5 Comments

Summary:

Practically anyone can create a Nokia smartphone application thanks to the new Ovi App Wizard. This is a step in the right direction for Nokia, but it’s not likely to raise the Ovi Store to parity with Apple’s or Google application stores.

Got a Twitter or Facebook account, a website, or any combination of the three? If so, you can now be an mobile application developer, thanks to Nokia’s new Ovi App Wizard beta. The new service doesn’t require a software development kit — known as an SDK in developer parlance — or other downloads. Instead, users just plug in the URL of their Twitter feed, Facebook account or RSS feed, upload a logo, answer a few questions and with an “I Dream of Jeannie” head-bob, become an app developer in under 24 hours. Based on the user-generated video below, the actual work effort required to create an application is around five minutes.

The Ovi App Wizard takes the user-submitted information and creates an app that can be “delivered on more than 100 Nokia device models in more than 180 countries around the world.” Software can be free, ad-supported or priced according to the user’s specifications. App creation on Nokia’s side can take up to day, but once the process is complete, the software appears in the Ovi app store and is readily available for download. Offering quick-and-easy mobile application development without requiring any programming knowledge is a step in the right direction for Nokia, but it’s not likely to reinvent the app store space for Nokia’s handsets.

http://www.youtube.com/v/E0abhwqcZyk&hl=en_US&fs=1&color1=0×006699&color2=0x54abd6

For one thing, while some content creators will take advantage of the Ovi App Wizard, I also foresee the creation of a large number of personalized apps that would just clutter the market. And since apps created with the Wizard are all based on existing RSS or other web feeds, they’ll be more a mobile repackaging of existing content than anything else as they won’t offer new or original functionality. What they will do, however, is boost the total app count for Nokia’s Ovi store. Quantity never trumps quality, of course, but in these early days of the app economy — especially when it comes to smartphone app stores — quantity is an important and oft-cited metric.

To that end, different smartphone providers, such as Nokia, are scrambling to compete with the stores of Apple and Google, which are becoming the de-facto standards. I wouldn’t call it coincidental that the Symbian Foundation last week announced support for apps built on the web standards of HTML, CSS, and JavaScript. The easy-to-program approach is highlighted by the Symbian Foundation, which says: “If you can create a web page, you’re a Symbian 3 developer.”

Related research on GigaOM Pro (sub req’d):

  1. Does not make such sense. Why would anyone download such personalized apps?

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  2. [...] Nokia’s new Ovi App Wizard beta enables practically anyone to be an mobile application developer, says GigaOm. [...]

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  3. It’s really a long-tail play – enabling people/organizations that would never invest in creating a native application to do so with ease.

    The PointAbout folks have launched AppMakr (http://appmakr.com), which is a similar offering for iPhone apps, although they charge users to create applications.

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  4. [...] Nokia's Ovi App Wizard Magically Creates Mobile Apps [...]

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  5. There are several programs like this available for iPhone and other mobile platforms. The reality is that they do little to help the problem of app overload. There are now over 185,000 apps for iPhone, there are thousands for Symbian, over 50K for Android.

    How do users sort through the junk (like this?) to find apps that are actually useful. I’m sure this is a large part of why Apple is cracking down on so-called template apps.

    The comment “If you can create a webpage, you’re a Symbian 3 developer” is rather ridiculous. Just because you have a Twitter account or a blog, or even a website doesn’t mean you should have an app. If you have a site, why not design it to work well with mobile devices.

    Just my thoughts. App development shouldn’t be something everyone can do (I can’t do it). If you want to build a useful app, learn to program, or find a developer who can build it for you. I can almost guarantee a higher level of success.

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