Feeds

Nokia posts proposal for next year's smartphone UI

Nods to iPhone, Android WebOS

Gartner critical capabilities for enterprise endpoint backup

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. ®

Boost IT visibility and business value

More from The Register

next story
Apple takes blade to 13-inch MacBook Pro with Retina display
Shaves price, not screen on mid-2014 model
iPhone 6 flip tip slips in Aussie's clip: Apple's 'reversible USB' leaks
New plug not compatible with official Type-C, according to fresh rumors
FEAST YOUR EYES: Samsung's Galaxy Alpha has an 'entirely new appearance'
Wow, it looks like nothing else on the market, for sure
YES YES YES! Apple patents mousy, pressure-sensing iVibrator
Fanbois prepare to experience the great Cupertin-O
Steve Jobs had BETTER BALLS than Atari, says Apple mouse designer
Xerox? Pff, not even in the same league as His Jobsiness
TV transport tech, part 1: From server to sofa at the touch of a button
You won't believe how much goes into today's telly tech
Apple analyst: fruity firm set to shift 75 million iPhones
We'll have some of whatever he's having please
Things are looking up in Flappy Bird sequel
'Swing Copters' offers the same gameplay but in a different direction
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.
Build a business case: developing custom apps
Learn how to maximize the value of custom applications by accelerating and simplifying their development.
Rethinking backup and recovery in the modern data center
Combining intelligence, operational analytics, and automation to enable efficient, data-driven IT organizations using the HP ABR approach.
Next gen security for virtualised datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.