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Porting to Nokia Asha

This library helps developers port their applications from other platforms to Nokia Asha software platform. The library compares platforms and gives information on development tools and portability of the application types. It also provides code snippets and example applications for the most important mobile use cases. Whether you are looking for guidance on UX or development, this library will help you in developing apps for Nokia Asha.

Figure 1. Nokia Asha 501

Figure 2. Examples of Series 40 full touch and touch & type devices

Why port to Nokia Asha?

The New Nokia Asha family on the Nokia Asha software platform is the latest evolution of the Series 40 platform — the world's most widely used mobile phone platform, with over 1500 models and an estimated 675 million phones used every day by hundreds of millions of people around the planet. The phones range from entry-level products that provide many mobile consumers their first experience of the internet, to products that offer high performance, rich features, and engaging user experiences — such as the highly successful Nokia Asha family of smartphones.

The popularity has also meant that customers have recently discovered apps, in a big way. Developers benefit from the new revenue enablers, in-app purchasing and in-app advertising, which make the most of the accelerating download rates.

As a developer Nokia Asha gives you, besides expanding your user base and revenue opportunities as such, an advantage to engage and hook smartphone and feature phone users to your application or service for the first time. If those users later switch to other smartphones (or vice versa), they are likely to keep on using your application or service. Nowadays app stores and market places can be quite crowded, and it may in fact be easier to distinguish with high quality apps and services on Nokia Asha. Furthermore, users may also occupy multiple devices (themselves or within the family), in which case having your application or service available on Nokia Asha can increase its usage also on other platforms. Note also that on many markets Series 40 is the most used mobile platform, meaning that the business opportunities locally or for enabling geographical spread of your application or service can be very significant.

More business proof points and reasons to develop for Nokia Asha can be found at http://www.developer.nokia.com/Develop/asha/opportunity.xhtml.

Porting from Android to Nokia Asha

By porting your Android application to Nokia Asha, you can extend your reach and generate revenue from new markets and consumers. Porting to Nokia Asha has become easier with the available SDK and tools and your existing Java expertise. The section of this library on Porting from Android to Nokia Asha provides basic information on the development tools and technology needed, platform comparisons, porting considerations, code snippets, and example porting cases.

We will complement the Android porting section with co-development section soon. As a sneak preview of that material, you can already now have a look at the recent Picasa Viewer example application. It shows how to create an application with Nokia Asha and Android UIs, and demonstrates how to benefit from the platform-agnostic engine code using an open source Tantalum library available in Nokia Developer Projects.

Watch a recording of a Porting Android UI Design to Series 40 Touch webinar from Oct 4 2012, or download it as presentation slides.

Porting from BlackBerry to Nokia Asha

This article introduces how you can port your BlackBerry Java apps to Nokia Asha. BlackBerry devices (up to BlackBerry OS 7.1) and Nokia Asha devices share the same development platform – Java ME. This makes porting from BlackBerry to Nokia Asha quite straightforward and transparent, especially when compared to other mobile platforms. Generic Java ME MIDlets that use the standard set of LCDUI controls, Canvas, GameCanvas, and the basic set of optional JSRs, can be deployed to both BlackBerry and Nokia Asha after platform-specific repackaging. You only need to adapt the user interface and the look & feel of the app to fit to Nokia Asha screen-size and UI style. The familiarity of the programming language, Java, also plays a significant role in simplifying the porting process. Many generic Java ME libraries can be reused on both platforms “as is”.

This document and code examples are currently available in Nokia Developer Wiki.

What's new in July 2013

The library has been updated with information on how to port from Android to Nokia Asha. The library still contains information on porting to Series 40 touch phones.

Where to start / look for additional information?

Question Begin here
What are the benefits of porting to Nokia Asha? See above / Introduction to Nokia Asha
Porting from Android
What type of Android apps can be ported to Nokia Asha? Platform Comparison / Portability of Different Application Types
Can I port my Android game to Nokia Asha? Portability of Different Application Types / Frozen Bubble
Which Nokia Asha / Series 40 devices should I target? Portability of Different Application Types
How can I design my Android app for Nokia Asha? Android UI to Nokia Asha
Which are the corresponding API modules in Nokia Asha? Comparison of the commonly used APIs
Which Java classes can I use in both Android and Nokia Asha? Common classes in Android and Nokia Asha
Can I see some example code? Code Snippets for Common Tasks
Has this been done in practice? Porting Cases / RLinks / Frozen Bubble / Picasa Viewer
How can I make money through Nokia Asha apps? Monetisation
Porting from BlackBerry
What type of BlackBerry apps can be ported to Nokia Asha? Portability of different application types 
Which Nokia Asha / Series 40 devices should I target? Target devices 
How can I modify the UI for Nokia Asha? User interface 
Can I see some example code? UI example / Maps example  


Last updated 21 January 2014

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