Before an application can be distributed to potentially millions of smartphone users via the OVI Store, the software development company must pay:
- 1 Euro to register as an OVI Publisher,
- US$200 for a Publisher ID valid for 1 year (not available to individual developers), and
- up to 150 Euros for digital signing of applications.
Digital signing encodes a tamper-proof digital certificate into an application. The certificate identifies the origin of the application by including information on the Publisher ID. Once signed, the application’s origin is therefore known and traceable. Because digital signing involves independent testing by Nokia’s Test House, the application is allowed to access the “sensitive” or “protected” functionality of the smartphone. Each time a company releases an updated version of their application, they need to to re-sign the software which incurs additional costs.
Software development companies are aware that poor initial ratings by end users can really affect the long-term success of an application and ultimately revenue generation (poor sales figures). Companies can choose to have their application evaluated by a Nokia User eXperience (UX) expert. The UX evaluator scrutinizes the application for adherence to platform style guidelines and overall usability, suggesting improvements to flow, layouts and graphics. The cost to developers for this service ranges from pay US$500 to 890 Euros.
Software companies can also get real end-user feedback from a company called Mob4Hire. Mob4Hire is an online community of mobile device users paid to help developers pre-test their application. Mob4Hire’s community consists of 51,593 people with 30,342 different mobile handsets on 397 carriers in 153 countries. Again, this service is certainly not free!
Creating applications for distribution on OVI Store may sound like a daunting task, but its possible! Consider eLiteracy, an award winning mobile application that features fun educational games for both young and old. Education is the key to empowering future generations and with eLiteracy, kids can now play and learn at the same time. The application received a nice review on OVI Daily App. eLiteracy was developed by appCraft, founded by Simon Botes. Read his story here.