Home > Nokia, Symbian, Video > Videos: Qt-based homescreen on Symbian

Videos: Qt-based homescreen on Symbian

Now we’ve seen 5800 “hacks” where Symbian has been modified to have different UI, e.g. HTC Sense, Windows XP, Maemo 5 etc (using GDesk). Here are some Qt based UI modifications that Jim has come across. You may have seen them before (they are dated Feb/March of this year) but they’re still pretty cool.

There are three videos. A couple show a similar S.E. Android Rachel UI and the third is a touch-wiz esque.


Oh, little bird says that PR 1.1 for Symbian^3 (coming soon, early December at least by year’s end) is gonna make it surprisingly quick. But that’s just the twitterverse – don’t put too much weight on that.

Categories: Nokia, Symbian, Video Tags: , , , , ,
  1. Rant
    November 25, 2010 at 1:06 pm

    Right, and why haven’t we seen this sheer awesomeness on any Symbian device yet? Not even a small snippet of it?

    • Don
      November 25, 2010 at 1:44 pm

      Good question. Probably because some higher up simply said so.

      What it is more intended to demonstrate is the difference between the S60 UI and Symbian as an OS, that Symbian itself can run a nice touch UI just fine, if only they’d actually decide use one, i.e. to shut up the “die Symbian die” crowd.

      Here’s to hoping that PR3 will bring some of that goodness.

    • Jim
      November 25, 2010 at 1:56 pm

      because just today I found them on youtube 😛

  2. Dave
    November 25, 2010 at 1:54 pm

    PR1 is already fairly fast, any improvements will obviously be welcome.

    These technology demonstrations are always interesting, and at points some elements filter down to consumer products. Well, sometimes …..

  3. wes
    November 25, 2010 at 1:54 pm

    Hope Nokia is finalizing an awesome UI and release it with Meego/Harmattan at the MWC. Shouldn’t be to hard looking at the videos above and the “under water UI” that one guy could do in a month. Then I guess they will roll that UI out to Symbian as well to have an overall Nokia experiance.

    This should change the way people think about Nokia and Symbian and I think they just want to get it right from the release day – at least I hope so. Would love to see Nokia kicking Apples and Googles ass 🙂

    • Rant
      November 25, 2010 at 2:28 pm

      Plausible theory, first launch a batch of new S3 devices. Test the core OS out ont hose devices. In the mean time create a better UX/UI and launch that with soem new phones on the first big event of ’11.

      But on the other hand; 2007: iPhone comes out, revolution in the look at mobiles however not a major threat. 2008: G1 comes out with Android still not a major threat but possible threat must be seen by good analysts. 2009: Retalliation in touch phone sector with S60v5; more of a fizz than a bang.
      In the mean time Nokia wasted 2 to 3 years before coming out with something acceptable. Isn’t that a little weird for a company that helped shape the mobile world and innovated in that same world.
      Building an OS takes time, look at MS, took them the better part of 2 years to build an OS. But they built it from scratch.
      How come Nokia hasn’t innovated that much in 2-3 years time?

      For me Nokia doesn’t need to kick anyone’s ass. They just need to kick their own ass and realize they are lagging, and lagging bad. But we will see, here’s hoping for the best anyway.

      • Dave
        November 25, 2010 at 3:09 pm

        WP7 hasn’t been built from scratch though; its still a CE core with a different UI stuck on top … and that UI, at least in the basic look is just a copy of what they’d tried with the Zune (and generally failed with if sales are any indicator).

        But as they’ve dropped all backwards compatibility with previous versions of CE, they’ve taken a huge risk.

        • Rant
          November 25, 2010 at 3:24 pm

          Didn’t know that, had heard about it but sounds right.
          Guess WP7 is more an answer to iOS than it is to Android. Potentially a good move.

          One thing though I have to add (totally different) I don’t get why Android is perceived as a good OS even by dev’s. It basically isn’t an OS IIRC. It’s just a VM (Dalvik etc.) and some JAVA stuck together.
          Does it even have a decent future in the way it’s made now? I meand it’s bound to run into limitations sooner or later when it is compared to a full fledged OS.

      • kannuchi
        November 25, 2010 at 3:21 pm

        Everyone was really wondering wwhy Nokia was so slow. Should we be asking the top management of Nokia and Symbian first? Their roadmap seems to take a lot of years to reach what iOS and Android are achieving. Maybe that’s the reason they were kicked out of the company because of their foolishness… or maybe their sabotaging style???

  4. wes
    November 25, 2010 at 3:38 pm

    Well they were late in the touch game and they obviously missed that first train. They could have gone the easy way like Microsoft did an build a high end system that is incompatible on top of Maemo. Then they would have had two way roadmap with Symbian on the one hand for mid range and Maemo for the high end. That’s not acceptable for Nokia. 98% don’t care whether it is Maemo or Symbian, it is a Nokia Phone for them. So they had to find a common base for developing things once for Maemo/Meego and Symbian. They did that with buying Trolltec in June 2008. Now they have a Nokia solution (altough based on two operating systems) for mid range and high end. Something nobody else has. Android 2.1 (no update available in Austria till now) e.g. even laggs on my Galaxy S and we don’t have to talk about iOS or WP7 hardware requirement wise…
    Still they had to rewrite big parts of their own software for in Qt – that takes time.

    So they were stuck in a way more complicated situation than Google and Apple who could start from scratch. Microsoft takes a huge risk with WP7, something Nokia can not do in their core buisness. If WP7 will turn out to be a failure Microsoft is still fine, if Nokia looses the smartphone-income – good night to Finland. And now they are coming up with Symbian^3 which is way faster and backward compatible and designed to be able to run a Qt UI. So I think you’ll even be able to choose whether you’ll use the old UI or the new one. To be safe with old-school users that don’t want to change. They’ll be able to satisfy the mid-range customers with a very capable good looking Symbian^3 + nice UI and the high end with Meego/Harmattan. The just have to take care that the UI is really good and that the N9 will have some striking features. Then I guess they’ll succeed.

    So I think they needed the time to come up with something really good and maintainable. Or at least I hope so…

    • wes
      November 25, 2010 at 3:39 pm

      should have been the answer to the answers to my first post – stupid me 😉

    • Rant
      November 25, 2010 at 3:56 pm

      I understand that devloping software takes time, but when you see that ‘hackers’ can produce some very nice looking firmwares for Nokia phones and Nokia keeps coming with some minor updates or shitty implementations it makes you wonder.
      Don’t get me wrong, I want my phone to work not entertain me with wild and vivid animations but one can’t deny that a little bit of it does make the whole experience a lot better.
      With the risk of making this post one big rant; then you have the issue of VERY poor hardware choices with their supposed touchscreen comeback. I mean even the illustrous N95 had better hardware then the N97. CPU and ‘GPU’ in the N95 opposed to one smallish proc in the N97.
      What company makes those kind of decisions? It is just beyond me. That the 5800 had the single proc OK, but the flagship phone of the time?
      It has been written time and time again that it sucked but WHY, WHY did they even make that decision. That has been the turning point for them, they have the power to turn it around but if it doesn’t happen in the first half of 2011 it will indeed be goodnight Espoo and farewell.

      • wes
        November 25, 2010 at 4:23 pm

        I guess those minor updates came out so slowly because the old OS’s they have are very hard to maintain and it takes a huge amount of time to create new functionality. With Qt that should change.

        Hardware spec wise Nokia has been really bad with all their Symbian^1 phones – True. But when using the OmniaHD or SE’s Satio you saw that Symbian^1 couldn’t gain much performance with a high end platform it was running on. Therefor I think they chose good battery life in favor of high end hardware. Selling that slow hardware a this high prices (N97, N97mini NOT 5800XM which was adequate) is at least questionable and they have got very bad reactions on that. Hope they got it now.

        For Symbian^3 it seems the hardware has more than enough power to run the OS smoothly. And that’s the main point if you except tech enthousiasts. Run the phone smoothly with good battery life. Again 98% don’t care about the specs if everything is smooth.

        They messed it up with Symbian^1 generally, but they simply didn’t have anything better and this way they could earn some money (and displease most customers btw.). Now they do way better with Symbian^3 still with rel. cheap hardware (CPU at least). And they’ll need high end hardware for Meego anyway…

      • gordonH
        November 25, 2010 at 5:59 pm

        Lots of internal politics and stupid executives made the n97 a symbolic Nokia failure due to bad hardware.
        The weird part was everyone (kids, media, users,competition) knew the CPU and ram was too low for a flagship device.
        Nokia seems to be making up for lost time and bad image.
        Nokia needs to keep improving its desktop client and mobile software solutions. More symbian hardware in different form solutions needs to enter the market. A symbian tablet or an ipod type of device would certainly increase symbians popularity.

        • Rant
          November 25, 2010 at 6:13 pm

          Where is a forum when you need one 😛
          Just love this whole discussion about what should be done.

          I agree they need to make more than just a phone. Music player seems to be a good idea. But they need to bring something new within that package. Samsung is adopting a same sort of technique. Galaxy S = iPhone and now they launched a PMP: Galaxy player 50 or something.

          Another thing that was interesting was that Steve Wozniak said; Nokia is a brand of the past.
          He has some thruth there, Nokia is always remembered for their iconic devices of the nineties.

          So maybe a new name for high-end mobiles or a new type of look for the brand name will do something.

          As for a Symbian tablet, perhaps that could be nice. But I see MeeGo far more suited for that. They have it and is already made for such devices.

  5. Doug
    November 25, 2010 at 8:46 pm

    The only thing good that I saw there was 3 static shortcuts on the bottom of the homescreen in the first video. That SE like photo gallery is nothing more than eye candy.

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