Friday, October 9, 2009

Ixonos proposes significant change to Symbian^3 platform !

Posted on 06:00 by SlipKoRnSaad

Ixonos has made a major contribution proposal in the user interface domain of the Symbian smartphone software platform. The proposal seeks to remove double tapping from Symbian touch screen applications. The User Interface Council of the Symbian Foundation has approved Ixonos' major contribution proposal "Remove Double Tapping from Platform Applications". The proposal has also received strong support in the foundation's Feature and Roadmap Council.

In 2008, the Symbian operating system, which previously was owned by Nokia and by Symbian Ltd., was converted to an open-source system in order to promote the platform's application-development and business benefits as rapidly and efficiently as possible.

As a member of the Symbian Foundation, Ixonos strongly supports the foundation's goals as well as the development of open-source software. "Ixonos has set out with a will to develop and innovate new functionality for, and improvements to, the Symbian platform", says Ilkka Syrjälä, Symbian Technology Manager at Ixonos. "Our co-operation with the Symbian Foundation and with the developer community enables important targeted improvements to be rapidly implemented in the platform", he continues.

“Ixonos' scale and experience have been great advantages in the proposal evaluation process, as well as their good relationships with other Symbian Foundation member companies. The quality of the proposal has also been a significantly helpful factor in its evaluation by the councils, whose votes will be necessary for the proposal's approval”, comments Scott Weiss, User Interface Technology Manager from Symbian Foundation.

The S60 5th Edition operating system and the usability of the Symbian^2 platform based thereon have been criticized as inconsistent. Symbian^3 aims at light but significant improvements in usability. The Symbian Foundation maintains a UI Brainstorm blog, which is open to everyone's development proposals on the topic of the user interface. The blog has seen discussion on how the double tap function in present touch-based S60 devices disrupts the unified user experience. While a single tap suffices to open elements on the home screen and in the menu of the smartphone, a double tap is required to open various text-based links such as those in the Contacts and Messaging applications. The first tap activates the object; only the second one opens it.

In August 2009, inspired by active discussion, Ixonos launched a research project with the aim of creating an official proposal to remove double tapping. In Ixonos' proposal, a single tap is enough to open list elements in any platform application. The change does not affect phones with hardware keyboards. It also does not affect third-party applications. The first Symbian^3 phones may arrive on the market in autumn 2010. Ixonos' proposal is on view, together with extensive comments and examples, in the Symbian documentation wiki.

Implementation of Ixonos' proposal "Remove Double Tapping from Platform Applications" will begin, in co-operation with other parties, this autumn. Ixonos' development proposal is the first one to come from Symbian's global community of developers since the foundation was established.

This PDF document proposes removing the need for double tapping from the Symbian^3 platform

Via : ixonos and

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