What's new in Symbian^3

Symbian^3 introduces a lot of new features that enhance communication, connectivity, multimedia, graphics, security and the overall usability of Symbian devices. These features benefit operators, application developers and device creators by making it easier to create feature-rich devices and applications.

If you are moving from a older version of Symbian platform to Symbian^3, see Porting applications from S60 5th Edition to Symbian^3.

Technology Domain New Features
Data Communications
  • FreeWay or Three Plane Comms Architecture: The Symbian platform now supports a new IP networking architecture. The new architecture significantly improves data flow performance and makes it easier for third-party developers to integrate new technologies, for example firewalls and hotspot authenticators. It also implements automatic roaming between different access points, for example WLAN and GPRS. For more information, see Goals of the Comms Architecture.

  • One-Click Connectivity (OCC): The Symbian platform now provides a new way of managing data connections on the Symbian platform. OCC builds on the existing Application Level Roaming (ALR) solution. This feature makes the user's interaction with "connecting" and "select access point" dialogs significantly simple and easier. For more information, see Extended Connection Preferences.

Device Connectivity
  • Remote Network Driver Interface Specification (RNDIS) support: The Symbian platform now includes support for RNDIS that defines the communication between a host and a network device connected over USB.

  • Media Transfer Protocol (MTP) Improvements: The Symbian MTP implementation now supports Windows 7, MTP over Bluetooth and also new content formats.

  • MTP Device Services Extension Specification: The Symbian MTP implementation now supports the MTP device services extension to the Media Transfer Protocol (MTP). For more information, see MTP Device Services Extension Specification.

  • AVRCP (Audio/Video Remote Control Profile) v1.4 Support: A Symbian device user can now see music track names and browse playlists directly from the screen of a AVRCP v1.4 enabled Bluetooth headset or remote control.

  • Centralized AT-command Handling: The Symbian platform now enables all AT commands to be handled using the same mechanism regardless of the connection type. For more information, refer to the AT Extension Plug-in API.

Device Management
  • Support for Open Mobile Alliance (OMA) Management Objects (MO): The Symbian platform now supports OMA MO like Software Component Management Object (SCOMO) v1.0, Device Capability Management Object (DCMO) v1.0 and Connectivity Management Object (ConnMO). It also supports Nokia Standard Streaming MO. Some enhancements have been made to Browser MO and Email MO.

  • Other Device Management Enhancements: The Symbian platform now provides an improved device Lock with security and an enhanced firmware update installation experience.

  • Landmark-based URL Parser: The Symbian platform now supports a parser that converts between landmark objects and URLs. The parser supports a URL format that is compliant with Ovi Maps. For more information, see CPosLandmarkParser.

  • New Management Object (MO) for A-GPS: The Symbian platform now provides an enhancement to Secure User Plane Location (SUPL) now allows the service provider to provide two access points for a SUPL server in the MO. This improves the system stability because it acts as a fallback mechanism in case one of the access points is unavailable.

  • Support for Application Processor Engine (APE) Centric Location Architecture: Symbian devices can now use the new architecture based on the APE that offers standardized session IDs on network privacy and classes that use the SUPL. The architecture converges technology from OS, middleware and application software layers.

  • Support for Location Based Services (LBS) SUPL Positioning Module (PSY): The Symbian platform now enables the LBS SUPL PSY to allow GPS-enabled devices to handle network-based SUPL location requests. This includes Cell ID based positioning and assistance data exchange as part of SUPL v2.0. .

  • Support for GPSCost5.0D and GPSCost4.0D GPS chipsets: The Symbian platform now uses the APE-centric architecture to support GPSCost5.0D and GPSCost4.0D chipsets. A new A-GPS Nokia Positioning Engine (NPE) integration module replaces the OS LBS subsystem reference A-GPS version.

  • Support for LBS SUPL Radio Resource LCS Protocol (RRLP): The Symbian platform now uses the APE-centric architecture to support NPE and RRLP on GPS-enabled device.

  • SUPL 2.0 Trigger Support: The Symbian platform now provides SUPL 2.0 trigger support that allows the requester to receive location updates periodically, which is both network and device initiated.

  • Location-based Triggering Enhancements: The Symbian platform now includes key enhancements that enable integration with an Context framework to develop plug-ins and increase support for total and active triggers. An enhanced, dedicated common gateway interface enables the client to provide multiple CGIs to create a trigger, which is fired on successful matching with at least one CGI.

  • Enhanced Location Acquisition API to support LocationKnownPositionArea.

  • Here and Now: The Symbian platform now includes Here and now that offers easy-to-use Web services related to the user's current location. Here and now allows the user to check the local weather and get other topical information while on the move.

  • Mobile TV DVB-H Receiver HAI: Mobile TV Receiver is a small internal system but does so much more than traditional TV. It is broadcasted in a multi-grounded environment with high speed by using low battery power and low memory usage. .

  • OpenMAX IL: OpenMAX IL is a low-level interface used in mobile devices that allows the Multimedia Device Framework (MDF) to load, control, connect and unload audio, video and imaging components. .

  • Thin Adaptation of A3F DevSound: The A3F DevSound is one of the key component in the Sound Device collection that provides access to the hardware accelerator in audio technology. For more information, see A3F DevSound Component.

  • Image Processor library: The Image Processor is an independent and high-level API and framework which is developed for mobile imaging. The Image Processor has some pluggable advanced image editing libraries to perform the Panoramic Stitching function and the Speed View function. For more information, see Image Processor Library.

  • Camera API Extensions: The Camera API is extended to support the features such as background processing, continuous digital zooming, time nudge image capturing and automatic aperture setting. For more information, see Camera Library.

  • 3GP File Format Library: The 3GP Library component is a Multimedia plug-in which supports for reading and writing 3GP, 3G2, and MP4 files. The 3GP Library is also extended to support larger 3GP or MP4 files. .

  • Video Playback from Non-user Interface Thread: Media Client Video Display is a standalone library used by the Video Client library to support video playback. For more information, see Media Client Video Display Library.

  • Video Subtitle CRP: Displays artwork on a video window using the Video Subtitle CRP component. The Subtitle Graphic library displays subtitles artwork on the screen through its interaction with Client Process, Controller Process and WServ Process. For more information, see Video Subtitle CRP Component.

  • Dolby Digital Audio Support: The Symbian platform now supports codecs that enable support for Dolby Digital Audio on Symbian devices.

  • True Pause in Audio Playback: In the audio playback request the true pause feature is implemented to stop the audio data at the physical sound device without stopping the buffer traffic. For more information, see Pausing and Resuming Audio Play.

  • Global Surface Updates: The Video Render component is extended to support the global surface updates. For more information, see Global Surface Updates.

  • Metadata Utility Library: The Metadata Utility library belongs to the Metadata Utility Framework (MUF) component that provides fast metadata access to audio, video and image media files. For more information, see the Metadata Utility Library section.

  • UI Patterns or Thumbnails Enhancement: This is a Multimedia specific pattern enhancement, which includes many UI (User Interface) features, listed below:

    • Multiple customized Home Screens with 6 different widget enabled screens.

    • Pinch zoom, kinetic scrolling and single-click features.

    • Good screen view with a new UI theme, and renewed icons.

    • Hardware acceleration with fast and responsive UI that creates new transition effects.

    • Multitasking with Teleport visual task swapper.

    • Intelligent slide functionality for Hybrid touch and QWERTY slider devices.

  • Mobile TV: Mobile TV uses DVB-H receiver to consume broadcast digital mobile television. The Symbian platform provides fast and easy access to all videos and TV media content. One key press opens videos and TV application suite, and user scrolls and selects the desired video functionality. This media experience is built with major components such as Videos and TV, video player and Mobile TV. Videos and TV support high quality video up to 720 per resolution at 12 Mbps and 30 frames per second.

  • Image Viewer Application: The Image Viewer application is used when the client opens an image file for viewing. File Manager, Messaging, Camcorder and Browser S60 components use the Image Viewer application. It supports Extended ICL JPEG API, which enables a faster and less memory-consuming way to rotate and zoom images.

  • FM Radio: The FM Radio application is used to listen FM radio broadcast over the air. FM radio broadcast is a free service.

  • Video Sharing: Using the video sharing service, both call users can start sharing their device live camera view or pre-recorded video clip during a normal circuit switched (CS) voice call. The video sharing feature allows the user to upgrade and downgrade their call with one-way video at times of need. The video sharing application uses the Multimedia Comms Engine API.

Multimedia Applications
  • High-Definition Multimedia Interface (HDMI): The Symbian platform now supports HDMI technology. HDMI is supported as an external accessory for audio and video playback for a great television playback experience. It provides improved data performance and is ideal for streaming high definition audio and video. The 720p resolution is supported in still image and video viewing. 5+1 channel audio is also supported.

  • Home Music Widgets: The Symbian platform now provides music information through Home Screen Music Widgets. The Home Music Widgets controls from the Home Screen menu system enables to play and pause the playing track. The Music Widget supports the Radio Player and includes the Music Suite Matrix Menu. This menu is configured through XML and by default supports to launch the functionality listed below:

    • The last played song

    • The music collection view

    • A music shop, or to open the FM radio

  • Fusion Player Application: The Symbian platform now introduces the Fusion Player, which replaces the existing Media Player and Video Center applications. It enables access to both online video services and locally stored videos. If DVB-H device is available, live TV viewing is also possible. The main features supported by the Fusion player application are as follows:

    • To browse stored videos and to see metadata features of the video, such as title, thumbnail DRM info, size or play-time.

    • To check videos that are pre-installed with the device.

    • To play stored video file in the device.

NFC Services The NFC (Near Field Communication) Services provides the user interface as well as the middleware functionality for the NFC technology. The Symbian NFC implementation provides:
  • methods for subscribing and discovering tags and NDEF messages.

  • implementation and access (read/write) methods for different types of NFC targets.

  • methods for handling NDEF messages and accessing NDEF messages on tags.

  • methods for peer-to-peer communication between NFC devices.

  • ECOM plug-in interface for subscribing and receiving NDEF messages.

For more information, see NFC.

Note: NFC is available only as a separate plug-in, it is not included in the Symbian S^3 SDK delivery. The NFC plug-in can be downloaded from the Nokia Developer and installed.

OS Base Services
  • Writable Data Paging (WDP): The Symbian platform now supports WDP. This enables efficient use of memory and allows multiple applications to run at the same time without physically adding more RAM to the hardware. This leads to a more responsive system when switching between a number of running applications. .

  • Symmetric multiprocessor (SMP): The Symbian platform now supports SMP for multi-core processors, such as the ARM Cortex A9. This allows device integrators to prototype and prove ARM-based SMP platforms.

  • 64-bit file server: The Symbian platform now supports files larger than 2 GB.

  • Nokia Messaging for Social Networks: Nokia Messaging Social Networking service is a Nokia-hosted consumer service that provides easy and affordable mobile access to popular social networking communities.

  • Enhanced Calendar UI Architecture: Calendar UI architecture has changed to improve flexibility of calendar for regional, religious, custom-tailors and xSP calendar service needs. Multiple storages are also supported. For more information, see Calendar Guide.

  • CalDAV Protocol: Calendar application now supports the CalDAV Protocol, which is an open calendar synchronization standard contributed by SUN Microsystems. This enables a user to access scheduling information on remote servers.

  • Enhanced Contacts Application: The Contacts application in this release includes the following changes:

    • Integration with social media.

    • Support for Remote Contacts Lookup, for example, from post-installed Mail for Exchange account.

    • Virtual Phonebook API (supports getting access to the user’s own contact card).

    • Own contact card.

  • The Symbian platform now supports the Open Source based Java MIDP 2.1.

  • The Symbian platform now supports Browser Application v7.2 (with Web Run Time 7.2) that includes the following features:

    • Browser Control

    • Browser core features

    • Browser Customization

    • Browser plug-ins

    • Browser with touch screen

    • Content Download

    • URI Schemes

    • Display Resolution Optimizations

    • Optical Finger Navigation (OFN)

    • FlashLite 3.1

    • Search Client Integration

    • Expanding Language and Character Set Support

    • Improved Security Prompting

    • Updated Platform Service APIs

    • Visual Task Swapper Support

    • Performance Optimizations

    • Multiple touch/pinch zooming

Security The Symbian platform now provides an enhanced Security subsystem that enables device creators to integrate hardware acceleration modules, which improves the performance of cryptographic algorithms. This is particularly valuable in intensive real-time use-cases, such as streaming audio or video over a secure link, where bulk data needs to be encrypted and decrypted.
User Interface
  • ScreenPlay, also known as the New Graphics Architecture (NGA): This new graphics architecture enables device creators to take advantage of improved software performance, hardware acceleration and third party graphics engines. It makes it possible to combine UI components, graphics and video to create highly innovative UIs. For more information, see The ScreenPlay Graphics Architecture.

  • Multiple Touch Support: The ScreenPlay version of the Window Server has been extended to support multiple advanced pointers, with support for proximity and pressure. The emulator now also supports multiple advanced pointers. For more information, see Advanced Pointers.

  • Enhanced Touch UI: The touch UI includes the following improvements:

    • Multi-page Home Screen enables the user to navigate between widgets with a simple flick gesture

    • Capacitive multiple touch events are supported.

    • Tactile Feedback utilizes advanced haptics effects.

For more information about the new features in Graphics, see What's New in Graphics in Symbian^3.

See Also