A couple of months ago it was Anna, now the next version of Symbian is called Belle (I’m sure Rama’s not the next). Nokia’s been busy with the Symbian OS with the official announcement of the latest version called Symbian Belle.
With Symbian Belle, you get to have more widgets, more homescreens, more customizations, more apps and lastly, built-in NFC or near field communication functionality. If you were impressed with Anna, Belle seems to have a much bigger improvement.
Belle has more widgets, including different versions of popular ones. They can be resized and rearranged any way you want in your homescreen. Also available are what Nokia calls “Toggle” widgets that gives you a quicker way to change profiles or switch on or off different functions.
The status bar has also been improved and you can now pull it down to view notifications and toggle common settings easily. Speaking of notifications, some of these will also appear in the lockscreen so you can take a quick glance at your phone to check if new messages, mails, etc. has arrived. Bottom bar is now simplified which Nokia first introduced with their N9.
With the partnership with Microsoft, Symbian also inherited business apps such as the Microsoft Lync, Sharepoint, OneNote, Exchange ActiveSync and PowerPoint Broadcaster.
Now the best part for me is the NFC or near field communication. It’s an easy way for two devices with NFC support to share files, pair or whatever by just a simple tap. Think of it as the Bump app in iPhone and Android that doesn’t require you to be online.
Here’s a demo version of Symbian Belle including its NFC functionality:
Now call it an Android rip-off but it’s the right step for Symbian. Hey iOS 5 also took a couple of pages off Android’s playbook. The thing is, Android was the first to get some UI elements right in my opinion and there’s no point in fighting it.
The Symbian Belle will be made available as a free upgrade to those phones that can run Symbian Anna. The new phones (Nokia 600, 700, 701) that will be carrying Belle will be released this quarter so after a month or so, expect Belle to roll out to older phones.