Right as promised Nokia released a major firmware update for the N97 Symbian smartphone. Bringing substantial improvements to user experience and some new applications, firmware version 20.0.019 is already available for download from the company website.
Of course the main change introduced by the new firmware is the system-wide kinetic scrolling. It was already available to some of the other Nokia S60 touch-driven handsets (5530 XpressMusic in particular) but the N97 had to wait good four months to get it.
The Ovi Maps application gets updated to version 3.1, featuring 3D maps, while Nokia email, Ovi Contacts and Ovi Store are all integrated in the core system image. Nokia N97 users that update their handsets also get VoIP support and several nice performance upgrades.
According to Nokia the handset should now have improved memory and battery performance as well as image and video stability.
In addition to improving the user experience, the new firmware should reassure customers (both existing and potential) that Nokia N97 shortcomings aren't forgotten by the company. With the reception of N900 so universally positive and the S60 struggling to match the competition, shifting the effort in another direction (cough!) wasn't completely unthinkable.
Update: Nokia have just released a promo video of the new firmware, that we find pretty amusing. Here it goes for you to check out.