With a fanfare of crashing servers, Nokia has launched the Ovi app store. But now that it's up and running, does it have what it takes to bring mobile phone apps to the masses? We took the Ovi Store through its paces and came up with three important ways it needs to pull up its shorts if it's going to keep users coming back for more.
1. Get good content
Before the Ovi Store was even a twinkle in Nokia's eye, developers were coming up with heaps of great apps for the Symbian operating system. Sure, they're a pain in the bum to install, and they're tricky to find, but they're out there. For example, every Londoner's favourite navigation aid, the A to Z, has a mobile version with searchable maps that don't need GPS and don't rack up any data charges. Handy? You'd better believe it. Available on the Ovi Store? Nope.
There could be many reasons why A to Z chose not to go with the Ovi Store, or Nokia didn't want it -- the A to Z company is notoriously sticky about how it distributes its treasure trove of London knowledge. But without good apps, the Ovi Store is just a proof of concept, not a useful tool, and Nokia should have moved heaven and Earth to get all the existing apps out there on board.
Instead, we get a selection of Star Trek movie tat, and a £6 tarot card app. Meh.