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GLOBAL – The launch of Symbian Anna has brought a number of improvements to the Symbian OS from the last version. One of the most anticipated is an updated browser. The new, enhanced browser – version 7.3 – makes browsing the Web faster and easier. Find out what’s been added, removed and how it’ll make your Web browsing a better experience.

Browsing the Internet on our mobile phone is becoming an everyday occurrence and for many – especially in emerging markets – it’s often the first experience people have of surfing the Net. So it’s only right that the experience should be an easy, rewarding one.

Symbian Anna comes with a streamlined UI that has seen the removal of the double layer of icons at the bottom of the browsing window (see image below), and has instead replaced them with a small back arrow that is always on show and an options icon that can call up various different tasks such as bookmarks, history or the exit button. That makes for some extra room up top to include a convenient address bar for easy URL typing and web searching.

Here is a side-by-side comparison of the browser on the Nokia N8 (left) and the browser on the Nokia X7 (right). As you can see, there’s extra room for text in the new version, plus the address bar. Less scrolling is good news for mobile web users. Most operations take one less click than previously, with ‘back’ only requiring a single tap.

So putting that aside for one moment, what’s going on behind the browser? What makes it better than the old version?

Version 7.3 of the browser has been created using a newer version of WebKit , a new JavaScript engine and has been optimised further for Symbian, meaning that JavaScript on v7.3 is 30% faster than the previous version. It’s also more compatible with the emerging HTML 5 standard with a score of 111 out of 400 in an industry HTML5 test. (The old 7.2 version scored 29 in this test).

Back to the visuals and the things you’ll notice the most when looking at the Internet on your phone. The inclusion of a portrait Qwerty keyboard has been something that many users of Nokia touchscreen phones have asked for recently, and this makes typing in URLs and keywords in the address bar a lot easier. Here’s a couple of screenshots of the Qwerty portrait keyboard in action:

Once you’ve found a favourite web page, you may want to copy a link from the site onto your clipboard for using somewhere else. Long pressing on a link will open up a new menu that allows you to copy that link or to open it in a new window, like so:

Where next for the browser boffins, do you think? What are the other features you’d like added to it to make it better still? Leave a comment below, to let us know.

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