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GLOBAL – New from Nokia Beta Labs, the experimental app, Nokia Bubbles makes its debut. Transforming the locking screen of your new symbian phone into more then just a place for the time and date to sit, new Bubbles – written in Qt – give you a flexible way to navigate your phone in a fun, interactive way. Read on to find out more.

Nokia Beta Labs have again released an experimental app that they’d like the public to test and play with. Head over there now, and pick a package to install. We opted for the full package, as we wanted to experience Nokia Bubbles in its entirety.

Here’s a quick video showing it in action.

Once installed, you won’t notice Nokia Bubbles doing anything until you lock the screen. Rather than pressing the usual unlock button to activate your phone, press the menu key instead. This key will now show you something new – still keeping your phone locked – but open up a new way for you to interact with the phone and some of the menus inside.

You’ll first notice some new wallpapers, the time and date and a bunch of bubbles floating around the screen with some icons inside them. The icons represent a certain feature of your phone, such as the Key bubble will allow you to unlock your phone, for example. Placing your finger on any of these bubbles allows you to not only move them around the screen, but if you keep your finger on one you’ll notice the other bubbles will vanish and you’ll be confronted with another bubble or two instead. These new bubbles are called Drop Points, and it’s where the action happens. Hold your finger on the key bubble, you’ll see a drop point open with a padlock inside it, move the key to the padlock and hey presto, your phone will unlock.

You can keep three of your favourite people locked to the Bubble screen too, in their very own Friends bubble. By pressing on their own individual bubble, you can call them right from the lock screen. The Profile bubble makes it easy to switch from your profiles where you can even time them, from one to three hours.

The Map bubble is an interesting one, selecting it will open two options. Where am I? opens a pull-out mini-map – still in the lock screen of your phone – and shows you where you currently are on Ovi Maps, just for a quick visual of what’s around you. The other option, takes you to the full Ovi Maps, where navigations and the other features can be used.

If you’ve missed a call or a text, there’s a bubble for that too and even when you’re running low on power, the Battery bubble will appear to remind you to find somewhere to plug in.

The movements of the bubbles are all very fluid and the transitions between wallpapers and bubble pops are smooth too. For full details on other Bubbles, any feedback you may have for the Nokia Beta Lab team or even just to download it, head over there now.

What do you think of Bubbles?