Turning the Samsung Rogue into an iPhone and Blackberry killer

For the longest time I’ve been a huge proponent of getting Verizon wireless except for one major flaw. The wireless coverage is the best around however they just never seem to get any cool phones. They do have Blackberry’s, yes, but even those are just as mediocre as can be and the Blackberry Storm was supposed to bring Verizon back in the game but it crashed and burned after bad reviews (even though I do know of some people that really like theirs).

samsung-rogue.jpgEnter Verizon back into the game with the Samsung Rogue. It’s their newest phone and after seeing all the features, looking at a lot of customer reviews and editor’s choice awards after being out for only a week I had to get one. That’s where all the fun starts.

First off let me say, I love this phone. However, if I get it, you know I’ve got to figure out all that I can make it do. My goal with all phones is of course to measure them against the gold standards of phones: The Blackberry Bold and the Apple iPhone. I’m sure this is going to be an ongoing project but to date I believe I’ve come close to my goal.

Let’s start with what you’ll need: Mail client (Outlook or Thunderbird), Handbrake, a memory card (I got a 4gb for about $10). You’ll find all the steps are cross-platform like I always do (Linux, Windows, or Mac) however, this tutorial will be in Ubuntu Linux with KDE showing differences for each operating system.

So, when you think of iPhone what do you think of? Maybe: Touch screen with smooth finger scrolling, music player, playing videos, apps, and internet. Check to all of those.  When you think of Blackberry what do you think of? Maybe: Email, contacts, syncing with desktop mail, and some multimedia. Check to all of those too. How you may ask? Well it wasn’t easy for me. There was a lot of documentation and experimentation that I had to do but I am very happy with my results. So, let’s make it easy for you.

Let’s get the easy stuff out of the way. I don’t make any judgements on how you get your content it’s just that you get your content onto your phone. I had to look around to make sure of how to do this. I first wanted to make my computer see the phone as a USB drive.

First, lets format your new memory card. Put in your memory card. Next hit your green phone button and click the lock on the screen to get to the desktop screen (if it’s not already up). Next click “Menu” and “Settings and Tools” and go to “Tools”, “Memory”, “Card memory”, “Format Card” and “Yes.” You’re now done formatting the card and ready to go.

Plug your USB cable into your computer and connect it to the port on the side of your phone. If you get a question asking you Modem or Sync then click “Modem” if not go back to Setting Tools as in the previous steps and choice 0 “USB Mode” and select modem. Next scroll up to choice “2 Tools” and then to choice 0 USB Mass Storage. Now you have a USB hard drive on your computer connecting to the memory card you put in.

Your computer should display a USB drive connected with the folders: my_contacts, my_files, my_flix, my_music, my_pix, my_ringtones, and my_sounds. These are pretty self-explanatory but what goes in them and how is the key. The important ones for us are contacts, flix, music, and pix. Music and pics are simple. You can simply copy music and pictures to the appropriate folders as mp3’s or jpg’s.

Video’s take a little fine tuning according to what types of video files you have. The program HandBrake runs on Win, Mac, and Linux and will convert any movie or DVD to the “iPhone and iPod touch” video format that you need. Go to this site if you want to do any of this on the command line. Once done copy the file into the “my_flix” folder on your phone.

Now for the hardest part that may need some tweeking as you experiment with your setup. I will use the most vague directions here so you can fine tune it to your liking. The “my_contacts” folder has to contain .vcf files. This is a common vCard format that every email client even gmail will export contacts as .vcf. The trick here is to export your clients as .vcf files and tell your program to save them to the “.my_contacts” folder. In the future you can sync them with your desktop by whatever way you know of to sync folders. I use Thunderbird and Gmail. On Thunderbird you can get this plugin to give you .vCard capabilities. Outlook has some good ones built in and Gmail does as well. Since I use Thunderbird and Gmail, I use the Zindus plugin and Provider for Google to sync my Thunderbird contents and calendar with Gmail.

Now back to our phone. Get the screen back on and click disconnect. This will stop if from being a USB device. If you get text messages a lot, you’ll get a lot right now because your phone was not usable while it’s a mass storage device. Now go back to “Menu”, “Settings & Tools”, “Memory”, “Card Memory.” The list presented to you has all the folders on your memory card. Going into those folders will show you the folders on your memory card. Number 8 on that list will be “Move all to phone”.

There you have it. That’s enough to start playing with and hopefully by the time you read this there are apps out for the phone. At the time of the writing the phone was too new and there were none out even though it has a couple built in for Facebook, Myspace, and a couple other web related content. As of this writing I haven’t fully figured out how to sync the Calendar with the PC but I sync it with gmail and go on the web from the phone to see that. Not as good as having it integrated so it can give you an alarm but I’ll figure it out soon enough.

If you’re a Verizon customer or thinking about it the Samsung Rogue is definitely the choice to go with.

26 Responses to “Turning the Samsung Rogue into an iPhone and Blackberry killer”

  1. Fiberman says:

    Any luck on syncing the calendar. It’s the only thing holding me back from purchasing the phone which we already own two of.

    This does not seem to work with Studio PC

  2. phillip says:

    I haven’t figured it out anything yet on the calendaring but if anyone has any information on getting information in or out of it I would love to know. I’ll follow up on this article if I learn more.

  3. Jaeger says:

    I’m stumped at how to get my rogue to connect to my mac via USB. Any ideas to help the cross platform aspect of your excellent article?

  4. phillip says:

    Jaeger was right. I tried my steps on Linux and Windows but not on Mac. I found on the Mac after trying it and the checking the logs that it is missing a CDC driver that allows it to mount. I do not have a Mac OSX CD handy but the directions here provide a work around that worked on Nokia phones. http://discussions.europe.nokia.com/discussions/board/message?board.id=pcsuite&message.id=21221

    Let me know if that works. Going to look for a CD.

  5. matt picio says:

    You can sync the calendar if you own Outlook. Download PC Studio 3 from Samsung’s website, install it, and on the Rogue, go to Settings, USB Mode and switch it to Media Sync. If it’s in “USB Modem” it will not sync – it has to be in “Media Sync” mode to talk to PC Studio.

  6. PK says:

    Any luck with getting the calendar syncing to work?

    Also, I’ve tried connecting to PC Studio in all 3 USB modes (Modem, Media Sync, and Mass Storage) and can’t get PC Studio to connect in any other than Media Sync and that won’t let you actually do anything but transfer Music.

  7. Liz says:

    I had pictures and stuff already on my memory card and I just followed your instructions for doing the USB mass storage device on the rogue. Now, all of my pictures are gone!!! Is there any way to get them back or did I just delete all of them???

  8. phillip says:

    Sorry, people have gotten tied up in so many things but have noticed your comments. First, (not in order) @Liz So sorry to hear about your memory card. I mentioned that mine was new. There are storage repair utilities that may do the job but I haven’t had a situation to use them.

    As for the other issues, I’m getting nowhere with the calendar syncing right now. Still hard finding info for this device.I didn’t use PC Studio because it will not work on Mac or Linux even with some tweaking.

  9. Katie says:

    Hi all – I am looking into buying a Rogue but HAVE to be able to back up the calendar. I had a Centro and backed it up to Outlook, then from there synced to Google Calendar using the freeware Google Calendar Sync (can download multiple places; here’s one http://google-calendar-sync.en.softonic.com/). Now I am looking at the freeware GCalSync which supposedly lets you sync the calendar on your mobile device with Google Calendar (see http://lifehacker.com/177036/download-of-the-day-gcalsync). My question is – does the Rogue support GCalSync? Is this a possibility? Anyone who has a Rogue already want to give it a try and let the rest of us know?

  10. Jeff says:

    I contacted Samsung and Verizon and they both said that PC Studio will not work with the Verizon Rogue because it is CDMA. Something to have to do with how the software is poaded on the phone… or Verizon trying to “lock” functions so users have to pay for them.

  11. bubba says:

    How annoying — just posted an extensive reply on this site about the mac and the rogue and some of the questions here — but they were just lost. Instead, received a “seems like you didn’t pass math” error message — with no option to return back to the posting.
    See, the instructions assume we all know what the words “Please add` 10 and 2” means — when there are actually several ways the language can be interpreted.
    -just add the words “10 and 2” in the box
    -actually compute a math question

    Certainly there are more sensible ways to thwart spam postings — or instructions that are a bit more thought out — or less dire consequences for not immediately understanding some geek’s cryptic engineering communications?

  12. Alex says:

    Hi, good read. I’ve been messing around with trying to import my contacts from Gmail for the last few hours. I’ve been able to get each step to work but when I look at the contacts vcf file saved on the card from the phone only the first entry shows up. Anyone else have this problem or know what the solution is?

  13. Jim says:

    Don’t know if this will help, but this is a response from Verizon’s tech people:
    3. If you have stored your contact list in Windows Mail or Outlook Express you may follow the below steps to transfer to your new phone:

    * From the Windows desktop, click Start > (Programs) All Programs > Windows Mail (Outlook Express).
    * Click File > Import > Windows Contacts.
    * In Outlook Express, click File > Import > Other Address Book.
    * Select CSV (Comma Separated Values) then click Import.
    * In Outlook Express, click Text File (Comma Separated Values) then click Import.
    * Click Browse.
    * Navigate to the desired csv file then click Open.
    * Click Next.
    * Select the fields to be mapped.
    * Select the desired text field from the drop-down box then click OK.
    * Click Finish.

  14. Ed says:

    A great tutorial! In response to Alex’s inquiry. I also had a problem with moving my contacts from my vcard file (*.vcf) where only the first entry was moved. I had a different challenge to move all of my contacts from my Palm Centro to the Rogue. I solved the problem by first exporting them from my Palm Desktop to Yahoo mail and then exporting them directly to my Rogue expansion card as individual .vcf files. Apparently Yahoo is the only online provider that does this type of conversion. Anyway the whole operation took less than ten minutes. Better than waiting in line in a Verizon store.

  15. Daniel says:

    Ed- The yahoo tip saved the day!

    Katie- no go on the Gcalsync.

    What other options do we have for a calendar function?

  16. Bozzie81 says:

    Yikes! I am getting really worried! I just got the Rouge a week ago and so far I love the phone. It is my first phone that has more functionality. I bought it for 2 reasons: one I needed a decent texting phone as my 2 teenage daughters are better at responding to text messages when away from home (this phone has bigger keys than the Intensity and the other multi-media phone with a keyboard) and two I wanted a phone that I could sync with my Outlook calendar. The sales guy at Verizon told me I could with this phone. The most important of the two being the calendar! I am so tired of multiple calendars for work and home, but did not need everything the Blackberry or Palm units have to offer (keys to small on Palm anyway). I have read down through the comments but do not see if there is a definitive solution yet as to the sync with Outlook calendar. I do not need to sync my music or anything else at this point as I have a nice iPod that I still use. Can someone help?

  17. phillip says:

    I still haven’t got a calendar sync. My son just got the phone now as well but he doesn’t really use a calendar anyway.

  18. Lynda Jackson says:

    Go to my verizon and the “my services” tab. select “contacts” and use backup assistant.
    Backup AssistantSM
    Backup Assistant is a wireless service that saves a copy of your phone’s address book to a secure web site. If your phone is lost, stolen or damaged, Backup Assistant can restore your saved address book to a new phone – wirelessly! Schedule daily backups, save your information manually or automatically! Login to your web account and get full access to your address book. You can view, print, add, delete and edit contacts. Changes are sent to your phone with one click! Visit Backup Assistant. How to Get It
    Download Backup Assistant

    1.Select “Get It Now” or “Media Center” on you phones menu.
    2.Then select either “Tools on the go” or “Browse & Download”.
    3.Select “Get New Application”.
    4.Select “Business Tools / Information”.
    5.Select “Backup Assitant” and press OK.
    How to Use It
    Confirm Account

    1.Backup Assistant automatically senses your phone number. Make sure it is correct.
    2.Select a four-digit PIN to use as your password.
    Set Schedule

    1.Choose the time of day of desired Backup.
    Complete First Backup

    1.Backup Assistant will connect and automatically back up your address book.
    2.Congratulations! You’ve successfully backed up your address book. Visit http://www.verizonwireless.com/backupassistant to view edit or print your address book.

  19. Jessica says:

    I can’t find any sort of instructions on how to get my Mac and Rogue to communicate via the usb. Plenty of help for connecting to PC.

    I follow the instructions, but the Mac never recognizes the phone. And when I select USB Mass Storage on the phone, nothing happens.

    At my wit’s end.

  20. Does anyone know if it is possible to route my laptop through my samsung rouge’s internet connection?

  21. Keith says:

    Need help with the “my Files” section…. where exactly does this area EXSIST because I can download things into it but can’t find the area to retrieve it from… and what’s a great wat to download free games… can’t seem to figure it out.

  22. Lori says:

    I want to backup my text messages and I was wondering if there is either an app for the rogue or a way to save them to a computer or a memory card. I lost my text messages when my rogue crapped out and had to get a refurbished one. So I don’t want that to happen again :).

  23. JL says:

    I have a mobile calendar to Outlook sync solution I can live with. Google calendar has an interface that works OK via the browser. You can then sync your goggle calendar to Outlook with Google’s calendar sync software. They give the sync software out for free.

  24. SBMongoos says:

    Anyone find a way to sync Outlook calender or the Bitpim calendar to the Rogue. #5 above simply does not work. I don’t if the reason being is I allowed updates to PC Studio 3 before attempting. Odd thing was when I first connected it acted like it was going to allow me to do so. Then it switched and said only Media Music could be synced and I’m actually not able to do that either. Not sure what #23 is saying as it sounds like JL is referring to Google Calendar and Outlook and no association to the Samsung Rogue.

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