It seems that the people of Nokia are really working hard. Summer of last year, they afforded us glimpses of the upcoming mobile operating system Symbian^4. Although they haven’t released the actual product yet, another teaser comes up that gives consumers a more refined idea of what to expect form the communications company.
The company has already submitted a proposal, authored by the Head of User Experience Design for Nokia Symbian Devices, Elizabeth Dykstra-Erickson, and is now asking for reactions from its users and developers. Gaining people’s attention, the “User Interface Concept Proposal” contains more technical aspects of the much awaited Symbian^4.
What are the new additions to noted in the released proposal?
A few of the small additions that you might find notable are the top and bottom menu bars that can disappear completely off screen. Hence, the menu will be cut back down and streamlined into four basics, namely music, photos, applications, and contacts. As mentioned, the ultimate objective of the S^4 user interface is to “simplify the S60 experience”.
In the proposal, Nokia has been honest about the similarities and dissimilarities of their S^4 to competitors. For example, the moveable homescreen is much like Androids. However, instead of having one multi-panel screen, Symbian will adapt independent pages for the functions. The flattened application library adapted by iPhone also comes into play; however, Symbian will not be going for manual organization. Instead, Nokia have opted for an alphabetically arranged layout. Also mentioned is Palm’s WebOS exit commands with Symbian saving the condition when exiting rather than keeping the application running in the background. It seems that users can also expect more consistency throughout the Symbian^4.
Symbian^4 is on its way
Of course, keep in mind that these are only proposals and currently has no guarantees for outcome. However, the proposal comes from Symbian’s largest costumer, so the odds of it being approved are on their favor. Hopefully, Nokia will be addressing the problems found in its current Symbian. What makes this interesting is the fact that Nokia still doesn’t have an OS that is specially made for touch screen phones. For N97, they are using a version of the Symbian S60 which doesn’t really mean much since it only add touch-phone elements, but leaves the remaining factors as it is. Hence, we should be able to expect something more from Nokia’s upcoming mobile operating system.
The bad news is that we won’t be able to see the results until sometime around 2011. But judging from the proposal, we’ll be seeing better results in the future. In the meantime, people might want to read the proposal and start figuring out for themselves if the Symbian^4 is worth all the hype.