition which uses a thicker line.

If you decide to use the Service Menus then please be careful because bad things could happen and I take no responsibility.

As far as I know the Service Menus code is the same for other Sony Ericsson phones such as P1i, W950i, P990i and M600i.

What does the 'i' in W960i mean?

My Sony Ericsson W960i arrived in rather flimsy black box. As the only packaging protecting the box was a carrier bag it all got a bit squashed and battered. Thankfully my W960i survived.


The printing on the side of the box just has W960 so what happened to the 'i'? To st my mind at rest the box has a sticker describing the contents as W960i Vinyl Black.

Oddly the button of the box is actually much more interesting then the top and sides.

W960 is the Sony Ericsson general product designation and the extra letter indicates the local market designation

'i' indicates International which includes Europe and Asia (except China and Japan)

'a' indicates America

'c' indicates China

Is My W960i Screen Scratchproof

I am not particularly paranoid about keeping my gadgets in perfect condition. After all my W960i phone is a tool that is meant to be used and enjoyed.

The W960i touch screen is not scratch proof...

The screen on my Sony Ericsson W960i Smartphone is made from a polycarbonate material and the screen is flush to the front of the phone. The advantage of a flush screen is that it is easier to use the touch screen with fat fingers but a disadvantage is that the screen is more prone to damage.

I have now been using my W960i for just over a month and although the touch screen polishes up beautifully I can just see some tiny nicks in the surface when the light is reflected in just the right way. I am however pleased to report that there are no actual scratches on the touch screen. By the way, I don't keep change or keys in my phone pocket.

Stylus Trails

After a period of use and especially after using handwriting recognition it is possible to see faint stylus trails across the touch screen. The good news is that these trails are not permanent and they soon disappear when the screen is wiped across the front of my t-shirt.

Screen Protector

When my Sony Ericsson W960i was supplied it did not have a screen protector and as far as I know from reading various on-line message boards it is standard that the W960i is not supplied with a screen protector so if yours doesn't have one then it is not an indication that yours is a pre-owned phone.