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Why the Ovi Store is still total bollocks

Yes I’m a fan. A big Nokia fan. Using my new N86 I’ve been thoroughly enjoying the background-processing abilities with the likes of Nimbuzz running along with Google Maps, ShoZu and so on. The camera is, of course, brilliant, too.

But the Ovi Store?

Oh dear.

Here’s just one indication why it’s struggling.

I clicked the Ovi Store icon on my N86 earlier today. It’s just a link. The Ovi Store App wasn’t pre-installed on my device — instead, click the icon and woosh, it loads the web browser and then navigates to the web-based Ovi Store.

This is ok.

I’m not entirely impressed at the fact it couldn’t be factory installed — but at least there’s an icon.

Instead of being transported to the Ovi Store website, I got this screen:

“Did you know there’s a faster way to browse the Ovi Store?” asks the text prompt.

I sure did.

I was delighted. Brilliant. I was being offered the Ovi Store app for download.

Good thinking Nokia.

I clicked the ‘YES!’ link.

Here’s the next screen:

Yes… that item is unavailable.

Total bollocks.

It’s not a massive problem for me, personally. I’m the geek — I can put up with navigating around the Ovi website. I can press ‘back’ and carry on. I understand errors happen and am reasonably tolerant provided I can find a work-around.

But for the normob who’s already frightened to hell by the Nokia experience, this kind of service level is dire.

We know that Nokia is trying to evolve itself into a services company — indeed, I sat in front of Mr Savander himself who explained the capacity issues that played havoc with the launch day — but this user experience is simply unacceptable.

If I was from Apple, I’d be looking at this and … you know what, I wouldn’t be laughing. This is beyond funny.

It’s beyond, ‘ha ha, aren’t they shit’.

Nokia has a 52.5 billion dollar market cap (just slightly smaller than the combined market caps of both Motorola and RIM).

It’s no joke.

What is it going to take for Nokia to deliver a reliable and exciting Ovi Store experience?

Can’t somebody at Ovi hire a few more testers or something and get the basics right?

By Ewan

Ewan is Founder and Editor of Mobile Industry Review. He writes about a wide variety of industry issues and is usually active on Twitter most days. You can read more about him or reach him with these details.

51 replies on “Why the Ovi Store is still total bollocks”

Same thing happens on the 5800XM – I had to get the store from the Download! app on the phone (though that's worse – wtf should a firmware that was released in the past month still have the Download! app at all?)

Got to agree. I’m a Nokia fan too, and this is completely unacceptable. In part because it’s not a fundamental technical problem, probably just the equivalent of a broken link. It’s more likely a fundamental managerial problem. The question is how do Nokia, given the fanfare and investment into Ovi Store, not have a quality assurance process that picks this up before it reaches the public?

This level of incompetance is below that of a 2-bit 1st time beginner level website. It would be forgiveable if it was a one off mistake (but would still be egg on their face) but this is typical of the problems Ovi Store has exhibited since launch.

how frustrating, bags of potential, rubbish execution. Nokia need to get their act together pronto or i fear we'll be comparing apple v nokia to google v microsoft…

When it comes to services Nokia seems to consistently get it wrong – inconsistencies, dead ends, multiple log-ins for different services that then prevent you from signing up for others because “that email address is already in use” but doesn't give you central place to change settings/addresses. I run a mile from Nokia services these days. They were about to lose me from the hardware too – until the N900 popped up. That's the only thing that's keeping me a loyal 'Nokian' – though even the delivery date for that is still mired in mystery.

I totally agree Alex. One or two errors, no problem — but… who's checking this stuff? It's really important because consumers are going to get really, really annoyed — and at some point, this will be measured in lost custom.

It's another small chip-away at the Nokia competence level… I don't expect Nokia consumers to immediately walk out and buy an iPhone or an Android handset in protest — it's the continual errors that I think might eventually switch people off Nokia.

The Ovi Store team and the Firmware update team, both need to up their ante.
The ovi store client for the N86 etc released about 2 weeks back was a new client which was available for download from that link. Then the v20 FW brought with it an older version of the client, bugger & slower than the one released for download. Can't understand why they have removed the newer version though.

Ewan,

You said, “It’s not a massive problem for me, personally. I’m the geek — I can put up with navigating around the Ovi website. I can press ‘back’ and carry on. I understand errors happen and am reasonably tolerant provided I can find a work-around.”

I feel the same way, but I definitely think that as information and technology is moving so fast, consumers aren't going to tolerate the websites that don't work. They're simply going to move on to the next (the competition). Although technology gliches occur, I think it's extremely important to be on top of them and dedicated to fixing the problem ASAP. Thanks for the great post!

Ovi store like the App Store should be a source to find apps and other stuff easily and without much fuss, but it seems nokia has missed the point, even though i am a self confessed nokia fan but i still can not ignore the sorry state of afairs of the Ovi Store cleint. It has massive flaws which ought to be corrected soon.. real soon.
The store is far to slow to load on even a wifi connection leave aside the million out there nokia is targeting with its s40 handsets who are on EDGE or even GPRS.
The search functionality is pathetic and does find the right app even though its available
The client crashes far too often

I find googling for an app much much more easier than using the ovi store and that just beats the whole idea behind opening one…

Nokia act up fast… this is the biggest blunder i think u have committed so far with ovi …

Normally I wouldn't bother, but…I finally disposed of my N85 recently, was briefly using a N95 & now have a 5800 (I know). I really miss internet radio & downloaded it for the latter; I can never seem to find downloads on Nokias (compared to my SE experiences) & when I do click on the internet radio app its actually maps! Have Apple activated sleepers at Nokia?

They need to bring in someone who has intimate knowledge of the iPhone App Store to build a system that EXCEEDS the quality and ease of use of that system. Trouble is, they will never hire a “critical outsider” to run Ovi.

Today after a hard reset on my phone I finally got the Ovi Store client available to download. I figured I'd try it and see how many of my usual apps I could get through it. After all, Ovi has been working better lately — Ovi maps now works on all browsers and Ovi Sync magically started working again recently. Let's see:

Two worked fine (YouTube, Fring), seven weren't available (Slick, ProfiMail, Gmail, Opera Mini, Nokia Wireless Keyobard, Nokia Sports Tracker, Psiloc Traveller), and one I couldn't find via search even though I know for a fact it's on the store (Pixelpipe). Pretty much all these are very common S60 apps yet I couldn't find 70% of them, including two of Nokia's own apps.

Nope, the Ovi Store still sucks.

i had actually downloaded the ovi app for my n86 in the last week or so and lost it yesterday when i hard reset my phone. i was greeted with the same thing you are posting about when i tried to re-download it yesterday. at first i thought it was really pathetic on nokia's part as this shows that there is nobody awake at the controls, but after using my pc to go to the web version of the app i realized that it is no great loss as i really dont need 18000 different ring tones and themes, or 6 different ways to connect to wifi networks. any app that i wanted i could not find as it does not exist or it is not in the store. i have been using an android phone for the last 2 months and have gotten used to being able to find an app for most anything i have looked for.

the ovi store is very poorly done and is miles behind the competition in both useability, content, and policies. by policies i mean that once you buy and app thats it, there is no going back. with android you can buy an app and if you dont like it in the first 24hrs you can get a refund and have the app deleted. no hassle and no waiting as your money is returned just as fast, not like nokia telling you that it could take up to 30 days for them to credit you back your money, providing you have proof of purchase!

Reminds me of yesteryear when Microsoft was (intentionally or not) blisfully ignoring the growing importance of the internet. Nokia seem to be unaware that with little to differentiate them from challengers (apart from momentum) customer experience is going to become increasingly important.

On the bright side, I still think Ovi is better than App World.

They sure did get a 'critical outsider' – problem is getting things done in the “Apple Way”, i.e. fast, no compromise on quality, and as an online service rather than as a mobile phone with some services to it…

All, My name is Eric. I work on the Ovi Store team. I wanted to let you know that the issue highlighted in Ewan's post — the Ovi Store client “item unavailable” message has been fixed and the client is available. I want to let you know we appreciate these posts and your comments which are actively read and often incorprated into the product fix-list and roadmap. Also we have a team of QA and software engineers who actively check the platform to make sure the right client or XHTML/web experience is served to the right user on the 100+ devices being actively served by Ovi Store around the world. Sometimes the signals can get crossed a bit–as was the case with the N86. Again that issue has been fixed and our apologies for this problem.

If you have other concerns about Ovi Store, please note you can always submit the issue to Ovi Store support at <http://www.ovi.com/services/support/care> The people monitoring the support inbox are actively responding to users and the feedback again goes directly to the product team for review.
Again our thanks to you for your feedback and continued interest in Ovi Store. Best – Eric

All, My name is Eric. I work on the Ovi Store team. I wanted to let you know that the issue highlighted in Ewan's post — the Ovi Store client “item unavailable” message has been fixed and the client is available. I want to let you know we appreciate these posts and your comments which are actively read and often incorprated into the product fix-list and roadmap. Also we have a team of QA and software engineers who actively check the platform to make sure the right client or XHTML/web experience is served to the right user on the 100+ devices being actively served by Ovi Store around the world. Sometimes the signals can get crossed a bit–as was the case with the N86. Again that issue has been fixed and our apologies for this problem.

If you have other concerns about Ovi Store, please note you can always submit the issue to Ovi Store support at <http://www.ovi.com/services/support/care> The people monitoring the support inbox are actively responding to users and the feedback again goes directly to the product team for review.
Again our thanks to you for your feedback and continued interest in Ovi Store. Best – Eric

I agree with you. OVI is complete crap. I 've gotten error message after error message as to why I cannot log on with my mobile. Its total bollocks. And whats even more bollocks theres no way of contacting someone via e-mail to query as to why I cant log on and download games etc.
Its total fucking shit, I am now going to uninstall the whole thing from my mobile.
I cannot believe NOKIA are associated with such incompetents.

Ovi Store sucks period, they're not even 1% off the App Store with Apple, I've had moans with N96 since purchase, customer service is just as bad, thank god I'm gettin an iPhone next week

dont want to go to Internet with My nokia ;
I would prefer to simply click throught my phone and download my apps 😀
Why can't we use the Pc suite also or Ovi desktop client that's really strange designing a store for mobile . …Sloopy user experience

no eric, I can tell you its not yet fixed. i have a N8 and struggling with the same issues. can you believe it ? i sent an sms to download the app which ovi says is available for you, and the in mobile ovi apps says sorry, item unavailable. wtf is that supposed to mean ? i cannot login into ovi now.

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