by Malcolm Rowe

Phone tip: Quick access to your browser

If you use a Symbian Series 60 phone, and also use the native browser, then here’s a quick tip that you might find useful. It’s valid for my phone and I imagine it holds for other Symbian Series 60 phones too.

If you want to launch the native browser, you don’t need to bother going through the phone’s applications menu or ‘active standby’ toolbar. Instead, you can just press and hold the ‘0’ key at the phone’s idle screen. This will launch the browser, and as a bonus, it also won’t bother asking you whether you want to connect to your access point.

However, if you do do this, you’ll find that the browser doesn’t navigate to your home page, but goes somewhere completely different instead. In my case, the browser went to a T-Mobile home page, so I initially assumed that T-Mobile’s ‘branding’ had broken the shortcut and made it useless. Turns out what’s actually happening is much more straightforward.

You may have noticed that the browser’s homepage can be set to a custom URL, and also to an option called ‘Default’ (in Options⇒Settings⇒General⇒Homepage). It turns out that if you use the hold-‘0’ method to launch the browser, it always goes to the ‘Default’ homepage, regardless of how you have the browser configured.

Fortunately, it’s also possible to change that URL, although it’s quite well-hidden, and you can’t do it from within the browser. You need to open your list of access points (Settings⇒Phone settings⇒Connection⇒Access points), and then select the APN that you use for web browsing (which is probably the first one listed)1.

In general, you’ll want to leave most of the settings as-is, since you’re likely to break your internet connection if you change anything :-). However, right at the bottom you’ll see a setting for the APN’s Homepage. This is the ‘Default’ URL that the browser will go to when you use this access point, and this is what you should set to your preferred homepage.

Once you do that, holding the ‘0’ key at the idle screen will launch the native browser with your preferred homepage. Unfortunately, if you don’t want the native browser, this tip isn’t much help, since I don’t believe there’s any way you can change the behaviour of the ‘0’ shortcut.

  1. If you change any of the APN settings by mistake, there’s a list here of settings by country and carrier that might be useful.