Canonical Launching A Ubuntu Developer Portal – Can It Attract Developers?

There is no doubt about the plans Mark Shuttleworth has for Ubuntu (see Bug #1), but this should come as a pleasant surprise to many – Canonical is launching a Ubuntu Developer Portal. This shows that Canonical is planning to market Ubuntu as a viable platform for application developers. They already have the Ubuntu Software Center, which supports paid applications from Ubuntu 10.10, as a platform to sell the applications.

Right now the portal is under construction. But there are already a lot of pages to explore. The Create section introduces potential developers to Ubuntu as a platform and the tools that can be used to develop. It also has an introduction to Quickly, which combines project creation, code editing, GUI editing, running and debugging, as well as packaging and sharing via Launchpad.net, all in one easy to use command line interface.

The portal also includes other sections such as Develop, Collaborate, Publish, Reference, Support and Manual. Except Reference and Manual, all the other sections have some sort of contents. Instead of me writing about them, I will leave it to you to explore them if  you want. You can see the portal at developer.ubuntu.com.

Now, this raises the question if Ubuntu can become a platform which can attract developers. The answer to that question boils down to one thing – money. If they can make money from Ubuntu, developers will come. Sure many developers contribute to Ubuntu on their own without any pay, but if there is money involved companies/developers with commercial interest will get involved as well – and that is not always a bad thing.

In the past, contrary to popular perception, Linux users have demonstrated that they are not against paying for software. For example in the Humble Indie Bundle #2, Linux users paid on an average $13.77 which is far greater than the $6.68 and $9.27 paid by Windows and Mac users. The total contribution from Linux users was almost the same as that of Mac users.

Yes, this is just one example. But it shows that Linux users do pay – and they pay well – for quality free (as in freedom, not beer) software. So, I believe the Ubuntu Developer Platform can succeed if implemented right.

[source: Ubuntu Forecast]

How To Install The New Android Market On Your Android Device

Yesterday, the team behind the Android Market introduced a new updated version of the Android Market. The new updated version of the Android Market will be slowly rolled out to all the Android devices running 1.6 and above in the coming weeks. However, for impatient Android users like us the folks over at Droid-Life have managed to get their hands on a fully working apk file of the new Android Market from a tipster.

Also Read: Why the New Android Market Is Bad News for Both Users and Developers

Android_Market

The Droid-Life folks tried the apk on various handsets and they successfully got the new Android Market. Even I managed to get the new Android Market on my Samsung Galaxy S running a custom ROM based on Android 2.2.1 via this apk. Interested users can download the new Android Market apk from here.

The apk should also work fine for all Android devices running Android 2.1. If this apk does install the new Android Market on your handset running Android 1.6 or higher, do drop in a comment and let us know.

After using the new Android Market for sometime, all I can say is that its brilliant! Not only is the new UI slick, its fast as well. The Android Developers team has definitely done a good job here. The Android Market is finally on par with Apple’s AppStore now in terms of UI at least.

BlackBerry App World Leaves Beta

Research In Motion (RIM) has given the BlackBerry App World a much needed upgrade. First and foremost, RIM has dropped the minimum price of the application to $0.99 from the earlier $2.99. Hopefully, this means that weBlackBerry will see developers releasing applications which cost $0.99, and $1.99.

Along with this, RIM has also added support for carrier billing and credit card. The App World itself has got a facelift and now features a tabbed section for easier navigation. Like Android, RIM has also added support for QR codes. BB owners can now find an application in the App World by just scanning its QR code.

RIM has also added an option called BlackBerry ID for users to transfer their application from one device to another without repurchasing them. RIM has also decided to split the revenue from the sales of App World in 70:30 ratio instead of the earlier 80:20.

Here is the full press release :

BlackBerry App World Update

Hello,

Just wanted to let you know that the latest version of BlackBerry App Worldâ„¢ is out of beta and available for everyone to enjoy. And as of today, BlackBerry App World will allow developers to offer applications for US$0.99 and US$1.99.

BlackBerry App World users will receive upgrade notifications over the next few hours.

When we launched the beta just a few weeks ago, we were able to offer new views, and carrier and credit card billing support. We also integrated BlackBerry ID as a new way of tying BlackBerry customers with their use for easy device switching and management.

Credit Card Payment Option
With the new BlackBerry App World, customers are able to purchase applications using major credit cards, including Visa and MasterCard. Carrier billing may also be supported by certain carriers.

Easier Application Discovery
BlackBerry App World adds new tabbed sections for various applications lists. Users can horizontally swipe or scroll to quickly view the Top 25 Free Apps, Top 25 Paid Apps and Top 25 Themes, as well as the Newest Apps and Recently Updated Apps.

QR barcode scanning is also supported, allowing users to scan a QR code associated with an application from anywhere the web, print ads, brochures, etc. BlackBerry App World will quickly find the related application, and automatically open and download its page.

BlackBerry ID
BlackBerry ID provides customers with a device-independent user identification (ID) for BlackBerry App World. It enables credit card payments and allows customers to seamlessly transfer their personal library of free and purchased apps when they switch to a new BlackBerry smartphone.

Stay tuned as BlackBerry App World continues to grow and incorporate new features requested in our beta program.