Thursday, February 10, 2011

Nokia's Ovi Store and software - helping keep Android and Apple in the lead

I don't think any Ovi users (any left?) were surprised by Nokia CEO Stephen Elop's 'burning platform' memo to Nokia staff this week. From the beginning this store and associated software have been, and continue to be, a disaster.

Ovi is simply unusable. It is a piece of trash. It is an Android and Apple App Store driver. It is, well, unusable. Seven attempts in all. Despite several communications to Nokia at different levels, including an Ovi PM known to me, nothing has changed.

As a 'high-end' Nokia phone owner, I was initially excited about Ovi. I planned to load my device with applications, get music, everything. 19 months later, I still have nothing.

I. For example - Ovi Music: We won't let you buy
Overall, navigation on Ovi Music and beyond is abominable. Same as it's been for over a year.
1. Now I tried clicking on Unlimited Music downloads
2. Went to a page where it said 'enter PIN', or request a PIN
3. Request PIN went to a general help page
4. Where a link to Unlimited Music how to went to a 'Sorry can't find that' page

This was after I logged in three times and it still said I had to login again.
Then it said I needed to create another account to access unlimited downloads, when I clicked on the Unlimited banner
Absolutely (gave up) no way to buy plain music, never mind unlimited downloads. Where to pay to download - no clues given.

I have stayed away from Nokia accounts online and the Ovi store for this reason. The whole online experience is very confusing, just goes around in circles. And I'm not your average mobile/net novice.

II. For example - Ovi setup/use on Nokia PC Suite: A'maze'ingly useless 
PC Suite is the super-useless software that syncs a Nokia smartphone and a laptop.
  1. Anytime you try to upload music using the god-awful Ovi interface in PC Suite, it will say there's a software update.
  2. The Ovi software will rarely find the phone, and the PC Suite anyway will keep switching back to 'USB mode' from 'media transfer' mode. This is despite picking the media mode every time.
  3. Near impossible to upload and organize music. Each file will somehow disappear inside a folder, and show up with completely different music, even if the music's from the same album.
 Just treat the phone as a pen drive and drop files in the music folder. It works. What Ovi?

III. Note on Nokia PC Suite basic usage: Finlandia Ostrich Special
Nokia PC Suite and it's various version updates are no less spectacularly incompetent. There's no way to save incoming call numbers to the contacts list for instance.

Oh, and you can't just pick images and videos to move to your laptop. It has to be all or nothing. And the bumbling program will store them in folders inside folders automatically in the laptop making it difficult to find anything later.

Calls from users and communities to Nokia since antiquity go unheeded. They don't want to know. The result - look up the content of Elop's note to staff.

Ovi and software like the above mentioned PC Suite are definitely part of Nokia's downward spiral - key contributors. Like I said before, they need to be left behind on that burning platform when Nokia jumps.