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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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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.

"I'm an Internet expert too. It's all right to wire the industrial zone only, but there are many problems if other regions of the North are wired." -- North Korean Supreme Commander Kim Jong-il

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