Things are hotting up in the mobile World ahead of this month's 3GSM show, Symbian have announced a new version of their operating system, Symbian OS 9. Whilst UIQ are finally going to give the first public demo of UIQ3, the next release of their user interface for the Symbian OS.
Symbian OS 9 looks interesting, where OS 8 was primarily focused on 3G and adding a hard real-time core, OS 9 appears to be less specific in approach, adding functionality across the whole OS. More multimedia capabilities, better security, increased operator configurability and control, further enterprise functionality, better performance, lower power consumption, and reduced build costs are just the bullet points, and there's a bundle of additional information for each of these.
OS 9 looks like an interesting package, I half get the impression it has loads of extra functionality which was not quite ready in time for OS 8, or was put to one side to focus on shipping the core functionality of OS 8. The Symbian guys I've spoken too are excited by OS 9, and it's due to be in phones shipping this summer.
The development tools have also had a shot in the arm, whilst Nokia have announced a new version of the venerable CodeWarrior for OS 9, the exciting news for many developers is the forthcoming release of an open-source toolchain featuring the Eclipse IDE.
And onto UIQ3...
I've heard UIQ3 being talked up many times by folks from Symbian and SonyEricsson, but it seemed to have gone into hiding. There's still nothing much about UIQ3 on the UIQ website, a handful of screenshots and one vague document being the only significant content. Why? At the end of the day UIQ need to sell this technology to phone manufacturers, keeping it hidden isn't going to help do that.
I'm still hoping that SonyEricsson do an Apple at 3GSM, along the lines of "So you've seen UIQ3, here's our new P1000, S800 and K800 all use UIQ3, and they'll be in the shops next week", I suspect I'm being overly optimistic though...