75% of Android apps ready to work on Nokia X phones, the rest must ditch the Google

75% of Android apps ready to work on Nokia X phones, the rest must ditch the Google

Shortly after launching its new Android-based X-series of phones, Nokia has made the Nokia X Platform SDK available to developers. On its download page, the Finns state that approximately 75% of regular Android apps are ready to run on the X series without modifications. The other 25% are incompatible due to their reliance on Google services for push notifications, maps, and in-app payments. They will have to be hooked up to Nokia's own services - a process that should take developers "around 8 hours of porting".

Nokia has provided an app testing facility on the SDK's website. Developers can upload their .apk files and learn whether they will run on X devices from the get-go. It has also prepared a complete documentation, and some interesting details. The Nokia X platform is built on Android Open Source Project v4.1.2. and has custom APIs for in-app payments, HERE Maps, and Nokia Notifications. It seems Nokia has done its homework in regards to today's app distribution. The company clearly states that the Nokia X devices are targeted at the fast-growing emerging markets, where a smartphone might be the first Internet-connected device for many customers.

Obviously, bank cards are still rare in developing countries, which got Nokia thinking how to secure an income from apps. As in-app purchases currently generate over 90% of all app revenue, the solution is in the Nokia Store's operator billing network, which covers 160+ operators in 60+ countries. The reliability of operator billing in emerging markets has been proven on Nokia's current feature phones, where 99% of app revenue comes through this payment solution.

Thus, the Finns went on to combine operator billing with the familiar freemium payment model. Customers will have the means to pay for apps and extra content without a bank account, and developers are promised a "true 70/30 split, free of additional operator charges”. Publishers can also put trial versions of their apps in the Nokia Store.

It seems that a lot of work went into the Nokia X platform, which essentially emulates both the Windows Phone user experience and the Google services to provide a compelling low-end phone. As Nokia understands that its Asha platform has become too limited for further growth, switching to Android without angering Microsoft too much and not bowing to Google was probably the smartest thing to do.

Be sure to check out our hands-on impressions from the new Nokia X devices, which we gathered at this year's MWC.

source: Nokia via Nokia Power User



1. iluvsonynokia

Posts: 161; Member since: Aug 27, 2013

good deal

2. jael206

Posts: 147; Member since: Jul 18, 2012

".. Switching to Android without angering Microsoft too much and not bowing to Google was probably the smartest thing to do." Oh yeah, I love that!

5. aksa123

Posts: 366; Member since: Jan 30, 2014

As long as MS is taking every penny from it they won't mind.

3. mayur007

Posts: 593; Member since: Apr 10, 2012

one thing.. u can use here maps only for our own region where as google maps either 2k phone or 45k phone can be used any where with free voice navigation .. etc n google play service is much more mature than nokia's n ui still looks like asha which is worse platform . Nokia has the most worst optimization for their softwares

4. Gemmol

Posts: 793; Member since: Nov 09, 2011

I love how they do this to stand up to Google, by the way I have no problems with Google, but that is mean of them to make apps and products for iproducts and not for windows. I will admit I was worried moving from a Note 3 to a Lumia 1520, but after the gdr 3 update that came pre installed with lumia 1520, I was not missing anything, I got all my apps, the only thing that was killing me that I could not get was google play music that I stream to my phone. I have a ton of songs that I upload to the cloud and not being able to play them on my phone sucked. There are apps that others made that allow me to listen to my google play music, but none of them were official and some would stop working, but they weren't bad, they were useable.Then AT&T came out with the Beats Music with the deal that 5 people on my family line can all make their own profile and listen to unlimited music, while also having the ability to download a playlist I make to play offline, once this came out I made my playlist to play offline and now I am back in music heaven, the best part I do not have to go far for new music, I can just check everyone album out and then add to my playlist if I like or not. All I know if you still on the fence for trying out Windows, you do not have to worry.

6. chocowii

Posts: 478; Member since: Jan 30, 2014

Its on 4.4 Kitkat right? Does it run Dalvik or ART?

7. D.Aceveda

Posts: 432; Member since: Jun 30, 2012

Did you not read? Its running on 4.1! LOL

10. chocowii

Posts: 478; Member since: Jan 30, 2014

Oh my bad, I didnt read. I like those operator-billing scheme. I never got a credit card but can buy prepaid load to top my airtime. This is quite good for emerging markets, and a way to diminish piracy(sideloading paid apks).

8. AliNSiddiqui

Posts: 382; Member since: Sep 19, 2012

No, according to the article, it's on 4.1.2 Jellybean.

9. kaikuheadhunterz

Posts: 1157; Member since: Jul 18, 2013

I guess I'm good to go with the Nokia XL

11. tasior

Posts: 265; Member since: Nov 04, 2012

I love the fact, that Nokia works with operator billing network. I use it on my symbian, and it's great. When I owned android device, I didn't purchase single app, because it demanded bank card number. It's not, that I don't have one, it's just that I don't like the idea, of giving someone a number, that allows him to take whatever money he wants, whenever he likes, and the only security bank provides is insurance, and courts.

12. checkmymike

Posts: 219; Member since: Dec 28, 2011

Can google protest this nokia setup? Or is aosp really free for everbody to tinker?

14. o7o

Posts: 114; Member since: Jun 26, 2009

No, they can't. Amazon has done the same with Kindle Fire before, now Nokia has done it again. AOSP is totally free.

13. mobi_user

Posts: 152; Member since: Jun 18, 2013

Why do you still call them Finns, they are no longer Finns. It is sold to US now.

16. luis.d

Posts: 354; Member since: Dec 04, 2013

Nokia's head-office is still where it has been all these years :)

15. KenAdams

Posts: 55; Member since: Feb 17, 2014

The XL looks to be good.

17. Augustine

Posts: 1043; Member since: Sep 28, 2013

This is a lesson on how to not embrace a platform. Why should developers waste 8h porting their apps, umpteen hours testing it on multiple devices and then maintaining a separate version for a minuscule fraction of customers? How much does Nokia think that it costs? I predict a colossal failure.

19. jroc74

Posts: 6023; Member since: Dec 30, 2010

All I know is very few Android devices that are forks, with no official Google, Google Play support have succeeded. I think the Kindle or Nook have been able to do it AFAIK. And the Nook just changed course and has the Play Store now. Good luck Elop...

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