Owners of the latest Nokia phones can now update to Symbian Anna, assuming their operators permit it, but having caught a glimpse of her younger sister they might not be impressed.
Anna was announced back in April, and has been available to developers for a while, but can now be installed on N8, C7, C6-01 and E7 handsets. It provides a portrait keyboard, faster browser, better mapping app and split-screen view, as well as reminding everyone that there are still a lot of Symbian handsets out there.
Upgrades to those latest models can be obtained using the Ovi Suite, though operator variants (generally used on subsidised handsets) might take longer to roll out.
Nokia claims a further 10 Symbian handsets will be launched in the next 12 months, though it makes no promise that they'll come from Nokia. The company is committed to supporting the platform until at least 2016, and videos of the next version of Symbian (named Belle) are knocking around the internet showing what Symbian can do if pushed.
Anna adds APIs for NFC and better security. It also integrates properly with Microsoft Communicator Mobile as well as supporting VPNs using both IPSec and SSL, not to mention prettier icons.
It seems too late to talk of enhancements "saving" Symbian, but the platform is far from dead and continues improving even if the focus of attention is on iOS and Android these days. ®