Home > Nokia > Symbian^3 users – no need to wait for Symbian^4 – you’ll be getting the new UI too! No more talking S^3/S^4 – it will be one constantly evolving platform

Symbian^3 users – no need to wait for Symbian^4 – you’ll be getting the new UI too! No more talking S^3/S^4 – it will be one constantly evolving platform

And what ever improvements the Symbian platform receives – UI is just one of those things you can download for your device. Awesomeness! That means new interface for N8, C7, E7 and C6 users! Hurray!

The whole S^3 to S^4 has been someone of an unclear story, with most leading to a “NO” on the upgrade. But it appears is that the whole coyness of Nokia staff whenever asked this question was possibly a signal that that is not the important question to ask. But whether S^3 handsets will get all the Symbian upgrades of Symbian^4 which is YES.

S^4 Qt based UI is a major overhaul. And it is VERY significant that current and future S^3 owners will be seeing and experiencing it on their own handsets. There is the longevity we have been waiting for.

In fact, something even odder,

“In fact, we will no longer be talking about Symbian^3 or Symbian^4 at all – it will be one constantly evolving and constantly improving platform.”

This means upgrades will appear once they’re ready (like the browser) and not part of a major OS update. Also this signifies that S^3/S^4/S^5/S^6 no longer exist. They are all just the one Symbian that will grow and evolve. Like your Android flavours. Now this should FORCE Nokia to put more RAM and even more powerful processors to ensure such longevity (or at least upgrades within 1 year to act well without m/any performance issues. Like 2g/3G IOS 4 breaks).

Finally

“Nokia will embrace the emerging HTML5 standard for Web content and applications for Symbian and MeeGo platforms, both through in-built support in Qt and through the browser.”

Via Nokia Conversations


Categories: Nokia Tags: , , ,
  1. Ruin
    October 21, 2010 at 4:42 pm

    this certainly makes the future a lot more exciting

  2. October 21, 2010 at 4:57 pm

    coooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooool newsssssssssssssssssssssssssssssss waiting for it from now

    • alex68
      October 21, 2010 at 5:07 pm

      Have you solved your wlan search problem?

      If not, try this.

      Try to make your phone offline first and then disable the search.

  3. Nokia fan
    October 21, 2010 at 5:04 pm

    Awesome. I will definitely buy the N8 because of this!

    • chfyfx
      October 21, 2010 at 5:14 pm

      me 2, just hope poor Samsung can keep up with the supply…lol

  4. Keith
    October 21, 2010 at 5:21 pm

    Sweet, glad I bought the N8 🙂

    • Andre
      October 21, 2010 at 5:33 pm

      Definitely a good piece of news for those considering the N8 and/or have already bought it. Thinking about getting it myself but the looming shadow of MeeGo has me a little tentative.

      I think I might just buy the N8 now and sell it when MeeGo hits shelves.

      • Keith
        October 21, 2010 at 9:29 pm

        Thats exactly what I’m planning to do. Or if I have enough spare money, I might keep ’em both coz I SO in love with N8 and its camera! And since its now “upgradeable”, it might be a good decision for me to keep it

  5. Simone
    October 21, 2010 at 5:31 pm

    What was keeping a lot of people from buying the N8 now no longer exists. Symbian^3 phones are FUTURE PROOF PHONES!

    • Andre
      October 21, 2010 at 5:57 pm

      That and the browser were the MAJOR issues.

      • alex68
        October 21, 2010 at 7:19 pm

        I will try to make a demo once I have new browser installed to my N8.

        • Andre
          October 21, 2010 at 10:19 pm

          Good man…. I look forward to it.

  6. October 21, 2010 at 5:35 pm

    Great news – Well done Nokia

  7. October 21, 2010 at 5:42 pm

    good news 😉

  8. Duncan
    October 21, 2010 at 6:12 pm

    Call me cynical, but tell me when it happens. I just don’t trust companies on their word, I need to see action.

    • alex68
      October 21, 2010 at 7:34 pm

      QT support for Symbian is in play already. The proof is new Ovi client 2.0 on N8/Symbian 3 is built on QT. Theoretically and technically UI for Symbian 4 can work for Symbian 3 because of QT cross-platform ability.

      • webby
        October 21, 2010 at 8:56 pm

        Isn’t the new ovi store built on WRT? I’m sure I’ve read that in several places. Possibly in the latest part of the N8 review on AAS.

        • alex68
          October 21, 2010 at 9:05 pm

          It is QT WRT, based on QT, to my understanding.

          But I might be wrong as I am not working for Nokia or its subcontractor. I am not even in the industry a long time ago…

          • webby
            October 21, 2010 at 10:39 pm

            Ah I see. I thought they were two different things. I really don’t know much about these things…

  9. Jim
    October 21, 2010 at 6:44 pm

    actually I read the press release and they didn’t mention anything about the UI. I think he was referring at certain components like maps, music player.. that will be build separately and you can upgrade them once the software is ready, rather then waiting for the next major release.
    Also I’m not sure that they will drop the symbian version numbers. A lot of people need to know when they’re buying a phone if it has the last OS and not the one released 1 year ago.

    • alex68
      October 21, 2010 at 7:17 pm

      Jim, you should read the original text in the Nokia conversations link.

      Here is the part of text that telling this thing exactly.

      Even more importantly, you can buy a Nokia smartphone confident that any improvements introduced later to the Symbian platform, such as the user interface, can be made available to download on your device as well. No need to wait for Symbian^4 — the improvements we were planning for Symbian^4 will be introduced as and when they become available. In fact, we will no longer be talking about Symbian^3 or Symbian^4 at all – it will be one constantly evolving and constantly improving platform.

      Earlier in another post about Nokia office support vids for N8, I have explained why this is possible. I remember just two days ago I have told UI of Symbian 4 would be built on QT when talking about Symbian head stepdown. Everyone who has cross-platform development experience and knowledge will not doubt the feasibility of this idea.

    • alex68
      October 21, 2010 at 7:45 pm

      As for your question about Meego and Symbian 4 UI, they do not have exactly the same UI, but use common QT lib for UI construct. The abstraction for the two as below:

      Meego: Linux kernel ->QT -> UX (QT is part of UX)
      Symbian 4: Symbian kernel -> QT ->Orbit(QT is part of Orbit)

  10. webby
    October 21, 2010 at 8:45 pm

    In theory this sounds absolutely ace, but there are a few things that I’m worried/curious about. And as mentioned above, I still would like to know which version of Symbian I’m running.

    What about the app break that was going to happen with Symbian 4 because of the new UI (orbit, i think) based purely on Qt and getting rid of akvon. The same issues as before still apply in that people may be bemused by the totally changed look of the phone and the fact that apps they may well have paid for just don’t work any more.

    What about the changes in device resolution that are possible when the new qt ui in symbian 4 comes in? How is this going to be handled?

    I heard Symbian 4 needs better specs eg more ram, is this not the case any more?

    There are lots of little questions like these that I’m very curious about now. Before with the separate release of Symbian 4 it was all very clear what was going to happen with the app break, look, resolution etc.

    • alex68
      October 21, 2010 at 9:02 pm

      To my understanding, Symbian 4 is killed! Symbian development is becoming UI centered/driven approach. Of course, they will evolve the kernel the same time and has internal project code names. But externally, there is only Symbian. This is the key message.

      • Jim
        October 21, 2010 at 9:10 pm

        do you know then if the UI will have version numbers? they want to do something like kde only that is for symbian?

        what about the kernel improvements?

        without a version reference how do I know if I buy a phone with the latest UI, kernel if all will be called symbian?

        • alex68
          October 21, 2010 at 9:58 pm

          QT will manage the compatibility and hide for different symbian kernel versions. For current symbian 3 phones, it will certainly get kernel updates as UI updates evolve. Symbian users won’t see or don’t need to worry about the fragmentation of Symbian like Android at all.

          Practically, there will be some numbers for Symbian and UI, but Nokia is not going to stress that so much before when Symbian recovers the confidence of its users…

          There have been too many rumors against Symbian. I hope you got my message.

          All these are my guess or theory, based on my understanding of Nokia’s business strategy and Finnish culture.

        • October 22, 2010 at 6:16 am

          If I understand this correctly, it won’t matter. Buy a Nokia device and you can have the latest software.

  11. webby
    October 21, 2010 at 8:47 pm

    On a purely selfish note, I’m kind of pleased the N9 has been delayed until 2011. I’m due for an upgrade towards the end of the year and by then the N9 will be out, the bugs in the new OS should have been taken care of, and there should be a shit load of Qt apps out.

    Upgrading my Galaxy S to Android 2.2 has somehow made it even more buggy so I can’t wait to get away from Android and especially Samsung.

  12. Georg
    October 21, 2010 at 9:56 pm

    Is no one sceptiacal?
    A company that delays one OS and device after the other, fires one top exec after the other, suddenly comes out and tells you “We won’t need S4, we can do it all in S3”.
    I hope it’ll all work so smoothly but if it’s that simple, why not do just that from the beginning?
    Say what you want, we’ll see, but experience tells me to take such an announcement with a grain of salt.

    • Don
      October 21, 2010 at 10:05 pm

      Not at all. Ignoring that you troll many forums with the same bull, Nokia is now doing exactly those things that make sense, as if they asked a technical person instead of a manager what they should be doing.

      If you’d follow the Qt development at all (it’s open!) you’d know this is not empty talk. It’s one of the most exciting press releases to come out of Nokia, in the all-time top 5 for sure.

    • Jeebus
      October 21, 2010 at 10:20 pm

      Ofcourse you’re allowed to be sceptical, Nokia has done alot of overpromising and under delivering. But this sounds so great I can’t help but be/feel supportive.

    • October 22, 2010 at 6:19 am

      Where did they say ‘No S^4’? They said S^4 is coming, but it’s not called S^4 any more, it’s just called Symbian. And it comes bit by bit as different features are finished, so you don’t have to wait for a full upgrade. Symbian^4, and ^5, and ^6 (etc) are all coming and the roadmap is the same, it’s just not going to be seperated into major builds but rather a constantly evolving platform.

  13. John Wiegand-forson
    October 21, 2010 at 10:17 pm

    This is possibly the best new Nokia has delivered all year 😀

  14. Stylinred
    October 22, 2010 at 5:43 am

    you know we were hoping this would be true and we thought it may actually be so with QT

    but its just so good to actually hear it from Nokia that it is possible and that it will be so

    my desire for the N8 had been dwindling since so much time has passed and some concerns were growing as well but with this confirmation it has wiped all that away and i can’t wait for my blue n8 again 😉

  15. Georg
    October 22, 2010 at 7:19 am

    Don :
    Not at all. Ignoring that you troll many forums with the same bull, Nokia is now doing exactly those things that make sense, as if they asked a technical person instead of a manager what they should be doing.
    If you’d follow the Qt development at all (it’s open!) you’d know this is not empty talk. It’s one of the most exciting press releases to come out of Nokia, in the all-time top 5 for sure.

    Listen idiot, I posted it in 2 (TWO) forums, so what is “many” for you?
    And just because I’m not an unconditional fanboy I’m not yet a troll. I’m just not buying everything Nokia tells me.
    They also said S3 would get a new look in 2010 and that the next Meego device would come this year.

  16. Georg
    October 22, 2010 at 7:26 am

    Nik Rolls :
    Where did they say ‘No S^4′? They said S^4 is coming, but it’s not called S^4 any more, it’s just called Symbian. And it comes bit by bit as different features are finished, so you don’t have to wait for a full upgrade. Symbian^4, and ^5, and ^6 (etc) are all coming and the roadmap is the same, it’s just not going to be seperated into major builds but rather a constantly evolving platform.

    Ok but S4 was supposed to be kind of a fresh start, S3 is actually S605th but S4 was said to be new.
    Now I am to believe that this can be done by using just updates for S3?
    I get it that Qt is cool and the idea to ust it cross-platform is great, but I can’t believe that all they wanted to do with S4 can be done by updating S3.

    • alex68
      October 22, 2010 at 7:43 am

      You still don’t get it. Symbian 3 just has S60V5 skin and the kernel is a bit different. Otherwise, there would not be incompatibility issue with old S60V5 applications. Now Symbian 4 was supposed to do more aggressive interface changes using QT. Actually Symbian 4 was built on Symbian 3. But Nokia is not going to release it like all-in approach, but evolve it to customer. If you have any software development experience, it should not be so difficult to understand it.

      Of course, I am not native english speaking people. My english may not be accurate that may not make it to the point directly.

      • alex68
        October 22, 2010 at 7:59 am

        Or in other words, it will be OS updates, in stead of FM updates.

    • Don
      October 22, 2010 at 8:29 am

      S^4 as it was planned was too far ahead. People do not want to wait that long, and are not that attached to the Avkon UI style anyway, though being able to run S60 apps is a big plus at this point, of course.

      So instead they will continue development on Symbian, the version now known as S^3, in a rolling fashion. Slowly apps will be replaced by fancier versions, based on Qt. These do not have to come from scratch, they’d already be in development for S^4 and Meego. At some point the “homescreen” application will switch to a Qt based one, which is able to launch also Avkon apps and set them up with an Avkon environment. Maybe it will also have panning-scroll and variable size widgets 🙂 In the end everything is running on Qt, and the Avkon stuff is there for backwards compatibility, until it will finally be dropped; however, it can be frozen and kept around for a long time, so it’s not that big of a deal.

      The Symbian kernel and base system can progress normally, without requiring a completely new OS release. You realize that there is no reason whatsoever the new Gnome must be released in lockstep with the new Ubuntu, or why Internet Explorer or Notepad (used to) update together with the OS, or why the Symbian UI would have to follow a new phone release. Symbian updates improve performance, fix bugs, add hardware support, etc. The Qt layer can take advantage of these changes and add new API’s, but it doesn’t hurt you as a user or a developer.

      On a side note, I have no idea what iOS 4 brings for example that makes it so slow on older iphones. The current S^3 hardware, especially because of the GPU, should be a fine baseline platform for many years of updates. Sure some apps may be released with are too hungry for what is now out, but the base system should run fine.

      As for S4 being a fresh start – what was meant was the UI. But that just means S3 without Avkon and with symbian core improvements. They can do that also now without throwing out Avkon, it is just a matter of using it or not. Qt can run without avkon, of course, so once everything is available through Qt (no idea what the progress is there) avkon can be started to support S60 apps, but would otherwise not be running at all.

      Just guessing, obviously 🙂 In November the S3 devices should get a new firmware with Qt 4.7.1, or perhaps they wait for .2. I hope the new browser shows up soon after 🙂

      • alex68
        October 22, 2010 at 8:44 am

        This is exactly the thing I understand the whole issue of UI support for Symbian 3.

      • alex68
        October 22, 2010 at 8:51 am

        I think S60 dies. Now the new CEO has made it clear. They should not make any new S60 phones anymore and concentrate on the future.

        Nokia’s all-in approach is a big problem for the slow transformation and transition, in terms of platform and end product phones. Do you know how they developed the Symbian 3 while making phones using Symbain 3. Too many Symbian 3 phones were under work the same time.

        They could have just concentrate to make N8 first and launch it to market quickly , and then later new ones…

        • Nokia fan
          October 23, 2010 at 2:41 pm

          Though it sounds good that they would drop S60, they can’t do it yet, since low-end smartphones can’t (probably) run Symbian^3. And I’m quite sure that Symbian^3 can’t be used on non-touch phones.

  17. Lek Tor
    October 22, 2010 at 11:02 am

    Question is, what will be the major differentiation between S^3/4 and MeeGo? Are they supposed to be carbon copies in terms of UI??

    • alex68
      October 22, 2010 at 12:32 pm

      I heard rumor that Symbian and Meego will have unified UI. This might be in the roadmap, but not in the near future, say within 1 year timeframe at least.

      What I know the plan is the work for Symbian 4 will be ported to/merged with Symbian 3 to support a full QT UI. This will be ready in the first half of 2011. Now all the app will be switched to QT and new phones for QT hardware acceleration will be in the second half of 2011. I also heard the rumour of 3D phone in 2011.

      Nokia will cut phone models as well. I think it just needs to make a few phone models each year. Currently model line is just a big mess that makes the development more difficult to deliver and doesn’t produce good profits at its potential.

      • Lek Tor
        October 23, 2010 at 6:32 am

        Thanks for answering! Since you seem to know lots over here, can you tell us what will be the difference between Symbian and MeeGo (if you know anyway). i.e. why does Nokia want to have two OSs for high end smartphones and the rest? My belief is that Symbian as is, is a pretty powerful OS with obvious power consumption benefits, and now with Qt, we will be able to cross compile linux software for use on Nokia hardware. In short, why also have MeeGo?

        • ahsan
          October 24, 2010 at 9:55 am

          because the world wants a “mobile computer” on it’s hands something like the n900 just without the bugs/thickness etc [ though even with the bugs n900 rocks my socks 😉 ]

  18. alex68
    October 22, 2010 at 8:10 pm

    I was told Symbian 3 will have weekly updates until it stabilizes. n8 users remember to download updates regularly to get the latest fixes and new features.

  19. alex68
  20. Cameron Yarde Jnr
    October 23, 2010 at 11:42 am

    This is very exciting news about the N8.

    I was thinking that it was madness for Nokia to announce these new phones and then tell people, “buy these but we have a better OS just around the corner.” Very stupid.

    This makes more sense and just calling it Symbian rather than the confusing Symbian^3/Symbian^4 is a good move too.

  21. John
    October 23, 2010 at 11:09 pm

    I don’t see these 2 links posted here but as with some of the posts above, symbian^4 UI had another sharp left turn and Meego probably is doing the same

    http://www.gorkem-ercan.com/2010/10/my-boss-asked-me-to-use-orbit-ui-and-i.html

    http://mobilephonedevelopment.com/archives/1138

  22. Geof
    November 2, 2010 at 7:01 pm

    Great News. Nokia hurry up with E7!!!!

  1. October 21, 2010 at 4:42 pm
  2. October 22, 2010 at 6:58 am

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