Nokia makes announcements to encourage Symbian development

I am not a developer, but I do use a lot of applications on my devices. Nokia made several developer announcements today that look to be designed to keep developers or bring more to the Symbian platform. All About Maemo has a good post covering the announcements that I recommend you check out. Unfortunately, I still think the Ovi Store is the lamest online application store of any mobile platform and don’t see any improvements being planned or talked about. With highly profitable stores in the iPhone App Store and Google Android Market I really wonder if developers think it is worth continuing with Symbian. Nokia made five key announcements today to try to encourage continued development and these include:

  1. Availability of the Nokia Qt Software Development Kit (SDK) 1.0
  2. Individuals can now register as Ovi Publishers
  3. Public beta of Nokia signing Symbian apps for free
  4. Availability of Nokia Smart Installer for Symbian
  5. Ovi Store intake for Qt apps

The new Nokia Qt SDK allows for cross-platform development for Symbian and Maemo devices and as we know Symbian will continue to be developed for years as MeeGo powers the higher end devices. The Symbian signing change is nice and should hopefully get a few more apps out there. I know I had to manually sign iSMS to get threaded text messaging on my E71, but it was a real pain to go through that process.

All these announcements were made to make it easier for developers to get their apps out to users. Nokia recently released a tool to make website RSS feed app/widgets, but this site was denied because we have Nokia in the name. I actually think populating the Ovi Store with a ton of RSS feed widgets is a bit of a waste anyway so I didn’t try to pursue or get this resolved.

I would like to see some improvements in the Ovi Store myself. I just fine the whole interface to be rather slow, a bit cumbersome to use for explorer apps, and the highly touted recommendation section to offer up lame and undesirable content. I have only purchased a couple of things since it launched and mainly use it to see if I can find new stuff to then go purchase outside the Ovi Store.

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5 Comments to Nokia makes announcements to encourage Symbian development

jb8967
June 24, 2010

IMO, Nokia seems to be run by executives who are either hell bent on self-destruction OR plain idiots. Consider the news today that N8 will be the last of the N-series supported Symbian platforms. OK, maybe this is an unsubstantiated rumor, but where is Nokia management? Where is Nokia leadership to clarify this statement? How can Nokia on one hand launch ANOTHER campaign in support of Symbian AND ON THE SAME DAY have a leak like this go without some qualified statement. The marketing team at Nokia is really bad…they must feel protected because they’ve dropped the ball so many times and still seem to have jobs. I do not understand this strange situation. Maybe it is time to give up on Nokia…it seems its own management has done just that.

Jon
June 24, 2010

Why should Nokia comment on a false rumour that they did not start?

Tallbruva
June 25, 2010

I am a developer and went thru the process (stopped just short just to see all the screens). Nokia has learned something. Apple & Google’s success is because of independent developers. And the one-time 50 euro fee isn’t bad; not as good as Google’s one-time $25 fee but better than Apple & Microsoft. Also good is that apps written in the SDK will work on S^3 & Maemo.
One MAJOR problem I have is that with the exception of Millennial Media, the major ad companies don’t have SDK’s for Nokia OSs. I give my apps away for free w/ads and it’s worked for me. That’s also another reason for the success of Google & Apple. Dev & the Company make money that’s why both bought ad agencies.

Tallbruva
June 25, 2010

I agree with Matt about the Ovi store. However, it does have some advantages that neither Google nor Apple have. The website is FAR better than market.android.com in seeing what’s available. It’s also better than iTunes because – well – you don’t need iTunes! But they still have work to do. Here’s a quote from a news article today that mirrors what I said in the previous blog post:

“If Nokia continues down its existing path, betting on Symbian, it will always be one or more steps behind Apple and Google as well as a low priority for applications developers,” – http://www.businessweek.com/news/2010-06-24/nokia-beefs-up-apps-to-wean-away-market-brainwashed-by-apple.html

Tallbruva
June 25, 2010

Ok. Last one :-)

Something that might help Nokia is giving devs free phones. For the past 2 years @Google I/O, Google has been giving away free phones to developers. This year devs got TWO free phones – a Droid or Nexus One for registering and a Sprint EVO before the event was over. At the game developer’s conference they did the same thing. They also did a Device Seeding Program, giving a free Nexus One to devs with 5,000+ downloads or more along with 3.5 stars.
I know some will say: “Why should they give away phones when they’re the biggest phone maker on the planet?”

The answer is that without developers a platform will die. The cost of giving them away will be near zero compared to the money they will make from the apps they develop. Remember, they wouldn’t be giving phones away to contest winners. They’d be giving them away to people who will eventually pay it back with the apps they develop.


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