Symbian Features Wishlist

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This will be a new page that will be updated on (about) a WEEKLY basis to collate any features or bugs/problems you and I wish Symbian to have. Some features maybe:

  • already in the works for next firmware (or next version of that app),
  • some maybe coming in future firmware (longer wait due to being more complex)
  • some may be features that we’ve had before that are now missing
  • some well might not have been considered before.

But who will view this? Well, we’ll try and get this towards the right Nokia folk. Currently right now Alex68 has asked for easily fixed bugs In this post we’ll try to organize these comments (and our own suggestions) to make them easier to navigate and for you guys to share your opinions whether you think they’re good ideas or whether you feel you can improve on them.

NOTE: These are just SUGGESTIONS and SHOULD NOT ALL just be implemented at the drop of a hat without quite some consideration. We don’t want a mish mash of random ideas. Everything needs to be a coherent part of the entire system. The ultimate goal should be whilst adding features, making it simple and easy to use (and not buggering up anything else with complexity or bugs  by its addition). Note that certain things are heavily personal-preference based and some folk may be happy with how things are currently.

Symbian is already going through many internal changes. Especially now that Nokia is bringing it back in house for development and transformation into Full Qt based UI. Whilst that’s all happening, we can discuss the sort of features we’d look forward to. Perhaps they can be implemented into S^3 – perhaps they might appear in future revision of the OS.

For Feature Wishlist

Just describe as best as possible what feature you want. What situation would that new feature be useful in?

It may be as short as a few words or a few lines if it’s more complicated. Drop pictures/screenshots to clarify if you want.

For Bugs/Problems.

Submit your Phone’s Model Number (e.g. N8) and current firmware (press *#0000#) and state where purchased (region and network dependencies may affect).

This will be collated under “Bugs” for that phone and if that ever gets fixed we’ll move it over and strikethrough it

I might need to move this to a separate page since Features Wishlist may get too big.


Features Wishlist:




1. HOMESCREEN ACCESSIBLE TIMED PROFILE: Did you know that you can set your profile to a new one for a set time period and after that it will expire and return to the previous? Maybe not as this feature is buried in menus. When would this be useful e.g. Going to a meeting, phone one silent for an hour. After that hour, automatically back to “general” or whatever so you won’t miss calls. Maybe you aren’t so forgetful but I am.

SOLUTION: Make the timed profile option accessible from profile. Perhaps via long press or a clock icon at side of profile name.

2. LANDSCAPE TO PORTRAIT ANIMATION TRANSITION: In menu/ homescreen and generally everywhere, I’d like to SEE the phone changing to landscape or portrait. I DON’T want it to black out and look like it’s crashed. Even if it switches SUPER fast (which it doesn’t) there’s something very pleasing to see something appear to behave intuitively for you as to reorientate itself.

Note – MeeGo 1.1 already has these nice transitions. Now come on Symbian 🙂

3. LANDSCAPE MODE ON BOTH SIDES: Some folk have suggested this feature. Not sure to what extend they want this. Perhaps Photo mode 360degree rotation, browser 270 degree, same with menu. Certain apps of course will be restrained by the creators but Nokia ones like Ovi Maps should be fine.

4. CHANGING AM/PM BY TAPPING IT: Something I didn’t find immediately obvious was changing from AM/PM – this is when you’ve set yourself a 12 hour clock and need to set alarms (or during initial phone set up). Currently you have to press something on the keypad instead of just pressing or sliding up/down (like a number wheel).

5. CLOSE OTHER APPS: When I’m using a certain app (e.g. a game), I may realise I don’t not need all the others (or have to close if it’s quite a heavy intensive game) and just want to quickly shut them down. Currently we can “close all” but that means even the app you’re currently using.

6. FASTER REACTION OF LONG PRESS MENU BUTTON FOR MULTITASKING: It feels (for me) like it takes way to long to multitask. Multitasking isn’t just about doing a lot of tasks simultaneously but also being able to switch quickly from one main task to another. This is what made Maemo 5 multitasking so good as not only did it multitask a hell of a load FOR REAL I could switch so quickly from one window to another. btw, in the time it takes me to bring up multitask, I have already switched windows on maemo.

SOLUTION: If we’re sticking with long press maybe around 0.5 seconds MAX.


8. MULTITOUCH KEYBOARD: In order to type fast on T9 QWERTY, Portrait QWERTY or landscape QWERTY with TWO hands you NEED multitouch. When one finger is on one key, no other keys are registered. KEYBOARD MAY NEED OWN CATEGORY as the importance of good input should not be overlooked. This was one of the first things I wrote about N8 wise (though still in my drafts after I installed SWYPE).

9. PORTRAIT QWERTY: In the works. Some folks just want the option. I’m one of those. Hopefully it won’t be as cramped as the keyboard we saw in leaks.

10. HOMESCREEN SHORTCUT WIDGET ICONS BACKGROUND: In the homescreen, pretty much everything except shortcut widgets have a shaded background over the wallpaper. It looks odd when there are these set rectangles of widgets against these random icon shapes.(It works for Maemo 5 because the widgets are not aligned – though their icons do have that little shaded backgroud portion)

11. BIRTHDAY IMPORT FROM CONTACTS: Birthday entries in contacts should be visible in calendar.

12. IMPROVE SEARCH: Needs to be faster with active search as you type for the widget.

13. DRAG WIDGETS FROM ONE HOMESCREEN TO ANOTHER: This is something quite basic. If I want to move a widget from one homescreen to the next, I should just be able to drag it. I don’t want to have to delete it and add it to the next homescreen.

14. CONNECTIVITY WIDGETS: Widget to turn on/off wifi, bluetooth, 2G/3G. ESSENTIAL!

15. ORIENTATION LOCK BUTTON/WIDGET: When in bed you sometimes want the screen to remain in one orientation but it will keep swapping. This lock will keep the phone in this orientation until you release the lock. This can be made in the form of a widget so all you have to do is access the homescreen.

Alternatively it has also been suggested to turn power button into lock button, screen lock switch button in orientation lock, and menu button to unlock it. It’s not that crazy to change the old Nokia profile classic with the power button. The iPad – lock button, can be unlocked with the menu button and screen press as well as a screen lock button.

GET RID OF OPTIONS/EXIT BAR AT BOTTOM: Minimise screen wasting. Look at S^3 menu and look how the top and bottom spaces are wasted. All this information could fit at the top. to have more icon space. Similarly the bar could be minimised at the top. I’m aware such changes are MAJOR and may happen in that bigger UI revision but I thought I’d get it out.


1. APP SEARCH WITHIN MENU: Know the app name but can’t find it? App search. Perhaps you’re at the top of the page, if you drag up, a search bar appears

2. APP ON PAGES INSTEAD OF SCROLLING: Many folks like scrolling list of apps. Could we have the option for apps to be split into pages? Check out Grid Touch btw if you want to try page scrolling for apps.

3. BACKGROUND WALLPAPER IN MENU: This is currently theme dependent. In Maemo 5, your homescreen background gets to be your menu background (though blurred/darkened slightly not to affect readability of icons/icon names). What’s great about Maemo 5 solution is that when you switch to a different homescreen, the app menu background changes accordingly.

4. SELECT MULTIPLE ICONS WHEN REARRANGING MENU: Sometimes when rearranging icons, you want to MOVE several apps to a particular folder. Why do we have to do this ONE by one, painstakingly going through options OVER and OVER.

5. FOLDER ICONS: The icons are all the same for folders bar “Applications”, “Office”, “Tools” i.e. main Nokia folders. But what about user folders. How do we distinguish one from the other apart from names? Perhaps give us a choice of icons to choose from, e.g. general shapes like a Star or folder with a star – I don’t know.

6. 4X5 GRID: I used to want this 4X5 grid of icons but not so sure anymore. This of course is not something you can do for S^3 easily. You can however try and install Grid Touch. Check out that post


1. REWORKING OF THE CAMERA MENU: Camera menu is a little fiddly for touch. As seen in this post (<<click). Make use of all that screen space to make the camera much easier to use. No fiddling through camera menus please.

SOLUTION: As seen in this post as it’s too big to post here.

2. SEND ICON AFTER TAKING A PHOTO: After taking a photo, currently all you can do is edit, view in gallery or delete. If you have an updated version of the social networking app, you have the option to immediately send to twitter/facebook (without title – see social app rant). Why not have a “send” icon like on previous Symbian phones? After taking a photo I might like to email, upload to a social network, mms or bluetooth it. Why the step back?

3. SEQUENCE MODE: In the works by 3rd Party (Iain Wallace). Sequence mode for time lapse or stop motion. Check out this post on sequence mode.

4. 30 FPS 720p VIDEO: We’ve seen that this is possible in a hack, as well as continuous autofocus. Will we see it in official firmware? Damien Dinning has hinted that they’re working on it.

5. PINCH ZOOM FOCUS: Want to check if the image is really in focus? Perhaps some sort of feature to zoom in on the view finder without having to zoom in on the final image. Not sure how this would work as not to mix up with the pinch zoom for switching video/photo resolution.

6. HDR MODE: In the works. High Dynamic Range of exposures allowing illumination levels of the lowest to the highest giving that dynamic range of light levels in one photo.  You can do this manually by taking a minimum of three photos at 3 different exposures (normal, -1/+1) and using photo editor to combine them.


1. PINCH AND ZOOM IN MAPS: Note this is already in the works folks and available on beta version of 3.06

2. REMEMBER SEARCHED ITEMS: It’s annoying when I type a search and by general navigation it disappears. Sometimes I just want to view that thing I typed and NOT have to retype it. What about when searching, display recently searched locations?


1. LARGER ZOOM WHEN PINCH AND ZOOMING: In browser I’m pinch/zooming way too many times when one pinch should do. This may be in the works with the new browser.

2. BOOKMARK ICONS: If you have several bookmark short cuts on the home page it is IMPOSSIBLE to tell what is what as they all take the appearance of a web browser icon. SOLUTION: Perhaps download the icon of that webpage, e.g. the F icon of facebook. Maemo 5 has an elegant solution of having a screenshot and title but that may not be possible with space limitations of the lower res Symbian.


1. PERSISTENT TABS (AT THE BOTTOM or TOP?): Instead of “OPTIONS AND BACK” we could have persistent tabs at the bottom. This is to switch quickly between artists/albums/songs/playlist. It’s improved from before now all we have to do is press “Options”. But it could be that extra bit quicker. If there are more icons, we could simply scroll this “ribbon”. The main player stuff can remain as is in the middle, i.e. the semi list/album art

2. ALWAYS VISIBLE NOW PLAYING BAR: Quickly pause, skip/previous and a button to bring you to main now playing view

3. SWITCH GESTURES: I don’t know how this would work but perhaps swiping left/right can switch between mentioned tabs.

Please see THIS POST on how the INSTINCTIV player for Maemo 5 works (but persistent tabs instead of breadcrumbs). The leaked MeeGo UI looks quite similar.

4. CUSTOM EQUALISER: Seen in older symbian models but has disappeared in S^3.



1. BBM LIKE MESSAGING: Nokia Messenger should have for IM, SMS or MMS like BlackBerry Messenger(BBM). BBM allow you to see the status of your message if the person has read or not in real-time by notifying a check symbol and time.


  1. APP UPDATES INFO: Like Maemo 5, give us the option to update all our apps straight from one place – the Ovi Store App.



just a link for me in case there are comments that slip through the notification post

  1. ahMd
    December 12, 2010 at 4:13 pm

    Please enable “Move to Folder” option, its really irritating if I need to move a file/folder.. have to copy it and then again have to delete from the source…

    • December 12, 2010 at 4:38 pm

      This is a bug in S^3. The move option is not visible in the Options menu. When you select multiple files, then only if you tap on the selected files, the context sensitive menu opens, that menu has the move option. But it is missing from the long tap context menu for a single file as well… may be a result of hurried integration … 😛

  2. Rock
    December 12, 2010 at 5:04 pm

    adding another 2 here:
    1. For favorite contact widget, a pop-up menu showing “Call”, “Message” and “Detail” appears as you click on the shortcut. Going into the full contact info to make a call is a waste of time.

    2. QWERTY keyboard: the letter being typed should stay on screen for about one second so that you know what letter u typed without looking the sentence. That way, your eyes can concentrate on the keyboard. I have this experience from the built-in keyboard of Opera Mobile.

  3. G65
    December 23, 2010 at 10:10 am

    Perhaps it’s mentioned here already. But one thing that has occurred to me when using my girlfriends N8 compared to Maemo, iOS and Android (and ordinary computers) is that it is often lacking loading bars or a loading circle when you start processes. This is perhaps in my opinion the most frustrating thing with her phone. You click something and NOTHING happens, or it just turns black! You either patiently wait if you are used to this peculiar behaviour. Or you start clicking again and again as you get no response to your interaction, which most people probably do. All other devices show you a loading animation of some sort. The interaction will feel much more responsive just by adding this feature globally throughout the OS. When you actually see that something is loading your acceptance of waiting is prolonged with several seconds and the OS will feel snappier without even optimizing anything!

    Puh! that was long. In short:
    Add loading animations so you know it’s LOADING and not a bug.

  4. G65
    December 23, 2010 at 10:36 am

    And another thing:
    There are som many places for different preferences. Perhaps you can move these yourself but you really shouldn’t have to. The control panel for ALL system preferences and profiles should be in one place. It is also so confusing with the names. The names of updating stuff are in two different places and with two different names! In maemo you update programs and update firmware in the same place, the application manager. And there is one place called ”Preferences” which holds all preferences for your system, like ”System preferences” in MacOSX and ”Control panel” in Windows.

    So Nokia: move EVERYTHING handling the OS to ONE place including a Program manager.

  5. Andre Nuansa
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