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  1. #1
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    Symbian^3 Apps Backward Compatibility...

    Hey, I'm just a new developer here in the UK. I got my Nokia N8 and wanted to develop an app for it.

    My little brother has an N80 (s60v3 device) and some of my friends have the N97 (s60v5).

    My question is this: If I make an app for Symbian^3 devices will they install on the older models?

    The app is NOT power intensive (just does some simple maths and I'll probably using the default text boxes etc.) but what are the procedures to make distributables for s60v3 and s60v5?

    Do let me know on this. That way if I want to publish it on Ovi I can support pretty much every OS

    Thanks.

  2. #2
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    Re: Symbian^3 Apps Backward Compatibility...

    It is possible to develop in Java ME and run your app, not only on other Symbian devices, but also on a wide range of devices from other manufacturers. That's pretty much the point of Java. The distributable files are identical.

    Of course, it's not always quite that simple. Differences in screen size, memory size, and processor performance are all potential stoppers to compatibility. Also, differences in the implementation of the API classes. Availability of APIs varies, implementation choices differ, and some implementations are just plain buggy.

    It doesn't sound like you're planning anything to really push the devices, so I wouldn't expect too many problems. Testing across devices is the key.

    Graham.

  3. #3
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    Re: Symbian^3 Apps Backward Compatibility...

    Thanks Graham, that explains a lot

    I didn't realize that Java for mobile devices was as compatible with pretty much every device as its desktop counterpart

    The reason I asked was because I downloaded the Symbian^3 SDK from the Nokia website, and the emulator installed on my PC is the symbian^3 emulator. So the same jar file created for symbian^3 will work for s60v3 FP1 (Nokia N80) and s60v5 just like that? I will only be using Nokia APIs. Please let me know on this!

    Thanks.

  4. #4
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    Re: Symbian^3 Apps Backward Compatibility...

    Well, there is no automatic guarantee. Java ME doesn't prevent from you from writing incompatible code. Keep everything simple, and test on different devices. You can use remote devices for testing.

    There is no special build process for different devices. Compatibility is just a matter of the code your write.

    Graham.

  5. #5
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    Re: Symbian^3 Apps Backward Compatibility...

    Quote Originally Posted by grahamhughes View Post
    Well, there is no automatic guarantee. Java ME doesn't prevent from you from writing incompatible code. Keep everything simple, and test on different devices. You can use remote devices for testing.

    There is no special build process for different devices. Compatibility is just a matter of the code your write.

    Graham.
    So by this I can safely say the apis used are the same for all symbian devices? I think we use the javaME and symbian api, so would that be compatible with older devices too then? (given that I dont try to code power-hungry stuff or anything crazy)

  6. #6
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    Re: Symbian^3 Apps Backward Compatibility...

    Oh hell no. With each new Edition or Feature pack, new APIs are added. Most of the APIs supported by your N8 didn't even exist when Series 60 came into being. You can check the list of supported APIs (for Nokia devices) on the device specifications page.

    There is no "Symbian API" for Java apps... It's for C++ apps. And there are perhaps 20 or 30 "Java ME" APIs. However, I suspect that most of them would not be applicable to your application. Consider using an older SDK (such as Series 60 3rd). Or, use the Java ME SDK 3.0, and select only the API JAR files that you actually need (and check with device specs to ensure they are available on all the devices you want). You are probably only using CLDC and MIDP APIs, and none of the optional APIs.

    Graham.

  7. #7
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    Re: Symbian^3 Apps Backward Compatibility...

    Quote Originally Posted by grahamhughes View Post
    Oh hell no. With each new Edition or Feature pack, new APIs are added. Most of the APIs supported by your N8 didn't even exist when Series 60 came into being. You can check the list of supported APIs (for Nokia devices) on the device specifications page.

    There is no "Symbian API" for Java apps... It's for C++ apps. And there are perhaps 20 or 30 "Java ME" APIs. However, I suspect that most of them would not be applicable to your application. Consider using an older SDK (such as Series 60 3rd). Or, use the Java ME SDK 3.0, and select only the API JAR files that you actually need (and check with device specs to ensure they are available on all the devices you want). You are probably only using CLDC and MIDP APIs, and none of the optional APIs.

    Graham.
    Perfect, you're right I'm only using MIDP at the moment, in the future I might work on the others, and you're right I am only using JavaME apis as there are no symbian ones, no wonder apps would easily work accross many different pieces of software!

    My extent of programming will probably be MIDP and perhaps a graphics API to support built in keyboard (as opposed to the current way of leaving your api to type something in) so I think for the most part it will all be MIDP, which as far as you've said will work with older Nokia models (namely s60v3 FP1 and s60v5).

    And I will check these programs using nokia remote (do we have to pay for it by the way?)

    Thanks a lot for your help Graham

  8. #8
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    Re: Symbian^3 Apps Backward Compatibility...

    There are both paid-for and free remote device services.

    The SDKs contain emulators, and the Nokia ones are very accurate representations of the real devices.

    Graham.

  9. #9
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    Re: Symbian^3 Apps Backward Compatibility...

    Quote Originally Posted by moltenice View Post
    If I make an app for Symbian^3 devices will they install on the older models?
    See "binary compatibility report between S60 5th Edition and Symbian^3 on ARM".

    See also Nokia Developer's Library > Nokia Symbian^3 Developer's Library v1.1 > Porting applications from S60 5th Edition to Symbian^3 > API Changes and Compatibility Breaks.

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