Thoughts on mobile development - Symbian, Blackberry, Android, J2ME and iPhone

Nokia Developer Day, Sydney 2 March 2010

By Aaron Davidson, in , posted: 5-Mar-2010 17:09

Earlier this week our CTO, Greg Amer, attended Nokia's Sydney Developer Day.  This is a great opportunity to meet other developers, hear about new initiatives that Nokia is undertaking and meet people from the Forum Nokia Asia-Pac team.

Gregs top 10 take-away's from this years Developer Day were, in no particular order:
  1. Ovi stats show that in Australasia "fremium" is currently the most successful business model for mobile applications.
  2. The majority of downloads from Ovi today are from touchscreen devices.  Nokia's suggestion is that if handling touch and non-touch in the same app is a problem for you, just support touch.
  3. Ovi globally averages 12 downloads per customer.
  4. Be careful about introducing advertising into your applications.  Mobile devices are intensely personal to users and they can react strongly to intrusive advertising messages.  Advertising should absolutely handle orientation changes.
  5. Eye candy trumps features and functionality.  So does useability.  So feel free sacrifice features and functionality.  Spend money on UI and user experience.
  6. Symbian Signing will get cheaper on June 9.  We've never had a problem with Symbian Signed but it was clearly causing problems for some people and Nokia indicated it would be overhauled to become simpler still (June 9 also).
  7. The first version of Meego will be available some time in the 2nd quarter of this year, devices will follow in the 3rd or 4th quarter.  QT on Maemo/Meego has a long way to go but Nokia are working really hard on it.
  8. Nokia are planning to bundle data plans with some devices this year (just like it already bundles music with some devices).  Sounds interesting but no idea how that will work.  Will I be able to buy the same device sans data plan?  Presumably not or I could then just immediately work out how much the data bundle is worth to me ...
  9. Home screen widgets are de rigueur - 80% of the time that people spend looking at a device is spent looking at the home screen.  If you want their eye-balls then add a home screen widget to your application.
  10. While the S60 UI layer (Avkon) may not ship in Symbian^4 you will be able to bundle it your applications for backwards compatibility.
All of the presentations and slides are apparently going to be made available in due course so will update you with those details when we get them.  In the mean time here are a couple of static pics of the presenters and bloggers lounge:

Purnima Kochikar - VP Forum NokiaEmile Baak - MD Nokia Australia New ZealandBloggers Lounge - where is Mauricio?

By all reports it was a great day.  A long day though since Greg hauled himself to Sydney on the redeye and then back home again on the last flight out!

To finish up, perhaps the coolest thing on the day was the video playing of the N95 power cube solving robot.  Perhaps the only think cooler would have been if the robot had actually been there itself.  Here's a youtube clip if your interested.

Other related posts:
Don’t ignore regionality when selecting target mobile OS
Windows Phone 7 looking good. Demo looking better.
Which mobile platforms do developers love?

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Aaron Davidson
New Zealand

Co-founder and CEO of SimWorks - New Zealands leading developer of mobile applications.

SimWorks Anti-Virus protects over 1.5 million mobile phones around the world everyday.

SimWorks phone backup enables mobile operators to protect their subscribers mobile phone contacts and provide their subscribers with unique and compelling new ARPU boosting services.

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