Symbian^4 UI framework video demo

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Following on from Mobile World Congress the Symbian Foundation has released two videos demos of the Symbian^4 UI framework. The first video shows off the customisable, widget-centric, homescreen and the second shows off a number of UI elements and interactions via the Photos application. They demonstrate how some of the key parts of the UI are laid out and how some of the primary interaction mechanisms will work.

It is very important to realise that these are framework demos rather than product UI demos. To illustrate the difference you might compare these videos with the Symbian^3 demo that Nokia recently released, which shows off a Nokia productised version of Symbian^3 (i.e. one that is close to the state in which you will see it in a real device).

These are the first video demos of the implementation of the Symbian^4 UI proposals, which see a Qt based UI (UI Extensions for Mobile, formerly known as Orbit / Direct UI) replacing the existing (Symbian^1 and Symbian^3) AVKON UI. Symbian^4 is still under very active development - it is not expected to ship in devices until this time next year.

Symbian^4 will see a 'flattening' of the UI with a greater degree of 'one touch' UI interactions. For example there will be a four softkey toolbar at the bottom of the screen replacing the current hierarchical menu (Options) / softkey arrangement. The idea is the make the primary commands for any screen / application available with one touch. A drop down menu, for secondary commands, will be available near the top of the screen (next to an 'always-on' back button) and rearranged status area.

Symbian^4 UI Framework Demo - Homescreen

Items of note in this video: variable sized widgets, multiple page homescreen (introduced in Symbian^3), drag and drop widgets between home screen pages.

Symbian^4 UI Framework Demo - Photos

Items of note in this video: bottom toolbar with four softkeys (replacing the menu [Options] based softkeys), side toolbar with four 'buttons', flick (kinetic) scrolling and navigation in UI, image carousel showing previews of previous and next images in 'album', single tap 'direct' UI interaction.