Saturday, December 5, 2015

Symbian over the air and Nokia Suite updates officially terminated

Whats New in Symbian : Unsurprisingly, the end of Symbian as a viable smartphone platform just got even closer, with Microsoft (Symbian's new owners after the Nokia Devices buy-out) shutting down all the servers handling Over The Air and Nokia Suite firmware updates.

In theory this will happen at the end of this year, but some readers are reporting that it's all shut down already. Not that any of this will stop real Symbian hard core users, mind you, since the Delight custom firmware images are still available, as are SIS installation files for many third party applications. But, bit by bit, it's getting harder and harder to stay on Symbian without an excessive amount of work.

Here's the very brief Microsoft statement:

Software update service discontinuation for Nokia Belle and Symbian phones

Software update service for all the Nokia Belle and Symbian phones will be discontinued at the end of December 2015. The phones will no longer be able to receive Over-The-Air (OTA) software updates or software updates via Nokia Suite.
Given how long it's been since every other Nokia-provided service for Symbian was shut down, it's a miracle that all this was still working at all up until now. There's certainly no love for Symbian within Microsoft and all the Symbian enthusiasts within Nokia moved on to other companies before Microsoft took over.

The reality of smartphone use in 2016 is that it's not enough to be a great 'converged' device anymore - there's an expectation of being able to hook up, to share, to connect, and all of this requires support from the various online services. Which is where Symbian has fallen down, mainly because of the abandoning by Nokia of development of the OS.

PS. Although I'm posting the odd story to AAS and still own my own (bought) white (and Delighted) Nokia 808 PureView, it's only really a reference and play device these days. With the arrival of the Windows 10 Mobile-powered Lumia 950, we now have imaging that exceeds the 808 for everything except extreme zoom and Xenon use cases, along with better specifications and performance in every single regard.