The Good and the Bad of Open Source Symbian


Open source anything is worthy of celebration, but we’re not sure whether the newly opened Symbian mobile operating system is in need of a party or some further investigating. There are a lot of things good and bad that will come with a new transition like this. We give some reasons for why an open source code could be good, or bad, for Symbian and the mobile market.


Effortless Reinvention. Even though Symbian is the leading smartphone operating system in the world, it is kind of old news and Nokia knew that—hence moving it to open source. Now that it is open source the waning platform will be maintained and further developed without any effort or investment from Nokia.

Options. After Google demonstrated how effective an open source mobile operating system can be—thanks Android—more people will be willing to dive into Symbian. This will provide more options for users, developers and smartphone vendors who will customize and format new branches of this mobile OS.

Bigger is Better. The sheer number of Symbian users is what will attract top notch developers and really get things rolling with this whole open source thing. This will definitely help forge relationships with better developers, perhaps even ones who have tried to hook up with Apple and Google.

No Slippery Slope. People love to pull slippery slope arguments out for situations just like this one, claiming that now that Symbian is going open source everyone will. Wrong. That is highly unlikely. You think closed off companies like Apple or Research in Motion are going let just anyone manage their mobile operating systems? We don’t think so—those guys are excelling in the mobile market all on their own.

Not So Good

Still Old OS. So there may be some reinventing going on, but when it really comes down to it, Symbian is still on its death bed. Nokia just recharged its heart with some open source defibrillaters, but unfortunately that could not be enough to get it to beat the way it used to.

Forkage. There could be too many creative lines crossing and confusion may ensue if too many devs get their hands on the Symbian OS. Different developers may take the code in different directions, making it difficult to know which Symbian will work with which Symbian smartphones.

Where Nokia Stands. The aging operating system has been widely associated with Nokia, and that fact itself may deter other smartphone vendors from pouncing on this open source opportunity. Essentially Nokia would be handing out Symbian to its competitors. Will smartphone vendors view Symbian as being a product of Nokia or just a neighboring system?


Instagram tool accidentally exposes user passwords. Were you affected?

Instagram's Download Your Data tool accidentally exposed the passwords of a small number of users. Here is the explanation on what happened, and how to find out which Instagram accounts were compromised.

Want to gift a Steam game so you can play with a friend? Here's how to do it

The holidays may have passed, but it's always a good time to give the gift of gaming (especially when there's a Steam sale)! Here's our quick guide on how to give a Steam game as a gift.

Don't use streaming apps? These are the best free players for your local music

Rather than using music streaming apps, you may want something for playing your local music. Good news! There are some good alternatives. These are the best media players you can download for free on Windows.

Where are you going this weekend? These 5 off-road vehicles say 'anywhere'

The body-on-frame SUV is going extinct, but there are still several options for buyers looking to skip the asphalt. To help you sort the good from the bad, we've rounded up the best off-roaders currently available.

Master your new Nokia 7.1 with our favorite tips and tricks

At $350, the Nokia 7.1 is a nearly perfect budget phone. It has a gorgeous body, good hardware, and a capable camera. Recently purchased the Nokia 7.1? Here are a few of our favorite tips and tricks to get you started with your new phone.

New iPad Pro’s durability in question after it fails YouTuber’s bend test

The new iPad Pro models failed a bend test that was carried out by popular YouTuber JerryRigEverything. The result raises questions about the durability of the tablets, especially since customers are also reporting bending issues.
Emerging Tech

Microsoft’s friendly new A.I wants to figure out what you want — before you ask

Move over Siri and Alexa! Microsoft wants to build a new type of virtual assistant that wants to be your friend. Already making waves in Asia, could this be the future of A.I. BFFs?

How to use recovery mode to fix your Android phone or tablet

If you’re having a problem you can’t seem to resolve with your Android device, or maybe you want to update it or wipe the cache, recovery mode could be what you’re looking for. Here's how to use it.
Emerging Tech

Awesome Tech You Can’t Buy Yet: A.I. selfie drones, ‘invisible’ wireless chargers

Check out our roundup of the best new crowdfunding projects and product announcements that hit the web this week. You may not be able to buy this stuff yet, but it sure is fun to gawk!

Cyber Monday 2018: When it takes place and where to find the best deals

Cyber Monday is still a ways off, but it's never too early to start planning ahead. With so many different deals to choose from during one of the biggest shopping holidays of the year, going in with a little know-how makes all the…

How to choose the best MicroSD cards for your smartphone or tablet

If you need some extra storage space and your device supports it, then a MicroSD card is an obvious place to start. Here, we look at what to consider and suggest some of the best MicroSD cards for your smartphone.
Smart Home

All the best Amazon Black Friday deals for 2018

Amazon may be an online-only retailer, but that doesn’t mean its Black Friday sales are anything to sniff at. In fact, due to its online status, Amazon has huge flexibility with the range of products and deals it can offer. Here's our…

Common Kindle Fire problems, and how to fix them

Is your Amazon tablet giving you grief? Is it refusing to behave the way you expect? Take a deep breath -- everything will be fine. Here are some widely reported Kindle Fire problems and a few possible solutions to go with them.

Tumblr for iOS vanishes from App Store, possibly due to inappropriate content

Tumblr for iOS is currently only allowing searches in Safe Mode, and it is not available on the App Store. The speculation is that the app's disappearance had something to do with inappropriate content.