Symbian Focuses on the Developer

At the Symbian Smartphone Show, the mobile phone OS maker commits to the developer as its most important asset. "Developers, developers, developers," are what make Symbian grow. And the company is doing its part to give back to its most important constituency with new tools and resources.

LONDON-Symbian is all about developers, according to its chief researcher.

Making his best attempt to conjure up Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer, David Wood, vice president of research at Symbian, said, "The three most important words for success on the Symbian platform are 'developers, developers, developers!'" Wood, who was mimicking the chant made famous by Ballmer, then added, "But don't worry, I'm not going to break into a dance at this stage."

Wood spoke at the Symbian Smartphone Show here, detailing the moves Symbian has made and continues to make to attract and cater to developers. Indeed, the company made several announcements at the event intended to improve the experiences of developers. For one, the company introduced the Symbian Analysis Workbench, or SAW, which Wood described as "a new analytic tool that plugs into Carbide and gives you a look at what's running."

Symbian officials said SAW makes development easier and faster by significantly reducing the time and effort needed to fix defects and optimize code. SAW is a prepackaged set of Eclipse-based tools that make life easier for developers by optimizing Symbian C++ software via graphical views integrated into the Carbide C++ development environment. Carbide is a set of tools built by Nokia.

Moreover, the Symbian Developer Network (SDN++), an online forum providing a range of tools and resources to develop on Symbian OS, hosts an Eclipse download service that makes it possible to install SAW from within Carbide C++. Wood said SAW offers analysis, profiling and target management tools in a combined suite, allowing developers to understand software behavior using reports for trace events, resource usage and system behavior within a single work space.

"Great software needs to be fast," said Antony Edwards, vice president of Developer Product Marketing at Symbian. "SAW is designed to help developers exploit the full performance benefits of Symbian OS and the underlying hardware. It allows developers to look at how threads are being scheduled across CPUs, how memory is being allocated and at other system resources."

Also, ARM and Symbian announced the ARM Profiler for Symbian OS, which analyzes software applications on Symbian-based mobile handsets, according to Wood.

As part of the recently launched RealView Development Suite 4.0 Professional, the ARM Profiler enables developers of mobile phone applications running on Symbian OS to add enhanced features and reduce power consumption. And developers can quickly and accurately target their optimizations based on immediate feedback on actual application performance and with the rapid identification of bottlenecks across a broad range of performance measurements, the company said.

"Consumers expect mobile phone applications to deliver advanced features, with the best possible performance and minimal power consumption," said Mike Whittingham, vice president of ecosystem development at Symbian. "Developers of complex mobile applications have come to expect the level of power management and performance optimization found within Symbian OS. The new ARM Profiler provides an analysis environment that enables developers to maximize the performance and power efficiency of their applications, on ARM technology-based mobile phones."

Meanwhile, Wood said Symbian announced two new books to help developers target the Symbian OS. One book is "Multimedia on Symbian OS-Inside the Convergence Device." The other is "Common Design Patterns for Symbian OS-The Foundations of Mobile Software."