Ovi Revisited

Perhaps I am in a difficult position as I have seen Alpha versions as well as public Betas, but I have tried many of the Ovi services a while back and was quite frustrated by the whole thing. However, after the announcements at Nokia World 2009 I decided to bite the bullet and try them again. Here is a summary of the services I have tried again in the last month.

  • Mail
  • Share
  • Calendar
  • Maps
  • Contacts
  • Store
  • Files
  • Music

Each of these services have different ways of accessing the back end:  mobile client or web application (either browser based or device). Each service utilizes shared user accounts from Nokia Account. This is a great idea in principle but it would be great if you didn’t have to log in to each service separately. It would also be great if you could tie the account in with Facebook Connect and other APIs.

Mail: I have had this since its inception and it works great. A very simple web (and mobile) interface and can say I have had no issues with this at all. A great way for people with no (PC) web access to get a free and reliable email account. It would be nice if you could import existing contacts from other email account or Ovi Contacts though.

Share: This is like Flickr, a medium to share photos and videos with friends. You can do this through a PC client or web browser or directly from your phone. The main disadvantage of this is I just don’t see the point of it. With the additional services offered by Facebook for example this just doesn’t seem viable. Why create another account just to share photos – then get your friends to sign up there too?

Calendar: This works well, I have successfully synced my phone with the application. Again, importing from other mediums would be good – perhaps one for the future.

Maps: Version 3x is a vast improvement from previous versions IMHO. Doing searches and planning trips through the web and then syncing to your phone is a great feature. Maploader and other utilities make this a must have – if you are willing to pay for the map licenses. I believe that it uses less data transfer than say Google Maps – but Google maps is free: take your pick.

Contacts: Again this works very well, syncing with your device. Major gripe is that there is no mass delete and no import/export functionality – yet? Still if the phone syncing works as expected then this shouldn’t be too much of an issue.

Store: There has been a lot of bad press about this. For me it is OK, just that there is a lot of crap on it too – would you pay 2 euros for a wallpaper – come on!! I haven’t purchased anything yet, but it seems to be improving every time I visit.

Files: This is the dark horse of the Ovi services I think. For a long time this was a free trial. Now it has been opened up and it works really well. This application allows you to browse your home computer (or multiple computers if you have the software installed) from anywhere. It also allows you to view files even if your home PC is not on or  ‘any time’ as they call it. You can store up to 10GB..

Music: There is a PC client and it works quite nicely. I don’t really utilize this though as I am stuck in Finland / Finnish and I would prefer to access UK content.

Games: N-Gage has some great games. The web site is functional and the only problem I have had is trying to play games over WIFI. It just won’t seem to let me do this. To merge all of these services is a desktop client called Ovi Suite. This is a really nice piece of software and is a great improvement on the PC suite I think. Overall, I think that the services are improving and are really beginning to work nicely together. I look forward to further enhancements and features to make the user experience more seamless. What do you think?

The thoughts,views and opinions posted on this site do not necessarily reflect those of my employer – there is no insider information..

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