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Developing mobile apps on Series 90

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Briefing Nokia has continued with its traditional 'developer platform series' with the introduction of the next-generation of the platforms – Series 90. The series commenced with series 40 – for Java-technology enabled phones; Series 60 – for Symbian OS smart phones; and now Series 90 – a developer solution/platform for high-end media, games, and enterprise applications based on the Symbian OS.

So why Series 90? Nokia has launched this solution to enable developers to leverage their apps across a range of devices that are tightly focused on specific needs – in this case, playing music, messaging, or playing games. Series 90 is based on the Symbian OS 7.0, incorporating standard technology for application development, browsing, and messaging. The platform incorporates telephony, PIM, browsing, messaging, media playback, and office functionality.

Series 90 Supports the following:

  • Native programming language – C++
  • MIDP 2.0 APIs
  • Bluetooth
  • USB
  • TCP/IP
  • SMS

Series 90 developer platform uses a GUI which is very much similar to a web-browser type of interface. Additionally, applications can be accessed via select navigation keys (ie. App key, 4-way cursor, Esc key) which lead to apps, menu items, and other navigation options. Text entry is supported by a “virtual keyboard” or pad area which also supports handwriting recognition.



Series 90 desktop

Having tightly integrated voice capability, calls can be initiated from various apps including the telephone app, contacts, and other “click to talk” supported apps. Telephony provides access through GSM, GPRS, and EDGE, supporting such functionality as call history lists, voice dialing, speed dial, messaging, hands-free, conference calling, and even a voice recorder.

Series 90 telephone app

The unified messaging app. Supports sending, receiving, creating, and editing of SMS and MMS messages and offers full SMS and 3GPP SMIL support; IMAP4 and POP3 email handling; and WAP push and SMART messaging

Web Browser is based on Opera 6 (www.opera.com) , 640x320 screen resolution, and many “non supported” websites will be viewable using a “fit to screen” option. The browser supports HTML 4.0, XHTML 1.0 and 1.1, WML 1.3, SSL 3.0/TLS 1.0, ECMAScript, JavaScript, CSS, and WAP CSS. Macromedia Flash Player 5 is also provided.

Other Included Apps:


  • Calendar – create, edit, delete events
  • To-Do list – with alarms, due dates, and prioritization
  • Contacts – store contact details in vCard data format (supported by SYNCML v1.1.1)
  • Office – supports common office tasks including a word processor – compatible with MS-Word
  • Sheet – supports creation and editing of spreadsheet workbooks
  • Presentation Viewer – Display MS Powerpoint slides
  • Media – view, create still and video images or record audio
  • Camera – still pictures supported by common OMA and OTA formats/standards
  • Music & Video Player – share streaming video via Bluetooth, MMS and email
  • FM Radio – stereo and mono support
  • Wallet 2.0 – personal information
  • File Manager – file management
  • Control Panel – set config and other preferences
  • Clock
  • Calculator
  • Support for multiple user profiles
  • Language support for 12 European languages including: English, French, Germna, French, Italian, Spanish, Dutch, Swedish, Finnish, Danish, Norwegian, Portuguese, Greek.


Series 90 contact app

Supported Data and content types:

  • Images – GIF, BMP, JPG, PNG, TIFF, ICO, WBMP
  • Java midlets and JAR files
  • Applications stored in native symbian .sis format
  • Audio – MP3, AAC, AMR, WAV, AU, MIDL, RealMedia
  • Video – 3GP, MP4, MPEG-4
  • Ring tones – MP3, WAV, MIDI, AMR, AAC, Nokia ringtone, polyphonic


Developing applications for Series 90 enables developers to create C++ and Java Midlets, browsing services using HTML or XHTML, and other content such as ring tones and wall papers. C++ is the native programming language, however, keep in mind that the standard template library (STL) is not supported. A number of public C++ APIs are available enabling developers to access a number of applications including the photo album and the phone book, or technologies such as the Bluetooth connectivity, or telephony. A number of Java APIs are supported including the Java Bluetooth API, Java Wireless Messaging API, and the Java Mobile Media API. Skin developers will be glad to know that they can easily change backgrounds, wallpapers, widgets, icons, fonts, and sounds. Support for Series 90 will be plentiful at Forum.nokia.com – an SDK is now available for download at http://www.forum.nokia.com/main/1,,010_60,00.html#tools. The SDK includes a phone emulator, Java class libraries, APIs (including the Nokia UI API), and documentation. The SDK replicates the UI of the Nokia 7700 device, including pen input, hardware-key layout, error messages, display and rendering, and menu selection.

The Nokia 7700 is the first device based on Series 90 and features wide color touch screen, pen input and mobile connectivity features.

Developers are encouraged to submit their series 90 applications for consideration to Nokia via
www.forum.nokia.com or at Nokia Tradepoint.

Suggested Resources for Series 90 Developers:



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