Mobile app developers win cash prizes at the Nokia Innovators challenge
When Rabia Azfar from Nokia called me and asked if I would be a Judge for Nokia’s “Calling All Innovators Pakistan 2010” initiative, I simply could not refuse. In fact I was really excited at the possibility of seeing some of the entries that had been submitted.
I remember putting up a post some time ago asking developers and companies to participate. I also remember sending out folders with posters and information regarding this challenge. I had thought it was a great effort on the part of Nokia to encourage development on the Symbian platform, and I hoped that the many talented developers would take advantage of the opportunity. Many did.
Going through the applications one by one, my fellow judges (Zia Imran MD of PSEB, Muhammad Amir Malik who is the Director ICT at the PTA, Farhan Chawla a blogger who is a Nokia specialist,Teemu Kiijarvi, Developer Relations Manager Nokia Middle East and Africa) and I spent two days over teleconference and face-to-face meetings to review the applications. The decision was unanimous. We all agreed that of all the applications submitted, the best ones were:
Winner: Ten Pearls’ Utrack – a multi-platform mobile application which provides a novel way of managing daily tasks easily and effectively streamlining one’s life. This application allows user to visualize daily tasks and know his or her status at a glance. uTrack allows the user to track work tasks, school assignments, family obligations, etc. The concept is simple. The application features a virtual ‘wall’ where the user can put up sticky notes with their to-do’s. Once the user decides to start the task, they can simply drag the sticky note from the ‘To-Do’ column to ‘In Progress’, ‘Done’ or ‘Verify’.
N8, N97, 5230 and QT Simulator
Pakistan’s First Gully (street) Cricket Mobile Game that offers nationwide competition and it also solves the copyright issues of application developers in the developing countries i.e. follow registration model for each application.
Second Runner-up: Edumid’s Fun SMS
FunSMS by Edumid Pakistan is a free SMS chat software that makes Text Messaging colourful, vibrant and media rich. It bridges the gap between internet and text messaging as users can send link of audio, videos and other web content using FunSMS and the content will be downloaded displayed and played on the recipient’s phone.
Supports: S40 and S60 devices.
The winner was awarded Rs. 1,000,000 by the PTA Chairman Dr. Muhammad Yaseen; the first runner up was awarded Rs. 500,000 and the second runner up received Rs. 300,000.
Unfortunately I was down with bacterial pharyngitis and could not attend the event. However, I am told by those who did that the morning session, which included a Developers workshop, proved to be very useful.
These kind of initiatives help to drive people to challenge themselves and I hope that Nokia, and others, will continue to invest in mobile applications development in this country.
However, one of the things that should perhaps be kept in mind next time round is that perhaps there should be a division of categories – professional companies that are a few years old, products that are in beta, products that have been in the market for a while, completely new products developed for the challenge, products developed by university students or freelancers. It was difficult for the judges to compare apples with oranges. However, since the parameters hadn’t been defined, awards were given on the basis the best app overall.
I was happy to be a part of this activity and P@SHA will continue to work with Nokia to raise the bar in terms of innovation in the mobile space.