New homescreen widgets roll out to Belle FP1/FP2 smartphones

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Ah yes, Symbian, the platform that just won't die. Rolling out today are a big set of 'New homescreen widgets' for the Nokia 808 PureView and other Symbian Belle Feature Pack 1 and FP2 smartphones (i.e. the late 2011 and 2012 devices). The new platform widgets include a release version of the (previously beta) Webview, a new form of contact shortcut, a stopwatch, a front-camera 'Mirror' utility, and 'Toggle Flashlight'. More below.

Here's the way the update is announced, in SW Update on each device, a 1MB update rolling out from today:

Screenshot, New widgetsScreenshot, New widgets

Note that a restart needed after installation, so make sure you have saved any documents/draft emails or noted any reading positions (etc):

Screenshot, New widgetsScreenshot, New widgets

The new items available on the Symbian Belle FP1/FP2 homescreen are:

  • Webview widget (as featured most recently here, during its Beta Labs outing), showing a window onto any live web site of your choice. And yes, you can have multiple Webview widgets on multiple pages, if needed - they refresh whenever that homescreen is viewed. The version here is just one minor build on from the last beta version, by the way (21.00 build 35)
  • Mirror widget, designed for people to check their faces (etc.), effectively a shortcut to an embedded 'front camera' utility, with QVGA 'capture' (yes, yes, low. The hardware supports VGA on most devices, but for some reason software for the front camera only has access to the lower resolution). Note that this doesn't work on the Nokia 700, as it doesn't have a front facing camera...
  • Toggle Flashlight - as it sounds, turns the LED flash light on as a torch - presumably for those who haven't discovered the keylock toggle long press shortcut for this - or who want to get the torch on NOW and not in five seconds time 8-)
  • Stopwatch - as it sounds, a quick and useful 'instant stopwatch', with just pause and stop controls
  • Contacts Communication - a one-touch way to phone or message a favourite contact - tapping on the body of the thumbnail brings up the contact record in the usual way

(In addition to the above, 'Latest Mail' is possibly new, depending on your device - it was already on my Nokia 700, for example. Data points welcome if this was new to your device, etc.)

Very useful platform additions, and well done to Accenture and Nokia for getting these out the door to the last generation of Symbian devices. I'd expect these to come for the larger band of 2010/2011 Belle Refresh devices too, at some point, I'm sure that's on Accenture's continuing road map for Symbian.

PS. If you see updates for Wi-fi, YouTube and Gallery, note that these have been reported on previously, notably here. Relax, it's all safe to install - just sit back, restart and enjoy the new stability and features in Symbian.