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 🙂