One Week Later – your thoughts on Symbian Anna update? (+Poll: Rate Anna)

| August 26, 2011 | 96 Replies

Thoughts on Symbian Anna Update and Camera Update for N8

It’s over a week now since the first wave of Symbian Anna Updates was officially released. Then on Monday, N8 users had a special camera update. (Note, the majority of S^3 users have received the update, more waves of updates are rolling out, with some users from USA reporting getting the update this week).

What has been your reaction?

I finally got the update yesterday, OTA for my Nokia N8. It was pretty effortless, just a slight hitch at first with some things just not responding (I think it was sleep screen) but a restart fixed it. This maybe what’s causing “Phone Set Up: Feature not supported” at every start up.

Just as I found with Anna on E6, Anna makes the N8 much nicer to use. Everything is jut that little bit faster, a little bit more stable, so much more appealing for me to use (especially coming from Windows Phone, PR1.2 just wasn’t cutting it). It’s easy to understand how folks who have put unofficial Belle would be even happier with a revamped UI. But that’s a few months away now.


I’m liking my split screen keyboard, but not the lack of multitouch. It prevents me typing at the full speed at which I can type on my Windows Phone keyboard (which is just as fast, if not faster than I could type with E6/N97/E7). Also, split screen isn’t consistent. Sometimes it’s there (messaging, browser) sometimes it’s not (Ovi Store). Speaking of Ovi Store, Anna seems to have fixed the annoying “Network Error” bug that prevented app download every now and again.


Portrait QWERTY is much too small for my big thumbs, especially as I don’t think it has any special software that increases the range for predicted successive letters. But this is where portrait swype comes in. I don’t know what took so long, but swype in portrait is now here, and this is the version of swype needed all along (not freaking landscape swype). Unfortunately not split screen when in Swype mode.


The browser is better, but I find it’s still too limited (and anything could have been better than the crap that came with S^3). It still chokes on heavy websites, slowing down quite heavily. Furthermore, three tabs just isn’t enough. It would help if it could open new links just replace the last used tab, but instead you error that you have a max number of windows open.

When you have swype, because there is no split screen, there’s no way to bring up the search option on the address bar. Really, when you type words on the nav bar and click enter, it should automatically just search. It should need to rely on you whether to place URL or keyword searches. This was rather annoying.


My emails are usable again. I used to have some awful retrieval times after opening my mail to the point I don’t bother opening mails from N8 as it takes too long to open it.


Lack of out of the box sync in Calendar still makes it hard for me to use it.

Social? Facebook and Twitter? The less said about this the better.


Camera with Beta Labs update?

Continuous Auto Focus has been working brilliantly, it’s pretty fast and can go very close. This fits my needs for continuous AF during mobile App reviews. Unfortunately I would need another N8 to record. But future demoes can be done quickly on the fly just with N8 now. No clunky DSLR or even pocket cam needed. My only issue is colour accuracy of bright AMOLED screens – this is the only situation I’ve found it to falter (which is fine for 99.9% of users who would not be wanting the N8 just for app reviews, no). What’s great and possibly taken for granted is the quiet nature of the continuous AF.

Check out the collection from day 1. Note, these first batches were not in full 30FPS, though CAF was active.

[polldaddy poll=5453147]


Category: Nokia, Poll, Symbian

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Hey, thanks for reading my post. My name is Jay and I'm a medical student at the University of Manchester. When I can, I blog here at and tweet now and again @jaymontano. We also have a twitter and facebook accounts @mynokiablog and Check out the tips, guides and rules for commenting >>click<< Contact us at tips(@) or email me directly on jay[at]
  • mk

    my phone(c7) switching off and on itself every 30mins.anyone have the same problem?

    • JP Ambrose

      I had this problem soon after installing Symbian Anna. Then I found that network settings had switched to Dual Mode. I have not subscribed to a 3G service.

      I switched back to GSM Mode, and all’s well now.

  • suyashxp

    i have n8 and updated to sym anna..
    i had issue in Music player now…
    when i enable the shuffle manually in Now playing Menu and if i go In music lists and Play any other song “shuffle is off”

    Like wise if i exit the msuic player and start music player agin… shuffle turns off

    any body else have issue????

    • Mark

      Yes. It’s annoying.

      Overall I’m pleased with the update. The portrait QWERTY is a wee bit fiddly until you get used to it but fine after that. The browser is better but tends to hang now and again requiring a reload. Still using Opera mainly.

      Social remains poor. I use Facebook mobile on Opera.

      • suyashxp

        split Screen doest work in all application is it right????

        Ex: ovi store doest support split screen for ID credentials values….

        browser is not much a issue for me working FINE …for FB i use FMobi!!!

        Portrait qwerty keyboard is Quite Clumsy and most of time i chose wrong alphabet (while deleting wrong Alphabet ,i most of time press @ or Enter :p ) , will need more time to get use to it…)

        But i really miss the old landscape keyboard One as i was addicted to long press special symbol typing…
        (means if i press any alphabet the special symbol attached to it was taken)

        what you say???

    • Mazze

      The music player can’t group albums composed of different artists anymore. It prints a list entry for every song instead. Needless to say that this destroys the whole user experience (especially on a 30+ gig music library). As a consequence, I have rolled back to PR 1.2.

      • Peske

        Same here. I was shocked when i’ve seen that it doesn’t group the albums anymore. It is useless now. 🙁

        • Jeettak

          Groups albums fine for me.

          • Peske

            Lucky you. 🙂

            What kind of Nokia do you use? I have a C7-00.

  • Lloydo

    Whaaaaaaaaaaaaat!? No split-screen portrait Swype?

  • YouKnowYouFail

    portrait qwerty sucks. all in all pretty decent. smoother and less buggy.

  • Peter

    I actually skipped Anna and fell in love with Belle.. So I wouldn’t know how Anne feels. Also the anne update is still not released in the Netherlands….

  • EmmanuelM

    After one week with Anna on my E7 I would say pleasant but not exceptional experience…

    Installation went a little bit frustating with the Anna 1/2 and Anna 2/2 installation issue that bugged me for a little while…

    But then once installed :
    – I love the new home screen much more fluid and convenient to use than the old one
    – The new email client is also more fluid and more robust than the old one
    – The new WEB Browser, franckly I didn’t spent much time with it, Opera 11.1 is so GREAT, that I don’t even bother to spend time on alternative. Still two things that I noticed using the NOKIA browser from Gravity:
    – It doesn’t start to load pages when you immediatly switch to another application after opening the URL link
    – It doesn’t return to Gravity after closing (but to the home screen) which is annoying
    – The new theme, I personnally don’t like the new icons and reverted to my loved Midnight Aqua theme
    – And finally also noted some little improvements and changes here and there that are not bad for most of them
    – Compatibility with existing apps is perfect, I saw no issues at all

    Overall I recommend with no concern to migrate to Anna, I bring some pleasant improvments but nothing major… So do not build over expectations

    • Mazze

      I totally agree with Opera being so much better than the Symbian browser, which I find still extremely lagging. Text reflow is such an awesome feature that I really don’t want to miss anymore + Opera is always responsive (also during web page loading times). The only thing that’s missing is a feature to play videos (don’t need flash, just want Opera to launch the Symbian video player when hitting on a video play button and stream it from there).

      • EmmanuelM

        re the video I think this the way it works for youtube video

    • EmmanuelM

      forgot to mention also the portrait keyboard is pretty small… especially in french they stupiddly added a columns of special characters… but anyway this is still usable and much better than the stupid dumb phone keyboard in PR1.X

  • Al

    They keep tinkering with the music player and it gets worse with each version of Symbian

    • Mazze

      Totally agreed!

  • Dave

    Jay – I had the same problem with “feature not supported” when I updated my N8 last night (finally!). Turns out I needed to plug it into the OVI suite and install Anna Update 2/2

  • Regarding Swype, they are working on a compatible version for Symbian Anna:

  • Rock


    Did anybody get those Anna update 1/2 + 2/2?

    I had them and couldn’t update because update always failed and now they have disappeared

  • Brad

    After updating my N8 to Anna, does anybody else have a problem when clicking the notification widget to read a new message, and it doesn’t clear the new message notification any more? I have to exit, and click to read the message again, and this time it is cleared.

  • Steve

    Good – Ironically since I was looking forward to the portrait QWERTY, the alphanumeric keypad seems to have been tweaked and I prefer it. I switch to portrait if i want to do more email style texts (the ability to start a new paragraph for example)

    Good: Split screen texting

    Good – Better browser all round, still not quite there though yet

    Good – Love the new Anna Icons, very clean.

    Good – The fonts on the front screen seem to be slightly thicker and stand out more

    Bad – I detest the midnight themes. They just don’t go with the design language of the phone or Nokia, awful dull one down, gaudy, garish, dogs dinner of a theme(s) that is the complete at odds with the new icon design.

    Bad – The original nice simple, clean blue sky, green grass theme has disappeared. I managed to find the file on-line to re-install but….

    BIG BAD..It seems that any other theme about from the forced midnight theme results in an email view that is simply unreadable and looks an eyesore. very very poor Nokia..

    I cannot believe nobody has picked up on the bizarre use of a default theme that sits chalk and cheese with the rest of the design and the terrible email view when you choose to change the view.

    One look at the lovely ‘belle’ theme and arrrgh great no more midnight theme..something modern and clean again..

    • Steve

      *BIG BAD..It seems that any other theme apart from the forced upon midnight theme results in an email view that is simply unreadable and looks an eyesore. very very poor Nokia..

  • nvee

    After anna, my n8 battery does not last more that 6-8 hours (without using it)..I have been observing that Activsync keeps waking up (I hv not setup any mailboxes..) and shutting down 5-6 times a day and draining out the battery…

    Anna you suck (the power of my n8)…
    the way its going, I think N8 will die down in a couple of months…and God Knows what Belle has in store (after Anna has sucked out what is left ?)
    I want to rollback to pr 1.2..

    • Jeettak

      I tested battery life with Anna on my phone. With minimal use I got 48 hours of life. With my usual usage I get close to 30 hours. Not bad but I would like 48 hours of life with usual usage. Hoping Belle will provide this.

  • markkr

    Anna killed my phone completely (updated with NSU), i had to downgrade 🙁

  • bwast

    Still no update for me. Using NAM Dark Grey N8 on AT&T. Maryland

    • Mike

      Same phone here and no update either, stinks.

  • VeryBadGuy

    I wouldn’t know as I have said countless times on countless forums and blogs I have zero idea why Nokia showed preferential treatment to certain markets while forcing others to wait more than another month to recieve the first update. And to add insult to injury they have the gall to have an event to show off bell. So the unfortunate user who did not recieve the Anna update gets a doublt slap in the face just because of where they live. I live in a major European market for Nokia phones but if I lived in a cave in the middle east and worked for Al Qaeda I would have the Anna update already. Maybe Nokia should change their slogan to “Connecting Terrorists” instead of connecting normal people.

    • Jeettak

      Do you really believe in this competitive environment an organisation can act in the callous manner you describe. There could be many reasons why your region/variant has not received the update.

      They did not show Belle until they had started the roll out of Anna and it had been installed on user devices.

    • leon

      in my country, the Nokia service told me that Anna is a beta software still in test 🙂 I asked them if they heard about symbian belle.. ” ?” good lord, I hope that they know that Microsoft is going to be their partner in a near future 🙂

  • fsdgdfg

    I love Anna! 🙂

  • Wow…..looks like Anna isn’t exactly what we’d hoped for eh

    • David

      A few things I have found.

      Why in the “New” web browser can we only paste into the address bar and not copy from it?

      When selecting the web address in the top address bar and scroll through it to the right… e.g to remove a /images folder after the domain etc it reloads and picks up the > go arrow and reload the page?

      Im surprised we still cant select and copy text from the web browser or email client?

  • leon

    very happy with the upgrade 1.2, everything is working pretty well .. but who is that Anna you’re talking about ?

  • Mokia

    Still cant download over here, thats really like forget about us Nokia we will wait when the most Nokia users of the world can evaluate Anna and pass the *%**%7 around. Now Anna feels herself used that slut. I only can smell Annas Pssy from the net it smells digital 😮 Still waiting i guess by the way im from the Netherlands.

  • Johnnny

    Who in the US reported getting Anna already?
    Nobody with a US N8 has gotten the update as far as i know..

    • Bosh

      You are right. US unlocked black N8, no Anna yet.

      • Arsalan

        Same. Got the unlocked dark gray/black N8 from the US. No update yet. I live in Toronto by the way.

  • eze

    i have a uk C7 and the usa N8, i have upgraded my C7 still waiting for usa Nb update.
    what i don’t like about the anna is the inconsistency of the split screen QWERTY k/board, has split in browser and sms, but no split in any other app

  • Victor

    the anna update is still not released in Bulgaria…. However Nokia Bulgaria have released a new game with us called “Angry Clients”. The Clients are trying to guess when, what Nokia will do… 🙁

  • Luca

    Despite Nokia does not list Italy between the countries that have received Anna update, starting on Thursday, euro1 product codes for italian S^3 start having notification about Anna update available FOTA (and ONLY FOTA, still not available through ovi suite or nsu, neither for re-install… :S )
    Yesterday I updated my blue N8 (0599857) and what a surprise? It was notifying me version 22.014, but it installed version 24.001… I’m wondering what sort of mess there is on Nokia these days… 🙁

  • Dragan

    Not yet released in Macedonia !!!!!
    \This is not fair:)