Feeds

Symbian speeds up smartphone OS

Version 9.5 apps load 75% faster

Choosing a cloud hosting partner with confidence

Symbian gave public details of a major new version of its eponymous phone OS today, touting significant performance improvements.

Version 9.5 should appear in phones beginning in the second half of next year or the first half of 2009, Symbian executive VP of marketing Jørgen Behrens told us.

New features include improvements for VoIP, such as automatic switching between 3G and WLAN, which Symbian calls "bearer mobility", and performance improvements to the networking stacks. Version 9.5 also includes a SQL database - SQL Lite - and the contacts API has been revised to support it by default. Scheduling enhancements for Notes and Exchange users have also been included, such as group invites and resource allocation. With agenda and contacts running on a database, look ups for corporate-sized address books should be much faster than today.

Symbian also includes location APIs giving developers easy access to GPS information and support for Microsoft's Media Transfer protocol.

But most of the work has been directed at improving performance. New smartphones appearing last year were dogged by performance and memory complaints.

In 9.5, Symbian has introduced demand paging, background RAM defragmentation, and memory optimisations such as read and write-head caching. Applications use 20 to 30 per cent less RAM, according to the company. Using demand paging, applications can load portions of code as needed, rather than having to load and map the entire application and all its associated libraries on start up. As a result, Berens said large applications, such as web browsers, start up to 75 per cent faster.

Berens said it was also possible to power down a memory bank not in use at the operating system level, which squeezed more life from limited battery capacity.

The consensus among users is that there is a problem - but is the operating system really to blame for poor performance? Experience with Sony Ericsson and Motorola's Symbian phones (once the user has disabled the unncessary user interface gimmicks) isn't noticably bad. And Samsung's Series 60 phone (the SGH-i-520) runs at blistering speed. But all three manufacturers use faster chips: from Philips, Freescale and Samsung itself, respectively. All of which suggests that Nokia is to blame for the perception that smartphones are slow, because it chooses to use underpowered chips. ®

Providing a secure and efficient Helpdesk

More from The Register

next story
Crouching tiger, FAST ASLEEP dragon: Smugglers can't shift iPhone 6s
China's grey market reports 'sluggish' sales of Apple mobe
Sea-Me-We 5 construction starts
New sub cable to go live 2016
EE coughs to BROKEN data usage metrics BLUNDER that short-changes customers
Carrier apologises for 'inflated' measurements cockup
Comcast: Help, help, FCC. Netflix and pals are EXTORTIONISTS
The others guys are being mean so therefore ... monopoly all good, yeah?
Surprise: if you work from home you need the Internet
Buffer-rage sends Aussies out to experience road rage
EE buys 58 Phones 4u stores for £2.5m after picking over carcass
Operator says it will safeguard 359 jobs, plans lick of paint
MOST iPhone strokers SPURN iOS 8: iOS 7 'un-updatening' in 5...4...
Guess they don't like our battery-draining update?
prev story

Whitepapers

Providing a secure and efficient Helpdesk
A single remote control platform for user support is be key to providing an efficient helpdesk. Retain full control over the way in which screen and keystroke data is transmitted.
Intelligent flash storage arrays
Tegile Intelligent Storage Arrays with IntelliFlash helps IT boost storage utilization and effciency while delivering unmatched storage savings and performance.
Beginner's guide to SSL certificates
De-mystify the technology involved and give you the information you need to make the best decision when considering your online security options.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.
Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops
Balancing user privacy and privileged access, in accordance with compliance frameworks and legislation. Evaluating any potential remote control choice.