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Mostly AR and Stuff

Mobile OS for Augmented Reality

Which platform suit better for mobile AR ? Each has it pluses and minuses. I’m trying to make overall estimation, not only form prototype development pov.

1. iPhone
+ beautiful phone
+! no platform fragmentation
+ application store
+ growing market share
+ 3d accelerator, GPS, accelerometer
+ active developer community
-!! No official camera API for now, direct access to camera require undocumented API
– slow camera on the existing model (better in the next model ?)
– CPU underclocked to 412Mhz on existing model (better in the next model ?)

2. Android
+ Open sourced
+ good CPU for existing model (528Mhz for G1)
+ 3d accelerator, GPS, accelerometer for existing model
+ active developer community
+ application store
+ completely open model for developers available.
-! officially java only (10-100 more slow than native code for numerical tasks), installation of native code app require hack on the consumer model.
– low market penetration for now(will be better?)

3. Symbian
+! Big market share
+ some models have good CPU (up to 600Mhz)
+ some models have fast camera
+ some models have 3d accelerator, GPS, accelerometer and even electronic compass
+ application store coming soon for Nokia models
+ will be open source soon
+ situation with Symbian Signed may improve in the future.
-! platform fragmentation, different OS versions are only partially compatible.
– Symbian signed prevent access to GPS/accelerometer for early versions(S60 FP3) self-signed application
-! For signed app – each binary version should be paid and signed separately, require expensive Publisher ID
– No self-signed application allowed to app store.
– high learning curve
– Market share is shrinking now, eaten by iPhone

4. WinMobile
Not many specific pluses or minuses.
– Small market share

5. Other flavors of Linux – situation is not clear yet.

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27, March, 2009 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , , , | 4 Comments

Rumors about Nokia Symbian OS application store.

Engadget report Nokia may open a software portal for its Symbian OS applications, with a formal announcement to come at the Mobile World Congress. Rumors about Nokia Symbian application store were floating at Nokia developer forum couple of months ago. Actually I also have written about it in this blog post – “What iPhone can teach Nokia” :)

8, February, 2009 Posted by | Mobile, Symbian | , , , | Comments Off on Rumors about Nokia Symbian OS application store.

What iPhone can teach Nokia

Developers flock to iPhone, iPhone software sales booming. The banking crisis doesn’t affect them. And Nokia-Symbian application market been lukewarm at best. On the N-Gage front 400 thousands registered n-gage users doesn’t look impressive, considering only about 30% downloads convert to sales (which is rather good conversion rate).
So what can Nokia do to make situation better ?
The main problems for Nokia-Symbian application market are
1. Platform fragmentation.
2. Exhausting (and expensive sometimes) process of Symbain signing.
3. Even more difficult n-gage certification process:
“I think it’s easier to get an audience with the Pope than it is to get a game through certification at Nokia.” – and that is Electronic Arts Mobile Peter Parmenter speaking.
4. No single point of sale. N-Gage, Nokia Software Market, third party application shops, all with different certifications, policies, requirements.
5. Everything expensive. Professional tools are expensive, private API expensive, signing expensive, developer have to have several phones for testing which is not cheap. Remote Testing is a step in right direction, but amount of free testing is limited per user.

How the situation could be improved for third party Nokia-Symbian application market?
It obviously can not be made as smooth as iPhone, complexity of Symbian ecosystem is too high, but something could be done.
1. Fragmentation: better documentation and regular updates would definitely help.
2, 3, 5: Bundle everything – certification, tools, access to remote testing, private API into two packages, one entry level, and one professional. Entry level should cost about 100$ and professional no more than 300$. Ditch per-application signing fee.
4. Merge N-Gage and Nokia Software Market into single application store. Give all certified developers access to it.

Here are my musings about the situation. The only thing which keep me form iPhone is lack of official camera API.

2, November, 2008 Posted by | Mobile | , , , | 1 Comment