All About Symbian - Nokia (S60) and Sony Ericsson (UIQ) smartphones unwrapped

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Old 13-05-2010, 07:44 AM
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Nokia's design directions

Rafe reports back from a 'conversational briefing' with Marko Ahtisaari (Head of Design at Nokia) at Nokia's London Design HQ. There's an explanation of Nokia's "smart push", of how Nokia's three tier device strategy fits together, of how Nokia's software and hardware design teams have been brought together to promote a holistic approach and accelerate the pace of innovation, and there are hints of future design directions for both Symbian and MeeGo devices and software.

Read on in the full article.

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Old 13-05-2010, 08:24 AM
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Uhhhh..... Finland is not Scandinavian. They are Nordic.

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Old 13-05-2010, 08:35 AM
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Nokia really needs to stop with the cute attempts at producing eye candy (not what they do best) and focus on producing quality software out of the box (something they do quite poorly) that promotes a positive and memorable user experience. I can't recall one major smart phone released by Nokia in the last few years that was not software crapped right out of the box. Hate them or love them but Apple and Android initial software releases work and do not need nearly the myriad software updates just to have a working device. The one key difference I have noticed between Android, iPhone OS and Symbian is that Android and iPhone OS are intuitive and the UI makes the user want to "do" things with the device. Be it checking emails, looking up something, playing a game, etc... Symbian does not share this excitement at the UI experience level. It is like having a nice sports car verses a VW Beetle. Both will get you there but the sports car is much more fun to drive. Symbian still works but it is stuck in first gear.

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Old 13-05-2010, 09:00 AM
viipottaja viipottaja is offline
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He is, btw, the son of a Nobel price laureat and ex-president Martti Ahtisaari...
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Old 13-05-2010, 09:02 AM
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I can't recall one major smart phone released by Nokia in the last few years that was not software crapped right out of the box. Hate them or love them but Apple and Android initial software releases work and do not need nearly the myriad software updates just to have a working device. The one key difference I have noticed between Android, iPhone OS and Symbian is that Android and iPhone OS are intuitive and the UI makes the user want to "do" things with the device. Be it checking emails, looking up something, playing a game, etc... Symbian does not share this excitement at the UI experience level. It is like having a nice sports car verses a VW Beetle. Both will get you there but the sports car is much more fun to drive. Symbian still works but it is stuck in first gear.
Firstly the old S60V5 problems are really old news and has been repeated a million times in a million places and really ought to be in some kind of FAQ. It's getting seriously boring. Everybody who is interested knows and accepts this stuff. I await ^3 and ^4 to see how Nokia have responded.

Secondly, my experience of both iPhone and Android shows that they are not without their problems and some very serious ones. But that's OK because they are really expensive.

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Old 13-05-2010, 09:28 AM
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I can't think of any modern smartphone that has shipped completely problem free (it varies of course).

I guess I should have made it clearer that this was all predicated on the assumption people were aware of the upcoming UI changes. Marko Marko Ahtisaari suggested, as many other have, that Symbian^3 is the intermediate step. The 'better' UI starts with MeeGo and Symbian^4.

The excitement in using the UI is an interesting one - I'm not sure this is always a positive characteristic - usability and efficiency are important (would argue they are basis for RIM's success for example).

To me the most telling part of the session was the comment on touch UIs being immersive, head down experiences. This trend is counter-intuitive to how we use mobile devices - we want to look up and be in the world as we use them - if Nokia can solve this then I think that's the next UI revolution for touch...

From an entirely personal point of view - he is definitely one of Nokia's more engaging spokespeople (especially given it is a relatively hard topic to talk about).

Anyway hope you enjoyed the article - not the easy one to right because understandable this is largely conceptual / conversational at the moment.
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Old 13-05-2010, 09:58 AM
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Nokia 5230 - I found no bugs on v11, and I generally hammer the kit - found bugs on the N95 and N85 without any problems at all. And none of those have been found on the 5230.

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Old 13-05-2010, 11:16 AM
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Your comments

Quote:
Nokia really needs to stop with the cute attempts at producing eye candy (not what they do best) and focus on producing quality software out of the box (something they do quite poorly) that promotes a positive and memorable user experience. I can't recall one major smart phone released by Nokia in the last few years that was not software crapped right out of the box. Hate them or love them but Apple and Android initial software releases work and do not need nearly the myriad software updates just to have a working device. The one key difference I have noticed between Android, iPhone OS and Symbian is that Android and iPhone OS are intuitive and the UI makes the user want to "do" things with the device. Be it checking emails, looking up something, playing a game, etc... Symbian does not share this excitement at the UI experience level. It is like having a nice sports car verses a VW Beetle. Both will get you there but the sports car is much more fun to drive. Symbian still works but it is stuck in first gear.
Hi there,

I do not entirely agree, although do wholeheartedly agree that our software quality story has been poor. And has been pointed out by Rafe and AAS, this is something we are focusing on within Nokia and have to get right. We cannot afford another N97.

Where I slightly disagree on the eye candy comment. The reality is people buy a device based on how shiny it looks, they stay because of the experience. So this is not something we can ignore completely

You should consider Symbian^3 as a back to basics and the foundation for Symbian^4. When I say back to basics I mean getting rid of all the prompts we have in 5th edition, single click everywhere etc. This will be built upon with Symbian^4, and for developers Qt is available on the N8 at launch so apps can be developed straight away.

I honestly think Nokia will shock people this year with Symbian^3 (in a posative way). For companies like Sony Ericsson and Samsung, I could seem them (personally speaking here and as ex-Symbian employee) looking very seriously at Symbian once again.

Cheers,

Kevin

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Old 13-05-2010, 11:50 AM
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Looking at that picture of the C6, it looks like what you might have hoped a Psion would look like these days. Who owns the Agenda, Database, etc. source code and could it ported? (S60 apps don't come close, and as far as I am aware neither do iPhone, Android).

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Old 13-05-2010, 01:42 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Unregistered View Post
Looking at that picture of the C6, it looks like what you might have hoped a Psion would look like these days. Who owns the Agenda, Database, etc. source code and could it ported? (S60 apps don't come close, and as far as I am aware neither do iPhone, Android).
You got me thinking .... if Psion had somehow continued with their designs and its evolution, we'd definitely have some much better designs than anyone else has currently got on the market.

The keyboard even on the low end 3a was ahead of anything I've used on a mobile. The organiser was (as you've said) great. I can just about accept the Symbian diary, WM is a little better, but Psion just got it right.

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Old 14-05-2010, 07:07 AM
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Quote:
The key point here is Nokia is not just looking at catching up on the UI front, but believes its history in mobile design gives it the opportunity to take the next step - leapfrogging the existing generation of touch UIs.
with

Quote:
"We will push those crooks, those mercenaries back into the swamp"
or
Quote:
"There is no presence of American infidels in the city of Baghdad"
( Information Minister Mohammad Saeed al-Sahaf )

Maybe it's unfair to compare this rich playboy with Comical Ali, but they both do alot of wishful thinking, and can't repair what's needed (see above) - QUALITY.

Anyone who uses the word "holistic" should be suspended.

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Old 14-05-2010, 07:23 AM
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Personally I do feel that the need to look at the phone head down and use two hands has been a step backwards. I welcome any attempt by Nokia or anyone else to try to move things on again.

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Old 14-05-2010, 10:15 AM
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Angry

I'm getting serious about N8, ONLY, if Nokia upgrades it Symbian ^4, which honestly speaking, from my past experience with E71 (Feature Pack 1) and similar devices, doesn't seem to be happening. So Rafe, do you know something about this serious issue?

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Old 14-05-2010, 10:20 AM
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I'm getting serious about N8, ONLY, if Nokia upgrades it Symbian ^4, which honestly speaking, from my past experience with E71 (Feature Pack 1) and similar devices, doesn't seem to be happening. So Rafe, do you know something about this serious issue?
I've asked and get the usual no comment / we do not talk about future products (the software in this case).

I'd have to agree I think it is unlikely... But don't under-estimate Symbian^3 either.
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Old 14-05-2010, 10:46 AM
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> I'm getting serious about N8, ONLY, if Nokia upgrades it Symbian ^4 .... So Rafe, do you know something about this serious issue?

It's not a serious issue. At all. Only for geeks who want it all and want it now. Where does this attitude end? I'm going to raise you, and say I'm only getting an N8 if it's upgradeable to Symbian ^5, ^6, ^7 and ^8.

Symbian ^3 looks AMAZING, quite frankly. I suggest you remind yourself exactly how amazing here:
http://developer.symbian.org/main/do...E7AEC916F.html

You're only obsessed with Symbian^4 because you've heard a little bit about it. But I say forget that! Why not be obsessed with Symbian ^9 don't worry that you haven't heard about it yet, it's going to be incredible! ;-)
 

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