The new Symbian user interface is a big improvement over what was with S60 5th Edition. I mean, I had sworn by my grandfather’s beard to shun S60 5th Edition – and I kept my word. But what used to be Symbian 3 (now just Symbian) is more like it, and I am loving it.
One of the decisions that has been made about Symbian in recent times is that move to make it a constantly evolving platform, such that there is no more need for naming conventions like Symbian^3 or Symbian^4 at all. What we have is just Symbian built in such a way that bits and pieces of improvements can be made to parts of the OS and user interface without touching the whole.
For example, Nokia plans to introduce a new Qt-based browser in early 2011 as a free update for Symbian devices. Do you get it? Users don’t have to wait for big updates to the whole device. Instead, a browser update, once ready, can be pushed out – and to every modern Symbian device (that excludes S60 3rd Edition, S60 5th Edition and other older versions).
An improvement would not even necesarilly be device-specific. The idea is that an improvement to one would be available as an improvement to all.
Social Networking (SN) is a built-in app on the Nokia N8 that allows you to post updates to multiple Facebook and/or Twitter accounts. You can also manage each individual accounts separately.
Other functionality built into the Social Networking app:
- Upload pictures from gallery
- Upload pictures from camera
- Read, compose, reply FB messages
- Manage FB events
- Manage FB Friends
- Post comments, manage Likes/Unlikes
- Check Twitter messages
- Manage Twitter Favourites
- Compose, read and reply Twitter messages
The version of SN that came with the phone didn’t look tops in terms of eye-candy. This afternoon, when I launched SN on my Nokia N8, I was greeted with a notification that an update was available for SN. A few minutes after that, the update was downloaded and installed – and voila a newer, finger-friendlier and much better-looking SN application (version 1.2.163) was running on my unit.
The following improvements are immediately obvious on the new version –
- Fonts are larger and look better – all easier to read
- Links are more touch-friendly
- The update box looks and works better
- The picture upload button is smaller
- Facebook photo albums seem to load faster now
- Some changes in colour scheme, especially of the “Comment” and “Like” buttons
- Profile pics now have a nice border with rounded corners
- Everything looks more pleasing and certainly works better
This kind of implementation in the Symbian OS is a very significant one. It means that users can expect continual improvements to their devices. This is the long-term support that Symbian (and Nokia) users have been crying out for.
It means that when you spend money on a Symbian device (excluding S60 3rd Edition, S60 5th Edition and other older versions), you are investing in a future-proof device, at least software-wise.