Before you start to play with the new store format, you'll need to accept the Ovi Store client's promptings for the download of a new client, v1.06(18). This installed and worked first time on the editorial 5800 and N97, as you'll see below.
Here are the major changes to how the Nokia Ovi Store now works:
- Three to Five Stars for Ratings
Falling in line with most online stores, including Amazon and iTunes, ratings are now out of five, rather than out of three. No official word on how the old three star ratings have been bumped up, but assuming 3 on the old is 5 on the new, and 2 on the old is 3 on the new makes sense.
- Reviewer's device noted
The difference between an app on the E75 and an app on the N97 can be quite large, so the device used by any reviewer is now noted on the page.
- You have to have downloaded the app to review it
Relatively sensible one this one, to prevent spamming.
- More information on the details page in the client
This includes changes to allow more screenshots to be displayed and scrolled through.
There are also changes to the desktop-based version of the store, mostly in how a user chooses their phone – the previously employed spinning carousel of phones looked pretty, but the store has now moved back to the easier-to-understand grid of phones, or as Nokia politely put it, “cleaner than our previous… interface.”
There is always work to be done; personally I’d love screenshots that are fully representative of the content, and not just a square of some graphics (has there ever been an S60-based Nokia with a square screen? - yes - what about the 5500? - Ed), and of course, while it’s easy for the Ovi Store to realise it has a newer version of itself available, there’s no method (yet) to push a new version of content available through the store to users who have purchased something. Given the lifecycle of most serious applications, this is fairly crucial to long term user satisfaction, ensuring as many people are using the latest bug-fixed versions as possible.
This is a welcome improvement to the Ovi Store, which has had a rough few years of life from the critics and commentators. The recent announcement that it is shifting 1.5 million downloads of content per day and that adoption is on a strong upward curve, mean we might be over the difficult teething troubles and into a solid growth stage.
More on the changes at the Ovi Blog.
-- Ewan Spence, March 2010.