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Thursday, February 24, 2011

New UI updates for Symbian^3 coming up

It seems that Nokia is serious about keeping Symbian alive as Elop said at the MWC 2011 this month. In the next image you can see Jo Harlow presenting a slide with some goodies for the Symbian^3 homescreen.

As it looks, Nokia plans to add various size widgets to the S^3 homescreen. We also notice a redesigned top bar, have a more modern look and occupying a lot less screen estate. Also, the bottom buttons are redesigned. It looks better, I have to say, but as far as functionality goes, I for one was pretty content with the S^3 homescreen functionality. The large size widgets are welcomed of course, as would be the ability to add more than 3 homescreens on your phones.

As you see in the above image, Nokia plans more devices running Symbian^3, and as I recall, Elop mentioned something about "Gigaherz" at MWC. So, we should expect more powerful devices running S^3 in the near future. I have to say that I did not find the 680MHz CPU slow at all the 2 weeks that I had the Nokia C7 for the review. However, it's every boy's dream to have a "Gigaherz" in your pocket, so why not?

Nokia also plans to improve the performance of existing devices trough OTA updates, and it seems they already started, by launching the PR 1.1 update for all S^3 devices. Qt's future is still an enigma if you ask me, because Qt's survival is strongly related to the survival of Symbian. However, if Nokia plays it's cards right, Symbian may turn out to be a hit, and may be continued and used in the mid to low end smartphones. I still think that porting Qt to WP would be beneficial for both Nokia and Microsoft, but that's a different story.

An update of the Symbian menu is on the roll as it seems. It's been a long long time since we've seen any news in this department, so a refreshing change would mean a lot.

It also looks like the top bar may be getting some much needed pull down functionality that may easily expose notifications and connectivity features, and combined with the redesigned bottom navigation bar brings breaks the Symbian 2 buttons bottom bar habit(in a good way).

That being said, let's hope, for all the Symbian fans out there, that these new changes will lead to at least the survival if not the ascension of S^3.