I just got hold of a Nokia Booklet 3G, straight from my friends at Nokia’s press office. I haven’t spent much time with this little laptop, but I’ve already noticed a major missed opportunity for Nokia’s Ovi services – they’re not here.
When you pull the Nokia Booklet 3G out of the box and boot it up, you’re greeted by the typical Nokia loading animation, and then the normal Windows 7 loading process. I was pleased to see that Nokia’s Ovi Suite was preinstalled on the little machine, and I easily found the Nokia Booklet 3G Software Update tool, which loaded the Nokia Social Hub on the Booklet easily. Sounds good, right?
But what about Ovi Files? Why isn’t that pre-loaded on the Booklet – especially when many other netbooks come with cloud storage options. Ovi Files just went free, and with a few improvements, would be an awesome addition to the Booklet 3G’s overall experience, specifically when used in conjunction with one of Nokia’s phones.
Also, that Nokia Social Hub I talked about earlier? It lets you connect to a few social networks, such as Twitter, Facebook, and Flickr. What’s missing from that list? Ovi Share. Why isn’t Ovi Share included in this application that Nokia developed by themselves?
What about Ovi Contacts? It would take all of nothing to put together a desktop Jabber client (or just brand one of the dozens that already exist) and pre-load it with Ovi settings. While most users might not use it, having it right there on the desktop would increase the possibility that some would.
What about Ovi Maps? There’s no shortcut setup on the desktop, nor is there any obvious way to get there, or an indication that I can use the built-in GPS receiver on this Booklet 3G for maps. Shouldn’t there be something alerting me to this fantastic new feature that’s not currently found in *any* other netbook on the market? (Update: there is a Windows Gadget that shows your current location and offers a quick shortcut to Ovi Maps online, but it wasn’t enabled out of the box).
Also, there’s no Nokia inside – this Booklet 3G arrived with Windows 7 Starter Edition, which doesn’t let you change the background wallpaper. No problem, shouldn’t it be some fancy Ovi image, or the Nokia logo or something, instead of the Windows logo? What about the icons? Where’s the Ovi icons that would further serve to brand this as a Nokia netbook, to set it apart from other netbooks on the market? The user account has a random butterfly as the icon – why not the Ovi logo, or something else to continue the branding?
I’m a big fan of Nokia’s products, and I try to use most of their services, if for no other reason than to try to see if they’ve gotten it together yet. Unfortunately, the Ovi services still feel very much like a patchwork quilt, loosely held together with a few strings here and there. Even Nokia’s latest devices don’t support all of their Ovi services, and devices that do often require the user to know about the various services and install them one by one.
If Nokia is going to make progress with their Ovi services, they’re going to have to put them in front of consumers every chance they get, and that’s something they’re simply not doing right now.