New Symbian Browser faster and easier to use

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Dayo and I were hosted to lunch yesterday at Nokia West Africa, where we got a chance to play with a pre-production model of the Nokia E6 running the much-anticipated Symbian Anna firmware.

We came off from the playtime with very good impressions of the OS and theUI. Symbian Anna feels fresh, breezier, faster and more user-friendly compared to the current firmware running on say the N8 and E7.

I am a mobile web enthusiast and so was particular about the browser. Simply put, we are able to say that the new browser is faster and easier to use.

SymbianBrowsers copy
L-R: Old browser; New browser

Nokia Conversations published an article on this very subject, and I can verify that the article describes the new Symbian browser accurately. A few points:

  • Streamlined UI – removal of the double layer of icons at the bottom of the browsing window (see image above), and has instead replaced them with a small back arrow that is always on show and an options icon that can call up various different tasks such as bookmarks, history or the exit button. That makes for some extra room up top to include a convenient address bar for easy URL typing and web searching.
  • Most operations take one less click than previously, with ‘back’ only requiring a single tap.
  • Version 7.3 of the browser has been created using a newer version of WebKit , a new JavaScript engine and has been optimised further for Symbian, meaning that JavaScript on v7.3 is 30% faster than the previous version.
  • Greater compatibility with HTML 5 with a score of 111 out of 400 in an industry HTML5 test. (The old 7.2 version scored 29 in this test).
  • Implementation of split-screen typing view mode and with a portrait Qwerty keyboard makes typing in URLs and keywords in the address bar a lot easier for touchscreen devices
  • Multiple window support – You can open a new empty window from the Window menu or open a link in a new window with a long press.
  • URL auto completion.
  • Improved fonts
  • Ability to copy a link from the site onto your clipboard for using somewhere else – Long pressing on a link will open up a new menu that allows you to copy that link or to open it in a new window
  • Double tap on the screen to re-render page to fit the screen.

Symbian7 3browser02

Read Nokia Conversations’ New Nokia Browser faster and easier to use.

5 comments

  1. Plaese can someone tell nokia to stop all these double talk.

    If they think these new devices will sell like hot cake, they will be in for the greatest shock of rheir lives. Nobody wants an interim device no matter how good. We want a device that will always be with us and get inproved and grow with us just like symbian had done in the past or like android is doing now.

    Any device, no matter how super cool and good, will not sell if it has no continuity. For how long are we going to see these new symbians before they are finally dumped by nokia? Two years? Five years?

    Please nokia, these new babies can do well and compete favourably in today’s world. Develop and nurture them. DON’T KILL SYMBIAN

  2. Any device, no matter how super cool and good, will not sell if it has no continuity.

    Unfortunately, that is not true. Everyday, millions of people purchase mobile devices with no continuity. Apart from us die-hard mobile enthusiasts, the average Joe on the street is ignorant of these issues and cares less.

    Why, for example, do you think that ‘Chinko” phones sell in droves? If the phone meets his present needs and the price is right, he buys it. He does not know of, or care about, firmware updates or what OS runs on the device.

    I am not excusing Nokia or any other manufacturer; just stating market facts. Believe me, these devices – the Nokia E6 being an example – will sell like hot cakes.

  3. deoladoctor, Symbian will remain for years to come, even if Nokia abruptly cuts off all support right now. Most of The vast number of current symbian users will continue using it. Especially since there is a large online community of symbian developers to provide cool apps, with more expected to contribute now that Qt is going mainstream.

    I think you need to realize that geekslike us constitute a very tiny percentage of phone users out there. So it’s a buy unfair to expect most phone users to behave like us. How many regular nigerian phone users even know of WP7?

    I used the Anna browser for a few minutes too, and the new design is great. If only nokia can release Anna to us asap!! I’m making plans to get a qwerty droid, but if Nokia releases this E6 by June, I’ll get it.

  4. The fortunate/unfortunate market fact.

    To me, I am convinced that Symbian will live longer than we expect in Asia and Africa.

    Wont be surprised if Nokia suddenly makes and announcement that Symbian will still continue in these continents.

  5. I saw this on gsmarena site as regards the symbian OS:

    “As you can see, Symbian looks better than ever and this time we finally can say it has caught with the modern tendencies – new pop-up menus, better animations, touch-optimized menus and cons, better performance, etc. It’s the update we really waited for and we certainly hope it won’t be the last despite the fact that Nokia is heading in another direction.”

    The above quote along with words of Yomi, spazyzuma, and bosun99uk certainly show that symbian has trimmed down to the fighting weight and could take on any OS out there.

    The developers’ forum and other organised occasions suddenly become relevant and make more sense to me.

    Go Nokia! Ride on!

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