A Missing Anna, An Upcoming Belle, Is It Still Good Promise of Mobile

Some time ago, long before I got tired of writing reviews for mobile devices, I became a proponent of the opinion that you aren’t entitled any software updates for your mobile device. Appreciated? You bet. But, are those things that I was guaranteed of when I purchased a device? Nope. And to that end, I’ve learned (for the most part) to be content with the blessings and niggles of whatever mobile device that I have. And whenever there is an update, if its really an update and not a security/bug fix of something that shouldn’t have been as broken, then I do my best to temper my expectations and simply treat the device as if it were a freshly detailed car – that is, glad that it has the bumps in the seat but with a newer-car smell.

And its with that where I find myself at a bit of a conflict regarding my N8. I knew what I was getting into when I purchased it. I’d had experience with a slightly later version of the Symbian operating system due to reviewing the Astound/C7 but other than the browser, hadn’t felt that I was in desperate need of anything there. And then there were the leaks and announcements about Anna – the second major update to Symbian 3 that my N8 would be able to partake in.

However, its been missing for me. Anna has been a no-show for myself and several others (seemingly all in the USA) for whatever reason. I can deal with delays. Again, I’m not entitled to an update. And Anna does seem a few nicks cleaner that what I had with the Astound/C7. So I’ve been waiting. Occasinally checking the onboard Software Updater and Device Updater apps/services on the device looking for that update. But, nope. Nada. No update for me.

There is another update for Symbian in the wings – itself also leaked before officially available. Belle (yes, the lady theme is there and rolling) definitely changes some of the look and feel of Symbian – eh, more like Android if you like that particular look. Belle is supposed to be on its way by Q4 of this year (doesn’t that technically mean the end of Jan 2012) and with it my N8 and other Symbian devices get an even better approach to ability that simply keeps this device as a pleasure to use. I’m good with that – I just want to have the update when it was said to come, if not a touch later with some kind of reasoning why.

Yes, I know that I could (find a PC and) update it using Navifirm/Phoenix – er, but I need a PC to do that. The appeal of Symbian devices (for a long time now) has been the ability to use and update it without a PC. Why change that now to get that update (I keep asking myself as I wait but others get that update)?

Nokia has stated that the update will take time to roll out. Apparently, there are 200+ unique variants of Symbian 3 devices out there to account for. I remember well how the Symbian Foundation was supposed to get this platform to the point where that wasn’t the case anymore. And if this is efficient for Symbian, I’d hate to know what it was like before Symbian 3 – when updates were even harder to come by for everyone that didn’t have a "simple from the factory device."

But, why the wait for two ladies that seem to not even be wanted. I mean… my N8 actually does pretty well for me. I’d probably get more value from it if I pushed just a bit more. And at the same time, I wonder what could be done more with it if I could push with Anna, Belle, and whatever’s next? Could I have something AR-enabled then that I don’t have now? Will Nokia Bots be integrated into the Symbian as the practice-du-jour for device usability (I wish)? Will I be able to push the second-screen approach with the TV-Out/HDMI to avenues like with what was demoed with Plug and Touch? Or, do these ladies mean that I just hold over the same kind of device, the same kind of experience, that Nokia has unfortunately always had – almost there but not quite enough for all?

Its not lost on me that I’m rocking a mature and mostly ignored mobile platform. Its also not lost on me that I’m not promised the updates that are here. I just wonder. Could this platform, even in its state of keeping me mostly content, be a lot more if it had its Sarah and Hagar along for the ride, instead of those compliments to the experience being left off from the picture of this platform’s promise?