Linked by Thom Holwerda on Mon 8th Nov 2010 20:29 UTC
PDAs, Cellphones, Wireless Symbian has had a bit of a string of bad news lately, but starting today, things might just start looking up again. Major changes have been announced with regards to the Symbian Foundation and Nokia's involvement with the platform, which all basically come down to this: Nokia is taking over development of the platform, while the Foundation focusses on licensing.
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by vivainio on Mon 8th Nov 2010 21:13 UTC
vivainio
Member since:
2008-12-26

Interesting changes, but if a recent article by Tim Ocock, former Symbian consortium employee, it might not be the best idea to hand over development of Symbian to Nokia. Ocock describes the way Symbian development took place over the years, and the picture isn't particularly flattering.


Uh, it seems that the best place to control the development of Symbian is the company that stands almost completely alone in both 1) paying for the development and 2) using the OS.

Thanks for the Ocock article reference anyway, it's a pretty accurate review of the history of Symbian. Nokia's approach to developer ecosystem has completely changed over time (basically after Qt came around). It used to be "We know Symbian C++ development is terrible, deal with it, it's profitable anyway" but now developer efficiency and powerful tools are seen to be critically important. It pretty much has to be since now developers can vote with their feet if they think you suck.

The fruits of that work will mostly be seen throughout 2011.

Reply Score: 5

Action plan for Nokia on Symbian
by fran on Mon 8th Nov 2010 21:14 UTC
fran
Member since:
2010-08-06

I dont have much working experience on Symbian phones but I have some friends that really like it.

I'm perplexed on why it has become so unfashionable so quickly.

On usability what would Symbian(Nokia) have to do to catch up to Android and Apples IOS?
Or has Symbian got some unfair treatment?

Edited 2010-11-08 21:14 UTC

Reply Score: 2

aliquis Member since:
2005-07-23

Wasn't the issues with multi-touch and maybe a designed made for using a stylus instead of over-sized for fingers? Also resistive type touchscreens? And maybe less applications.

Maemo and MeeGo have everything they need I guess. Symbian may get there to, what do I know?

Reply Score: 3

Nicholas Blachford Member since:
2005-07-06

Wasn't the issues with multi-touch and maybe a designed made for using a stylus instead of over-sized for fingers? Also resistive type touchscreens? And maybe less applications.


The N95 was a wonderful phone, technically very advanced and the UI worked very well - but it was all controlled with keys, not a touch screen.

Then the iPhone came out with a totally different tactile interface. The N95 8GB was a technically much better phone but the iPhone GUI was years ahead.

Nokia have spent the last few years trying to catch up with the iPhone GUI.

Maemo and MeeGo have everything they need I guess. Symbian may get there to, what do I know?


You've actually answered your question here. It's all perception - what makes you think Symbian has to catch up with MeeGo?

Reply Score: 4

Bill Shooter of Bul Member since:
2006-07-14

Post like this make me wonder if "Nokia" is just Finnish for "Apple". That's some kinda wonderful distortion field you're living in, if you think its Symbian is as attractive as Meego.

Reply Score: 1

aliquis Member since:
2005-07-23

It's all perception - what makes you think Symbian has to catch up with MeeGo?
People? (Mostly people who have used an older version I assume.)

Reviews?

Comparisons with WebOS, Maemo and iOS?

Nokia themselves? (Why the need to develop it further, delay it or use Maemo/MeeGo for higher end phones unless there's a difference?)

All the other phone companies switching from Symbian to Android or something else instead of staying with Symbian?

Edited 2010-11-10 10:31 UTC

Reply Score: 2

Thom_Holwerda Member since:
2005-06-29

Or has Symbian got some unfair treatment?


Symbian is the Windows XP of mobile operating systems. It does the job for a lot of people, but switch to something modern like Windows 7 or Snow Leopard, and you'll be bewildered why you once insisted on using the dreaded XP.

Reply Score: 4

Kroc Member since:
2005-11-10

I use both XP and Windows 7 and don’t see much difference. One is more modern than the other, but I still get the exact same work done in the same time, using the same tools.

Sure, once people stop writing for XP outright, then you have a point, but let’s not be throwing our working tools away for the name of nothing more than fashion.

Reply Score: 2

spiderman Member since:
2008-10-23

And what would be the Windows 7 or Snow Leopard of mobile phone os then? All other major OSes are still running some kind of old UNIX kernel. I don't see anything more modern yet. I agree the GUI that Nokia puts on top of Symbian could be improved though but the latest developments seem to go in the right direction.
I don't know why Symbiab receives all the hate. I suspect that is because it is not owned by an Alerican corporation. People always mention Android, iOS and WP7 and never Bada. Why is it so?

Edited 2010-11-10 09:39 UTC

Reply Score: 2

aliquis Member since:
2005-07-23

unning some kind of old UNIX kernel. I don't see anything more modern yet. I agree the GUI that Nokia puts on top of Symbian could be improved though but the latest developments seem to go in the right direction.
... and never Bada. Why is it so?
Kernel-wise: So what? The kernel doesn't make all for the phone. If it did then why have we had the last 15 years of development of Linux distributions. Same old kernel, no difference. Stupid comment.

UI, toolkits, shipped-with applications, application store, browser, Flash and video support, GPS software, phonebook intelligence, IM and social networking support, ...

Bada? Probably because it's small and people haven't used it?

Reply Score: 2

spiderman Member since:
2008-10-23

Kernel-wise: So what? The kernel doesn't make all for the phone. If it did then why have we had the last 15 years of development of Linux distributions. Same old kernel, no difference. Stupid comment.

The point is that Symbian is not "old". The linux kernel is fine, I agree. I just object to the comment made that Symbian is old stuff. It's not. It's actually younger than most UNIX kernels in use in mobile phones.
The Symbian micro kernel is well adapted to mobile phones. It's secure enough to run native applications without resorting to iOS style walled garden. Its network stack is well suited for the mobile phone. It is a very advanced kernel actually. I would not call it the Windows XP of mobile phones.

Edited 2010-11-10 10:59 UTC

Reply Score: 2

aliquis Member since:
2005-07-23

It's old as in the "feature- and user-interface-wise behind", obviously, or atleast they think so.

Mean-while Nokia stocks do fine today, which is good for me ;) , but it's damn jumpy all the time, higher lows for four periods though.

Reply Score: 2

Thom_Holwerda Member since:
2005-06-29

I don't know why Symbiab receives all the hate. I suspect that is because it is not owned by an Alerican corporation.


And yet, I'm not an American. I say Symbian is a pile of outdated crap because I own Symbian devices.

People always mention Android, iOS and WP7 and never Bada. Why is it so?


Bada isn't sold in the US.

Reply Score: 1

spiderman Member since:
2008-10-23


And yet, I'm not an American. I say Symbian is a pile of outdated crap because I own Symbian devices.

Indeed but you watch hollywood movies. You probably know english better than your own language. You probably get your informations in english from American media.

Bada isn't sold in the US.

It isn't? Now that explains why it doesn't get any media exposure.

Reply Score: 2

lucifer Member since:
2006-08-20

I don't know why Symbiab receives all the hate. I suspect that is because it is not owned by an Alerican corporation. People always mention Android, iOS and WP7 and never Bada. Why is it so?


let me put it in simple english: expensive, yet lousy products.

Reply Score: 1

spiderman Member since:
2008-10-23

Is it expensive in the US?

Reply Score: 2

_txf_ Member since:
2008-03-17

I would claim that there are some aspects of usability in Symbian that I haven't found on Android (dunno about the others).

An example for me would be when needing a wireless connection you can define connection profiles by which it will prefer wifi (if available) and then move onto the phone network. You can choose for this to be done automatically or let you choose which network.

On Android I have to be connected to the wifi before it is used, sometimes an app will offer to send me to the settings page to turn it on (why can't it just be turned on in the dialogue?). However, many apps just put up a dialog moaning that they don't have a connection.

it is a royal pain (unless I'm doing something wrong).

Reply Score: 2

darknexus Member since:
2008-07-15

I'm perplexed on why it has become so unfashionable so quickly.

On usability what would Symbian(Nokia) have to do to catch up to Android and Apples IOS?
Or has Symbian got some unfair treatment?


Because it's the cool thing to love iOS and Android, I think. People seem to believe that, now that those two do things differently and all by touch, that there's no room for anything else anymore and that maybe, just maybe, different people prefer different styles of os. Symbian bashing is like Microsoft or Apple bashing, it's the cool thing to do so everyone does it. I, personally, love Symbian for its lack of bling and battery-guzzling graphics. If I want that sort of thing, I'll load up a game. I just want the os to do what I tell it to and stay out of my way, and as a mobile os, Symbian does exactly that for me.

Reply Score: 3

Comment by melgross
by melgross on Tue 9th Nov 2010 02:09 UTC
melgross
Member since:
2005-08-12

Continuing development of Symbian is exactly what Nokia DIDN'T want to do. Now, they're stuck with it. They're back to paying for the development of an OS that they will begin depreciating shortly. Not something that any organization wants to do.

Reply Score: 0

RE: Comment by melgross
by j-kidd on Tue 9th Nov 2010 08:25 UTC in reply to "Comment by melgross"
j-kidd Member since:
2005-07-06

Maemo was shaping up nicely, but got discontinued. Meego for Handset, at this stage, sucks pretty badly. I will be surprised if they can produce a usable Meego phone one year from now. It was just a month ago when it has the ability to make phone calls.

So, I don't think Symbian will be deprecated shortly.

Reply Score: 2

RE[2]: Comment by melgross
by vivainio on Tue 9th Nov 2010 11:46 UTC in reply to "RE: Comment by melgross"
vivainio Member since:
2008-12-26

Maemo was shaping up nicely, but got discontinued.


More like, it got renamed to "MeeGo Handset UX".


Meego for Handset, at this stage, sucks pretty badly. I will be surprised if they can produce a usable Meego phone one year from now. It was just a month ago when it has the ability to make phone calls.


MeeGo for Handset is not what Nokia will release on their upcoming MeeGo phone. It will have "MeeGo compatible" Harmattan, the artist formerly known as Maemo 6.

You can't judge that product from reference applications and graphics you see on MeeGo Handset UX.

Reply Score: 3

RE[3]: Comment by melgross
by j-kidd on Tue 9th Nov 2010 14:13 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Comment by melgross"
j-kidd Member since:
2005-07-06

Great, thanks for the information. Maemo + Qt = awesomeness ;)

Reply Score: 2

RE[2]: Comment by melgross
by aliquis on Wed 10th Nov 2010 10:37 UTC in reply to "RE: Comment by melgross"
aliquis Member since:
2005-07-23

Maemo was shaping up nicely, but got discontinued. Meego
Maemo isn't really "discontinued" when MeeGo is the follow up.

Reply Score: 2

in the same vein ...
by lucifer on Tue 9th Nov 2010 06:22 UTC
lucifer
Member since:
2006-08-20

this would go in the same vein of news as NASA suddenly decides to head the development of steam rocket engine. delusion of past grandeur is so pathetically funny.

i have written nokia off my gadget radar 2 years back when i purchased my first so-called nokia smartphone, the accursed n96, and i have been having a good laugh at everything nokia has been trying to do to get back to the top. this is not going to change thing one bit. know why? it's because they are like a horny dog humping the leg. everybody else can see what's wrong and having a good chuckle. but they simply think they are humping the wrong leg.

Reply Score: 0

No thanks
by jollix on Tue 9th Nov 2010 07:02 UTC
jollix
Member since:
2010-10-27

Symbian is what keeps me away from Nokia smartphones. Despite being (Nokia) my favorite brand.

Reply Score: 1

Sinking boat
by crocodile on Tue 9th Nov 2010 07:43 UTC
crocodile
Member since:
2010-01-18

Symbian is like a sinking boat and has been like this for some time already. One can paint it in cool colors or have great shows and great news on that boat but sooner than later it will still sink. The proof of all these is MeeGo.

Reply Score: 1