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Nokia’s Ovi Store Opens For Business; Where’s The App? Poor Usability


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oviNokia’s much avaited application showcase the Ovi Store was launched today. The store contains both free and paid applications – “a mountain of mobile content” according to the the Nokia Conversations blog. The Ovi store is compatible with more than 50 Nokia devices, which the company believes gives them access to 50 million people.

Where’s The Ovi Application?

ovi-store-screenshotGiven the dominance that Nokia enjoys in the mobile handset marketplace, the Ovi Store would be expected to receive high footfalls (rather, eyeballs) than the iPhone App store. On visiting the Ovi Store website, it was suggested that I download the application: unfortunately, the application wasn’t available.

On visiting the Ovi store again, I couldn’t find a download link for the application. Usability hasn’t been one of Ovi’s stronger points. Perhaps one will have to wait for many of Nokia’s loyal users to replace their handsets, before the Ovi store really has an impact. Screencaps:
screenshot-ovistore2screenshot-ovistore1

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Some Ovi Store Apps

There are 1236 apps in all at the Ovi store, and navigation is, quite frankly, painful. The site is taking too long to load, perhaps unable to handle the first day traffic. If I wasn’t doing this story, I would have closed the browser window long ago. Navigation of the mobile site is slow too – Nokia really does need to get its act together – discovering content is difficult too.

A majority of the content available at the App store is paid, with one a few free applications. Paid content includes ringtones, mobile apps, games etc. Some content available at the Ovi Store:

— Media Companies: The Associated Press (AP) have free to read applications available for the Ovi Store. Disney has quite a few apps, particularly those related to Hannah Montana, up.
— Social Networks: There’s Hi5, which used to have a significant South Asian user base, Friendster, Buddycloud, location based social network Gypsii.
— City Guides: WorldMate 2009, Trapster and EarthComber. Videos from LoneyPlanet are free, but the guides are paid.
— Video: there Qik for video streaming
— Music: not much music content – Only some Star Trek related content, and 17 ringtones.
Hava from Noida based Monsoon Multimedia, which allows streaming of TV over multiple devices. An app for the mobile has been made available for free, but it still requires a purchase of the Hava device for streaming.
Mobile

There aren’t any India focused applications. As we’ve mentioned before, the Ovi Store is expected to launch in India in the second half of the year.

Why The Ovi Store Is More Complicated Than The iPhone App Store

The Internet version of the Ovi store displays a number of handsets that the user has to navigate through, and the apps on the page get shuffled accordingly. There’s a reason for this – one issue that developers – particularly game developers – have always complained about, is the number of handsets that they have to rework their application or game for.

Nokia has a substantial number of handsets in the market, each has its own form factor and operating system. Consumers won’t exactly be pleased when a particular application isn’t available for theirs. That’s where the iPhone App store has an advantage, since it’s the same OS, and just one type of app. In that context, Nokia’s reach doesn’t quite appear to be the advantage one thought it was.

Are The Apps More Expensive At The Ovi Store?

I was wondering if products are being market up, by virtue of being on the Ovi Store. Take Gravity, among the best mobile Twitter clients which retails for around Rs. 497.91 if you buy it from the website. At the Ovi store, it is priced at EUR 10 – which is around Rs. 656.05 at the current exchange rate. That’s a 31.7% markup. So why should I buy this app from the Ovi Store? Note that we’re not sure if the markup is because Ovi is taking a cut, or the application developer has priced it higher.

Our Verdict: Very disappointing, whether it is the choice of content being made available, the online and mobile navigation or the usability.

Related:
Mosh’s New Avatar Is Nokia Ovi Store; Microsoft’s Marketplace Gets Ready

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  • Andrew

    The Ovi Store app is available from Download! Unfortunately installation fails with an "Expired Certificate" error. Unbelievable.

  • MoByte

    Thats typically a market leade attitude…I will because I think I can…much like mobile operators in India and elsewhere.

    Well I guess people will just have to give them a reality byte by just ignoring so many other substandard offerings of the past.

    Nikhil, I dont think youre ever going to get any Nokia advertising on here anymore :-))

  • jay j.

    whine, whine, whine…you forget that the All-Praised iPhone spent its 1st 8 months not even having apps because the late Mr. Turtleneck didn’t want 3rd party scum on his hardware. There, BTW, is your market-lead attitude: still waiting for ’90s tech cut/paste technology & video. Got the minions down w/ tv commercials, yo! So Noke don’t have stacks coming out on opening day; thy’re spending tons making it happen. So maybe a little less blog pomp with the ‘Our’ verdict when it’s just one dick’s lame, lazzy-ass opinion, and go dig up some answers for all the conjecture. My assessment on your insight of opening day on Ovi: I’d so rather listen to one of those assholes who talks through movies. Least i can throw 145oz. Coke on him and say, oh ah sorry.

  • LTLRC

    @jay: But dude still "Expired Certificate Error " ?? thats too much

  • Jay J.

    Too much? This means, dude, that Andrew seemingly has never said "yes" when his phone asked him to update the software. That's how you get new certs. he's supposed to charge his battery, too, otherwise he'll experience unending black-screen load times, which will also be Ovi's fault.

    Maybe Mohamed could lead him to the mountain at: http://www.nokiausa.com/get-support-and-software/

    I had immediate response on my N95 and E71. Two guys at work, E90 and XpressMusic 5800, also somehow were able to cruise the site. Which by the way, is a soft-launch started in Nokia's blogs, not advertized and announced, which Tech Crunch – Apple buttlicker and jingoistic epicenter of American VC money-flush technology – elevated into the full-scale launch. Everybody has a shake-down run. Don't forget – Apple iPhones still suck. Badly. And their fans still buy. Obediently.

  • MoByte

    Doesnt say much for Iphone fans then does it? That the point.. Nokia which used to define mobilty now benchmarks its performance against the iPhone. Maybe i should just give up my Nokia E71 and look at the next version of the iPhone as Nokia will catch up to it after a couple of years.

    Atleast there is Turtleneck to throw a can of coke at…here you dont even know who..I guess we just throw it and it will land on someone who makes it happen..maybe! They have been talking about Ovi for a few years and still its a SOFT launch..some Viagra may help…but then….we are talking about a bunch of 50 year olds trying to deal with a market of 20 year olds…

  • LTLRC

    Atleast there is Turtleneck to throw a can of coke at.

    Not any more . those were the good old days.

  • ABCD

    Isn't it the year of the throw a "chappal" tho?

    • not really. All the instances that I've heard of, have involved shoes. Leather shoes in case of Bush, and sports shoes in case of Chidambaram.

      • ABCD

        Of course, chappal just sounds better, no?:) Cannot be serious all the time esp when there are Angry Prissy Individuals out there.

  • MoByte

    Forget ovi, I went to an old site of download for my E71. It showed me a bunch of games costing over 99 each. I decided to download one so clicked, it asked me to confirm payment, i did, it downloaded the app and then on installation said..not compatible!!! Nokia for god sakes.. Nokia!!

    Whats with these guys.. they cant serve relevant content for their own devices? They should outsource their whole vas play to an Indian 3rd party.. I am sure theyd do a better job than this….

  • anon

    @MoByte is it Nokia or is your operator to blame

  • MoByte

    Under the download section??? you tell me?

    • LTLRC

      ya its possible . Telco WAP gateway do some kind of user agent spoofing at times. its unfortunate but its rampant .

  • hoe can I download NDTV widget for my nokia E71.

  • The widget support is only for N97 i don't think it will work on E71.

  • It is a great posting. I find it so help. I will come back and see how it goes on