The world's most popular smartphone platform, Symbian
, is taking a step forward this week with the announcement of version 9.5. Nine and a half versions sounds like a lot, and, well, it is -- but when you consider that Symbian has its roots in Psion's ages-old EPOC, it's pretty darned plausible to think that they've come this far. New features are very multimedia-centric, reflecting the reality that modern phones are becoming true multimedia convergence devices; the camera subsystem alone accounts for 35 new goodies including orientation tilt sensor support, autofocus spots, and red-eye reduction. No word on when Symbian's largest clients -- Nokia's S60 and Sony Ericsson's UIQ -- will integrate the latest version, but we think it's pretty safe to say that they will.