Publishing to Ovi Store
Ovi, the Finnish word for door, is one of the simplest words in the Nokias home country language. It expresses Nokia’s vision to become the consumers door to the Web. The general goal for Ovi is to offer a single location where users can manage content, services and people they encounter as they’re surfing the Web. That’s definetly a bold goal considering the heavy competition such as Google, Microsoft and Apple they are inevitably encountering in this area.
Ovi Store is the Ovi segment intended to provide users with all kinds of downloadable content such as games, application, music, ringtones etc. Publishing to the store is open to everyone and costs the developer a one-time entry price of 50â‚¬ which is about 65$. To compare, entry price for Apple’s App Store is 99$/year and for Google’s Android Market its one-time 25$.
To give some overview of the numbers, Ovi Store had about 12 downloads/sec. in the first quarter of 2010. which comes up to about 1.5M downloads/day. At the same time Apple’s App Store is serving about 350 downloads/sec. so the math is simple. However in Nokia’s defence its important to say that Nokia devices, compared to the iPhone, come preinstalled with bunch of applications, also Ovi Store is not the only place to download applications to your Nokia device and finally the App Store had almost a full year head start considering Ovi Store was launched in May 2009.
Once you have registered as a Ovi publisher you can publish content in the following categories: Symbian application, Java application, WRT (Web Runtime) widget, Flash Lite application, as well as non-app content such as audio files (.mid, .mp3, .mp4, .aac, .amr), video files (.3gp, .mp4), themes, wallpapers and video center streams. We’ll focus only on the apps in the rest of the article. Note that personalization content, wallpaper, video, and ringtones will be available for media account publishers only (this is just a special kind of publisher account that you have to register for).
Packaging and signing
Symbian apps must be published in the .sis or .sisx form and must be properly signed, i.e. fulfill either the Symbian Certified Signing requirements or the Symbian express signing.
Java apps submition requires both .jad and .jad file. They must also be signed either by Java Verified or some other authority such as Thawte, Verisign etc. Flash Lite apps in .swf form are not supported natively on Ovi and they must be packaged either in the S60 or WRT form. Its important to know that no certificate errors of any kind will be allowed to pass through the QA process. So keep that in mind before you submit your app for QA.
Formal quality assurance of your app is performed by Nokia after you submit it to the store. Your app must conform to the general legal, country and language properties that you chose during the submition process. More importantly, your app is tested on the target devices that you chose during submition. When choosing the supported devices for your app, it’s required that you choose the level of compatibility of your app on the chosen device. Possible compatibility levels are: Fully tested, Briefly tested, Asumed to work, Might work, Not compatible and Not known. Its important to know that you must specify the Fully tested level on at least one device. List of devices currently supported by the Ovi Store can be found here: http://www.forum.nokia.com/devices/matrix_oviStore_1.html
The QA process usually takes 6-8 days according to Nokia, although in practice this time can vary. What the testers at Ovi Store focus on is the basic or core functionality of your app. They don’t try to cover all possible use cases and leave that to the publishers responsibility. Therefore its highly important to do your own testing before you publish. If you don’t have access to all the devices you can use Nokias highly helpful device testing site where you can remotely test your app on a number of real devices.
When your app finally does get published, all you can do is hope its gets downloaded many many times. Maybe even payed for 😉
That’s the basic stuff about Ovi so lets conclude as they would in Nokia’s HQ:
PitÃ¤Ã¤ hauskaa kanssa Ovi! (Have fun with Ovi!)