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Symbian Interview Questions & Answers - Learning Mode

Symbian Interview Questions & Answers - Learning Mode

Symbian was a mobile operating system (OS) and computing platform designed for smartphones. Symbian was originally developed as a closed-source OS for PDAs in 1998 by Symbian Ltd.. Symbian OS was a descendant of Psion's EPOC, and runs exclusively on ARM processors, although an unreleased x86 port existed. Symbian is a mobile operating system (OS) targeted at mobile phones that offers a high-level of integration with communication and personal information management (PIM) functionality.

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Symbian Interview Questions & Answers - Learning Mode
Try Symbian Interview Questions & Answers - Exam Mode
Question: What is NS Basic/Symbian OS?

Answer: NS Basic/Symbian is a complete, easy to use BASIC development environment for Symbian OS devices, with a look and feel similar to Visual Basic. NS Basic/Symbian OS provides a full, modern implementation of BASIC, with proper subroutines, user defined data types and no line numbers. The development environment runs on a Windows desktop.

NS Basic/Symbian OS includes over 150 statements and functions. Support is provided for file handling, TCP/IP, graphics and more. A full set of standard sc Source:
Question: Why should developers target Symbian OS, rather than any other phone running a Java VM?

Answer: This is a good question. We talked earlier about the business benefits, however there are also important technical reasons to do with:

* Robustness
* Functionality and platform integration
* Performance, both in terms of speed and memory footprint

Robustness: Symbian OS is designed to operate 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. User data loss on Symbian licensee devices is very rare, and system resets are almost never required. Java builds on this robustness

Fun Source:
Question: What services are being developed?

Answer: It's early days for rolled out services, but we're seeing pilots and experimental services being created. For instance "Wireless Java for Symbian Devices" describes the Handheld Travel Assistant, developed by Telenor R&D. This uses Java and existing Internet services to provide users with location related information, including local maps, location of friends, transport routes, and information about local shops and restaurants. A GPS system was used for position information, but transmit Source:
Question: In what areas do you think wireless Java on Symbian OS will be applied?

Answer: The really exciting Java applications and services, including games, will be those that bring together a wide range of resources and bring people together. So a sales application might use a product catalogue, route planning, a time table, and location services. Or Java can add value to even a simple game like "Snake" by allowing me to play against my children when I'm overseas with a few minutes between meetings.

Services like these also make use of network resources and bandwidth, w Source:
Question: What is Symbian's significance in the wireless market?

Answer: Symbian plays a central role within the wireless market: Symbian's licensees represented over 80% of mobile phone sales in 2002. The importance of this role was underlined by Jorma Ollila, Chairman & CEO of Nokia, when he stated in May 2001, that " 2004, 50% of Nokia's 3G phones will be Symbian OS based"

The wireless market is changing, driven by customers who want access to services and applications that will add value to their leisure and work, and by operators who need a re Source:
Question: I ported an app from Palm. Why doesn't it look more like a Symbian app?

Answer: Our goal in release 1.0 is near perfect running of Palm apps on Symbian OS devices. If we changed the interface, a lot of apps would break or look ugly, as the spacing would be off. We will be adding enhancements to the UI so Palm apps can be updated to a more modern look and feel.

Of course, there isn't a great consistancy in how Symbian apps look. UIQ devices have a completely different look and feel than S60 devices. NS Basic/Symbian OS apps will look the same on both S60 and UIQ, Source:
Question: there an emulator?

Answer: Symbian does not provide a native emulator that runs on the desktop like Microsoft and Palm do. Symbian's desktop emulator requires that code be compiled by an x86 compiler instead of an ARM compiler. We feel the differences this would introduce would make any test results on the emulator invalid for actual devices.

Instead, they offer a service called Nokia Remote Device Access. This connects you, via the internet, to an actual device, which you see and interact with from your web br Source:
Question: Why should a developer choose Java instead of other development environments?

Answer: It's about choosing the right tool for the job. We've talked about the benefits of Java, and for these reasons Java has an important role in creating third party applications and services. C++ is more appropriate where Java may not provide the required functionality or performance: we'll certainly be using C++ for application engines, device drivers, and other core components for quite some time to come. Source:
Question: What is Cleanup mechanism in symbian?

Answer: To handle the exceptions in symbian we used the cleanup stack mechanism.The Symbian exception mechanism is based on leaving.The most important issue here is the Cleanup Stack.

Symbian OS is optimized for low resource usage, and when an unexpected event occurs, there is a need to clean up all the currently allocated objects. To ensure you actually de-allocate ANY object you create, there is a stack, named the ?Cleanup Stack?, where you push any object that needs to be de-allocated later. C Source:
Question: Who is NS Basic/Symbian OS designed for?

Answer: NS Basic/Symbian OS is designed to appeal to developers with Visual Basic experience, to developers that do not have the time or background to master Carbide.c++ and to experienced programmers that need a RAD environment to quickly produce apps or prototypes. It is not intended to replace Carbide.c++, but rather to enable more programmers to be productive.

NS Basic/Symbian OS will also be very interesting to developers who have been using NS Basic/Palm. Most of their apps will run on Symb Source:
Question: What are your plans for Java on Symbian OS?

Answer: The PersonalJava and JavaPhone APIs on Symbian OS provides perhaps the richest Java environment for mobile phones. As an example we might use this capability to create an application for coordinating a meeting: it would use calendar APIs, contacts APIs, and messaging APIs to negotiate a suitable time and venue amongst the delegates.

However we recognise that for many devices PersonalJava's footprint is too big, so in addition we provide MIDP compatibility for all our phones, large and Source:
Question: What are the pitfalls, and how to avoid them?

Answer: I think the biggest mistake a developer can make is assuming that Java on a mobile phone is just like Java on the desktop. Even though we provide the same or similar APIs, there are many constraints, and of course opportunities, that must be taken into account.

Constraints include a slower processor, less memory, smaller screen, and more limited input, which could be keyboard, pointer, or keypad. So a developer has to learn how to get "a quart from a pint pot". This can be done, and it Source:
Question: How will the new Symbian Foundation affect NS Basic/Symbian OS?

Answer: Not everything is known at this point. Nokia have said it will take 6 months to complete the acquisition and design a new roadmap. We know they are looking at all aspects of their system, from tools to interfaces to the core OS. They have stated that existing S60 apps will continue to run.

This is actually good news for us (and our customers). It means that apps written using NS Basic/Symbian OS will continue to work, providing a stable platform for development while Nokia/Symbian Foundat Source:
Question: What is the role of wireless Java?

Answer: So how do we deliver these new services? In order to achieve a return on their investment, operators and service developers need to create and deploy services and applications rapidly and reliably, and they must target a wide range of devices. Furthermore users and operators must be confident that services and applications are secure.

Symbian mobile phones are "intelligent clients", so they don't have a thin client's dependency on a network connection. Instead, by making good use Source:
Question: What devices does it run on?

Answer: NS Basic/Symbian OS runs on all Symbian OS devices based on Symbian S60 3rd & 5th Edition and UIQ3.

S60 3rd Edition devices include the Nokia N71, N73, N78, N79, N80, N81, N85, N91, N92, N93, N95, N96, E50, E51, E60, E61, E62, E70, 3250, and 5500, plus others. Since these devices do not have touchscreens, a cursor is displayed which you move around with the 5 way button. Touchscreen devices supported include the 5800.

Here is a good chart showing the specifications of Nokia devices Source:
Question: How can a developer or service provider get started?

Answer: Well, of course the first tip has to be buy a copy of the book "Wireless Java for Symbian Devices"! This covers the business and technical issues to do with creating, deploying and gaining financial return from developing wireless applications and services. There's also a support web site to guide readers in finding all the other resources they need to get started (

Also look at Symbian's developer web site ( http://www Source:


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