Nokia has announced that selected models in its Symbian smartphone lineup will be updated to the Belle Refresh version of Symbian Belle, otherwise known as Belle FP1, which initially shipped on the Nokia 808 PureView imaging flagship earlier this Summer. The update includes bugfixes and selected enhancements to specific models, as listed by Nokia below:
Great news! We just started to roll out our next update for Symbian called Nokia Belle Refresh for Nokia N8, Nokia E7, Nokia C7, Nokia C6-01, Nokia X7 and Nokia Oro with version number 111.040.1511 (Nokia E6, version number 111.140.0058, will follow still this week, Nokia 500 updates will start to be launched within the next few weeks).
This update again brings new features to Symbian smartphones, for example:
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 will be rolled out in phases, starting with the vanilla versions (ie. basic software variants without any specific operator or country configuration). Country and operator variants will follow within the next weeks, depending on local and operator approvals.
PS: Just like after updating from Nokia Anna to Nokia Belle, some apps may not work due to compatibility issues. If you need more information on available apps, please contact your local Nokia Care support. Furthermore, you can also contact the respective App developer to enquire about the compatibility.
More specific updates are as follows via All About Symbian:
- Web browser is now v188.8.131.52 (was 184.108.40.206 in Belle) and has better HTML5 support
- More clock widgets (digital clock lookalike)
- Notes widget, for quick access to notes and to create a new one.
- Facelift (of playback controls) and functionality for Music player (split of Albums and Artists at last, implemented with tabbed interface) – v17.1.14 (was 17.0.16 in Belle)
- Maps Suite 3.9 built-in (for the full firmware image via Nokia Suite)
- Qt 4.8.0 now built-in
- (for N8 only) Big Screen now built-in
- (for N8 only) DLNA play now built-in
- Numerous assorted fixes and optimisations, including Flash video support – high bitrate videos and content are now handled fine, without crashes
With the latest Belle FP1 update, it does appear that Nokia is indeed keeping to its word to maintain its Symbian lineup updated despite being deprecated in favor of Windows Phone, which bodes well for owners of Symbian^3 devices despite worries that updates could suddenly cease due to Symbian now being handled by Accenture rather than Nokia themselves, even though the core Symbian team was transferred from the struggling manufacturer to the solutions provider as a part of a larger restructuring last year.
The only real caveat for this update mentioned by Nokia and one that may be of some importance is app compatibility, as Belle FP1 does introduce significant changes to the operating system that may render some apps unusable, with Nokia preparing its developer documentation to deal with the changes and recommending users contact either Nokia or app developers directly to provide the appropriate feedback.