It has been a pretty busy week for Nokia and its Symbian platform. Earlier this week, it was confirmed that the decision to take down online distributions of Symbian was effectively the end to the OS as an open-source platform. Today it has announced that a radical overhaul of the OS will be coming in the next few months – codenamed Symbian Anna.
Announced this morning, Symbian Anna is the result of feedback from Symbian users and will, Nokia hope, refresh the OS extensively. The radical update will see a host of new and refreshed features coming to a range of phones, including two new handsets. The update will be pushed out in the coming months to phones such as the N8, E7, and the C6 as well as Nokia’s latest Symbian phones, the X7 and the E6. The updates will come via OTA downloads for the existing phones and come pre-loaded on the new phones.
So what will the update actually bring? Well the first thing you will notice is the refreshed icons and what Nokia calls “usability enhancements” which means real homescreen scrolling amongst other things. There is an overhauled browser, a portrait on-screen QWERTY keyboard, improved touchscreen typing and a much overhauled Ovi Maps to include predictive search as well as new public transportation routes. Running on devices powered by the Qt framework, developers can create applications for these smartphones using Qt SDK 1.1 – currently available as a Release Candidate here
It is great to see Nokia taking note of what its customers are saying and we hope that this update, and the other planned updates of the Symbian OS, will mean that although it is on its way out, it will go out on a high.