In late April, Nokia released the beta version of its new application creation tool, Ovi app wizard. The tool enables developers, publishers and consumers alike to create an app (for free) in minutes and deploy it within 24 hours to any Nokia device that supports the Ovi Store.

Formatted into a Java application, the tool mobilizes and delivers updated content from Atom and RSS feeds for video, audio, text, images, Twitter and YouTube. Nils Huehnergarth, a product marketing manager at Nokia, spoke recently with SD Times about this new initiative.

SD Times: Why develop the Ovi app wizard?
Nils Huehnergarth: Nokia developed the Ovi app wizard to help anyone (including publishers, bloggers and consumers) rapidly mobilize their content or brand. Using Ovi app wizard, publishers can easily create content in minutes and distribute to millions through Ovi Store. No programming skills are required.

What does this app look to accomplish? Does Nokia just want to fill the Ovi Store?
Publishers seeking to evaluate the experience developing for the Ovi Store (or leverage the reach of Ovi Store with the intent to introduce a brand, extend brand mindshare, build market share, or monetize content in new territories with a mobile application) can all benefit from Ovi app wizard. It is designed to offer all [users] the opportunity to quickly and easily share their application with millions of people, and is unique because it allows users to quickly and easily mobilize content.

What are some of the reactions to this new tool?
Nokia’s open system has been praised by many developers recently, and they appreciate the flexibility of creating one-of-a-kind content and applications. Nokia believes that supporting an open development network and allowing for developer control enables the best application performance for the end user.

Rapid adoption in the marketplace (namely, from developers from 94+ countries in two weeks since launch) and use by many top-tier publishers in the media industry validate the importance of Ovi app wizard in the developer’s toolkit.

Are there any reservations about the lack of customization/uniqueness since the apps are not created from original content?
The uniqueness of each application comes from the original content contained in an RSS or Atom feed, which is created by the publisher and delivered to the application each time the feed is refreshed. Each application has a distinct “look and feel” because the tool enables the introduction of branding through logos, app icons and colors.

This is a tool that enables [organizations] that may not have the resources or the need to create mobile apps with greater functionality. We are helping that group to reach a new audience.

What about the app’s quality? Quantity isn’t always better, right?
This isn’t a quantity play; it’s about enriching Ovi Store with valuable content with highly localized relevance. Publishers have already used this new online tool to create apps for tracking local gas prices in Canada and Germany, updates on the recent volcanic ash cloud, and uniting micro-communities, such as celebrity fan bases and universities.

Are you afraid that developers may be deterred from the platform if anyone can now create apps for it?
No, we continue to offer a full spectrum of tools for developers to enable all developer skill levels. Ovi app wizard may be appropriate at one end of the developer spectrum, but Nokia offers many other tools that are used by millions of developers around the world.

Are you afraid of consumers being deterred from an app store that may become cluttered from this initiative?
Quite the opposite, actually. Consumers who visit the store will discover new, locally relevant content wherever they live. In addition, Ovi Store allows users to easily search and organize the applications they are looking for.

Will there be a “filtering process” to screen for apps that are similar?
Yes, each submission will go through a process to validate the app and ensure a high-quality experience for consumers. Typically, the approval process will take approximately 24 hours from the time a publisher registers with Ovi Store and submits an application.

How many apps are in the Ovi app store now? Has there been growth since this new service?

Ovi Store offers more than 10,000 content items for Nokia’s most popular devices and supports more than 30 languages in more than 180 countries. We have high hopes for Ovi app wizard, but are not disclosing any targets. Instead, we’re quickly trying to mobilize the best content in the world to provide to our users.