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Tutorials: General Symbian OS Topics

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This page contains various tutorials regarding general Symbian OS topics. This includes an overview what Symbian OS is all about, quickstart tutorials to refresh your knowledge and get into the latest tools, as well as the latest information about Platform Security.

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Mobile Operating Systems

Mobile Operating SystemsGet an overview of the current market of mobile operating systems. Learn about current market shares, the major players and some key topics of each system.


  • Mobile Phones: Market Share and Operating Systems
  • Symbian Foundation / Symbian OS
  • Android
  • Mac OS X (iPhone)
  • Others (Windows Mobile, BlackBerry, Palm, Linux)
  • Cross-platform: Java ME
  • Future

Level: Basic
Version: v1.0, April 2009

Materials: Mobile Operating Systems

Symbian (OS) Overview

Symbian OS - Symbian (OS) OverviewThis short part will introduce you to the world of Symbian OS mobile phones. It contains some high level information about Symbian as well as Symbian OS, what you'll need to start developing and gives you some tips for literature. Some of the projects that we developed at the University of Applied Sciences in Hagenberg are demonstrated, in order to give you an overview of what you can do based on various variants of Symbian OS based or Nokia platform phones.


  • Introduction to Symbian Ltd. and Symbian OS
  • History of Symbian (OS)
  • Platform Overview
  • User Interfaces
  • IDEs and Development
  • Community and Possibilities
  • Recommended Literature
  • Symbian Academy

Level: Basic
Version: v4.2a, March 2009
Based on: Symbian OS 9, S60 3.x, UIQ 3.x

Materials: Symbian (OS) Overview

Introduction to Smartphones

Symbian OS - Introduction to SmartphonesThis course is intended as a short introduction to Smartphones - for a more general audience than just developers. After a short overview of what a smartphone is and how they have developed over the years, it gives an overview of their possibilities and some of the most interesting applications and games. The intention is to show the audience that phones can do a lot more than just voice calls and SMS.


  • What are smartphones?
  • Interesting applications and games (Business and entertainment)

Level: Basic
Version: January 2007
Based on: Symbian OS 8/9, S60 2.x, 3.x

Materials: Introduction to Smartphones


Symbian OS - QuickstartThe quickstart slides contain a quick walkthrough for creating your first project using Carbide.c++ 1.2 Developer Edition and its new UI-designer (available as a free trial version). The final project will display an image, offer the possibility to enter text and display this text on the screen. A very short overview of relevant Symbian OS topics is given at the appropriate locations. To train your Symbian OS skills, you have to option to complete the challenge, which is a "Guess-a-number"-game. Basic knowledge about Symbian OS is recommended to complete this challenge.


  • Symbian OS naming conventions
  • Working with Carbide.c++ Developer Edition
  • Creating an S60 project
  • Application structure
  • Topics: Image control, menu definition, text query dialog, label control
  • Short overview about descriptors and leaves

Level: Basic
Version: v2.0a, May 2008
Based on: Symbian OS 9, S60 3.x

Materials: Quickstart
Project: "Hello World" - Solution
Challenge: "Guess-a-number game" - Instructions
Challenge: "Guess-a-number game" - Solution

Console Applications

Symbian OS - Console ApplicationsA short introduction to development using the Console of the S60 emulator. The challenge is quite simple and requires to extend the wizard-generated "Hello World"-application to a "Random Number Generator".


  • Creating console applications
  • Configuring the S60 3rd Edition emulator to run console apps.

Level: Basic
Version: v2.0, January 2008
Based on: Symbian OS 8/9, S60 2.x, 3.x

Materials: Console Applications
Materials: Executing Console Applications on Devices
Challenge: "Random Number Generator" - Instructions
Challenge: "Random Number Generator" - Solution

Working with Symbian OS 9

Symbian OS - Working with Symbian OS 9Some tips and tricks for working with Symbian OS 9.


  • Emulator (optimizing menu order, exiting)
  • On Device Debugging
  • Screenshots
  • Console Applications
  • Code editing tools
  • .sis File Contents
  • Displaying extended error information
  • Debug Output
  • Changing the App.-Icon

Level: Basic
Version: v1.7, September 2009
Based on: Symbian OS 9, S60 3.x - S60 5.x (some parts also apply to UIQ)

Materials: Working with Symbian OS 9
ErrRd Installation Utility (v1.2.0)

Platform Security

Symbian OS - Platform SecurityA short introduction to Symbian OS 9, followed by a more detailed description of the new Platform Security concept. Explains the relevant topics like capabilities, data caging or Symbian Signed. The slides are based on the new Symbian Signed scheme which launched in Q4 2007. Knowledge of the basic concepts of Symbian OS is recommended.


  • Symbian OS 9
  • Trust Model
  • Capabilities
  • Data Caging
  • Identifiers (UID, SID, VID)
  • Symbian Signed (Open Signed, Express Signed, Certified Signed)

Level: Intermediate
Version: v2.1, May 2008
Based on: Symbian OS 9

Materials: Platform Security

Python / PyS60

Python / PyS60This set of slides gives a short introduction into the world of Python, with a special focus on Python for S60 (PyS60). For smaller projects and prototypes, Python is often the better choice compared to native development in C++, as it's a higher level language that leads to results in a faster and more direct way. Assuming that you already have development experience in Java or C++, these slides jointly introduce basic concepts of Python (variable scope, lists, tuples, classes, ...) as well as their applicance in PyS60.


  • The Python programming language
  • Modules, variables, lists, tuples, dictionaries, loops
  • Basic UI elements: notes, query dialogs, lists
  • Functions, arguments, variable scope
  • Classes, exception handling
  • Application structure, event based development
  • String manipulation

Level: Basic
Version: v1.2, March 2009
Based on: Symbian OS 9, S60 3.x, PyS60 1.4.x

Materials: Python

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