updated 03:20 pm EDT, Fri July 16, 2010
Symbian4 to have pop-up menus, easier management
As part of making some source code available, Symbian has quietly made available the first shots of Symbian^4's implemented home screen and has revealed some significant changes. The UI has changed from its concept form and now has a permanent, iPhone-like status bar at the top. There's now a menu just below for common features like the apps and task switcher, and the interface has more touch-friendly menus overall that include pop-ups where the finger is pressed.
Multiple home screens with widgets were seen before, but it now has an app launcher that can sort apps into categories and has what looks to be an as-you-type search feature.
Symbian^4 is due to ship relatively quickly after Symbian^3 and could be ready as soon as the end of 2010 or early 2011. Nokia is certain to use the new OS itself, but Samsung, Sony Ericsson and other major partners are expected to use it at the same time. The OS could be critical, as Symbian has been criticized for making irrelevant changes that won't close the gap with more advanced platforms like Android and the iPhone.