Symbian has long been seen as a dead platform, especially
since Nokia handed over control of it to Accenture a couple of months ago, but
the company continues to release updates, the latest of which is Symbian Belle.
Belle is an update to the Symbian Anna release we announced back in April. Obviously this update isn’t as major as
that one was, but it still adds quite a few new features.
First up is support for NFC. Obviously you’ll have to have
an NFC chip inside your phone for this to have any effect, but with the new phones announced today featuring these chips, it’s a welcome, if slightly late-to-the-party, addition.
As well as letting you tap to share content between phones,
you’ll be able to unlock extra features in games, tap promotional material to
access content while out-and-about and connect to NFC-equipped peripherals such
Belle also brings dynamic and live widgets to Symbian and
you will now be able to personalise up to six homescreens. Again compared to Android
these features are a little late to the party but welcome none the less.
One of the most interesting updates is to the notification
system which is almost an identical copy of the system from Android, where a
swipe down from thew top of the screen brings all notifications in one place. Then again, if it was good
enough for Apple to copy for iOS5, then why not Symbian.
There is also better browsing promised and you’ll be able to
set up your phone to automatically update over the air or via your PC.
The Symbian Belle update will arrive first in Q3 2011 on Nokia’s
three new smartphones – the 600, 700 and 701. Regarding the availabilty on other phones, Nokia said the update for phones like the N8, E6, E7, X7, C7, C6-01 and Oro and would be announced closer to the release date.