Jun 24, 2010

Improved Opportunities for JavaME developers

There were two separate announcements this week that are both positive news for JavaME developers that are hoping to publish applications on an app store, especially Nokia's Ovi store.

On an earlier post, I had tried to explain the signing and testing criteria for JavaME applications on Nokia's Ovi store. In short, applications have two choices, the first one is to sign the application with a content signing certificate and submitting to Ovi store for testing. The second choice is submitting a Java Verified approved application which gets published without the Ovi store testing.

The first announcement of the week is about a cheaper and lighter testing for Java Verified approval. Applications that fulfill the new "Simple App" criteria can get approved for as little 75 euros. I think this is a wonderful step from Java Verified, kudos to them. As far as I can see from the tone of the FAQ and announcements, Java Verified is working on different angles to ease the approval process. Although, I am pleased with the steps that Java Verified is taking, I am not fully satisfied. I think the definition of "Simple App" should be more precise. For example the definition could just list a set of JavaME permissions that does not require full testing.

The second announcement came from Ovi store, Ovi store started accepting individuals as publishers. Earlier developers had to be associated with a company to become a publisher. This will make it much more convenient for individual developers and hobbyists to introduce the long tail applications that seems to be missing from Ovi store at this time.

The costs for getting a simple app to the store is still not within the range I would like to see. Good news is this fact is well understood by the Ovi store people as well. The steps to reduce the costs for Symbian and Qt apps are already in place. JavaME though presents complex challenge with all different parties involved that will take more time to resolve.