The next version of the OS will be called Belle, as Nokia has opted to follow Google by starting each new version of the OS with the next letter in the alphabet. It seems doubtful that we’ll ever get to see Symbian Zara though.
For social networking, Nokia has its own Social app that supports Facebook and Twitter. The web browser has been tweaked so you now have a box at the top to enter URLs instead of going into the menu. In addition to the core apps, you get a lot of preloaded apps for YouTube, video trailers and channels for Nat Geo, CNN and E!
There are productivity apps, for managing Office documents, an app for Foursquare, BBC iPlayer (with the ability to download for offline viewing) and on the 3 version an additional app called 3Spot, which turns the phone into a portable Wi-Fi hotspot. Some of the other apps are time-limited trials and many are simply apps you could have freely downloaded anyway.
Off the button
Besides the camera and volume keys, the X7 is devoid of buttons besides the single button that toggles between the menu and home screen. The home screen has scrollable panels and a combination of widgets and application shortcuts, while the menu shows off the all-new Nokia Pure icons. These are little more than window dressing however, given the layout of the menus remain essentially unchanged.
Nokia introduced widgets to Symbian years ago, but never seemed to fully appreciate their value. Even the latest OS continues to keep widgets in a rigid design, with no resizing or interaction possible with any individual one.
The biggest problem with the new OS is the continued use of pop-up menu dialogs that require you to confirm just about everything. Data charges are an issue for customers, especially when roaming, but Nokia is far too desperate to warn you about anything and everything, and not just about data connections. Does an iPhone, Android or Windows Phone 7 ask for permission to load or go online?