Andrew Orlowski's posts on Psion, Nokia and Symbian over at The Register are often a rollicking read, especially for geeks interested in Symbian's past. This five page article is all about Hildon, the UI (and indeed 'platform', or so argues the piece) that was evolved to Series 90, used in the Nokia 7710, and which underpinned a revamped Series 80, used in the Nokia 9500 and 9300. One for Symbian historians, definitely!
Recent News - Series 80
A free exhibition is currently running at the London Design Museum (28 Shad Thames, London SE1), entitled, 'People Made - Nokia products that changed the world' and tells the 'inside story of Nokia - past, present and future'. The exhibition is free to enter, but is only running from October 28th to November 2nd, leaving you three days to go along and take a look.
Mac owners who enjoy bullet-proof syncing from iCal and Address Book with their Nokia/Symbian smartphone(s) should note that upgrading to the latest (and new) OS X Lion operating system will yield at least one unpleasant surprise: Apple has removed all trace of iSync, the phone-sync application that has had wide manufacturer compatibility. Happily there's a workaround.
Well worth bookmarking for late evening reading over a beer or two is Andrew Orlowski's epic two part essay on the history of Symbian from creation in 1998 up to near the present day. Interviewing a number of past employees, admittedly, there's a strong aftertaste of 'these are all the bits that went wrong' and there's little in the way of acknowledgement of success stories, but Orlowski's text is readable and well researched. Here's part one: Dark Star, covering Symbian's creation and here's part two: The battle for Symbian's soul.
Presenting part 2 (of 2) in my Support catchup. Thanks to my kind editor at Smartphone Essentials magazine, he's let me republish a truck load of my Q&A mini-articles from 2008 and 2009's issues right here on All About Symbian. I've been adding these to our Support section and a summary of the questions in part 2 of my big update is listed below, with links. All part of keeping AAS a definitive resource!
Thanks to my kind editor at Smartphone Essentials magazine, he's let me republish a truck load of my own Q&A mini-articles from 2009's issues right here on All About Symbian. I've been adding these to our Support section (what do you mean, you didn't know we had one?) and a summary of the questions in part 1 of my big update is listed below, with links. All part of keeping AAS a definitive resource!
From AAS's department of the bleedin' obvious come comments from me after looking into data from the last ten years in the Symbian world, looking at screen sizes across a range of form factors and interfaces (including Series 80 and UIQ). Yes, form factors are gradually converging, and yes, screens are getting larger. No real surprise there then, but I thought you might be interested in the charts themselves below...
In leaps and bounds, the term 'smartphone' is being bandied about by manufacturers, analysts, journalists, developers and end users across the world. Which would normally be a good thing, except that there are many definitions, all totally different. What exactly defines a smartphone in 2010? What did it used to mean in 2007? Or 2003? With reports regularly quoting the word, it would be good to all agree what the word means, surely?
Playing devil's advocate, but only to a degree, Steve Litchfield turns the entire smartphone world on its head by rejecting its latest darling - large touchscreens. Ask any pundit in the mobile world about smartphones and you'll get the answer that it's all about touch. About large displays that can be caressed and programmed and manipulated with your fingers. Except that traditional, non-touch form factors have these 2010 'flagships' well and truly beat in many ways - here are the Top 10 Reasons Why Touchscreens Suck.
In these times of recession, it's more vital than ever to watch your pounds (or Euros) - if you need (or lust after) a new(ish) Symbian-powered smartphone then why not think of getting something second-hand, on eBay, at a fraction of the new price? Or if you're trying to raise cash by reducing your smartphone stash that's been gathering dust under the desk, then read on for some comments and example selling prices as at the end of June 2010.
Starting with a throwaway line from a US podcast, Steve Litchfield works up a head of steam over the ever-slipping battery life standard in our smartphones. How long is long enough when it comes to keeping a modern smartphone going on a single charge? Are we destined to need to carry around mobile chargers in our pocket in 2011 or is there a better way to go? Surely making it through the day is a fundamental that should never be compromised?
In an entirely self-centric link-of-interest, I thought these brief items might be of interest: The Phones Show 111 is now out, with a tour round my Psion collection and a commentary on how these led to the modern Symbian age, and with a feature on getting better photos from your smartphone camera; there have also been three new devices added to my smartphone-choosing Grid; and don't forget the Phones Show Chat audio podcast, about an hour each week - PSC 39 featured Andy Lee, a Blackberry expert, Tim and I were keen to talk to him about comparisons with the Nokia E72.
I was asked a very good question last week: "Why do you stay with Symbian when there's a world of wonder with iPhone and Android?" I have to admit to finding a number of positives in these other platforms, sometimes accompanied by positives in their hardware, but it's true that I do keep coming back to Symbian as the OS powering my smartphone-of-choice. Investigating my own leanings and trying to justify them, here are the top 10 reasons why I stay with Symbian.
No, not a cheap attempt at Google search traffic on male enhancements, but another serious look at the ever changing, ever growing statistic that is phone screen size. Steve Litchfield looks at devices and use cases past and present, from Psion Series 5 to Apple Newton to Dell Axim to Nokia 7710 and through to the Samsung i8910 HD in the current day. Initially cautious over whether phones might get too big, Steve points out that a 4" display is more a 1995 phenomenon than a 2010 one....
I asked an eclectic selection of 20 luminaries, bloggers and power users from the Symbian ecosystem: "Which is the Symbian-powered smartphone of the Decade? Which one was most significant, the most memorable, the most game-changing and the most loved?" Here are their answers, for your interest and amusement - and yes, a clear winner emerged...