Unlocks all round! Orange frees SPV developers

And what do we have here? A developer programme...

Several months after creating a storm by - effectively - locking developers out of its SPV smartphone, Orange has relented, and is offering an unlock procedure. Orange had muffed the SPV developement issue quite heroically by deciding that all applications running on the beast needed to be signed, without first figuring out a route whereby developers could get them signed. But the latest system seems to provide at least some the answers.

The unlocking process is intended for developers only, although there does not appear to be any screening, and according to Paul O'Brian from MoDaCo, the process is available to anyone. You can get at that here, but it doesn't necessarily get you anywhere without your getting involved in the 'official' Orange developer programme. We'll leave potential refuseniks to figure out the viability of using an 'unlock/lock' routine as a mechanism to circumvent the Orange developer programme - maybe, maybe not.

The programme itself, which has just made it within the promised Q1 schedule, could possibly turn out to be OK. The how-to outlines the process, which involves unlocking, developing, then submitting the developed app to the Orange store, via orange@handango.com. "At this stage, Handango will assess your application against commercial and technical criteria. Contractual terms and conditions will be discussed and agreed between you and Handango once the application has met the set criteria."

That's the stage where it will be possible to assess whether or not Orange's approach to development is working, and it will depend on what is going to be accepted and why, what it's going to cost you, and how efficiently the process is going to run. Orange has perhaps left kicking the developer process into action just a little bit late, but it has version 2, the SPV X out shortly, so the company had it planned this way all along. ®

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