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  1. #1
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    Thumbs down Ovi Store Monopoly - disaster

    Hi all,

    We've had our product declined three times already. Initially Ovi wanted content to be signed. Okay, sure, we payed a grand and got a Verisign certificate. Now it's been declined twice, why, because the "Documentation URL" or the "Website URL" leads to OTHER Nokia apps (aka "Promotional Content") which should apparently ONLY go through Nokia Ovi!!!!

    What!?!? NOKIA are aware that Ovi Store is NOT the only means of selling ones apps?!? Its confusing itself with the iTunes App Store (which is the only place one can sell iPhone apps) and apparently has become GREEDY.

    This is a chicken and egg case. First, the Documentation URL is MANDATORY. Now, if we place in our home page URL, that obviously is, oh, promoting other content and so is not-acceptable. If that is a non-existent URL, well oh that's not allowed of course. How on earth can Nokia EVER attract any developer with this greedy attitude? We develop for Blackberries and Apple and neither of them have ANY issues with whatever LINK we post!! Blackberry has a similar model to Ovi and they apparently have no issues with us "promoting" we WEBSITE URL!!!!

    Honestly. 1000 Pounds of investment for the certificates down the drain, plus 8 months of development DOWN THE DRAIN.

    SHAME on you Ovi Store!

  2. #2
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    Re: Ovi Store Monopoly - disaster

    Quote Originally Posted by fahad@guidedways.com View Post
    Now it's been declined twice, why, because the "Documentation URL" or the "Website URL" leads to OTHER Nokia apps (aka "Promotional Content") which should apparently ONLY go through Nokia Ovi!!!!
    That's an interesting problem (and one that would probably affect other developers as well) - how many clicks away do links to other eStores have to be from URLs shown in the application, to be no longer considered promiting those stores by Nokia? Is it sufficient if the links are not immediately prominent at the Documentation URL? Perhaps this is for someone from the Ovi team to clarify?

    For now, I wonder if the easiest solution for you wouldn't be to just set up a "minisite" under your own domain (i.e. www.yourdomain.com/ovi) with a page that only shows the bare minimum content needed to fulfill Ovi requirements, and does not contain any visible links other stores on the same page.

    ciao marcus

  3. #3
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    Thumbs down Re: Ovi Store Monopoly - disaster

    I did think about that but since QA comments are vague and short, you can't really know for sure (and it's painful enough to wait for a week before you fail another QA).

    I honestly feel this sort of censorship is non-productive and will only result in frustrated developers moving onto other platforms (such as Apple which has been well tested and has proven to be far better than Ovi in every way).

    As mentioned earlier, we haven't experienced such odd behavior from Apple or Blackberry (App Store and App World respectively). You're not only allowed to post your, *cough*, *DOCUMENTATION URLs* (Nokia are you reading this?) but also other random URLs.

    What I find most annoying is this childish attitude where Nokia is trying to catch up with App Store by forcing developers to sell everything via Ovi Store. Nokia has to realize that Ovi Store is just an alternative for developers. We're free to selling or distributing free software via other channels. With iTunes this isn't the case. We have no option BUT to sell via iTunes (and we wouldn't personally want it any other way since it's so rewarding). Ovi on the other hand is targeting weaker and slower mobile sets with inferior softwares compared to iPhone - why then push developers away when it's hard enough to meet the rest of the requirements for Ovi?!

    I honestly think Nokia's shooting itself in its own foot and this attitude isn't going to help the company compete giants such as Apple. Do we (developers) care? No. Honestly if Ovi continues to decline the apps, good for them.

  4. #4
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    Re: Ovi Store Monopoly - disaster

    In my opinion having distribution channel like Ovi Store is a great asset for developers. But as we developers have found out Ovi Store QA is far from perfect and that what Nokia has to fix soon! Application can not sit in QA for months, that's simply unacceptable, QA procedures must be updated to reflect that. QA support has to be improved, right now it is just a joke, you are waiting for 2 weeks to get a reply like "We are processing your message". Once these are addressed Ovi Store will be a great place for developers to publish content.

  5. #5
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    Angry Re: Ovi Store Monopoly - disaster

    Yes perhaps but we wouldn't know since we're still 'outside' the store and waiting for someone to look into the strange rules around submitting apps. I'm sure Ovi's a nice place to be but the longer they take in resolving these basic issues, the longer it'll take time for them to catch up with iTunes, which has already enjoyed more than a billion downloads in under a year.

    Having said that, we finally received an email from Nokia saying they're looking into the QA process and taking in suggestions from developers. This is good news as we had in the past sent several emails to Nokia with no reply for months.

    I should point out though that review times on the iTunes App Store have been 6 to 8 days which we used to think was too much. After moving to App World and Ovi Store, it appears iTunes was a bliss. Ovi's review times are horrible and now I feel bad for pushing iTunes staff around for slow review times.

    Ovi clearly needs to work on this and fast.

  6. #6
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    Re: Ovi Store Monopoly - disaster

    Quote Originally Posted by fahad@guidedways.com View Post
    Yes perhaps but we wouldn't know since we're still 'outside' the store and waiting for someone to look into the strange rules around submitting apps. I'm sure Ovi's a nice place to be but the longer they take in resolving these basic issues, the longer it'll take time for them to catch up with iTunes, which has already enjoyed more than a billion downloads in under a year.

    Having said that, we finally received an email from Nokia saying they're looking into the QA process and taking in suggestions from developers. This is good news as we had in the past sent several emails to Nokia with no reply for months.

    I should point out though that review times on the iTunes App Store have been 6 to 8 days which we used to think was too much. After moving to App World and Ovi Store, it appears iTunes was a bliss. Ovi's review times are horrible and now I feel bad for pushing iTunes staff around for slow review times.

    Ovi clearly needs to work on this and fast.
    No offense but one device, one OS one platform and it takes 8 days to approve. That would me it should take Nokia about a year to pass one app here

    Seriously Nokia is working on this and working on this quickly. I have no doubts that it will take some time but I have no doubts that Ovi Store will be the finest site available.

    Ron

  7. #7
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    Re: Ovi Store Monopoly - disaster

    I appreciate your enthusiasm and yes you make a point about comparison of one OS, one device and 8 days with hundreds of Nokia devices. So Nokia actually runs the app on all of the devices we mark as "assumed to work"? That's a lot of testing! (and scary for us since failing on a single marked device would presumably decline the app? - it should instead auto-unlist the device from the list).

    Reviews times aside, Nokia still needs to look into the original issue I raised and that is QA failures on putting your website link in the documentation field! That really is hilariously, seriously wrong.

    Many thanks for listening!

  8. #8
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    Re: Ovi Store Monopoly - disaster

    Quote Originally Posted by fahad@guidedways.com View Post
    Nokia still needs to look into the original issue I raised and that is QA failures on putting your website link in the documentation field!
    Agreed!! I do report these comments to Ovi management and I feel they are earnestly listenging to the developers which is why I can keep up my enthusiasm. Even when the process rolls slowly it is moving towards the better.

    Ron

  9. #9
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    Thumbs down Re: Ovi Store Monopoly - disaster

    So far our experience has been quite an eye-opener. Sure Nokia tests on so many of its devices but then again, this still doesn't justify the poor QA and the strange and remarkable rules surrounding submissions.

    After 5 QA failures and 20 revision updates we're still waiting to be 'approved'. Every few days there's a failure for some odd reason which could simply have been pointed out from day 1. Why take 20 days to tell the developer 10 different things each time they receive a failed QA when they can simply point these out in one single comment? Things like "you cannot use your website link in the about section (!!)", "you cannot use your weblink in documentation URL (!!)", "you marked a category as assumed to work, but did not pick at least one device and mark it as 'fully tested' (doesn't ASSUMED to work mean what it literally means!? If you have a Java App and the device meets ALL requirements, WHY do we have to mark a particular device as fully tested?)." Even if we do have to mark a device as Fully Tested, the developer's portal should NOT accept the submission in the first place and complain. Why show a 'green tick' against the 'assumed to work' marker and mislead developers?

    Sigh. To Ovi we all seem to be guinea pigs being tested an alpha-quality portal with poor QA. I'm sorry Ron this just is too much for us to handle.

  10. #10
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    Re: Ovi Store Monopoly - disaster

    I've had that one a couple of times too: "you marked a category as assumed to work, but did not pick at least one device and mark it as 'fully tested'"

    I really think that if this is a requirement it should be easy to get the site to check for this automatically. But realize that what will then happen is that developers just set one device as fully tested and then cross their fingers (at least that's what we did). So I find it quite confusing with what the purpose of 'assumed to work' then really is.

    Initially I thought I could just check of whole categories (e.g. S60 3rd FP2, 240x320), but that really doesn't work ... you'll get QA back like: not all devices you selected are supported by Ovi .. and the above one with that you need at least one 'fully tested'. When you are making an effort to make you app. as portable as possible across devices it really is a bit of a hassle having to select every individual device. Maybe the categories could be rearranged so that they e.g. would match the JavaVerified device groups. Anyway just some thoughts for improvements.

  11. #11
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    Re: Ovi Store Monopoly - disaster

    Quote Originally Posted by fahad@guidedways.com View Post
    declined twice, why, because the "Documentation URL" or the "Website URL" leads to OTHER Nokia apps (aka "Promotional Content")
    ...
    Documentation URL is MANDATORY. Now, if we place in our home page URL, that obviously is, oh, promoting other content and so is not-acceptable.
    Did you try product specific webpage, instead of home page? Something like www.my_example.com/product_one? (this link should not work, just an example).

    I'm asking because I'm a Finn and would expect Ovi Store to contain at least a hint ot Finnish logic: home page is usually too generic for product support, at least when you have several products for several platforms. Therefore a product (and maybe even platform) specific subpage could be a logical choice.

    Wondering,

    --jouni

  12. #12
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    Re: Ovi Store Monopoly - disaster

    Hi,
    we would like to publish our products via Nokia OVI and I'm surprised at all complications that can appear I though until now that appstores would simplify publishing products in comparision with mobile carriers...
    I already dealt with certificates - we bought both Thawte and Verisign certificate (because, some devices only support one of them) and we wanted to consult about the preffered certificate for some devices with Nokia OVI support (I hoped that we could minimize QA proccess by this). It was three weeks ago and I haven't received an answer yet - I think it's not just the best presentation of the OVI.
    Now, I would like to solve the documentation URL, but unfortunately, I cannot find a specification or a template anywhere... So, I wanted to inspire with other games. I browsed web/wap OVI store, but I didn't find a link to the documentation. So, what is it good for???
    From experience with OVI support, please, could anybody help me and show me an example that was approved by QA?
    Many Thanks

  13. #13
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    Re: Ovi Store Monopoly - disaster

    Hi Ron.

    Nice to hear that things are progressing. I can also see that the performance of the Ovi Store is graduately getting better, but there are still issues like missing re-download, search etc.

    One issue I would like to point out particularly, and that we have also pointed out to Ovi previously, is the broken search function(!). We currently have 2 games published, called Sheep Mania: Puzzle Islands and Sheep Mania: Barnyard Dash. But entering, say, a search word like "sheep" or "mania", yields no results. I have also tried to search for other titles that I know is there, with "no result" as a result. This is quite frustrating and it is really hampering discovery.

    Since you seem to regularly talk to the Ovi team, can you perhaps tell us how they are progressing on fixing the search engine in general?

    Thanks

    Regards,

    Henrik Weide, Progressive Media.

    Quote Originally Posted by Nokia Ron View Post
    Agreed!! I do report these comments to Ovi management and I feel they are earnestly listenging to the developers which is why I can keep up my enthusiasm. Even when the process rolls slowly it is moving towards the better.

    Ron

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