Symbian throwing largest mobile OS open source

Symbian going open source
Symbian going open source

Symbian is going to be opened up for all developers to play with, according to the organisation behind the OS.

The code offered will be for the next generation of the OS, dubbed Symbian^3, which will offer significant enhancements such as a wider range of widgets and a faster UI.

This means that when the OS appears on handsets at the end of the year, we'll be treated to some cool new mods and upgrades from the massive developer community.

Some critics are stating that this move is not indicative of Symbian's plans to be open source, more a reaction to the growing power of Google's open source Android system.

Better than Google

But according to Wired, Executive Director of the Symbian Foundation Lee Williams believes this move is much more open than Google's approach.

"About a third of the Android code base is open and nothing more," he said. "And what is open is a collection of middleware. Everything else is closed or proprietary.

"Open source is also about open governance. It's about letting someone other than one control point guide the feature set and the asset base."

If you want to see how Symbian's early roadmap for its open source journey head on over to, or check out this video to get the skinny:

Gareth Beavis
Formerly Global Editor in Chief

Gareth has been part of the consumer technology world in a career spanning three decades. He started life as a staff writer on the fledgling TechRadar, and has grown with the site (primarily as phones, tablets and wearables editor) until becoming Global Editor in Chief in 2018. Gareth has written over 4,000 articles for TechRadar, has contributed expert insight to a number of other publications, chaired panels on zeitgeist technologies, presented at the Gadget Show Live as well as representing the brand on TV and radio for multiple channels including Sky, BBC, ITV and Al-Jazeera. Passionate about fitness, he can bore anyone rigid about stress management, sleep tracking, heart rate variance as well as bemoaning something about the latest iPhone, Galaxy or OLED TV.