Symbian has updated its operating system. There will now be improved support for digital TV, cameras, database applications, location-based services and roaming between Wi-Fi and 3G networks.
Unusually for an operating system upgrade, where "better" is often synonymous with "bigger and slower," Symbian said the OS will run faster than its predecessor on phones with less memory or slower processors. Average memory use has been reduced by 25 percent or more, which means users can either run more applications at once, or use the software on cheaper phones with less memory, the company said. The improvements can also speed the launch of frequently used smartphone applications such as web browsers or e-mail clients by 75 percent, and reduce the phone microprocessor's power consumption, extending battery life, Symbian said.
"Symbian has focused its engineering resource on to operating system basics, looking seriously at issues of performance, time-to-market and power management," all moves that will get the software into a greater range of phones, faster, said Adam Leach, an analyst with Ovum.
Version 9.5 will offer a built-in SQL database, providing a common repository in which applications can store data - Symbian uses it for the phone's address book. The phone can also receive email notifications pushed out by the network, and can roam between corporate Wi-Fi networks and the public 3G network while making VoIP calls.