Starting today, Nokia is increasing the opportunity and lowering barriers to entry by supporting individual developers, reducing investment costs and providing cross-platform app development for Symbian and Maemo devices with the Qt SDK 1.0.
Following the new Forum Nokia developer mantra of “Design, Develop and Distribute”, several developer-related announcements are being consolidated into one main message to show developers the improvements that have been made to the overall ecosystem.
There are five noteworthy announcements that will benefit developers working on Nokia platforms:
• Availability of Nokia Qt SDK 1.0
• Individuals can now register as Ovi Publishers
• Public beta of Nokia signing Symbian apps for free
• Availability of Nokia Smart Installer for Symbian
• Ovi Store intake for Qt apps
Availability of the Nokia Qt SDK 1.0
The Nokia Qt SDK 1.0 is available starting today (http://www.forum.nokia.com/Develop/Qt/), and it offers a true cross-platform development environment allowing developers to create applications for both Symbian and Maemo devices. Installation is easy, as it only requires one installation package that downloads all of the Qt and Symbian/Maemo components that developers need using the same Qt Creator 2.0 as standard Qt SDK’s for use on Windows, Linux and Mac (beta). The Nokia Qt SDK 1.0 includes the Qt 4.6 libraries plus additional API’s for mobile development. With a fast, new simulator along with on-device debugging and the ability to compile to both .sis (Symbian) or .deb (Maemo) packages, it provides developers with a great opportunity to start creating amazing apps right away.
Individuals can now register as Ovi Publishers
Individuals (i.e., people that are not part of a specific company or business) can now register as an Ovi publisher (https://publish.ovi.com/register/country_and_account_type) and easily distribute their apps worldwide through Ovi Store. Individuals will still have to pay the one-time 50 Euro registration fee, and they can submit apps that are written in Qt, Symbian, Java, Flash Lite or Web Runtime (WRT). Allowing individuals to publish their applications to Ovi Store is competitive to what Apple and Android allow today and helps to provide parity for Ovi Store.
Public beta of Nokia signing Symbian apps for free
The goal here is to lower the barrier to entry for developers by simplifying the tools and the process, as well as removing some of the cost associated with developing mobile apps for distribution in Ovi Store. For developers creating Symbian apps there are initial investment costs such as obtaining a Publisher ID and paying a third party to have their apps Symbian signed. Currently, this can take around four weeks, and impose expenses for the developer up to $215 (USD). With this public beta, we are exploring a developer workflow to reduce the time for developers to two weeks and bring the cost involved to $0 (USD). Eliminating the fee for signing Symbian apps makes our investment story for developing for Ovi Store competitive with Apple and Google.
Availability of Nokia Smart Installer for Symbian
Qt developers can use the new Nokia Qt SDK 1.0 to easily bundle the Nokia Smart Installer for Symbian SIS with their app SIS to reach millions of users with Nokia Symbian devices worldwide. When an end user downloads an app, the Nokia Smart Installer for Symbian will check for dependencies, and if any missing files or Qt libraries are detected the Nokia Smart Installer for Symbian will download them from Nokia servers.
Ovi Store intake for Qt apps
Finally, Qt developers can upload Qt Symbian apps targeting both the Nokia N97 mini and Nokia X6, as well as Qt Maemo apps for the Nokia N900 mobile computer. The Nokia N8 will be supported when it’s released later this year, and additional Nokia Symbian (5.0 and 3.1/3.2) devices will be supported in the future, allowing Qt developers to reach a growing market of Nokia users worldwide. Applications will be published to Ovi Store beginning next month.