Video: Nokia shrinks s60 5th edition's (N97's) annoyingly fat sidebar? Well at least in Ovi Maps (Nokia rant/suggestions on S60 icon layout/rotation)

| September 2, 2009 | Reply

Theme of Rant/Suggestion: 2 parts – Sidebar & Icons in menu

Have you been watching Nokia World 09 Online? Perhaps you’re actually there? Some big announcements of devices we’ve already heard of (Booklet 3G /N97 mini/n900), and some new ones too (X6, X3).

But something a lot more interesting for current S60 5th edition owners is that a new software update for the N97 maybe shrinking the fat sidebar that you see in menus and applications . I’ve ranted about it a few times (e.g. here and here).

However, this is all only in Ovi Maps Beta. [For Comparison: Ovi Maps 3.0] You can still see from the video that the old fat sidebar is still there.

Nevertheless, this is a step in the right direction as to how the sidebar (for the menu/all applications/all parts of the UI) could look. Instead of something obtrusive, they could minimize it into icons or just shrink the font.

n97 side

Ovi Maps new layout - blends in better with S60 5th edition UI. Note status icons.


– screenshots from the Ovi Maps Beta Video


Is this a sign of what a future firmware could bring to the S60 5th edition’s appearance? The current sidebar (especially in landscape) consumes way too much space than necessary.

Out of the 640×360 screen, in the menu, users only get an application size of 502×288 (at least according to PhoneInfo)

b3[Note: How icons appear in Landscape with S60 5th edition. So much screen is wasted!]

Either shrink it down as we’ve seen in Ovi Maps Beta or better yet, ideally like digia web browser’s controls, give the option to show/hide so that users can have full screen and possibly even have a 4×5 grid, or at least a 3×5 grid of icons (see later).

This may cause a problem with how icons rotate from landscape to portrait as they reorder themselves into a new position on the grid. Why can’t the icons just stay where they are and then rotate on that fixed point?

How icon rotation should work in S60 5th edition

Start: Portrait




Icons rotate about their own axis. Not being re-ordered.


[note: just to demonstrate how icons should rotate on their own axis. Sidebar and status icons obviously have to be sorted out]

Much like how photos rotate in Nokia Photo Browser – all at a fixed axis – no moving around to a new location (unless more photos are introduced). This is beneficial in that you always know where an icon is located. It hasn’t been moved about after switching orientation. (Well, that’s just for me anyway,  I understand that others will like things as it is.)

Eventually they could even add a new row with the extra space. As for status icons like battery/connection/time, like in Ovi Maps Beta, it could be superimposed at the bottom (see first screenshot from Ovi Maps)


[Note, just to demonstrate 3×5 grid of icons. Status icons (reception/battert etc) and sidebar need sorting out.  They could even shrink the icons a bit if it seems too cluttered.]

If you have more icons than can be displayed on a page, then can’t we just implement side-swiping? (This would be up/down swiping in portrait)


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Category: 5th Edition, Nokia, Nseries, Rant, S60, Suggestions, Symbian, Video

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