Symbian Launches Open-Source Smart-Phone LBS

The company is also adding Symbian SQL, based on SQLite, to its smart-phone operating system. 

Mobile operating system developer Symbian is adding SQL and location-based services to its smart-phone OS.

Symbian officials said the new OS technologies, announced March 31, would provide enhancements to mass data handling and LBS to next-generation smart phones.

Mobile phones loaded with Symbian's LBS were recently launched in Japan. Symbian said the LBS architecture would appear in Europe later in 2008. Symbian SQL will be featured in phones shipping in the second half of 2008 and be available to application developers by the end of the second quarter.

Symbian used SQLite, which is widely used in products like Mozilla's Firefox browser, to create its SQL. Application developers can also take advantage of Symbian SQL by using a standard query language when working with databases on Symbian OS, helping to reduce maintenance costs and application footprints.

"When I authored SQLite in 2000, I never imagined that it would one day be used in mobile phones to host databases with millions of searchable entries," Richard Hipp, architect and primary author of SQLite, said in a statement. "The advanced design of Symbian OS meshes well with SQLite, resulting in a stable and robust platform for supporting new applications."

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To support the open-source community, Symbian is contributing technology improvements back into the SQLite open-source project and is a charter member of the SQLite Consortium, which was launched in December.

According to Symbian, its new LBS architecture supports multiple positioning technologies including A-GPS, network-based and Wi-Fi to provide location information. Symbian said by using its LBS, developers will save significant time in creating location support services. In addition, developers can target their LBS applications across multiple Symbian OS platforms.

Among the services that can be built on Symbian's LBS are current location, finding people in a contacts list, location stamping of images and videos, and emergency tracking services.