Nokia’s Ovi let’s the market decide. The market says, ‘no’ (and how to fix it)

Last month I published this post:

Nokia Ovi Store launch blows the doors off the mobile industry.

Quite a lot of people contacted me to ask if I was feeling ok.

Normally I’m a bit of a Nokia-kicker, as apposed to a Nokia cheerleader.

I kick because I care.

I’ve had a trial Nokia N97 for the past week now and I’ve been using it as my primary device. I am pretty much delighted with it. (Read my thoughts here).

For a serious Nokia fan, or a serious mobile genius, the N97 works — and it works very well.

The first mobile device to have the Ovi Store pre-loaded is, of course, the Nokia N97.

The device itself also comes preloaded with QIK, RealPlayer, JoikuSpot, Bloomberg, Amazon, Facebook, Hi5, Youtube, AP News and Boingo. Pretty good.

If you’re a mobile genius, finding and adding new apps for your N97 is a reasonably straight forward process. Find the app on the web, bluetooth it to your handset, install it… or navigate to the provider’s website. Or head over to the N97 page on GetJar. There are tons of ways.

But, what about Ovi?

Well the selection is rubbish.

Is this a problem, given the mobile geniuses using the N97?

Well, yes. Not every customer of the N97 is going to be a raving mobile genius. Some of them are going to be actual customers. In fact, let’s be honest — nearly all of the N97 users on the planet are going to be end-consumers with a soft spot for Nokia.

They’re the ones who are, right now, browsing the 3UK website and thinking that a Nokia N97 for free, on an 18/month £35/month contract, sounds pretty good, thank you very much.

And they’ve read all about this mobile applications business. They’ve seen the full screen iPhone application advertisements in the Daily Mail. They’ve seen the iPhone ‘there’s-an-app-for-that’ TV spots. They’ve been one of the onlookers crowding around their friend whilst he shows off some half-useful £0.59 iPhone app.

The expectation is built.

Not once did this prospective N97 customer think that Nokia would deliver a substandard offering. He — like everyone else — assumes Nokia will, obviously, get it right.

Until, that his, he finds the Ovi icon on his phone and presses it.

Then the reality is completely shattered.

He’s presented with the following default recommendations:

That’s it.

That’s what the billion dollar giant, Nokia, was able to deliver to you.

Some news, some bollocks wallpapers/film clips from months ago, and one or two apps. The Scalado one is perhaps worth a look. The news ones, well, yeah. Obviously.

Let’s click away from ‘recommendations’ and check out ‘applications’.

Get ready, it’s bollocks…

Yup… your eyes are not playing tricks. It’s the same ‘recommended’ list. Only it’s got a featured app at the top.

I won’t bore you by listing the ‘recommended’ or ‘top 20’ from the iPhone platform.

So the Ovi Store is working. I’m pleased that it is. But the contents … that needs some significant work.

Why is the range so paltry?

Because it’s down to the market. It’s all about the market. Anyone can submit an app.

But…

Well, the market’s said no, thank you.

The market’s taken a look and thought, ‘shit, this is pretty hard’.

The market’s recognised that the products, tools and services available for developing on the Nokia store are simply not good enough to warrant attention. The market’s on iPhone. Palm. Android.

The market isn’t on Ovi.

And that’s a real, real problem.

What should Nokia do about it?

1. Fix the development materials. Make it super, super, SUPER easy to develop for Nokia. I should be able to create a simple application in 10 minutes. Whatever Nokia’s team of talented chaps respond to this point, the answer is quite simply: No. You haven’t got it right, yet.

2. If you’re serious — and I mean properly serious — about the Ovi Store, set aside $30m. Rent one warehouse in London, one in New York, one in San Francisco and one in Paris.

Each warehouse will hold 100 developers. Open to anyone. You just have to prove you’re talented and you’ve got a good idea for developing for Nokia.

Each developer is paid £3,500 per month on contract to cover their basic costs. They invoice the warehouse and take care of their own tax. In order to secure their place, they join on a 30-day trial. During this trial they need to develop one free application and submit it to the Ovi Store. The application must meet a reasonable criteria set by the warehouse council. i.e. it’s got to add value, some how. After submitting the first app, developers then adopt a 2 month rolling contract — with the provision being they have to create a new (paid of unpaid) application every two months.

On application to the warehouse council of mobile geniuses, developers can get permission to band together to work on approved projects. But generally speaking, each developer works on his own.

Everything in the warehouse — internet, desks, chairs, coca cola, pizza, that’s all paid for.

Do that in London, Paris, New York and San Francisco.

So let’s just cost that out on the back of a fag packet.

Developer cost per month: 3,500

Total developer cost: 1.4m
(400 developers x 3,500 each)

Cost per warehouse, per month: 100,000

Total warehouse cost: 400,000
(4 x warehouses @ 100k each)

Total cost per month: 1.8m

Total cost per year: 21.6m

You’d want to commit to it for, say, 3 years.

So total budget: 64m. Pounds, dollars, euros, whatever.

Now at first glance, that looks expensive. Very expensive. Crazy, especially when Apple-get-it-free.

But that’s what we need to make the market. People can’t afford to develop for Nokia. They simply can’t. It’s cheaper, MUCH, MUCH cheaper to develop for other platforms. Indeed, even providing ‘easy’ how-to information for Nokia developers isn’t necessarily going to help things. Nokia’s platform is *complicated*.

So stick with me.

Let’s assume that, over 3 years, Nokia makes … 150m phones capable of using/accessing the Ovi Store, right?

If you divide 150m phones by the 64m developer warehouse cost, that equates to roughly £2.34 (if we’re working in pounds) per handset.

Expensive when you’re looking at profit margins and so on.

But if you want to compete…

What do you think?

Should Nokia simply try and make it a-bit-easier for developers to understand how to program? Should Nokia wait and hope the market changes?

Or should Nokia adopt a developer warehouse kind of concept and really help stimulate the industry?

I for one would quit everything and help Nokia manage this developer warehouse concept if the opportunity arose.

  • Ovi Witness

    Oh you are so right the Ovi program is a nightmare.
    First of all submitting apps to the store for QA requires a genius. [Did the designers look at GetJar or Mobango – I think not]. Then there is the lengthy QA process with NO FEEDBACK or EXPECTATION SETTING.
    When you eventually get published and you want to see how it is doing and you find the REPORTING TOOL DOES NOT WORK YET!
    Then you play with the Ovi store to see what it is like. Nice send to a friend feature you think – except that it doesn’t let you access you phonebook. And if you walk out of WiFi and want to change you access point you can’t – you have to shut the app and restart it. Some kind of retailing that is!
    The also app eats your battery so don’t dare spend too long in the store.
    As for the user experience of searching did the UI desgner come from the planet Zark!
    And there’s more!
    Last week I updated the firmware on my E71 to get a Nokia Maps that could actually find a postcode. 100mb download a 30 minute plus process and no Ovi store installed on my phone – WTF! This looks like a disjointed organisation to me that needs to up its game if it is to attract developers and maintain its market lead.
    Nokia should start by getting a panel of mobile developers together and oay them to critique their processes and experiences and design it properly. In fact hire me!

    Then they should take 0% from the first 100 million downloads and commit a very large sum to above the line marketing like Apple. This would encourage developers to invest!

  • It always stikes me that the featured and top applications in the Ovi store should be an exciting and awesome list like Qik, Gravity, Shozu,Skyfire, Opera Mini, Fring, Yahoo Go, JoikuSpot, Snaptu, Mobispine, even the London Tube Map, there have been many high quality apps written for S60 over the years but somehow they aren't there or aren't immediately obvious.

    I searched for a couple of them at http://store.ovi.com and Qik appeared, but when I clicked on it I got “Sorry, this item is no longer available.”

    How long do Nokia need to iron these issues out?

    My advice, do what Ewan suggested, but use half those programmers, maybe one warehouse full to develop an Ovi Store that works. Even better than that, learn from the iPhone and Android stores and make one that is better than either, making it as easy to publish to as Android Market with the graphical elements and previews of iPhone App Store, and most of all show the publishers how many downloads they've had!!!

  • tim

    Why does Ovi make finding applications so difficult! Gravity for instance can't be found or searched for under Applications, only under Recommended. The logic doesn't stack up, and as a consequence developers must be concerned as to how good a marketing platform Ovi really is.

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  • You are very right. Ovi Store is taking the pathe left by N-Gage.. Good idea, but developed like a nightmare…

    Unfortunately I was one of the many that had high hopes on this one. I thought Nokia would make it right, but apparently they have too much power and too little traction. Can’t their designers and strategists know how to think. The errors here described are childish.. It’s not just about the code or the UI, it’s first and foremost about mechanics.

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  • Aolin

    Do you SERIOUSLY think they would ANY developers with those work terms? I’m not talking about developers that can actually independently code useful applications, but I’m talking about ANY developer?! Developers make MUCH more money than that in the western countries, even with normal working terms.

    It’s not like a developer does good software just because you give them few cans of coca-cola and pizza… Working in a warehouse? Doing the first application for free? Come on have you ever had any contact to an actual software project? Working conditions and terms are much better even in China or India.

    It’s been a long time since I’ve read something utterly as stupid as this…

  • Really nice post!!!
    To all Nokia employees who happen to read the article:Please print this and bring it to your next meeting.
    No matter in which department you are. You want your stock options to go up, right?

  • There are a couple of problems with this approach

    1) the status of these people is unclear, are they independent contractors, or Nokia employees? Independent contractrors in the places you mention will never work at such a low salary, one month of programming for 40 hours a week results in an hourly rate of GPB 21,88 (3500/40/4). The economical situation might be bad in some parts of the world, but not that. Multiply by 5 and you are talking b bad usiness without the cola, pizza and warehouse rubbish.

    Nokia won’t be able to find employees at that salary level either, because as employees these people will be working massive overtimes (being stuck in a warehouse for a month and having to eat total rubbish as food), apart from the problem that the base salary is way too low too.

    2) If in the hypothetical situation that there are actually people willing and able to program for Nokia like that, it will drive all ISV’s faster out of the Symbian programming business than anything else that might have happened in the past. Nokia has complete control over Ovi, and they are sure to put their apps in there first, before third party apps, because that way they will recoup their warehouse investment quicker. Another thing that is bound to happen is that these warehouse guys are going to duplicate the ISV’s big sellers. The result is that ISV’s still won’t make any kind of serious money on Ovi. So why would they bother? This is a knife-in-the-back scenario.

    What Nokia should do is to make sure developers make money in Ovi. They can do that by (in order of importance)

    1) having a competitive revenue-share model.
    2) having a working DRM system that prevents crackers from ripping of ISV’s hard work.
    3) having a development system that makes creating apps as quickly as possible.
    4) having a publishing system that makes publishing the app as quickly as possible.

  • Stock options?!? Nokia employee's don't get any stock options any more unless you are some über manager. And there is no point anyway. Nokia is seriously undervalued compared to any other tech company because the US is totally obsessed with Apple and doesn't understand just how big they are. Have a look at the share stats.

    But back to the topic. Ovi is totally too hard, plus you should be a registered company before you can even get accepted. S60 development requires too much messing around with signing.

    So, no nine year old developers for Nokia. Unlike Apple…

  • Aolin, you've completely — and conveniently — missed the point by about a billion miles.

    Occasionally the innovation comes from a big, big company like EA Games. But typically, we're seeing a heck of a lot more innovation come from the individuals or very small 1-3 person alliances. Those people have a limited amount of resources and, if they had to choose, they will (and are) simply developing for iPhone.

    Nokia doesn't get a look in. The market has spoken. If you want to change this, you either need to severely enhance the development framework. Or patch it with something like the above concept.

  • To indicate just how ridiculously wrong you are, Sander: Show me the tens of thousands of ISVs who are FIGHTING, nay SCREAMING to get their applications on to the Ovi Store?

    Yup. Having a problem there? That's because they aren't. They're busy focusing on iPhone. And we move on.

    It's fluck all to do with competitive revenue-share. It's nothing to do with DRM.

    It's all about EASE of programming and getting them to market. So you're right with points 3 and 4.

    Try the concept on. It's a CONCEPT. I know quite a few developers who would be delighted to take 3,500 pounds guaranteed, per month, to allow them to focus on creating some truly brilliant, innovative apps.

    Right now they're getting NOTHING. Right? Let's be clear. They're either chancing their arm devleoping for iPhone (and hoping for a good return). Or, they're actually being paid good money to develop for iPhone.

    Notice the problem? Yes. Nokia doesn't and won't ever get a look in.

    3,500 / month is just an idea — aimed at the individuals who'd LOVE to do this. And there are quite a few out there.

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  • Ed Lea

    Despite missing the point, the point you’re making is actually wrong.

    There are literally 1000s of “bedroom developers” who are either scraping together less than enough to live on from app sales, or more commonly, writing mobile apps in their spare time.

    What’s Ewan’s proposing is a effectively a parachute to let these developers work on mobile apps full-time. As such anyone building this kind of model would get their hand bitten off by developers wanting to sign up.

  • Michael Cox

    £3500 * 12 = £42000.

    Hardly pawltry!

  • Aolin

    I think you missed my point. Why would these talented people be exploited like that? As they make lot’s more money by
    1) Being totally independed and submitting their apps to for instance App Store?
    2) Working as subcontractor with proper salary.

    Your calculations are just utter bollocks and shows that you have no idea what so ever of software developing.

  • Aolin

    I’m an individual software developer, and I think the 3500 month is sh*t. Also the idea working in a garage? HELLO? Having to produce one fart application per month? No thanks. I rather work on my own projects and use as much time as I want.
    Also you have to take in account that App Store has tens of thousands of items. I think Ovi Store is a great place to be right now as you are a big fish in a small pond. In app store is nowadays matter of luck if you get your small app enough hype that anyone will notice it. Ovi Store gets you to main page. I was there for whole month.

  • Nice pitch for the Nokia Developer Channel VP role Ewan 😉

  • Aolin

    And why do you have the idea that developing apps to App Store means automatically good money? I read multiple different stories. Earning money is hard work even there, and if you’re not good you will not get to even hourly wages. Let’s face it, you’re not making any money in any app store unless you have good idea, good execution and good MARKETING. Very few independent developers master the two first ones, not to even mention the last one.

  • Sander van der Wal

    Hi Ewan

    As an ISV myself (both for Symbian and iPhone), 1) and 2) are currently my biggest issues, and they are also the issues of other ISV’s I have spoken to.

    1) is easy to explain. When you add operator billing to the revenue share equation, you get to keep so little of the revenue share that the effect of Nokia’s much bigger user base is is completely gone. You make about as much for Nokia as you make on Apple. Nokia singlest biggest advantage on Apple is the size of it’s user base, and by this action alone they are throwing that advantage away. A much bigger user base means a much bigger support cost, factor this in and you make more with Apple than you do with Nokia.

    This brings us to 2). With no proper DRM, changes are that your software is cracked and distributed for free. Symbian ISV’s know a lot about their software being cracked and distributed for free, Nokia’s own Mosh was, until it was closed because of Ovi, the biggest repository of cracked Symbian software.

    Combine 1) and 2) and it is easy to see that for the same amount of effort the odds are higher that you make money on iPhone.

    This is what is holding back a lot of ISV’s with existing apps back. Not the ease of programming, because the app has been finished.

    I have done both Symbian and iPhone programming and it is simply not true that iPhone programming is much easier than Symbian programming in all situations. If iPhone has a builtin lib that does what your app needs, iPhone is easier. If it has no such lib, it is harder than Symbian progamming, because most of the system is off-limits. Predicting upfront is hard when you have not much experience, at atm very few people have the breath of experience needed to make reliable estimates.

    Back to your idea. If people can make more money by doing iPhone contract programming, why are *you* proposing that Nokia pays them so little? If your concept is to turn them from iPhone to Nokia programming, they should make more when doing Nokia programming. That means at least a *competitive* hourly rate, not a measly GBP/EUR/USD 20 per hour.

    You also don’t seem to mind that your concept means that Nokia will competing with their ISV’s at Nokia’s terms. Why isn’t that a problem according to you?

  • Ovi Witness

    There are plenty of mobile developers in Belfast and N.E. England who would love to start on £3,500 per month. Plus Nokia would get EC grants to set up shop there.
    And what about India, Manilla – Phillipines (Friendster moving development centre here!), Singapore, Malaysia, Vietnam. BTW the bulk of Nokia Smartphone shipments are not to rich western markets. £3,500 would get you a team here!

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  • Architengi

    This is very offensive to developers.

    First, keep in mind a real developer (do not confuse them with some HTML web-site creator), has an IQ of over 110 where the average is 95, (s)he needs to know a LOT of things, not just a language, but thousands of functions from APIs and algorithms and how-to…

    Because of the above, the software developer which is the software CREATOR (like in many iPhone applications, where the developer comes with the idea, design, code implementation and some testing) needs to have INTELLECTUAL RIGHTS for the produict produced, like in the movie or music industry. Basically, big companies just exploit developers because in the contract they stipulate the software AUTOR and CREATOR which is the developer, should not get any percentage from the sales. Books authors, music authors, they get percentage of the sales!

    Second, I think the salary of 3500 pounds/month or 42000 pounds/year (or aprox 65000 US$/year) is an entry level salary, a junior programmer which by no means can finish an application in 2 months, other then if the guy is very, very good (genius) and the learning curve for him is just a plain instead of a steep hill.

    Third, I heard this joke: “if the developers are not ready in time, we lock them in the room and throw some pizza under the door until they are ready”… this is very offensive, because developers are not rats, they are smart guys, smarter then the average, sometimes genius guys, and they are AUTHORS and CREATORS of the product, but because they are not allowed to have a UNION, they simply cannot ask for their INTELLECTUAL RIGHTS.

    What do you think about this? Please give me some feedback, some comments… 🙂

  • Not convinced this idea is right, but totally in agreement that the current OVI offering is daft / dumb / inept.

    That said it's just an idea and honestly couldn't do much worse than Nokia's efforts thus far.

    Thinking about OVI in general though, everything promised held so much promise, everything delivered was late and failed to meet those promises. The latest suite is no exception.

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  • Good to hear from you Barney. Thinking back to my A-Level Economics lessons, most efforts in trying to 'change' or influence the marketplace don't usually work. (e.g. USSR government producing 50,000 left shoes.)

    That said I think Nokia needs to do something, pronto, about the dire user experience. Make no mistake, I think Ovi Store is really, really smart. Finally we've got rid of the crazy install UI. It's a lot more consumer friendly. The real trouble is there's not enough interesting, stimulating things for normobs to play with.

  • Here's what I posted over on All About Symbian (who picked up the post — complete with some smart analysis (nice one Rafe) and some stupid, stupid idiotic responses about the salary fee I picked at random):

    – – – – –

    I am absolutely amazed that the majority of you have chosen to home in on the 3,500 a month stipend I suggested.

    This was back-of-fag-packet.

    Make it 10,000 a month.

    Make it 50,000 a month.

    My point — as Rafe accurately surmised — was relating to market forces. Look at you! If I use the responses here as an average representation of Symbian, no wonder the market has simply moved past you all.

    I agree with Rafe's assertion that Nokia should fix the market from the front-end (easy, cheaper to develop) but I think it's a little bit too late. If you could wave a magic wand — if Nokia's CEO, OPK, suddenly said 'change this, this and this' … we're talking years before that change will impact the market.

    Let's not forget the real problem. Right now, Nokia customers are picking up their shiny new N97s and finding next to nothing on the Ovi Store.

    Having FIXED the ridiculous install procedures with Ovi Store — i.e. it's more or less one (or two) clicks to install an application, once you've found it — the real glaring problem now is the complete lack of stimulating, interesting applications for the end consumer.

    They're currently making a value judgement on the Ovi Store. That judgement? It's rubbish. When they're down at the pub and their mate pulls out their iPhone to show off some stupid yet entertaining 'Moron Test' application, they'll wonder why there's nothing like that on the Nokia.

    Demand for augmentation of the mobile experience — whether through the likes of the 'Moron Test' or a more useful 'where is my bus' application — is burgeoning. Normobs — your average normal mobile users — are beginning to demand this functionality in their handset, right now. Not tomorrow, not next week, not next year. Now. Hence all the normob attention for the likes of the iPhone, Pre and an array of Android devices.

    My argument is that you have to give them what they want, as soon as possible, via their Nokia devices.

    And by that, I mean giving consumers access to ultra simple applications that — yes, shock horror, DO cost less than £7,000 to develop. Let's get an array of fun, exciting, useful applications on to the phones to show off the superior capabilities of the Nokia. (e.g. background apps)

    For example, can't somebody please make a little application that updates your location on Twitter every 30 minutes? Something that sits in the background and does it job and makes the end user feel a bit better about themselves. That does not take 7k to create.

    It's difficult, I'll grant you. You can't necessarily create a working demo in 20 minutes, like an experienced Android or iPhone developer might be able to. But in 30 days? Yes.

    Right then. Let's continue the innovation. Let's get a ton more simple applications on to the Ovi Store as soon as possible. And while the legions of normobs are being sated by an array of exciting (yet limited) offerings, let's get working away to develop the bigger, better, stunning applications that will really blow the mind of the user.

    If we want that level of activity on the Ovi Store, right now, Nokia — or somebody else — has to fund it.

    Why?

    Because the overwhelming majority of developers simply cannot be bothered — for all sorts of reasons. It's easier, quicker, more pleasing and potentially more rewarding for them to develop on other platforms.

    So to everyone who responded with ridiculous outrage (“3,500 is offensive”), I assume we can get past that pathetic position because, as many have pointed out, the figure can be whatever you want it to be. It's just a *concept*. Let's have your ideas please. Let's see what you're made of. What does Nokia need to do to compete in the applications marketplace?

  • <grin> I'd be amazed if Nokia was considering anything like this, Nige.

  • Guest

    You can forget all about the “easier” development system. It is what it is – and if Nokia could make it any easier, they would have done it already years ago. Qt is coming, but it will still take about a year. Even Qt won’t be too easy, just an improvement.

    The question is about Publishing System. It’s custom made for Ovi Store, it’s confusing and difficult. The message they want to give is that Ovi Store does NOT want just any application. Only few selected are accepted. Their choice. Very clear.

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  • Folks, I realize this might be a mute point in all these discussions. However, Nokia hired a bunch of developers in India to develop for the N97 back in December if memory serves me and that is where the widgets we see are supposedly to have come from.

    The issue here is, the developers are in India. Limited if any experience coding for the mobile industry or any industry at all. Argh. What a prospect.

    Add to this most efforts that have been sent to India have Major initial issues out of the gate and the learning curve is outrageous. The blow back from customers is unheard of and all because the people at the top are trying to have a huge return on investment because they can have five indies working for the price of one in any one of the five places that were mentioned. Yes FIVE. And the FIVE would be EXTREMELY Over Joyed to have the job. Never mind that they have a Masters Degree from somewhere India to Program Java, Cobol, or whatever language and have no real world experience. They might be making 15,000 USD a year but for them that is a kings ransom.

    The Global Economy is at play here folks. Global means everywhere on the planet, not just where we traditionally believe that developers that have experience are trying to eek out an existence.

    The Playing field is being devastated by the Soro's Neophytes leading the charge to India, Pakistan, Malayasia and South East Asia.

    This is the same problem that leveled the USA. Outsourcing. I would not be surprised if Soro's is trying to make another in road to Europe via Nokia right now.

  • (I wrote this for another post elsewhere on the site, but this one seems more apt and current so I'll copy it here)

    I've wanted to write this for a while, because if they're not going Android, I don't know what their next move is going to be.

    I really don't get Nokia these days. The hardware is good, as it always has been for the most part, but they've always been let down by OS. I think their biggest mistake was in not getting fully behind their very own PyS60 project (Python for S60). For those of you not familiar, a huge amount of work went into the PyS60 project at Nokia internally, almost as a grassroots project, to port the Python programming language to the Symbian platform.

    The project was/is a great success, in that they succeeded in getting it working, and went the extra mile developing all sorts of simple hooks so that you could write Symbian apps, in Python, on any Symbian device.

    The only thing it needed (or needs, as they could still pull it off) was for the company as a whole to get behind it, sort out the run-time distribution (install it on the device, include it in firmware upgrades, make it available OTA), signing process and (to allow deeper integration into the device) allow native modules to exist in private directories (or some other solution).

    Instead it's now fallen to the open source community to sort out the mess that is PyS60 app distribution (distributing the run-time with your app, different versions, different forks, overlapping modules, everything in one directory, the signing process etc.), and it needed to remain in the hands of Nokia so that it could be a common de-facto run-time across all devices. At the end of the day, only Nokia can sort out the mess that is security signing on Symbian – it's never going to be solved by the community.

    So, why should they have gotten behind this? Because Apple came out from nowhere with an incredibly productive development platform and people (developers) took notice. Apple had the IDE (Xcode and Interface Builder), the debugger, the profiler, the language (Obj-C… somewhere between C and C++, but a little better thought out) and an API and it all made sense and was easy to use from day #1.

    Symbian C++ is still to this day (8 years since release) considered a black art, crafted in basements by men with pointy hats and long beards. The tools provided are archaic.. as if they came from another era (which is pretty much the case given its roots in EPOC and Psion) and make you feel that we've learned nothing in the near 20 years of software development since EPOC was born.

    Python on S60 by comparison gives you a nice, safe, productive language that almost anyone can pick up – its clean and concise. The guys at Nokia (and the open source community) have covered most bases of Symbian development in terms of user interface design, networking, sound and integration into the device, and wrapped it all into nice, easy to understand, Python API functions.

    On top of that, you can fairly easily (caveat to the above run-time distribution issues being sorted out) include native modules with your Python application – so you can access the phones innards and do all the wonderful low-level pointy beard stuff that you need to on the device for games and whatnot, but add a great consistent Symbian UI and your higher level logic with very little development effort on top.

    That Nokia haven't entertained it at all, and I know people have tried to evanglise it from within and FAILED, strikes me as a company that really has no clue as to what they're doing in this market anymore.

  • shah

    Great work Ewan,… really like your work.
    thanx.

  • I would absolutely leap at this chance. I'm a one-man mobile development micro ISV, and given the current difficulties delivering software, finding clients etc etc I'd leap at an opportunity like this. It would be less money, but no an inconcievable low amount, I'd get to develop my products and get them on sale in a greatly reduced time with fantastic support and regular income.

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  • vhirsch

    Spot on. Given that Nokia is more likely to be making some 1.5 bn Ovi Store-capable phones over the next 3 years, the cost per handset would only be only 23p… Plus: set off the free PR, brand positioning and marketing coming with it. They could probably even run a reality TV show off it… Case closed…

  • vhirsch

    You want comment, you get comment… 😉

    a) The whole point about salary levels is futile in the context of the text above because this was not what the post was about.
    b) If you are an independent author, musician, etc, you do NOT draw a salary but you work as a waiter in order to fund your creative work. This is why you retain your IPR and can then negotiate a royalty IF you sell it; if you don't sell it, you earn nothing (a good example is Ms Rowling pre and post-Harry Potter). If you want to do this as a software developer, you are free to do so but it comes with the economic risk (and the royalty is your risk premium). And incidentally, this risk most developers do not seem to want to take. And that is fine. But then do not moan and whine! It is a choice you made.

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  • Name

    For me the problem with Nokia store goes beyond poor range of software. I have paid for software which I cannot redownload. There appears to be redownload option available. Why should I pay for the software everytime I do a hard rest of my phone? If I buy it elsewhere I can download a copy which is mine, I have ben doing this for years. Without an option to redownload the OVI Store is waste of time. I have contacted the software developers they blame Nokia. I have contacted Nokia they have just ignored me.

  • jhonwilliams

    Have iPhone Apps Store as your role model. And why is Ovi in not as easy as an iphone app ? I think its best to follow apple in positive aspects.

  • jhonwilliams

    Have iPhone Apps Store as your role model. And why is Ovi in not as easy as an iphone app ? I think its best to follow apple in positive aspects.

  • Spamtrap3462

    Just making it possible to actually download anything from Ovi store would be a start. I spent 6hrs getting error messages. `email address in use` – `wrong password or username` – strange error messages. Then although logged in on computer, impossible with phone. So despite sending a `text to phone` – unable to actually download anything.

    `Fart attack` – showing as one of the main apps on Ovi Store – from a billions of £ company. Says it all, really. Ovi Store now deleted from my phone – why bother?

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