Choosing Mobile Development Platform

mobileplatformThere’s been a lot of heated discussions in the blogosphere in the past month about mobile platforms from independent developer perspective. Which platform to choose, if you want to develop cool applications, reach a lot of users and maximize your revenues?

I previously wrote on this subject a year ago, when Android was announced, and three years ago, when I was really disappointed by a pretty much dead S60 applications market.

This time it started with a great presentation by Teemu Kurppa (a mastermind behind mobile Jaiku) at MobileDevCamp Helsinki – “Platform = Stage. How to choose a mobile development platform?“. It is a must see for every mobile developer.

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Leaving Nokia

Leaving NokiaAs some of you may know, I have decided to leave Nokia and go back into the start-up world. My last day is only in the end of May, but the decision was made long time ago, and information seems to travel too fast, so I decided to publicly announce it already now.

I am staying in Finland and will concentrate mostly on developing social training log Moozement, where I see a great potential. I will also be working as an independent consultant, so if you need help with your projects – get in touch.

I am hoping to get more time to formalize my thoughts, ideas and experiences with agile development methodologies, development of internet services and marrying them to mobile devices. So watch this space for more interesting blog posts.

The decision to leave was a tough one. Nokia clearly is an amazing company to work for, especially now, when it is aggressively establishing itself in the internet services domain. What makes Nokia unique is its ability to reinvent itself, and I believe that it will emerge ever-more powerful from this latest transformation.

I feel privileged to have worked with and learned from so many passionate, talented people. But after about six years at Nokia, working on products used by millions of people every day, I’ve decided that it is time to move on and explore the world beyond the corporate pond.

Let the future begin…


Google Android vs. Nokia Series 60 – what would it take to build a better mobile phone?

Android The long awaited Google phone turned out to be just an OS. What does it mean for us, mobile software developers?

Personally, I think this is great news. An open mobile platform is something that was long due to stir up the world of RIM-Windows-Symbian.

Android managed to get many things right from the very beginning, things that took several years for S60. While S60 initially took Microsoft-style approach to development community – with multi-level support, exclusive club membership with access to the source code, signing and licensing, Android is quite open and democratic.

When Google announced Android SDK – my first thoughts were – it’s a smart move to release SDK before devices are available. Google’s name alone would be enough to attract developers and hackers to this new platform, so they can create a developer community by the time devices are shipping. Then Google announced developer challenge with $10mln in awards.

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Nokia – new Google, new Apple or just new Nokia?

Ovi by NokiaNokia’s brand is one of the most valueable brands in the world (MillwardBrown rates it as 12th).
Nokia is quite close to becoming a synonym of a mobile phone. Whenever I tell someone that I work for Nokia, reaction is almost always the same – “oh, so you make phones”. It is very difficult to explain that myself and a lot of other people in Nokia R&D don’t make only phones, but also software products.

Now internet services and software are becoming central to Nokia’s growth strategy.
This change sparkled a lot of discussions about what Nokia actually is and whether this change is for better or for worse.
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Nokia Beta Labs – Tommi Vilkamo

Nokia - Connecting PeopleConratulations Tommi, congratulations Nokia! It is really a lucky break for Nokia that someone with such a great track record of blogging and openly talking to community of Nokia users will head Beta Labs.

As Stephen Johnston said “Plenty of improvement ideas are in the pipeline, and the key one for me will be to build up a sense of community of Nokia early adopters and use them as lead innovators to help us know what we should be working on next.”

From my point of view the most important change would be that of the spirit of development in Nokia, so that beta culture really grows roots, and more interesting and innovative projects have a chance to emerge from our own developers and see the light of day.

William L.McKnight, 3M chairman of the board, formulated management principles already in 1948 where he encouraged 3M management to “delegate responsibility and encourage men and women to exercise their initiative.”

This is one principle I see us in Nokia adopting this very moment.


I moved to Linux completely

Nokia 6600 LinuxThat finally happened. I’ve completely got rid of Windows on my computers.

The last bastion of Windows was my Nokia work laptop, and now there is Nokia corporate version of Linux installed. I would’ve preferred Ubuntu, but that was not an option.

Migration was relatively painless and that’s yet another proof that Linux can be successfully used on laptops in corporate environments. As a disclaimer I should say that moving to Linux was not a sentimental decision or pledging support for Linux community, but a pure necessity of my present job. Using shell scripts and tools like sort, awk, grep, python, perl and running experiments with web 2.0 stuff locally (even without a network connection) is just so much easier.

The only thing I really miss from Windows is Lifeblog. I really hope that soon there’ll be a way to upload complete Lifeblog database to an internet server and access it via web interface. Let’s see what Ovi brings us when it’s ready.