Developers, are you up for a challenge? We’re proud to team up with Ericsson to co-sponsor this year’s Ericsson Application Awards (EAA), and we’re very excited to announce the first mini-challenge for EAA 2012, which starts September 14. By taking part in the EAA competitions, developers have a unique opportunity to gain exposure within the telecommunications world, as well as a chance to reach out to customers through Ericsson’s marketing channels, PLUS the opportunity to win Sony Ericsson phones and €15,000 in prize money.
In June, we told you about Skype’s availability on the Xperia™ neo and Xperia™ pro. Skype has just confirmed that the release of Skype 2.1 will be supported by the Xperia™ PLAY, Xperia™ mini pro, and Xperia™ ray. Sony Ericsson Xperia™ users can now easily find and download the Skype app directly from the Sony Ericsson channel on Android™ Market.
Srikar Kasarla is working as a Partner Manager in the Content & Services team here at Sony Ericsson. At the Symbian Exchange Exposition in London next week he will be talking about “Shortening the path from code to cash” . I grabbed him in the corridors of the Sony Ericsson Lund office and asked him a few questions about his talk.
Developer World: So, what will you talk about?
Srikar Kasarla: I will be talking about open source as the future for mobile development and what new business models this shift opens up for.
DW: What kind of business models?
SK: We’re seeing a growth in mobile advertising and service subscriptions for example.
DW: Sounds like mobile is moving in the direction of the web. What benefits are there to working with the Symbian platform in this environment?
SK: One big benefit is the fact that you have multiple application stores compared to other platforms. This competition is very good for the developers. It also makes it possible to target different markets. Another benefit is that different application stores can have different philosophies behind how they accept application submissions. Sony Ericsson has chosen Quality over Quantity, with a fast approval process and free submissions.
DW: OK, that’s certainly sounds like a short path between code and cash?
SK: Yes, we are working hard to make sure applications are reviewed as soon as possible after submission. But we welcome feedback from developers on how to make things even better so I’m looking forward to SEE to meet the people behind the code.
One of the first applications that went through our submission process was an ebook reader from GoSpoken. I asked Rebecca Williams at GoSpoken a few questions about their experiences as a mobile application development company and about selling their Michael Jackson ebook on the Sony Ericsson application shop, PlayNow™ arena.
Developer World: Tell us a little about your company and the application you submitted?
Rebecca Williams: The idea of GoSpoken is to read or listen to your favourite books whenever and where ever you are; simply books on the go. We launched GoSpoken last April (08) at the London Book Fair with 8 audio books on our mobile site. Since then we have grown to a catalogue of over 6,000 ebooks and audio books (25,000 by the end of the year) for download direct to mobile including bestselling authors such as Stephen King, James Patterson and Sophie Kinsella. Bestselling author and ex SAS operative Andy McNab is an enthusiastic business partner and last year Lord Ashcroft’s investment companies invested in GoSpoken to allow us to expand into new territories.
The app we have live on Fun & downloads and PlayNow™ arena is our ebook reader which downloads onto any JAVA-enabled handset. Each book comes with its own reader which means you don’t need to download the ereader and then the content. It comes all at once so you have quick and easy access to your content.
DW: What was your biggest challenges when developing the app? Any advice to other developers who’s thinking about selling an application?
RW: The biggest challenge was to create an ebook reader which serves many handsets whilst being easy to use. We speak to our customers as much as possible to understand how we can improve it and we are constantly developing it from their feedback. I personally love the night mode (white text on black background) which means I can read in bed at night without waking my husband! My advice to other developers is; whatever the application it must be easy to use or you will turn customers off very quickly.
DW: What can be improved from our part when it comes to selling and developing the application? Any feedback to Sony Ericsson?
RW: We have a great relationship with Sony Ericsson and the process of going live on your platform has been quick and painless. We are already talking about how we can best promote books to your customers, particularly on your large screen handsets which are ideal for reading books, and offer our full catalogue rather than selected titles; so watch this space!
It would be great to have access to real time reporting and be able to pre-load new handsets with free books or exclusive content.
Thanks, Rebecca, and good luck with your application!
Community Manager, Developer World