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Nokia announces Symbian Anna: New-look UI for Symbian^3, new browser and improved Ovi Maps, coming soon to Nokia N8

You’d be forgiven for thinking that Symbian on smartphones was going the way of the dodo after the Nokia/Microsoft alliance was announced. But it turns out that Nokia isn’t quite done with Symbian yet.

Revealed earlier by Three this morning and announced by Nokia just now, Symbian Anna is here. It’s a new-look UI for the Symbian OS that could breathe some much-needed life into the old dog.

Anna is basically a fresh coat of paint for Symbian, one that was quite frankly needed. The most noticeable change is the addition of a portrait Qwerty on touchscreens, something that was noticeably absent on phones like the N8.

We now get what Three was on about when it mentioned that ‘split screen’ earlier. As you can see from the screengrab on the left, you won’t lose of a text message or web page when you’re replying/typing in a URL.

The new-look web browser and it’s menu of shortcuts looks a million times easier to use than the previous version. There’s a static ‘back’ button for a start which will make navigating pages much much easier.

Ovi Maps has been given a big overhaul too, allowing you to check in to locations using Twitter, Facebook and Foursquare, improved search and the addition of public transport lines.

The Nokia X7 and E6 phones will come with Symbian Anna pre-installed. Nokia will be rolling out Anna to the N8, C7, C6-01 and E7 “in the coming months”.

We’ll be constantly checking for exactly when Anna gets unleashed on existing Nokia phones. We won’t be happy until we’ve Swyped our first text on an N8 in portrait.

Source: Nokia Conversations

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