In addition to the X7 and the E6, Nokia also announced Symbian Anna, an update to the Symbian^3 OS. We’ve known for a while that they were going to get rid of the numbered Symbian naming system and Anna is just the first step in that journey. Symbian Anna is basically what the PR 2.0 firmware will be to older Symbian^3 devices like the N8, C7, E7 et al.
In this post on Nokia Conversations, they have outlined some of the features we can expect in this new release, which will also be brought to older devices via the PR 2.0 firmware upgrade. In a nutshell, Symbian Anna = PR 2.0 = a faster browser, improved text input, fresh, new icons, improvements to the photo gallery’s useability and the latest version of Ovi Maps in addition of a number of under the hood improvements.
- For business users, the update also includes instant messaging with Microsoft Communicator Mobile, email enhancements that include full meeting request support and hardware-accelerated device encryption.
- Enhanced Browser (v7.3): high value touch UI improvements, including URL entry bar, always visible ‘Go Back’ and extended toolbar buttons and search-integrated address field; better user responsiveness, faster history navigation and page loading, split screen virtual Qwerty keyboard.
- Enhanced Ovi Maps (v3.06): smarter search; Check-in to Facebook, Twitter, Foursquareor local social networks; ability to share places via email and SMS, and also with friends using non-Nokia phones; public transport network lines view; update and download full country maps via WLAN
- Enhanced Ovi Store (v2.06.xx): improved search, including auto-complete, spell-checking and Internet search engine optimization and error fixes; increased file size limits for downloading over WLAN
- Enhanced Social (v1.3): status updates in contact card, ability to retweet and view follower list in Twitter, higher resolution image uploads, ability to add caption to images
- Enhanced Ovi Suite (v3.x): works seamlessly with the latest version of Ovi Suite to update the device software, download free street maps, download new music and discover the latest mobile apps, back up the device to keep content safe, and sync content with Ovi.
- Flashlite 4
- Java Runtime 2.2
- Qt Mobility 1.1
- Qt4.7 (The X7 and E6 will ship with Qt 4.7.3)
There is no release date for PR 2.0 for older Symbian^3 devices, the words used are ‘coming months’, however all indications point to a release sometime next month, possibly in the latter half. Considering how the E6 and X7 also do not have a fixed release date, all we have is Q2, it is clear that PR 2.0/Anna is not quite final as yet.
In many ways, today’s announcement is what we were told last year when the 50+ enhancements were revealed and I cannot wait for Nokia to stop talking about it, and actually ship it. That being said, post the Anna update, we can also expect a new version of Symbian which will completely revamp the UI, including the homescreens. But don’t get excited about that just yet, its still many months away.