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Yandex.Store client for Sailfish OS

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Michal Jerz
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PostPosted: Wednesday, 13.Nov.2013 19:08    Post subject: Yandex.Store client for Sailfish OS   Reply with quote   

Thousands of Android applications available for Jolla devices through Yandex.Store's Android app store

Jolla users can easily download top Android applications from Yandex.Store, which run on Sailfish OS thanks to a fully compatible Android runtime provided by Myriad AG.

Currently featuring over 85,000 apps in 17 categories, Yandex.Store offers the best and most popular apps –
from social networking and communication apps like Facebook, Twitter, Foursquare, Skype, Viber and WeChat to games like Angry Birds. Yandex.Store will provide in-app purchase opportunities and is available on smartphones and tablets in 37 languages.

An integral part of Jolla's Sailfish OS is integrated Android compatible application runtime that Jolla has developed in co-operation with Myriad AG, a leading provider of software and services to the mobile and TV industry.

"Jolla's strategy is always to work with the most respectable service partners in specific markets and create long-term strategic partnerships. We analysed a number of alternative Android app stores to use for our first markets in Europe, and quickly found out that Yandex's offer is very competitive and that they are very interested in developing their app store together with us for the needs of Sailfish customers", says Jolla CEO, Tomi Pienimäki.
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Michal Jerz
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PostPosted: Wednesday, 13.Nov.2013 19:12    Post subject:   Reply with quote   

A truly exciting news for native Sailfish OS developers - to compete from the day one with 85,000 established Android applications Razz
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PostPosted: Wednesday, 13.Nov.2013 21:35    Post subject:   Reply with quote   

Am i correct when I type that Jolla is going to have two application stores? Jolla store for the native applications and the Android ones throughout Yandex Store?
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Michal Jerz
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PostPosted: Wednesday, 13.Nov.2013 23:30    Post subject:   Reply with quote   

Quote:

Am i correct when I type that Jolla is going to have two application stores? Jolla store for the native applications and the Android ones throughout Yandex Store?

Unfrotunately, no. The Jolla store will offer both native and Android applications, and it's not even known if they will be distinguished/separated in any way. Nothing has been said so far about ANY kind of promotion or special appearence of native software in the Jolla store.

The Yandex store will be yet another, 3rd party Android store, probably one of many. Actually, you will most probably be able to install ANY existing 3rd party Android store client (except for Google Play). On BlackBerry 10 it is not possible because BB10 doesn't allow installing .apk files directly (they need to be repackaged to a .bar file) so even if you install (after conversion to .bar) any Android store client you can't directly install any software downloaded through it. But Sailfish OS is going to directly support .apk's so all those 3rd party store clients will most probably work OK.

Good for users (at least in a short term, unless one understands how it affects native software ecosystem), but not so much for native developers who - as I wrote - since day one will have to compete with hundreds of thousands of Android applications from multiple stores, including Jolla's own. And, unfortunately, Jolla doesn't make it any easier for them - there are still no developer devices to test software (and no information about when they may come), paid applications at this point aren't supported (and all we know is that it'll happen sometime "in the future"), etc. So the phone will launch with tens of thousands of Android apps (both free from the Jolla store and free/paid from the Yandex store and others), some free native applications in the Jolla store, and no commercial native applications at all because the Jolla store does not support them... This situation actually FORCES developers like me to quickly start looking for some other platform to get any revenue from software, at least for the nearest future.

The worst thing is that if at least the Jolla store supported paid native applications since the beginning then people buying Jolla phones would have a choice between native paid apps and Android apps. But without support for paid native applications in the Jolla store at this point, all those fresh Jolla phone users (hungry for software for their new phone) surely won't wait (weeks? months? no one knows) for the Jolla store to start offering paid native software but before that happens will buy Android equivalents through the Yandex store (and possibly others). This further diminishes chances of commercial software developers.

Sorry to say, but so far EVERYTHING has been done to provide and promote Android compatibility and very little has been done to stimulate and support native software development. It's the first platform with such a bizarre policy I have ever seen (there are other platforms with Android compatibility like BB10 or Tizen, but all of them focus first of all on native development), and I'm afraid it won't mean any good for the strength of native ecosystem.

Funny how I have six applications now fully ported to Sailfish OS (and three more to be finished this week), very polished and with Jolla-specific features (like active covers) added to them, and I can't do anything with them.


Last edited by Michal Jerz on Wednesday, 13.Nov.2013 23:59; edited 1 time in total
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PostPosted: Wednesday, 13.Nov.2013 23:57    Post subject:   Reply with quote   

Is Qt for android ready for selling applications yet? Don't know how much work it is to port though.
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PostPosted: Thursday, 14.Nov.2013 00:11    Post subject:   Reply with quote   

Quote:

Is Qt for android ready for selling applications yet? Don't know how much work it is to port though.

Judging by the mess with additional Qt modules in the Sailfish SDK, I'm afraid it isn't any better at this point with the Android Qt runtime. I don't want to get a bad reputation right at start only because of some broken dependencies or unfinished/broken functions of these modules (some of which are still a work in progress) so I guess it takes waiting for a final Qt5.2 based runtime before submitting any Qt apps for Android... As it is now, maybe it is OK for some free 'beta' quality stuff, but not for commercial software people will pay for and thus expect production quality... Let's hope that Qt5.2 will be ready in December as planned...
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PostPosted: Thursday, 14.Nov.2013 01:09    Post subject:   Reply with quote   

At least developing for android makes it possible to test on a cheap device and that device is already available used. That's better than Jolla development currently.
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PostPosted: Thursday, 14.Nov.2013 01:33    Post subject:   Reply with quote   

Quote:

At least developing for android makes it possible to test on a cheap device and that device is already available used. That's better than Jolla development currently.

Agreed. Looks like the only remaining option, anyway.

I'll need to rethink if at this point it makes sense to continue porting the remaining applications to Sailfish OS if I can't sell them anyway (as the store doesn't support paid apps and all they say is the vague "in the future") and instead an additional Android store is promoted (and its client probably will come pre-installed), with tens of thousands of Android apps, both free and paid. It's really discouraging. The situation (for native software development) is actually MUCH worse than on BB10 where at least support for native software (both free and paid) has been present since the beginning and there have been no other stores but RIM's own one. Already on the BB10 it is tough enough to compete with Android apps, but the way Jolla does it makes to native software developers competition with Android software on Sailfish OS a mission impossible.
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PostPosted: Thursday, 14.Nov.2013 09:50    Post subject:   Reply with quote   

I can understand you Michal. It's really a pitty, native development is not supported by Jolla as it should be. I think, they really think of success by having many apps and they seem to believe in it such that they even risk totally killing native development from the beginning.

Let's hope they will provide something in exchange for that maybe "resurrecting" native development for Jolla in the future.

Concerning Yandex Store. Does anybody know, if that store somehow provides better qualtiy checks for apps or is this store crowded by useless apps and duplicate apps without real use as all those other stores providing "millions" of apps? If they have a silghtly better policy than others, that may be a small benefit...
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PostPosted: Thursday, 14.Nov.2013 10:11    Post subject:   Reply with quote   

I expect Jolla store to be better because it's tested on Jolla. They really should reject poor quality free and paid applications. Doubt Yandex store will have the same quality assurance.
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PostPosted: Thursday, 14.Nov.2013 16:50    Post subject:   Reply with quote   

I think that Jolla needs to concentrate more to bring the native applications for Sailfish. Now it seems that they are more concentrating to bring the Android applications to Sailfish. I don't think that's the right way to follow. If somebody wants the Android experience he will get an Android device. At the beginning it's not bad to have the option to run Android applications for Sailfish, but In long term it's important to have a good quality of native applications.

When I heard that they are going to bring Android applications throughout the Yandex store, I thought that the Jolla store would be the second store with only the native applications for Jolla, but now It seems that I was wrong whit that thought. In my opinion you need to seperate the native applications from the Android ones. Blackberry has a seperate part where the native applications get the attention. I think that Jolla has to go even further. They need to create a Jolla store where only the good native Salfish applications get placed. When somebody wants more options, he can visit the Yandex store or some other third party app store. I think that's not so hard to make happen. That's my personal opinion, but I think that Jolla has a different opinion.


Last edited by spyder81 on Saturday, 16.Nov.2013 21:49; edited 2 times in total
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Michal Jerz
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PostPosted: Thursday, 14.Nov.2013 18:50    Post subject:   Reply with quote   

The main question is how good (or how bad) the Myriad Android compatibility will turn out to be: as poor as on BB10 in the "standard mode" or as "above average" as on the BB10 in the "unlocked mode" (i.e. when one uses the special "_sys_android_rr" permission). In either case, Android compatibility surely isn't 100%, so many Android applications in the Yandex store will not work and less advanced users will probably complain about it. In the Jolla store it will look better as apps (Android too, I believe) will go through a QA process, so only those compatible will be published. Yandex is an Android store, just made available for the Jolla, and I don't think that anyone will make the effort to test all those 85,000 Android apps against Jolla compatibility and make only those compatible with the Jolla to be visible through the Sailfish OS client...

Quote:

I can understand you Michal. It's really a pitty, native development is not supported by Jolla as it should be.

I admit I feel disappointed, having ported all my apps to Sailfish OS already TWICE (first for Qt4/FWVGA, then to Qt5/nHD) only to learn that I will not be able to sell them until "sometime in the future". Instead of that an Android store with paid Android apps is being promoted.

I'd like to stress that I do understand that it is a small company with limited resources, but one would expect at least proper information flow. OK, there's a delay with support for commercial software, but I guess it's not unthinkable to expect an information "we plan to have it ready by late December" rather than "in the future". Or if developer units still aren't available, one would expect an information like "we plan to have some in early December" rather than absolutely no information at all.

P.S. I counted names of people on the mailinglist who posted there since the beginning of November. Excluding Jolla staff, it turns out to be 47 people. Not much for the main developer contact channel. Yet I can't see anything being done to attract more developers, or - even worse - not to put off the existing ones.
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Michal Jerz
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PostPosted: Thursday, 14.Nov.2013 22:03    Post subject:   Reply with quote   

Quote:

I think that Jolla needs to concentrate more to bring the native applications for Sailfish. Now it seems that they are more concentrating to bring the Android applications to Sailfish. I don't think that's the right way to follow. If somebody wants the Android experiance he will get a Android device. At the beginning it's not bad to have the option to run Android applications for Sailfish, but In long term it's important to have a good quality of native applications.

That's right.

Android compatibility surely is a good thing for users, as it instantly brings tens of thousands of Android apps at their disposal.

But at the same time it has a huge negative impact on development of native software, making the competition really tough. But we knew it, so it was a conscious choice to support Sailfish OS and face that competition. It's just that Jolla should understand it and at least not make it EVEN HARDER... But the current situation is as follows:

* Android:
- free apps in the Jolla store, both free and paid apps in the Yandex store
- possibility to get revenue from free/Lite Android apps thanks to Google ads contained in them
- cheap Android devices to test software
- a lot of promotion of Android compatibility by Jolla themselves

* Native:
- only free apps in the Jolla store, no support for commercial apps for now, no information about when it may happen (weeks? months? half a year?)
- no advertising support to get any revenue from free/Lite native apps
- no developer devices to test software, no information about when (if at all) they're going to be available. A month before launch.
- no promotion of native development. Try to ask any developer if he knows what "Silica" is...

It really makes developing native software for this platform a challenge.
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PostPosted: Saturday, 16.Nov.2013 01:39    Post subject:   Reply with quote   

So my question to you is this:

What now would differentiate a Jolla device from any other Android handset? For example, what would make me choose Jolla over a Lenovo Android device?

My hunch is that there will be no native first party applications (i.e. NetFlix, YouTube, Facebook, etc...) as they would be readily available and compatible from the Android market.

Kind of a head-scratching thing to me.
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PostPosted: Saturday, 16.Nov.2013 04:54    Post subject:   Reply with quote   

There is a range of unique and very attractive features, but all of them can be taken full advantage of only when there's native software making use of it....

- Unique UI features like e.g. Active Covers. Android software won't do much with it (other than showing a thumbnail like on any other platform). It takes native software to fully use their possibilities (for example, an active cover can be a normal, fully functional QtQuick page, so it can do everthing a QtQuick application can do)

- The Other Half really has a lot of potential. Useful hardware accessories can be made (possibilities are almost endless) and controlled directly (also automatically) by software running on the phone. But of course it can be done by native software only. And also for any useful accessory to be made, it first takes that Jolla releases hardware specification of the connector and software specification of the API to control it (both via NFC and i2c). Until then, it's just a set of back covers of various colors, automatically changing themes accordingly.

- Sailfish OS is also as open as the N900 (i.e. much more than any other platform) which also brings A LOT of possibilities, but most of them also related to native software development.

In other words, there's actually quite a lot of it, but all truly unique and potentially very attractive features heavily depend on native software support/availability, i.e. on what Jolla does not seem to care too much about at the moment. Without it, they're not much more than just nice gimmicks.

Surely in the future the required information and resources will be made available and we'll get some useful Other Half accessories. And there will be more native apps making use of Silica's unique UI features like Active Covers. But every phone gets the most attention (and thus the most promotion) AT ITS LAUNCH (and then no one cares that much about any improvements, just like the BB10.2 update went almost unnoticed by the main stream, contrary to BB10's introduction which got a lot of attention) and at the moment there is nothing properly utilizing the Jolla's truly unique features to properly show to people how useful they can be. A huge opportunity lost due to not giving native development the attention and support it needs, and instead focusing on Android compatibility which certainly is useful but it just doesn't make the Jolla phone STAND OUT even by an inch compared to hundreds of Android phones available on the market which can do the same (i.e. run Android software). Who needs Android apps buys an Android phone. Who might want to buy the Jolla phone for its unique features will not be able to see their full potential before native software will properly demonstrate it...
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