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S60 Touch UI @ Forum Nokia Mobile Application Summit 2.0

S60 Touch UI @ Forum Nokia Mobile Application Summit 2.0

Forum Nokia Talks S60 Development

Forum Nokia Talks S60 Development

Forum Nokia held its Mobile Application Summit in Bangkok, Thailand on 30-31 October 2007, which saw mobile developers from various parts of the region meeting and sharing ideas and current projects with the management teams from Forum Nokia, content partner companies, media and the S60 development teams.

One of the highlights of the conference was the presentation of the upcoming S60 Touch Interface by Lee Williams, Senior Vice President for Technology Platforms, Nokia. As most Nokia users should know by now, Series 60 is one of the three major platforms that Nokia uses among its devices – the other two platforms being the Series 40 platform and the Linux platform called maemo (seen on the Nokia N800 Internet Tablet). It is generally perceived as a complete interface solution that sits on top of the Symbian core operating system that includes apps like Web Browser, email client and so on. Fit these instruction sets with various pieces of hardware and voila, you can rapidly build phones like there’s no tomorrow.

Of course, the Series 60 group identified 3 major customers that form its ecosystem – internal business groups that produce Nokia devices, the licensees from other mobile device manufacturers (Samsung, LG) and the silicon community (chipset manufacturers). The fourth customer group is the developer community who creates applications for the Series 60 platform.

According to Lee, two recent studies (Nokia Smartphone 360 and Nokia Consumer Study 2006) revealed the following patterns in consumer usage, beyond voice communications and text messaging.

  • 76% has a desire to view mobile TV on their mobile devices
  • 54% play games
  • 76% shoot photos and/or videos
  • 64% listen to music
  • 51% has a desire to use maps and navigation functions on their mobile devices
  • Internet becoming core mobile experience:

                  o 81% use browser
                  o 31% use instant messaging
                  o 4% use podcasting
                  o 8% use internet telephony (VoIP)
                  o 5% use mobile TV

Lee also shared the prospects of seeing Widgets on the S60 browser. He cited a UK company called 3, which is best known for launching the X-Series mobile Internet service in various European countries, and is now introducing widgets in the S60 3rd Edition Feature Pack 2, with Touch UI in 2008. Widgets are basically third-party items that can be embedded within a user interface like a web page, desktop or mobile phone, which the user can interact with.

Lee later showed what he felt were considerations that went into the S60 Touch User Interface, the new UI that the Series 60 team is working with various mobile device manufacturers on and introduce by 2008. Lee explained that in looking at the user interface, one has to ensure the following:

  • Input & Output methods – the ability to create, access and view according to your needs.
  • Performance – speed and efficiency in all experiences.
  • Functionality – do what you want, where and when you want. The S60 team enabled the use of Widgets on mobile phones. We’re seeing examples from 3’s X-Series and TIM from Telecom Italia.
  • Design & Usability – easy to use with exciting and smart UI. Basically, "if you need 5 to 6 steps to access the Web on your phone, you’ve not succeeded. If you can do it in two, you’re going somewhere." – the S60 team added transition effects when you shift from one screen page to another.
  • Personalization – the S60 team added the Slideshow wallpaper feature.

Check out this YouTube video link to a video on the S60 Touch UI that Lee Williams showed us at the conference