iphone programming

Writing apps for Nokia / Ovi – Attempt 1

I’ve written lots of apps for iPhone/iPad and Android. Recently, Nokia kindly gave me a new N8. So, over Xmas, I thought it would be fun to write some games for it.

Didn’t get very far. Nokia “only supports Windows”, according to their developer site.

There also seems to be a lot of confusion over which language they expect you to use – Symbian C++? (which has the confusing one-line explanation “Edit”) … Python? … J2ME? … etc.

I found a promising doc that talked about “porting from Android to S60” – which would give modern developers a way to write good code (i.e. in Java), and then back-port, maybe. But it was riddled with missing links, missing info, and bizarre propaganda (e.g. implying Android is “bad” because it supports standards like Java, whereas J2ME is “good” because … it doesn’t)

At this point, I (temporarily) gave up. I’d like to re-visit this in the New Year, but right now I don’t have a Windows machine with me (I’ve only got my Apple laptop). Android will let me write code on my laptop, then jump straight to my desktop once I’m back at work.

Of course, Apple only “allows” you to work on non-Windows machines – but they are the market-leader, they can get away with this (evil though it is!). IMHO, Android and Nokia/Ovi cannot.

I’m surprised and disappointed that Nokia has so little apparent interest in pulling-in wayward iPhone devs. If it were me, I’d have thrown up a massive, colourful, front-page picture saying: “iPhone developer? Fed up with Submission? Want to sell your apps to 1 billion people? Click here!” … or similar.

Given how painful Apple’s app-submission process is, there are plenty of iPhone devs looking for alternatives.

With Android, you can go straight from iPhone dev to Android dev. There’s a simple website dedicated to new developers (with some serious flaws and missing pages in the docs, but the experience is otherwise good). Nokia’s setup by contrast seems like they’re not really trying (yet).

2 replies on “Writing apps for Nokia / Ovi – Attempt 1”

Not sure where you looked, but Qt SDK ( has Windows/Linux/Mac listed on download screen, and so does Qt Creator (

Worst case scenario – you have numerous virtualization options to run Windows on your Mac.

On the other hand, if I am not willing to shell out hundreds of dollars for a shiny Apple desktop or laptop I can’t develop for iPhone. Where’s the outrage?

Standalone Qt isn’t the issue … if Nokia’s toolchain doesn’t support Mac, then it’s irrelevant whether individual libraries support it or not – you won’t be able to build/test/debug your mobile app.

Re: virtualization – that would mean purchasing yet another Windows license, and re-partitioning my hard disk yet again. That’s shelling out dollars for something I otherwise have no use for (but otherwise only a minor pain), plus days worth of effort to backup everything and wait the 8 or more hours for the partitioning. I’ve done it before with this Macbook – I know it’s a minimum of 2 days. Virtualization is not a panacea :(

Finally … I said myself that Apple’s behaviour is “evil”. Maybe you missed that part, sorry – I find Apple’s approach to be reminiscent of the bad old days of Microsoft, throwing their weight around (sometimes illegally, according to the monopoly investigations), using a new, unique product to force people to buy an old, outdated, inferior product.

Comments are closed.