Nokia Symbian Anna update proves Symbian isn't Finnished

Nokia has overhauled its much-maligned Symbian software with Symbian Anna, a new version of the software to make its debut on the new Nokia X7.

Richard Trenholm Former Movie and TV Senior Editor
Richard Trenholm was CNET's film and TV editor, covering the big screen, small screen and streaming. A member of the Film Critic's Circle, he's covered technology and culture from London's tech scene to Europe's refugee camps to the Sundance film festival.
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Richard Trenholm
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Nokia has overhauled its Symbian software. The much-maligned operating system has been updated with Symbian Anna, a new version of the software to make its debut on the new Nokia X7.

Anna sports friendly new icons on the front end, while the Web browser and Ovi Maps apps are quicker and easier to use. Maps now has new public-transport information, predictive search and social-networking features.

Typing on the phone is also easier with a new portrait Qwerty keyboard, and there's a split-screen view so you can still see your app while you're typing. Nokia also says there have been improvements behind the scenes, so it's secure enough for business.

Click play on the video below to see Anna in action.

Symbian has been looking increasingly tired as first the iPhone then Android revitalised phone software. When even Microsoft's hackneyed Windows Mobile was reborn as the slick Windows Phone 7, it was clear something had to change.

The gap between Nokia's solid hardware and lacklustre software was never more clear than in the Nokia N8, a smart-phone powerhouse with an excellent 12-megapixel camera that seriously divided opinion. Not long after the N8's failures crystallised Nokia's problems, the Finnish company took full control of Symbian, before relegating the much-maligned software to lower-end phones by adopting Windows Phone 7 for smart phones.

Symbian Anna will appear on the new X7, and will work on Symbian phones including the N8. Further updates will follow, but it's not clear what'll happen to Symbian when Windows Phone 7 makes its debut on a Nokia phone. Each update will have a lady's name, presumably proceeding alphabetically in the style of confectionery-obsessed Android. We hope B is for Bertha.

Is this the boost Nokia needs, or have you lost interest until Windows Phone 7 Nokias turn up? Let us know in the comments or on our Facebook wall.