Nokia publishes application design guidelines for “Symbian releases after Anna”, say hello to Belle

In November 2010 at the Symbian Exchange and Exposition, Jo Harlow, Executive Vice President of Smart Devices at Nokia, said that in early 2011 Symbian would be getting an improved user experience, new browser, and split screen text entry. We’d find out 5 months later that this update has a name, Anna. It’s the latest version of Symbian that today ships on the E6 and X7 and will eventually hit existing Symbian^3 devices sometime this August, a full 9 months after being teased. Grudges about slipped release cycles aside, there’s an even newer version of Symbian called Belle that’s due to be released at some point later this year. It’s rumored that it’ll be on the Nokia 500, 600, and 700, the three new as yet to be announced devices that will launch Nokia’s reworked 3 digit naming scheme that the Finnish firm hopes will make it easier for consumers to recognize their products. We’ve only seen glimpses of Belle thanks to a handful of leaked images of the Nokia 700, but now we’ve got something much more tasty. Nokia has just published an updated series of documents for designing Symbian applications and it pretty much shows off everything you need to know about Belle.

From the images above you can tell that this is the major kick in the pants Symbian needed as far back as 2007 to stay competitive. The status bar takes up less space, there’s an Android like pull down notification pane, there’s … enough in here to make us wonder why Nokia is throwing away Symbian if all they needed to do was shine some of the rough edges. No one has a problem with Symbian’s technical abilities, it runs amazingly well on low end hardware, it’s the user experience that left a lot of be desired. Now we’ve yet to see Symbian Belle in action, but if these images have anything to show us, it’s that Nokia can innovate, they just need a ridiculous amount of time.

[Huge thanks to @mobilesguruji]

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