Symbian 3 Is Functionally Complete

By Darryl K. Taft  |  Posted 2010-06-22 Print this article Print

The Symbian Foundation's next major smartphone operating system, Symbian 3, is now ready for device manufacturers and developers.

The Symbian Foundation's next major smartphone operating system, Symbian 3, is now ready for device manufacturers and developers.

In other words, Symbian 3 is now "functionally complete." In a June 17 blog post, Rafe Blandford of All About Symbian, said, "This is an important milestone for the Symbian Foundation as it marks the first time this point has been reached for a fully open source release and the time at which Symbian 3 is considered ready for community 'use.' This is an important stage for device creators and developers, but is not of major significance to consumers, other than to indicate that Symbian 3 is well on track for being in devices in the second half of the year. The Nokia N8 was the first Symbian 3 device to be announced, but there are many more on the way from multiple manufacturers."

Symbian 3 is the second open version of the Symbian platform. It extends Symbian 2 in many ways, including graphics support for advanced layering and effects, full HDMI support for a great television playback experience and improved data performance-ideal for streaming high-definition audio and video.

Symbian 3 having now been declared officially functionally complete marks an important milestone in the platform and represents a transition from largely feature submission and stability into the hardening phase. However, "functionally complete" is not the same as "feature complete," Symbian officials said. There could still be some minor changes to the platform.

Yet, the software is slated to begin to appear on devices later in the year.

Symbian 3 features an improved user experience with advancements to the home screen; improvements in the entertainment experience, including HD video, smart remote controls, interactive radio, music store integration and podcasts; next-generation graphics; and better data networking.

For developers, Symbian 3 delivers support for the Qt application framework version 4.6. Availability of Qt 4.6 for Symbian 3 means developers can start using the power of this new run-time to plan new applications and to start the migration of their existing applications. Where used, Qt application framework will sit alongside the Avkon UI framework, enabling both forward and backward compatibility. Avkon is the name of the legacy UI framework that Qt replaces.

Darryl K. Taft covers the development tools and developer-related issues beat from his office in Baltimore. He has more than 10 years of experience in the business and is always looking for the next scoop. Taft is a member of the Association for Computing Machinery (ACM) and was named 'one of the most active middleware reporters in the world' by The Middleware Co. He also has his own card in the 'Who's Who in Enterprise Java' deck.

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