What example can we examine, apple at $99, or Firefox and it's plugin "store" at $0. What would Firefox be without plugins? (Tools->Add ons) What would the iphone be without the app store? We know that, just look at sales figures pre/post 3g which happened about the same time the App store was released. Look at my techiphobe mother in law's iphone with 8 pages of applications installed on it.
For the cost of putting one application on the Ovi Store I can buy a new handset. I can buy a 5800 to test s60v5 to make sure it really works faster than in the emulator and find out that font is crazy small. I can buy an n95 to make sure it really works with feature pack 1, etc. I can do this every year for the cost of the cert. What makes for a better application a cert or running on all Nokia's phones?
The cost of the Ovi Store is detrimental to it's success, it limits small new and innovative developers and applications and it drives away the open source community.
It's also worth me adding that the App Store grew in March by over 200 apps per day. The Nokia developer community is probably between 10 and 100 times larger than the iPhones developer community (going by the number of devices out there). The potential for "clutter" is mind-numbing...
We could play tennis on points like these until we're red, green or blue in the face. An interesting point here is that Ovi doesn't seem to be what you hoped for. Nor does it seem to be what I hoped for.
Are you and I both extremists? You want a single repository for all software for Nokia devices, good or bad. I want a market place, oriented for independent developers who are trying to make a living. Are these extreme points of view? Is there some moderate majority of developers who think Ovi is exactly what they wanted?
Or is Ovi a victim of identity crisis? Does it want to be everything to everyone (which is never an easy thing to achieve)? Is it a knee-jerk reaction, wanting simply to be the App Store? I don't think it can do that. The App Store has a monopoly, and Ovi is a new-comer to an already complicated market place (albeit with a powerful sponsor). The App Store has more power to be everything to everyone, because iPhone developers and owners have no choice.
I would like to see it take off and succeed. I think there is a large segment of the market with S60 phones (I'm going to ignore s40, sorry guys) that don't realize their phone can run 3rd party applications much less know how to install them. The Ovi store is great for them, I'm just saddened that I think they'll find few or expensive applications. The more the store succeeds the better it is for everyone.
As for Amazon, in the US anyways it's much more than just a book store. Anyone can sign up as a vendor and sell anything, it's pretty easy to get products listed on the site. Sometimes I click on the "Only Sold by Amazon" filter on the left, other times it's just what you want.
I don't think firefox would have had the level of success. Look at poor Opera. They've been trying to gain desktop market share since 1996. Firefox grew from the ashes of netscape within that time. I do love opera mini on s60 though.
Also, within the first 3 months of the iPhone 3g launching 200 million applications were downloaded. Over that period 7 million new phones were sold, old ones were out there, let's round that to 10 million. That's on average 20 apps/phone. That's a heck of a lot of traffic even if you argue it's inflate 2-5 times. I also doubt the size of the Symbian development community vs the apple one. Over here I've found every tom, dick, and harry developer has installed and made the odd iphone app, just for shits and giggles. Of course, being state side, that's a rather warped view.
Apple seems to be making good money from it's app store, and with the number of phones Nokia has out there I'm not sure why they setup the price structure the way they did. The 70/30 split apple takes should work with just as well for Nokia, or even better since there's such a large base of phones.
Since Nokia have dropped the requirement to have apps JV’ed Ive bin weighing up, whether its more cost effective to get my app tested for a small group of handsets via java verified and have a signature for 10 years vs buying a signature for between $300 per year Thawte, or $500 per year Verisign. I couldn’t see much difference on balance in my particular instance, but I was edging very reluctantly towards JV.
Well Ive just been on the JV website after having read a press release by Sun that they were moving to simplify and reduce costs of the JV program. SIMPLIFY!!!! REDUCE COST!!!! For the love of god, now apparently I have to get my app signed $200 per year before I can submit it for testing, to be fair PJohnson did warn me of this in an earlier post, but I didn’t think JV would go through with it in light of Nokia’s recent decision.
So on top of this additional cost, Ive also got to go through even more convoluted steps to sign my app, an easy 3 step tutorial to do so, I have yet to find. On top of the hoops JV expect me to jump through, whats in the next update, run round in circles 20 times and pat my head and rub my stomach at the same time, or maybe get a signature to prove my identity to the trustcenter. In order to get a signature to prove my identity to JV.
Great move Sun Im sure these steps will restore confidence in the JV program and J2ME in general, I don’t thnk!!!!
I agree with you. (Don't look so surprised!! )
I don't see why I need to prove my identity for JV. It's a testing process for the application. Surely identity validation is a separate process?
I think it was necessary for them to look for a process to minimize the number of complete tests. Reading UTC-3, I'm not convinced they've found the simplest possible way... It starts off simple enough... "test on one Nokia", "test on two Nokias", then suddenly it goes to "test on fifteen Nokias, twelve Motorolas and a Kenwood Blender", and my head explodes.
It's not really complicated... devices just need to be in a tree, with either an "is-same-as" relationship (along which a cert pass can flow for free), or an "is-like" relationship (with a reduced test pass). Devices that have no compatibility become a series of "root" devices.
The idea of having a single cert programme that we can pass, and is recognized everywhere is an excellent one. Much better than having to jump through a different set of flaming hoops for every different sales channel. The requirements are not stupid. Just the logistics and pricing need some work.
On a brighter note, I noticed something on the Babel site about certifying a whole set of Ovi devices for less than £1000, as a special "Ovi deal". I'm not entire clear on what a "complete set of Ovi devices" is...
I actually got caught in the change of the JavaVerified site too
I have submitted an updated Chinese build for retest to the old system, which the test house is now unable to access through the new system. It seems like JavaVerified changed the site overnight without warning registered users or even the test houses, which is very frustrating
I'm talking with the test house to find the best way to resolve this. Hopefully this can be handled without having to get the TrustCenter Pub ID.
I can see the headlines now Graham and 21N9 in agreement shock .
If Sun don’t watch it J2ME is going to go the same way as J2SE, its already coughing up dust. When I started J2ME about 5 years ago I was promised 2 things. Write once run anywhere, well we all know that’s a joke. and Its free, I didn’t read the small print because there was none, If I’d known that they were going to fleece me when I came to sell my products I would never had put myself through this hell in the first place.
They seem to be operating on a circa 1990’s business model whereby they says it free but then make you run from one place to another collecting money from you, as you go. They don’t mind how complicated this makes life for the average developer as long as they can thinly disguise the costs.
What part of the word simple don’t they get????? This is how it should have went, when signing up for JV
1)basic info contact details ect
2)read the terms and conditions, tick the box which says I accept,
3)sign in to your newly created account and click the upload button
4)Choose Manufacturer pull down menu
5)Choose Screen size pull down menu
6)Tick boxes for JSR’s used
7)Generate handset list button, this creates a list of compatible devices in the form of 5 pull down menu’s, one for each test house, each list has the all the compatible devises that test house has available for testing, from which you select one devise and one devise only, I don’t expect to have to test on multiple devices just because one group has an extra JSR I don’t even use. A price field is updated automatically
8)another pull down menu this time to select the language of the build, with an option for multiple
9)browse for your jar and jad click upload
10)at the bottom is a plus button to add another version, a save button to save what your doing; if you have a lot of builds, and a submit button.
11)The submit button gives you the cost and asks for your payment details fill em in click ok, the builds are automatically sent to the test house, JV takes their big fat cut and passes on the rest to the tester
12)they send me an email notification when its ready I log in download the test results and if passed download my signed builds.
A simple one stop shop, no reading through huge PDF documents written in vague English figuring out the process and devise groups, no cutting down a small rainforest and posting it to the other side of the globe, no emailing the trustcenter and buying a cert, no googling for a week trying to figure out how to sign my app, no emailing the test house to establish a business relationship, no messing around with tickets, ect ect ect.
Im not even going to ask why it cant be that simple, because there is no reason why it cant be that simple.
Test houses don't even seem to publish any prices, so you have to engage with each of them in order to have any idea what your project will cost.
I really think the entry bar is a complete killer. I was planning to buy a 5800 express and program for it using the upcoming Qt for S60. As I already have Qt experience and existing code this would have been great. Unfortunately the signing process is so twisted and unflexible that I guess I will drop the whole idea and go for another platform without these stupid restrictions.
I just want to be able to create a application, do a open beta test and then release and support it for free or for a very low price to have a little reward. I want to be able to leverage the full featureset of the phone without having to think about what this does to my certification. I had a bit of hope that this would get irrelevant with the introduction of the Ovi shop (p.e. pay $100 once and get the apps signed by the store) but it doesn't look like it ever will.
I can't understand neccesity of the whole signing/testing procedure. Sure, if the applications meet certain standards that's a nice thing but it's not like it has hurt other platforms to let the consumer decide, create a S60 logo program or sth. like that for the rest. If malware is the problem then a simple certificate proving your identity would be more then sufficient...
The only thing I have left to say is that I'm very disappointed by the way nokia handles this issue after all the great stuff it has done for the non-cooperate programmer in the recent past. I still hope nokia will realise they are hurting themselves with this strategy before it is too late.
I'm going to defend Nokia a little bit first. I think $400 and a business license is very reasonable, considering the tools are all free, Nokia OVI QA is free, and Nokia doesn't restrict where you distribute yor software. For iPhone, you MUST go through iTunes. You can sell or give away your S60 software anywhere.
Instead of looking at the iPhone app store, which brags about 100,000 pieces of content, most of which are crap and clones, look at XBOX Live Arcade, PSN, and WiiWare. XBLA (one of the few things MS has done right) in my opinion is a much better model than the iPhone app store. XBLA has a fixed number of slots and every month the bottom performers are retired and new apps are given a chance. The cost of entry for XBLA, PSN, and WiiWare is much higher than $400. S60 has around 200M deployed handsets. Wii is the most popular 7G console with only 50M units.
If anything, I hope Nokia borrows from Apple's marketing of the App Store. Most Nokia phone owners have no idea what S60 or Symbian is...they have a "Nokia" phone. Hopefully OVI will be the place for them to learn what their "Nokia" phone can do.
So, a suggested solution for freeware:
Every so often Nokia runs one of their honeypot software contests. Every quarter, Nokia could run a similar contest for freeware authors wanting to get an app on OVI, but with terms compatible with open source. Nokia would sign and distribute the winning submissions through OVI for free. If they wanted to bump the community a little, give away some handsets (I know there's got to be a warehouse full of N76s somewhere :P ) or some credit on the OVI store.
There's a lot of great OS software, and people willing to create or do the porting just for fun. (Wesnoth S60v5 anyone?) If the app is a quality app, Nokia can add that functionality to their phones for free by giving it away on OVI.
What i wish is:
One website by Nokia, like publish.ovi.com. There should be just one information about publishing missing till now.
Something like: To publish you have to: develop. join ovi. sign content for hundreds of dollars and upload.
currently you have to search somewhere to get to know that you have to sign, what to sign, how to sign. we all know that signing is not to be secure from garbage but keeping the cashflow high from Nokia near companies.
First off Nokia has nothing to do with Java Verified this is simply not an issue for Nokia and is not requuired for submission, There are numerous threads about this. It's not thus necessary but optional to use Java Verified when publishing content to Ovi Store. The bare minimum requirement seems to be that content is signed using content signing (i.e. VeriSign or Thawte).
This is not a Nokia issue but the operators. People who come from desktop often do not understand this because they are used to lots of ram fast chips on systems that are shut down periodically and program conflicts are uncommon. None of those is acceptable on a mobile device that has limited battery life and is often on for a year or longer. (even turning a device off does not shut it down only removing a battery does).
Give Ovi Store some time, it does have birthing pains I won't deny it and changes are not as fast as we'd like. However, Nokia is fully committed to the developer. I have seen amazing change in mindset in the past three years. And see many more coming.
I really like the concept of an app store like ovi. The only thing is this signing prob... Because it is not because of limited ram etc... It is because of money. Verising doesnt care what kind of app I sign but what I am willing to pay... I am not a fan of this kind of dubious business...
Nokia ron, like you i am looking forward to what the future will bring us. Perhaps unsigned apps in ovi
Also note with VeriSign and Thawte you can't run on all devices. See eg. this thread: http://discussion.forum.nokia.com/fo...654#post606654
I have heard a rumor that Thawte is supported on even fewer devices than VeriSign, but I have been unable to find anything like percentage of devices supported.
JavaVerified (UTI Root) seems to be the most widely supported certificate, but the cost and process is different from VeriSign/Thawte.