Porting guidelines

Describes the changes in Symbian Belle that affect the application developers and guides them to adopt these changes.

The major change in Symbian Belle compared to the previous platform releases is the user interface, which provides rich user experience to the device users.

The major changes in the Symbian Belle are:

  • Control pane (Softkey area) in landscape and portrait

    Symbian Belle has graphical softkeys instead of textual softkeys, and the LSK (Left Softkey) and RSK (Right Softkey) have swapped places. That is, the back or exit option now appears to the left of the screen and the Options menu to the right. All applications using the standard softkeys are not impacted by this change, as the standard softkeys are automatically mapped to icons. To understand how the custom softkeys are handled in Symbian belle, see Mapping custom softkeys

  • Toolbar

    The toolbar is part of the control pane area (NOT in the application area). All existing applications with three toolbar buttons in the application area, are recommended to have only two key options on the control pane and accommodate the third toolbar option in the Options menu.

    The following is an example AVKON button resource definition:

        txt = "text";
        helptxt = "help text1";
        bmpfile = MY_MIF_FILE;  
        bmpid = EMbmMyId;
        bmpmask = EMbmMymask;
  • Status pane

    The status pane (including Title, indicator area and battery/signal indication) is minimized to accommodate more application content. Navi pane (for example, tabs) is no longer part of the status pane.

  • Navi pane

    Navi pane is located in the application area and is displayed on demand. If application does not have any Navi pane content, the component is not displayed.

  • Status notification pop-ups

    The existing status notification pop-up can be opened by tapping the status indicator, but in Symbian Belle the opening method is changed to swipe down. This renewed status notification component has graphical toggle buttons for the most used functions such as, Bluetooth on/off, lists of notification messages (for example, new messages), and other informative notes (for example, headphones connected).

For more details about these UI changes, see Symbian Belle UI guidelines.