Monday, February 12, 2007

Free Java games for your SonyEricsson phone

This post is to walk everyday owners of Sony Ericsson phones, such as the w300i or w800 series through the process of obtaining free (legal) games that can be downloaded directly to your phone and installed, without a data plan and without data charges, as long as you have the regular USB cable (and a computer with Internet and USB). This cable comes with the phone if you order it online from Cingular. If you don't have one, you can get it here. Yours might not look exactly like this one, but if it came with your phone it should work. You will also need a memory card to do the install. This phone is kind of worthless as a Walkman without the memory card, so you might want to go ahead and get the full 1 gig Memory Stick Micro (m2) card here. These are the only items you will have to purchase for this process, and they are useful for other things, such as playing music and synchronizing your phone calendar with Outlook too, so you will continue to use them.

If you don't have the cable, I believe (though I haven't tested it) you can use bluetooth instead. This involves having bluetooth hardware on your computer, and turning it on on the phone as well, and making the connection, all of which is beyond the scope of this article. If you have success with this, please post below in the comments. The remainder of this article assumes cable use only.

Once you have the cable, and you have installed the memory card (just slide the back off the battery compartment, and there is a small hole labelled M2; with the phone face down, the card should be face up and the arrow should point toward the phone), you need some free software from SonyEricsson. Their site is a little difficult to navigate, so I will walk you through it as of today. If you're in the US, go to this link and choose your phone from the list on the bottom. To get to this link from the main site, simply go to http://www.sonyericsson.com and choose your country, and then choose product support from the start page under "I have a Sony Ericsson phone." Once you have chosen your phone from the drop-down list, the list will appear blank again, and move to the left, which is weird. However, above that blank list should be a picture of your phone, indicating that you have properly chosen the phone already. Under Software and Setup, you'll see a link for Software downloads. This is the one you want. When you click that link, you should see a link to Sony Ericsson PC Suite. The direct link is here for my phone, but I recommend going through the steps to make sure you get the one that is compatible with your phone. Don't worry if the picture suddenly changes from, say, a W300i to a W800i, like I said the site is goofy. While you are there, you may want to get disc2phone, which will allow you to put music on your phone; a subject for another day.

Once on that page, you'll see a tiny link at the bottom saying "download setup xxx". Do this, and install the program. It will appear in your task menu as a picture of a candybar cell phone, and it will be installed as Sony Ericsson/Sony Ericsson PC Suite from the start menu. Now you are ready to plug in the USB cable and then plug the cable into your phone. As soon as you plug the phone in, it will want you to select "file transfer" or "phone mode" from the phone itself. Choose "phone mode"; you almost never need file transfer except when you are running disc2phone. Windows may go through some of its gyrations to install USB drivers and such; reboot when it asks and so on. At some point the PC Suite software will be connected to your phone, and the icon will lose it's red "X" and will just look like a phone.

At this point, you are ready to get some free games and send them to the phone. You can find some at midlet.org (be sure to click through to midlet.org, not midlet.com). You can get games, utilities, and so on. They're free, so they might not all work with your particular phone. If you get stuck in a game that you can't seem to leave, just hold down the back button for a menu. Let's say you choose games, board, and you want Dots 1.0.0. There will be two downloads, a jar and a jad. Generally you only need the jar file. Save it to your desktop (you might need to right-click and choose Save target as...). Then right-click on the cellphone icon in your task tray, and choose File Manager. This will bring up an explorer-like interface with your phone listed in it. Double-click on the phone, and you will see Memory Stick and Phone Memory. Use the + sign tree on the left side to explore the folders below this. Under Memory Stick is MSSEMC, under that is Media files, and under that is other. Click on other in the tree, and the area to the right should appear blank (unless you've done this before). Now open up a regular windows explorer (Start/My Computer and hit Up icon to get to the desktop). From there, drag your .jar file (such as Dots.jar) from the desktop into the SE explorer "other" folder. The phone may prompt you at this point to accept the file. Say yes.

Now that the .jar file is on the phone, you are ready to install it. Go to the file manager on your phone (you can leave it connected for the time being). The file manager is under the regular phone menu, and it has an icon that looks like a folder. Select the file menu, and scroll down to the "other" folder and open it. In there should be your jar file. Choose install, and it will ask if you want it in games or applications. Games is most likely. When it is done, you can start it right away, or you can get to it later from the entertainment icon (looks like a ps3 controller), under games. If you have trouble getting out of a game, hold down the back button for a menu.

In addition to midlet.org, you can also go to Sony Ericsson itself for a number of free games (this link will get you to the wap server to choose your phone; your phone will have a set of applications and downloads). If you try to navigate to this link you can't get there, so just click on that link and select your phone-name. Anywhere else you can find J2me .jar files (known as midlets) might also work for your phone. Good luck! I will try to answer any questions posted below.

7 comments:

Vignesh.C said...

Great idea ...thanks man

elhaf said...

Special note about certain programs - I have found that some programs need to be installed from the .jad file. In particular if they are signed or have certain resource names stored in the .jad. These methods may not work in that case; you can try putting both the jar and the jad on the memorystick and then installing the jar, but what you really need I will describe in a future post. It's complicated.

Anonymous said...

hey, the files in te SE wap site is all in .jad file, and when i transfer it to my phone using bluetooth it must download to my phone, but my phone has no gprs so its just stuck at 0%....pls help

elhaf said...

If you open the .jad file with notepad (by right-clicking on it) it will give you the path to the .jar file. Download the .jar file too (by typing it into a browser) and then load both onto the phone using the information I have provided. Usually the path to the .jar is the same as the path to the .jad.

Jan said...

Dling java apps with Bluetooth to a w300i is quite convenient because the files are small and you don't need to connect/disconnect the cable. The transfer is a little slower, but the entire operation is faster and easier, you can do it just by clicking (+twice on your phone). I even prefer to use Bt when putting mp3's on my phone. Bt works as a charm on SE. Before I used Bt on a samsung and it sucked!

Now, I tried to install a winamp remote controle that I found on http://winamp.com/plugins/details.php?id=147306 but I can't get the .hid file in the remote control folder. Any Ideas? I'm not even sure it should work

For the rest big thank you for the flash guide and the midlet.org link!! I added your articles about the w300i to stumble upon (tag=w300i), they got me playing the entire weekend :D

Jan said...

Damn I was to fast, winamp Bt control works!! You have to push the object, and not filetransfer.

Now, what would be possible with the telnet app from midlets... :))

elhaf said...

Thanks for the tip, Jan, I hadn't looked too much into the bluetooth transfer since I had something working; your idea sounds good I'll have to give it a try.