Feeds

Nokia posts proposal for next year's smartphone UI

Nods to iPhone, Android WebOS

Business security measures using SSL

Details are beginning to emerge regarding what Nokia wants to see in the next-gen Symbian user interface.

Developed for Symbian 4 - sorry, 'Symbian^4' - Nokia's proposal for the UI calls for a redesigned display in which a standard titlebar at the top of the screen with the remainder managed by the application in the foreground.

The titlebar has new, more compact signal strength and battery indicators that appear no matter what app you're in. The title is application-dependent - on the homescreen, it would name the operator, for example - and would double-up as a tappable space to call up a dropdown Options menu, signalled by the down-facing triangle.

Symbian 4 UI proposal

Incidentally, Options menu commands would be structured in such a way as to prevent unnecessarily long menu hierarchies so users don't have to navigate screen after screen of options only to end up not knowing where they are or - worse - going back to the wrong screen.

Finally, a back button in the titlebar would take the user back through an app's view hierarchy and up to the homescreen.

Apps can hide the titlebar, with an pre-defined animation making it appear to slide up off the screen. At the same time, a standard bottom-of-the-screen four-button toolbar UI component, if implemented, would slide off the screen downwards.

The proposal envisages retitling Symbian's Main Menu as Applications Library and becoming one of four such Libaries: the others would be Contacts, Music and Photos. Each of these presents content in am ordered list, with a tree hierarchy if necessary, to avoid nested folders and the consequent view changes.

Symbian 4 UI proposal

List items will get contextual menus, triggered by pressing the option for a given time, to save navigating to a second view and then back again.

Users will be able to create fixed or dynamic "collections" of Library entries, the better to access frequently needed information more quickly.

Switching between apps would become more streamlined, with automatic state and data saving. Always running apps, such as the music player, would get "improved visual access", though the proposal doesn't detail how.

Symbian 4 UI proposal

Other tweaks include a new power-key menu that includes volume and vibration controls; an improved Control Panel; a multi-page homescreen; and the ability to place irregularly shaped widgets on the homepage.

As a proposal, the UI is up for debate among Symbian licensees and interested parties. Symbian 4 is scheduled to be competed by Q3 to pave the way for its implementation in devices early in 2011. ®

New hybrid storage solutions

More from The Register

next story
Half a BILLION in the making: Bungie's Destiny reviewed
It feels very familiar - but it's still good
Apple's big bang: iPhone 6, ANOTHER iPhone 6 Plus and WATCH OUT
Let's >sigh< see what Cupertino has been up to for the past year
Huawei ditches new Windows Phone mobe plans, blames poor sales
Giganto mobe firm slams door shut on Microsoft. OH DEAR
A SCORCHIO fatboy SSD: Samsung SSD850 PRO 3D V-NAND
4Gb/s speeds on a consumer drive, anyone?
Phones 4u website DIES as wounded mobe retailer struggles to stay above water
Founder blames 'ruthless network partners' for implosion
Get your Indian Landfill Android One handsets - they're only SIXTY QUID
Cheap and deafening mobes for the subcontinental masses
Apple's SNEAKY plan: COPY ANDROID. Hello iPhone 6, Watch
Sizes, prices and all – but not for the wrist-o-puter
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.
Saudi Petroleum chooses Tegile storage solution
A storage solution that addresses company growth and performance for business-critical applications of caseware archive and search along with other key operational systems.
Security and trust: The backbone of doing business over the internet
Explores the current state of website security and the contributions Symantec is making to help organizations protect critical data and build trust with customers.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.