The world's most widely-used smartphone platform is now completely free and open. Today, the Symbian Foundation announced that the entire 33 million lines of Symbian^3 code is now free under the Eclipse Public License.
The platform was only sort of open source before...sort of. When the Symbian Foundation launched in 2009, parts of the source code were made available to members of the foundation under a transitional license. But now, all of the third-party intellectual property has been removed from Symbian^3 and it can be downloaded and used freely by anyone.
By removing third party protected content, however, a number of gaps have opened up in Symbian's functionality, including features otherwise commonplace in mobile devices.
T9 predictive text input, for example, is a technology commonly found on Symbian handsets, but it is intellectual property licensed from Nuance Technologies. So in the fully open-source Symbian^3, this functionality is missing. Handwriting recognition is missing from the open source release as well.
The Symbian Foundation will be releasing more information about the newly open-sourced platform throughout the week leading up to Mobile World Congress in Barcelona.
To start playing around with the code, check out the Symbian Foundation's Platform Wiki/getting started guide.