In addition to application update functionality, there are a number of other notable improvements, including the implementation of device and market specific application rankings in the 'Top Free' and 'Best Seller' list, improved content recommendations and full support for Arabic localisation across all Symbian devices.
The enabling of application updates within the Ovi Store client is a very significant update. Previously, unless developers provided their own update mechanism within an application, users had to know there was an update, then un-install the application using the App manager application, then re-download and install the application using Ovi Store. Unsurprisingly, very few people were willing to go through this process.
The update should help increase Ovi Store's download numbers and will encourage developers to release additional updates for their applications.
Ovi Store celebrated its second birthday on May 26th; it has come a long way since its launch. It has enabled re-downloads, improved search, improved client performance, improved client usability, and grown downloads to 5 million per day. Compared to a few hundred content items at launch, there are now around 23,000 Symbian applications and games available from Ovi Store and dramatically more if you include customisation elements such as themes, ringtones, videos and wallpapers.
There is still room for improvement, notably a more seamless implementation for trial versions (currently two separate Ovi Store content items are the only way to do this), allowing installs from the PC (e.g. via Ovi Suite) and improving the ability for developers to respond to (or correct) feedback and reviews.
Change-log for Ovi Store 2.8 update
Here's the change-log for Ovi Store 2.08, which is a 5MB download:
- Users are able to review and apply updates to apps they’ve downloaded from the Ovi Store. The server now sends version numbers automatically down to the client on the phone.
- Nokia's algorithm for delivering 'Top Free' and 'Best Sellers' has been tweaked, to "make app and game listings more relevant for consumers". Internal rankings are now filtered better by device and region, so that popularity in one niche won't skew the whole.
- Finding relevant apps has been made easier, with the addition of a “users who downloaded x also downloaded y” system.
- Localization of S60 clients to Arabic Store clients for S60 5th Edition and S60 3rd Edition.
Nokia have indicated that automatic application updates functionality will be rolled out for other device families (Symbian^1 etc.) in due course, but have not offered specific timing.
Update: Roll out delays
The update was first released around a fortnight ago, as version 2.08.035 in a limited number of markets (USA, India and others). However, this first roll out was halted, we assume after a problem or bug was discovered. The roll out has now resumed, with version 2.08.042, which is now available in the UK and other European countries.
Incidentally the first roll out date coincided exactly with the second anniversary of the launch of the Ovi Store service.
Steve Litchfield and Rafe Blandford, AAS, 27th May 2011 and 8th June 2011