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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 Maemo?
By Fox5 on 1/15/2010 12:11:15 PM , Rating: 2
And I was positive Maemo would take over as their primary platform.
Looks like they really are choosing Symbian as their primary platform, and Maemo is for the Internet tablets.

RE: No Maemo?
By themaster08 on 1/15/2010 12:31:30 PM , Rating: 2
Nokia's plan is to begin using Maemo for it's high end devices, whilst using Symbian S60 on mid range devices and S40 on low end.

Symbian^4 will be capable of multitasking. It is still the same OS at the core, just with many improvements to the UI and so forth

RE: No Maemo?
By Penti on 1/16/2010 11:54:07 PM , Rating: 2
Remember the average price on Nokia phones is like €68.

So it's not like they will sell 500-1000MHz Cortex A8/A9 with 4G and Maemo in the phones that sell. Stripped down symbian is what most phones will use. So it's not like they can just drop Symbian. What would they use instead? Currently none of the smartphones OS's are used in such low end devices.

RE: No Maemo?
By themaster08 on 1/18/2010 3:50:07 AM , Rating: 2
I can't guarantee how truthful this is, It's just something I read, but rumour has it that Nokia plans to reduce it's lineup of phones so that it can concentrate on quality rather than quantity.

If this rumour stands, it is likely that Nokia will plan to use said hardware in it's high-end device(s) in order to expand the Maemo platform, and to keep with Nokia's theme of their smartphones being "mobile computers". The N900 already uses a Cortex A8 600MHz and dedicated graphics chip, which is fairly unusual for Nokia.

Maemo is undeniably the most advanced smartphone OS at present. If you thought 10 simultaneously running apps on a Droid is impressive, how about 32?

If Nokia has managed to do this with an A8 600Mhz, just imagine the possibilities with a Snapdragon or upcoming dual core processors.

The only issue with the Maemo platform is ease of use.

When it comes to Symbian, Nokia have always favoured software tweaking over advanced hardware. This reduces costs, yet allows for the same feature set and functionality you would find in a much more expensive phone, albeit less stylishly.

I've been a long time fan of the Symbian platform. It's always been an underrated and under appreciated platform in my opinion. Nokia have no plans to drop the platform, hence the prolonged work of Symbian^4, and I expect many more iterations of this great operating system to come.

"If you can find a PS3 anywhere in North America that's been on shelves for more than five minutes, I'll give you 1,200 bucks for it." -- SCEA President Jack Tretton

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