So I have been a Nokia Fanboy for a while now and I’ve experienced various versions of the Symbian Platform. It has evolved and upgraded with the introduction of new mobile phones and new mobile hardware. But I clearly remember there was a time when Nokia’s smart phones were the only ones that had the capability to have third party apps/softwares. Symbian has ‘taught’ other mobile platform developers how to develop an appealing mobile platform which is intuitive, easy, and robust.
Today things have changed. With a number of smart phone manufacturers and various platforms available, the competition is stiff. So where is Symbian on the platform map of 2011? Developers say that it is dead, and it can’t be revived. Almost every mobile manufacturing company has dumped Symbian leaving their core manufacturer, Nokia, in great dismay. The ‘dying’ platform has left Nokia on the de-merit list. The disappointed company has joined hands with Microsoft, and has somewhat ditched Symbian, or have they not? Nokia claimed that they will not be totally leaving Symbian, they have promised that there weill be new Symbian devices this year before they land their Windows Phone smart phones in the market. They will be supporting Symbian in the long run and decisions will be made after the roll out of WP7 phones in 2011-2012.
So after all that, we have the all new Symbian Anna OS. It is the latest offering by Symbian and Nokia which is said to be a matured and a smoother version of the Symbian^3 platform. New browser, new icons, faster UI, new split screen typing and more. Let’s go back to where it all began; the first Symbian 60 touch interface. Nokia rolled out the 5800 and the N97 all in a hurry as the world was shifting to touch screen devices. It could have been better, way better. The S60 v5 was terribly slow, less responsive and well in one word un-acceptable. I still own an N97, the so called flagship device. I guess Nokia did a good job with the hardware; however the firmware wasn’t as good. I am using a custom firmware and believe me it is much better than the official and latest updated firmware. Then we tasted the S^3, and it was sweeter. The S^3 platform has laid the foundation for Symbian Anna and the Nokia N8, C6-01, C7 and the E7 have proved that Symbian can be efficient and can be matured.
The question still remains. Will the new Symbian Anna change Nokia’s Image? Google’s Android has officially taken a lead leaving the Symbian platform behind. Nokia has to have a strong foundation to just keep up in the platform race, leave alone leading the list.
Coming to the new platform; it seems fresh, updated, faster, smoother, good looking and off course the good old Symbian feel. The first thing you’ll notice is the new icons. They seem a bit same as the S^3 icons only with chopped off edges. The home screen is the same (except on the E6) with multiple home screen options. The UI is responsive and the kinetic scrolling and capacitive touch screen seem smooth and quick. A new split screened text input has been added, which enables you to type on a QWERTY keyboard layout and see the text at the same time in the portrait mode.
The new browser (v7.3) is said to be 3 times faster than its predecessors. The visual changes include a URL bar on the top also the Go Back button will be visible at all times. You’ll also see a search integrated address field, the new split screened typing as mentioned above, faster history navigation and faster page loading. The new browser supports HTML5 with a few limitations, which I am sure will be improved as updates roll in. New Ovi Maps will be included with Facebook and Twitter integrated and the usual Ovi Map features. An added feature will be the ability to download Maps directly through Wi-Fi. The Ovi Store, Nokia Social, and Ovi Suite will also be updated.
Nokia can surely make this a promising platform through further updates and improvements. For now, I believe Nokia has improved and learned a lot through their past failures. Surely looking forward to more Symbian Anna device releases with much better hardware and better updates.