[Chicago] PyS60 Presentation Notes

Feihong Hsu hsu.feihong at yahoo.com
Sun Nov 16 01:15:36 CET 2008

Intro to PyS60: Python on Your Nokia Phone

What is PyS60?

- Python ported to S60 smartphone platform
- Made by Nokia
- Open source (Apache & Python licenses)
- Conforms to Python 2.2.2

S60 is a software platform that runs on Symbian OS. Symbian OS is an operating
system that targets mobile devices. Symbian OS and S60 are scheduled to become
open source in the first half of 2009.

S60 is used mostly in Nokia phones, but also appears in phones
made by Samsung (and, to a lesser extent, Panasonic, LG, and Lenovo).


Not all of Nokia's phones can run PyS60. PyS60 works only on S60 2nd Edition and
S60 3rd Edition devices. 

To see if your device is supported, check this page:


Web Page

There is an official PyS60 page, but Nokia's Open Source Wiki is the best 
place to get started:


What is the Nokia E71?

- Latest entry in E-Series line of business-oriented smartphones
- Available in US as an unlocked phone
- Runs S60 3rd Edition with Feature Pack 1
- Has a QWERTY keyboard

Yes, this is the phone that Joel Spolsky raved about in this post:


Things That Are Accessible to Python

Since PyS60 is officially supported, it can take advantage of these features (if
present on the device):

- Filesystem
- Media playback
- Contacts database
- Camera
- GUI framework
- Text to speech
- Video recording

HUGE List of PyS60 Code Samples




- Nifty "eLearning" module from Nokia 
- Link to Python 2.2.2 reference
- Links to tutorials

PyS60 Quick Start

- Install Nokia PC Suite (Windows only)
- Use PC Suite to install:
  - PythonForS60_1_4_4_3rdEd.SIS
  - PythonScriptShell_1_4_4_3rdEd.SIS
- Stick memory card into cell phone 
- Use PC Suite to transfer files into E:\Python

The memory card will probably need to be a MicroSD card. You can get a 2 GB
MicroSD card for $8 if you know where to look (hint: MicroCenter)

The E:\ drive is always mapped to the memory card.

On Mac/Linux you will might need to follow an alternate set of instructions
that involves downloading and installing the SIS files using the phone's web

If you don't have a memory card, you can use Nokia PC Suite to transfer your .py
files to C:\DATA (a non-restricted folder), then use a file manager (like
Y-Browser) to transfer them to the C:\Python directory.
S60 3rd Edition SDK Emulator

- Emulates a generic device running S60
- Freely available
- Lets you develop PyS60 applications on your computer
- Edit the files right on your hard drive (instant gratification)
- No fear of messing up your phone
Emulator Quickstart

- Windows only (wtf)
- Install ActivePerl (wtf)
- Install new-ish version of Java (wtf)
- Install S60 3rd Edition C++ SDK 
- Unzip contents of PyS60 3rd Edition SDK into \epoc32 directory
- Start PythonScriptShell the same way as you would on your phone

Detailed but slightly inaccurate instructions are here:


An annoying aspect of the emulator is that it takes forever to start up.

Ideas for Apps

- Train/bus schedule that can be updated when connected to web
- Location-aware weather report
- Version of Battleship! that you can play with someone else using text messages
- Tamagochi that prank calls your friends when it gets cranky

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