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

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  #31  
Old 09-07-2010, 05:42 PM
Dazzy Dazzy is offline
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ifanboy

Why do you even bother to post on here if you are going to run down every post made, are there no interesting topics on the iphone sites to keep you busy or something?

Symbian can be tricky to set up, granted but it's only because it is a complex, feature laden and mature OS.

  #32  
Old 09-07-2010, 07:41 PM
KPOM
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I found Symbian^1 to be a little confusing with the double taps. It is more than simply a matter of getting used to it. It is also more difficult to operate while walking, etc. since it requires more coordination.

Touchscreen phones make more sense as phones morph into GPS devices and mini tablet PCs, which are better suited to touch or touch/keyboard combos than to keyboard/d-pad-only devices. However, touchscreen UIs aren't just non-touch UIs enabled to handle touch input. That was the issue with Symbian^1. Even ignoring the whole tap/double tap issue, Symbian^1 buried too many settings deep within nested menus, and wasn't always consistent. IIRC, some GPS settings were within Maps, while others were within the Settings menu, for instance. Whenever I wanted to change settings it always seemed more difficult than it needed to be.

It is here where more "horizontal" UIs such as the iPhone and Android come in handy. iPhone does have the limitation of lacking a home screen, but it is very simple to use. Apple also seems to use higher quality touchscreens, and I do find the virtual keyboard even on the original iPhone to be superior to the ones I see on Android and Symbian^1.

I think Android does a decent job in balancing the desire for a simple UI with the desire for customizability. It isn't quite as easy to use as iOS, and it isn't as customizable as Symbian^1, but it does show one way forward. Froyo makes it even better, with the dedicated phone, app, and browser buttons on the home screens.

Android also does a better job than Symbian^1 at integrating the native applications. More often on Android I can click on an address and the GPS application will appear as an option than ever happened on Symbian. It works from the browser, contacts, and even the calendar. Ovi Maps never seemed quite so integrated with the rest of the applications.

Where Apple gets it really right is in the integration of the phone UI with the rest of the device. When a call comes in, the phone app takes precedent. Even on S60v3 devices (and Symbian^1) I recall some issues in answering a call quickly when I was in another application. It's this kind of attention to detail that sets Apple apart.

  #33  
Old 09-07-2010, 09:02 PM
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I found Symbian^1 to be a little confusing with the double taps. It is more than simply a matter of getting used to it. It is also more difficult to operate while walking, etc. since it requires more coordination.
.
LOL! I think if walking makes coordination difficult or confusing we are lookin at a possible dyspraxic disorder.

Took me about 60 seconds to get used to it.

That's not to say it doesn't need improving. But reading all this anally retentive stuff about consistency and efficiency just makes me sad. Seems that everybody wants everything spoon fed.

And buried deep in menus? Bullshit.

Settings->General->Network->WiFi->Other

Settings->Mail, Contacts, Calendars->Time Zone Support->Time Zone

Name the phone?


I really don't worry that I've had enough calories for breakfast so I've got enough energy for an extra keypress. I really honestly have got better things to get anal about.
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  #34  
Old 09-07-2010, 10:44 PM
tom1504 tom1504 is offline
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Oh my God some of you are idiots. This feels like the dying days of Dreamcast. After waiting MANY years & sticking by Nokia since 3210, i'm jumping ship to Android. I wish Nokia all the best & I sincerely hope that by the time I can next upgrade, Nokia have got their act together. Let's be honest, it's a bad joke that's got very, very old. Fanboyism is just scary at this stage, Nokia have totally struggled to come up with a user experience that can even begin to compete with iphone (yawn) or Android. I fully agree, it's all about the user experience but how something so inconsistent (s60 5th) could ever be expected to compete in the real world is totally beyond me. I've been a mostly happy user of a 5800 for the past 18 months. Aside from the crashes & hard resets (getting more frequent), i love the phone. I'll come back in a year or so, hopefully s60 will have evolved & will finally be fulfilling it's potential & killing ios as I fully believe it should.

  #35  
Old 09-07-2010, 10:57 PM
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Arthur Arthur is offline
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LOL... the fanboys commenting here are nothing short of clowns. No wonder that Ricky Cadden and others have abandoned this silly circus.

Tweaks ? All of S60 and Symbian needs a total overhaul. Every time I see a 5th edition screenshot I am reminded how unbearably ugly it is.

May I suggest an article from people other than fanboys?
http://infoworld.com/d/mobilize/what...-in-mobile-176

Last edited by Arthur; 09-07-2010 at 10:59 PM.

  #36  
Old 09-07-2010, 11:18 PM
AtlantaGuy
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"But seriously, Symbian is catching up with the iPhone on the app / interphase front. I've just downloaded Rotary Dialer to my i8910 from OviStore. The ultimate dialling interphase - it should be standard on all mobile phones. I'm sure the iPhone had it first but as I said, Symbian's catching up fast."

I remember a few years ago when people on message boards and blogs like this one would repeatedly say how many light years the N95 was ahead of the iPhone. Now they're behind & Nokia is "catching up?" What happened?

  #37  
Old 10-07-2010, 12:10 AM
manual_ manual_ is offline
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I think this article is dangerous as it suggests setting Symbian's / Nokia's goals way to low.
I hope people at Nokia who are reading what you've wrote will not see it as a sign they've taken a good enough direction with changes in S^3 UI.
This is the problem with Nokia / Symbian in general. They should aspire much higher. Nokia was innovating back in the day. Why shouldn't they do the same now? Why should they settle for providing merely decent hardware/software/services ?
Of course even making S60v5 UI work properly by adding more RAM and CPU power would make N97/N97 mini WAY much more usable. That's what I'm thinking everyday: I wish, I wish, I wish it would JUST work (and it doesn't) But it's not enough to push things forward. Doing what you ask for in your article would just make Nokia catch up with the competition. Overtaking it will take much more effort. It will take much more thinking and much more tweaking to the UI and UX. And possibly starting from scratch.
Nokia seems to me to be rooted in the old-school days. Their touch interface merely replaces physical buttons and softkeys with touch sensitive ones. That's not enough. That's misunderstanding and underutilizing touch. That's not taking full advantage of opportunities touch presents. That's not bold enough. To set itself apart Nokia would have to start from scratch. With user, tasks and touch in mind.
Look at brilliant way Palm's Web OS uses gestures and multitasks. Not to mention their notification system and calendar interface...
Look how convenient iPhone is despite it's lack of multitasking and how quickly it allows you to do what you want to do.
But both iPhone and WebOS were created exclusively on the foundation of touch. And those of you who think it's the transitions and shiny icons are what make iPhone's UI outstanding should keep your mouth shut:d
What you ask for in the article is merely addressing bugs and clarifying inconsistencies of current UI. This is neccessary, but not enough. It's bugfixing. It's enough to make "okayish" interface. Making a game changing interface requires much more care and subtlety. And I'd love to see that in Nokias approach to it's UI.

  #38  
Old 10-07-2010, 06:58 AM
Wiltjer
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After using a lot of Symbian devices (9110, Samsung SX1, 9300, E90, E71 just to name a few) I was persuaded to get the Iphone 3GS, after jailbreaking I was able to have an almost perfect device (all the software I need, an informative homescreen (LockInfo), great musicplayer, webbrowser ect.) only let down by a mediocre camera. Afer reading Steve's articles about the HX hacked i8910 I decided to try this out, only to find out that I was such a pain to use and look at. My main concerns, inconsistent use of single/double tap, outdated font and used inconsistenty some fonts very big, other very small - it just look clumsy, no good software available and what is available is 5-10 times more expensive as on Iphone platform.
I used to like the Nokia's so much ever since the 9110 (which was a breakthrough device for me).
I don't see Nokia getting it right. A touch screen device needs a different aproach all together. They were doing that in the Series 90 and now with the N900/MeeGo.
Please Nokia, stop trying to make S60 work for touch, it's symply not designed for it.
For now, I'm back on the Iphone wagon, Android looks promising, but needs some more time...

  #39  
Old 10-07-2010, 08:51 AM
Mr Mark Mr Mark is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by manual_ View Post
This is neccessary, but not enough. It's bugfixing. It's enough to make "okayish" interface. Making a game changing interface requires much more care and subtlety. And I'd love to see that in Nokias approach to it's UI.
Why does it need to be game changing? Do you really think most people care beyond the point that it's easily usable?

They don't.

The people who are jumping ship to Android amuse me. Stock Android is pretty clunky and I suspect what most of you are doing is jumping to HTC Sense or Moto Blur or one of the many other skins Android has to use to make it usable.

Last edited by Mr Mark; 10-07-2010 at 08:53 AM.

  #40  
Old 10-07-2010, 02:32 PM
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thewinchester thewinchester is offline
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Are you on crack?

Sorry, you must be on crack to make this suggestion with a straight face.

The UI as it stands is a basket case, with too many flaws and usability issues to justify the necessary work for it to have a hope of succeeding in an iPhone dominated world.

Common sense would be to dump Symbian now, and move to Maemo/Meego, and given that a fighting chance of creating a successful, open handset platform in a market currently being dominated by Apple and Android.

  #41  
Old 10-07-2010, 04:37 PM
KPOM
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Settings->General->Network->WiFi->Other

Settings->Mail, Contacts, Calendars->Time Zone Support->Time Zone

Name the phone?
True, but at least Apple is consistent by putting settings in the "Settings" menu. Android also has everything in "Settings." Nokia buried some GPS settings within Maps, while some of the aGPS features were in another menu (I think it was Network settings). While I owned my N97 with its twitchy GPS, quite often I had to tweak settings, and was very annoyed burrowing through the menus only to realize that I had to go back and burrow through a different menu set.

Also, often times you have to go much deeper into a menu setting than on iOS or even Android (which shares some of Symbian's characteristic of nesting commands too deep in menus). I don't have a Symbian phone anymore so I can't go through precise comparisons, but after using a Nexus One for the past 6 months (after 2.5 years with S60v3.1, S60v3.2 and Symbian^1) I can tell you it is much more logical on the Android side.

Plus, and this was an issue even with S60v3, the phone "app" was wildly inconsistent, sometimes causing me to miss calls while I tried to remember the sequence to get the phone to come to the foreground. At least the v3 devices had the slider, but as I recall the N97 sometimes required hitting the "home" button to get the phone screen to come up. This is one area where Apple and Android have it right (the phone always comes to the foreground) and hopefully where Symbian^3 does, too.

  #42  
Old 10-07-2010, 04:54 PM
KPOM
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The people who are jumping ship to Android amuse me. Stock Android is pretty clunky and I suspect what most of you are doing is jumping to HTC Sense or Moto Blur or one of the many other skins Android has to use to make it usable.
Nexus One - Stock 2.1 and now Stock 2.2. I've enjoyed the phone for the past 6 months without having to wait for the "next big thing" to come from Espoo. If it comes, great, but I decided back in January I wasn't waiting any longer. The only thing I miss from Symbian is Cisco VPN access while tethering (there seems to be some incompatibility with Android without rooting), though the new Wi-Fi hotspot feature makes regular "tethering" pretty simple.

There was always something "wrong" with the Nokia phones that made me desire the next one. With the N95 it was the size. The N85 fixed that, but it had build quality issues. The N97 had its notorious C: issues (which I constantly ran into), as well as the lens "protector" issue and the overall blandness of Symbian^1. It really did not look like something that Nokia/SF had been working on for 2 years. Plus Symbian^1 broke compatibility with a number of applications expecting QVGA (Sling, for instance). Contrast this with how iOS neatly quadrupled the resolution so that existing applications would work just fine (just using up 4 pixels instead of 1).

Plus, Nokia's insistence that the only way to get "major" OS updates (e.g. from s60v3.1 to s60v3.2) is to buy a new phone is outmoded. Most Android users at least have a path from 1.5 to 1.6 to 2.1. iOS 4 is available to someone who purchased the iPhone 3G in 2008. Since most phone contracts are two years long, I think it is reasonable to expect OS updates for that length of time (and not just bug fixes). Steve writes at length about how great it is that Symbian updates are OTA, but for the most part they are just bug fixes. Sure Symbian^1 added kinetic scrolling and a few other UI enhancements along the way, but it appears Symbian^3 is out of the question, and Nokia still isn't clear as to whether N900 will get MeeGo, or whether the N8 will be upgradeable to Symbian^4. That kind of assurance (that buyers won't be orphaned after Nokia turns to the "next big thing") would do wonders for Nokia's image. Instead it seems they are stuck in the "planned obsolescence" era like the automakers of old. Nokia wants us to think of their devices as mobile computers. However, we can usually upgrade the OS of our computers, so why not with Nokia's devices? We don't expect infinite upgrades (I'm not disappointed iOS 4 doesn't run on the original iPhone, nor am I disappointed that Windows 7 won't install on my old 2003 Dell), but we know MeeGo and Symbian^4 will be released in 2011, so some assurance that our 2010 phones will work with them would be welcome news.

  #43  
Old 10-07-2010, 05:22 PM
Mr Mark Mr Mark is offline
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The UI as it stands is a basket case, with too many flaws and usability issues to justify the necessary work for it to have a hope of succeeding in an iPhone dominated world.
Symbian^3 or Symbian^1?

Quote:
but we know MeeGo and Symbian^4 will be released in 2011, so some assurance that our 2010 phones will work with them would be welcome news.
Why? Yer pays yer money and yer takes yer choice as they say. I don't get the expectation that it should run a new OS because where's the incentive to upgrade the hardware - which is where Nokia make their money? Given that firmware is supplied that adds new features then isn't that enough because, fundamentally, all that the Android and iOS upgrades have added in their newer iterations are... err... features that Symbian already had.

Last edited by Mr Mark; 10-07-2010 at 05:25 PM.

  #44  
Old 10-07-2010, 06:12 PM
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Nexus One - Stock 2.1 and now Stock 2.2. I've enjoyed the phone for the past 6 months without having to wait for the "next big thing" to come from Espoo. .
http://www.pcworld.com/article/18639...omplaints.html


Not only that, but Google have stopped selling it, sprint and verizon have dropped it.

It didn't sell many. Bit of a flop.

  #45  
Old 10-07-2010, 06:15 PM
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The UI as it stands is a basket case, with too many flaws and usability issues to justify the necessary work for it to have a hope of succeeding in an iPhone dominated world.

Common sense would be to dump Symbian now, and move to Maemo/Meego, and given that a fighting chance of creating a successful, open handset platform in a market currently being dominated by Apple and Android.
How is the world iPhone dominated?

How is the market dominated by Android and iPhone?

Have you seen the numbers?

Or are you talking about a different world, your little world?
 

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