Nokia: Symbian support ends 2014

International uproar about Nokia breaking their promise to support Symbian "through at least 2016". It's not about PureView, but it will certainly effect the way you'll be able to use your Nokia 808 PureView starting next year, so many people have been sending me messages, most of them sharing their disbelief and disappointment.

Over at AllAboutSymbian, you'll find an interesting article on the matter, from which I will quote Nokia's letter to the developers.

Dear Nokia Developer,

With the growing business opportunities available on the Asha and Windows Phone platforms, we have been reviewing our developer content programs to see how we can maximize our support to you, our developers. As a result of this review, we have decided to focus our support and investment in new content toward Asha and Windows Phone. Over the next few months we will be transitioning our active developer support away from Symbian and MeeGo.

If you have Symbian and MeeGo content in the Nokia Store, it will continue to be available for download to customers, and you will continue to receive download and revenue reports as well as payouts for downloaded content. However, starting January 1, 2014, you will no longer be able to publish any new content or update existing content for Symbian and MeeGo.

We are very excited about the opportunities available with Asha and Windows Phone, and hope that you will bring your talents to these platforms. We believe that these changes will help improve our ability to support you as you develop fantastic apps for your customers.

Although not accepting new applications is understandable in itself - I can't imagine many developers still coding for Symbian - but simply shutting down the Nokia Store for updates is quite shocking indeed. Leaving the platform itself is one thing, simply stopping the possibility to update existing apps is like stabbing it in the back. Like Steve Litchfield writes: "if you can't rely on developers responding to Internet service API changes (think Facebook, YouTube, etc.) or to address security issues, then surely the platform's effectively dead?"

At AllAboutSymbian, Steve has some interesting thoughts for the future from 2014.

"We're already seeing many developers putting up their freeware Symbian applications on their own web sites, for direct download (i.e. of SIS files), and this trend can only continue. Although this system works well enough, it does mean a lot of work for users in terms of discovery, which is why I started up my own  application and  games directory pages some months ago. I suspect that others may well produce lists along the same lines."

The situation for commercial software is, of course, more complicated. The altruist in me says that (especially at this stage in Symbian's life) developers should simply make their work freeware after January 1st, making it not necessary for users to have to jump through PayPal/GetJar (etc.) hoops to buy the latest version of their applications.

Hopefully many developers will indeed do this - after all, most active Symbian users who were going to by their apps will probably already have done so? For the remaining developers, they'll have to put up with remaining income from the Nokia Store, albeit from potentially older versions of their applications, plus whatever they can scrape together from sales from independent app stores/pages."

Also worth reading is the comment section on his post. My last thought about the matter for today: it looks like the Nokia 808 PureView will gradually be degraded as a smartphone, but it still hasn't stopped making the best shots coming from a mobile device (see my previous post).

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