Nokia has announced a new touch-based interface for their Series 60 (S60) smartphone OS to be implemented in future products from Nokia and other Symbian-based phones. It’s clearly in response to the iPhone, but there’s nothing wrong with that.
Nokia has even come up with a few improvements of their own, including a motion-based “flip to silence” mode, where incoming calls can be quieted by flipping the phone on its face. The interface can also be used with both finger-presses or a stylus and will respond with tactile feedback. (The iPhone’s touch screen can only recognize finger presses from real human flesh.)
Of course, touchscreen-based phones had been around for a decade before Apple launched the iPhone, including on many Nokia models, so it’s less about the technology and more about the implementation. The HTC Touch, which uses a simple touch-based interface overlaid on Windows Mobile, wasn’t anything special. Series 60 is a more solid user experience than Windows Mobile to begin with, but we’ll just have to see if Nokia can make the whole experience as smooth and fun as the iPhone.
Interestingly, I didn’t see anything about multi-touch in the video. That’s not much of a deal-breaker. Apple has done little to really take advantage of the advanced user input methods multi-touch can allow, likely because it’s just as simple to control most of the iPhone’s functions with one finger than two (or five). That’s smart design, but it also makes it easier for others to clone their general user experience.
S60 Touch Interface Launched [AllAboutSymbian.com]