July 17, 2009

Symbian: Going open source has made huge difference

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Symbian goes open source from JD Lasica on Vimeo.

JD LasicaProbably few people have noticed that Symbian, the operating system that powers nearly half the world’s smartphones (compared with the iPhone’s 1.1% overall market share), is opening up its platform and going open source.

Samsung“Being open source has made an incredible difference in how we interact with the community,” says Anatolie Papas of the Symbian Foundation. In this 5-minute video, she talks about recent changes at Symbian, the value of open source, and the large number of software developers around the world writing code for Symbian-powered mobile devices.

The interview was conducted at the Traveling Geeks‘ Tweetup in London — which Symbian helped support — on July 5, 2009, with a Flip Ultra, and you’ll notice a few audio artifacts.

Anatolie charges her Symbian phone once every 2-3 days and uses it for data uploads and downloads constantly (which iPhone users can only dream of). She also talks about her “absolutely fantastic” Samsung Omnia HD i8910 phone (pictured), which sports an 8 megapixel camera, and mentions some of the cool Symbian-powered smartphones coming out this fall, including the new Sony Ericsson Satio with its 12 megapixel camera.

As I understand this, Nokia, Motorola, NTT DoCoMo, LG Electronics, Samsung, Sony Ericsson, AT&T and other companies formed the Symbian Foundation a year ago with contributions of software assets from Nokia, NTT DoCoMo and Sony Ericsson. The open-source OS now in development will unite Symbian with Nokia’s Symbian-based S60 platform as well as two other platforms built on it: UIQ and NTT DoCoMo’s MOAP (Mobile Oriented Applications Platform).

It was great meeting Anatolie and I hope to run into her again.

Watch or embed the video on Vimeo

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JD Lasica, founder and former editor of Socialbrite, is co-founder of Cruiseable. Contact JD or follow him on Twitter or Google Plus.

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