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War of the Worlds I: Developers x Carriers

Posted by maltron on May 9, 2007 at 2:18 PM PDT

If you’re a mobile developer like I am, you will spend hours looking for the right tools, gathering information from books, magazines and articles all over the internet and after a few days, you will be delighted about your new mobile application.

But developing the mobile application itself it’s not enough: You want to show to your friends (or customers) what your application can do and play with it. Of course, when you do that, you probably will face the first barrier on mobile development: The carriers.

In most part of the World, carriers has a huge power of how the application should be deploy in the devices, making a tuff life for all the developers out there. I attended an BOF last night in JavaONE’2007 called:

BOF 5914 – How to Work with JavaME Carriers

About 4 carriers were represented (Orange UK, AT&T, Spring Wireless, Mobile China) to comment about JavaME projects and how we can work together, so everybody could benefit for a mobile ecosystems. Some of the major points the carriers told us were:

  • Carriers are not worry about games: They have plenty already
  • Carriers are looking for applications that bring more rich experience for the user, although they look some of the API’s on the phone
  • Carriers are still looking for a perfect security model, so they can provide certificates for developers.
  • Carriers don’t know how to handle the hobbyist developers

Mobile China was the most interesting because they have a way to work with developers in a more political way: Hearing developers needs. I still don’t have any details about it but I will go after those folks to get some more details about it.

I was very happy to know that most of mobile developers out there are very angry on how carriers are treating us and I good message from this BOF from a fellow mobile developers said: “It is not us[developers] who should know how to work with you[carriers]….It is you who should know how to work with us, because we have the ideas”

Even though the discussions were impressive, this is a very good sign that we’re moving forward in mobile applications. I can only hope we can see more of those discussions between developers and carriers in the future, so we could bring more expericences towards the community.

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