Symbian Horizon Helps Developers Bring Apps to Market

The Symbian Foundation launched Symbian Horizon, the publishing program for Symbian developers, at the Symbian Exchange and Exposition 2009.

LONDON-The Symbian Foundation launched Symbian Horizon, the publishing program for Symbian developers, at the Symbian Exchange and Exposition 2009 here.

According to Symbian officials, developers can now sign up for the program to have their applications listed in the Symbian Horizon Directory, processed through Symbian Signed, and published to a growing list of application store partners. The goal of Symbian Horizon is to help developers bring their applications to the largest mobile market in the world in a cost-effective way. This publishing program is now being scaled up to process thousands of applications in 2010.

Shaun Puckrin, head of developer services at the Symbian Foundation, said the foundation created Horizon in response to developer concerns that there are too many challenges and costs associated with developing and publishing a Symbian application to the global market of potential customers. In addition to reducing these costs, Symbian hopes to improve developers' access to global markets through translation and localization assistance.

Since the initial launch plans were announced in July 2009, Symbian has processed an initial group of 50 applications and is helping these developers sign and submit their products to mobile application stores worldwide. A total of five stores now support Symbian Horizon. Along with the initial stores announced-Ovi Store by Nokia, Samsung Applications Store and AT&T's MEdia Mall-two new stores are now participating: China Mobile's Mobile Market and Sony Ericsson's PlayNow.

"We recognize that developers face many challenges in bringing their products to market on Symbian devices," said Lee Williams, executive director of the Symbian Foundation, in a statement. "In particular, the diversity of application stores in our ecosystem increases the burden on developers by requiring multiple submission and review processes. But this diversity can also offer an advantage over competitors' closed systems, where applications sometimes receive arbitrary or commercially motivated rejections. Symbian Horizon retains this advantage while reducing the burden by becoming a conduit to multiple stores, helping developers reach the largest global mobile market in the world more efficiently."

There are three ways developers will be able to participate in the publishing program, Williams said. Available today, all developers can have their Symbian Signed applications appear in the Symbian Horizon Directory free of charge. The goal of the directory is to provide a complete guide to every Symbian Signed application, as well as where they can be downloaded or purchased, Puckrin said. The directory is live in beta, showcasing an initial group of applications and allowing developers to submit other applications that have already been signed, he said.

Second, over the next few months the Symbian Signed process will be revised, providing developers with the option of automatically adding an application to the Symbian Horizon Directory, Symbian officials said. Developers will be able to register online and edit their application and developer profiles, providing both stores and consumers with complete information about their products.

And, lastly, the Symbian Horizon publisher program will begin to increase the number of applications processed through Symbian Signed and submitted to application store partners over the next few months, the organization said.

In addition to the first group of 50 applications, another 50 applications will be processed through the review and signing process and submitted to all participating stores at no cost to the developer, Symbian said. A comprehensive program designed to process thousands of applications will be launched in 2010, Symbian officials said.