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Freeware Application Testing Idea

Posted by Craig H on 1 April 2010

We know that there is a lot of inconvenience associated with distributing free (as in beer) applications for the Symbian platform at the moment – either the developer has to pay to get it Symbian Signed or every user has to sign the application for their own phone using Open Signed Online.

I am suggesting that the Symbian Foundation should host a beta test site for free applications. Developers and volunteer testers would be able to sign up to the site with just an email address and an IMEI, and then they could upload any application they like, and download any application they like. On download, the application would automatically go through Open Signed Online and be signed for that user’s specified IMEI.

There’s a clear risk that such an application could accidentally or deliberately damage the tester’s phone or their bank balance, so they would need to acknowledge a disclaimer to that effect.

Users that have downloaded an application for testing would then have the opportunity to rate it, then periodically the ones with the highest rating could be sponsored through Symbian Horizon, and the ones with the lowest rating should be removed.

There will of course be costs involved in hosting and maintaining the site, but it seems to me that those costs should be quite manageable and I am hoping they could come out of the Symbian Foundation’s budget (someone will have to do proper costings on this before it can be approved, but I’m willing to do that if the idea is popular!)

If you like this idea, please head over to the Symbian Ideas site and vote for it! At the time of writing, I only need 8 more votes to progress it to the next stage, so I’ll be grateful for any and all support 🙂

Tip of the hat: some aspects of this are similar to the O2 Litmus programme and the Android Market, but I think it’s interestingly different from both of them.

4 Responses to “Freeware Application Testing Idea”

  1. Heading across to the Symbian Ideas site now to cast my vote for your idea my friend.!

  2. Craig H said

    Thanks all for your support! The idea now has the necessary number of votes to qualify. Any further comments, questions or votes of support are still welcome of course 🙂

    My next step is to get a moderator to advance the idea to the next stage (expert review) which I will do on Tuesday.

  3. ardhean said

    strongly agree. please continue. because many people think that the symbian platform is still vulnerable from viruses and hacker attacks. I support you.

  4. fahadsadah said

    This sounds like exactly the right idea. Voted.

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