Nokia‘s call to Indian developers to create applications for the N97 has resulted in a slew of localised widgets and applications. Apple tread this path first by launching the App Store and inviting developers across the world to monetise their mobile applications by selling them to iPhone users. In the online world Facebook used applications on its platform to multiply usage; the most famous of the Indian applications of Facebook is Lexulous (previously Scrabulous), which once claimed to have revenues of $300,000 a year.
With Nokia, Microsoft, Research In Motion (BlackBerry) and Android (Google) all looking at application marketplaces, content providers have an opportunity to create greater distribution for their content, and perhaps monetize the same for a revenue share. For the handset manufacturers, applications are a way of not just adding to revenues, but helping increase handset sales.
Preloaded applications on Nokia’s N97 include Accuweather, Facebook, Amazon, Reuters, Youtube and Hi5. At the time of the Ovi store launch, we were rather disappointed not to find any Indian applications. Nokia informs us of some applications and games developed for the N97 by Indian companies.
The pre-loaded applications will be available for free, while, according to Nokia, the pricing for Ovi (apps) in India hasn’t been decided yet. Some of the applications which will be made available on Nokia’s Ovi Store, or pre-loaded, when the N97 is launched in India:
Cricket & Darts: KrishCricket, the mobile game development gaming company from Cricketer Krishnamachari Srikkanth, has developed 2 light Java games for the N97. One is a dart game while the other – KrishCricket Challenge – is a Cricket game that allows users to narrow down on a scenario- one can select a stadium, team mates, the line and length of bowling and even the toss. KrishCricket already offers the handset-agnostic Cric Thrill application on Airtel’s network.
Protection: SmartGuard by Aims Migital, a Gurgaon firm, secures the address book, lets you hide images or videos, and protect that important SMS. Users can secure data on both the phone memory and memory card, and also password protect files.
Weather & World Clock: Since N97 supports tactile feedback, Delhi based MobiMonster has used this feature to create a lively weather app. It offers forecasts for 5 days for any worldwide location. Interestingly, the appearance of this application differs completely (and is an improvement, we must add) from MobiMonster’s existing Weather widget. Why the company did not do a similar makeover with all its other widgets, we do not know.
It has also launched a sleek widget called World Clock for the N97, which shows the time for 5 cities and lets you put 2 as the screensaver.
Flight Check: Status and schedules of flights can be viewed using this basic widget by MobiMonster.
Fitness: Motion sensing, tracking your movements and distance traveled is used by Fitness Monitor, a widget by Pune-based RG Soft to show calories burnt and fitness quotient of the user on the mobile. It offers charts and a diary to track the progress of your weight loss programme.
Search: Zivasoft’s Zook, which powers Idea Cellular’s new stock search and subscription value added service app in Punjab, will show movies, events, deals and other location-based services on the N97. The application features reviews and tags, and has personalized alerts. Zook claims to have the “Largest index of mobile-specific exact answers; web-extracted data expanded and enriched with partner data and community’s participation.” Phew! The app informs you if your friends are nearby, and gives location aware answers to your queries. Users can collect feedback/comments from friends as well.
Translator: This application, by MobiMonster again, supports translations between 9 language pairs: English, German, Spanish, Italian, French, Portugese, Russian, Greek and Dutch. No Indian languages! (screenshot)
Blogging: Create, update or delete posts on your Blogger account using Blog Spot by Phoneytunes. It’s a little strange that this application is restricted only to Blogger, and not others like WordPress.com. The appearance of Blogger has also not been replicated. The application allows you to surf through and search blogs by tags.
Movie Time: Network18 owned BookMyShow has an appliication that claimes to aggregate 600 movie screens across India. The app, like its online counterpart, claims to have real-time seat selection, and users need only to just flash the SMS confirmation at the theatre for actual tickets. Payment is also mobile.
— A Column on Application Stores in The Financial Express by Nikhil Pahwa, Editor, MediaNama
— Nokia’s Ovi Store Opens For Business; Where’s The App? Poor Usability
— Mosh’s New Avatar Is Nokia Ovi Store; Microsoft’s Marketplace Gets Ready
— Nokia & Microsoft Unveil App Stores At Mobile World Congress