3 Replies Latest reply on Jan 13, 2013 11:19 AM by Swamprat

    Porting Apps - What does it take?


      After following numerous discussions about the lack of apps and desire for access to Google Play (or o,ther app sources) in the "I Hate My Nook" thread and others, and being told by a B&N employee yesterday that "B&N doesn't develop apps - it's up to the developers to submit them." I would like to know exactly what it takes to get an existing, popular, and well developed and functioning app available on the Google Play market into the B&N app store.  I remember early in the NC app discussions hearing that it was like a bank requiring applicants to prove that they didn't really need a loan in order to get one.


      I would like to hear from someone with actual experience in developing apps and particularly in getting an already developed app into the B&N store, what it takes from both a technical (i.e., adapting to the display resolution, or other aspects unique to B&N's version of the operating system) and procedural standpoint.


      The app that I would most like to see available is FB Reader (or any other that supports a true black night reading mode with options for text color and single column landscape reading without having to fool with text size) but that would involve B&N admitting that their reader is not perfect, so we may need to choose another example.  Another option I would like to see is a file manager similar to Open Explorer.


      I look forward to learning more about this process.

        • Re: Porting Apps - What does it take?

          Swamprat, B&N App Store uses Android.


          There are three aspects.


          First is getting clearance to sell apps in the store. This is for the developer or company to first apply, then get approved, then to submit banking information etc, and then get that approved.


          This can be fast or it can be a few months.


          Why does this dissuade some developers? Because this is in stark contrast to Android MArket, where you can push out apps without any oversight.


          Also, some developers don't get approved.



          Second, is the actual porting over of an existing Android App to B&N.


          Note: For us it's the opposite, we've made for Nook first and then ported over a few apps to Kindle Fire. However, I'll just reverse it and try to explain.


          Porting over is easy because the difference between Nook, Android, Kindle Fire stores is miniscule.


          It's just that the devices have different screen resolutions and some small quirks.


          If you have a Tablet App for Android or Kindle Fire, then it's literally a day or two to port it over. If you decide to test it and/or are unlucky enough to run into quirks, then a week.


          If you have a Phone App then you are in trouble because you need higher resolutions images and you need to consider the usability etc. So perhaps 1 to 4 weeks.


          Bottomline: The only difference is the device is different. If you make Tablet Apps the differences are very, very minor.


          The major reason there aren't more Android Apps is that there are very few Tablet owners in Android (as compared to Phone owners) so very few Tablet optimized Android Apps. So the amount of effort is actually porting over an app made for phones for Tablets.




          Third, is approval of the App by B&N.


          Now developers can choose to sell for one or more of Color, Tablet, HD, and HD+.

          They can choose to sell in US only or in both US and UK.


          Developers can choose what they want to target and then submit. B&N will test and approve.


          First step is metadata approval where app purpose, description, screenshots are approved.


          The FBReader app might not make it through this step because it's a 'reader' app.


          The second step is actual app testing.




          Those are the three steps.


          Crux: If there is an Android Tablet App, then the major things are just getting approved to be a B&N App Developer. And getting the app approved. The actual porting is just a day or two.


          For Phone Apps it's longer.



          • Re: Porting Apps - What does it take?

            Swamprat wrote:... Another option I would like to see is a file manager similar to Open Explorer.


            What is it you want it to do that the Nook app OpenExplorer won't do?

              • Re: Porting Apps - What does it take?
                OE doesn't display the path consistently, sometimes crashes or hangs when trying to manipulate files, and the multi-column display truncates long file names. OE is currently in a beta version so I'm hopeful that itwill be improved,but I would like to evaluate some other options on the HD+. A great feature of OE that has gone largely unnoticed is the ability to directly access (download) files on PCs on the same wireless network.