Feeds

Symbian speeds up smartphone OS

Version 9.5 apps load 75% faster

Next gen security for virtualised datacentres

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. ®

Next gen security for virtualised datacentres

More from The Register

next story
6 Obvious Reasons Why Facebook Will Ban This Article (Thank God)
Clampdown on clickbait ... and El Reg is OK with this
So, Apple won't sell cheap kit? Prepare the iOS garden wall WRECKING BALL
It can throw the low cost race if it looks to the cloud
EE fails to apologise for HUGE T-Mobile outage that hit Brits on Friday
Customer: 'Please change your name to occasionally somewhere'
Time Warner Cable customers SQUEAL as US network goes offline
A rude awakening: North Americans greeted with outage drama
Shoot-em-up: Sony Online Entertainment hit by 'large scale DDoS attack'
Games disrupted as firm struggles to control network
We need less U.S. in our WWW – Euro digital chief Steelie Neelie
EC moves to shift status quo at Internet Governance Forum
BT customers face broadband and landline price hikes
Poor punters won't be affected, telecoms giant claims
prev story

Whitepapers

5 things you didn’t know about cloud backup
IT departments are embracing cloud backup, but there’s a lot you need to know before choosing a service provider. Learn all the critical things you need to know.
Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Backing up Big Data
Solving backup challenges and “protect everything from everywhere,” as we move into the era of big data management and the adoption of BYOD.
Consolidation: The Foundation for IT Business Transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?