In-depth look at all the aspects of Symbian^3, is it enough to satisfy you?

In-depth look at all the aspects of Symbian^3I met Eldar several years ago at a Microsoft Mobius event and always have enjoyed his very early look at devices on Mobile Review. Many people jumped on his early Nokia N8 preview and either slammed the device for being subpar or slammed Eldar for posting a review of a device with non-final software. He just posted an extremely detailed look at Symbian^3 that I recommend you check out when you have a few minutes.

As a person who generally likes Symbian S60 5th Edition, I was pleased to read that Symbian^3 indeed builds on and improves it in many ways. We all know it is evolutionary and not revolutionary, but for most current Symbian users that may be just fine while others may move to the iPhone or Android platform. I have a Sprint HTC EVO 4G and have a blast using it with some fantastic apps and services. Eldar states that those of us satisfied with S60 5th Edition will be quite happy with the improvements in Symbian^3, but for others who do not use Symbian it will look like Nokia is playing catch up to Apple.

Eldar has a questionnaire at the end of his review that he is using to capture data from the readers to pass along to Nokia and the Symbian Foundation. I completely understand the fascination with the latest and greatest mobile operating systems (I use them myself too), but there is something to be said about Nokia devices and the Symbian operating system that still has many advantages and outstanding capability.


4 Comments to In-depth look at all the aspects of Symbian^3, is it enough to satisfy you?

June 22, 2010

After seeing Eldar’s take on Mobile Review and Steve Litchfield’s glance on AAS, I am torn. I love Symbian. It is powerful. But will there be developers flocking to this OS to make it stronger? It seems to me that most of the criticism over mobile operating systems is the look and the interface functionality as well. Most people wanted folders on the iPhone. Symbian had that for many years. People using the iPhone mention widgets; something S60 5th edition brought to the court. S^3, being evolutionary, seems clunky (in terms of power-user settings and menus, within menus, within menus), but powerful. Like Linux. The great thing about S^3 is it has a home screen, customizable with widgets, for on-the-go information. If you want a total list of applications installed, click the menu button once and you can have all of them there. If you want folders, no problem. Another problem is availability of 3rd party applications. I was so used to getting free applications because a lot of people had Symbian devices. Now, with all these application stores, developers don’t develop for the purpose of wanting an application that they see useful in their own lives. They develop for the monetary value first. Maybe it’s true. Ignorance is bliss.

June 23, 2010


I agree with everything you say. I’m an Android developer and choose it because I felt there was great potential despite the T-Mobile G1. I was even preparing to jump into WebOS until HP bought them and flip-flopped on whether they would still use it on phones.

I think Symbian is in the same boat. S^3 is evolutionary. Looks like a touchscreen version of my E62. I’ve said before Nokia made a mistake in keeping so many OSs with the focus on S^3. They should have gone with Maemo. With the Android juggernaut picking up steam, WebOS leading the way in phone user interfaces and iPhone brainwashing the faithful into staying onboard, Nokia needs not just a powerful OS under the hood but a pretty paint job too (who wants a muscle car with mismatch body panels? :-)

As a developer I am not really moved to write for Symbian. Also need to see what Nokia intends to do with the Ovi Store. If people have a problem with Android’s “fragmentation”, what is Nokia telling developers when they have at least 3 different OSs out there? And will all of them be able to access Ovi?

June 23, 2010

“I’ve said before Nokia made a mistake in keeping so many OSs with the focus on S^3. They should have gone with Maemo.”

The problem with that logic is that there are literally millions of people around the world who are very familiar with S60. As Nokia fanboys will be quick to remind you, Nokia still has the largest global marketshare of smartphones. It would have been foolish for Nokia to Nokia to simply ignore all those people for a brand new OS. It would have risked losing the vast majority of its customers.

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