Symbian update will plug into HD television

The S^3 version of Symbian, unveiled at MWC, will let people watch full high-definition films on their TV sets using their smartphones
Written by David Meyer, Contributor on

The Symbian Foundation has unveiled S^3, the next version of the Symbian open-source mobile operating system.

S^3 is the first entirely open-source version of the platform. Details announced on Monday at Mobile World Congress include HDMI support, new memory management techniques, a new graphics architecture and readiness for 4G support.

The Foundation said it expects the platform to be "feature-complete" by the end of March.

"S^3 is another huge milestone in the evolution of our platform," Symbian Foundation chief Lee Williams said in a statement. "Now that it is fully open source, the door is open to individual contributors, device creators and third-party developer companies, as well as other organisations, to create more compelling products and services than ever before."

S^3 will let users plug their handset into a TV set and watch films at 1080p quality. It will also make it possible for people who listen to the radio through their phone to buy songs they hear, through music-store integration with the radio.

The Foundation said the use of writeable data paging would improve memory management, making it possible for many applications to run in parallel, even on mid-range hardware.

All applications on the platform will have what the Foundation calls 'one-click connectivity'. This promises to make it simpler for a phone user to activate 3G or 4G connectivity while in an application, or to have the device automatically switch to Wi-Fi where available.

Smartphones built on S^3 are expected to be released in the second half of 2010. However, according to a recent ZDNet UK interview with Williams, the next version, S^4, will be the first to look completely different to the old Symbian OS that preceded the open-sourcing process.

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