Symbian has always been one of the top players on the mobile operating systems market, ever since Nokia created it (it was called S60 back when it was conceived). Given that Nokia was and still is one of the top manufacturers of cell phones, it was no wonder the new OS got popular very quick. There are currently over 50 million Symbian S60 users worldwide, and most of them are using Nokia phones.
But S60 is very old now, and even with the improvements that Nokia made (like better touch and app support), it can’t hold its own against the newer iOS and Android. That’s why Nokia created the Symbian Foundation and open sourced the code to the OS. The result was the creation of something even better – an OS called simply Symbian, which is currently in a mature state at version 3, and is ready to be deployed into the real world.
The first phones to use it were the Nokia C6, C7, E7 and N8 – all great smartphones from the top phone manufacturer in the world. The new OS doesn’t have a lot of apps on the market yet, but many developers have already signed up to create or port their apps to the new platform, and we have no doubt they will do just that. For now, here are just a few of the apps you can and should download to your new Symbian S^3 smartphone.
Nimbuzz. Nimbuzz is a great app that lets you put all of your friends and contacts in one easily accessible place and make and send free phone calls and messages using a variety of service, including Skype, AIM, MSN, Google Talk, Yahoo Messenger, and others. Using a Wifi connection is almost always free, but even with a 3G data plan via VoIP, you’ll be able to make much cheaper calls anywhere in the world.
FourSquare. Foursquare really took the world by storm when it launched. It is now one of the most popular apps on iPhone, Android and Facebook (among the users, of course). What it does is let you explore the world around you in a new manner, using an amazing augmented reality app for your phone. Using it, you can learn about new places, see where your friends are in real time, see all the interesting things in a city, and much more!
TuneWiki. TuneWiki is one of the best media players for Android and iPhone, and it’s finally available for Symbian S^3 users as well. It is basically a music and video player that allows you to connect with other users on their online service and share your playlists with them, find other good music, search for lyrics and subtitles, and does a lot of other interesting things.
Mobile Documents. If you need to constantly send and receive emails, and more importantly, attached documents, there is currently no other better app than Mobile Documents for Symbian S^3. It is a very advanced Push mail client that handles most document formats out there, and is very quick when sending and receiving them. It can work with all of the most popular online email services, including Gmail, Yahoo, Exchange Server, and any other standard IMAP/SMTP server out there.
Opera Mobile. Even though the default Symbian Web browser has been improved a lot since the old S60 days, it is still nowhere near as powerful as the Opera Mobile browser. No other browser is, in fact. Opera Mobile lets you view multiple pages in tabs, have easy scrolling and panning capabilities, save a ton of bookmarks, accelerate download speeds and save bandwidth and view Flash inside the browser like you would on a normal computer, and best of all, it’s completely free – if that’s not enough to get it, I don’t know what is.
The number of apps on the marketplace will certainly increase in the following months, as developers start releasing versions of their apps for it. Symbian is just like Android was in the beginning, and with Nokia having millions of loyal customers around the world, there is no doubt that it can and will become a great and competitive mobile operating system.