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Category: General

2010

I am going to keep this post short because I honestly don’t want to bore you with all the details as why we disappeared towards the end of last year. It has been 3 months since our last post and that is just unfortunate. We knew we were going to be off for sometimes to take care of couple strategic issues but we didn’t anticipate it to take this long. All you wonderful readers should know is that we are coming back much stronger and with a better vision for 2010. I’ve taken this time off to define my own personal goals for the site and how they would relate to our readers. I am very excited about all of the enhancements coming in 2010- It is going to be a great year!

Stay tuned for posts starting to roll-in over the next few days.

And remember: it is twenty-ten not two-thousand-and-ten!

N86 Camera – Close-up Mode Put to Test

N86 is Nokia’s first 8 Mega Pixel camera phone which made a leap not only in the mega pixel count, but also the camera optics & sensor as explained by Steve from AllAboutSymbian here – Quantifying the improvements in the Nokia N86’s camera.

A few days back, we brought you news about the new N86 firmware v20 update which packed in quite a few camera improvements according to the release notes. To check the “Improved Close-up Focus”, I went ahead and shot a few close up mode photos. The results are more than decent to say the least. I, personally, was stunned by the clarity of the shots & the crisp close ups.

Continue reading to check the photos for yourself.

Ovi Developers – Help Us Help You

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One of the biggest issues with the Ovi Store is the shroud of secrecy over the statistics & behind the scenes data. No one knows how many times has an app been downloaded or purchased. Stats related to revenue being kept confidential is understandable, but why not share the download statistics with the users?

Since Nokia seems to be unwilling to do anything in this regard, here at OviApplications.com we have decided to take the initiate. We are conducting a survey for all the Ovi Developers to know them better. The survey hopes to shed a light on the impact Ovi Store has had since you became associated with it. We would like to know whether your app. is available via channels other than the store and if so, how has the launch of Ovi Store changed the way users would download or purchase your app. There are a few more questions we would like you to answer. The more information you share, the better would be the results. This survey would help you understand the Ovi ecosystem better.

We are going to collect the data from Sept 8 – Oct 10 and then we will release the results shortly after. Again, the data will be kept strictly confidential and we won’t disclose the names of the developers or applications that participated.

Take this survey – Ovi Developers Survey 2009

This Week in Ovi – Nokia World Edition

Starting this week, we are renaming our “Oviapplications weekend hits..” posts to “This Week in Ovi”. Ever week, in the “This Week in Ovi” posts, we shall bring you a short summary and a link to read more about whatever made the news in Ovi & Nokia that week.

This week was undoubtedly dominated by the much awaited Nokia World 2009, which saw new phones getting announced, Nokia first foray into the computer segment & new services being revealed. Also of interest and importance was the launch of the Ovi SDK & APIs letting the developers make use of Ovi services and quickly develop useful applications for a variety of phones as well as the web.

Read the full story for the news & details. Have a great weekend!

Tech Buzz Takes the Top Spot at Calling All Innovators Competition

 

Nokia has announced the list of the winners for its Calling All Innovators competition and Mippin’s Tech Buzz homescreen Widget has been named as the top app in the Internet Innovation category. According to the press release, over 1,700 submissions from 85 countries were reviewed and full list of all winners from other categories will be available later this week. Tech Buzz beat Dianping mobile app and Pixelpipe to take the first spot in its category.

Tech Buzz widget is a fast and reliable way of accessing the latest tech news anywhere on the Nokia mobile devices. If used on Nokia N97, all the headlines and contents appear in rotation on the N97 homescreen. The feeds are retrieved and updated automatically and users have full control on majority of its settings.

You can read our full review of the widget here.

Oviapplications Weekend Hits 08.28.09

  • Nokia N900 and Linux based Maemo operating system were all the buzz this week. WSJ has an early peek at the device. [WSJ]
  • On Monday Nokia also announced the much anticipated Nokia Booklet 3G. At $800 price mark, I wonder if it is going to make any difference but It is great to see Nokia is still breathing and innovating. [TheNokiaBlog]
  • AllAboutSymbian has 23 suggestions for fixing and improving the Ovi store experience. [AAS]
  • Microsoft launches OneApp store to allow developers to build mobile apps for entry level phones. [Fonearena]
  • The folks over at Gigaom have 3 scenarios for future of Smartphones. Great read! [OSTATIC]

Ovi Store down for the moment – “Men at Work”

As the Ovi Blog had mentioned yesterday, The Ovi Store is down for maintenance today. Both the website and the mobile client will remain inaccessible for most part of Saturday.
The website says that the store is down for maintenance at the moment and will be back up shortly.

Where as the mobile client says that the [...]

Oviapplications Weekend Hits 08.15.09

 

If you’ve been frustrated with Ovi store search, there is now an alternative brought to us by the good folks of AAS. Try the unofficial Ovi search here. [AllAboutSymbian]

Microsoft and Nokia join forces to bring Office products to Symbian phones. ZDNet has a great analysis of what this means for both companies. [ZDNet]

Gartner released their report on Worldwide mobile phone sales in Q2 of this year. Nokia is still the market leader. [Gigaom]

Despite all the rumors, Nokia says they are committed to Symbian and will continue to invest in the upcoming Symbian technologies. [WSJ]

AT&T’s latest Nokia messaging handset, Surge gets reviewed. [Brighthand]

Nokia as a Media Company

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There is a fascinating 11 page article by Mark Borden about Nokia in the latest issue of FastCompany magazine. Nokia’s EVP Tero Ojanpera is on the cover of the magazine and the article focuses on Nokia’s plans moving forward and the way they want to challenge what Ojanpera calls “that fruit company in Cupertino”. I strongly suggest that you read the article yourself but here are some interesting points:

  • in 2008, Nokia sold 472 million cell phones and generated $70 billion in revenue, earning $7 billion in profits. They make 13 phones every second and are the 88th-largest company in the world with 1.1billion customers. Their market share is greater that its next three competitors combined but that those numbers are slowly being challenged.
  • Nokia CEO Kallasvuo believes that its all numbers and scale game when it comes to app stores and Nokia will win that scale game.
  • The company believes people adopt to new technologies because of three reasons : 1)survival, 2)social and 3)entertainment. Nokia refers to these as culture.
  • Nokia’s R&D labs are working on a new technology that senses what a user is doing at any moment and then select music from a personal library to suit that activity.
  • The article also mentions the legendary musician Dave Stewart. Dave is not an official employee but his title is change agent and acts as Nokia’s ambassador to the entertainment world.
  • Stewart was trying to persuade U2 to release the bands recent album through Ovi but it never happened.
  • Nokia’s Dance Fabulous game starring a singer named Cindy Gomez is the result of of Nokia’s plans of bridging music and gaming. The songs from the game are sold via Nokia’s Online Music store.
  • Nokia’s CEO refers to the company as a “content provider that is deeply involved in media, music, gaming and navigation”.

Again, this is an interesting article and made me appreciate what Nokia has done to mobile industry. We always talk about how Apple is kicking Nokia’s behind but as the article suggests there are two sides to each story and Nokia might be the only company that can scale and make a comeback as a media company.

Ovi vs. Android Store

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I’ve been using the latest Android Mytouch phone for the past couple weeks and I wanted to share my experience dealing with the Android Marketplace and how it fares to the recently launched Ovi store.

Things Android Marketplace does better than Ovi:

  • With over 1,200 live applications, Android has made it very easy to search and locate whatever apps a user might need. Ovi search (on the phone and store website) has always had major hiccups and I am surprised that Nokia has not taken any actions to address the issues yet. This needs an immediate attention.
  • All Android accounts are tied with Google Check-out and this makes secure purchasing just a click away. Obviously operator billing is the better choice but since Ovi has not been rolled this out in the US yet, I believe Google Check-out (or for the sake of comparison Paypal with Blackberry App World) offer a user friendly way for customers to purchase apps.
  • As much as I hate to say it, but the quality of apps are just much more superior to those found in Ovi store. Many online services and content providers offer native Android apps. Just this week, Amazon launched their latest Android app that essentially allows customers to scan barcodes and search for items in Amazon. When will see major publishers, gaming properties adopt Ovi?
  • Going back to the previous point, Android is not crowded and for developers it is easier to get downloads.
  • User Reviews are a key part of any application store. Android has built a very strong review platform that makes it very easy to navigate through reviews. Just this weekend, I purchased 6 paid apps solely based on user reviews. You can also email the developer or in some cases Gtalk/Skype them directly from the marketplace and ask questions. Many of the developers proactively respond to users and provide feedback on their apps. This makes the purchasing more exciting to say the least.
  • I am not exactly sure how this works in Ovi store but with a single click I can request a refund of a paid app in Android Marketplace and get my money credited back. I hope it is that easy in Ovi store but maybe somebody can clarify that for me?

This post is in no way to bash Ovi. If you look at Nokia forums or chat with some of the Nokia team on Twitter, you know that they are well aware of problems and appear to be working on some of these issues. But in my opinion, the one thing that they need to do fast is to improve developer supports and work with publishers of all sizes to get their apps showcased in Ovi and improve the quality of applications available. I’ve had several discussions with Symbian developers over the last few weeks trying to understand the exact pain points and challenges associated with the Ovi store. There are two common themes that I hear from them:

  • Developing for Symbian is much more complicated than other platforms.
  • Many of the application developers have serious concerns about Ovi store DRM. There simply is no way for a developer to protect their app and avoid a free spread of their application through Ovi. They can potentially lose thousands of dollars in revenue if they get their app ported in Ovi. There is a lot of passion behind this subject and I would rather not comment more on it at this time but if you want to know how Symbian developers really feel about it read here.

Having experienced with itunes, Android, Blackberry App World and Ovi, it is all clear to me that in order for Nokia to legitimately challenge Android and others is to refocus on developers and get on their good side. It is not all about quantity and how fast they can get to 1 billion downloads but rather how satisfied their developers and users are with the program.

Picture Credit to Kalel Koven- Flickr