Thursday, August 28, 2008

The Future's Cloudy, the Future's Ovi ?

Maybe, but Nokia have a lot more work to do yet.

It's been a while since the last update but Nokia have launched the next upgrade to their Ovi service offering (bringing the web, desktop and mobile harmonisation one step closer).

The new additions are synching (contacts, calendar, notes, tasks) via SyncML, a personalised dashboard with flickr and Ovi share 'widgets' and a desktop PC suite client (Ovi Suite). Multiple devices can be synched to a single Ovi account but mobile web browser access is still pretty limited with these new features (no login/dashboard view).

This complements the existing Remote File Access/Share (from your mobile/online PC) and Ovi Share (photos and media uploading/sharing)services.

Games, Music and Maps (no eMail?) are still to be integrated but Nokia have been listening it seems, for a single unified account login to all Nokia Ovi features with FileShare and new Synch service at least sharing the same login details.

The fixed-browser widget approach is a good move, allowing personalisation of the dashboard assuming we see other Nokia/external widgets being made availabe soon (I would find an SMS-text backup widget very handy ...)

However I think the whole Ovi strategy still way too fragmented for normobs - the multiple logins, multiple access points to the services (synchML, mobile web, web, active idle screen integration of Ovi Share) and the separate Share Online application, N-Gage arena on the device just cause confusion.

I'll assume at some point Nokia will have a centralised approach for device, desktop, mobile web and web and might take a leaf out of Apple's book regards simplicity (although MobileMe has its own fair share of problems too).

In the meantime Zyb, Dashwire, MobSynch, Funambol, SoonR, Orb and the myriad of other services that synch media+contacts+calendars from mobile-to-cloud and/or mobile-to-PC, will need to try and stay ahead of the giant as it continues centralising and improving these services further in its quest to become an internet company.

As usual, AAS have a much more detailed review.