Symbian os 0s was announced at Exposium 03. Building on 1 and extending 0 functionality, v7




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Neno M. Dimitrov, fn43323, Group2, FMI, Second Course

http://debian.fmi.uni-sofia.bg/~neno/

Overview of Symbian OS 7.0s



Introduction

Symbian OS v7.0s was announced at Exposium 03. Building on v6.1 and extending v7.0 functionality, v7.0s enables even richer smartphones with an improved user experience, further driving adoption and operators' average revenue per user (ARPU). This article reviews what v7.0s means for mobile phones and for the applications developer.



What Is New in Symbian OS v7.0s

The most significant changes in v7.0s are:



  • Improvements to the telephony and networking architecture, allowing more advanced services and access to the latest network technologies.

  • A more efficient and extendable multimedia framework (MMF), which replaces the Multimedia Server in earlier Symbian OS releases.

  • Inclusion of the latest Java™ MIDP 2.0 technologies and extensions for messaging and Bluetooth services.

  • A new SyncML Data Sync (SyncML DS) client and USB client.

  • The addition of bidirectional support for languages such as Arabic and Hebrew.

All these changes have been made with careful consideration given to backward compatibility, so that most applications developed for the Series 60 Platform using Symbian OS v6.1 will be compatible with new phones running v7.0s.

Telephony And Networking

Symbian OS v7.0s provides support for all the latest mobile technologies, including GSM, General Packet Radio Service (GPRS), Enhanced Data Rates for Global Evolution (EDGE), CDMA (IS-95), 3rd Generation Partnership Project (3GPP) Wideband CDMA (WCDMA) (R99/R4), and 3GPP2 CDMA2000 1x (Release A). Many parts of Symbian OS telephony and networking architecture have been improved to facilitate access to these 2.5G and 3G technologies and to enable exciting new applications and content for advanced smartphones.

For mobile phones based on Series 60 with Symbian OS v6.1, a user can have only one connection to a network at a time. If, while browsing a news site using an XHTML/WAP browser, a user is sent

a Mobile Messaging Service (MMS) message, the WAP connection is suspended while the MMS message is received, and the user is unable to browse to new WAP pages.

This is a limitation of an architecture that allows only a single concurrent connection or Packet Data Protocol (PDP) context. New mobile phones based on the v7.0s architecture will be able to support as many simultaneous connections as the phones have resources for. So now, users could be receiving streaming audio while synchronizing their agendas via a corporate network's SyncML DS server and browsing, and could still be able to receive MMS messages without interruption to any of the services. The available resources – those on the phones or those that involve network bandwidth – are the only factors that limit the user experience.

To achieve this, the communications and network architecture has been changed to support features that include the following:



  • Multiple primary and secondary PDP contexts.

  • Multihoming.

  • Quality of service (QoS).

These are all required to enable advanced services such as video conferencing and simultaneous access to the network by multiple applications.

A PDP context can be thought of as a single connection to a network. PDP contexts can be further broken down into two types – primary and secondary. A primary PDP context is a connection from the mobile phone to the network with one IP address allocated to it. A secondary PDP context is one that shares an IP address with a primary PDP context, but that represents another connection to the network. Each PDP context can have a QoS associated with it that helps prioritize network traffic.

These features are important to advanced services such as video conferencing. When the user initiates a video conference session, three contexts are used to deliver the service. A primary PDP context provides control information, and secondary PDP contexts provide audio and video.

It makes sense that only one IP address is used, since all the information is going to the same place, even though there are three channels for the information. It is desirable for video to arrive in a continuous stream, but if bandwidth is limited, then it is acceptable to drop a few video frames just as long as the audio does not clip and is intelligible. Therefore, the control channel would need a high-priority, low-bandwidth QoS; the audio would need a medium-priority, medium-bandwidth QoS; and the video would need a low-priority, high-bandwidth QoS.

While video conferencing utilizes a single primary PDP context, Symbian OS v7.0s also supports multiple concurrent IP addresses, an ability described as multihoming. Where a user may be streaming audio and browsing while performing a back-office synchronization and receiving an MMS message, he or she is likely to be using multiple IP addresses. Again QoS policy comes into play, because audio streaming would need the highest priority and QoS so that audio was intelligible. It would be desirable for the WAP connection to remain responsive, so this should have the next-highest QoS; MMS and SyncML DS should have the lowest QoS, since they are not real-time requirements.

Not only does this ability to have multiple contexts make a direct impact on the quality of the user experience, but network providers also find the concept of multiple PDP contexts very attractive. It allows them to bill separately for different types of data traffic as well as to prioritize and manage access points for the loads created by different services.

However, v7.0s does not limit multihoming to the telephony side; it also allows different IP addresses for other services such as Bluetooth wireless technology, PC connectivity, or Ethernet. Only the availability of system resources limits the number of simultaneous connections, and it is possible to dynamically load or unload them without restarting the TCP/IP stack.

Improved Transport Architecture

The existing transport architecture in Symbian OS v6.1 involves different stacks' implementation and associated APIs for each protocol. As a result, developers may have limited the choice of network transport simply to avoid the complexity of learning the APIs for multiple protocols.

Symbian OS v7.0s incorporates the more efficient transport architecture that was released in v7.0. This transport architecture allows developers to access several different protocols with the same API. It has a general API for HTTP-like protocols and a modular framework that uses filters, transport handlers, and protocol handlers into which protocols can be plugged; these elements are equivalent to Layers 2, 3, and 4 of the OSI (Open System Interconnection) model. This architecture can handle most types of protocol encoding, including HTTP and WAP Wireless Session Protocol (WSP) stacks, as well as secure and non-secure connections.

Applications that use HTTP and WSP stacks, such as SyncML DS, application installation, WAP, and the Mobile Information Device Profile (MIDP), will use the new transport architecture. Ideally, all third-party applications that use these protocols should move to this new transport architecture.

Also provided in v7.0s is a dual IP stack that supports both IPv4 and IPv6 addressing. The IP stack supports IPSec as a plug-in module to the transport architecture.

Multimedia

The Media Server from v6.1 has been improved to provide a lightweight, easier-to-use, multithreaded, and more efficient plug-in architecture. The new MMF is well-suited for video processing and other high-bandwidth applications. Being multithreaded, it eliminates resource conflicts that could occur in applications where multiple soundtracks were required simultaneously, such as in games, and overcomes issues such as audio clipping.

Combined with the Image Conversion Library (ICL), the MMF essentially replaces the old Media Server.

The ICL supports still-image encoding and decoding. It can be multithreaded from the client side, and all the standard formats from v6.1 are supported. Developers can choose to run encoders/decoders under the client thread of their application or to instantiate a separate process.

The MMF handles video and audio codecs via the new plug-in framework. The standard audio and video codecs are still supported, and many new ones are likely to be provided by third parties such as Real, Beatnik, and PacketVideo.

Applications that used the v6.1 Media Server API should be compatible with the new MMF; however, the plug-in modules from v6.1 will not be compatible.



Java

For developers working with Java™ technology, v7.0s implements MIDP 2.0 (sometimes called MIDP NG). The new version of Symbian OS has the much-extended API that is compliant to the MIDP 2.0 and CLDC 1.0 standards. Enhancements have also been made to the architecture, which now utilizes Sun's CLDC HI Java VM to give even better application performance.

MIDP offers developers two main advantages – it allows them to target multiple platforms with one application as well as to create applications for the Series 60 Platform without having to learn Symbian OS and Series 60 APIs. MIDP 1.0 allowed developers to create simple games and applications that are portable between compliant devices. MIDP 2.0 builds on this capability and includes support for better audio and graphics. In addition, heap and persistent storage is unrestrained, allowing richer and more exciting MIDlets.

The implementation of MIDP 2.0 within v7.0s also includes these optional CLDC packages:



  • Wireless Messaging API (WMA) 1.0 (JSR-120): This API provides platform-independent access to wireless communication resources, and can use Short Message Service (SMS) and Cell Broadcast Service (CBS) on GSM networks.

  • Bluetooth Wireless Technology API (JSR-82): This API provides access to Symbian OS Bluetooth stack and profiles.

Other Notable New Features

SyncML DS
A Symbian OS implementation of a SyncML DS client that is compliant with the SyncML DS 1.01 specification is now included. It has a plug-in framework that allows new transport bearers and data readers to be added as required. The framework will allow developers to add synchronization facilities for their own value-added applications.

USB Client
For mobile phones that require connectivity with a USB host, such as a PC, standard USB support is now provided. The USB middleware framework provides support for the WMCDC, WHCM and OBEX class, and for the CDC ACM class.

Support For Bidirectional Text
Support for bidirectional text such as Thai, Arabic, and Hebrew has been included. Features include functionality for rendering, editing, and drawing bidirectional text to graphics objects, which will improve the ability to localize mobile phones to specific markets.

Compatibility

A key goal of this release is to help mobile phone manufacturers maintain compatibility between phones that are based on v6.1 and those based on v7.0s. Release v7.0 (the basis of UIQ) of Symbian OS is not binary- or source code-compatible with v6.1. Applications developed on v6.1 represent a significant investment for developers; recognizing this, Symbian has taken great care to ensure that data compatibility and, where possible, binary- and source code-compatibility of Symbian OS components have been maintained between v6.1 and v7.0s.

Most interfaces published in the SDK for v6.1 will continue to be supported for v7.0s.

Conclusion

Symbian OS v7.0s extends v6.1 significantly to enable use of many new mobile phones and services for 2.5G and 3G networks.

What follows is a summary of the improvements:


  • The introduction of multihoming, multiple PDP contexts, and a QoS framework enables many new innovative services that can take advantage of multiple connections, peak/off-peak bandwidth utilization, and multiple access points.

  • The improved transport framework makes it easier for an application to target multiple protocol stacks without the developer having to learn the complexities of each stack's implementation.

  • The new MMF and ICL are easier for developers to use than the v6.1 Media Server and offer much-improved media handling.

  • MIDP 2.0 is supported in v7.0s and contains extensions that allow developers to access Bluetooth and messaging features.

  • SyncML DS offers an extendable framework for which developers can add services, and USB client support adds to the connectivity options of Symbian OS.

  • Internationalization now supports bidirectional languages, allowing developers to target Asian and Middle Eastern markets utilizing their local languages.

  • Where possible, forward compatibility between v6.1 and v7.0s APIs has been maintained, and many applications written for v6.1 will work on mobile phones based on v7.0s.

Developers can leverage many of these new features to create exciting new services and applications that utilize the capabilities of advanced smartphones.

SUMMARY
Building on v6.1 and extending v7.0 functionality, Symbian v7.0s enables even richer smartphones with an improved user experience, further driving adoption and operators' average revenue per user (ARPU). All the changes have been made with careful consideration given to backward compatibility, so that most applications developed for the Series 60 Platform using Symbian OS v6.1 will be compatible with new phones running v7.0s.

Symbian OS v7.0s provides support for all the latest mobile technologies. Symbian OS telephony and networking architecture has been improved to facilitate access to the 2.5G and 3G technologies and to enable exciting new applications and content for advanced smartphones.

Unlike the phones, based on previous versions of Symbian OS, new mobile phones based on the v7.0s architecture will be able to support as many simultaneous connections as the phones have resources for and the available resources – those on the phones or those that involve network bandwidth – are the only factors that limit the user experience.

The support for multiple primary and secondary PDP contexts, Multihoming, and Quality of service enable services such as video conferencing and simultaneous access to the network by multiple applications.

A PDP context can be thought of as a single connection to a network. A primary PDP context is a connection from the mobile phone to the network with one IP address allocated to it. A secondary PDP context is one that shares an IP address with a primary PDP context, but that represents another connection to the network. Each PDP context can have a QoS associated with it that helps prioritize network traffic.

Symbian OS v7.0s supports multiple concurrent IP addresses, an ability described as multihoming.

The ability to have multiple contexts makes a direct impact on the quality of the user experience. On the other side this ability is very attractive to network providers - it allows them to bill separately for different types of data traffic as well as to prioritize and manage access points for the loads created by different services.

v7.0s does not limit multihoming to the telephony side: it allows different IP addresses for Bluetooth wireless technology, PC connectivity, Ethernet, etc. The number of simultaneous connections is limited only by the availability of system resources. Now it is possible to dynamically load or unload connections without restarting the TCP/IP stack.

Symbian OS v7.0s incorporates the transport architecture released in v7.0 which allows developers to access several different protocols with the same API. It has a general API for HTTP-like protocols and a modular framework that uses filters, transport handlers, and protocol handlers into which protocols can be plugged.

Symbian OS v7.0s also provides a dual IP stack that supports both IPv4 and IPv6 addressing.

Combined with the Image Conversion Library (ICL), the MMF essentially replaces the old Media Server. MMF provides a lightweight, easier-to-use, multithreaded, and more efficient plug-in architecture. The old Media Server API – based applications should be compatible with the new MMF, but the plug-in modules from version 6.1 are not. The standard audio and video codecs are still supported, and many new ones are likely to be provided by third parties.

v7.0s implements MIDP 2.0. The new version of Symbian OS has the much-extended API that is compliant to the MIDP 2.0 and CLDC 1.0 standards. The architecture now utilizes Sun's CLDC HI Java VM to give even better application performance.

The implementation of MIDP 2.0 within v7.0s also includes Wireless Messaging API (WMA) 1.0 (JSR-120) and Bluetooth Wireless Technology API (JSR-82) CLDC packages.

USB support is now provided. The USB middleware framework provides support for the WMCDC, WHCM and OBEX class, and for the CDC ACM class.

Support for bidirectional text such as Thai, Arabic, and Hebrew has been included. Features include functionality for rendering, editing, and drawing bidirectional text to graphics objects, which will improve the ability to localize mobile phones to specific markets.

A key goal of this release is to help mobile phone manufacturers maintain compatibility between phones that are based on v6.1 and those based on v7.0s. Symbian has taken great care to ensure that data compatibility and, where possible, binary- and source code-compatibility of Symbian OS components have been maintained between v6.1 and v7.0s.



Most interfaces published in the SDK for v6.1 will continue to be supported for v7.0s.
GLOSSARY

ARPU – Average Revenue Per User - The amount of revenue a telecommunications company can expect to make per user. ARPU provides one way to gauge the economic health of a telecommunications company.

GSM – Global System for Mobile Communications - (GSM, originally "Groupe de travail Spéciale pour les services Mobiles") A standard for digital cellular communications (in the process of being) adopted by over 130 countries. The GSM standard is currently used in the 900 MHz and 1800 MHz bands.

GPRS – General Packet Radio Service - A GSM data transmission technique that does not set up a continuous channel from a portable terminal for the transmission and reception of data, but transmits and receives data in packets. It makes very efficient use of available radio spectrum, and users pay only for the volume of data sent and received.
EDGE - Enhanced Data rates for GSM Evolution - represents the final evolution of data communications within the GSM standard. EDGE uses a new modulation scheme to enable data throughput speeds of up to 384kbit/s using existing GSM infrastructure.
CDMA - Code division multiple access - CDMA (Or "spread spectrum") A form of multiplexing where the transmitter encodes the signal using a pseudo-random sequence which the receiver also knows and can use to decode the received signal. Each different random sequence corresponds to a different communication channel.

Motorola uses CDMA for digital cellular phones. Qualcomm pioneered the introduction of CDMA into wireless telephone services.
3GPP –
WAP - Wireless Application Protocol - The development of WAP is being driven by the WAP Forum, initially founded by Motorola, Nokia, Ericsson and Unwired Planet. Since its inception the WAP Forum has grown dramatically and now comprises over 80 members drawn from the world’s leading telecommunications and software companies.
WAP is a technology designed to provide users of mobile terminals with rapid and efficient access to the Internet. WAP is a protocol optimised, not only for use on the narrow band radio channels used by second generation digital wireless systems but also for the limited display capabilities and functionality of the display systems used by today’s mobile terminals. WAP inte.g.rates telephony services with microbrowsing and enables easy-to-use interactive Internet access from the mobile handset. Typical WAP applications include over-the-air e-commerce transactions, online banking, information provisioning and messaging. WAP will enable operators to develop innovative services to provide differentiation in competitive market environments.
XHTML - A reformulation of HTML 4.01 in XML. Being XML means that XHTML can be viewed, edited, and validated with standard XML tools. At the same time, it operates as well as or better than HTML 4 in existing HTML 4 conforming user agents.
MMS - Multimedia Messaging Service allows mobile phone users to incorporate audio, images, and other rich content with traditional text messages, transforming them into personal collages of vision and sound
Packet Data Protocol - standard for sending wireless data over the Internet
bandwidth - describes information-carrying capacity.
TCP/IP - transmission control protocol/Internet protocol - These two protocols were developed by the U.S. military to allow computers to talk to each other over long distance networks. IP is responsible for moving packets of data between nodes. TCP is responsible for verifying delivery from client to server. TCP/IP forms the basis of the Internet, and is built into every common modern operating system (including all flavors of Unix, the Mac OS, and the latest versions of Windows).

OSI model – Open System Interconnection model - The OSI model defines internetworking in terms of a vertical stack of seven layers. The upper layers of the OSI model represent software that implements network services like encryption and connection management. The lower layers of the OSI model implement more primitive, hardware-oriented functions like routing, addressing, and flow control.
IPv4 - (Internet Protocol version 4) - An outdated version of the IP protocol that is still in use on the Internet. It uses a 32-bit addressing scheme, represented by four 8-bit (0-255) numbers separated by periods, such as 123.3.12.255. The addressing scheme allows for a maximum of about 4.3 billion numbers (256*256*256*256). This gets to be a problem as more and more devices are connected to the Internet. ISPs have taken to using Network Address Translation to get around the problem for now, but IPv6 is the ultimate solution. IPv4 may be with us for a long time, even though it is technically outdated.
IPv6 - (Internet Protocol version 6) - The current version of the IP protocol that features a 128-bit addressing scheme, as opposed to the 32-bit addressing scheme of IPv4, supporting a much higher number of addresses. It also features other improvements over IPv4, such as support for multicast and anycast addressing.
thread - Part of a program that runs independently
USB - (Universal Serial Bus) - A serial connection technology that is almost universally available in current PCs. Version 1.x allowed for 12Mbps transfer rates, and this was boosted to 480Mbps for USB 2.0.
OBEX - Object Exchange - Object Exchange is a set of protocols allowing objects such as vCard contact information and vCalendar schedule entries to be exchanged using either IrDA or Bluetooth. Symbian OS implements IrDA for exchange of vCards, for example between a Nokia 9210 Communicator and an Ericsson R380 Smartphone, and vCalendar

Mobile Information Device Profile (MIDP) - Set of Java APIs that is generally implemented on the Connected Limited Device Configuration (CLDC). It provides a basic J2ME application runtime environment targeted at mobile information devices, such as mobile phones and two-way pagers. The MIDP specification addresses issues such as user interface, persistent storage, networking, and application model.

CLDC outlines the basic set of libraries and Java virtual machine features that must be present in each implementation of a J2ME environment.
SDK – Software Development Kit - A programming tool that is tailored towards a particular purpose. The kit includes a compiler, linker, and an editor. Most hardware manufacturers have SDKs available that work specifically with their hardware. For example, if you were writing a program to work with a SoundBlaster card, you'd want to get the SoundBlaster SDK from Creative Labs.



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