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Nokia adds iPhone-like features to Symbian

updated 08:35 am EDT, Tue October 16, 2007

Nokia Touch in Symbian OS

(Updated with demo video) Nokia today revealed that it was adding touchscreen features to the Symbian Series 60 3rd Edition, allowing Nokia's smartphones and those licensing the OS to compete with the iPhone by using touch displays as well as automatic sensors in their designs. A set of extensions will give phones support for touch interfaces driven either by finger control or by a stylus; the OS will also support a mixture of hardware keyboards with touch interfaces, the company says. Creators will also have the choice of introducing haptic feedback that vibrates when the user hits certain on-screen buttons to simulate the experience of physical controls.

Just as important will be automatic sensor-based responses, the company says. Like the iPhone, the new Symbian update will support accelerometers to recognize orientation, light sensors to adjust display brightness, and proximity sensing for auto activation or shut-off features. In contrast to the Apple device, however, every new Series 60 will have "complete" access to online video, according to Nokia: a mobile version of Flash will be integrated into the web browser for the software and will let users visit the regular YouTube site instead of a stripped-down page or a dedicated program. A streamline programming architecture will also let developers easily add visual effects as part of the main interface.

The technology should be available to all manufacturers developing Symbian Series 60 phones at an unknown point during 2008. Shipping phones will arrive sometime later. No mention was made of Nokia's concept phone demonstrated earlier this year, which is likely to have demonstrated some of the features possible with the new OS update.

by MacNN Staff




  1. jarod

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Me too Me too

    Looks like Nokia is going the way of iTunes Store competitors :D

  1. dliup

    Joined: Dec 1969


    another knockoff

    the technology (if you can call a Nokia knockoff a technology) will be available "at an unknown point during 2008. Shipping phones will arrive sometime later."

    Hum, their plan will takes over 1 year to rip off something that was demoed in January 2007 and something that exists now, that's pretty bad copy machine they are running. Wouldn't be surprised if it's complete c*** when it comes out.

  1. JulesLt

    Joined: Dec 1969


    1 Year

    Dliup - personally, I think it's a pretty aggressive goal. You can't speed up OS development by throwing hundreds of developers at it, and hoping to do it in weeks. Look how long it's taken Apple to close down Leopard.

  1. dliup

    Joined: Dec 1969


    what a joke

    Fact: what they want to do is already on market. They have working product to copy their design and UI on.

    They are copying something that already exists. None of their supposedly features are innovations, instead all of their goals are already in an existing product on the market. That's different than trying to make something revolutionary and usable from scratch.

    Leopard does not copy what already exists. Instead, Leopard will be the inspiration for Vista service pack in year 2012. (Current Vista now has knocked off some of Mac OSX's features that goes back to year 2001-2005).

  1. bleee

    Joined: Dec 1969


    atleast they are trying

    The difference between Nokia and Apple is Apple can take some crazy idea that people have had trouble with before and make it work. Nokia tried touch with N800 but the virtual keyboard is no where near as good as the iPhone keyboard. It's the extra mile that makes Apple shine

  1. Constable Odo

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Let monkeys do coding...

    Nokia should hire about 10,000 monkeys to work on the interface coding. Who knows, they might get lucky in a few weeks time. How hard can it be to fabricate and polish a decent UI?

    I like Nokia's way of doing things. Let the other guy design it and they can just copy the h*** out of it. Who needs to reinvent the wheel? It eliminates half the R&D costs.

    After all, Symbian OS is nearly as powerful as Leopard. Besides, it's only the icing on the top of the cake that matters. If it sort of looks like an iPhone and sort of works like an iPhone, then that's close enough. Add an extra feature or two and you've got a better iPhone. No sweat. A child could do it.

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