HONG KONG – The next version of Symbian, called Symbian Belle, is announced today. Hot on the heels of the Symbian Anna release, the latest version of our smartphone operating system looks and works better than ever before. Headline features are gorgeous new widgets, more customisation options, new apps and built-in NFC functionality. As before, the upgraded operating system will be available on new Symbian smartphones and will be made available as a free update for users with phones running Symbian Anna.
Symbian Belle adds to the work done by Anna to improve and modernise the Symbian experience. Here are some of the highlights of what you’ve got to look forward to:
Free-form, differently-sized, live widgets: widgets like the clock, email, music player, favourite contacts and the calendar have been redesigned and now come in five different sizes and rearranged to create a completely personalised set of screens. There are also new ‘Toggle’ widgets for tasks like switching on Bluetooth and changing profiles.
More homescreens: with Symbian Belle the maximum number of homescreens rises from three to six, so now you can have absolutely everything close at hand.
Improved status bar: the status bar sports a modern, flat look and incorporates a pull down notifications tab that incorporates common settings and notification of incoming messages, missed calls and the rest.
Modernised navigation: the navigation and options bar at the bottom of the screen sports a modern, new look, similar to that first seen on the Nokia N9.
New apps: a new suite of powerful business apps from Microsoft includes Lync (IM for businesses, like Microsoft Communicator), Sharepoint, OneNote, Exchange ActiveSync and PowerPoint Broadcaster.
Informative lock screen: the lock screen now tells you about missed calls, messages in your inbox and more, so you can check your phone at a glance. You can now also add a coloured wallpaper to your lock screen.
NFC devices: With Symbian Belle, Near-Field Communications (NFC) is now deeply integrated into the operating system, so you can share pictures, connect with accessories, and check-in – all with just a tap.
Visual multitasking: Now you can flick between larger live images of your open apps to see what’s going on at a glance and move quickly between your apps.
Here’s the tour in video:
So there’s lots to look forward to on your existing Symbian^3 phone (Nokia N8, E7, C7, C6-01, X7, E6 and 500) and new models in coming months with Symbian Belle.
Let us know what you think in the comments.