Symbian today announced the launch of Symbian OS v9.5, the latest evolution of the operating system for smartphones.
Symbian OS 9.5 is fully backwardly compatible with the previous versions bearing 9.x indexes. The change log includes:
Symbian OS v9.5 is the result of continued deep collaboration with Symbian OS licensees, the world’s leading handset vendors, and its user interface platform partners MOAP, S60 and UIQ. With over 110 million Symbian smartphones shipped, high smartphone growth in developing markets and increasing mass market requirements, Symbian’s addressable market is broadening across segments and regions.
“Symbian is driving the market by anticipating consumers’ mobile lifestyle changes – this means enabling even richer experiences and seamless multi-tasking to make the most of tomorrow’s technology”, said Jørgen Behrens, executive vice president, marketing, Symbian. “Further, by lowering phone development cost and shortening time to market, Symbian OS v9.5 delivers on the promise of bringing the smartphone lifestyle to the mass market.”
“By reducing hardware requirements which enables cost reductions of devices, many Symbian smartphones will become even more affordable and Symbian's addressable global market will expand,” said Todd Kort, principal analyst, Gartner. “At the same time, Symbian will also help handset vendors deliver much richer multimedia capabilities driving growth in the higher-end of the mobile market. With more than 70 % market share, the launch of Symbian OS v9.5 and the burgeoning smartphone market, Symbian is well positioned to continue to drive the smartphone into the mass market." Gartner forecasts that worldwide smartphone shipments will reach 159 million units in 2008, up from 73.6 million in 2006.
Symbian OS v9.5, backward compatible with all versions of the v9 family, includes the following key enhancements:
Higher performance for lower hardware cost
Symbian OS v9.5 delivers performance improvements with reductions in requirements on memory, processor and battery, enabling smartphones based on Symbian OS v9.5 to run on feature phone hardware. Key memory optimization features including demand paging and automatic RAM de-fragmentation can reduce average RAM usage in excess of 25 per cent, allowing for more concurrent applications for an even better user experience or enabling licensees to include less memory and reduce phone build cost.
These features and more deliver substantial benefits in the areas of performance and power usage: faster device start-up time, faster start-up time of popular applications such as browser, email and navigation by up to 75%, and improvements on the already highly competitive battery life of Symbian smartphones.
Symbian is continuing to improve time-to-market for handset vendors, system integrators and developers. Symbian OS v9.5 introduces standardized support for digital TV and location-based services (LBS) making it cheaper and easier to bring these popular services to the mass market.
The introduction of a SQL database offers developers a well known interface for storing and retrieving high-cardinality application data. This, together with integrated P.I.P.S. – P.I.P.S. Is POSIX on Symbian OS - helps developers port existing applications from the desktop or server environment to Symbian OS with minimal effort and in less time.
Designed for richer user experiences :
Symbian smartphones based on Symbian OS v9.5 will support rich multimedia experiences with advanced camera features similar to standalone digital cameras. The 35 new camera features include support for tilt sensors, preset image enhancements, panorama stitching, and red-eye reduction.
With improved seamless connectivity to home computers, enabling the easy transfer of music, videos and images using MTP, one smartphone can replace several devices. In addition, with support for multi-standard digital TV (DVB-H, ISDB-T) and standardized LBS, the Symbian smartphone will bring true convergence to consumers worldwide.
New Symbian smartphones will enable users to be more productive and cost effective with Wi-Fi to 3G connection roaming. Professionals will benefit from push-email and VoIP run over Wi-Fi when in the office and automatically switch to 3G when on the move. In addition, real-time networking ensures that VoIP services are not interrupted when other IP-based services, such as web browsing or push email, make a connection.
Symbian OS v9.5 offers contacts hosted in SQL, providing better support for large database search performances, ideal for customer-facing professionals that store thousands of contacts in their phones. Support for the new GEO property will encourage innovative use of meeting location with positioning/LBS. The interoperability of calendars with Microsoft Exchange and Lotus Notes has been upgraded and support for Exchange ActiveSync Protocol (OTA) continues to deliver remote email, contacts and calendar synchronization.
Symbian OS v9 already offers the best-in-class security model of any open mobile operating system, designed to meet the most stringent security requirements from network operators, handset manufacturers and enterprises.
The introduction of Brahmic script support in Symbian OS v9.5 extends Symbian OS support of languages to cover 99% of the world’s countries and the support for global standards including HSPDA, HSUPA and DVB-H as well as ISDB-T, makes Symbian OS the only true global mobile operating system powering both mass market and high-end mobile phones.
Symbian is committed to providing the world’s leading handset vendors with the most competitive mobile operating system to meet the demands of the mass market and the rich experiences of tomorrow’s smartphone lifestyle.