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– The new Symbian Anna software update has brought a new lease of life to many of the existing newest Symbian handsets out on the market, today. We’ve installed the new software, given it a test drive and thought we’d show you what you can expect when it comes to emailing and browsing the Web. Here’s what these two features now look like.

The new Nokia Browser (V7.3) has done away with the old menu bar that used to reside at the bottom of the page. Instead, there’s now two icons sitting in both corners. On the right, there’s the icon that brings up all the options that are available to you, such as: Homepage; Bookmarks; Settings; Add RSS Feed; and the more option, for other information on browser version number and page info, etc.

The icon on the bottom left of the screen is the back arrow. Press it, and a small history section will pop up showing your current open Internet page with the previous pages situated behind it and to the left. Dragging your finger across the screen from left to right scrolls through the pages. Once you’ve found the page you want to navigate back to, make sure that page is in the centre of the screen and press select on the bottom of the screen.

The address bar is now a thin sliver that sits at the top of the page, which is where you’d expect to find an address bar. To navigate to a new address, tap on the bar at the top. This will launch the keyboard that takes its place at the bottom half of the screen, ready for your fingers to type. For those that want a QWERTY keyboard, pressing the options icon at the bottom is where you can select the different input method. Switching from alphanumeric to QWERTY with a couple of clicks.

For those of you who like to remain in contact with people all day, every day, Symbian Anna offers some improvements to the email client – particularly for business users. There’s now full support when it comes to meeting requests. If you find yourself on the receiving end of an email with a meeting request, rather than a normal email page, you’ll see a screen with the meeting name, the time and date it’s taking place and even the location – which when clicked, opens up Nokia Maps to show you that location.  

When creating emails, you access the email accounts in the usual way. To add a recipient, touch the To field. You’ll see now that a keyboard has opened up in split-screen mode. What this means is that rather than cutting away to a separate window to enter text, like previously, you’re now able to type directly into the field. Another thing you’ll notice here is that as you begin to type a name to send it to, the phone automatically finds relevant people in your phone book, if they match the letters typed. This makes sending emails that little bit quicker.

On the virtual keyboard is an options key, in the middle and at the bottom. It’s here where you’ll find the hotly anticipated QWERTY option when typing. Once pressed, the alphanumeric keyboard will be swapped for the more favourable QWERTY one. This makes replying and emailing people much quicker – should you be a dab hand at two-thumb typing.

What do you think of these two features? Do you find them improved?