bookmark_borderThe Ovi Store

As any mobile app developer knows, there comes a time when you need to release your creations out to the general public. On the iPhone, one has the App Store. On Android, the Android Market. On Nokia devices, the Ovi Store.

Whenever I hear someone talk about the Ovi Store, they never have anything good to say about it. Having not experienced the store myself, I remained skeptical.

Recently the Ovi Store on the Nokia N900 opened, so naturally I decided to check it out and see if it really was as bad as people suggested. What follows are my experiences, illustrated with accompanying screenshots.

To Start

Start Page

First I tap on the “Ovi Store” icon on my device. After a short while, a web browser opens in fullscreen mode. So far, not bad.

Not sure what I want to do, I tap around the tabs (each loading a new page). Now I realise: I just saw something interesting on the last page, and want to see it again. But how do I go back? Well first I need to exit fullscreen mode. Next, I need to tap the back button. Then from the history list which appears: Browser History

I must then select the previous slide. THEN if I am really unlucky, I get to see the page load again.

Now I decide I want to download a game, so I tap on the “Games” tab. The “Games” page loads, showing:

App List

So now I think ”I’ll try and download Angry Birds.” Herein lies a puzzling problem. Nothing happens. A few more taps, and the browser zooms in. Finally after a bit more tapping, I manage to get it to recognise I selected the app. The “Angry Birds” page loads.

Angry Birds Page

Ok, so “Download”. But first I need to sign up for an Ovi Account!

OVI Signup

After filling out all the forms, I get a “Thanks for signing up” page. By this time, i’ve all but forgotten what app I was going to purchase.

Browser History

What would come in handy here would be… I don’t know, some sort of “Click here to continue your purchase” button perhaps? Instead, I have to use… the back button.

Finally, I tap the download button again. This time it loads the “Application Manager”, which after a while asks me if I want to continue installing “Angry Birds.”

App Download

At last, the app is installed. Eager to run it, I looked in my applications list, but couldn’t find it. Until I looked closer…

Find The App

Yes, Angry Birds is represented by… a blue box.

Thankfully though, the app ran fine.

Running

All in all, I found the experience of downloading my free app to be unnecessarily frustrating. I can’t help but feel that nobody was really thinking when they designed the Ovi Store. From the constant page reloading, to the confusing appearance of the app on the device itself. I’d dread to think what would happen if I tried to buy an app.

I can safely say that currently the criticisms I have heard of the Ovi Store are well founded.