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Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Symbian: The second coming

Nokia, time and again, has made it evident that Symbian operating system will not be available in its new phones after 2012. But it promises to support all Symbian devices till the year 2014, and even after that in countries like India where the transition from Symbian to Windows might take more time.

However, in a U-turn, Nokia has recently announced the latest installment of Symbian, giving the mobile operating system a new lease of life.

The new version of Symbian brings a host of new features and tweaks that are imperative to unleash the full potential of modern devices like Nokia N8 and E7. Now people can expect even better and faster performance from their devices once the "Anna" update (as it has been named by Nokia), is installed.

The upgrade is optional and devices owned by people who do not want it will continue to work as they are working now.

Nokia has made it clear that once the release date of Anna is decided, users will be able to download it from the Nokia software updater application. Symbian devices that will be released in the market after this update will have Anna preinstalled.

Below is a list of major updates and improvements that Anna will bring.

Improved look and feel

Anna is a completely overhauled version of Symbian with icon changes, new color schemes, visual upgrades and even modified icon placement, all of which amounts to an upgraded visual appeal of the new OS.

It has also been optimized for more touch friendly and responsive operation utilizing the phone's resources in a more efficient way. A vertical Qwerty keypad has been added to the user interface — something that was missing in the older version of Symbian.

Improved browser

Anna will also feature a new internet browser which the company claims can be up to three times faster than the existing stock Symbian browser.

Apart from speed, the new browser features most needed upgrades to the user interface as well. The back button has been made visible along with the address and search bars. History search has been made an easier and faster affair. The browser also gets the much needed horizontal Qwerty keypad, which makes sense for newer 4 inch touchscreen devices.

Ovi Maps with social media integration

Ovi maps have also improved with the upcoming Symbian Anna update and will feature smarter search for places, along with auto complete. Users will further be able to check into popular social networks such as Facebook, Twitter and Foursquare. They can also share updates via email and SMS directly from the application.

People also finally get the ability to upgrade and download newer maps directly over WiFi, without having to connect to Ovi Suite for upgrades.

Integrated Microsoft communicator mobile

Symbian Anna, along with Microsoft Exchange, will feature Microsoft Communicator Mobile, an instant messaging application, with which you can check the availability of your colleagues, view your company's directory with information about people's presence, and run instant message conversations with compatible Nokia devices.

Enterprises running Windows server 2007 R2 will be able to utilize this application free of cost.

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