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Symbian to undergo major overhaul in 2010

updated 11:00 am EDT, Thu August 6, 2009

Symbian 4 Major Overhaul

Symbian's mobile operating system should see its first major revision in years late into 2010, company executive David Wood said in an interview this week. He acknowledges to TamsS60 that the first two post-S60 releases of the OS, Symbian^2 and Symbian^3, will be relatively minor updates but that Symbian^4 should have a "revolutionary" change in user interface that will also require developers to rewrite the front-end of their code. Underlying code should remain the same as it is by Symbian^3, Wood said.

What the interface changes will involve isn't apparent at this early stage. The OS developer's schedule has it releasing Symbian updates every half-year and would put Symbian^4 in late 2010.

Symbian's aging S60 OS has been indirectly attributed to weaker Nokia smartphone growth compared to companies newer to the field, like Apple. The software doesn't currently recognize any special gestures and in many cases only makes minor concessions to touch, such as larger buttons. Most interface elements are still designed with the assumption of a physical keypad and have left devices like the 5800 XpressMusic and N97 struggling against the iPhone and HTC's Android smartphones.

By Electronista Staff


  1. cmoney

    Mac Enthusiast

    Joined: Sep 2000


    finally nokia steps up

    Took ya long enough! Can't wait to see what they come up with. Hopefully they come up with something compelling, if only to provide some real competition for Apple, since it's looking like it's sorely needed.

  1. slapppy

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Mar 2008


    We know already

    Just look at the iPhone OS.

  1. iphonerulez

    Dedicated MacNNer

    Joined: Nov 2008


    But the iPhone OS

    won't be standing still waiting for other companies to catch up. I've heard that the Palm Pre's WebOS is just as good as OSX Mobile when it comes to the user interface. I really wonder how a company like Apple will be able to constantly improve by leaps and bounds to stay ahead. Meanwhile all the other companies can just copy what Apple is doing to stay just slightly behind.

    I had thought Apple's patents would block the other companies but I see that doesn't seem to work at all. At least with MultiTouch it didn't stop other companies from using the same gestures to perform the same actions as the iPhone.

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