Beta
×

Welcome to the Slashdot Beta site -- learn more here. Use the link in the footer or click here to return to the Classic version of Slashdot.

Thank you!

Before you choose to head back to the Classic look of the site, we'd appreciate it if you share your thoughts on the Beta; your feedback is what drives our ongoing development.

Beta is different and we value you taking the time to try it out. Please take a look at the changes we've made in Beta and  learn more about it. Thanks for reading, and for making the site better!

Inside Symbian: the Platform Nokia Secretly Hates

Hemos posted more than 7 years ago | from the i-love-you-but-i-hate-you dept.

Software 235

DECS writes "The Symbian OS runs the majority of todays smartphones, and is generally regarded as a solid platform. All is not well behind the scenes however. Here's why Apple ported its own OS X to the ARM architecture for the iPhone, why Motorola left Symbian for Linux, and why Nokia executives secretly regard Symbian with contempt. An inside look from Symbian developers: Readers Write About Symbian, OS X and the iPhone."

Sorry! There are no comments related to the filter you selected.

Help kill twofo (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17889158)

Twofo [twofo.co.uk] Is Dying

DC++ [dcpp.net] hub.twofo.co.uk:4144

It is official; Netcraft confirms: Twofo is dying

One more crippling bombshell hit the already beleagured University of Warwick [warwick.ac.uk] filesharing community when ITS confirmed that Twofo total share has dropped yet again, now down to less than a fraction of 1 percent of all file sharing. Coming hot on the heels of a recent Netcraft survey which plainly states that Twofo has lost more share, this news serves to reinforce what we've known all along. Twofo is collapsing in complete disarry, as fittingly exemplified by failing dead last in the recent Student comprehensive leeching test.

You don't need to be one of the Hub Operators to predict Twofo's future. The hand writing is on the toilet wall: Twofo faces a bleak future. In fact there won't be any future at all for Twofo because Twofo is dying. Things are looking very bad for Twofo. As many of us are already aware, Twofo continues to lose users. Fines and disconnections flow like a river of feces [tubgirl.com] .

N00b Campus users are the most endangered of them all, having lost 93% of their total share. The sudden and unpleasant departures of long time Twofo sharers fool_on_the_hill and Twinklefeet only serves to underscore the point more clearly. There can no longer be any doubt: Twofo is dying.

Let's keep to the facts and look at the numbers.

Sources indicate that there are at most 150 users in the hub. How many filelists have been downloaded? Let's see. 719. But 1621 IP addresses have been logged, and 1727 nicks have been sighted connecting to one user over the last term. How many searches are there? 600 searches in 3 hours. The highest sharer on campus, known as "firstchoice", or Andrew.Maddison@warwick.ac.uk in real life, was sharing over 1 TiB, despite working in ITS and not being on the resnet. He's only there so people off campus who think they're too good for bittorrent can continue to abuse the University's internet connection.

Due to troubles at the University of Warwick, lack of internet bandwidth, enforcements of Acceptable Usage Policies, abysmal sharing, retarded leechers, clueless n00bs, and ITS fining and disconnecting users, Twofo has no future. All major student surveys show that Twofo has steadily declined in file share. Twofo is very sick and its long term survival prospects are very dim. If Twofo is to survive at all it will be among p2p hardcore fuckwits, desperate to grab stuff for free off the internet. Nothing short of a miracle could save Twofo from its fate at this point in time. For all practical purposes, Twofo is dead.

Fact: Twofo is dying

Re:Help kill twofo (0, Offtopic)

Trendy.Ideology (1058410) | more than 7 years ago | (#17889626)

I want you to die for reposting this in every new article.

!! SHILL Google a not am I (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17889164)

As true coming as it is going !!

Monday Morning Hang Over... (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17889186)

The server is temporarily unable to service your request due to maintenance downtime or capacity problems. Please try again later.

Well, that's what you get for (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17889190)

Well, that's what you get for not running Linux on it.

Re:Well, that's what you get for (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17889216)

Well, that's what you get for not running Linux on it.

A majority share of all smartphones? What exactly are you trying to convince me of?

Re:Well, that's what you get for (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17889320)

Hey .... I'm the Anonymous Coward so I can write what I like. Karma be damned this time! :-)

So is this the end... (5, Funny)

ettlz (639203) | more than 7 years ago | (#17889204)

...of an EPOC?

Re:So is this the end... (1, Funny)

juanfe (466699) | more than 7 years ago | (#17889328)

why oh why are there no moderation points for bad puns?

Re:So is this the end... (1)

Moderatbastard (808662) | more than 7 years ago | (#17889458)

What do you thing "overrated" means in practice?

I own a Nokia E61 (3, Informative)

thammoud (193905) | more than 7 years ago | (#17889228)

While the phone is nice, the software is very slow and quirky. IMAP support is abysmal. I guess you can write slow software in any language.

Re:I own a Nokia E61 (1)

Zelos (1050172) | more than 7 years ago | (#17889570)

That's the problem with all Symbian phones in my experience.

Re:I own a Nokia E61 (2, Informative)

DrSkwid (118965) | more than 7 years ago | (#17889644)

IMAP on my n80 is good and the only difference I can see from my 6600 is that it even supports SSL connections now.

I haven't worked out how to add self-signed certs yet so I have to click on equivalent of "accept for this session" each time I connect.

Re:I own a Nokia E61 (1)

Albanach (527650) | more than 7 years ago | (#17889662)

Are you using the V3.0633 firmware? It seems much more responsive.

Re:I own a Nokia E61 (1)

dfghjk (711126) | more than 7 years ago | (#17889794)

Don't forget about the horrible UI (worst among smartphones) and the terrible instability. The E61 is the worst of breed.

Re:I own a Nokia E61 (1)

Threni (635302) | more than 7 years ago | (#17889838)

I've got an N70 (firmware v5.0609.2.0.1 - the latest my network provider apparently supports) and I'm always amused by the five seconds it takes from pressing the `new sms` button to getting to the `new sms` screen. This is much, much, much slower than my first phone from 1997 (which still works, incidentally).

Re:I own a Nokia E61 (3, Informative)

Bowdie (11884) | more than 7 years ago | (#17889976)

Have you got the left hand side hard button set to that? When you press that button, the phone waits five seconds for you to press * to lock the handset. It's a throw back to the old "MENU *" handset lock all Nokias do.

Try setting another button to the function, and see if it still takes that time.

Hope that helps

Re:I own a Nokia E61 (1)

Threni (635302) | more than 7 years ago | (#17890376)

Thanks - It looks like you're right! Sadly, the internet button can't be pointed at `new sms`. And in trying to bypass this 5 second delay (by pressing the left button twice etc) I've managed to crash the software and now have to reboot! I guess I'm going to have to use the right button for `new sms` and use the left shortcut but something I'm in less of a rush about - setting the alarm clock, perhaps.

Why are their restrictions on what you can do from these short cut buttons? Why can I install a Java app and have that as a short-cut linked action, but not something basic that's provided as part of the phone's firmware?

Re:I own a Nokia E61 (1)

Bowdie (11884) | more than 7 years ago | (#17890452)

On my N80, you can set the up, down, left, and right of the joystick to launch different apps. Might be worth looking at.

Re:I own a Nokia E61 (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17890126)

>I've got an N70 (firmware v5.0609.2.0.1 - the latest my network provider apparently supports) and I'm always amused by the five seconds it takes from pressing the `new sms` button to getting to the `new sms` screen.

Heh, that's life. Change channels on any 1970's TV and you'll be on the new channel faster than your fingers leave the knob. Change channels on a TV made today and you can take a bite from your supper before it's done (sometimes you can make it to the fridge and back on the cheap models!)

Oh well...

Oh, RoughlyDrafted.com (5, Insightful)

squiggleslash (241428) | more than 7 years ago | (#17889232)

I thought the subject sounded somewhat exaggerated and more like Apple apologia.

I'm pretty sure Apple ported OS X for the same reason as Microsoft ported Windows CE. It was their OS. They have complete freedom to do as they wish with it. It's a good platform. Why the hell not?

As for porting open source efforts, as Motorola has done, again you're no longer tied to a third party (I say "no longer", but then I don't recall Motorola ever making a Symbian phone...), you have a robust, well known, platform with strong mindshare already, and you have no royalties to pay.

Not exactly a situation where anyone "hates" Symbian, secretly or otherwise, more a situation where certain platforms work out better for certain companies.

Re:Oh, RoughlyDrafted.com (5, Informative)

xoyoyo (949672) | more than 7 years ago | (#17889318)

(I say "no longer", but then I don't recall Motorola ever making a Symbian phone...)

They made three: the A1000, the A920 and the A925. They were all horrible. The horribleness of Motorola phones has nothing to do with OS

Re:Oh, RoughlyDrafted.com (2, Insightful)

p3d0 (42270) | more than 7 years ago | (#17889526)

I also have a Motorola phone and hate it.

Re:Oh, RoughlyDrafted.com (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17889324)

Nokia have been aggressively pushing for software patents in Europe. Given a choice between Nokia and having pins stuck into my testicles, women would think I was some hellraiser fetishist.

Re:Oh, RoughlyDrafted.com (5, Interesting)

jrumney (197329) | more than 7 years ago | (#17889386)

I'm pretty sure Apple ported OS X for the same reason as Microsoft ported Windows CE. It was their OS.

My suspicion about the real reason they are not opening the iPhone up for development, is that they haven't really ported OS X at all. They've got a UI for the phone apps that looks and feels like OS X, but there are no Quartz libraries or any other libraries that third party developers would expect, the apps they have are all hand coded and heavily optimised. The device just doesn't have the power for a generic OS X like interface. Apple haven't released details about the clock speed or the CPU other than what company they are buying it from, but a quick check of the company's website shows that they sell two processors, both running at less than 200MHz. If they haven't made a secret deal for a chip that hasn't been announced yet, expect the iPhone to run at the speed of a PDA from 5 years ago.

Re:Oh, RoughlyDrafted.com (1)

DrSkwid (118965) | more than 7 years ago | (#17889670)

I'm with your assumption.

Why port the (braindead) dual MACH/BSD kernel hybrid to a phone ?
It's just not needed if it's even technically feasable / possible.

Not enough CPU? (4, Insightful)

Ed Avis (5917) | more than 7 years ago | (#17889704)

The NeXT Cube had a slick, very usable graphical interface (the direct ancestor of Mac OS X) and a productive development environment using Objective-C. Its processor was a 25MHz 68030. There isn't any magic spell that has been cast to make programmers more stupid or make compilers worse over the last twenty years. It sounds like the iPhone has at least five times the processing power of the NeXT Cube. There really shouldn't be a problem running a 'real' operating system on it, nor should it require slaving away tweaking assembler opcodes by hand to get it to run at a reasonable speed.

Re:Not enough CPU? (2, Interesting)

jrumney (197329) | more than 7 years ago | (#17889768)

The NeXT cube may have had a slick UI for its day, but you'd have to strip a lot of eye-candy from OS X to get back to that.

Re:Not enough CPU? (3, Insightful)

sacrilicious (316896) | more than 7 years ago | (#17890540)

The NeXT Cube had a slick, very usable graphical interface (the direct ancestor of Mac OS X) and a productive development environment using Objective-C. Its processor was a 25MHz 68030. There isn't any magic spell that has been cast to make programmers more stupid or make compilers worse over the last twenty years.

No one's saying programmers are more stupid or compilers are worse. But operating systems and graphics layers have become much more demanding. Witness the fact that computers are STILL often "too slow" at the same routine tasks they were 10 years ago, despite running 100 times faster. That's WITH a heavy-duty specialized GPU doing most of the graphics.

Apple is of course free to write a completely stripped down, optimized mini-OS for their phone, and such a thing might run very well on their chip. But the question at hand in this thread is whether such an effort would qualify as "OSX".

Re:Not enough CPU? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17890682)


There isn't any magic spell that has been cast to make programmers more stupid or make compilers worse over the last twenty years


So, you didn't notice the whole Java/C# thing that happened? I swear. Folks who used to know how to program in C seem to have taken stupid pills when they learned Java/C#. (Parameter/return value checking? we don't need no steenken parameter/return value checking. Dereference away!)

Power (2, Interesting)

simpl3x (238301) | more than 7 years ago | (#17890958)

Isn't that amazing! The Cube was a really cool machine, and here we are with more processing power in our pockets.

Stripping down OS X, simply means gutting further down to a BSD core. Like a phone running Linux, what is so strange about it? It would be a huge mistake to create a stop-gap OS simply to get it out the door, when an optimized core is probably already available. The OS that is X should be able to run on just about anything by now...

Re:Oh, RoughlyDrafted.com (2, Informative)

zsazsa (141679) | more than 7 years ago | (#17889780)

There are tons of ARM CPU variants out there, and most of them aren't made by ARM Ltd. The XScale [wikipedia.org] family, manufactured by Intel and now owned by Marvell, is ARM and is currently offered in speeds up to 624MHz.

Re:Oh, RoughlyDrafted.com (1)

jrumney (197329) | more than 7 years ago | (#17889962)

There are tons of ARM CPU variants out there

Indeed, but the specific company that Apple have announced as the supplier of their application processors for the iPhone only produces 2 relatively low speed variants, and there are no press releases announcing future faster products.

Re:Oh, RoughlyDrafted.com (1)

Jeff DeMaagd (2015) | more than 7 years ago | (#17889960)

I don't think Apple is tied to any particular ARM manufacturer. I don't think Apple said who made the chip for the phone. I think the chances are that it's an Intel/Marvell Xscale chip.

Re:Oh, RoughlyDrafted.com (2, Informative)

jrumney (197329) | more than 7 years ago | (#17890352)

OK, checking my facts, it wasn't Apple that released the info, it was PortalPlayer (now acquired by nVidia), and only rumour linked it to the iPhone (which still wasn't announced at the time). So its possible that its a higher spec chip like an XScale, and Apple have another new product up their sleeves powered by a PortalPlayer processor.

Re:Oh, RoughlyDrafted.com (1)

wildBoar (181352) | more than 7 years ago | (#17890016)

Hey ! My HTC Wizard isn't 5 years old, and is pretty smart - well apart from running WinCE that is.

It would definitely be last generation from a smart phone perspective though.

PS. 5 years ago some systems were still running Dragonball at 33MHz....

Re:Oh, RoughlyDrafted.com (1)

mlk (18543) | more than 7 years ago | (#17890238)

My HTC Wizard has a 200MHz CPU and runs fine. Even with some of the eye candy you can get.

Why not? (4, Insightful)

Midnight Thunder (17205) | more than 7 years ago | (#17890364)

With everything I have read, I would tend to believe they have ported the system. After all the core of MacOS X: Darwin, wouldn't take much more porting effort than Linux to an ARM architecture (assuming there was no hardware support previously). Once the core OS has been ported, it doesn't take much more effort to port the essential frameworks. There are probably a large number of features of OS X that have been left out, but does this make it any less "OS X", than Windows CE is Windows? Maybe they exclusion of the 'Mac' in the "OS X" reference was a reference to the UI design, much in the way Microsoft differentiates Windows CE and Windows XP? (supersition on my part)

I believe keeping the phone a closed platform, at least in the short term, ensures that the phone is stable and people get used to the design philosphy. Heck, if you read the article you will see how some of the other phone companies are very careful of who they let write software for their systems. I have a friend who had a Palm based phone and it would crash once in a while during a conversation. Sure he had installed extra software, but the point is the average user does not make the difference between the phone crashing, or third-party software causing the phone to crash.

Will they insist on controlling the access to third-party developers in the future? Maybe. In fact I wouldn't be surprised if they take the same approach as game console developers, where you have to get certified by them. You might be able to go under the radar and install uncertified stuff, but they won't support it. Though I will hope that they at least allow Java to be installed on the phones.

OT: Any experiences with IPhone? (1)

mi (197448) | more than 7 years ago | (#17890732)

All I want are the decent IMAP (with SSL, of course) and SSH clients...

Re:Oh, RoughlyDrafted.com (4, Interesting)

daviddennis (10926) | more than 7 years ago | (#17890752)

If you watch Steve Jobs' presentation, you will see that when they talk about using MacOS X, the slide behind him mentions several MacOS X technologies, including the very latest.

Besides, why wouldn't they use MacOS X? If RoughlyDrafted's sources are to be believed, programming under Symbian would be a huge pain, Windows Mobile would look like a defeat and PalmOS is years behind the times.

I know RoughlyDrafted's author is very pro-Apple, but I don't think he's a liar. After all, simply looking at screenshots confirms that PalmOS is way behind the times, Windows Mobile has inherited Microsoft's ugly gene, and Symbian phones don't look particularly modern, either. So really, if you look at things impartially, or try to, his analysis seems sound.

I would have liked to see him discuss RIM, since RIM's phone and OS look to me like the best on the American market today other than the iPhone. But I can sympathise somewhat because it seems pretty hard to find information about RIM's OS.

Just looking at the iPhone confirms that it uses something very similar to the Quartz transparency effects and built-in anti-aliasing in MacOS X. They could build something super complex themselves that emulated these effects, or they could just use MacOS X. Seem to me their decision would be pretty simple. They just waited until phone processors and technologies caught up to the extent that MacOS X could run.

Remember, MacOS X runs quite well a 400mhz PowerBook and an iPhone has a small fraction of its screen size. So is it likely that a 200mhz processor could give good performance on a phone? I would think it would be. And is it likely that a 10gb install of MacOS X could be cut down to phone size? Sure - alternate language fonts alone take gigabites of that, and drivers and built in applications take the bulk of the rest.

Remember, Windows Mobile isn't really Windows; it's a descendent of Windows CE, which was meant to be quite different from Windows itself. So the iPhone's adoption of MacOS X could be revolutionary, as the first phone with a no excuses, fully powered OS.

People who have used the iPhone praise its responsiveness, so that's impressive by any standard.

D

Re:Oh, RoughlyDrafted.com (2, Informative)

andreyw (798182) | more than 7 years ago | (#17889424)

Microsoft didn't "port" CE from anything - it was a from-scratch effort targetting embedded systems.

Re:Oh, RoughlyDrafted.com (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17889782)

Microsoft didn't "port" CE from anything - it was a from-scratch effort targetting embedded systems.

Given the similarities to regular windows, I think MS did copy some code from regular windows ie, a port.

Re:Oh, RoughlyDrafted.com (1, Informative)

Dan East (318230) | more than 7 years ago | (#17889786)

Windows CE 3.0 was a port of the NT kernel, which is why the platform (from that point on) is actually pretty decent and stable. The core sources have been available for some time now.

As far as the GUI, etc, I'm sure they did port various libraries. MFC was definitely a port. So it certainly was more of a port than a from-scratch effort.

Dan East

Re:Oh, RoughlyDrafted.com (5, Insightful)

AKAImBatman (238306) | more than 7 years ago | (#17889538)

Not exactly a situation where anyone "hates" Symbian, secretly or otherwise, more a situation where certain platforms work out better for certain companies.
Except that the companies who use Symbian do *hate* Symbian. I don't have any clue why the article states that Symbian has an "undeserved reputation". Its faults have been well known for quite a while now.

The only reason why it was chosen is that the alternatives at the time were Symbian and WinCE. (Contrary to the article's statement that Linux was a viable option.) WinCE was a more powerful OS, but it demanded hardware to match that power. Symbian was not quite as powerful, but at least it ran on highly constrained devices. So it's no surprise that the phone makers tried to keep their prices down by going with Symbian.

For a company like Apple, it does make sense to use their own OS as they have the necessary support staff and experience on hand. For a company like Nokia, however, they just don't see the software as important enough. Which is too bad. They make great phones, but consistently fall flat with poor (read: buggy) software implementations.

Re:Oh, RoughlyDrafted.com (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17890646)

Undeserved reputation?!?
Have you *ever* tried to make C++ software on Symbian?
API is brain-demaged (looks like written by a bunch of C++ newbies), tools are crap, on-device debugging impossible, documentation horrible.
Everyone is switching away from them? Well, it was about time. Come one Nokia, you're the only one keeping them alive.
Adopt Linux, drop them off, and stop the agony ...

Re:Oh, RoughlyDrafted.com (1)

AKAImBatman (238306) | more than 7 years ago | (#17890740)

Undeserved reputation?!? Have you *ever* tried to make C++ software on Symbian?
RTFA. Here's the relevent section:

In most regards, Symbian's reputation as a modern, robust, stable and advanced OS for smartphones is not well deserved.
I have never known anyone who has claimed that Symbian has such a reputation. In fact, it has the exact opposite reputation, making the "undeserved reputation" statement a bit odd.

Does that clarify my statement for you?

Re:Oh, RoughlyDrafted.com (0, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17889646)

In addtion they didn't really compare the iphone osx environment to the current MS windows mobile solution (hasn't been called ce for years). Windows moblie is fairly easy to program for. It took all of a week to port our desktop app to it back in 2002. I'm sure its only gotten better since then. You can blame MS for many things, but they've always made easy to use developer tools.

Re:Oh, RoughlyDrafted.com (1)

jrumney (197329) | more than 7 years ago | (#17890462)

Windows Mobile is built on top of Windows CE. Windows CE is a very modular system, you include the modules you need depending on hardware and functionality you need. Windows Mobile (formerly known as Pocket PC) is a standard set of modules so application developers have a common platform to target.

Re:Oh, RoughlyDrafted.com (3, Informative)

UnknowingFool (672806) | more than 7 years ago | (#17890142)

I'm pretty sure Apple ported OS X for the same reason as Microsoft ported Windows CE. It was their OS. They have complete freedom to do as they wish with it. It's a good platform. Why the hell not?

The point in the series of articles is why Apple chose to port OS X instead of using Symbian, Linux, etc. After all, Apple doesn't use OS X on the iPod. Developing applications for mobile devices is not easy. Symbian (and Palm) have succeeded so far because their feature set is smaller and easy to maintain. Scaling up on features is harder. Windows and Linux suffer the problem of having too much and it's not easy to trim them down and which version. In fact, Microsoft did not "port" Windows CE. Porting suggests that the OS/program was tweaked to work on a different environmment, hardware, etc. Windows CE is a complete re-write and really only superficially shares the Windows name and look.

Unlike Symbian a ported version of OS X could expand its functionality. Linux is modular like OS X but Linux's problem is with standardization. Each company must maintain their own mobile Linux which makes development harder (Nokia mobile Linux, Sony mobile Linux, LG mobile Linux, etc). Having to maintain their own flavor of Linux is not something that these companies are equipped to do. Thus supporting development is not easy for these companies. Apple needs only to extend their current developers to include a mobile OS X division. Hopefully for Apple, mobile OS X, unlike Windows CE, it's not a new OS but just a new set of APIs.

Re:Oh, RoughlyDrafted.com (1)

BlackSnake112 (912158) | more than 7 years ago | (#17890266)

Not exactly a situation where anyone "hates" Symbian, secretly or otherwise, more a situation where certain platforms work out better for certain companies. OS for a phone?... oh wait I was thinking of a different king of symbian. Once girls get a symbian, guys are out of luck. yes, I know this is slashdot...

How is WinCE a "Port"? (1)

SuperKendall (25149) | more than 7 years ago | (#17891084)

I'm pretty sure Apple ported OS X for the same reason as Microsoft ported Windows CE.

Since WinCE is not in any way a "port" of Windows, that statement doesn't really mean anything. Heck, WinCE is not even what many smartphones use - they use Windows Mobile [msdn.com] (which is based on WinCE but offers the common Windows-looking GUI which WinCE does not include).

That's one of the points the article was making, WinCE and Symbian are not full OS'es scaled down, but custom built OS'es meant to run on small devices. The level of computing power has finally reached the point where this is no longer nessecary, yet the phone market moves on bound by this constraint in development. Developing a Windows Mobile app is not going to be the same as developing a Windows app. The release of Vista means little to Windows Mobile users. OS X on the iPhone offers the advantage of being able to use things like CoreImage, and CoreAnimation along with all the standard GUI calls. It means that OS updates can be migrated to the phone in short order.

Obviously the GUI programming will be a little different because of the touch screen but it means Apple gets to use all the developer tools (including optimization tools) they have today, which should make for rapid development of applications on the phone.

One area the article doesn't explore very well I think are Linux based smart phones, since that is a real OS and API scaled down for a smaller device, but something which would be quite happier in more powerful hardware as well without as many development limitations as other platforms. It does have a more fractured UI approach from different people though.

Linux is coming (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17889294)

I hear Nokia is working on Linux. It might become available as a download for the upcoming N95 at some point. In the mean while, check out the N800. It's cool.

iPhone not smartphone (2, Informative)

CharAznable (702598) | more than 7 years ago | (#17889360)

The iPhone isn't even a smartphone... aside from the fact that Apple will obviously use its own OS, why the hell would the fact that the iPhone doesn't use Symbian be counted as "evidence" that Symbian is not doing well?

Re:iPhone not smartphone (1)

geoffspear (692508) | more than 7 years ago | (#17889494)

The iPhone isn't a smartphone only if you define "smartphone" as meaning "phone that runs Symbian". Symbian is doing great. It has 100% of the smartphone market.

Re:iPhone not smartphone (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17889674)

I guess you have never herd of Windows Mobile?

Re:iPhone not smartphone (1)

theelectron (973857) | more than 7 years ago | (#17890092)

I can't decide whether or not you misspelled 'heard' or if you did a clever pun on the iPod/iPhone herd mentality, could you clarify?

Re:iPhone not smartphone (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17889718)

Or one that you can install whatever software you want on it (see GarnetOS/Palm and WinMobile), or one that apparently can open stuff like Documents and Spreadsheets (maybe that chagned since last I heard)

I think the term featurephone might apply, but really it's just a purty phone, but no Treo or 6800. Different market.

Re:iPhone not smartphone (2, Interesting)

dfghjk (711126) | more than 7 years ago | (#17889758)

A smartphone runs 3rd party apps. There are plenty of players besides Symbian in the smartphone market but the iPhone will not be one of them.

Re:iPhone not smartphone (1)

IamTheRealMike (537420) | more than 7 years ago | (#17890036)

Lots of phones run third party apps, including consumer phones (think J2ME applets/games). The definition of "smartphone" is pretty vague, actually, I don't know anybody except tech review magazines and the odd phone geeks that seriously try and use it. For the man on the street, there are phones and then there are PDAs, and a few are kinda both but not many people use them.

Then what is? (1)

Valdrax (32670) | more than 7 years ago | (#17890284)

Please give us your definition of a smartphone that somehow does not allow for the iPhone to be considered one. I've always assumed something like the Wikipedia's definition:

A smartphone is generally considered any handheld device that integrates personal information management and mobile phone capabilities in the same device. Often, this includes adding phone functions to already capable PDAs or putting "smart" capabilities, such as PDA functions, into a mobile phone.

Almost all phones today that sell for more than $50 are smartphones. The iPhone has calendaring, contact lists, a notepad, a web browser, a GPS navigation system, and so on, and so on.

If that isn't a smartphone, then I'd love to hear what phone on the market is one. What exactly can you do with a PDA that you can't do with an iPhone that overrides everything it can do?

Plug and play (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17889362)

This is all nonsense.

Sybian requires only an electric outlet and a love-starved female or homosexual lover.

Re:Plug and play (1)

monkeyboythom (796957) | more than 7 years ago | (#17890642)

I, for one, welcome my vibratory Overlords.

Hmmm... which link should I read??? (4, Informative)

bad_fx (493443) | more than 7 years ago | (#17889366)

The summary seems to imply that:

* The first link explains why Apple ported OS X (obvious IMO)
* The second link explains why motorola moved to Linux (again obvious IMO)
* The third link is some thoughts from Symbian Developers.

So... if I want to find out why it's "The Platform Nokia Secretly Hates" which bloody link should I read? Bleh, bugger it, I think I'll just read none of them and complain about it instead. That's what /. is all about right? =)

(Seriously though... the only bit of the summary that doesn't link to anything is the "Nokia Hate" bit so wtf man?)

Re:Hmmm... which link should I read??? (1)

badzilla (50355) | more than 7 years ago | (#17889442)

Not that you can read any of the links anyway... slashdotted after only a dozen or so posts.

Re:Hmmm... which link should I read??? (2, Insightful)

Threni (635302) | more than 7 years ago | (#17889788)

See if you can find a link that explains that Nokia hates a company it's the largest single shareholder of.

Re:Hmmm... which link should I read??? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17890104)

* The third link is some thoughts from Symbian Developers.

Read it again, the third link is thoughts from the people who develop ON Symbian, not the developers of Symbian itself. And they all gripe about the crappy C++ ripoff, the crappy multitasking, the crappy signing requirement, and so on.

Of course, the writer also whines about how restricted they are in toolkit choices on Wince, Symbian, and even Linux phones. And then turns around and is in awe at the use of Cocoa in the iPhone.

Re:Hmmm... which link should I read??? (2)

akaariai (921081) | more than 7 years ago | (#17890380)

Duh. Nokia sercretly hates. If there would be a link, it wouldn't be a secret.

What's this about a Sybian? (0, Offtopic)

jizziknight (976750) | more than 7 years ago | (#17889390)

Oooohhhh.... SyMbian. My bad.

Don't bother (1)

bendodge (998616) | more than 7 years ago | (#17889462)

Don't bother trying to read the article, it's slashdotted.
(yeah, stay away so I can read it...)

no brainer (4, Insightful)

Clover_Kicker (20761) | more than 7 years ago | (#17889486)

I'm pretty sure there isn't a development platform anywhere that programmers don't hate.

Remember, all software sucks.

Re:no brainer (1, Interesting)

lankester (1060122) | more than 7 years ago | (#17889708)

this couldn't be more wrong ...

I'm an ex-symbian dev and Symbian is by far the worse platform I did work on it. WinCe is better, windows xp and 2k is better, solaris/linux is better and even win ce is a lot better.

Symbian (in c++) is the first platform that I saw where the thread didnt share by default the application's heap. Also kernel development was a pain in the $%$%/% and the doc and/or support was inexistant.

Wait a second... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17889562)

Why would Nokia hate Symbian OS when Nokia owns 47.9% of Symbian?

Re: 49.7 ????? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17889784)

Isn't that's the number of days before Linux reboots ?

Good thing people turn their phones off everyonce in a while.

Re:Wait a second... (1)

AwaxSlashdot (600672) | more than 7 years ago | (#17889828)

RTFA

Java ME (4, Interesting)

Myolp (525784) | more than 7 years ago | (#17889566)

This is why I think Java ME still has a bright future. You can say whatever you want about Java ME, but it is much easier to develop applications in that than in Symbian C++, and you can find lots of really good IDEs and Emulators.

Re:Java ME (1, Insightful)

Fizzl (209397) | more than 7 years ago | (#17890388)

Ahem... I take it that you haven't actually developed all that much for phones?
J2ME is ridiculous toy at the moment. Only thing it's good for is writing unit tests for test applications that test API's (and fail).

True, that it's much easier to get started than Symbian framework, but you can't actually do all that much with the available API's.

Symbian is beautyfull digital masturbation of OS PhD's. It's very clever because of it's memory handling and so on. It's a pain in the ass to develop to thou.

]mod up (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17889572)

steadily fucking Duty to be a big eve8ything else Arseholes at Walnut for the state ofn Example, if you

Not all Symbian at fault here (1)

Builder (103701) | more than 7 years ago | (#17889586)

From the article:

"Some operators are requiring the phones to be locked for any apps not carrying a 'Symbian Signed' certificate. Which means, you have to pay for a certification process where you are checked by Symbian, why you developed the application and why you want to use certain capabilities on the phone, e.g. read and store user data, using the telephony APIs, or the WIFI capabilities etc."

You can't really blame the OS for what some stupid American operators do with it surely?

Other comments like fragmentation (DoComo vs S60 vs UIQ) have merit, but this is rubbish!

Re:Not all Symbian at fault here (1)

Albanach (527650) | more than 7 years ago | (#17889740)

You can't really blame the OS for what some stupid American operators do with it surely?
Indeed. The author uses this as an argument against Symbian, but makes no mention of the fact that Jobs has stated the iPod won't run any 3rd party software [slashdot.org] . Of course that may change, but it's hardly a plus for the iPhone.

Re:Not all Symbian at fault here (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17890672)

Yeah, everything is America's fault. I guess people in your country poop daisies and have potpourri scented farts.

Ahh, I like (1)

SimonTheSoundMan (1012395) | more than 7 years ago | (#17889592)

Something linking to good old Acorn Computers and RISCOS. Still have a few Acorns knocking around.

Anyone who ever owned... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17889658)

... a symbian60 device knows that this is no secret...

"the majority of todays smartphones" (1)

Rogerborg (306625) | more than 7 years ago | (#17889732)

I must remember to quote that the next time I'm talking to anyone from Qualcomm, Casio/Hitatchi, Kyocera, Do Co Mo or Samsung. If I catch them while they're drinking, I bet I can make them spit coke or sake out of their noses. Globally, Symbian is more or less an irrelevance. It's only a worthwhile platform because it's used on high margin handset. But a numerical majority? Sake out the nose.

Re:"the majority of todays smartphones" (4, Informative)

rcs1000 (462363) | more than 7 years ago | (#17890272)

Rogerborg, normally I appreciate your posts. But this time, I'm afraid you're just plain wrong.

* Qualcomm no longer makes handsets.
* Casio is a very minor player worldwide.
* DoCoMo is not a handset maker, it is the Japanese version of Verizon.
* Hitachi: do they still make mobile phones?
* Samsung *is* the third largest mobile phone maker in the world.

Of all the world's smartphones, 95% run on one of three platforms: Symbian (Nokia, Sony Ericsson), Blackberry (RIM) and Windows Mobile (HTC, Samsung). Samsung, with the BlackJack, is a small player. Trust me, the world's best selling smartphones are in the Nokia N- and E- series. After Nokia, HTC is almost certainly the second best selling smartphone maker.

*Globally* Symbian is not an irrelevance.

Re:"the majority of todays smartphones" (1)

radish (98371) | more than 7 years ago | (#17890618)

How does Palm/Treo fit into this picture? I'm just curious - I've largely ignored smartphones until now and haven't kept up to date with who runs what these days.

Re:"the majority of todays smartphones" (1)

rcs1000 (462363) | more than 7 years ago | (#17890982)

The Palm Treo devices are made by HTC, so are included in there.

Cheers, Robert

Only half true (2, Insightful)

bennini (800479) | more than 7 years ago | (#17889754)

The article only describes about half of what symbian is all about...
Symbian, after all, provides APIs to natively interact with the OS and many of the phones hardware....this native interface requires applications to be written in C/C++. This type of development is what most people (more specifically, those in the article) complain about. I have never developed a "native" application for symbian. The main reason for this is that the IDE's and environments which nokia provides are not available for OS X.

I can attest though that Symbian (read Nokia series 60) provides an awesome JVM and set of support APIs for accessing messaging, bluetooth, networking and various other system resources. CLDC and MDIP (1.0 and 2.0) provide great libraries for developing apps well and very fast on Symbian. I have developed several Java apps for Symbian (including one which fetches the latest articles from the /. front page :-) ), and up until now have loved how easy it has been to deploy apps via bluetooth to the phone. Of course this may change with Series 60 v3 and the new "security" garbage...yet another reason to purchase an E61 now before they decide to upgrade all their decent phones to s60v3.

It does seem though that the article is a bit biased towards the iPhone. But until i see guaranteed proof that the iPhone will include a JVM and support libs for java development on it...i won't consider it "5 years ahead of everything else." And Apple's apparently lack of support for "hobby" development on the iPhone isnt much of a turn on either. So we'll have to wait and see. I wouldn't say Apple chose their own homebrew stuff over symbian because "symbian is crap" but rather because many of the things which Apple likes to do (Cocoa based guis) simply wouln't run on Symbian.

Closed phone argument is not relevant (1)

AwaxSlashdot (600672) | more than 7 years ago | (#17889948)

I think one of the point the article tries to make is that the "not open phone" argument is irrelevant.

1st, Symbian is not a standard plateform even if it is the most commun OS available on "smart"phones. This is because it is used only as a kernel by phone makers. So saying that you can use the same app on different phone is irrelevant because they have to be custom fitted to every phone model or maker. 2nd, it is not an open platform because phone makers are currently locking it for carrier security (not taking the network down). So goodbye homemade application.

For the bias towards iPhone, RoughtlyDrafted is heavily biased towards all Apple products but in a good way I think : it really tries to find strong argument to justify its love for the fruity corporation.

Re:Only half true (1)

mlk (18543) | more than 7 years ago | (#17890378)

provides an awesome JVM
It has been a few years since I last did any JME development, but the Nokia JVM was one of the things that put me off, how such a buggy POS made it past test is simply amazing. I take it the JVM is now worth using? Maybe I should look into doing some JME dev again.

What a lousy bunch of badly written negative artic (2, Interesting)

clonmult (586283) | more than 7 years ago | (#17889846)

I can't believe how lousy those writeups are.

Symbian has grown a fair bit over the years. Its still as easy to use as ever.

I've gone through the certification of apps a couple of times (for personal usage), and its ridiculously easy.

There are 4 distinct variants of Symbian - S60v3 and S60 prior to v3, UIQ and the Japanese DoCoMo releases.

On the more popular S60v3 platform (on new releases) there is a huge array of full blown office apps;- wordprocessing, spreadsheets, extremely workable GPS applications, some stunning games (that easily look as good as, if not better than the DS equivalents).

There is absolutely no way that anyone can justly state that the iPhone is 5 years ahead without having tried to develop on it. S60 has a large number of developers actively working on it, its considerably more mature than any other smartphone OS.

i don't normally get wound up by these things, but this ones just got me fuming. Feck feck feck. Had to get that out. Sorry.

Re:What a lousy bunch of badly written negative ar (1)

Creepy (93888) | more than 7 years ago | (#17890680)

yeah, it wasn't a very objective analysis, and opinions seem to hinge entirely on a few features. I can see memory cleanup on exceptions being a legitimate gripe, but the rest of it seems nit-picky. The standard C++ library is bloated, IMO, and while it contains some nice features, I would probably not stick it in a device where memory and storage are at a premium. I've personally programmed PalmOS, but never Symbian, and had plenty of memory related problems there.

Speculatively speaking, even if Cocoa is running on mobiles, it doesn't mean they also support layering it with C++. Obj-C also has some restrictions when mixed with C++, like all declarations of Objective-C objects needing to be pointers. The main benefit of Objective-C, IMO, is that it is a "true" object oriented language with message passing whereas C++ is not. It is possible to make C++ behave like a true object oriented language by implementing message passing for accessors rather than allowing direct access (e.g. accessing public or protected variables) but that is not forced on you.

The writer couldn't even spell "piece of shit" right, spelling it "peace of shit." Why the shit is at peace is beyond me... Maybe they can switch it to "pease of shit" next, which I recall being an old spelling of peas (like in the nursery rhyme pease porridge hot).

just another pro-Apple site (5, Insightful)

semiotec (948062) | more than 7 years ago | (#17889848)

check out the article list:
Origins: Why the iPhone is ARM, and isn't Symbian
The Egregious Incompetence of Palm
More Absurd iPhone Myths: Third Party Software Panic
More Absurd iPhone Myths: iSuppli, Subsidies, and Pricing
The Spectacular Failure of WinCE and Windows Mobile
OS X vs. WinCE: How iPhone Differs from Windows Mobile
Apple's OS X: How Does it Fit on the iPhone?
Why OS X is on the iPhone, but not the PC
Apple iPhone vs LG Prada KE850
Phone Wars: iPhone vs TyTN, Treo, Pearl, E62, P990, Q
Smartphones: iPhone and the Big Fat Mobile Industry
Cingular Apple iPhone vs. Verizon Motorola Q
Zune vs. iPhone: Five Phases of Media Coverage
Inside the iPhone: FairPlay DRM and the iTunes Store
Inside the iPhone: Wireless and Sync vs. Palm, WinCE
Inside the iPhone: UI, Stability, and Software
Readers Write About iPhone, 3G Wireless Networks
Inside the iPhone: Third Party Software
Inside the iPhone: Mac OS X, ARM, and iPod OS X
Inside the iPhone: EDGE, EVDO, HSUPA, 3G, and WiFi
Macworld: Ten Myths of the Apple iPhone
Macworld: Scorecard and Secrets of the iPhone

if that doesn't give you the idea...

However, none of this precludes the article itself from being an objective look at the Symbian platform. But it seems the writer fails to rise up to the occasion, and just delivered some hearsay from supposed "developers" and "executives".

So I dug around a bit more, read a few more paragraphs from different articles, while the writing is better than average and more technical than most, it still seems to read like every other fanboy site, this case the fanboy being an Apple fanboy, which means that absolutely every-fucking-thing that Apple/Jobs does is the total awsomeness double plus good. If only the writer(s) could be slightly critical just every now and then to give the articles that sense of non-PR-ness.

In the article "Phone Wars":
"The iPhone is closer to being a micro-laptop using flash RAM than a conventional smartphone."
This about a unreleased product with only a few grainy photos... then it goes on to bash all other "competitors" and actually just short of _praising_ Apple for not including 3G into the iPhone.

Then in the features the iPhone has 4096 MB of RAM! holy moly. I understand that with handheld devices RAM can sometimes be used for both storage and running programs, like in my trusty Palm E2, but for all other phones, only the RAM is listed and not the storage-use ROM, and yet the iPhone is listed with 4Gb of RAM! I dunno, doesn't sound like even-handed treatment.

Yes, but look past that... (1)

SuperKendall (25149) | more than 7 years ago | (#17890848)

The writer is very pro-Apple, at at times the writing comes across as a Slashdot post level of writing (though at times it
s very analytical).

But that does not mean the articles can be of no value, despite the slant - the summary of the history of Symbian and Palm and Linux and WinCE is very good, even if motives ascribed to companies are more suspect. But the timelines are right, and the long letter from the Symbian developer is hard to dismiss especially since I have heard similar thoughts from other developers on a J2ME list I have been subscribed to for a few years (though to be clear, I do not currently do any phone application development myself).

RoughlyDrafted? Not Again (0)

Thumper_SVX (239525) | more than 7 years ago | (#17890080)

What's with the RD links? I'm sorry... I'm a Macbook Pro owner, I love Macs and my wife's next laptop will be a Mac when she burns hers up. But I am not an Apple fanboy quite like Daniel Eran.

I must admit I sometimes enjoy his articles, but his recent series of articles are just his own self-justification for why the iPhone is God! Yes, Steve Jobs has come to Earth to give us all immortality and give us a device of such divine providence that we cannot help but throw all of our alternatives into the eternal flames and give ourselves forever to Apple.

Puh-lease! Sorry, I don't buy it. The iPhone is good, yes. It's fashionable, yes. And it'll sell, yes. But it won't be the "savior of the world" that Apple fanboys would have you believe. And telling them they're wrong only serves to escalate their fervor until they're almost foaming at the mouth.

When I saw the iPhone I wanted one. I liked it, and I thought it would be a nice device. However, the more I learned about it the less I liked, and when I heard that it was to be closed to third-party developers I switched off entirely. The iPhone suddenly became an interesting blip on the radar, but that's all. This is a sad development since I was one of the prime market for the iPhone; tech-savvy Apple-owning middle-class with a decent enough income to actually go out and spend $500-$800 on a decent device that suits my communication and application needs. I've carried a PDA since the Palm Pilot Pro, and was thrilled when decent convergence devices came about. My current device of choice is an aging but reliable Motorola MPX220 that suits most of my needs but lacks in several areas (I like doing hand-written notes on a PDA, so I miss that functionality). This year I am going to buy a new device, but it's now almost certainly not going to be an iPhone.

RoughlyDrafted has been getting a lot of coverage here on Slashdot lately. I am not averse to that, as I said I sometimes find his articles on computing history amusing (if sometimes a little inaccurate and Apple-slanted), but his recent articles just smack of someone trying to convince himself that the iPhone is the greatest thing in the world and he's oblivious to any dissenting opinion. He will only listen to and cover those opinions that match his own or reinforce his argument.

On the subject of this particular article (which I read last night thank you), maybe to a couple of developers in Nokia the Symbian OS sucks... but don't they all? Symbian is an old architecture, that much is true but it DOES work. The problem with Symbian-based devices is rarely the OS but the applications that sit on top of it... that's what you see and work with. To someone who's developed on OSX, Linux or Windows the APIs can seem clunky an unfriendly because the world has improved many things since Symbian was first developed. However, if you use any RTOS or embedded OS from that time period they all have similar flaws due to the limitations of the devices at the time. Every developer I've ever worked with hates the OS they code on for any number of reasons. No platform is perfect. Having worked a little with Symbian I can say I saw the limitations of the OS and its APIs, but for the relatively narrow range of functions it's really asked to perform it's not bad.

I think that anyone who complains about the modern platform they're working in ought to be forced to code for six months in Fortran so they can learn to appreciate how much simpler it is to code to any platform created in the last 20 years!

Secretly? Nah... (4, Funny)

QuasiEvil (74356) | more than 7 years ago | (#17890588)

Symbian: the Platform Nokia Secretly Hates
I'm pretty sure anybody who has ever had to work with that godforsaken OS (myself included) hates it openly...

I heard about this on Howerd Stern... (1)

chinton (151403) | more than 7 years ago | (#17890600)

The folks they had on there using it seemed pretty excited about it. I wonder what is wrong with the people at Nokia?

Oh, wait... Nevermind.

Misconceptions in TFA (5, Informative)

mstrom (1060158) | more than 7 years ago | (#17890738)

As a Symbianophile (and a former Symbian employee) allow to point out some mistakes the author of the TFA has made:

"Nokia's POS/OS. Sources close to Nokia say that Symbian is secretly regarded inside the company--even among high level senior executives--as a "peace-of-shit-OS," explaining that "Finnish people usually have a very coarse language.""

Well from the POV of a SymbianOS developer, it's Nokia that have screwed things up with a very buggy "middleware" S60 layer where (the rumours have it) much of the functionality has been implemented by summer interns and there are some long standing bugs with S60 that make SymbianOS look bad

"And of course UIQ has never been source code nor binary compatible with S60. But still you get the impression from analysts and media that 'Symbian' is one stable OS."

Although they aren't binary compatible, the fact that they both sit on a X-windows-esque Eikon windowing layer means that their Windowing systems are in fact very similar and it's easy to cross-compile for both. Remember that UIQ is for the most part Pen-based whereas S60 is numeric-keypad-based (broadly speaking) and it in fact impressive that these two separate systems can be so easy to port between thanks to them both sitting on SymbianOS for most core tasks.

"Symbian Signed ... makes shareware and hobby programming almost impossible ..."

... I'm sure /. readers understand the necessity for signed s/w on mobiles. Also the point (unquoted) about needed full certifcation is misleading - it just means the user gets are warning dialog like many modern OSs. The situation with J2ME midlets is much the same.

"Some operators are requiring the phones to be locked for any apps not carrying a 'Symbian Signed' certificate"

The biggest issue all of us in the industry have is the power of the network operators customising and locking users in/out of features - this will occur with any OS (and does already with PocketPC) due to he unfortuant power of the networks who control the industry.

"Crippled C++ support They made their own home-cooked version of exceptions called Leaves"

SymbianOS v9 (S60 v3+, UIQ v3+) can use exceptions (although they are Leaves under the hood) - happy now? The point TFA makes here is very uninformed as Symbian jumps through hoops to make it difficult for apps to leak through the combination of CleanupStack and Leaves

"Limited support for multi-threading That was hardly even a relevant argument in 1993 but it meant that Symbian uses 'active objects' instead of threads in almost all applications."

In fact, the cost of a OS context-switch is still high when every bit of battery power matters - battery technology hasn't changed that much since 1993

"Bad development environment ... need to install Visual Studio 2003 to make it work ..."

Carbide.c++, which is based on Eclipse and CDT, is the only IDE Nokia is supporting from now on and it's great and stable. The author admits "My first installation a few years ago" ... nuff zed.

and there's more ... but I don't have that much time Motti

Eran = Fanboy BUT... (4, Interesting)

BoRegardless (721219) | more than 7 years ago | (#17890948)

Eran is just showing how the "Linux" and "Symbian" OS's, are not the well thought out and modernized monolithic wonderfully easy OS's to program in that seems to be talked about in the press.

iPhone in my mind is just the MacMicro, which is the logical extension of the Mac Mini. The phone function may not be the most important feature for a lot of users, including my wife, and her friends. My wife has 30 years of friends in her 1.5" thick paper address book, and her interior designer friend has about 3000 phone numbers from 35 years in her business. They both panic when they think they have lost their "book". The iPhone, for them, will be the reason to move the paper lists into the 21st century. This seems old hat to a programmer or heavy computer user, but lots of people just don't find it EASY to implement computer based records as an individual.

Apple's iPhone is on the right track, and since it is totally software driven, applications are virtually free to implement actions free of mechanical button constraints.

Apple does have a history of delivering on innovation:

1. Easy to use interfaces
2. Logical consistent icons/dialogs
3. Programming ease delivered to developers
4. Pretty good hardware all things considered, including the bum items (I've owned a lot of them)
5. Hardware that is nearing 8 years old still humming along just fine on OSX.
6. Recognition of what is needed to keep the user experience successful to drive adoption
7. Delivering basically what they said they would on OSX

I think that once iPhone is delivered, we will find that if an individual developer wants to implement his own application, say an HP 15 emulator, that it will be a straightforward process to get it certified and offered to iPhone users.

Apple collectively is not dumb about involving developers, and with the volume of phones in the world, they know they need them for localization & specific industry, hobby & connectivity issues.

I like Apple (& use Windows too), but think Apple is far and away ahead of the game in mobiles, because of the way they set up OSX and its developer tools.

How do they know? (1)

Knytefall (7348) | more than 7 years ago | (#17891068)

The iPhone hasn't been released. Yet all the Apple fan boys have s3cr3t intimate inside knowledge of the system. What gives? They step-up to defend how Apple won't really lock out third-parties, but how do they know?

Apple fanboys get more and more sickening the farther from reality they get.

Symbian - not for me (1)

zugurudumba (1009301) | more than 7 years ago | (#17891078)

I work for a company that develops games on the JavaME platform. While I am not a programmer, I can tell you that many of our programmers would love to develop native Symbian applications. They say it's much more easier and that they can do in 10 lines of code the same thing that Java does in 10. Of course, what they really hate is the fact that even though java code is cross-platform, they still have to adjust the same application for each device (different device specifications, of course) However, as a tester, I hate Symbian. It is SLOW. Just turn on a Nokia N93 (the most performant processor on the consumer market, at least until some months ago) and see how much it takes just to start up the system. Then enter the main menu for the first time and be ready to wait again. Do you want to remove some of the installed applications? Just wait for the OS to scan the phone for them (as if it doesn't know what is already installed). Then remove. Then wait again until Symbian scans again. Symbian usability is a joke. Ever tried to connect a device through a GPRS connection? There are THREE places in the seemingly infinite tree of menus you have to go. Why can't they just place all the internet settings in one location? Do we need this complexity in our mobile devices? Do we have to turn the mobile phone in a PC? If this is the only way, we should do it better, at least. And don't, please, don't remind me of Windows CE. Try the 'cool' Sony Ericsson P990, you'll know what I'm talking about.
Load More Comments
Slashdot Login

Need an Account?

Forgot your password?