Symbian Fosters Developer Ecosystem

The smart-phone OS developer reaches out to its developer base with new programs.

LONDON—Symbian is making a slew of moves to bolster its developer ecosystem and provide further support for consumers and licensees of its mobile smart-phone technology.

On the opening day of its Symbian Smartphone Show here Oct. 16, Symbian announced its ongoing efforts to make developing easier and more economically viable for developers worldwide.

The London-based company announced Symbian Signed, a program developed in partnership with its licensees, network operators and developers that promotes best practices to test and sign applications for Symbian smart phones.

In an interview with eWEEK, Jergen Behrens, executive vice president of marketing for Symbian—the maker of Symbian OS, a leading operating system for mobile phones—said the "Symbian Signed" process is based on developer feedback and has been improved to make signing faster, easier and cheaper for developers, with the goal of driving growth in the number of Symbian applications. Behrens said developers are now more easily able to access device capabilities that were once restricted, enabling further innovation.


Symbian research chief David Wood shares Symbian strategies. Read the interview here.

The company announced a new set of procedures for testing and signing applications. The first is Open Signed, which provides a signing process using developer certificates enabling an application to be installed on a limited number of devices controlled by declared International Mobile Equipment Identity numbers, or unique phone identification numbers. Open Signed is designed to support the developer community, as well as open-source and educational communities. The maximum number of devices that each application can be installed on has increased tenfold, from 100 to 1,000, the company said.

A second category, Express Signed, is a new process to allow software developers with publisher IDs to instantly sign all applications that do not require access to the more sensitive device functions, enabling faster time-to-market, the company said. In addition, developers can sign applications on Expressed Signed for as little as $20.

Meanwhile, Symbian said the Certified Signed category is for applications that require access to sensitive device manufacturer capabilities or where independent testing is required.

Symbian Signed is a testing-and-signing program for Symbian applications and content. It was jointly developed by Symbian, its handset manufacturer licensees—including Nokia, Sony Ericsson, Motorola, Samsung and LG—network operators T-Mobile and Orange, as well as several independent software test houses.

Symbian Signed has evolved since its initial rollout in February 2004. More than 10,000 Symbian applications have been Symbian Signed and are commercially available, the company said.


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