I decided to interview a great man I admire, for developing the application that all us reviewers love, Screenshot. Antony has been in the software business for long, and is and important developer at Nokia.
Good evening Mr Antony Pranata, I am really glad that you accepted my invite. The readers and I are expecting to find out quite a lot about you and your contribution to the Symbian society.
To start, would you care to tell us what which phone was your first?
My first mobile phone was Siemens C25.
When did you acquire this mobile phone, and what was the price (comparing to the prices today)?
I bought my Siemens C25 in August 1999. At that time, I was still living in my home country, Indonesia. The price was around US $135.
What phone are you using at the moment?
I am currently using Nokia N95 8GB.
When did you get into mobile phone programming?
I started into mobile phone programming at the beginning of 2003.
What was your first Symbian program that you developed or helped to develop?
At the beginning of my Symbian career, I worked for the N-Gage SDK team. I wrote some APIs that are used by game developers.
The first “real” Symbian application that I worked with was muvee. I helped muvee porting their application from S60 2nd to 3rd Edition. Actually, I was helping them porting muvee to UIQ platform as well; but then the project was cancelled.
For what company are you working right now, and if I may ask, what application are you currently developing with the mentioned company?
I am currently working for Nokia. My latest application has just been released to Nokia Beta Labs. It is called Nokia Location Tagger. Basically, it’s a small application running on S60 3rd Edition that tags pictures taken from camera with GPS coordinates. When you download the pictures to the PC; you can view the location using Google’s Picasa (+ Google Earth). You can also upload them to online photo sharing sites, such as Flickr, so that you can show your friends where the pictures were taken.
We know that you were a Forum Nokia champion, please enlighten us about how you accomplished this feat.
Honestly, this was really a surprise. I don’t think that I have contributed that much to the developer community. Most probably, they selected me as Forum Nokia Champion because of my contribution to Forum Nokia’s discussion board, wiki and blog.
We know that you are from Indonesia, studied and worked in Germany, and now you are in Canada. Please share with us what you studied and learned on these three beautiful countries.
Indonesia is my home country. I was born and grew up in a very small town, called Magelang. I pursued my Bachelor degree in Electrical Engineering from the University of Gadjah Mada, Yogyakarta. It is the oldest university in Indonesia.
After graduation, I continued my study in the University of Stuttgart, Germany. I received a Master degree in Information Technology major in Communication Engineering and Media Technologies.
In Canada, I don’t study. I just work here.
What is your favourite mobile phone application at the moment?
There are many actually. One of my favourite applications is Truphone, a VoIP application. I like the application not only because it allows me to make cheap calls, but also because it is able to seamlessly switch the network, for example between home and office.
Who do you admire as a mobile phone programmer?
I admire Dr. Jukka (a.k.a. symbian_yucca). He is the developer of Y-Browser and Y-Tasks. He has written more than 30 Symbian OS applications (if I remember it correctly).
I also admire the guru of Python for S60, Jurgen Scheible. He has been evangelizing Python for S60 all around the world.
Do you read any mobile phone blogs? If yes please tell us which one is your favourite.
Definitely. I read a lot of mobile phone blogs (around 40). My favorite one is Mobile Opportunity from Michael Mace. He always has good analysis and predictions about anything happening in the mobile phone industry.
What inspired you to create the famous Screenshot application?
Well… at that time, I was working in a UIQ project. I had to write a report about the project and I need to include some screenshots. It is not easy to find a good screenshot application for UIQ. There was one, but I was not satisfied with it. Then, I decided to write my own screenshot application during the weekend. The following week, I had my report done with all the screenshots.
Later, I thought why not giving the application to the community. I did some “polishing” to the user interface and released it a couple of weeks later. The S60 version was actually coming later;
Why did you stop focusing in UIQ platform and only in S60?
It is simply because I don’t have that much spare time these days.
What are your plans and visions for Screenshot?
There are actually some new features requested by the users. S60 5th Edition with touch screen support is also coming soon. You have also mentioned that there is no UIQ 3 support at the moment. Those things are on my wish-list for future development.
Do you plan to develop more Symbian applications? Please tell us what is in your mind.
Yes, I am planning to. I some ideas in mind; but couldn’t disclose it right now.
To finalize, please tell us what specifications would your dream mobile phone have?
This is really a good question. When I first bought my first phone (Siemens C25); I just wanted a phone that is able to make a call. When I bought my second phone (Nokia 3330); I was still thinking the same thing. I didn’t want any fancy features. I couldn’t believe that now I have a multimedia computer in my pocket.
Honestly, I am very satisfied with the specification of my current phone (Nokia N95 8GB). I have to agree with Ricky Cadden from Symbian Guru, that software improvement is more important than hardware. We need more stable software, better usability and better power management (so we don’t need to charge the battery everyday). More info about Ricky’s posting here.
A message to your application users and the Symbian community?
I just want to thank the users of Screenshot for Symbian OS. I feel happy that many people are using the application that I developed. For those who haven’t tried my latest application, Nokia Location Tagger, I recommend you to give it a try.
Last but not least, thanks to Meraj for interviewing me.
It was truly my pleasure, I’m looking forward to see what applications you release next!