Less is more: the 200′000 apps myth

A ridiculous race is going on in the world of Smartphones, with each competitor boasting about the number of available apps for his platform. With Apple talking of 200′000 apps and Android claiming 50′000 apps (similar to what Palm offered in earlier years, and probably similar to Symbian), a new platform such as Maemo 5 sometimes faces a difficult stand, with casual users coming from other platforms complaining about too few apps (only hundreds…)

After years of smartphone experience as user and developer, having my first app on Maemo reaching 100′000 downloads, programming a first iPhone enterprise app and spending a few evenings of App Store analysis, I believe it’s high time to debunk the app numbers craze: IMHO,  a high number of apps reflects the shortcomings of a platform as much as its mass market success. This article mainly looks at the iPhone AppStore, however the Android situation is quite similar.

One in six apps in the iPhone AppStore is an eBook. “Jane Eyre” alone is available through over a hundred apps. How ridiculous is this? Taking an eBook and packing it into an app? 36′000 books as individual apps?
On Maemo, you have one or two good e-book readers, then you simply download whatever free e-book you want. Yes, no paid eBooks (no DRM) yet, but 30′000 eBooks alone from Project Gutenberg, downloadable through the default browser.

One in six apps is a Game. Some of them are absolutely fantastic, innovative and superior to the handheld game platforms such as the PSP or the DS. But many others are imitations, variant 283 of Tetris or Bejeweled. Or crude mini-games. And quite often, games come in 3 variants  - a free, a lite and a full version.
On Maemo, the commercial games are mostly missing due to the ongoing Ovi store tragedy/mess. Angry Birds and Bounce save the day, and every possible emulator allows us to relive glorious games of the past, even using various external controllers. In addition, thanks to the in-built Flash player (take that, Steve :-) and the physical keyboard, you can play many Flash games in the browser or even download them for later offline play. Maemo would probably need just a dozen good 3D games to be up to par in the Gaming section.

The entertainment section (10% of all apps)  is another show of the tragedy of the masses. Sorted by popularity, the winner is “Boobs & Thongs Lite”. What a glorious achievement.  In fact, three of the top 20 apps are about boobs, another 3 about wallpapers. Plus light sabres, farts, jokes, beer and TV.
On Maemo, thanks to the fantastic browser and screen resolution plus the huge amount of codecs supported, you can simply get the real deal just like on the desktop. Whatever the kind of reference you’re looking for. Save any possible image by right-clicking and saving in the browser, review later on throught the Photo app. And simply use any possible image as wallpaper directly from there, too. And for all other reference lookup, just try the search widget “TouchSearch” and ad your own databases if Wikipedia, Google, IMDB etc. are not enough. And for emergencies, a light saber is available and a fart app is work in progress. Sigh.

Education has 7% of all apps, with a few fantastic items, but also lots of superficial content, similar to simple lookup lists or a number of pages packed in an app. PS: Another Boobie app in the Top 20!
On Maemo, we have a number of apps, most notably Stellarium. This alone rocks incredibly and shows the true potential of this platform.  Flashcards, Graph calculators, periodic  tables are there, too.

Going into the other 50% of apps and categories in the iPhone app store, the view is the same: a few individual gems, but mostly repackaging of existing content. Each RSS feed an app, each internet radio station an app, each reference list an app, each city map an app. Each document about whatever an app. And who needs 856 weather apps?
Desperately looking for an advantage in having this many apps, I remembered the online/offline dilemma. At least having an app installed should give me more offline freedom, or not? Unfortunately not - because many apps are indeed just frontends to existing content. And if not, every single content you would want is an individual app that you need to find and download separately. In fact, instead of googling and surfing to content, in a way Apple prefers you to search in the App Store and install the one app for just this content.
What are the reasons for this mess?

  • Conceptually, to hide the shortcomings of the input methods, the shortcomings of the browser and the shortcomings of the display resolution.
  • Commercially, the trendiness of the iPhone and it’s mass market appeal combined with a fierce competition and freeloading on existing content. Plus Apple’s strategy of consumer lock-in.

Where will it go? I’m persuaded that in a few years, 90% of the apps will be forgotten and long dead - it will begin the moment that the iPhone has a higher resolution display and and better browser and happen when Flash or HTML5 is available.

Luckily, with Maemo 5, we’re nearly there already. Less is more. Be free.

65 Responses to “Less is more: the 200′000 apps myth”

  1. qhartman Says:

    I couldn’t agree more.

    My N900 met an untimely demise and I decided to replace it with a Nexus One (for a variety of reasons).

    When I looked for a decent Sudoku game for it, I was greeted with dozens of choices. All of them, even the few paid ones I investigated, inferior to the one I was running on my N900, which at the time I installed it was the only one available.

  2. n900 user Says:

    Thank you for this great article!

  3. Andy Says:

    I can’t agree enough with this. I’ve been trying to tell my peers about this ever since the first iPod Touch came out. What would be interesting is, how many of their apps would be left, after all the redundant/browser front end/useless apps are subtracted?

  4. Pankaj Says:

    So true…
    most of stupid iphone apps are web / rss feed front end.

  5. Yngve I. Levinsen Says:

    A very nice read! 36k books are counted as apps? I knew the number of apps were sort of ridiculous, but that is just rubbish counting!

    I think another important reason is that for maemo, if someone wants to create a e.g. a bejeweled game, why not rather join forces with the developers of the existing one? Unless you want to do it for commercial reasons that is. The openness of the platform makes for a more collaborative community than what the competition is my claim.

    They do need to sort out the Ovi Store issues yesterday though, no way around it. Hopefully in time of the first MeeGo devices if nothing else. I have the impression they got scared because it seemed that someone managed to “crack” the system. Well doh! Of course, are there any systems out there which are uncrackable? There are still a handful of honest users out there who would pay what the developers requested (at least as long as the prices weren’t ridiculous). Just take a look at the Humble Indie Bundle!

  6. Oliver Fels Says:

    While there is some truth in the above said there is one point to notice here: The success of the iPhone as well as Android is not based on a superior hardware platform. It is based on the fact that users have the freedom to do whatever they want with the device and this freedom originates from the app stores. Don´t like that game? Get another one one. That stock quotes program does not suit your needs? The next one is just one click away. And more important: For the iPhone and Android there is a market for professional grade software- media apps for content, games, shopping, information, etc. There are business solutions available connecting the device to various corporate backends- even medical software, customer relationship management, etc. There is a market and a demand which leads to companies jump in and develop what is needed.
    The situation with Maemo: The choice you have for applications depends on the will and spare time of a community developer and if you don´t like a program it often means use it or leave it, because there is nothing else.
    The maemo.org forums are full of requests for special applications- eg. there is still no app to track the upcoming FIFA world cup. For iPhone and Android there are dozens.
    Don´t get me wrong. I am not talking about the need for hundreds of thousands of redundant and low quality apps.
    But there still is the chicken-egg problem: few users, no market, few developers for applications. Few application developers, few applications, few users attracted.
    Maemo does need more applications- with a broader variety and on a professional class level. With just a few hundred apps of which most are stuck in the extras-devel repository you will not attract users. The community alone is not able to ensure this. The Ovi store is a perfect place for applications but actually Nokia does not seem to push in that direction. Don´t wait for MeeGo. Go now.

  7. Minnie Says:

    Thank you! you make a very good point.

  8. Anon Says:

    This is the reason why I don’t give a shit about the number of apps - they make no difference whatsoever!

    N900 has 10 times as many useful apps that allow you to do real work - I don’t want to install 100 apps - i’ll be there all day trying to find each one!

    Point well made!

  9. bender24 Says:

    A very interesting blog for me:) i had an iphone 3g, which i sold for 250bucks to buy a nokia n900 for 500€ - so i can really get involved here.

    i appreciate the authors opinion, though for me the app store was ok (though only spent some € - so without wasting money i had to use the demos or just crap apps. labyrinth, table hockey (dualtouch advantage) were nice and repeatatly used, but not from myself;)
    internet was ok, quite everything nice with that finger ui, but i didnt like to write anything. not even sms, besides they cost 50cent in my plan.
    i really couldnt take pics (my “boss” wanted 5mp - i always had to carry a digicam, which my mum uses now), also couldnt have gps-audio-directions (unless i paid 40€ or so)…

    meemo or maego, the n900, whatever, is almost there if not much further. i can use IM finally even with speech and could do picture too - but i am no real early adopter. i also haven´t touched that extra devel thing cause - i´ve never bricked a mobile and i know why. its more important than just an ipod, a cam, a gps, whatever… its alltogether with an communication-port to the whole world. it should be declared holy. not like jobs sees it (without porn haha), but finally with a much better shell and a better akku.

    jobs is doing a great design, no question, all good enough for a certain peer group.
    and dont forget that the ipad is quite the size of ur palms.. thats somehow an format we naturally tend to… dont forget about that nokia!

  10. BillDavissen Says:

    Good points, but don’t forget that Nokia is trying to play the same app-number games. They have a simple to use app creator that will turn any RSS feed into an app, much like the book apps.

  11. Daniel Persson Says:

    About the Iphone phenomena.
    I remember when friend of mine got a Iphone. He showed me, check out this man! I can check what upcoming movies there are in SF-cinema (Sweden) with this app. I told him, do you realize that you have been able to do that for about 5 years already since SF-cinema have had their mobile website since years back.
    But there is an interesting point here. For most ppl, the step to go surfing on the phone is a huge step, then its much more easy so search the apptore for SF-cinema-app to get the information from the app.
    In the other hand, with a decent webbrowser like microB you could instead visit the real SF-cinema webpage and order your tickets directly for the movie you like to see. Thats way cooler. Ofc that possible on Iphone too, but ppl doesn’t seams to realize that, and thats sad.
    Iphone made it easier to get to the information. But why should things be so dam easy all the time? In my opinion, Iphone, in many ways are making ppl more stupid and lazy.
    Another thing.
    The SVT (Swedish Television) app. SVT spend alot of my money on an application for Iphone just because Iphone cant use the SVT mobile website. Things like that make me angry.
    But the worst thing so far is the drugstore in Sweden called Apoteket. Last they have made an pollen forecast app for Iphone and not a mobile website that everyone is able to use, that is just stupid. Why not just make a mobile website and a Iphone app for ppl that dont realize that they can visit the mobile site. Their answer to that is: Iphone is the biggest platform right now. Im stunned.

    //Daniel Persson, Sweden.

  12. MoRpHeUz Says:

    Great article! Another thing that is good for Maemo devices is that we have the community “filtering” what goes inside “extras”. Everybody can create a new repository but you know that “extras” is being filtered and that just applications that were tested enough are good enough to get “in”.

    Cheers,

  13. Peter Says:

    Um, you are wielding “30000 ebooks on Maemo” as a number here. And they are from Project Gutenberg only? So, basically there are no interesting ebooks for the majority of users on the Maemo platform?

    While I agree that number of apps is uninteresting at first, the way an app store is implemented is key to the usability for many users. There can never be an app that works perfectly for everyone. It is OK if there are 20 or so Google Analytics apps because this increases the chance that one of them will work the way I want. If they are front-ends for RSS-feeds or whatever the way they present information may be exactly the way a particular user wants.

    It would be more interesting to compare how users on various platforms feel about their device and the software available for it. Can they complete tasks in a way that works for them? Is it easy to find tools that help them do a better job/have more fun/look at boobs?

  14. Interessanter Beitrag: “Less is more: the 200?000 app myth” | Nokia Maemo 5 Blog Says:

    [...] hat in seinem Blog einen interessanten Beitrag mit dem Titel “Less is more: the 200′000 app myth” verfasst. Darin vergleicht er die 200.000 Apps im AppStore mit dem Angebot von Maemo. Und in [...]

  15. Another Peter Says:

    Agree totally that the numbers are getting to silly levels, and many apps do indeed just hide poor capabilities.

    However, and it is a big however, the N900 and Maemo still has some way to go. As bender mentions above, I am a bit of a geek but I don’t have the time, energy or knowledge to hack my phone and install anything other than apps in Extras or Extras-Testing. Which is pretty limiting when you are missing out on some major apps or games such as Foursquare, a proper Facebook app (I did think that full browsing was superior for FB, but now I recognise the need for an app front end for notifications, ease of use etc), some awesome games as available for the iPhone.

  16. jaywink Says:

    Excellent article! Couldn’t agree more

  17. Dirk Ritter Says:

    Could we then please get rid of N900 themes, scattered among applications in our app repositories and properly kick those into their confined “Themes” category?

    It’s sort of confusing to find a theme, i.e. pure cosmetics, next to a fully-blown WYSIWYG word processor. That may work for the IPhone, or Android app stores with truckloads of toys and scripts written by script kiddies over night, but not on a device where you expect “Apps” to be fully-blown, full-featured, mature program packages.

  18. bluechris Says:

    I agree with this to an extent, but the key thing is the professional grade apps.

    In the areas you mentioned, the app store big number thing is really unnecessessary overkill, but in other areas Less is still less.

    Lets be honest here - there is something to be said fro puzzle games and ports of Duke Nukem and Diablo, but that doesn’t excite people who don’t like puzzle games and are used to games on consoles or PSP’s, or other handed devices with a high quality action gaming experience with no keyboard necessary. The Games that got previewed earlier this year (the rollercoaster one and the cube thing) looked great but without Ovi store handling a pay model things like this won’t come through and this kind of thing that will excite people. The kind of stuff from N-Gage needs to come to meamo. Also, how many config widgets and status monitor tools are there? There are many things to turn an option on and off, but nothing yet to create new profiles and incorporate those settings away from the power button menu - something which would make the menu simpler and easier to switch. Lets not pretend here that the community is well intentioned but geeks code for geek interest, at least to a certain extent.

    i hope Nokia will do a version of it’s sports tracker for Maemo/meego (eCoach is ok, but lets be honest, if you used sports tracker before it doesn’t compare).

    As far as radio stations as apps - this would actually appeal to some users of the N900 as the internet radio client is pretty poor and seems to stop for me within a minute of the phone locking so it’s hard just to set it off playing. Many users won’t know the url of the feed or in some cases how to find out what it is.

    Project gutenberg is good for what it tries to do, but i gues the problem is DRM - Basically, i’d rather be reading new stuff than classics.

    As a geek (i am a .NET software developer) there is a lot that can be done i’m sure and i am planning to write an app or two (though nothing too advanced because it will be a new platform and i have other things going on) but as a non geek who want’s a few good full lenfgth 3d games, misses my EA monopoly, and has no interest in ports of old pc classics (unless someone does a touch version of Monkey Island) there is a poor showing. I’m hoping the nokia/microsoft deal recently done (although for E-Series stuff) will help bring some office document write to the mix, but i’d at least hope for Open Office by now or somehting too.

    So yes - ovi needs to get sorted as apps on there are growing at a very slow rate. Also community apps coming through have been slowed by the delayed update so there may be some gems waiting, but most of us are not going to be adding extras devel to out app manager, many of us won’t want to understand what vreporistories are at all an just stick with the default too, and if he device is to be commercially sucessful, it’s these people who have to be impressed.

    I like the N800 but i have to admit, i’ll have to see a lot of change and the opening up of the pay model to stop me being tempted by Android or Symbian 3 next time rather than Meego.

  19. HOSHIRO Says:

    I would call myself an advanced “end user” and I have yet to witness quality online flash gaming with the n900…

    and forget about MicroB… if you are willing to let go of full flash compatibility, the Opera Mobile 10 rocks!!!!

  20. Lukas Says:

    I hate my N900 :-/ … waitin for iPhone 4

  21. Anonymous Says:

    It is based on the fact that users have the freedom to do whatever they want with the device and this freedom originates from the app stores.

    Really? The freedom to run one app at a time, or the freedom to have your paid for app taken away when Apple changes it’s policy?

    That’s one thing I really like about NOT having DRM on my N900. I can choose to install apps from wherever I please, with no worries that Apple may later change their minds and revoke an apps status. I personally know a few developers that had apps for months up on the store, approved and selling, only to see their app pulled down (and deleted from every iDevice that got it remotely) because Apple changed their mind on a policy. Ask any developer that had a cross-over app before they most recent SDK license update.

    As for flash, there are plenty of flash games. In fact there’s a new app for the N900 that lets you load/save/play flash games locally, without the browser. But it’s going to be one app, with a list of flash apps (that you can expand) that it can pull and save locally or connect to to play. So that counts as one app, even though it could be hundreds… Just another example…

  22. Marcelo Eduardo Says:

    Well, While the core message of your post is 100% true ( the real goal is quality not quantity ) there should be also a statement towards the part which says Maemo does have a small / quality number of apps.

    That’s simply not true. Maemo today serves to a small audience, just like linux does to really “heavy-heavy” power users.

    Even the simplest application, the new hello world, twitter… doesn’t exist in a good fashion on the N900. All apps sucks, both in quality (design) and development.

    What I see is that with Qt Creator and a really easier deploy system. A more open store approach like Ovi has, there will be indeed much better apps quite soon.

    The real problem is that everything you pointed out, it is also happening in Nokia side, but with the usual delay : Now there’s a Ovi Wizard just to turn the RSS feed into an App. And most of the well done apps in Ovi store are from the same Finnish company Offscrn , and almost all of them are straight copies of the iPhone’s version (like flight control).

    My question is: What is needed to attract the good / detail oriented developers to Maemo / Nokia Qt platform?

    I have some suggestions to the answers:

    a. A solid, easy to install and use SDK with easy testing methods
    b. A direct approach to submit, approve and get the app on the Store with Lot’s of clients with access to it, READY to pay for the app by simple clicks on the desktop or the mobile.

    First is almost there. Qt is bringing a unified platform and it’s going to be great.
    Second, still a little bit messy, specially when it comes to desktop solutions.

    Most of the times, the problem is not on the device, is not on Maemo itself, but in the whole service chain.

    Maemo has the best multitasking (under the hoods, UI wise goes to Palm ) a incredible open environment, still what we see are mostly poor ports.

    my 2 cents.

    ;)

  23. Anis Says:

    Apps are needed to reduce the bandwidth we use while surfing and not necessary that the phone is short of features.

  24. Shirin Says:

    do you know any app about stocks?
    nowadays, A lot of banks have iphone apps can buy/sell at stocks…
    I have a N900 but, I couldn’t do damn actions…
    where are useful apps? I think, I will sell my N900 until new apps are released

  25. gandhii Says:

    Heh Shirin.. I think one of the main points that was made is that you can use one of the many browsers for an as good as or better experience rather than downloading an app to do the same thing. … and the sky is blue.

  26. Anis Says:

    Apps are easy to use, they dont take much in downloading data because its mobile optimised, plus they reduce your data charges from carrier its a lot of difference in loading the whole webpage and loading an app to do the same thing. while agreeing many apps are junk in apple and android market but there excellent apps in the market too. Like the stock application in Apple iphone where the stock charts are excellent very smooth and when you move your finger along the chart it gives you the closing price for each day

  27. sygys Says:

    why if its so uncredible crap, is it one of the most popular platforms out there and are we with the crappy stuttering ugly UI one of the few who actually where stupid enough to buy this phone?

    With almost no descent games on it, almost impossible to play due to the lack of multi touch. and the sad reacting screen of the n900.

    If that isnt enough our ovi store is full of shit not even usable for the n900, like mms pictures and shit! and movie trailers wich are easily viewed on a webpage. Not to mention the crap ass quality of the flash 9 youtube video’s without the lack of hd video.

    You are bitching about the iphone, but fact is people who have one, are actually getting what they want, while we are stuck with this brick.

    No developper wants to make games for the maemo platform. because no one wants this phone. And yeah!! sure you can connect your n900 with a PS3 controller. but how often are you gonna drag that thing with you when you are in a bus and want to play a game? RIGHT! never. and you need to put the n900 on a table to even play a game.

    The buttons on the keyboard for playing games are terrible and unusable. (thats why people came up with the pairing idea)

    I can go on and on. fact is the n900 is not as good as everyone is saying. besides that all good apps you say that the n900 has are all on the iphone and android store too.

    I hate apple i really do, but i think its becoming more clear that its because of jealousy then that they have a crap phone, because they really dont. Nokia is the lazy ass phone builder here whom only think of making money. they give shit about us custommers.

  28. Kristoffer Lawson Says:

    Sorry to crash in on this party, but there are a large bunch of applications that are really useful and that I regularly use on my iPhone, from Twitter to sat-nav apps, from public transport routing to streaming TV. They are well designed and stable.The argument about fart applications is old and tired. All that proves is that there is a thriving and commercially interesting ecosystem. Something every platform should aim for.

  29. jack horton Says:

    I agree that huge amount of these 200 000 apps are pure bs. But where ever you go, what ever pc or mac app you use u can download an iphone version for your phone. I personally have more than 5 pc apps that I really liked to use also on my n900, but I cant and I’m sure never will.

  30. vrt Says:

    Once you get past a certain number of apps, the metric loses it’s value.

    The ‘theres an app for that’ syndrome is unfortunate, the functionality for many of those apps could be represent easily as a mobile website and not be confined to apple’s walled garden. Publishers diverting their resources to provide apps for their information instead of an open resource based on established standards are only strengthening apples position at the cost of others who choose not to use apple products. Not to mention apple makes developers jump through a lot of hoops to get the permission to provide an app on their platform, who controls your right to make a mobile oriented web app?

  31. theflew Says:

    @Kristoffer

    I don’t think the article says there aren’t quality apps for the iPhone. But the 200K number is misleading. You could probably boil the whole app store to 20K unique, quality apps. And I’m sure a lot of app developers would love that because each app would be noticed more.

  32. Jim Says:

    Wow 100% with you, they just claim they have the most, but they are useless, Nokia N900 is a mobile computer you can do a lot of more things with it without downland that many apps.

  33. Kasi Viswanath Says:

    10000000000% agree. I agree there are few nice games for the iphone stuff, but apart from that NOTHING ELSE.

    Maemo is evolving. And as you rightly pointed out, the moment Nokia sorts out their Ovi store problems, we are good to go. I already know the t.m.o forums that there are few big game producers who are eagerly waiting for the Ovi store problems to get resolved.

    And I believe Nokia is actively working on this. Their latest Ovi software beta (for desktop) definitely shows promise.

    Just a dozen nice game apps like bounce/angry birds is all that is required for this GREAT Maemo platform.

  34. Manuele Says:

    One of the cleanest articles ever about this topic.
    A thumb up!

  35. Jean-Claude Elias Says:

    I add my voice to the others. Who needs zillions of apps? A few good, really useful one is all that we want.

  36. Pieter Says:

    Great article. The web is the ultimate app. The N900 does it right. Another difference between the N900 vs the iPhone approah is that, very often then open source stuff on the N900 is built by people who clearly love what they are doing - its a labour of love and the N900 is the best platform to do what you love and believe in - without constraint. On the iPhone I get the idea that a lot of the stuff is just to make a buck. Trying to sell you classic books packaged as apps for instance. Get real.

  37. appexam » Blog Archive » Wieviel “App” steckt in 200.000 Apps? Says:

    [...] Schweizer Entwickler Thomas Waelti hinterfragt auf seinem Blog diese Anzahl beider Märkte mit ihren zugegebener Maßen vielen Apps und vergleicht ihren Aufbau [...]

  38. suprajun Says:

    Great article man but i wanna asked you somthing is nokia phone can handle the apps like i phone without any hanging like n97 my brother he have iphone 3gs 16 g and the phone full of apps like 15 g still no any ram leak ? So the n900 can handle like 30 g of apps?

  39. Raj Says:

    Great Article and I totally agree with you. The N900 is one of the best smartphones i have. I used to be a windows mobile user for a long time and used to buy most of the apps I like from Handango. What i miss here is a common secure store where we can buy the few paid apps that N900 has and likely to increase in future. I stick to very few reliable online sites and I am very cautious using my credit card online. Hope Nokia fixes the Ovi store soon.

  40. Gorun Says:

    Yes it’s true that 200 000 applications are too much,and much them repeat!
    But Nokia says that n900 is a COMPUTER,and what is a computer without apps?I don’t want 200 000 apps,I want only 200 but optimised for this great device(much of apps from maemo comunity aren’t optimised for this device,and the rest of them are with badly design)Seriously it’s sadly!

  41. suprajun Says:

    guys check nokia offical web site they make a vote for apps for the n8 and 70% of apps related to iphone? even there is ps3 and psp and iphone games emoultar? and lot of cool apps. i think nokia they don’t give a f……. about n900 they care only now about nokia n8 thats a shame nokia :(

  42. Asif Says:

    Great Article .. i completely agree on the b/s of 200k applications .. but why isn’t Nokia stepping up with more application and fix up the Ovi store .. i have used the iphone too .. agreed most of the applications are not worth it .. but just like a new device .. u try a app.. get bored .. and go to another on .. creates more choice for the users and keeps the phone interesting ..

  43. anonym Says:

    i really need nice game in my n900,not a past game…
    thumbs up for the article…

  44. suprajun Says:

    nokia cares now only about the nokia n8 they don’t care no more about n900 you know why guys? cause n900 not a symbin os it’s lunix os and symbin owned by nokia so the n900 just to show off thats all so if you want to buy the real phone buy nokia n8? cause ot will be full of apps. shame on you nokia

  45. DISCODAVE Says:

    this article could not have come at a more perfect time. just this past saturday i had an eye opening experience with my first hands-on experience with a droid. what occurred shortly thereafter was a series of questions that began to pop in my mind regarding my love and eventual disgust over the whole app issue pertaining to the n900. my beef is not so much with the phone itself as much as it is with the lack of available apps that make sense for the way i use my phone. everyone utilizes their device differently and with me being such a heavy user, and so reliant on my mobile device, i found that after learning and playing with the droid, and having owned an iphone for a short period of time, that i am just frustrated with my need to workaround so many issues on the n900 that on the iphone and blackberry and droid have simple apps that do the job from the get go. one such example for me is the streaming of XM SATELLITE RADIO. in order for me to use it, i have to use orb.com and another 3rd party xm streamer to be able to stream xm thru the n900. this is a pain in the fucking ass but it’s the only way to get it to work from what i have found. as for the availblility of other apps, i would love to see the development that goes into the iphone and droid, go into the n900, and it is tragic that for such a capable device there just isnt the development. as loyal nokia users and people who have embraced the n900, i stand with all of my fellow users in voicing my disgust with nokia with regard to this phone. the most saddening part is that i had been really eyeballing this phone for several months prior to my going out and snagging one, and now that i am neck deep into this phone (2 months after owning it) i find myself yet again looking for that end-all-be-all device. as much as i adore this phone, it still does not meet all of my personal expectations. and as i read everyone’s comments as to how much of a mobile computer this phone is (and i do agree with that btw) i am frustrated to no end that with it being marketed and used as such, that there is nothing on the market that helps to propel this phone out ahead of the pack like the iphone and droid apps are propelling those devices with such ease. as far as i am concerned, as a communication device the iphone is ishit. everything the iphone can do the ipod touch can do except make calls. so that being said, the n900, as a true mobile palm top computer, should be able to chew up and spit out the iphone with ease. i just dont see it happening unless there is some revolutionary change in the way nokia moves this device through the marketplace. and as for all of you who make the claim that nokia is abandoning this device, i really hope you are wrong, but i shamefully and begrudgingly see that as more and more the truth with every new device that i see coming out at this time. especially the newest device, the N8.

  46. suprajun Says:

    Discodave you are right man but you have to know one things nokia does not make a phone loaded with all customers needs spacially nokia cause if they load the phone with all apps you want with best hardware and softwear they can not sell the other phone cause customers they are going to buy only one phone so i think this the game of nokia for example N95. So the next N95 it will be the N8, i like i phone and apple cause they care about customers i know the i phone it’s not cheep phone but it’s the perfect phone withe the hardwear and softwear and apps and this only first phone made by apple magin what will happend when they relase the iphone 4G?

  47. anonymoose Says:

    whatever! app developers are making money. even with fake apps.. !!

  48. DISCODAVE Says:

    suprajun i agree that the iphone is wonderful technology but it is designed for the masses in mind. not the case with the n900. that being the case, there should be at the very least, comparable apps for the n900 that are typically standard issue on the iphone and the blackberry. xm radio, cbs radio, google maps, (even ovi maps!!)

    to make matters worse, nokia isnt even supporting the n900 by allowing it to work through nokia pc suite nor ovi suite. that to me says a lot about nokia ambitions with this phone. the fact that such a capable device doesnt even have a viable gps software package, forcing me to buy the subpar sygic maps suite for $US65.00 is a travesty.

  49. suprajun Says:

    discodave i agree with u but i don’t understand why nokia relase n900 without apps? just to ahow apple we can do somthing it means show off and they don’t care about it they care only about symbin os? what i came to know symbin one of the worst os and nokia still support that os cause they owned. Then why they relase n900 i think n900 just to show off that nokia still can handle it apple listen?

  50. suprajun Says:

    discodave did u cheak the nokia web site? they make vote for the apps for the n8 magin one of those apps iphone emoultar game and psp and ps3? nice haa and n900 nothing only the old 2 demintion games

  51. burt Says:

    Pffft. Never mind how many apps there are for the iTelephone, real N900 users make their own programs.

    I ported gcc to my N900, it is schweet I tell you, schweet.

  52. DISCODAVE Says:

    suprajun i couldnt care less about games. i want apps that make this phone a powertool not a game console.

    burt, as for the development, i am not a developer nor am i a programmer. i am however a “real user” of the n900 and it just frustrates me to see such great development out there for the other more mainstreamed devices and not for this device which we all know can run circles around the devices out there at this time.

  53. suprajun Says:

    discodave not only the game even the softwear but you know somthing i’m wondering how the nokia n8 going to handle all this apps with a 680 ghz procusers ? compre it to iphone procusers and n900 they are diffirent type of procusers the all new smart phone they came with 1g procusers i don’t know why still stuck with 600?

  54. suprajun Says:

    you are man but this the way how nokia deal sorry discodave but i had been use nokia nokia phones since ages no any changes the only change came with the n900 and right now stoped without any reason. We hope nokia deal with us coustomers in the right way like the apple style:)

  55. Richard Says:

    I agree with most of this, and found your rationalising a good read. however, if I cannot buy the real good apps like Angry Birds on my phone, then I look a little dumb compared to iphone/ipod touch friends.

  56. suprajun Says:

    I agree with u richard i know n900 it’s a computer phone but still need lot of develompent to reach iphone apps and for the guys said iphone just for games this not true my brother has iphone lot of apps not only games i have n900 compare to iphone it’’s nothing let say the n900 it has camera better than iphone cause the flash and by the way the frame rate in iphone 30 per second and n900 it’s 25 per second? for 5mp camera thats not right nokia we hope nokia do somthing about it n900

  57. Andraz Says:

    one big problem with n900 is the fact that ovi has extremely rigid rules of publishing and some other (default) repositories are less than happy to publish a commercial app. So, if you have a commercial app like we have (app is free, web usage is premium), what do you? Any comments?

  58. DISCODAVE Says:

    Richard you are so right… this is what really got me thinking this past weekend when i really had an opportunity to play with the droid. indeed I believe that we all look pretty stupid in front of our iphone and droid friends as we boast about the seemingly endless capabilities that we have in our hands with this device, however until nokia gets their shit together we will all continue to look more stupid. sadly, this little blog will do no good either since nokia isnt reading it.

    andraz - doesnt apple have the same strict rule with regard to publishing apps for the iphone? I was under the impression that they did. if that is indeed the case, then why is it that developers can pump out hundreds of apps per day for that device? I mean lets look at pypianobar for example…. great app for the n900, but why is it even called pypianobar? what the fuck is the deal with that? why not just call it the pandora app?

    i mean this kills me because it does the exact thing that pandora does but i had to search high and low for a pandora app, and this is what i found. i am getting increasingly more frustrated too as I read all of your comments becuase it’s pretty clear to me that we all seem to agree on this issue. now the question is, how do we get this frustration directed to the people at nokia?

  59. suprajun Says:

    Right andraz OVI store it’s nothing comare to apple apps store and u know they said they want to compete with apple apps store that’s what i hared funny haa! i don’t know how they are going to compete with apps apple store and they don’t have even nice apps, and right now they care only about the new nokia n8 and.they want to make it like iphone even the made a vote in nokia website about this matter belive that the 50% of the new apps with 3D for the new nokia n8 copy it from iphone?

  60. suprajun Says:

    discodave go to ovi store and there is a comment direct to ovi and nokia i sent a comment when i had my n97 they reply me with lot of shit about the new softwear of n97 after that i sold it out and i bought the n900 and till now like 5 month no any app from ovi not even the new softwear rp1.2

  61. suprajun Says:

    As i told you discodave belive me nokia care only about the symbin os and if u notice that n97 got a new softwear 2.1 and it’s sucks crapy phone just asked yourself why n900 not getting any develop till today the last update end of 2009 and till today no any update

  62. SkyEagle Says:

    Hello guys…just a few comments from my side.

    I agree with most of your comments. I just want to point out that N900 is really limited in what should do best: use internet apps and business apps.
    Only the web browser id good, all the other standard apps are quite scrap: Modest email client is horrible and too limited, Calendar is really basic, you don’t have a real good local search function; Mail For Exchange has still many bugs and lack of features (example no category, problems with recurring events, only 1 calendar support with no colors, no invete etc etc).
    THe bluetooh doesn’t work well with headphones, car devices etc.
    I don’t care about MMS or videocall (never used in my other phones) but I would like to fully use the power of N900 with decent business apps !

    It is very strange that the best part of N900 is the multimedia/video/camera part which is not bad for this type of device.
    It is even more strange that no one has developed a better PIM / Email /Calendar / Contacts apps while there are strange apps and porting of emulators of games etc.
    PLEASE DEVELOPERS, GIVE US SOME NICE Buiness and useful apps, even commercial ones . FOr a good apps we are very happy to pay some $/€ !

    Thanks,
    SkyEagle

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