Some people may argue that innovation never left the Symbian developer space, but let’s be honest, of late it’s been more productive to release new products and services for either an Apple product, or Android, and this still continues to some degree; eg we’ve seen London Cycle Hire applications for Apple and Android, but still nothing for Symbian (although there is a new mobile optimised website at cyclehi.com which should work on desktops and mobiles, and is well worthy of a bookmark).
Let’s also not forget that some developers (such as the Jan Ole Suhr at Mobileways, the author of the excellent Gravity Social Networking client for Symbian) have never left Symbian, and have continued to develop really useful applications for the platform.
However, in the last few weeks, I think we’re starting to see a change; firstly, we have Sym4Square, a FourSquare client developed for the touchscreen phones which has now been formally released (see here for information about the beta). This isn’t the first app to support FourSquare on Symbian, but is the first dedicated app, and seems a pretty complete app too.
Then, we can’t forget Swype, a very popular third party keyboard for Android phones (which allows you to swipe from key to key, and it tries to work out which word you are selecting), has just gone into beta for selected Symbian^1 (aka S60 5th Edition) devices over at Nokia Beta Labs. It is key, in my opinion, that apps like this are produced, to show that these features can and will be provided for Symbian too (it’s not clear whether is uses the builtin dictionary, or relies upon it’s own, but it certainly seems to maintain it’s own custom dictionary file, and not use the Symbian custom dictionary, which is a real shame).
Finally, again something we’ve already covered (here), but the first platform with a full Online Shopping application (covering the whole end to end process) from Tesco? Symbian.
With Nokia World a week away, and a fair few hardware rumours already out there, it will be interesting to see if Nokia can return to the forefront over the next year…