The Smartphone Show 2005, Learning How To Go FasterThereís a huge change in Symbian OS with OS 9.1 coming out. While the directors and marketing managers will be prowling the floor of The Smartphone Show for the latest edge available to them, the people who do all the work, the programmers, will all have the chance to learn about the new OS, API calls and the low level magic they can use from the people who programmed it. Symbian themselves.
The Developer Training runs alongside the seminars that are on offer, and consists of three two hour sessions each day. A mix and match approach is evident, with two choices in each session available. Youíll find full details on The Smartphone Show web site.
Itís interesting to look at these courses from a non-developer's point of view. The techniques and skills learnt at these sessions will be used not just in current smartphones, but in those that weíll be speculating over in the next 12-18 months. Itís no surprise to see a general introduction to the OS in The Symbian OS Kitbag, with the two major UIs (Series 60 and UIQ) both having their third version heavily involved (each has a separate two hour session), but also not surprising is the focus on the changes in Symbian OS 9.1. The cryptically titled EKA1/EKA2 Compared is probably very high on a huge number of lists. The EKA is effectively the kernel of Symbian OS, and changes this deep into the OS can fundamentally affect a number of tools.
Two other areas that are high up on Symbianís list of OS 9.1 advantages are covered in the seminars on the second day. Platform Security is probably the biggest benefit to a change to OS 9.1, but there has been a lot of classic FUD (Fear, Uncertainty and Doubt) spread about the threat of malware and viruses. And while that is all acknowledged, it should also be acknowledged that a lot of whatís going on now in the OS will help the general market feel comfortable with Symbian OS driving more and more capable smartphones.
DRM is the other hot topic and is covered in the last seminar Ė it doesnít have any competition in the form of another seminar choice, so theyíre hoping everyone will head on over to the Digital Rights Management one. The rights and wrongs of DRM could fill an entire web site on their own; needless to say it is something thatís going to be around in Symbian OS and impacting on a lot of user issues in the next year.
Not everyone is going to need the in-depth, paid Developer Training thatís on offer. Spread over three Ďtracksí and two days the free Developer Seminars are going to give the majority of mobile developers enough of an info dump to keep them happy for a very long time.
- User Experience and Applications concentrates on what you give to the user, in terms of interface. What expectations they have and the challenges in delivering these solutions to the user.
- Developing with Symbian Tools and Platforms looks at how you write these programs. Day one takes a broad strokes look at the tools and both Series 60 and UIQ, while day two focuses on what to do once the application is written, with information on Symbian Signed, Developer Certificates and the new Symbian Accreditation program taking centre stage.
- Enterprise Streams looks at practical ways of using Symbian OS powered smartphones in the real world, how to use them to create profitable business solutions, and the intriguingly titled ĎBreaking the Executive Ceiling for Mobile Email.í
Most companies with a few developers are going to send one to each stream. The single user/developer is going to have to sit with the program (online here) and decide which are the most important to his/her projects so they can jump between the streams as needed.
Wrapping It Up
While all the big noise and announcements are going to be front of house, the real stars of The Smartphone Show 2006 (assuming they donít go and change the name yet again) are going to be squirreled away in the training rooms. Itís to Symbianís credit that these are organised to go alongside the exhibitions, even if it does mean that the dedicated programmer only gets an hour to have both their lunch and a look round the exhibit hall!
Published by Ewan Spence at 9:44 UTC, September 27th