Will Verduzco · May 13, 2014 at 11:30 pm

Opera and Nokia Populating the Nokia Android App Store without Developer Permission

The Nokia X is quite a unique “Android” device. And when we refer to the X as such, it’s only in the loosest definition of the term. This is because the X packs such a heavily skinned UI that you’d never be able to detect its distantly removed AOSP underpinnings at first glance.

Naturally since Nokia is now officially owned by Microsoft, the Nokia X lacks access to Google Play and related Google services. Instead, the device relies on various Microsoft and Nokia services such as Nokia’s Android App Store. This app store is run by Opera, which in turn has its own Android app store.

So why’s all of this relevant? Well, it’s no surprise that even though the vast majority of Android apps are capable of running seamlessly on the Nokia X, developers haven’t exactly been jumping at the opportunity to load their apps into Nokia’s Android app store. After all, why would a developer with limited time resources target an app store that only one family of (low end) devices can access? But rather than enticing application developers to upload their existing apps to the Nokia app store, Nokia is doing this for them and contacting users after the fact. This is where things get a bit sticky.

Enter Ander Webbs, developer of the highly regarded ADW.Launcher. Yesterday, the developer received an email from Nokia stating that they had created a developer account for him and populated it with ADW.Launcher. All he had to do was to get in touch with them in order for the application to go live. Naturally, this resulted in a great deal of confusion, as this application was put in the Nokia app store without the developer’s consent.

Upon learning of Ander Webbs’s dismay Opera software marketing team member Anna Melnychuk got in contact with  the developer, stating that this was done because the application was available in the Opera Android app store. However, Ander Webbs never registered as an Opera developer. Rather, he registered his application with Handster, which was acquired by opera three years ago, and the application was moved to its place in the Opera app store without his knowledge. This then enabled Opera to transfer the app to the nascent Nokia Android App Store.

It’s easy to understand Nokia’s motivations in pursuing such a course of action. After all, they’ve now got an Android device that’s perfectly capable of running Android apps, but there aren’t too many apps available for users to readily install without resorting to alternate app stores or sideloading. But while these actions may not be as nefarious as if Nokia / Opera had extracted the APK from the Google Play Store and uploaded it to the Nokia Android App Store, they are still questionable at best. Hopefully, this practice will come to an end and proper developer recruitment will take place. That said, I wouldn’t hold my breath, given parent company Microsoft’s track record in the past.

[Many thanks to OEM Relations Manager jerdog for the heads up!]


_________
Want something on the XDA Portal? Send us a tip!

Will Verduzco

willverduzco is an editor on XDA-Developers, the largest community for Android users. Will Verduzco is the Portal Administrator for the XDA-Developers Portal. He has been addicted to mobile technology since the HTC Wizard. But starting with the Nexus One, his gadget love affair shifted to Google's little green robot. He is also a Johns Hopkins University graduate in neuroscience and is now currently studying to become a physician. View willverduzco's posts and articles here.
Mario Tomás Serrafero · Jul 5, 2015 at 11:00 am · no comments

Sunday Debate: Which Factors Caused HTC’s Woes?

Join us in a fun Sunday Debate on HTC's situation. Come with your opinions and feel free to read some of our thoughts, then pick your side or play devil’s advocate to get your voice heard and engage in friendly discussion. You can read our food-for-thought or jump straight into the fray below!     HTC is underperforming, and there isn’t much of a way of denying this. In April, their revenue nearly declined 40%, plummeting after the HTC One M9 had...

XDA NEWS
Mathew Brack · Jul 4, 2015 at 05:07 pm · 2 comments

HTC’s New Ad Campaign And What It Really Means

HTC has just released three new blind test adverts comparing app loading speed, audio and selfies. Whilst you are surely astounded that HTC won every time, the tests were incredibly biased and their release shows something concerning about the company and how they are performing in the current market.     One of the many reasons companies tend to utilize blind trials is when they feel that their product is comparable or better than its competitors. This leads to the assumption...

XDA NEWS
Mario Tomás Serrafero · Jul 4, 2015 at 12:00 pm · 5 comments

XDA Picks: Best Apps of the Week (June 27 – July 4)

Apps are at the front and center of any smartphone experience, and with over a million apps on the Google Play Store and new apps being submitted to our forums every day, staying up to date on the latest apps and games can be a hassle. At XDA we don’t discriminate apps - if it’s interesting, innovative, original or useful, we mention them. The XDA Portal Team loves apps too, and here are our top picks for this week.  ...

XDA NEWS
Share This