Tuesday 28 August 2012

Nokia is launching the Belle Refresh update

Nokia’s Belle OS is getting an update – Nokia Belle Refresh – for the Nokia N8, Nokia E7, Nokia C7, Nokia C6-01, Nokia X7 and the Nokia Oro. The version number for the update is 111.040.1511. The update to Nokia E6, version 111.140.0058, will be out this week and Nokia 500 updates will be launched within the next few weeks, according to a post on the Nokia forums.

This update again brings new features to Symbian smartphones, such as:
A new browser with HTML5 web apps support, a new set of homescreen widgets and the previously released Microsoft Office Mobile App and Nokia Maps Suite 2.0 in one package.
Nokia N8 will have some extra apps for imaging.

The update is set to be rolled out in phases, starting with the plain vanilla versions (basic software variants without any specific operator or country configuration). The country and operator variants will be out within the next weeks, depending on the operator.

Last month, Nokia Belle devices had received a small update that allowed SkyDrive integration with the phones. The report stated that Belle-powered smartphones were getting an ‘Upload to SkyDrive’ option that allows automatic photo upload to Microsoft’s cloud storage solution, SkyDrive. The 170kb update was made available via ‘SW update’ application on Nokia smartphones and neededa restart.

This follows Nokia's launch of the Belle Feature Pack 1 update for the 700, 701 and 603. The update brought with it some cool additions like an overclock on the processor front for more power. The degree of overclock, however, depended on the phone itself. Some sound enhancements like Dolby Digital Plus and Dolby Headphone were also a part of the update. Nokia added about 20 new widgets and a better browser and some minor tweaks as well as changes to the multitasking and notification area. When we reviewed the 603, we had already received the update, so chances are that if you have one of these phones in India, you’ve already got the update.

In our review of the 603, we noticed that with the new update, a noteworthy amount of Microsoft Apps were making their appearance on the Belle phones, giving an indication that the Microsoft-Nokia partnership wasn’t just restricted to the Lumia phones. For starters, Microsoft OneNote, Exchange, Lync and SharePoint had already been integrated into the phone. Besides these, there was Doc Connect, Broadcast, Public Transport, Joiku Spot, Poken, Quick Office and Shazam. The standard Nokia apps were naturally part of the ecosystem. These included Nokia Maps, Nokia Drive, Ovi Music, Check In and Nokia Recommends.

Symbian was definitely a powerful platform on its own. With the advent of other operating systems, it did lose a lot of steam, but it's still chugging on with these updates. One of the main problems was the limited app store, but besides that, the interface, the media and everything else was pretty promising. Symbian wasn’t too optimised though, and it did face a similar fate as Samsung’s Bada operating system. As compared to frontrunners Google and Apple, it didn’t really impress that much and Nokia itself started looking at Windows Phone as its future premier operating system.

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