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