Symbian foundation, a fresh wind of openness

I was at the  Symbian Exchange and Exposition in London last week and here are my few impressions.

Symbian logo

Symbian Logo

The event was quiet and smaller than the previous year. Maybe it is due to the credit crunch and the mutation of Symbian from a commercial company to a foundation. It was very casual. You couldn’t feel the usual rush of commercial events.

I was really impressed by the new openness of Symbian, as it is the first OS platform to release its roadmap to everybody, competition included ;-).

Symbian is an ageing OS but its roadmap is very promising and you could feel at this event the new energy starting to raise.

> read this interview of Lee Williams from the Symbian Foundation

I believe one of its best innovative feature is its ‘location based triggering’: when you get close to a place it triggers a special action in your mobile: like don’t forget to post the letter when you get across a mailbox, or get off the train at the next stop.

This openness makes a real difference with Android. OK Android is an open source platform based on a Linux but the development roadmap is controlled by one company only.  Google has its own plans and ideas and the Google guys don’t share: it is a black box. Android is Google’s toy and no one can have a word. Android maybe free of charge, but at the end your are tied exactly in the same way as with Windows Mobile.

I think, this openness at Symbian is really creating a difference.

  • A difference for the operators: they can really contribute to the evolution of the OS. After all they buy most of the devices.
  • A difference for the manufacturer, which can influence the features

Now the challenge for Symbian is to create a real difference for the end user, to make Symbian the consumers’ preferred OS.

The roadmap shows a few UX bullet points, so let’s hope the Symbian team will achieve a great user experience in the next releases.

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