MWC 2008: Nokia overview
S60 Feature Pack 2
Along with the four new handsets, Nokia introduced significant software improvements to its mobile range portfolio. All the new devices come with Symbian v9.3 S60 UI 3rd edition with Feature Pack 2 pre-bundled. The Feature Pack 2 includes both visual and performance upgrades.
The first thing to notice was the new Active stand-by screen, which now allows quick access to a lot more features. The stand-by is now organized in tabs and the D-pad is used for browsing through them.
The gallery application is another innovation of the new feature pack - it has new looks and an improved browsing system. The speed of browsing through your pictures increases if you hold the direction buttons on the D-pad longer. This allows quick skipping through tons of photos in a blink of an eye. Besides, the gallery has a much more conveniently placed shortcut for accessing the picture details.
The S60 UI Feature Pack 2 also enables tagging of your pictures. In addition to geo-tagging, which is automatically handled by the built-in GPS (if the handset has one), you can also tag any keyword you can think of to your photos. These should help you find your pictures easier.
The Navi wheel functionality is also improved to show much more of its potential. Remember how we complained about its functionality in Nokia N81 8GB being limited to certain parts of the interface only? Well, it seems Nokia also felt the same way about it and have now enabled the wheel to work in any menu.
The new task manager also earns our praise as it looks much better and is now appearing on every pop-up menu. It is actually placed on top of every list, which may seem irritating in some cases. In addition, you can still use the well-known shortcut by holding the menu key for a few seconds.
Finally, the S60 UI Feature Pack 2 brings some graphic improvements as well. Animations are now available when going through the menus or rotating the screen. Fading in and out of the camera viewfinder looks very cool and really adds up to the eye-catching camera interface.
S60 touch UI
The other achievement of Nokia's software department that they showcased at this year's Mobile World Congress is the new S60 touch user interface. For now it's only emulated since an actual device working on it is far from being released.
At this stage, we only know for certain that future S60 Touch devices will have displays of a 360 x 640 pixel resolution. We also noticed that the 16:9 aspect ratio seems to be getting more and more popular recently - the S60 Touch UI is a fine example. Here is our video, which will give you an idea about how the S60 touch user interface looks and feels.
S60 touch interface video