As I feared the $7 "unlimited" data plan for the recently introduced N95-8GB and other Rogers approved devices restricts you to using the built-in apps. The built-in apps are *ahem* (to be nice) not that great with the exception of the web browser (and I fear that Rogers has somehow neutered the "great for Nokia" webkit based browser but not so great when compared to the iPhone browser). 3rd party apps, like ShoZu and Qik, are much better in my humble opinion.

Not only that, you are forced to commit to a 3 year contract if you wish to use the $7 plan.

At this time, if you are mobile enthusiast, therefore, I can't recommend the Rogers Unlimited On-Device Mobile Browsing Plan or buying a Rogers N95 8GB. Instead I recommend buying an unlocked N95 8GB from Tiger Direct or other source and then buying the Rogers 1GB/month $65 'PC Card plan' which Alec Saunders uses with his unlocked non Rogers N95. As far as I know, this plan doesn't have a 3 year contract requirement. And it doesn't have the 3rd party app tax (Alec uses 3rd party app Qik to stream video live and doesn't pay 5 cents per kilobyte).

Anyhow, to end in a positive note, if any Rogers N95-8GB owners want to experiment with 3rd party apps and want to set them up in such a way as to avoid the "5 cents / kilobyte 3rdparty app" r*poff tax, and you are in Vancouver, please email roland AT rolandtanglao.com and let's get together in Gastown at lunch on a weekday and I'll show you how (it's not as intuitive as the iPhone). I've been using Nokia S60 smart phones like the N95 for four years and can show you how to use the powerful but not so intuitive S60 interface to your advantage.

From Rogers.com - Wireless Essentials:

QUOTE

NEW! Adding Unlimited On-Device Mobile Browsing Plan* to your voice plan provides:

* Unlimited on-device mobile browsing access to your favourite social communities like Facebook & MySpace, news, sports and entertainment sites all on the go for one flat monthly fee!
* Access to search the mobile Internet with Yahoo! Search and Google
* Access to information sites like Yahoo! Canada, Canada.com, Windows Live, The Weather Network, Lavalife Mobile and more!
* Protection against high pay-per-use data charges while surfing the mobile Internet


Start saving on all your mobile Internet browsing with Unlimited On-Device Mobile Browsing* or pay per use at 5¢/ KB.

Plan or pay per use at 5¢/ KB

Unlimited On-Device Mobile Browsing Plan
Monthly Fee Includes
$7 Unlimited On-Device Mobile Browsing*

For a limited time, customers who activate on a Voice Plan and add Vision Unlimited On-Device Mobile Browsing* on a 3 year term receive Vision Bonuses. Learn more


*Important: This plan includes unlimited on-device mobile browsing only and is only available on select phones (PDAs such as Blackberry or Windows Mobile devices, PC cards and non-Rogers certified devices are not eligible). Data usage incurred on ineligible devices or incurred while tethering (using device as wireless modem for computer) or incurred using non-Rogers (3rd party) applications downloaded to your device will be subject to pay-per-use charges of 5 cents/KB. A 3-year term service agreement is required for Rogers Vision devices.

What is tethering?

This plan does not include any usage incurred while tethering. Tethering is when you use your phone as a wireless modem to connect to the Internet. The phone can be connected via USB cable or Bluetooth. Once connected, you can access the Internet wirelessly on your laptop using the Rogers Wireless network. While accessing the Internet wirelessly on your computer, data charges are incurred at a rate of 5¢/KB.
What are 3rd party applications?

3rd party applications are applications like Yahoo! Go or Google Maps. These are non-Rogers applications which may be downloaded to the device and incur data charges at a rate of 5¢/KB.

END QUOTE