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Introduction to Nokia Software Development

written by: S. R. Obbayi•edited by: Simon Hill•updated: 6/22/2010

Have you ever wondered what it takes to get involved in Nokia software development? You may be surprised to find that Nokia provides a wide variety of options to enable you to develop software on their smartphones. Keep reading to see what options are available for Nokia software development.

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    The good news about getting involved in Nokia software development is that in some cases, if not most, if you are already a software developer or a web developer, you will not need any additional skills to get started. Nokia phones support software development using either Flash Lite, Java (J2ME), Symbian C++, python, Qt or XHTML/CSS/JavaScript. Let us look at each one of these.

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    Flash Lite

    To develop Flash Lite applications for Nokia you need to have to have the following:

    In addition to the above tools you need to have knowledge of Flash's native ActionScript programming language, you need to know how to use the Flash authoring tools and you need to know the level of Flash support for the phone model you intend to develop Flash applications for.

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    Java (J2ME) MIDlets

    Java ME is supported on all Nokia Platforms. To get around setting up for developing and deploying Java ME based Nokia software which are also called MIDlets, one needs to...

    In addition to all these tools which come with installation instructions, you need to be familiar with the Java Programming Language and Mobile technology and you need to be familiar with getting around using the IDEs.

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    Symbian C++

    Symbian C++ is what almost all non-Maemo based Nokia phones are built upon. So Nokia software development using Symbian C++ enables the Nokia software developer to achieve high level of integration with the Symbian OS and the phone hardware that cannot be achieved with any other framework.

    To get started with Symbian C++ one has to understand C++ programming language and have an understanding of mobile technologies. One also needs to learn additional extensions to the C++ language that are unique to Symbian OS. This would be an additional learning curve even to the seasoned C++ developer.

    As for tools for Nokia software development on Symbia C++, you would need to start by downloading one of the S60 Software development Kits which will give you all the documentation and emulators needed to develop on specific devices.

    To create the Nokia software development code, you would use Carbide.C++ which is specially designed to create Symbian applications. It is also nice to note that with Carbide.C++ you can develop using Python programming language.

    Symbian C++ applications have a comprehensive security model which means your applications have to be signed. Information on packaging and signing can be found here.

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    Qt Libraries

    Qt is a cross-platform Nokia software development platform that can be used to develop Nokia software for Symbian, Maemo and coming soon MeeGo. You need to have either Windows Operating System or Ubuntu Linux Operating System to develop Nokia Software with Qt.

    Next you will need to download and install the Nokia Qt SDK which comes with an option to install either the offline or online version. The SDK includes everything you will need to develop using Qt including Qt Creator IDE, all the documentation manuals, emulators and debuggers.

    In addition to the Nokia Qt SDK you will need to have knowledge of the C++ Programming Language and mobile technologies. Qt would be simpler to use than Symbian C++.

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    WRT Widget Using XHTML/CSS & JavaScript

    To develop Web Runtime (WRT) Widgets one needs to be well versed in HTML, CSS, JavaScript, AJAX and the Document object model (DOM). The developer would also need to have information about which mobile devices support web runtime widgets.

    WRT Widgets can be developed using the same tools you would use to develop web content so there is almost no learning curve. Microsoft Visual Studio Plugin, Aptana Studio Plugin and Adobe Dreamweaver extension all come with plugins that make the process of developing, debugging and deploying Nokia WRT Widgets much easier. They also have built in Nokia emulators.