Yandex Blog

Nokia’s Android Phones Come to Russia Fitted with Yandex Apps

Nokia’s Android smartphone, Nokia X, announced at the recent Mobile World Congress, comes to the Russian and Belarusian markets equipped with the essential search functionality provided by Yandex. The Finnish company’s first in the X-series of phones premieres today on these markets with the Yandex.Search app already preinstalled and the Yandex search engine as a built-in search provider in the phone’s browser.

Buyers of Nokia’s new product in these countries will be able to funnel mobile apps for all their needs through our alternative Android app store, Yandex.Store, which is now featured in Nokia Store. Nokia’s range of Yandex-enhanced Nokia X smartphones will continue with Nokia X+ and XL with Yandex as a default search provider and Yandex.Store preinstalled.

Nokia’s smartphones have always been popular in Russia and the CIS, not in the least, because of the company’s ability to cater for the specific needs of their customers in each of the markets. It’s only natural for Yandex, who always placed a top priority on relevance of service to a specific user in a specific location, and Nokia to join efforts to make sure the user experience of their customers is locally-relevant, smooth and seamless, even when they go from desktop to mobile, or from one mobile device or OS to another. Nokia’s decision to choose Yandex’s products for their new phones in Russia and Belarus ensures comfortable user experience for their customers in each of these countries, who already know Yandex and its products very well.

We’ve been partnering with Nokia since 2011, when Yandex became a default search provider on Nokia’s Lumia 800 and Lumia 710 distributed in Russia. We’re now happy to have rekindled our old relationship through our support of the alternative Android ecosystem. The love of freedom of choice is what brings Yandex and Nokia together in this partnership.

Yandex.Store to Be Featured on Jolla’s New Smartphone

Jolla, an independent mobile developer from Finland, has chosen Yandex.Store for the Android app distribution on their new smartphone. Yandex.Store will be preinstalled on the highly-anticipated Jolla device.

The Finnish smartphone maker has been attracting a lot of industry and media attention for their Sailfish OS, a Linux-based, open mobile operating system, which they have been developing based on previously Nokia-backed MeeGo. Former Nokians did what they do best: they developed a smartphone – a smartphone that would carry Sailfish OS ‘to offer choice, to bring something different to an industry [which is] stagnating under the Android + iOS duopoly’.

What Jolla also did was make their Sailfish OS Android-compatible and pick Yandex.Store for their Android app distribution. Yandex.Store, an alternative Android app store, which currently features over 85,000 apps in 17 categories, offers the best and most popular social networking and communication apps, such as Facebook, Twitter, Foursquare, Skype, Viber, WeChat, as well as games, productivity apps and music apps. The up-and-coming alternative Android app store has an in-app purchase opportunity and is available on smartphones and tablets in 37 languages.

"Jolla's strategy is always to work with the most applicable service partners in specific markets and create long-term strategic partnerships. We analysed a number of alternative Android app stores to use for our first markets in Europe, and quickly found out that what Yandex offered was very competitive and that they were very interested in developing their app store together with us for their future needs and for the needs of Sailfish customers", says Sami Pienimaki, co-founder of Jolla.

Jolla and Yandex.Store were made for each other. We both like dialogue. We both like to talk to the developer community and to our users, and we both want to hear them. We both support community-based initiatives promoting choice and fair market. Jolla is the initiator of Sailfish OS, an open mobile operating system, aimed ‘to bring innovation to a stagnating market and help mobile industry players to stay on the bleeding edge of the mobile OS development’. Yandex.Store is a supporter of One Platform Foundation, a global open-source initiative, whose aim is to help users, app developers and OEMs to cope with Android fragmentation.

Jolla and Yandex.Store were united by one purpose – make the life of every Android app developer easier. Yandex.Store, created and supported by app developers, understands better than anyone else what app developers want. And what they want is a quick and easy way to distribute their apps to a maximum number of stores. Now, anyone submitting their Android app to Yandex.Store can enjoy a new distribution channel – Sailfish OS on Jolla smartphones.

Yandex Opens Yandex.Store, Releases New Version of Yandex.Shell

Yandex has announced the release of Yandex.Store, one of the largest alternative Android app stores, and a new version of the innovative 3D interface for Android-based smartphones, Yandex.Shell. Device manufacturers and mobile operators can now have a fully functional app store and a prize-winning user interface solution installed on their devices. These two products are part of the alternative mobile ecosystem developed by Yandex, which the company is announcing at Mobile World Congress 2013. 

Apps for every taste

Yandex.Store opens with over 50,000 apps in its catalogue, including some of the most popular around the globe, such as Twitter, Foursquare and Cut the Rope, and those that are breaking the records of popularity in the home market – Russia's most popular social networks VK and Odnoklassniki (Classmates), and the instant messenger ICQ. Apps featured in the store range from social networking, entertainment and games to news, business and finance.

Alexander Zverev, Head of Yandex.Store says:

“The global market for Android-based mobile phones is very fragmented. There are only a few major players who enjoy a meaningful share, with the remaining portion of the market, which is quite significant, distributed among hundreds of smaller companies. We are joining the game to contribute to competition that ensures freedom of choice for the end user and other members of the market”.

For device manufacturers
The Yandex.Store app store, offered as a native client, will be installed on mobile devices shipped to the Russian market by a number of device manufacturers, including 3QExplayOppo, PocketBookQumoteXetWexler. Deployment and usage of Yandex.Store is available under flexible terms of a license agreement and does not involve any additional fees. Manufacturers choosing to use Yandex's app store under their own brand name on their mobile phones will receive ongoing technical support starting right from the launch. Moreover, revenues from app sales are shared with our Yandex.Store partners.

For mobile operators
Yandex.Store is a quick and next-to-effortless way for mobile operators to have their own app store for distributing branded or featured apps. One of Russia's largest mobile operators, MegaFon, has already created a mobile app store, GetUpps!, which uses the technology platform and apps pool of Yandex.Store along with its own developments.

Although most of the 50,000 apps in the Yandex.Store appstore are free, even those that are not free are easy to purchase. Yandex.Store allows device manufacturers or mobile carriers to give their customers a choice of payment methods. End users downloading premium apps from MegaFon’s GetUpps!, for instance, in addition to being able to pay with their bankcard, can also use a mobile payment service provided by the operator. 

For app developers
The developer part of the new alternative app store was announced in October 2012 to give developers an opportunity to submit their apps to the store before it opens to partners and end users. With a fast and easy interface and smooth publishing procedures, Yandex.Store is a developer-friendly channel for monetising apps at a 70/30 revenue share model for those who already make money through other app stores, and an attractive alternative for those who want to expand their markets.

All apps in the Yandex.Store app pool are verified by Kaspersky Lab. Each new app submitted to Yandex.Store is checked for malware using Kaspersky Lab’s technologies.

Petr Merkulov, Chief Product Officer, Kaspersky Lab says:

“The collaboration sees Kaspersky Lab provide comprehensive antivirus protection for Yandex.Store. We’ve integrated our dedicated Kaspersky Anti-Virus Software Development Kit into Yandex’s new alternative Android app store to protect it from all sorts of malware, including viruses, Trojans, worms, rootkits, spyware and irritating adware. Each new app submitted to Yandex.Store is checked for malware by the integrated Kaspersky Anti-Virus Engine to make sure all the apps in the store are safe to download”.

According to Kaspersky Lab data for 2012, the Android operating system has been attracting increasing attention from malware developers. The platform’s popularity and the fact that its source code is publicly available has made Android a popular target for malicious attacks, with 99% of all the mobile malware detected last year targeting Android devices. 

The Yandex.Store user interface is available in English, Spanish, French, German, Italian, Turkish, Ukrainian and Russian, with more languages to be added soon. The developer interface of Yandex.Store is available in Russian and English.

Yandex.Store is available for free download

Complete makeover for Android smartphone 

Together with our new mobile app store, we are offering device manufacturers and mobile operators a new version of Yandex.Shell, one of the world’s most popular user interface solutions for customising Android-based smartphones. Since the announcement in February 2012, Yandex.Shell has been downloaded more than one million times.

Yandex.Shell transforms the Android home screen into a 3D space, has a push panel technology, which allows sending customised panels and skins straight to the phone over the air, and gives manufacturers an unprecedented degree of control over what their phone looks and feels like to the end customer.

The new version of Yandex.Shell also features a new dialer and address book. It is offered with a customised installation package and a default layout configuration. 

Yandex.Shell for Android is available in English and distributed to device manufacturers for free under a licensing agreement. 

Come and find out more about our alternative mobile ecosystem for Android at Mobile World Congress 2013, Hall 5 booth #5E80!