Despite the recent news of a Nokia-Microsoft collaboration, leading the smartphone manufacturer to begin producing Windows Phone 7 devices, Symbian doesn’t look like it’s going anywhere as an alternative OS for Nokia smartphones. While the company had been working on a next-gen Symbian^4, it decided to focus instead on implementing the sorts of changes it had in mind on the existing Symbian^3 platform. A product render used as a backdrop to a recent Nokia event now provides us with a glimpse of what the next of those Symbian^3 updates may be, showing a redesigned UI.
You see the changes most clearly by comparing this new image, at the above right, against the current implementation of Symbian^3 on the Nokia N8, at the top left. Thee mishmash of phone status icons, floating unrestrained above the background, will now be displayed in a single line against a solid background bar. This looks like a great move, freeing up screen space while hopefully not losing any utility.
We also notice a redesign of the interface buttons at the screen’s bottom, replacing them with a set of icons – this, too, looks like it will free up a bit more space on-screen. Both of these design changes feel very Android-y; perhaps imitation really is the sincerest form of flattery, or Nokia just wants to win over some existing Android users. It also looks like once this update comes out you’ll have a bit more freedom in customizing the phone, with fewer restrictions about the placement of widgets.