The Symbian Foundation has made available the first platform development kit (PDK) for Symbian S^3, the latest release of the smartphone platform and the first to consist fully of open-source code.
Available for download now, Symbian PDK 3.0.0 contains a full build of the Symbian^3 platform along with the source code, giving developers the access they require to prepare applications for the first handsets using the S^3 build, expected sometime in the third quarter of 2010.
The S^3 release itself is being promoted as a significant overhaul of the Symbian platform, adding such features as multi-touch screen support for gestures, and making better use of the improved hardware capabilities in the latest generation of ARM chips.
"S^3 represents a major step forward in the Symbian platform, providing a greatly improved user experience, multiple personalised homescreens, an exciting and advanced multimedia experience including HDMI support, the introduction of next-generation graphics, better data networking and much, much more," wrote Mark Skrebels, senior release manager at Symbian, in a blog post announcing PDK 3.0.0.
The first handsets based on S^3, such as Nokia's N8, are expected to arrive sometime in the third quarter of this year.
Nokia must be hoping that the combination of the new platform and this eagerly anticipated high-end smartphone will appeal more to buyers who have increasingly been drawn to Apple's iPhone and the numerous Android-based handsets, but this will also depend on the availability of compelling applications.
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