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Symbian C++

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Warning.pngWarning: The Symbian Signed program closed on January 1, 2014 and it is no longer possible to publish any new content or update existing content for Symbian on Nokia Store. It is possible to self-sign content for basic capabilities and continue to use existing DevCerts. For more information see this blog.

Symbian was the first platform specifically developed for smartphones - it started the smartphone revolution and until 2011 was Nokia's main smartphone platform. It is still a widely used smartphone platform in many markets. Its flagship device, the Nokia 808 Pureview (based on Nokia Belle, FP1 platform, has the most powerful imaging/camera technology in any smartphone at time of writing.

Symbian C++, the native programming framework for Symbian, is an idiomatic variant of C++ optimised for low memory devices. While Qt is now the recommended native framework creating Symbian apps, we continue to provide access to tools for working with Symbian C++. This continued support enables you to maintain legacy applications and migrate them to the latest versions of the Symbian platform.

The primary tools are:

  • Symbian SDKs — tools and documentation for application development and a simulator that enables testing on a Microsoft Windows PC.
  • Carbide.c++ — an IDE specifically designed for creating Symbian apps in C++.



Symbian C++ Developer's Libraries include technical information for C++ developers creating applications for Symbian phones, starting from S60 5rd Edition to the latest version of the Symbian platform.


Note.pngNote: A number of third parties are also hosting offline and online (searchable) versions of the library:

Community support

Code Examples



The Carbide.c++ IDE was designed from the ground up for developers creating Symbian C++ software for Symbian devices. Based on Eclipse and the C/C++ development tools from the Eclipse CDT Project, Carbide.c++ provides tools to support Symbian C++ coding, building apps for the SDK emulators, and performing on-device debugging among others. Through extension plug-ins features for querying API information, investigating project dependencies, performing static code analysis, and investigating project performance among other can be added as required.

Carbide.c++ 3.2 was the final version and was suitable for app development targeting S60 5th Edition and later. This release offers a lightweight installer with additional features added by the use of extension plug-ins. In addition, support for the new CODA on-device debug agent is provided.

  • Carbide C++ 3.2: exe
  • Carbide C++ 2.7: exe


Symbian SDKs

The Symbian SDKs give you access to all the APIs implemented in a particular Symbian edition and feature pack. Once you've coded your app, the SDKs include tools to compile it for testing in an SDK's simulator/emulator on a Microsoft Windows PC. In the emulator, you test apps without the need for a Symbian phone, which improves development time. Once the app is tested, you have tools to compile and package it for installation on a Symbian phone.

Development of Symbian C++ apps can be performed from the command line, however, you gain the benefits offered by a fully featured IDE by combining the Symbian SDKs with Qt SDK or Carbide.c++.

Public source code from the Symbian project under the original EPL license (07/12/2010) is available on sourceforge.

  • Nokia Belle SDK: zip
  • Nokia Symbian^3 SDK: zip
  • Nokia s60v5 SDK: zip
  • Nokia N97 SDK C++ Developer's Library: zip
  • Nokia s60v3 SDK: zip
  • Nokia Symbian^3 PDK 3.0.4: zip
  • Nokia Symbian^3 PDK 4.0a: zip


Plug-ins for the Symbian SDKs

In addition to the APIs and features offered in each SDK for a release of Symbian or the S60 platform, more APIs and features were made available by SDK plug-ins. Using these plug-ins, you can extend your app functionality and language support.

Distributing your apps

Apps can be distributed through your own website or through third party stores. It is no longer possible to publish new Symbian apps on the Nokia Store.

This page was last modified on 14 May 2014, at 16:18.
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