Nokia first revealed details of it's upcoming mobile operating system (OS), Symbian^4, during the summer of last year, however the communications company submitted a proposal on Friday with a visual guide to how the new mobile OS may look.
A posting on the Symbian Foundation forum brought the new 'User Interface Concept Proposal' to the Web's attention, with the thread asking for feedback from the community's users and numerous developers. The attached proposal (PDF) includes various details on what to expect from Nokia's next Symbian-based OS, including technical specifications and a number of concept images.
The proposal, which was authored by Elizabeth Dykstra-Erickson, the Head of User Experience Design for Nokia Symbian Devices, details that the primary objective of the S^4 user interface is "to simplify the S60 user experience". Nokia plan to achieve this simplification through a wide number of means, including applying a common consistency throughout all of the native applications user interfaces, introducing autosaving guidelines and ensuring certain tasks, such as editing user settings or power options, are straightforward and refocused.
Interestingly the report also explains what user interface elements are similar in S^4 to those found in rival smartphones, and also lists how the elements will differ. Android's moveable homescreen possess "one multi-panel homescreen" for widgets, whereas S^4 intends to offer "independent unique pages". Palm webOS' exit commands are also mentioned, as is the iPhone's application library. Symbian^4 will have an option to view applications in "multiple filtered views", unlike the iPhone's "manually organized grid".
Of course all of the information on offer is just a proposal, so things are due to change before Symbian^4 arrives. However with Nokia currently having no OS which is specifically developed for touch-screen devices, with current touch phones using a modded version of Symbian S60, it will be no bad thing when Symbian^4 arrives later this year.