Nokia launches OVI App Wizard in Kenya

Nokia today unveiled a new, free on-line application wizard that will help anyone, including publishers, bloggers and consumers, to rapidly mobilize their content or brand on a mobile phone. The Ovi Application Wizard is a revolutionary publishing tool that will help consumers easily create content in minutes and distribute it to millions of mobile phone users through Ovi Store.

“No programming skills are required to use this tool and we have made it easy to use for everyone. Applications created in Ovi app wizard will appear within 24 hours in Ovi Store. This move is set to offer a fresh impetus to software development sector in East Africa and we encourage everyone to make use of it,” said Ms Dorothy Ooko, Communications Manager Nokia, East & Southern Africa.

Ms Ooko said the Ovi app wizard is available now as an open beta application for select English speaking countries and will be more commercially available to all the Ovi Store supported countries in the near future. Open beta applications refer to programs offered to a larger community group, usually the general public, who wish to download them onto their mobile phones.

The Ovi app wizard has the potential to spawn a completely new industry of third-party applications for even those with no programming skills, a positive trend that may place East Africa as a region at vanguard of technological innovation. Applications, popularly known as apps, are small software programs mobile phone owners can download. They sometimes have a functional purpose and sometimes are purely for entertainment or novelty value.

“We want to support application developers and build a local development community here. There is an opportunity to create locally relevant applications for our East and Southern African market. We have already seen apps created using the app wizard like Collepoa- an application aimed at addressing the needs of university and college students in Kenya- and Sleepless Kenya,” said Ms Ooko.

Nokia said two locally made mobile applications dubbed Afro Hot or Not and Wazzup! and available in its Ovi Store are proving increasingly popular to Kenyans. The two applications were based on local submissions into Calling All Innovators Africa 2009 – the students were the only Kenyans to make it to top 20 out of the plus 100 submissions.

Afro Hot or Not is, basically, an entertainment application that people to rate each other based on their looks and also meet new people if they so wish. Wazzup! is an entertainment application that provides information on fun events happening in Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania and Mozambique. It has become popular with young and trendy Kenyans looking for updates in the news, sports, music and events.

“Ovi App Wizard is unique because it allows publishers to quickly and easily mobilize content in only a few minutes, and allows the publisher the opportunity to take advantage of Ovi Store’s vast reach and active users in more than 180 countries. Nokia’s goal is to mobilize the best content in the world to provide to our users,” said Ms Ooko.

Ovi Store is the easiest way to find my great content and apps for my Nokia device. An addressable base of 50 million existing Nokia Series 40 and S60 users are capable of enjoying and accessing the new service now by visiting store.ovi.com inside the device browser and by using the current Download! client on compatible devices to install the Ovi Store application.

Those wishing to use the wizard can visit www.ovi.com/appwizard to get started. Publishers are guided through a step-by-step creation process, requiring no programming skills. Ovi app wizard supports up to four multiple feeds, including RSS and Atom feeds. “An application can be monetized by enabling the optional advertising function and inputting established account information for their desired advertising partner (currently either AdMob, Millennium or Mpression),” said Ms Ooko.

You can view pictures from the event here>

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