View Full Version : The horror that is Nokia Download!


Rafe
25-09-2008, 06:34 PM
Even before Apple's iPhone App Store and Google's Android Marketplace Nokia's Download! service was mediocre. Now it looks decidedly sub-standard. In this feature article Tzer2 takes a detailed look at what's wrong with Download, asks whether a third party could step in and gives some pointers about the right way to do things.

Read on in the full article (http://www.allaboutsymbian.com/news/item/8151_The_horror_that_is_Nokia_Downl.php).

Rafe
25-09-2008, 06:41 PM
We well aware that it is complicated providing a better experience across multiple devices (and more particularly across multiple operators). However that doesn't excuse many or the problems that do exist.

One of the interesting things is that Download! eveolved out of Catalog. The original intention of Catalog was to provide a framework for others to provide app stores (catalogs). Each big content provider could have their own Catlog within Download! That distinction is much less obvious now. The categories are just confusing.

Personally I think the Catalog approach had it merits, but the framework was a bit dodgy and only the big companies could get it. Why not open up Download completely so that anyone can add their own catalog or folder. Companies could pay to be there by default, but it could also be possible to add a folder/provider (e.g. AAS could provide a collection of our favourite games or freeware). Have a standard XML files that sit on a server and gets updated - you get the idea. Maybe even do it by adding an extension to RSS?

Enfors
25-09-2008, 06:53 PM
Hear, hear!

Excellent points, all of them. I'm sure this is one of the reasons why the state of S60 software is so appalling. Another reason, I think, is that S60 is very difficult to program in C++ for.

kontraband
25-09-2008, 07:17 PM
its true. Download is appalling. I'd be weary of the merits tho of shipping it to a third party to manage. It does need an overhaul to make it a good portal to use for purchasing, accessing new content etc etc. It could be so much more.

Tzer2
25-09-2008, 07:47 PM
Excellent points, all of them. I'm sure this is one of the reasons why the state of S60 software is so appalling. Another reason, I think, is that S60 is very difficult to program in C++ for.

The good S60 apps already exist, just take a look at AAS's review section for all the ones that score over 80%.

The problem lies entirely in the fact that there's no mechanism for getting these good apps into the hands of potential S60-owning customers. No mechanism means no sales, which means no money for more apps.

It doesn't matter how easy a platform is to program for, if you can't sell software you don't have a healthy ecosystem.

S60 owners probably don't know they own an S60 device because it's not mentioned anywhere on the packaging or interface, so they're extremely unlikely to buy S60 games from Handango etc.

The only way round this problem is an on-phone app shop, but as the article explains, Download! is not up to the job.

Tzer2
25-09-2008, 08:06 PM
Why not open up Download completely so that anyone can add their own catalog or folder. Companies could pay to be there by default, but it could also be possible to add a folder/provider (e.g. AAS could provide a collection of our favourite games or freeware). Have a standard XML files that sit on a server and gets updated - you get the idea. Maybe even do it by adding an extension to RSS?

I did actually think something similar, perhaps on the same basis as the Podcasting application. To some extent you can already do this with websites, just tell people to go to mywebsite.com/myapps and they can install SIS files direct from the browser. If you advertise the URL and make it simple and memorable, it's effectively the same thing as having your own download system.

However, on reflection I personally wouldn't want to see a dedicated app shop taking all-comers with no quality control. Apart from the malware risks there's the almost as bad risk of really terrible apps.

It's like those open source music sites: there are one or two competent tracks but it's impossible to find them because they're buried under the utter rubbish produced by everyone else. They rapidly become useless because there's nothing to filter out the really bad stuff, and you soon give up hope.

As it says in the Lucky Lotto article, in the 1980s a lot of "bedroom coder" teenagers managed to write successful commercial software with no budget at all, but part of the reason it was successful was because it passed through the quality control processes of its publisher. Publishers don't just benefit creators by publishing content, they benefit customers by filtering content too (i.e. refusing to publish total dreck).

Enfors
25-09-2008, 08:48 PM
The good S60 apps already exist, just take a look at AAS's review section for all the ones that score over 80%.

I disagree. Current S60 software isn't significantly better than, for example, Palm PDA software was 10 years ago. Just look at the PIM software. Back in 1998, Palm owners complained that Palm's Todo, Calendar, Memo (notes), etc only supported 15 categories. Today, 10 years later, Nokia's S60 software still doesn't support categories at all. And that's just one example where 10 year old Palm software was better than current S60 software. There are many others.

So why is it that S60 software is so bad?

1) It is obvious to anyone who buys a PDA such as a Palm device that you can install 3rd party applications on it - after all, it is a pocket computer. This is not so for S60 devices. This means that a bigger percentage of PDA owners go looking for 3rd party software. A bigger market means that more people will make programs. This is difficult to change.

2) Palm devices were relatively easy to program for - from what I understand, a lot easier than S60 devices are (with C++). For this reason, I can't believe Nokia aren't pushing Python more than they do, since Python is a lot easier to program in than S60 C++.

3) All Palm owners knew that the place to get software was www.palmgear.com. There is no equivalent web site for S60 that is as well known as palmgear.com was (no, handango.com is not as well known among S60 owners as palmgear.com was among Palm owners). And that is where this rant fits into the current discussion - it is too difficult for new S60 users to find 3rd party software (or to even realize that it exists). It's spread all over the web. In the case of Palm, you could find all software on palmgear.com. That is why it would be great if Nokia's Download! service contained basically all S60 software.

lithgow
25-09-2008, 11:24 PM
I agree that this is a serious issue: see here (http://smartdreaming.blogspot.com/2008/09/happy-medium-building-smartphone-app.html) for my take.

However, Tzer2 is way off track in suggesting some form of filtering from the shop owner based on "quality" of the software. It's much better to have a good feedback/rating system to handle the problem of rubbish apps. Asking the shop owner to filter stuff based on anything other than Symbian Signed style rules is just suicide -- I thought Apple's recent experiences would have made that abundantly clear by now.

Also, I don't think Nokia are really the right people to do this. Too much of a conflict of interest.

However, Nokia do need to promote it and ship it on the firmware.

Also, not really sure that an app is completely necessary -- all the operator portals are web-based now and work fine. Having said that, though, S60 browser is pretty dire at handling this stuff, so perhaps Opera should be on the phone to run useful web-app stuff. ;) (Just joking: a widget would work fine for this sort of thing, and the S60 browser already supports this.)

Unregistered
26-09-2008, 02:31 AM
Can someone please confirm if Ovi will eventually replace Download! for all kinds of purchases such as maps, games, music, applications, etc. on the S60 smartphones?

Tzer2
26-09-2008, 07:57 AM
Also, I don't think Nokia are really the right people to do this. Too much of a conflict of interest.

How? They make the hardware but they don't make any apps (except for the built-in stuff and the occasional N-Gage game).

It's to their advantage to have lots of good apps available for sale on their phones, and to the publishers advantage to have a place to sell them. I can't see how anyone would suffer from such a situation.


However, Nokia do need to promote it and ship it on the firmware.

Nokia aren't going to put something in the firmware over which they have no control. That's not a realistic proposition.



I disagree. Current S60 software isn't significantly better than, for example, Palm PDA software was 10 years ago.

I think S60 is FAR better than Palm was 10 years ago, at least in the gaming area that I specialise in. No mobile devices had games like this 10 years ago:

http://www.allaboutsymbian.com/reviews/item/Lament_Island_for_S60_3rd_Edition_Review.php

I don't use PIM stuff much so I bow to your greater knowledge in that area, but there are a LOT of S60 apps out there which people would want to buy if they knew about them. A central app store that everyone knows about is vital to let people know those apps exist and let them buy them easily.



However, Tzer2 is way off track in suggesting some form of filtering from the shop owner based on "quality" of the software. It's much better to have a good feedback/rating system to handle the problem of rubbish apps.

If a good feedback system was possible then I might agree with you, but I don't think it is possible, at least not in a mobile app store.

Feedback systems on app download retailers are either useless because people do things like review the demo and post off topic (as on N-Gage) or no one offers any feedback (as on Handango, Clickgamer and other download retailers where very few titles have ANY feedback).

Also, the restricted nature of text entry on mobile devices discourages phone users from writing detailed reviews even if they want to.

Worst of all, feedback is wide open to abuse with the more unscrupulous authors of apps planting good reviews for themselves and bad reviews for their rivals. Numerical ratings are also open to abuse of the same kind.

Just to give an example, here's Handango's feedback for Lucky Lotto (which I can tell you right now is the worst app ever written):

Five Stars - Actually Works

A reviewer from Folkestone Kent, 2008-03-02 11:29:44

"I bought this software as a bit of fun never really appreciating its true worth. It is absolutely astounding that I have done the lottery for years with very little success but since purchasing this software I have had numerous wins very regularly. I have just received another notification today of yet another win. Just waiting for the big one now."


Five Stars - The Best Thing for Playing the Lottery!

A reviewer from Austin, TX, 2006-11-16 06:56:28

"I play the lottery often and Lucky Lotto really comes in handy. I won 82 bucks the other day using it and I just had to tell someone. It helps take all the quess work away. It's cool that my friends can also use it too by entering their birthday and getting results just for them. If you play the lottery you really need this. The win I got the other day already more than paid for itself. I'm just waiting to hit the big jackpot next :)"

Now no one is going to believe those reviews, but they show that the system is being abused.


Asking the shop owner to filter stuff based on anything other than Symbian Signed style rules is just suicide -- I thought Apple's recent experiences would have made that abundantly clear by now.

NO rules other than Symbian Signed? You wouldn't filter apps which don't work properly? How long do you think any shop would last if it knowingly sold products that didn't work?

I'm not suggesting that any filter would be particularly strict, and I'm certainly not suggesting an Apple-style system where useful apps are excluded for commercial reasons.

All I mean is that apps which have no possible appeal to anyone should be excluded. All I'm suggesting is that apps like this:

http://www.allaboutsymbian.com/features/item/The_Importance_of_Quality_Control_in_Smartphone_Ap plication_Sales_or_Why_Lucky_Lotto_is_Complete_Pan ts.php

should not be included in any web shop, because there's no possible audience for them.

This filtering is vital if you want to build confidence in a shop. People expect retailers to have some kind of minimum quality control. At the moment most app shops have no real quality control and it's very difficult to distinguish the good stuff from the bad. If you buy a game at random from the S60 Games section on Handango, chances are that it will actually be some really poor Java or Flash Lite title with no redeeming qualities, which will put people off buying S60 games ever again.



Can someone please confirm if Ovi will eventually replace Download! for all kinds of purchases such as maps, games, music, applications, etc. on the S60 smartphones?

Ovi is just an umbrella brand for Nokia's online services, it's not a service or technology in itself. Ovi consists of many different services using many different technologies (Maps, N-Gage, Share, Files, Sync etc).

It may be that any future version of Download! will carry the Ovi branding, but that's just a question of the name.

svdwal
26-09-2008, 07:58 AM
One of the most important aspects of the AppStore is that it allows micropayments. To give Download! the same impact it needs to be able to handle micropayments too at very low transaction costs.

Further, people are forgetting about consumer protection laws. In the EU, if a product is defective, the shop that sold you the product is liable, not the manufacturer of the product. The shop will have to reimburse you, not the manufacturer.

This means that a shop operator, if he wants to stay in business, has no option but to do some kind of quality control on the products he sells. Manufacturers might not like that, but you cannot force a shop owner to stock products that give him too much trouble.

Enfors
26-09-2008, 08:12 AM
I think S60 is FAR better than Palm was 10 years ago, at least in the gaming area that I specialise in. No mobile devices had games like this 10 years ago:

http://www.allaboutsymbian.com/reviews/item/Lament_Island_for_S60_3rd_Edition_Review.php


Granted. Today's S60 games are pretty good compared to the old Palm games, but I'd say that's mostly because of superiour hardware.

Handango.com lists 2355 applications as being compatible with my N93. That's nothing considering how many S60 devices are sold. There were easily 3 times as many applications available for Palm on palmgear.com 10 years ago. There is definitely a problem here, and it needs to be fixed ASAP. How long will it take before the iPhone (with its much smaller market share) has more software titles available than S60 does?

Tzer2
26-09-2008, 08:32 AM
Enfors, I do totally agree S60 apps could be better and more numerous, but I think that's largely a product of S60 owners not even knowing they own a smartphone.

S60 devices aren't sold as smartphones, they're just sold as phones, and most people seem to think they can only run Java (which is reinforced by all the Java titles in Download!). There's no "S60" branding on the devices or their interface or in any of the advertising, so how could anyone be expected to know they owned such a device?

When S60 launched there were SO many companies who started out with high hopes and then abandoned it due to lack of sales. They tried, they did good stuff, but no one noticed.

The audience exists (50 million S60 devices sold a year), the developers exist (look at all the apps AAS has reviewed), but no one is putting them together.

At the end of the day it's sales that drive any business, and software development is no exception. If S60 app sales went up, there would be more money in the ecosystem, and even more and better S60 apps would be developed to try and get this extra money.



One of the most important aspects of the AppStore is that it allows micropayments. To give Download! the same impact it needs to be able to handle micropayments too at very low transaction costs.

The N-Gage app also allows micropayments, the games cost 7 to 10 euros to buy in full, but you can rent them for 1 or 2 euros per day so they can clearly handle very small amounts of money. These can be charged straight to the phone bill so there's no need to feed any credit card info (though you can use a card if you prefer). There's also talk of having paper vouchers which could be bought with cash, similar to those sold for Skype, Habbo etc.

Nokia (or a third party) could use similar payment options in a more general app shop.



Further, people are forgetting about consumer protection laws. In the EU, if a product is defective, the shop that sold you the product is liable, not the manufacturer of the product. The shop will have to reimburse you, not the manufacturer.

This means that a shop operator, if he wants to stay in business, has no option but to do some kind of quality control on the products he sells. Manufacturers might not like that, but you cannot force a shop owner to stock products that give him too much trouble.

That's a good point, and even without consumer laws people will naturally avoid a shop that seems to stock very poor products.

On the other hand, consumer laws only require apps to work as advertised, so apps like Lucky Lotto may get away with being totally awful because they promise so little.

bartmanekul
26-09-2008, 09:01 AM
Enfors, I do totally agree S60 apps could be better and more numerous, but I think that's largely a product of S60 owners not even knowing they own a smartphone.

S60 devices aren't sold as smartphones, they're just sold as phones, and most people seem to think they can only run Java (which is reinforced by all the Java titles in Download!). There's no "S60" branding on the devices or their interface or in any of the advertising, so how could anyone be expected to know they owned such a device?


And theres the main problem, that and no central point for applications (I dont count download!, its simply too dire).

The N95 rightly got some good advertising. But I never saw anything about 3rd party applications.

Nokia always puts the onus on the handsets themselves, never seemingly trying to make the general masses aware that you can install other things on it.

A lot of people dissapointed with Nokia Maps want to return the handset, as they are not aware you can get other GPS programs for it.

Nokia should pump out some heavy advertising showing a few choice applications you can install.

However, it would be a good idea to make somewhere central to direct people to first...


To grab the general masses, you need to make it easy. Really easy.

In fact, the mechanics are almost there. PC suite detects what phone you have connected with.

Surely its only a small step from there to show a nice, easy navigatable UI of all the apps that apply to your phone. And they could also do this with S40 phones, which I understand have a much bigger userbase.

IMO, the very simple act of adding a leaflet/slip of paper in every handset box saying something like 'Go to www.nokia Apps.com for games, applications and more.' would increase awareness tenfold.

Rather than just having 'supports Java xx applications and S60 V3 apps' buried in the manual.

Enfors
26-09-2008, 09:04 AM
Enfors, I do totally agree S60 apps could be better and more numerous, but I think that's largely a product of S60 owners not even knowing they own a smartphone.

S60 devices aren't sold as smartphones, they're just sold as phones, and most people seem to think they can only run Java (which is reinforced by all the Java titles in Download!). There's no "S60" branding on the devices or their interface or in any of the advertising, so how could anyone be expected to know they owned such a device?


I think that's a very good point. Nokia needs to change this, but I don't think they won't. Why? Well...

I used to listen to the Voice of S60 podcast. The host usually interviewed prominent Nokia employees. He always used to ask them what applications they had installed on their phones. Most of them said none. They were content with the software that came preinstalled on their phones. If even prominent Nokia employees don't run 3rd party applications on their phones, there's little hope that they'll realize that they need to do something to educate their users that their phones support 3rd party applications.

I think this is because Nokia comes from a "phone" background, as opposed to a "PDA" background. They don't realize the value of the PDA / pocket computer aspect of their own smartphones.

svdwal
26-09-2008, 09:06 AM
That's a good point, and even without consumer laws people will naturally avoid a shop that seems to stock very poor products.

On the other hand, consumer laws only require apps to work as advertised, so apps like Lucky Lotto may get away with being totally awful because they promise so little.
A shop operator, especially one with a reputation to protect, is unlikely to offer software of low quality, whether real or perceived. Nokia (and Apple) are high-value brands with a stock value to match. You cannot expect them to dilute that brand value.

Then there's the other developers with a stake in the success of an AppStore. If the built-in store gets a reputation for selling complete and utter rubbish, everybody suffers.

Unregistered
26-09-2008, 09:44 AM
:Another reason, I think, is that S60 is very difficult to program in C++ for.

That's nonsense. Symbian and S60 programming is a doddle. It's different but not difficlut.

Enfors
26-09-2008, 09:51 AM
:Another reason, I think, is that S60 is very difficult to program in C++ for.

That's nonsense. Symbian and S60 programming is a doddle. It's different but not difficlut.

You're the first one I've ever heard say that. On the other hand, I've heard plenty of people saying S60 C++ is a mess.

ltv
26-09-2008, 10:05 AM
[IMO, the very simple act of adding a leaflet/slip of paper in every handset box saying something like 'Go to www.nokia Apps.com for games, applications and more.' would increase awareness tenfold.]

When the SE P1i was released in India (I don't know about other places), it was advertised in newspapers by saying that one could download about 100 USD worth of applications free of cost from the p1-choice.com site.
And they made good on their promise too....the site has some high quality apps. I could download pretty much everything that I really needed without spending anything extra other that buying the phone.
Also 100 USD is quite sufficient (for me)....the total cost of third party apps that I have bought for my current e90 would also be in the same range (~120 USD).
Don't think that offer is still on , though.

I also remember that there was a link in the p1i's standby menu - "more apps and downloads" or something like that.

Unregistered
26-09-2008, 10:12 AM
Can someone please confirm if Ovi will eventually replace Download! for all kinds of purchases such as maps, games, music, applications, etc. on the S60 smartphones?

I asked (Ovi) about this and they just pointed me to these two links:

Nokia Software Market
http://www.softwaremarket.nokia.com/

Nokia Download Store
http://www.download.nokia.com/

When I then asked about at least providing those links on the Ovi site, the response was that they are already on the Nokia site.

Jejoma
26-09-2008, 10:20 AM
I must confess to being slighly confused. I recently purchased my first Nokia, an E71, and under Download! I only see the following folders:
Applications, News&Info, Office, Communication and Freetime.

None of the folders have much in them and I rarely check them. Does this article refer to the N-series only?

ltv
26-09-2008, 10:34 AM
This article set me thinking and I was trying to list the ways in which Nokia tries to promote the fact that more applications can be installed on an S60 phone. Well, there is
a) the download applications menu option
b) the download applications bookmark in the browser
c) software market bookmark in the browser
d) pre-installed applications
e) download!

On the web , there is
a) the download store
b) mosh
c) beta labs
d) support pages

It is not that they aren't doing enough to advertise the phone's capabilities.
But as this article points out, it feels almost criminal not to have enough applications backing all this advertising.
For example, when I launch the download applications bookmark, I am taken to a page that lists only Wellness Diary and Sports Tracker. Surely only beta labs itself has more graduates than those two.

svdwal
26-09-2008, 11:37 AM
I asked (Ovi) about this and they just pointed me to these two links:

Nokia Software Market
http://www.softwaremarket.nokia.com/

Nokia Download Store
http://www.download.nokia.com/


The Download Store actually looks very good (at least from a Mac). The only problem I can see is that there isn't a price anywhere to be seen, and there are some devices missing (like the E90).

Not showing any prices isn't a good idea, I think. Tell people they can pay for the app by SMS, through their phone bill, or Paypal or by credit card, or whatever. Or tell people that the app is free of charge. The message I get from the Nokia Download site is: "if you have to ask for the price, you cannot afford it".

bartmanekul
26-09-2008, 11:44 AM
The Download Store actually looks very good (at least from a Mac). The only problem I can see is that there isn't a price anywhere to be seen, and there are some devices missing (like the E90).


And, theres only 2 main categories - applications, and games.

And considering theres no search function...browsing is a nightmare.

developer-cpp
26-09-2008, 08:47 PM
Download! is a shame for Nokia and a pain for us, the unfortunate users of N series or E series that didn't know when we made the choice about the release of Apples's iPhone 3G and Google's Android G1 which have AppStore and Android Market.

Download! should have been an application like AppStore long time ago.

Nokia just looses the market and the potential new customers.

Yes, the smart-phones are not anymore only phones and people want more from them, but Nokia just does not undesrtand or it is very slow in its movements... like a big-fat corporation with no people like Steve Jobs or Google founders in their management. Nokia looks like a no brainer company. Looks stumbling, groggy, with no clear direction and very confused. I'm writing this maybe some fat-brain manager from Nokia reads this and speeds up something...

I knew about MOSH, I know about SoftwareMarket.nokia.com and about Download.Nokia.com and I know about the S60.com selection of free applications... BUT

A Central place application with an Icon on the main desktop (like "Download!" icon currently is, but unfortunately with no good application when you click it) is more than necessary.

The Download folders have just few (under 5) applications in each section and the content differs on phones and countries.

Here, in North America, there is now folder/section "What's new" or "Try for free"...

And to have a selection of software based on each country, based on each N or E phone is equal dumbness IMHO because too much effort is waisted. Why not to make a Download! or Ovi download! application generally available and people can go themselves to the categories they want?

A system of not registered user rating (1 to 5) and/or comments is absolutelly a necessity.
Let the user to the filtering, not the company (except applications that are illegal).

Why Nokia does not say when or if we will benefit from such a simple and necessary application?

Unregistered
04-01-2009, 09:44 PM
Why is it when a small guy blogs about this nobody searches to see if anyone discussed this and integrate/dialog thoughts?? No credit. I've discussed this several months ago - and begun to take action.

But I cannot do this alone - while Director of Symbian has given hope in all of us - the community to assist. They did consider a third party to revamp the Download! application store front. But to do this without affecting coders is difficult because many 3rd partys would want recognition or brand to stamp on it.

Please check my blog - and my posts on both HowardForums & Symbian-Freak. I'll try to subsequently post here as well.

my blog: seriousmobile.blogspot . com / 2008/11/ symbian-foundation-s60-mobile-appsocial.html( Saturday, November 1, 2008 )

Mission 1: Download Remix! (12-19-2008, 03:10 )
howardforums . com / showthread.php?t=1474471

Common ppl we the users the S60 Community and the coders can do this on our own and submitt a proposal to Nokia.

jagga
04-01-2009, 09:46 PM
Why is it when a small guy blogs about this nobody searches to see if anyone discussed this and integrate/dialog thoughts?? No credit. I've discussed this several months ago - and begun to take action.

But I cannot do this alone - while Director of Symbian has given hope in all of us - the community to assist. They did consider a third party to revamp the Download! application store front. But to do this without affecting coders is difficult because many 3rd partys would want recognition or brand to stamp on it.

Please check my blog - and my posts on both HowardForums & Symbian-Freak. I'll try to subsequently post here as well.

my blog: seriousmobile.blogspot . com / 2008/11/ symbian-foundation-s60-mobile-appsocial.html( Saturday, November 1, 2008 )

Mission 1: Download Remix! (12-19-2008, 03:10 )
howardforums . com / showthread.php?t=1474471

Common ppl we the users the S60 Community and the coders can do this on our own and submitt a proposal to Nokia.

jagga
04-01-2009, 10:01 PM
Why is it when a small guy blogs about this nobody searches to see if anyone discussed this and integrate/dialog thoughts?? No credit. I've discussed this several months ago - and begun to take action.

But I cannot do this alone - while Director of Symbian has given hope in all of us - the community to assist. They did consider a third party to revamp the Download! application store front. But to do this without affecting coders is difficult because many 3rd partys would want recognition or brand to stamp on it.

Please check my blog - and my posts on both HowardForums & Symbian-Freak. I'll try to subsequently post here as well.

my blog: seriousmobile.blogspot . com / 2008/11/ symbian-foundation-s60-mobile-appsocial.html( Saturday, November 1, 2008 )

Mission 1: Download Remix! (12-19-2008, 03:10 )
howardforums . com / showthread.php?t=1474471

Common ppl we the users the S60 Community and the coders can do this on our own and submitt a proposal to Nokia.

A synopsis or my post on HowardForums ... I'll repost here because originally I was afraid to post for fear of retaliation from owners of this site since selling applications is a form of revenue.

Hmm where do I begin?


Quote:
Originally Posted by SeriousMobile

[QUOTE=Prom1 SeriousMobileBlog]

Serious Mobile (http://seriousmobile.blogspot.com/2008/11/symbian-foundation-s60-mobile-appsocial.html)

There is something manufacturers are doing recently that is waking up for the programming & user communities alike. At first it looked like a fad that the iPhone ushered in, until a fairly unknown non-professional programmer made over $1 million in sales for her application that was submitted in the ‘App Store’.

Yes, that’s right this App Store for smartphones is not a fad! However, the way they’re designed and implemented is still sort of a joke to those Smartphone consumers looking for more than just games or the 1/5 utilities offered. It’s more of an insult than a joke to long time Symbian users on many fronts; the most insulting is that the App Store or S60’s Download! Application (it’s been around for years now), does not offer very well known or unknown & powerful applications, utilities, nor support the entrepreneur/student programmer.

RIM has recently made their version of it for the BlackBerry, but went one step further by allowing providers have their own app store for their offerings (apps, themes, ringtones, wallpapers, video clips, etc). My E71 has browser bookmarks, preloaded by Nokia, for themes, wallpapers, ringtones – yet when I load them the site is a dead end, informing me no content is available and to try again later. When on Earth is later, I get this same message for 2mths now! If I didn’t have such strong communities like Symbian-Freak, All about Symbian, and HowardForums, I wouldn’t be able to find applications, let alone the names of them to utilize (for a Google/yahoo search) the full capabilities on my S60 powerhouse.

A Smartphone is only as good as the apps available/compatible for it, and that its user can find to use (purchase/freeware download)! Other than that it’s just a glorified feature phone.

With this in mind there are some things that the S60 community, Nokia and the upcoming Symbian Foundation need, nah, MUST do for S60’s dominance, elegance, and power to truly shine in the face of a struggling market and with new competition (Apple OS, Android OS, LiMo Foundation).

Why? Why do we need a revamp of Nokia “Download!” ?

Do we really need a revamp, an overhaul? Why do we need to take the concept of a centralized download store/center as a central destination for our applications? This concept, pioneered by Apple (or at least first marketed by Apple), is getting emulated/copied by just about ever other hardware & software company out there. This concept is used on by Apple (iPhone), RIM (Bold & upcoming models), Andriod (on the HTC G1 for T-Mobile & soon Lenovo’s Andriod), and now even the upcoming Palm OS handhelds (& now for current WM devices).

Symbian OS being around in any iteration for more than 10years (Psion) and on S60 for almost just as long, has not only THE largest software catalog, but also the largest Unique & Quality applications. Anyone considering assembling a list of such a massive amount of applications is either crazy, willing to sacrifice their reputation, or a glutten for punishment.

Considering I hardly have a reputation online – I’ve blogged about this subject & a few others over the past 3/4mths and only 2 people have ever visited or bothered to even post; so I figured why not.

Many attempts have been made to create a consolidated list of applications in various types “Post your favorite apps, post your top 10 apps, post your most used/10 apps” etc. Not just on this forum but on many others as well (incl Symbian-freak, AllAboutSymbian, MySymbian, Mobile-Review etc). And all with great lists from purists & new Symbian users alike – I myself am overwhelmed to consolidate them. However, among these large & useful threads (we can use them to source this one too), I noticed a few trends – not for the better occurring. Among these trends are:


Repeated application choices (the most popular)

Hardly any have a synopsis/explanation of what each app offers/does.

Application Performance. (This is usually brought out in individual threads, yet rarely discussing versions. Issues/improvements related to them installing, running, upgrades, etc.)


Don’t get me wrong. These threads are awesome and over the past few years are better laid out; I’m sure others such as myself are VERY grateful for those that contributed to them. Simply a list – our 1st goal – is NOT enough; else this would be just another thread to eventual die – and if lucky make it to sticky status just before that. To be honest I feel that Nokia – with plans to go 1yr in advance – before implementing Nokia Music Store or Symbian Foundation and even S60 5Th Edition should have improved upon the Download! Application. Actually, Nokia, Fujitsu, Motorola, Samsung, and SonyEricsson, etc are all at Fault (S60, Nokia Beta, etc)for not thinking of this before Apple.

Ok Ok! I hear yah ... “Enough babbling and get too it!” So whats the real purpose of this thread.

jagga
04-01-2009, 10:02 PM
A complete comprehensive list (as best as we can do) of ALL current applications that S60, UIQ, and MOAP users can browse, investigate and link directly to the source. Something as a 1 stop reference that mainstay users can show new users asking questions on.

This comprehensive list (again, By the Users, For the Users) should assist the new Symbian Foundation compile the nuances of how each of the Symbian applications from their respective GUI’s offer to end users. Also to help them investigate specific/unique abilities bring to each platform and generate ideas for a more complete OS for 2010 no matter what handset we purchase from any manufacturer.

A look at a new front end for Consumers. Definitely a new GUI of the app on the handset end most likely on the PC Suite as well and a Web HTML side? The proposed GUI (by the majority of YOU all), must have an Efficient (Fast and easy to use), Powerful (thought out for quickest navigation and useful even with application list updates), and elegant (inviting & doesn’t take away from the content). If you look at the Apple AppStore you notice all those commercials show it in portrait mode, not landscape. Can you imagine finger-scrolling through all the utilities available on S60 this way? Not efficient at all and would blurr the eyes of any user. However we’ll work on the GUI when this app list is just about complete or when the majority of us concede that our effort is well done.

The final stage is to propose this to Nokia & the Symbian Foundation via Direct key contact emails within each organization (professional emails in nature, not threatening). S60 Wishlist postings (I tried a 7 part already). Blog posts – hosts of blogs are members of this very community (check your fellow posters’ signatures you’ll see who they are and how respected by Nokia they are; myself the exception hehe).


Now keep in mind this is NOT limited to S60 (Although majority of suggestions will be), nor will it be limited to S60 Carbide UI (C++ apps). This should also included Ruby, Py60, freeware, shareware, purchase & subscription apps – even hardware/software services that are application interfaced. With your suggestions to the applications please, post a very brief synopsis of what your suggested application does, cost (only if any), location or URL of the app suggested, and compatibility (S60v3.1/2 or v5, UIQ 3, MOAP, FlashLite 2/3).

jagga
04-01-2009, 10:03 PM
I don’t know HOW this initiative will be received from sites such as MySymbian or Handango and from developers & companies associated with them for sale of their works. This may cause some friction or hostilities – IF successful on all fronts – as it may pull away potential sales & revenues from them. And it may also be the sole reason why Nokia or the Symbian Foundation have not done this themselves. However, there are a few benefits. More traffic to their sites – links pointing to direct sources for sales or to participating resellers from a more active community responding to this? Eventual lack of costs in ticketing, storage, and other server costs associated in selling these applications. Lastly maybe even proposing thoughts or a side initiative IF again successful for Symbian Foundation to allow a separate download central store (like what RIM is proposing to providers) for their own implementation??

Apple was able to do this with great ease because they started from scratch hardly even 100 applications initially. RIM had a few more but their off to a great start because their community already started (Crackberry.com already had an app store via an application that fronted their server for sales). But in either case BOTH had a Team of individuals and a supporting community. Unfortunately their team was PAID in full for their efforts and I cannot offer that myself – as I myself am currently unemployed and help with another initiative at a local bar for free. I cannot begin or maintain nor deliver the fruits of this ALL by myself. I need your help, everyone. Really need ALL your help, please. I personally believe this can be done and done well. However, if many of you either comment stating its not worth the effort, or hardly any interest at all in this occurs, then I’ll concede.

Mods: A special request. Could you kindly, allow this post to be continuously edited or sourced to the Wiki for the life of this thread? Also can you please allow links to other forums in an attempt to help collaborate this initiative from the users by the users please? Of course other standard site rules would be respected: NO WAREZ please! (torrents or hacking sites like quickie marts etc – you get what I mean if - will be tolerated else this initiative if it takes off will not be respected by Symbian Foundation)

An example of a layout would be …

Browsers
Communications (Email, IM, VOIP SIP/PBX; all of these for Corporate or Consumer)
Games (Obviously non-NGage)
Financial (Money, Debt, or Expense management apps. Apps for Trading, Markets etc)
GPS
Health (Nokia Wellness Diary 1.25)
Media (Music Players, Movie Players - Hardware/Software services like Huna/Sling)
Themes (Wallpapers not needed) - Landscape or Portrait
Utilities
Social & Web Collaboration/Creation Tools (the later I'm sure will be coming)
Ruby & PyS60 ... I'm still considering if these should be seperated. They have for quite a while and remained as low exposure which is unfair to these talented developers so pls comment.

An example of suggestions I guess would be ...

jagga
04-01-2009, 10:03 PM
Media
- Audio/Music

Nokia PodcastingWhere: Nokia Podcasting Main Site
Cost: Free or integrated.
Compatibility: S60v3.1/2, and soon S60v5 (if not already)
Synopis: Great podcast application. Allows manual podcast site input by the user, or comb through an immense & quickly growing list managed excellently by Nokia. Sick mention goes to RCadden's Mobile Guru is listed.
Ultra MP3 by LonelyCatGamesWHERE: Ultra MP3
COST: $5.99 US - maybe this should be left out as prices change often.
Compatibility: Version: 1.52 Symbian v3.1/3.2/5
Synopsis: UltraMP3 loads and plays music in MP3 and OGG format, as well as MOD, XM, IT, S3M. Fully Skinable.

Its possible that some applications' categories may be skewed & up to descretion depending on how you look at it. For example.

Communications - Email, IM, VOIP. All of these mediums are used to communicate with another individual or group. Exchange Server 2007, Lotus Domino, and soon Novel Groupwise all offer Unified Messaging (Collaboration) in this regard. However, some Utilities - such as RSA SecureID SoftToken is used to allow for Remote Email access or for network share (mapped drives, etc) access as well. Without it (with or without a unique VPN Utility) no remote connection is allowed; yet 1 of the servers I mentioned allow remote connections solely on its own without the need for VPN (SSL over html: MS Exchange 2K7) or RSA. Because of this, I'm specifically including RSA under communications - unless disputed. But this is an example where feedback will be needed.

Communications

Security: CorporateRSA SecureID SoftToken
Where: hyperlinked above.
Cost: unknown as its provided upon registration on their site or via a corporations licensing & IT Manager/Infrastructure Manager contact/negotiation.
Synopsis: Those familiar with an RSA HardToken will understand the need for 128-256bit secure encryption to corporate resources which include Local PC access, Remote Email, Remote network share (server/files) access with or without - usually with - a VPN software. An RSA SecureID Soft/Hard Token has a specific "key" that changes every 60seconds randomly and is timed so that if off by 60seconds the "key" is no longer valid. Technical Support syncs Previous/Next Tokens to avoid a Temporary, then Permanent disabled SecureID.

My synopsis for RSA SoftToken above was extensive due to the fact that not a lot of public companies use it and its not widely known. Very few corporations are required by federal governments to implement it.


Nokia … S60 is not only about devices and the apps available, it’s the community behind that gave it its strength. We’re trying to help S60 grow, its time you and your collaboration of partners get to help those apps know the community as well.


This CAN be down by us ... the S60/UIQ community ... end users and coders alike. There doesn't NEED to be an extra exhorbitant cost for Nokia to be charged, then passed down to us the end users. Common how many FREE aplications does Nokia give to us?! Its time we all challenge one another to contribute to something we want and that Nokia needs. Nokia is amazing at listening and carefully inputing what us the users request.

Many have asked that I put this on a central site - which would help organization - but its not good as it'll seem OWNED as one group is already trying to do - buying all domains with N97 in the name.

Great Feedback from Mr. Bruce Carney ...

From: Bruce Carney
To: Me
Subject: Your Blog Post about a Symbian Foundation Apps Store
Originally on Tue, Dec 9, 2008 at 12:30 PM

Hi Donny,
I was interested to read your recent blog post…
An apps store is something that we have considered for quite a long time (actually 4+ years) as it is a the logical extension of Symbian Signed..
Probably the reason, it never got off the ground was Symbian did not seek to compete with other people in the value chain, who could potentially do things like this better. However, in actual fact, few people would argue that the current application discovery situation on Symbian is good :-(.
It was fairly obvious (at least to me) that as soon as Apple announced an SDK that they would have to do an App Store, as their (lack-of a) decent security model for openness forces them to control the entry point onto devices, an interesting benefit being a "closed" device vs Symbian's desire for maximum openness for developers, carriers and end-users.
However, the good news is there is an increasing desire to improve this for Symbian developers and the creation of the Symbian Foundation allows everyone to re-assess who does what/where… I am actively looking at ideas to improve the current situation, so your input is welcome :-)
Thanks for going to the effort of posting...
regards,

Bruce Carney
Director, Developer Programs
http://developer.symbian.com
1051 E. Hillsdale Blvd, Suite 520, Foster City, CA 94404 USA

THIS is a great start to a new year so common everyone.
Rafe, I'd love to get some assistance or even critical feedback (postive/negative or both) on my post here and efforts - even a small moment out of your busy days. IT would be most appreciated.

Thank you all.