The latest video posted by Nokia online detailing some of the features of its silver Nokia N8 flagship–which is among my favorite phones and one that I carry daily–reveals icons and features from the forthcoming Symbian^3 software update, also known as PR 2.0 or Symbian Anna informally. The video is part of the Nokia Care Academy and was quickly pulled after it was posted, but some bloggers have managed to snag a few screenshots of the video, which highlights icons, performance improvements, battery life, and a new virtual keyboard as some of the updated experiences. What’s curious and notable though is the formal mention of NFC support, and to be specific NFC support on the Nokia N8.
Briefly, though, what’s highlighted is kind of a unique application for NFC. Rather than pairing a Bluetooth earpiece or stereo headphones to the handset–by way of a 4-digit PIN that Bluetooth pairing often requires–Nokia is saying that users can pair handsets with NFC chips together with an NFC-capable smartphone, and the Nokia N8 was used.
While NFC technology has gained attention recently with digital wallet mechanisms, this is the first time that we’re hearing NFC both on the N8 and as a means for pairing with a headset.
Though it’s widely believed that the Nokia C7, released in the U.S. through a T-Mobile USA partnership as the Nokia Astound, comes with NFC, it was not believed that the Nokia N8 came with NFC chip support. It’s unknown if the feature demonstrating NFC support was taken out of context in which it was highlighted with a Nokia N8, perhaps as a marketing error, or if Nokia has indeed embedded an NFC chip in the N8 without publicly disclosing it and Symbian Anna merely unlocks the capabilities of the near field communications technology.
In the past, Nokia hasn’t been shy about its support for NFC, though the company had only said it was exploring the technology and its capabilities. Whether or not this is an error or an Easter egg on the Nokia N8 is still unknown, but hopefully for Symbian Anna hopefuls and N8 owners, we’ll all know soon enough.
Given that the video is being developed now, it perhaps show that Anna is in its late and final stages of development and is nearing release. Prior videos have shown Anna working on a Nokia N8 as well as the business class Nokia E7 handsets in the past.
Along with NFC support, the biggest changes that users can expect surround a full portrait-oriented QWERTY on-screen keyboard. In the current iteration of Symbian, at least on the Nokia N8, a full QWERTY keyboard was only possible in landscape mode and users had to rely on T9 text input in portrait mode. Additionally, the browser has also been improved and there are a number of performance and speed improvements.
Via: My Nokia Blog