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  1. #1
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    Nokia Motion Monitor API

    Hello.
    Today I have seen that application on the Windows Phone store... http://www.windowsphone.com/en-us/st...0-18b13515bd8a.

    As far as I know Nokia utilizes the motion sensors to record the activity. This is similar to Core Motion API on iOS 7. Does anybody know if Nokia is going to release any such API for Windows Phones and when?

    Thank you very much.

    Efthymios Kalyviotis

  2. #2
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    Re: Nokia Motion Monitor API

    from what I've heard, the lumia 1520 has some extra hardware that allows for this app and it wouldn't be possible on current phones

  3. #3
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    Re: Nokia Motion Monitor API

    Nokia have special access to APIs that 3rd party developers do not. In this case they're probably using the accelerometer and gyroscope in the background.

    Nokia are (currently) not in a position to announce what new APIs will appear in the future. That said, Windows Phone 8.1 is due out in a few months so we do expect both new APIs and new user features.

  4. #4
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    Re: Nokia Motion Monitor API

    It is really bad that Nokia doesn't public release their APIs. There are a lot of developers trying to create various applications (eg. pedometers) and having Nokia creating such application before a public API gets officially released, this is not a noble (I mean good kind of) competition. Such act leaves independent developers out of the game and points them also to the exit door from the Windows Phone ecosystem.
    I hope that they fix such issues soon.

  5. #5
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    Re: Nokia Motion Monitor API

    Windows Phone is not Nokia's OS so they cannot release such things. If anything, Nokia using such an API indicates that one is likely to appear in the future - this is good news.

    I'm sure the world will continue spinning while we wait for inevitable step-counting apps!

  6. #6
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    Re: Nokia Motion Monitor API

    Quote Originally Posted by theothernt View Post
    Windows Phone is not Nokia's OS so they cannot release such things. If anything, Nokia using such an API indicates that one is likely to appear in the future - this is good news.

    I'm sure the world will continue spinning while we wait for inevitable step-counting apps!
    As you told in a previous post, 'Nokia have special access to APIs that 3rd party developers do not'. Also, after the acquisition of the Nokia's hardware department by Microsoft, Windows Phone is both Nokia's and Microsoft's operating system. Even without the acquisition, Nokia had some kind of exclusive agreement with Microsoft about the Windows Phone devices which means that if the Windows phone ecosystem was going to fail, then Nokia would also fail.
    Take a look at the following app:
    http://www.windowsphone.com/s?appid=...7-3c232dc0eccc

    The above app is made by me and my question is: How can such app compete with a Nokia app that has special access to APIs that 3rd party developers don't?
    What should I do in order to keep my customers happy and don't leave to an other app because of an 'unfair competition'?

  7. #7
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    Re: Nokia Motion Monitor API

    What might or might not happen once the acquisition closes is of little interest until it does. Given that it might still be denied in some jurisdiction Nokia and Microsoft can only continue to work in such a way that they might continue on on their own. Also there is no way for Nokia to release a private API to third party developers as Windows Phone 8 does not allow system calls outside what's provided by the Windows Phone SDK. It at the very least would not be able to pass through Microsoft's certification. So yes: right now there is no way Nokia could open that up to you.

    They also aren't using some Windows Phone API but are likely calling directly into the firmware on the 1520 through a device driver (something that's not possible for 3rd party Apps for security reasons). It's entirely possible that a proper API will be built for the functionality and be made available given that fitness Apps like Runtastic (who are Nokia/Microsoft partners) will no doubt be pushing for it. But we can't tell for sure if it's a priority for them.

    To a certain degree you will on any platform have to live with the possibility that functionality your App provides will be offered by the OS directly or by the OEM. We've seen this happening to landscape keyboards that were a common sight on iPhone OS 2.0 when they added landscape support to the messaging App in iPhone OS 3.0. We've seen it happen again with some Wifi Sync Apps. And we'll see that happen to all the Shortcut Apps on Windows Phone (I have one of those) when Microsoft introduces some form of quick toggles to the OS (as has been rumored for WP8.1).

    It is quite unlikely that Nokia is trying to compete with 3rd party developers by stealing their users away given that they won't gain anything in the process (they don't make any money off their free Apps). They're most likely only concerned with giving users some functionality in the best way possible.

  8. #8
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    Re: Nokia Motion Monitor API

    I think that you are looking at the tree and not the forest. Nokia has invested in Windows Phone ecosystem. If that fails to attract customers then Nokia will fail too. For such ecosystem to be able to atract customers it must have plenty (thousands and even hundreds of thousands) of apps (quality is also a big matter for that). That means that in order for such system to gain in popularity, 3rd party developers must take action and move to that system creating plenty of quality apps. These developers are the driving force of such O/S. These are the best advertisement in order to bring more customers to buy such phones.

    Quote Originally Posted by SB Dev View Post
    What might or might not happen once the acquisition closes is of little interest until it does. Given that it might still be denied in some jurisdiction Nokia and Microsoft can only continue to work in such a way that they might continue on on their own. Also there is no way for Nokia to release a private API to third party developers as Windows Phone 8 does not allow system calls outside what's provided by the Windows Phone SDK. It at the very least would not be able to pass through Microsoft's certification. So yes: right now there is no way Nokia could open that up to you.
    Well... Nokia's app did pass certification. Right? That app makes a kind of system calls outside what is provided by the Windows Phone SDK. Shouldn't it fail?


    Quote Originally Posted by SB Dev View Post
    To a certain degree you will on any platform have to live with the possibility that functionality your App provides will be offered by the OS directly or by the OEM. We've seen this happening to landscape keyboards that were a common sight on iPhone OS 2.0 when they added landscape support to the messaging App in iPhone OS 3.0. We've seen it happen again with some Wifi Sync Apps. And we'll see that happen to all the Shortcut Apps on Windows Phone (I have one of those) when Microsoft introduces some form of quick toggles to the OS (as has been rumored for WP8.1).
    Truly speaking, I don't care what other ecosystems (Android, iPhone, etc.) are doing. This is a real reason for a developer to leave such platform and move to an other one. From a developers side, spending almost 18 months developing an application, serving hundreds of support requests from users over that time and at the end hearing that such functionality is being given directly by the OS or the OEM (not even giving a public API to the developer in order to use such functionality) is really-really bad. Trully speaking it is a waste of time. Who is going to keep me know in the Windows Phone ecosystem when looking at such actions?

    Quote Originally Posted by SB Dev View Post
    It is quite unlikely that Nokia is trying to compete with 3rd party developers by stealing their users away given that they won't gain anything in the process (they don't make any money off their free Apps). They're most likely only concerned with giving users some functionality in the best way possible.
    Then, why don't they release such API and let independent developers give to the users such functionality? Wouldn't it be the best?

  9. #9
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    Re: Nokia Motion Monitor API

    Nokia's Apps released through their private area inside the store to my knowledge don't go through the Microsoft certification. There are other differences as well there. They can target specific devices, 3rd parties can't, etc.

    I know it's frustrating to be in your position and you can of course leave the platform but you won't avoid the issue as it is happening on all platforms all the time. Not for your particular use case maybe but leaving won't avoid it. That's why I brought the alternatives into the discussion.

    I and perhaps anyone else reading this is certainly thinking you're right in wanting that functionality but the scenario that you're painting is that they are actively trying to harm you and that's just not true. Right now the only possibility for them would be to withhold the feature entirely.

    Lastly: they can't release it - it's technically not possible for the reasons I have given you before. The only thing they could do is do nothing and keep the superior version of a step counter from users which will serve neither them nor developers on the platform as people then might migrate somewhere.

  10. #10
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    Re: Nokia Motion Monitor API

    I can accept on some few things you are saying. But think of the following:
    There are a lot of APIs that Nokia has released all that time. Some of them are Nokia Imaging SDK, Maps API, NFC API, Music API, etc. But the claim that Nokia isn't permitted to release such motion API to the public is not accepted at all by me.

    Talking about other platform I think that the best would be if we were talking about Android. It is totally open source and it does not have all these limitations that the Windows Phone O/S have. Check the following link:
    http://www.thisisant.com/
    The ANT+ protocol is supported massively by hundred of manufacturers worldwide. If you ask them about Windows Phone compatibility, of course they will answer you the same way as you did (they don't support it because the Windows Phone ecosystem doesn't allow such thing). This is pretty bad because plenty of health apps would benefit by the usage of such protocol. I can of course really understand that Microsoft perhaps doesn't want to be such open. Probably they want to implement their own protocols for such hardware or perhaps they want to advertise a lot the Bluetooth 4.0 LE protocol in the near future. It is always about marketing and monetization (which I can understand).

    I am not painting any scenario that Nokia is actively trying to harm me and please, do not speak like you are a Nokia employee. Think for the Shortcut app you might have. Think that Nokia has created a custom Bluetooth 4.0 stack distributed with the Amber update. Think whatever other functionality is going to be distributed without officially releasing any public API. I am not talking about me, there are hundreds (maybe thousands) of other developers that are suffering because of such acts. And yes... it hurts me too and it should hurt you too.

    I do believe that the following would be the best for everyone:
    Nokia withhold such feature (as you told) including any other features (eg. Bluetooth 4.0 LE) that they haven't released any public API.
    Every time Nokia creates a new feature, an Alpha version of the API to get distributed to developers to test it only on developer registered phones. This way, developers are going to prepare their applications in order to make them ready to support the new feature that is going to be released in the future and also developers will be able to give suggestions to Nokia and also bug test such functionality before it gets publicly released.

    If Nokia gives such ability, then this will serve the best for both Nokia and developers and for sure people will get state of the art quality software and they are not going to migrate to other platforms.

    Truly speaking, I will be the first to help Nokia by pointing to the possible bugs their new functionality might have and for sure it will increase the speed that new features are being implemented into the Windows Phone ecosystem.

  11. #11
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    Re: Nokia Motion Monitor API

    Quote Originally Posted by ekalyvio View Post
    There are a lot of APIs that Nokia has released all that time. Some of them are Nokia Imaging SDK, Maps API, NFC API, Music API, etc. But the claim that Nokia isn't permitted to release such motion API to the public is not accepted at all by me.
    All of those APIs listed are service based or software based and do not require any hardware are OS changes, although I'm not sure what you mean by the NFC API, as it's already part of the OS?

    Anything like Core Motion would at the very least require a new OS service/driver, a new API and possibly new hardware (which could be in certain Nokia phone only) - don't forget that only the iPhone 5s has the M7 chip, no other iPhone.

  12. #12
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    Re: Nokia Motion Monitor API

    You are right about the NFC. It seems that I have missed it. Although, this doesn't change anything of what I have said bellow. Nokia and Microsoft will have to find a good solution in order to assist developers and not to hurt them. This way, developers will also assist both Nokia & Microsoft in order to evolve their software more and more.

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