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Nokia Offers Glimpse of Symbian Facelift

ScuttleMonkey posted more than 4 years ago | from the don't-give-up-the-ghost dept.

Cellphones 114

Barence writes to mention that Nokia is giving users a first glimpse at what promises to be a completely overhauled Symbian user experience this coming year. Nokia's chief exec blamed the user interface — as opposed to the OS itself — as the root problem. "The company will roll out a completely re-engineered user interface in 2010, aimed at addressing many of the criticisms associated with the OS. 'We will reduce the clutter and improve the input methods including multi-touch and single tap,' Kallasvuo told delegates. 'It should be just two taps to get to your favorite music or videos, rather than eight. We'll improve browser experience so that it's a quicker, flash improved, media experience with pinch-to-zoom and so on.' And, Kallasvuo wasn't stopping there. Aside from completely redesigning the interface, he also suggested that future Symbian OSes would be much faster."

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114 comments

Neat (1)

masshuu (1260516) | more than 4 years ago | (#30330640)

Looks better than my first Nokia, which has a 200x80 or so black and whatever it is screen that just had the number and whatever else.

Re:Neat (1)

ozmanjusri (601766) | more than 4 years ago | (#30332200)

Looks better than my first Nokia

I thought the mockups looked bland, uninspiring and derivative.

That might be fine if you want to take on Microsoft on the desktop, but it's unlikely to fly in the phone world where there's plenty of real competition.

My Question Is (1)

homey of my owney (975234) | more than 4 years ago | (#30330648)

Why didn't they do this years ago?

Re:My Question Is (4, Interesting)

Lord Pillage (815466) | more than 4 years ago | (#30330672)

Because they only bought TrollTech a year ago, and thus have only recently had an strong interest in their own superly awesome GUI toolkit, Qt. Note that the newest version of Qt release this week offers prominently support for Symbian.

Apple... (3, Insightful)

mrops (927562) | more than 4 years ago | (#30330980)

...That is the real answer. For the longest time, Nokia had phones that everyone bought. They were expensive, but so were Mercedes and BMW.

Then came the iPhone. Like it or not, it changed the whole mobile market. Nokia was complacent and was caught off guard.

I recall Nokia was so full of themselves that they dismissed Android claiming writing a phone OS is no joke.

Having said all that, I have been for the last 10 years and still am a Nokia fanboy.

I love Nokia philosophy of phone first, everything else later. I hope that stays.

Re:Apple... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30331716)

last I checked, writing a phone OS isn't a joke.

Re:Apple... (2, Insightful)

ozmanjusri (601766) | more than 4 years ago | (#30332532)

last I checked, writing a phone OS isn't a joke.

Oh yeah?

How do you explain this [windowsphone.com] then?

Re:Apple... (2, Insightful)

sznupi (719324) | more than 4 years ago | (#30331976)

I think you're looking at this solely from the point of view of western, possibly US, market...

Nokia had always vast spectrum of phones, from very cheap to expensive. Heck, their cheapest phone now costs 20 Euro, without contract (the stated goal of Nokia, supposedly not tongue-in-cheek, is to have 5 Euro phone in a few years). Also, they launched Maemo before iPhone announcement. And reality is that Android has yet to prove itself...

Re:Apple... (2, Insightful)

jandrese (485) | more than 4 years ago | (#30332292)

Nokia has always had a vast spectrum of phones with crappy UIs. That's what the parent was talking about. Now that Apple and Google are starting to make a noticable dent in their marketshare they've been forced to actually try to build a UI that doesn't stab you in the face every time you try to look up someone's name by their phone number or attempt to change the order of the icons on the screen.

Re:Apple... (3, Insightful)

sznupi (719324) | more than 4 years ago | (#30332452)

Define "crappy". Majority of their phones are used only for phonecalls and text messages. Sometimes quick photo. Given that people across the spectrum manage to do it just fine (and I can't imagine non-trivial portion of them using anything with a touchscreen, for example), I'd suspect S30 and S40 are better than you give them credit.

Plus...please, how exactly a low-end (TRUE low-end, not what American would call like that but what is in reality high middle segment) phone can be much different at this point? Noticeable dent? Are you kidding? Nokia is the only hugely profitable phone manufacturer (other either are out of the market, struggling for a long time, or phones aren't their primary product; with the possible exception of RIM, though they basically sell a corporate service, not phones). Nokia marketshare: ~40% of global market, over 50% of smartphones. You just don't see it because your carriers were blocking Nokia from entering for a long time, for Nokia refusal to castrate their devices.

Now that Symbian will improve when devices with it are becoming really affordable, nearing $100 mark without contract, you should probably get used to the thought of bright future for Nokia.

PS. "look up someone's name by their phone number"? You mean when you have a number, but don't know to who it belongs to? That's trivial even on the cheapest, 20 Euro Nokia phone... (also, realize that most of the market doesn't care and doesn't want to change the order of icons; plus it speeds up navigation, lets you use numpad to spatially associated to icons on a grid)

Re:Apple... (2, Interesting)

mvdwege (243851) | more than 4 years ago | (#30333574)

Yeah, the Apple fanbois are out in force today. Nokia's interface design has warts, to be sure, but the general S60 interface is derived from the old non-smartphone interface that has been carried on phones ever since GSM became popular (one navigation key, one select key, one cancel key). Compared to Siemens or Sony-Ericsson, the Nokia interface isn't non-intuitive at all, and since the majority of European phone users are used to these interfaces, S60 isn't a big change.

So the Apple fanbois like your parent are obviously talking about things they know nothing of. What else is new.

Mart

Re:Apple... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30334340)

What is a crappy UI?

Is it something flashy and snazzy which entertains you with a "wow!"-factor for few months?

After that it becomes annoying to see everything wobble and fade and bounce and change shape, when you're just trying to do some normal things.

The UI shouldn't get in your way. Ever. Never, ever, ever.

Re:Apple... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30333716)

They make good "phones". That is text messaging and calling, but not PDA's. Hell, I don't even thing the N900 even supports multi touch.

The problem with Nokia, atleast here in the states, is that they are slowly outsourcing their "idea" people. New designs and development are being put everywhere now. Hell, the buildings here in Irving went from 4 full buildings full of employees to just one building with enough people to only fill 4 (of 7) floors. I get a kick off seeing their EMF room, but they hardly use it because everything is developed out of states.

So they have QT, woo. Qt is just a development API for displays. They could of done it themselves, or opened the os to let other people make skins. It took the iPhone, as you said, to get them to get serious. But even now they still think the Palm Pre or the Android are just toys. Android could take both the Palm and the iPhone out in a few years.

Re:Apple... (1)

nikanj (799034) | more than 4 years ago | (#30337468)

The problem with Nokia, atleast here in the states, is that they are slowly outsourcing their "idea" people. New designs and development are being put everywhere now. Hell, the buildings here in Irving went from 4 full buildings full of employees to just one building with enough people to only fill 4 (of 7) floors. I get a kick off seeing their EMF room, but they hardly use it because everything is developed out of states.

That might, just might, be because of Nokia is not from the states. You did know that, didn't you? The buildings here in Helsinki are still full :)

Re:My Question Is (1)

IceFox (18179) | more than 4 years ago | (#30330682)

Perhaps the new UI is built on Qt and the new kinetics framework?

Re:My Question Is (1)

Jurily (900488) | more than 4 years ago | (#30330728)

It doesn't matter what it's built on. It sucks right now, and obviously they know it. The only question is: when did they find out?

Re:My Question Is (1)

forkazoo (138186) | more than 4 years ago | (#30331374)

Sometime before they bought Trolltech specifically for the purpose of having a bunch of UI experts in-house to improve their cell phone UI's. These things don't happen overnight.

Re:My Question Is (1)

davester666 (731373) | more than 4 years ago | (#30332290)

It appears a lot of cell phone manufacturers found out their UI's sucked on January 9, 2007...

Re:My Question Is (1)

jo42 (227475) | more than 4 years ago | (#30330886)

...and my question is, where are the "graspingatstraws", "lipstickonapig" or "toolate" tags?

Re:My Question Is (1)

larry bagina (561269) | more than 4 years ago | (#30330934)

what did the tool eat?

Re:My Question Is (2, Insightful)

ZackSchil (560462) | more than 4 years ago | (#30330962)

Because they didn't have an example interface from Apple to crib off of at that point.

No, really.

Re:My Question Is (2, Insightful)

fbjon (692006) | more than 4 years ago | (#30331008)

Progress is the end result of competition.

Re:My Question Is (1)

Reaperducer (871695) | more than 4 years ago | (#30331022)

You are so right. I hope the anti-Apple trolls don't mod you down. When Apple released the iPhone, it was a game changer, and now everyone is playing catch-up.

  Whether you like the iPhone or hate the iPhone, any objective thought on the matter leads to the conclusion that the iPhone was good for the whole mobile phone industry and its consumers.

Before, software and usability were afterthoughts at best. Now, it's job #2 or 3 at most mobile phone companies. That's a major improvement.

Not necessarily... (1)

sznupi (719324) | more than 4 years ago | (#30331942)

Nokia had Maemo before Apple had iPhone OS.

Re:Not necessarily... (1)

vakuona (788200) | more than 4 years ago | (#30332142)

And it was still rubbish! Seriously, the iPhone was that good when it came out, interface wise.

Re:Not necessarily... (1)

sznupi (719324) | more than 4 years ago | (#30332204)

Though Maemo/Hildom were improved since then, have shown there is some work being done at Nokia, and so on... Besides iPhone was even hardly a smarpthone until a year after its launch. ;p

Yeah, I know what you're saying. Yes, Apple pushed the market, and they should be applauded for that. But I think that the story will repeat itself and something else will prove dominant... (heck, Nokia is dominant, with ~40% of all cellphones and over 50% of smartphones; that might be why they find it hard/slow to significantly change their platforms...too many people are used to them)

Re:My Question Is (1)

the ReviveR (1106541) | more than 4 years ago | (#30333926)

Apple came to the phone market doing what they do best, interface & usability. Sure others have some catching up to do in this segment.

However Apple is standing on the shoulders of giants with iPhone. If you look at GSM standards for example, Nokia owns 67 of the 158 patents considered "essential" for GSM [engadget.com] . Apple owns 0. And that is just a tiny part of the tech that goes into a modern phone.

People give Apple way too much credit for the shiny package. When it comes to actual tech, Apple is simply using the inventions of other manufacturers and I highly doubt that will change.

Re:My Question Is (1)

sznupi (719324) | more than 4 years ago | (#30331920)

Why didn't they do this years ago?

Because they launched years ago.

In time when hardware was much slower, screens were much smaller, users were used to "classic" (S30, just launched S40) phone UIs (and because of screen & cpu you didn't have much choice anyway). When smartphone was a very niche product only because of its price, mostly an experiment with the underlying OS, initially. They they built on it for a long time.

Once something takes off it is a bit hard to introduce major UI paradigm changes, I imagine.

And BTW, Maemo is quite old at this point, so it's not like they didn't do anything.

Hmm... (2, Funny)

tool462 (677306) | more than 4 years ago | (#30330658)

I don't know if I care for the fonts. A little too tall and skinny. I'm an American. I like things to be a little more...squat.

I Like It!! (1)

SlowCanuck (1692198) | more than 4 years ago | (#30330674)

Looks nice and should be most usable!!

... The Symbian? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30330678)

... so will the new symbian be better for all adult film stars now?

Maybe the symbian I know is not the symbian being discussed here...

The way I've always understood it (2, Interesting)

Blappo (976408) | more than 4 years ago | (#30330696)

The major problem with Symbian is that it's difficult to develop compared to the operating systems it competes with, or so 'm told by a developer friend.

So, what's being done about that? If the answer isn't"something significant" then I find it difficult to believe that essentially copying features that other OS's already have will be sufficient.

Re:The way I've always understood it (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30330742)

Maybe they have bought Qt and they are now promoting it as the ultimate development platform for both Symbian and Maemo.

They also have new C/C++ development tools called Open C/C++. For everything not in Qt, you have to use the native Symbian calls until Qt Mobility is finished

I love the iPhone (2, Insightful)

adamwright (536224) | more than 4 years ago | (#30330706)

Not only because of what it does, but because of the competition it's created in an industry that hadn't really moved in a decade. Free markets do work, sometimes!

Re:I love the iPhone (1, Insightful)

Dan541 (1032000) | more than 4 years ago | (#30331376)

I love my nokia, it comes with all the basic features that the iphone lacks.

Re:I love the iPhone (2, Insightful)

vakuona (788200) | more than 4 years ago | (#30332152)

Like what feature?

Re:I love the iPhone (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30333968)

Tethering

Re:I love the iPhone (1)

cuby (832037) | more than 4 years ago | (#30334194)

I can't tell you that because I never used an iPhone long enough, but I'm sure if I treated an iPhone like my 5 year old Nokia it would be dead long ago.

Re:I love the iPhone (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30334276)

It's cheapness?

Re:I love the iPhone (1)

sznupi (719324) | more than 4 years ago | (#30332084)

Nokia shipped its billionth phone in 2005. It contributed greatly to the fact that, while a year ago 3 billion people had cellphones, it is 4.6 billion people now, more than half of the planet. And Nokia's most affordable phone isn't even very cheap, at 20 Euro without contract... (supposedly they wish to be able to launch 5 Euro one in a few years)

Nokia has really took to heart its corporate motto, "Connecting people". It has the potential to greatly benefit our world; make it a bit better place. It's perfectly safe to say, IMHO, that Nokia is doing far more for humanity than Apple. The latter is almost irrelevant on such scale, limited to concepts of pleasure and profit. Nokia is perhaps even doing more towards fulfillment of their corporate motto than any other entity that existed.

Re:I love the iPhone (2, Informative)

sien (35268) | more than 4 years ago | (#30333144)

The iphone is a fine device. But your statement wildly overstates impact and improvements of the iphone over other phones.

In 1997 a reasonable phone looked like the 1997 Nokia 3110 [wikipedia.org] . By 2007 Nokia had the N95 [wikipedia.org]

In the 10 years till 2007 mobile phones, before the iphone had the following improvements:

  • The 1999 and further Blackberries [wikipedia.org] that changed mobile devices massively, possibly more than the iphone by giving people good mobile communications. Barack Obama was not addicted to updating facebook on his iphone, it was Blackberry.
  • mp3 players
  • net browsers, albeit not as good as the iphone's
  • gigabyte flash storage
  • mulit-megapixel cameras.

But yeah, other than that, there hadn't been that much improvement....

Nokia... (4, Insightful)

faragon (789704) | more than 4 years ago | (#30330710)

... please, let Symbian die. The N900 is so much better than any Symbian aberration... [nokia.com]

Re:Nokia... (4, Insightful)

kwalker (1383) | more than 4 years ago | (#30330898)

Not every Nokia phone is going to have a 600MHz ARM and half a gig of RAM behind the screen. Not every phone user is going to shell out the prices higher-end components are going to require. Nokia has the market share they have because of the diversity of their products. They need to cover the high-end as well as the low-end. I could easily see Nokia moving from S40 on the low end and S60 on the high end to S40 for low-end and pre-paid phones (If they don't drop it altogether), S60 in the low-to-medium phones (I think their E63 is a step in that direction), and Maemo 5 on their high-end phones that compete with Androids and iPhones.

Re:Nokia... (1)

faragon (789704) | more than 4 years ago | (#30331040)

The N900 has actually 256MB of RAM (plus 768 of virtual memory using the flash storage). Previous Nokia models, as the N800 (without telephone, just a tablet PC) had just 128MB of RAM and 256MB of flash. That amount of ram costs below 10 USD. I see no problem for sub 70-150 USD full-fledged Maemo/Linux phones.

Re:Nokia... (1)

sznupi (719324) | more than 4 years ago | (#30332168)

RAM chips used in phones are quite a bit more expensive. Low power usage is of paramount importance.

And if it's an issue with stubbornness of Nokia, wanting to milk their customers...why hasn't any other player released even sub $200 smartphone? Symbian ones are nearing $100 mark.

Re:Nokia... (1)

cenc (1310167) | more than 4 years ago | (#30331380)

Not right now. By this time next year we will all be bitching when prepaid disposable calling card phones don't have the same balls as our notebooks. Well, perhaps a couple of years.

We are going to come out of this economic downturn with a but load of cheap computer components flooding the market from China trying to play catchup for the lack of demand these last couple of years.

   

Re:Nokia... (1)

unix1 (1667411) | more than 4 years ago | (#30331496)

What you are saying is what should be in full swing right now. The way it's going by the time all that is done, Android will be on phones that are selling for $19.99 with most manufacturers on board, and Nokia's share will dwindle to next to nothing. Their phones will look like bricks from last century. It's a chess game, Google and Apple will not stop. Nokia will be 3 moves behind a year from now if they continue this route.

Re:Nokia... (1)

stephanruby (542433) | more than 4 years ago | (#30332148)

Who cares about Android anyway? It still can't install/run applications to/from its own memory card, the most severe limitation. Its own google map support is a joke compared to Nokia's support or Apple's support (don't ask me why, I don't know). And Nokia still makes tons of money for every iPhone that Apple sells because of the licensed Nokia technology it has in it.

Re:Nokia... (2, Informative)

unix1 (1667411) | more than 4 years ago | (#30332490)

Who cares about Android anyway? It still can't install/run applications to/from its own memory card, the most severe limitation. Its own google map support is a joke compared to Nokia's support or Apple's support (don't ask me why, I don't know). And Nokia still makes tons of money for every iPhone that Apple sells because of the licensed Nokia technology it has in it.

Wrong on all counts:

1. You can most certainly install apps from the SD card on all Android phones. Future phones will have more local storage, so you won't need to rely on a memory card - and you could say the same about iPhone - hey, it doesn't even have a slot for a card - who cares about iPhone anyway?

2. Google maps support is excellent with Android 2.0, better than with any other phone currently.

3. So, does Nokia want to become a licensing business? Or keep dominating their market with their own innovative devices?

Re:Nokia... (1)

sznupi (719324) | more than 4 years ago | (#30332248)

Android will be on phones that are selling for $19.99

BS. Android will be on phones that sell for that much with contract. Nokia has phones selling for 20 Euro without any.

You don't realize how non-representative is cellphone market in the US. Nokia is hardly visible to you because US carriers didn't let it in, after Nokia refused to castrate its phones too much. But throughout the world they dominate. ~40% of whole cellphone market. Over 50% of world smartphone market. And people seem to emphasize basic functionality of cellphones more...

Re:Nokia... (1)

unix1 (1667411) | more than 4 years ago | (#30332470)

The cell phone market is changing worldwide and in the U.S.. What US carriers didn't allow before, they are allowing now because they can't give up that much additional revenue.

Within next year, Android phones will be free with contract. Within 2 years, a low end Android phone could go for $20-$30 with no contract, even for pay-as-you-go plans.

Re:Nokia... (1)

sznupi (719324) | more than 4 years ago | (#30332568)

I hear that for some time, but don't quite see it... (and TBH I would love really affordable, "standard" (OS modifications-wise, open to official updates) and durable Android device)

First, "free" phones with contract still depend on the total price of contract, so that's beside the point. Secondly, there is a lot of talk about Android phones that will be "cheap". So far I only see "on the cheap", at most. And even those are expensive touchscreen-only devices.

Do you seriously think they will cost, in 2 years, as little as Nokia 1202, 1208, 1616 (look them up) do know? And be similarly durable, with similar battery times? I seriously doubt it. And even if it would happen - what, exactly, is stopping Nokia from being cheaper? It should be easy for them, with the economy of scale (they have 40% of global market...) and established distribution channels throughout the world. And attachment to the brand - almost 2 billion users means something, don't you think? (heck, they seem to be willing to pay more for Nokia - in large part of low-end & low middle segment you get a better deal with SE phones for example; apart from durability)

Re:Nokia... (1)

SwedishPenguin (1035756) | more than 4 years ago | (#30334278)

Some Android phones are already "free" with contract over on this side of the Atlantic. The HTC Tattoo is "free" with a 299 SEK/month (42 USD/month) contract.
(I've got an HTC Magic, but I'm very interested in the Nokia N900, won't be buying a new phone for a year or two, but maybe the equivalent phone with Maemo then)

Re:Nokia... (1)

sznupi (719324) | more than 4 years ago | (#30332174)

You forget about S30 ;p

I'm not sure, but I wouldn't be too surprised if Nokia ships more S30 devices (1100, 1200, 1208, 1661, 1202, 1280, 1616, 5030; that sort of stuff) than all other classes combined.

And...E63, are you kidding?! More like 6730 Classic, eventually E51 if you want to include E-series.

Re:Nokia... (1)

PixetaledPikachu (1007305) | more than 4 years ago | (#30332528)

the E51 is THE phone for me. It's a classic case of a "you name it, we have it" except for GPS :(. It's slim, fast, multitasking, it has great keypad, metal body, wi-fi, bright screen, even on the sun. And cheap to boot :)

Re:Nokia... (1)

sznupi (719324) | more than 4 years ago | (#30332612)

E52 to the rescue at some later point in time?

Re:Nokia... (1)

DiLLeMaN (324946) | more than 4 years ago | (#30333622)

Oh, puh-leaze, can someone please take S30 into a dark alley and shoot it in the face? It's an abomination; I'm pretty sure every time someone uses S30 god kills a kitten. Or something.

OK, that might be overstating things a little, but if you compare S30 to S40 -- which doesn't exactly need a cluster of supercomputers to run on, itself -- the former kinda pales. In fact, for a lot of people, I'd say S40 is Smart Enough, really. It might not do multitasking (apart from the music player, kinda like the iPhone now that I think of it) and be limited to mostly Java Apps, but it's not really that limited. And it's a ton faster and more stable than S60.

Then again, this is Nokia we're talking about. Could still be that they'll keep churning out tons of S30 thingies while this Grand New Interface takes ages to appear on handsets.

Re:Nokia... (1)

sznupi (719324) | more than 4 years ago | (#30336078)

It's not like they're pushing S30 into markets that can easily afford, for the most part, S40 devices. From the looks & prices of S30 devices, it really does seem Nokia can lower the price a bit that way, for where it matters.

I have the impression you're talking about the number of features. They are not the only factor for large parts of market, when low price, lack of GPRS in the cell network anyway or, yes, easy to use UI are also important. Plus durability, reception and ridiculously long battery time, that's why I like to keep recent S30 device around as backup or for hiking.

Wanna see real abomination? Check those calculator-like cellphones "for the elderly", ridiculously overpriced and yet cheaply made.

Re:Nokia... (1)

DiLLeMaN (324946) | more than 4 years ago | (#30337988)

I have the impression you're talking about the number of features. They are not the only factor for large parts of market, when low price, lack of GPRS in the cell network anyway or, yes, easy to use UI are also important.

No, not just the number of feateres, more how those features are implemented. Take something basic like SMS: it's a joy to use on S40, I hate it on S30. That's the "easy to use" part for me.

Plus durability, reception and ridiculously long battery time, that's why I like to keep recent S30 device around as backup or for hiking.

Those, as well as the GPRS and the low price you mentioned earlier, are hardware features. My (S40) 6300 is built like a tank (METAL shell!) and runs for about a week if I keep away from GPRS and Bluetooth. I've had it for about two and a half years, and it still works flawlessly. So yeah, grabbing a cheap S30 for absolute emergencies might be a sensible option, but S40 doesn't automatically mean frail or lousy battery life. That's something I do think about (most of the) the S60 sets. =]

Wanna see real abomination? Check those calculator-like cellphones "for the elderly", ridiculously overpriced and yet cheaply made.

Hear hear. My dad once got one of those. Horrible build quality (case was shifting and making cracking sounds since day one, sliding it open usually required 2 hands), horrible display, horrible software, and he got to pay 130 euros + contract for the privilege. He could have gotten a 6300 for less (they tend to go for 25 with a contract, and he'd be better off. The thing stopped working within a year anyway, so now he has another handset, a Samsung slider.

Yeah, those "elderly" sets should be taken into another dark alley and shot in the face, together with the clowns that make and market them.

Re:Nokia... (1)

jandrese (485) | more than 4 years ago | (#30332332)

You don't need a whole lot of CPU time and memory to make a usable interface, it does take careful design and thought about how people work. Usability studies wouldn't hurt either.

Re:Nokia... (1)

Hognoxious (631665) | more than 4 years ago | (#30334106)

You don't need a whole lot of CPU time and memory to make a usable interface

But you do need them to do fancy graphics and eye-candy, which is what 99% of people think usability means.

I'd include whoever designed the E71 among them.

Re:Nokia... (1)

Darkness404 (1287218) | more than 4 years ago | (#30330904)

Yes, but Nokia has invested too much money and time in Symbian for them to abandon it now while Maemo was quickly thrown together, to Nokia they see Symbian as being carefully researched and Maemo to them is just Debian for phones.

Re:Nokia... (0)

faragon (789704) | more than 4 years ago | (#30330992)

Symbian is a pain, underperformer, without possibility of matching Linux or OS X. Nokia it's betting its future, and in my opinion, is Linux.

Re:Nokia... (2, Insightful)

BasilBrush (643681) | more than 4 years ago | (#30331248)

Symbian is a pain, underperformer, without possibility of matching Linux or OS X.

Symbian is a pain to program in C++ (But the same as any other phone OS in Java). But it uses far less memory and battery power than any *nix. So it isn't the easy call you imagine. OS X is far superior for top end smartphones. But for lower cost phones, Symbian has a lot of positives.

Re:Nokia... (1)

Darkness404 (1287218) | more than 4 years ago | (#30332436)

But similarly, most people who get a smartphone don't care about memory (and these days memory is -cheap- both Flash and RAM) and battery life to most isn't a killer (so long as it lasts a day with moderate internet usage people will use it) just look at the iPhone, a few hours of web browsing and your phone is dead.

Re:Nokia... (1)

BasilBrush (643681) | more than 4 years ago | (#30334070)

Yes, people don't care about memory. Amount of RAM typically isn't even mentioned as a feature. But if a phone needs less memory to function, then it costs less to manufacture.

Likewise, if battery life is not really a concern (very debatable) then it can be traded for less weight, smaller size and less cost.

You can't just dismiss the memory and battery live advantages of Symbian OS. Designing a phone is always a matter of finding compromises between different ideals. For some phones, Symbian OS will be the best choice. For others, a *nix will be.

Re:Nokia... (1)

stephanruby (542433) | more than 4 years ago | (#30331710)

They mention 'OVI maps pre-installed'. Is this the demo trial version? in other words will it include turn-by-turn talking directions? or live traffic updates for the US market??? (The last I checked, live traffic information was only available for Europe.)

I guess we can already get these things for free with Google Latitude running in the foreground -- with amAzeGPS running the background, but it would be nice if Nokia could give us all these things consolidated into one. Also, since Nokia owns the maps now, I'm guessing that it will be able to pre-load a lot of the mapping information (all their vector-based maps at least) without any cross-licensing issues, this would effectively turn Nokia phones into GPS navigators that don't always need to have cell reception -- a nice side-effect in my opinion (one that Google Android would have difficulties replicating since Google doesn't own its own maps -- it just licenses them).

Also, there is talk of better User Interface design, but as far as I'm aware, (and please, someone correct me if I'm wrong here) Nokia third party developers haven't been notified about any kind of recommended style sheet guides that they should be following (even if just voluntarily). So if the Nokia User Interface re-design hasn't been including third party developers into the mix (as of yet), I really doubt that the final design and user experience will feel as unified and as cohesive as the one offered by Apple.

Again, please someone correct me if I'm wrong on that last point. I actually wish I was wrong, or at the very least if it turns out I'm not wrong, I'd like to have Nokia take some quick corrective action on that.

Re:Nokia... (1)

DiLLeMaN (324946) | more than 4 years ago | (#30333660)

Also, there is talk of better User Interface design, but as far as I'm aware, (and please, someone correct me if I'm wrong here) Nokia third party developers haven't been notified about any kind of recommended style sheet guides that they should be following (even if just voluntarily).

Very valid point. I was, however, able to find this UI Style Guide for S60 [nokia.com] (there's one for S40 and other platforms too) with just one Google Search.

I haven't really read it, so I don't know how "thorough" it is, but it does satisfy your "any kind of recommended style sheet guides", I think.

Good... (1, Troll)

Lord Lode (1290856) | more than 4 years ago | (#30330766)

Good to see that something else than the closed iPhone can be flashy and cool! :)

I have an N97 and an N900 (4, Insightful)

kurt555gs (309278) | more than 4 years ago | (#30330792)

Symbian is a pig. QT on Symbian is lipstick on a pig. There is no other good way to say this. I had an N95 8GB, and Symbian 3 was actually fine on that, buttons and all. Symbian 5, ala N97 is just pushing Symbians limits to far. The best technical terms I can use to describe Symbian 5 (N97) is it's a "steaming pile of shit".

The N900 on the other hand is just phuquing unbelievable. Once they put QT on top of Maemo Linux, it will be so far away from any othe the other phone OS's, that there just will be no contest. (I say phone, but the N900 is really more of a mobile computer with cell capabilities than a phone).

The N900 rox!

Re:I have an N97 and an N900 (1)

h4rr4r (612664) | more than 4 years ago | (#30330840)

Does buying it get the user root? Or is this another closed device pretending to be open.

If the owner lacks root, he does not own the device.

Re:I have an N97 and an N900 (5, Informative)

kurt555gs (309278) | more than 4 years ago | (#30330926)

All you need to get FULL root privileges on the N900 is to download this -> http://maemo.org/downloads/product/Maemo5/rootsh/ [maemo.org]

That's it, you PWN the device.

Re:I have an N97 and an N900 (2, Informative)

EvilNTUser (573674) | more than 4 years ago | (#30334066)

Oh, it's actually even simpler than that. Enable the extras repo in the package manager, then install rootsh.

Does the exact same thing, of course, but it's so nice to have a real package manager.

Re:I have an N97 and an N900 (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30330912)

Too bad I have no idea wth QT means.

Re:I have an N97 and an N900 (2, Informative)

cenc (1310167) | more than 4 years ago | (#30331288)

C++ libraries for producing programs that will run on both windows, linux, whatever OS (not sure of the full range). Likely most famously found on the KDE desktop.

The important thing for the n900 is we now have a set of libraries that in theory should provide an ability to write software that will run on your home computer, and on your cell phone (without java or some other silliness). Basically all the Linux applications that exist already should (perhaps with some tweaking) be usable on your cell phone without needing to reinvent the wheel to use the massive base of mature software that is already available for Linux and similar.

In theory, it means I should be able to deploy most of the desktop software we use in my office on n900's without needing to retrain people in my office to use it when they are out of the office.

We will see. So far the hype seems to be warranted, but I am sure we all have been burned before by some arbitrary corporate decision or more commonly some arbitrary marketing decision.

Re:I have an N97 and an N900 (1)

BasilBrush (643681) | more than 4 years ago | (#30331342)

Basically all the Linux applications that exist already should (perhaps with some tweaking) be usable on your cell phone.

Said with complete disregard for issues of user interface. Mobile applications are not tweaked desktop apps. They need designing from scratch. Portability of libraries is certainly useful. But not applications.

Re:I have an N97 and an N900 (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30333014)

The n900 has a 800x480 screen. That is better than VGA and is an acceptable mobile screen size for single desktop apps.

Re:I have an N97 and an N900 (1)

cenc (1310167) | more than 4 years ago | (#30334390)

Like I said with some tweaking. As in not needing to rewrite everything from complete scratch. Resizing user interface components is a fairly small trick, when you have 800x400 to work with.

As for Mobile applications not being tweaked desktop apps, that is THE POINT. We are getting closer to mobile and desktop application that are interchangeable.

At the very least we do not need to get our knees to a bunch of application stores and hope they give us what we need, and approve what people produce for distribution.

Even if a lot of stuff needs outright porting, at least we are allowed to port it.

Re:I have an N97 and an N900 (0, Redundant)

Tellarin (444097) | more than 4 years ago | (#30331438)

Apple QuickTime.

On the other hand, if you mean Qt. It's a GUI (and much else) toolkit developed by Trolltech, which was acquired by Nokia some time ago. :-P
Also, now Qt is LGPL.

Re:I have an N97 and an N900 (1)

Z34107 (925136) | more than 4 years ago | (#30331682)

Too bad I have no idea wth QT means.

It refers to someone attractive.

Re:I have an N97 and an N900 (2, Interesting)

Martz (861209) | more than 4 years ago | (#30330946)

I can completely agree about both the N95 and the N97.

For me the N95 broke new ground and really was an impressive device when it was released. The fixes did a lot to help usability and stability.

The N97 is the Nokia device which has pissed me off so much - that I've become stuborn and vowed to never, ever again own another Nokia Symbian device. It's a complete disaster, even with the much anticipated v20 firmware.

I get a free company phone of my choosing, and I could've taken the iPhone at various times but I stood my ground on the principle of it being a "more free" device in terms of application choice. Now I'd be happy to give all of that up just to have a device which has a slick UI, does the basic functions perfectly and isn't so frustrating that I want to smash the device into the floor or throw it out of the car window.

Nokia really have to improve - they have no other choice - otherwise I believe they will lose the smartphone market.

As good as the N900 is or promises to be - I refuse to believe the hype or to be an early adopter. I'd have to see the phone in action in Real Life first before even considering another Nokia product.

Re:I have an N97 and an N900 (1)

kurt555gs (309278) | more than 4 years ago | (#30331084)

My N95 8GB was the best "phone" I ever had. About 2 weeks after I bought my N97, I got the N95 back out of the drawer and switched back to it while I waited, and Waited for the N900. The evil malodorous N97 when into the phone drawer, never to emerge, except perhaps to burn it on the sidewalk in fron of the Nokia flagship store in Chicago.

Now that cell phones and mobile computers are merging, the old "phone" OS's like Symbian reall can not be stretched to fill the bill. I don't remember if anyone ever tried putting a GUI on top of CP/M, but that is analogous to trying to make Symbian work as a touch screen OS.

Re:I have an N97 and an N900 (2, Interesting)

BasilBrush (643681) | more than 4 years ago | (#30331290)

I don't remember if anyone ever tried putting a GUI on top of CP/M, but that is analogous to trying to make Symbian work as a touch screen OS.

Complete nonsense. The original name for Symbian OS was EPOC 32, and it was developed for the Psion 5 - a touch screen PDA. So in actual fact, the OS and APIs were designed from the outset for touchscreen as well as keyboard.

Re:I have an N97 and an N900 (1)

Hognoxious (631665) | more than 4 years ago | (#30334178)

When I'm using my E71 and I think back to the clean and simple UI on the Psion 5, it makes me weep.

Re:I have an N97 and an N900 (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30331218)

I liked the N97. It had tons of problems when I first got it though. v20 helped some, but it was still just a phone with a decent camera and a decent browser.

I just got my N900 2 days ago. And it is everything that I ever wanted my phone to be. It's what I wished phone were 4 years ago. If you have the money, get one. It won't hurt to "wait and see" and get the next maemo phone. Let me also mention that the N900 is more tablet linux than a phone. The "phone features" are minimal. The Phone part is merely one program amongst others. Took me 2 minutes to make a call the first time without reading the manual.

Re:I have an N97 and an N900 (1)

cenc (1310167) | more than 4 years ago | (#30331332)

So is their future technology commitment going to be maemo linux or symbian?

Re:I have an N97 and an N900 (1)

unix1 (1667411) | more than 4 years ago | (#30331430)

The N900 on the other hand is just phuquing unbelievable. Once they put QT on top of Maemo Linux, it will be so far away from any othe the other phone OS's, that there just will be no contest.

They should have done that years ago, then they would have been ahead by a mile right now. But no, they had no balls. Trolltech was always there, they were always doing their thing - remember Qtopia and the Greenphone? They always had the software and the technology that can and should be taken to the next step.

Now they may go the way of Windows Mobile, with the promises of things that are year(s) away to be introduced to the market, and still beating the near dead horse that is Symbian. Maybe in the next 2 years at best they'll slow their market share slide, at worst they'll fill a niche.

Re:I have an N97 and an N900 (2, Interesting)

Jazzbunny (1251002) | more than 4 years ago | (#30331530)

Back in the days Symbian wasn't a pig, I had Nokia 7650, the first Symbian phone released, and it was everything nerd could hope for. For example I had universal TV control program there, so I could change the channels at my local sports bar at my will and cause mayhem if I wanted to. Later Symbian were locked up more tightly, but currently Maemo looks something I had back in the days + more. I will be using my tax refunds to get N900 and I think I wont regret it.

Re:I have an N97 and an N900 (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30332988)

If you're going up to the N900, why don't you just get a REAL Mobile Internet Device?

http://www.dynamism.com/#Product=viliv

I have a 32gb SSD Viliv s5, got it for $550 off Newegg a month ago (the special free upgrade I bought has since ended). Works amazingly, runs whatever you want to install (Windows, Moblin, straight Linux, etc), has GPS, 3G, WiFi, Bluetooth, and pretty good battery life (I usually get 4-6 hours with full usage).

but since their OS does not have the features to (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30330910)

do a proper user interface then it really IS the OS now isn't it? Try asking someone who really knows about the state of the Symbian OS.

Nokia has really dropped the ball on that.

uuuh pinch and zoom on a phone (1, Funny)

Bender Unit 22 (216955) | more than 4 years ago | (#30330936)

Lets all welcome Nokia to 2007.

Re:uuuh pinch and zoom on a phone (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30331318)

You know, my old Nokia - several years old now, and not even a smartphone - has cut & paste for all text input fields. Unlike, er, some phones on their first release.

Symbian vs Maemo (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30330944)

I believe they will make developing for Symbian easier with a) Qt b) PIPS http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/P.I.P.S._Is_POSIX_on_Symbian
They will also do the same for Maemo 6. UI will be written in Qt and the main things separating Maemo 6 from Symbian^4 are:
- Kernel (Linux vs EPAv2)
- Package management (.sis vs .deb)
I wouldn't be surprised if the two platform would converge some time in future, since Symbian's upcoming Qt-based Direct UI should be possible to run on Maemo 6 with minor changes and vice versa.
Also both platforms are pushing Python as a choice for rapid development (S60 Python and PyQt/PySide and PyMaemo)

Qt software blog posts might give some insight:
http://labs.trolltech.com/blogs/
Also Symbian foundation has public roadmaps:
http://www.symbian.org/

Frost p1st (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30330994)

to avoid so as to BUWLA,B or BSD

Yeah, lets have loads more cellphone platforms (1)

phonewebcam (446772) | more than 4 years ago | (#30331010)

Its all about consumer choice see, and a zillion incompatible ones sure gives the user that all right.

I gave up after the N95 (1)

toomanyairmiles (838715) | more than 4 years ago | (#30331506)

A day late and a dollar short for my money. Their interface was creaking as much as their design language five years back. I looked at an X6 today and it's basically an I phone clone, just a cheaper plasticky one. Come on nokia you need to genuinely innovate not just throw out new keypad layouts on the same old candy bar phones.

For non-touch phones? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30332348)

I wonder if this facelift includes non-touchscreen Symbian phones? Like S60-3rd type devices (E63, E71, etc).

Bye-bye Nokia (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30333628)

Nokia is pretty much over. After release of their N97 junk, they won't survive another 3 years. Nokia sales drop everywhere, especially in US and APAC. Blackberry, iPhone is what people want - not Nokia.

No thank you Nokia (1)

badzilla (50355) | more than 4 years ago | (#30333880)

Owners of expensive Nokia Symbian S60 phones should be happy that they can upgrade their existing hardware to a shiny new version of the OS. But what is really going to happen is they are forced to throw away their old phone and pay all over again for a new hardware/OS bundle.

Nokia has no incentive to produce a truly great phone - whenever they came close to this in the past it depressed new sales because people did not want to give up their old one.

Never buying another Nokia! (1)

badzilla (50355) | more than 4 years ago | (#30333914)

I've owned a dozen or so phones nearly all of which have been from Nokia. Never again - the 6220c I currently own is ludicrously locked down and restricted. It works, kind of, but not the way I want it to work. I do mean locked down by Nokia not by a GSM operator. Do Nokia think I am stupid I paid 200 quid for this phone and expect to have root on it.

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