Feeds

Android will sink Symbian

It's the UI, stupid, analyst warns

Beginner's guide to SSL certificates

Symbian needs to cut to the chase and sort out its user interface, the organisation has been warned.

The call comes from Gartner "distinguished" analyst Nick Jones who points out that while Symbian's still colossal market share is vanishing at an ever greater rate, the organisation behind the operating system still doesn't appear to have figured out why.

It's the UI, stupid, to coin a phrase.

That's Jones' argument, at any rate. Apple and Android deliver much better user experiences, and while Symbian 3 is a step in the right direction, phones equipped with Symbian 4 won't be out until well into 2011.

Apple is making a virtue out of touchscreen ease of use. Android is trying to do the same, and if it's slightly less good at this kind of thing than Apple is, at least it has many more manufacturers lined up to not only promote Android-branded handsets but also add alternative GUIs to it.

The Symbian Foundation, on the other hand, appears more obsessed with what's going on under the hood, says Jones.

He's right. Symbian the OS grew separately from the UI, a conscious plan to allow phone vendors to differentiate their devices at the user interface level but have a single, well-developed OS underneath. That made sense when the only serious rivals were basic proprietary OSes in feature phones and Windows Mobile - say no more; look how its clunky, old fashioned UI has sunk it - and allowed Symbian the OS to develop without worrying about then unnecessary things like visuals.

Now that approach has turned round to bite it on the rear end. As Symbian's roadmap shows - it talks about audio policies, cloud integration, better multitasking, multiple personalised home screens, HDMI and Wi-Fi - the Symbian Foundation is stuck thinking about what's going on behind the screen not on it.

But it's largely what's on the screen that, at the moment, is selling handsets, smartphones in particular.

Jones reckons that this inability to move beyond the methodology of the past will be Symbian's undoing, and likens the Symbian Foundation's tinkering to "re-arranging the deck chairs on the Titanic".

And if Apple doesn't sink it, Android certainly will. ®

Beginner's guide to SSL certificates

Whitepapers

10 ways wire data helps conquer IT complexity
IT teams can automatically detect problems across the IT environment, spot data theft, select unique pieces of transaction payloads to send to a data source, and more.
Getting started with customer-focused identity management
Learn why identity is a fundamental requirement to digital growth, and how without it there is no way to identify and engage customers in a meaningful way.
How to determine if cloud backup is right for your servers
Two key factors, technical feasibility and TCO economics, that backup and IT operations managers should consider when assessing cloud backup.
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 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.