Here comes a great opportunity for developers: If you are having only two qualifying mobile applications published in any of the official store(e.g., Nokia Store, Windows Phone Store, Google Play, BlackBerry World, Apple App Store), then you can be a part of the Nokia Premium Developer Program for Asha. This program has number of benefits including a free Nokia Asha 310 device, $500 (USD) in Nokia Ad Exchange (NAX) credits for use in creating external ad campaigns, free tech support tickets etc. I must say it’s a great opportunity for mobile application developers because you can target 675 million (and increasing) phones by targeting Nokia Asha platform.
After reading about this opportunity, I instantly sent my registration request which get approved in 24 hours and I received the Nokia Asha 310 device in a week. The Nokia Asha platform provides a great UX and one can develop applications for Asha phones using Nokia Java SDK or Nokia Web Tools.
I am always interested in trying new development tools especially the cross-platform ones. That’s why, I chose to play with MoSync SDK which is a free, open-source & cross-platform development tool with a support for Nokia Asha (JavaME) phones. It provides a rich cross-platform IDE with a C/C++ foundation and provides a large number of APIs that can help developers in building cross-platform applications easily. I gave it a go and found that JavaME applications developed using MoSync worked really well on Nokia Asha phones.
‘Blox Run’ is the game which I ported from Nokia Anna/Belle phone to Nokia Asha (JavaME) platform using MoSync. This game has a pretty simple game engine implementation which took me only two days to port it to MoSync. For graphics part, I use to create vector graphics using Adobe Flash or Adobe Illustrator which can be easily ported to lower or higher resolution phones by simply resizing them. That’s why, it took me only few hours to regenerate all the graphics for Asha phones having resolution of 240×400. Just add one more day to it for testing & optimization, so, in total four days my porting process was completed. If you want to try out the game, it is published in the Nokia Store.
At the end, I also like to mention that I told one of my fellow ‘Murtaza Ashraf’ (a Founder and CEO of Ioptime) about this program and now, he is having his own Nokia Asha phone (sent by this program). Moreover, I actually get impressed by the UX and performance of Asha Phones and that’s why, I decided to do more experiments soon. Stay Tuned!
Sajid Ali Anjum