Symbian Os Vs Android Os Computer Science Essay

Published: Last Edited:

This essay has been submitted by a student. This is not an example of the work written by our professional essay writers.

Symbian is an open source operating system (OS) and software platform designed for low-end smartphones and maintained by Nokia. The Symbian platform is the successor to Symbian OS and Nokia Series 60; unlike Symbian OS, which required an additional user interface system, Symbian includes a user interface component based on S60 5th Edition. The latest version, Symbian^3, was officially released in Q4 2010, first used in the Nokia N8.

Type of Symbian OS(s)

S60 (formally known as Series 60)

The S60 platform is a purpose-built platform for smartphones on Symbian OS. It is currently one of the leading mobile platforms in the world. The S60 platform is a complete smartphone reference design, developed by Nokia Mobile Software, and is currently being licensed by several of the worlds key mobile device manufacturers

The S60 platform guarantees to developers that specific elements will be present in every device based on a particular platform edition and feature pack. It does this using the architecture shown in Figure 1, which consists of the S60 UI style, S60 Applications, S60 Application Services, S60 Javaâ„¢ Technology Services, S60 Platform Services, and Symbian OS Extensions built on top of Symbian OS.

S60 Editions

S60 1st Edition (Version 0.9) - Symbian 6.1

S60 1st Edition, Feature Pack 1 (Version 1.2) - Symbian 6.1

S60 2nd Edition (Version 2.0) - Symbian 7.0s

S60 2nd Edition, Feature Pack 1 (Version 2.1) - Symbian 7.0s

S60 2nd Edition, Feature Pack 2 (Version 2.6) - Symbian 8.0a

S60 2nd Edition, Feature Pack 3 (Version 2.8) - Symbian 8.1a

S60 3rd Edition (Version 3.0) - Symbian 9.1

S60 3rd Edition, Feature Pack 1 (Version 3.1) - Symbian 9.2

S60 3rd Edition, Feature Pack 2 (Version 3.2) - Symbian 9.3

S60 5th Edition (Version 5.0) - Symbian 9.4


Symbian^3 (Version 5.2) - Symbian 9.5

Series 80

The Series 80 (formerly Crystal) was a short-lived mobile software platform for enterprise and professional level mobile phones made by Nokia. It uses the Symbian OS. Common physical properties to this Symbian OS user interface type is a screen resolution of 640Ã-200 pixels and a full QWERTY keyboard.

Series 90

The Series 90 is a platform for mobile phones that uses Symbian OS. It was developed primarily by Nokia and is currently used only on the Nokia 7710. Nokia discontinued Series 90 as a platform, but merged its technology into S60.Although no new Series 90 devices are expected, a form of the GUI lives on as Nokia's Hildon user interface in the Maemo shipped with Nokia Internet Tablets.


UIQ (formerly known as User Interface Quartz) by UIQ Technology is a software platform based upon Symbian OS. Essentially this is a graphical user interface layer that provides additional components to the core OS, to enable the development of feature-rich mobile phones that are open to expanded capabilities through third-party applications.

UIQ phones employ touch screens with a resolution of 208Ã-320 pixels (UIQ 1.x & 2.x) and 240Ã-320 (UIQ 3.x). Depending on the phone, the color depth is 12-bit (4096 colors), 16-bit (65536 colors), 18-bit (262144 colors), and 24-bit (16,777,216 colors) on some newer phones.

MOAP (Mobile Oriented Applications Platform)

MOAP (Mobile Oriented Applications Platform) is the software platform for NTT DoCoMo's FOMA service mobile phones.

MOAP(S) is supported by Symbian OS based phones from a number of manufacturers such as Fujitsu, Sony Ericsson Japan, Mitsubishi, Sharp and others. Unlike Series 60 and UIQ, other platforms based on Symbian,


Generally, the language C++ is used in most of the symbian operating systems. But in many Symbian Operating System the operating system can also use languages like Python, Visual Basic, OPL and Perl.

Symbian Operating System was built in such a way that it follows the three basic design rules.

The integrity and security of user data is of paramount importance.

Response time must not be as small as possible.

All resources are scarce.

Symbian OS programming is said to be event-based, and the Central Processing Unit is switched off when the running applications and programs are not linked to the event. This is achieved through a programming logic called active objects.

The Symbian Operating system is compatible with all kinds of devices, mostly removable media file systems.

Symbian Operating system 9.x which is one of the latest models has adopted a better model.

The Symbian system is not an Open Source software. Cell phone manufacturers, though have some parts of its source code.

The Symbian applications like the Themes, games, wall papers and software's are all SIS files which can also be easily transferred by using Bluetooth, or through the internet or through transfer using cables.

Device using Symbian

Nokia C7

Nokia E5


Nokia E7

Nokia N8

Samsung SGH i550

Sony Ericsson Vivaz Pro


Androidâ„¢ is a new mobile operating system developed by Google. It is totally open source, allowing anyone to develop for it without having to pay fees. That means it is constantly new and evolving, with thousands of new apps available on the Androidâ„¢ Market, with more to follow. It also comes with pre-loaded Google services like Gmail, Google Maps and YouTube. Everything you need, just a tap away.

Android OS Version History

Android 1.5 Cupcake: When things started looking good

The first released update for Android was 1.5 and was called Cupcake, based on Linux Kernel 2.6.27. Many consider Cupcake as the first Android OS version that really showcased a powerful platform. Among the main improvements you could find a new UI, and the possibility of video recording and viewing. Uploading videos to Youtube and pics to Picasa was now possible with your Android smartphone. The 'autocomplete' feature was now available. The phone could automatically connect to a Bluetooth headset within some distance. It also had support for Bluetooth A2DP. You now had the ability to copy and paste web pages.

Android 1.6: Donuts for everyone

In September 2009, the Google released the Android 1.6 (Donut) SDK, based on Linux Kernel 2.6.29. The update came with an whole new Android Market experience. Google's Donut came with an integrated camera, camcorder and gallery interface. Users could now select more than one photo in order to delete them, Voice Search was updated, now providing a more complex integration with other applications. It could be used to dial contacts.

The search function was also significantly renewed. Support for CDMA/EVDO, 802.1x, PN, Gestures, and a Text-to-speech engine and for WVGA resolutions was included. Searching and camera apps became faster.

With the success of HTC Hero, the Android OS gained a lot more popularity than some expected.

Android 2.0/2.1 (Eclair): Google Nexus One Leads The Way

The 2.0 (Eclair) SDK, created upon Linux Kernel 2.6.29 was unveiled on 26 October 2009. Hardware speed was optimized, the phone had now support for more screen sizes and resolutions. The UI was revised, support for your browser UI and HTML 5 was improved, Backgrounds had a better white-black ratio. An updated version of Google Maps (3.1.2) was offered along with the update, as well as Microsoft Exchange support. Live wallpapers, Bluetooth 2.1, an enhanced virtual keyboard were also new additions with Android Eclair, as well as the enhancement of MotionEvent class. The 2.0.1 SDK was released on 3 December 2009 and the 2.1 SDK was released on 12 January 2010.

Android 2.2 Froyo: Flash 10.1 support

Andoid 2.2 (Froyo) (set to be released next month), will bring another rain of new features and improvements, but what stands out from the crowd is the Flash 10.1 support. Nexus One owners will get Android 2.2 first (here's an Android Froyo manual update guide for the N1), while HTC Android smartphones will get the Android 2.2 update starting next month.


Smart virtual keyboard

The addition of a virtual keyboard means that Android 1.5 devices can support both physical and virtual keyboards, packing the best of both worlds. It's up to you to use whichever input method fits you in a specific scenario.

Android's virtual keyboard is provided in portrait or landscape orientation and works in any application, including Gmail, the browser, SMS and even in third-party programs.

It comes with an auto-correct feature, suggestions and user dictionary for custom words. You can also set it up so that it gives you tactile feedback by vibrating the screen. Unlike rival mobile platforms, Android 1.5 supports user installation of third-party virtual keyboards.

You can customize Home screen with multiple widgets.

Customize Home screen with widgets.

Home screen customizable with widgets

Your can now customize your Home screen with widgets, basically small web apps that pull and display live data from the Internet. Android 1.5 comes preloaded with five bundled Home screen widgets (analog clock, calendar, music player, picture frame and search). Unlike the iPhone, Android 1.5 supports additional third-party widgets via the built-in application bazaar.

Live Folders for quick-viewing your data

Similarly to OS X Leopard's QuickLook feature, Live Folders in Android show common data items, such as contacts, favorite apps, email messages, playlists, bookmarks, RSS feeds, etc, without having to run a system application that handles a specific data item.

The content of a Live Folder updates in real-time as new data is created on the device or in the cloud. What's best, developers can extend the built-in support for common data items and register new data types.

For instance, Twitter client app might register tweet as a new data type with the system, thus enabling you to create Live Folders of tweets from your friends. Android 1.5 comes with a couple of Live Folders preset on your Home screen that provide quick, convenient access to your contacts, stocks, bookmarks, etc.

Share recorded videos via YouTube, with privacy controls.

Share recorded videos via YouTube.

Video recording and sharing

Android 1.5 finally adds the ability to record and share videos, in addition to improved playback and better support for MPEG-4 and 3GP video formats.

You can now share recorded videos via email, MMS or upload them directly to YouTube, with privacy controls to choose between making uploaded videos available to everyone or just a subset of invited friends.

Uploads happen in the background so you can continue using the phone and even record and upload a new video while the previous one is still uploading.

Picasa image uploading

Sharing images online now requires fewer clicks. After taking an image, just tap "Share" when viewing a photo and choose Google's online image service dubbed "Picasa" that comes with 1GB of free storage for your photos.

Faster, standards-compliant browser

Android's WebKit-based browser got a significant speed bump, thanks to a newer WebKit rendering engine and an optimized JavaScript interpreter dubbed SquirelFish . As a result, you should enjoy faster performance in complex web apps that rely heavily on the Javascript code. Watchful readers could note that the latter also powers Apple's current desktop and Safari browsers, with desktop Safari 4 Beta and iPhone OS 3.0's mobile Safari running a newer, more optimized version called SquirrelFish Extreme.

Besides speed gain, Android's browser now supports copy and paste within web pages, user-selectable text-encoding, unified Go and Search box and the ability to search for text within a page. Finally, a tweaked user interface makes room for tabbed bookmarks, history and most-visited pages screens.

Home screen with Google text and voice search widget.

Voice search

I know, iPhone users were first treated with Google's mobile search with voice recognition technology as far back as November of last year. Nevertheless, the inclusion of a voice search feature in Android 1.5 does enhance default search capabilities beyond pure text search.

The move should delight users who prefer to speak their queries aloud in either British or American accent. Voice search works pretty straightforward. When you speak your query aloud into the handset's microphone, the software uploads digital recording to Google's servers.

From there, state-of-the-art voice recognition technology turns audio into a regular text search and passes it to the Google search engine. Textual results are then tailored to your current geographical location and beamed back to your device.

Stereo Bluetooth and hands-free calls

Besides an improved hands-free experience, Android 1.5 now supports stereo Bluetooth (A2DP and AVCRP profiles), in addition to auto-pairing feature.

Snappier overall performance

Optimizations of the code base trickle down to Android's core applications that feel snappier. Expect faster camera start-up and image capture, in addition to smoother scrolling of pages in the browser and conversation list in Gmail. Also, the software acquires your GPS location noticeably faster, thanks to SUPL Assisted-GPS technology.


Android automatically checks and repairs the file system on SD cards and allows third-party apps to indicate to the Android system what hardware features they require in order to function properly. Android checks these requirements when you download the app from the Android Market, allowing the installation only if the required hardware is present. The feature will become really important when more Android devices based on varied hardware hit the market later this year. Comparison of user interface in Android 1.0 (left) and 1.5 (right).

Gmail client has a new feature for bulk archive, delete and label operations on multiple messages at once. Google Talk friends' status is now visible in Contacts, SMS, MMS, GMail, and Email apps. You can show contact pictures for Favorites and access a contact card from a call log event with one touch.

Events in call log now finally display date and time stamps. Last, but not least, user interface elements used across the system and in third-party programs have been refined for a more subtle and polished appearance.

Device using Android

Acer Liquid Stream

HTC Desire

LG Optimus

Motorola Cliq XT

Samsung Intercept

Sony Ericsson Xperia X8

Comparison between Symbian VS Android




Which is better?

OS Platform

Closed Development. They release full source code and the platform cannot simply modified by unautorized people. This is best for software developer because their coding is secure and copyrighted.

Open Source. The coding can easily modified by people. Therefore, the developer software must set to free editable and free of charge release.


Developer Opportunities

Symbian has more opportunities for developers to build an app. On the other hand, lets you use native C++, Qt, Python, Web Runtime, Java, and a few others. There are also millions more Symbian devices in use than there are Android devices.

If you want to build an Android app, you need the Android SDK…and that's about it (save for web apps). They are still new in market and not all people use it.


Telco Network

Symbian does not have an integrated network accelerator, for smoother and clearer video calling, but you can download one and use to speed up the connection for uninterrupted networking.

Android has made its handsets a Wi-Fi hotspot. With a support to wireless Internet, this operating system can run Web on your handset even when you do not have a network connection in your phone. You can simply get a wireless connection from some other device to serve the purpose.


Handset/ hardware differences

Handsets like Nokia N8, powered by Symbian OS have been reported with issues with opening large web pages. They need third-party software to solve this e.g: Opera Mobile.

The hardware interface of Android includes an autofocus camera, callback on camera error, etc. and interface for supplying image data from captured picture, delivering copies of preview, geomagnetic field, sensor and other exciting features that facilitate the usage.



Nokia Messenging does better than HTC which is faster and easy. Beside, they can support multi email account with just one software e.g: Yahoo! Mail, GMail, Windows Live Mail, etc.

As we know, Google develope Android. So they mainly focuses on GMail users, which only done well on GMail than other account.



It's much more obvious (in most apps) how to 'background' an app, and then switch back to it. Symbian does it better 'out-of-the-box', especially with such eye candy as the Samsung i8910′s built-in task manager, shown below. It's exceptionally easy to tell which apps are still running, and to switch between them or close them altogether.

After several days (and 2 task management apps) I'm still trying to get a good handle on how to complete this process consistently on Android. It's not always clear which applications are still running on Android, nor is it easy to consistently know how to send them to the background. Another frustrating aspect is that many Android apps have an option for background notifications, which let them alert you of events even when they're not the active application.



Symbian does well in multimedia that we can see through the music player. It easily manage, add, remove and sort the music file in the player. They new feature that been add is while playing the music, the music player will automatically search for the lyrics and display it in karaoke mode like Minilyrics in Windows OS.

The media players can play diverse music and video files, while there are high mega pixel cameras as well. However, the images appear better on the Android based touch screen phones.


Powers Down

You press and hold the power button and the whole thing shuts off. No annoying pops up submenu for confirmation. It's useful for realtime power off the device. It's also roughly 2x faster loading up and being ready to use.

When you want to turn your Android-powered smartphone off, you press and hold the power button, which pops up a submenu, from which you choose 'power off',which pops up a confirmation dialog, where you again choose 'OK' to finally turn the blasted thing off. Oh, and it also takes time to power back on.



One thing that Symbian users have always enjoyed is that Symbian is more of a phonesmart than a smartphone - that is, the phone part is always a priority, and it shows. When you on the call, as you put your phone up to your face, the screen goes blank, and when you want to do something like checking contacts in the phone during the call, as you leave out, the phone screen turn on and let you do something. This what the users wanted for. Very smart!

The phone aspects of Android don't really work all that great, and can be confusing. For instance, when you are on a phone call and hold the phone up to my face, the screen goes off. This is great, as it prevents users from accidentally pushing a button with cheek. Unfortunately, the phone doesn't turn the screen back on when you pull the phone away from your face, so you have to press the end button to turn the screen back on, slide to unlock, and THEN do whatever I wanted to do. Completely unnecessary, and somewhat daunting to press the 'end' key in the middle of a call that you don't want to end.



You can easily find the Symbian device in most of the handset store. Mostly it is Nokia. They offer many type of symbian phone from music (XpressMusic) to office based (E-series). The price of the phone is affordable and valuable when you want to trade in. You can also bargain with the seller to get cheaper price.

Most of Android phones need to purchase through cellular network company, which offer you higher price or fixed price. You'll also need to subscibe supplimentary plan to use the feature from the phone.



Comparing these two type of smartphones operating system, they have own features although their function is same; that is operate as a communication medium and make easy for users solving their problems everyday. For my point of view, we can conclude that symbian OS is much better than Andriod because the cost of having symbian's device is affordable and it is widely use. So many third-party software is easily to find and install into the device.

For Android, they still new in smartphone industry, most of their software is developed by Google. Until today, there are still few mobile phones company produce Android's device which is expensive and most of them can be only be purchase through cellular network operators. It's not only purchase the phone by these network operators, but you'll need to subscribe some plan to use the features offered by Android which have cost you a lot.

Therefore, I recommended instead of invest a lot of money for expensive phone, why don't you use Symbian which offer a lot of features that almost same as Android.

Copyright © 2010 MHz's World News Media Corporation. In calibrate with MHz Corporation. All rights reserved.

Best viewed in 1024x768 pixels and above

Please make sure that you are using Internet Explorer 4.0 and above or Mozilla Firefox 2.0 and above.