75% of Android apps ready to work on Nokia X phones, the rest must ditch the Google
Shortly after launching its newAndroid-based X-series of phones, Nokia has made the Nokia X Platform SDKavailable to developers. On its download page, the Finns state thatapproximately 75% of regular Android apps are ready to run on the Xseries without modifications. The other 25% are incompatible due totheir reliance on Google services for push notifications, maps, andin-app payments. They will have to be hooked up to Nokia's ownservices - a process that should take developers "around 8 hours of porting".
Nokia has provided an app testingfacility on the SDK's website. Developers can upload their .apk filesand learn whether they will run on X devices from the get-go. It hasalso 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 NokiaNotifications. It seems Nokia has done its homework in regards totoday's app distribution. The company clearly states that the Nokia Xdevices are targeted at the fast-growing emerging markets, where asmartphone might be the first Internet-connected device for manycustomers.
Obviously, bank cards are still rare in developing countries, which got Nokia thinking how to secure anincome from apps. As in-app purchases currently generate over 90% ofall app revenue, the solution is in the Nokia Store's operatorbilling network, which covers 160+ operators in 60+ countries. Thereliability of operator billing in emerging markets has been provenon Nokia's current feature phones, where 99% of app revenue comesthrough this payment solution.
It seems that a lot of work went intothe Nokia X platform, which essentially emulates both the WindowsPhone user experience and the Google services to provide a compellinglow-end phone. As Nokia understands that its Asha platform has becometoo limited for further growth, switching to Android without angeringMicrosoft too much and not bowing to Google was probably the smartestthing to do.
Be sure to check out our hands-onimpressions from the new Nokia X devices, which we gathered at thisyear's MWC.