Science Fair Project Encyclopedia
There are multiple user interface flavours that use the Symbian OS, such as UIQ and Nokia's Series 60. The adaptability of the user interface enables the use of Symbian OS on various form-factors of hand-held devices: clam-shell or tablet, keyboard and/or pen, PDA or mobile phone, and others.
Symbian OS's major advantage is the fact that it was built for handheld devices with limited resources that may be running for months or years. There is a strong emphasis on conserving memory, using Symbian-specific programming idioms such as descriptors and a cleanup stack . Together with other techniques, these keep memory usage low and memory leaks rare. There are similar techniques for conserving disk space (though the disks on Symbian devices are usually flash memory). Furthermore, all Symbian OS programming is event-based, and the CPU is switched off when applications are not directly dealing with an event. This is achieved through a programming idiom called active objects. Without using these techniques properly, an application can wear down the battery of a phone in just a couple of hours; with them, the battery lasts for a week.
All of this makes Symbian OS's flavour of C++ very specialised, and difficult to program. However, Symbian OS devices can also be programmed in OPL, Python, Visual Basic, Simkin and Perl - together with the J2ME and Personal Java flavours of Java.
The current Symbian OS is derived from the EPOC32 operating system, which was used in Psion Series 5, Revo and NetBook PDAs and originally developed by Psion Software. The Symbian OS has since gone through many revisions.
Devices that have used the Symbian OS
- Nokia 9210 Communicator smartphone (32-bit 66Mhz ARM9 -based RISC CPU) (2001), 9300 Communicator (2004), 9500 Communicator (2004) using the Nokia Series 80 interface
- Sony Ericsson P800 (2002), P900 (2003), P910 (2004) using the UIQ user interface.
- Nokia Series 60 (2002)
- Nokia Series 60 is used in various phones, the first being the Nokia 7650, then the Nokia 3650, followed by the Nokia 6600 and Nokia 7610. The Nokia N-Gage and Nokia N-Gage QD gaming/smartphone combos are also Series 60 platform devices. It is also used on other manufacturers' phones such as the Siemens SX1 and Sendo X.
- Nokia 7710 (2004) using the Nokia Series 90 interface.
- SymbianOne.com An active Community portal for mobile developers, device makers, and carriers interested in symbian devices
- Symbian Company Website
- Other Symbian OS devices
- Nokia Series 60
- All About Symbian, Community Website with news, reviews and a very active forum
- Series 60 platform's official site
- eBooks and eNews on Symbian OS smartphones with Mobipocket
- Symbian Directory
- Symbian OS OpenSource Community Center, This site is dedicated to the development of Open Source programs for SymbianOS.
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