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A first glance at the new Symbian S^4 mobile OS  (Source:
Nokia steps up its game with Symbian S^4

While Nokia still carries weight in the mobile arena, it did suffer a difficult 2009, a year after its acquisiton of Symbian Software. With the new year, however, Nokia looks to step up its game with a completely redesigned mobile OS, Symbian S^4.

With the advent of this OS, the new mobile chief, Rick Simonson released a statement to the India Times in which he claimed that Nokia’s "efforts will start producing results, as we will be at par with Apple and RIM in smartphones."

These efforts have become much more apparent recently with the release of a concept proposal which is open to the public and clearly outlines technical features of the new mobile OS.

Within this document Nokia describes new features to be presented by the OS that are common with rival platforms. The most notable of these features include the clean new look and moveability of the home screen (similar to the Android), a lack of exit commands comparable to Palm’s webOS, and a customizable application library reminiscent of the iPhone.

Nokia also adds some other unique features, allowing Symbian S^4 to stand apart from the competition and addressing user input regarding the current OS. Complaints concerning system lag have been resolved in the proposal, where applications will not run in the background, preserving system memory. Additionally, the OS will feature movable widgets and menu bars, allowing further customization by the user, and an overall cleaner look.

Symbian developers are looking for user input on the conceptual design of the new S^4 OS, creating an open opportunity for users to shape the next Nokia OS. The forum can be found here, and includes several informative links, including the link to the full proposal.

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No Multitasking?
By phatboye on 1/15/2010 11:13:32 AM , Rating: 1
Complaints concerning system lag have been resolved in the proposal, where applications will not run in the background, preserving system memory.
If this means no multitasking then the OS will fail.

RE: No Multitasking?
By corduroygt on 1/15/2010 12:21:20 PM , Rating: 3
Yes, the iphone OS is such a failure.
A better way is to allow only certain apps like iphone but more: A web browser, Music player, e-mail client is what iphone does, and I'll add a fourth one, which is an IM client. A fifth one could be a SIP client too. IM+ is the only app I use with backgrounder on my iphone, because having fring on the background really kills battery.

RE: No Multitasking?
By omnicronx on 1/15/2010 2:05:49 PM , Rating: 2
Depends on what you consider multitasking. As it currently stands, If you think smartphone multitasking = PC mulitasking you would be incorrect. Resources are limited for background apps for Android, WinMo and WebOS . The only reason WebOS pulls it off so well is that basically all their programs are just html/css etc run through their webkit browser. That just won't fly going forward as devices become more powerful.

Even WinMo which has had 'multitasking' for years all but limits background apps to little to no resources. In windows resources are mainly pooled, and while the foreground app may have access to more resources (which is usually done by the developer not an OS limitation), its not even close to the delta that exists on todays smartphones.

The way I see it, the ability to have apps save their state for easy and fast loading the next time around is a much better idea. This will save precious resources for forground apps, and will most likely save on battery life too.. The iPhone for example does support multitasking, just not with 3rd party apps. This way you don't have to worry about different apps fighting for resources.. (just ask an android user what happens when you have too many things open)

RE: No Multitasking?
By sxr7171 on 1/16/2010 3:23:00 AM , Rating: 2
I've used Symbian phones for years and they run apps in the background just fine.

Having said I understand Apple's solution to current battery and resource limitations. The iPhone 3GS in particular by virtue of speed makes resuming into an application just a little slower than switching between running applications.

At the end of the day I see the real benefit of multitasking in the quick switching between apps that it provides. I don't really see myself needing to keep anything running in the background on a smartphone except for music and location services. Years ago we were running web servers on our N95s. Yes, it is cool but why would anyone actually do that? The battery dies in about 3 hours and there are better ways to run a webpage or get data from a device onto the internet than to actually run the webserver on the device itself. Such things were a proof of concept and maybe induced a "nerd boner" but that's about it.

I don't care if it "truly" multitasks or whatever the heck makes it go, just let me switch between my last 5 used apps in a split second and I'm game.

RE: No Multitasking?
By FITCamaro on 1/16/2010 11:01:43 PM , Rating: 2
just ask an android user what happens when you have too many things open

nothing? there can be 10 apps open on my droid before i notice any slowdown

RE: No Multitasking?
By Hare on 1/16/2010 2:13:58 AM , Rating: 2
If this means no multitasking then the OS will fail.

Symbian has always supported true multitasking so I don't see why on earth this would change. Propably it's just that the process prioritization and memory management has improved if anything. Even 10y old Nokia devices run apps in the background with no problems.

RE: No Multitasking?
By alexleonard on 1/16/2010 2:30:03 AM , Rating: 2
I have an E71 and happily run, every day, Gmail, inbuilt IMAP mail client, Nimbuzz, Music app, Gravity (twitter client), Google Maps/Latitude.

I have no issues with system slowness and lag, or issues with multi-tasking.

I can't imagine using a phone which doesn't allow me to have these applications not running in the background continually.

I also can't imagine Nokia removing multi-tasking. Perhaps they plan to refine memory handling by background apps.

RE: No Multitasking?
By chick0n on 1/16/2010 9:02:11 AM , Rating: 1
iPhone has Multitasking ?


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