MONTE CARLO-At its Nokia Developer Summit here, Nokia announced its strategy to turn its Ovi application vision into a platform, delivered a software development kit for its Nokia N97 flagship device and announced the first awardees of funding from the joint Open Screen Foundation Fund that Nokia founded with Adobe.
Tero Ojanpera, executive vice president of Nokia Services, started the day by exclaiming, "Developers do matter!" With that in mind, Ojanpera said Nokia is opening up like never before, and is opening up its services via APIs to enable developers to deeply interact with Nokia resources to develop applications.
Regarding Nokia's overall Ovi Internet services strategy, Ojanpera said, "Think of it as layers." The underlying Symbian operating system is what lies beneath the Nokia's WRT (Web Runtime) and Qt development platforms, and Ovi runs atop those platforms to enable developers to create new capabilities for new classes of applications. "Ovi" means "door' in Finnish.
"It raises the abstraction level to make the underlying operating system less relevant," Ojanpera said of the Nokia Ovi suite of services.
To support the growing interest and demand of the Nokia N97, he said, the company is making the Nokia N97 beta SDK available to anyone who registers at http://www.Forum.Nokia.com.
This version of the SDK will offer a preview to developers of how they can publish their content directly to the device home screen, Ojanpera said. This means the developer can provide customers with updates as constantly as they wish. The user does not need to open the application; he can be aware what is happening simply by looking at the phone's large home screen.
Both native applications and widgets can take full advantage of home screen publishing. Web applications for the Nokia N97 such as WRT and Flash, as well as other S60 fifth edition devices, have extensions that can access platform services. So, now, native functions such as camera, location and calendar can be incorporated into widgets to provide a more personalized experience, the company said.
In addition, core assets in the S60 platform such as multitasking, performance, open distribution and the upcoming Ovi Store will all be present through the Nokia N97.
Go to http://www.forum.nokia.com/N97_SDK to download the SDK. A final version of the SDK will be released at the same time the device will ship in June, Ojanpera said.
Ojanpera said times have never been better for Flash developers. Nokia has more than 300 million Flash-enabled devices in the market, he said. And a distribution channel and Ovi Store will connect Flash developers to millions of Nokia consumers worldwide.
Ojanpera noted that Adobe and Nokia announced the Open Screen Project Fund in February at Mobile World Congress. This $10 million joint market development fund between Adobe and Nokia is designed to accelerate the creation of applications, content and services that leverage the Adobe Flash Platform and run across mobile, desktop and consumer electronics devices.
At the Nokia Developer Summit on April 28, Nokia announced the first five applications to receive funds from Nokia through the Open Screen Project Fund:
MyFestival, by Little Big Ideas (Denmark): a guide for the Roskilde Music Festival with integrated LBS functionality
Golfbox, also by Little Big Ideas (Denmark): a golf companion to set tee times, check scores and more
.Social Portfolio. (working title) by Tui Interactive (U.K.): a stock news and portfolio tracker application
Pocket Piano, by Better Day Wireless (U.S.): a virtual piano player for touch devices
Barking Seed by Breakdesign (Singapore): a Web and Flash-based games community for players of Flash Lite games
Ojanpera said these are just the first five winners, but several more applications have been approved and will soon be unveiled. In addition, Adobe and Nokia have more in the pipeline representing short- and long-tail brands and developers from all over the world, Nokia officials said.