One of the more talked about stories of this week in Barcelona was the appearance of Google Android at Mobile World Congress. There were several booths showing early prototypes of the OS, and mocked up devices. At the ARM booth, we were fortunate enough to catch a glimpse of the elusive Android. At first, the rep on the booth was only willing to point us at a prototype device behind a glass bubble.
However, soon after we managed to get a demo of the working software. The video is a little jumpy, but the software is definitely live. According to the person giving the demo, it’s running on a 200Mhz Arm9 processor as well, which is a seriously underpowered processor. Looks good, even so.
Serena Glover is one of those entrepreneurs who exudes enthusiasm. Her company, Twango, was acquired last year by Nokia. At Mobile World Congress, the service was relaunched as Share on Ovi. I had an opportunity to speak with her during the show, and use the software soon after.
Some of the goals for Share on Ovi were to:
- be able to easily share any kind of media. Share on Ovi supports more than 100 different file types today.
- work well with lots of other services. They provide links directly within Share on Ovi to allow content to be easily shared on other services, ranging from Technorati to De.licio.us. In addition, they make it easy to grab embedding codes to allow users to embed content hosted on Ovi in any site.
- work with lots of devices. Clients exist for PC’s, Nokia N Series phones, and there’s even a WAP client.
- make organizing and finding media easy. There are all the social mechanisms you might expect, including tagged searching, and more.
- give authors control over their content. To achieve this goal, they support the concept of channels with different levels of permission. For example, a channel could be designated private, and only accessible to certain individuals. Or, a channel might be attached to an event, so that people in attendance at the event can upload to it.
The service is free, with unlimited uploads and unlimited file storage. Files cannot be larger than 100 mb, however, in keeping with the idea that this is a personal sharing service. Nokia plans to monetize it with advertising and transactional revenue.
After talking with Serena I set up an account on the service, and installed it on my Nokia N95 smartphone. Having used it for a couple of days now, it feels something like Flickr crossed with YouTube in so far as it’s able to support sharing of photographs and video. Describing it that way does it an injustice however. It’s capable of sharing file types ranging from word processing documents to podcasts. In that respect it’s a paradigm shift for social media.
Share on Ovi is pretty easy. Simply shoot a photograph on a compatible camera phone, press the share button, and sit back while it uploads the file (over 3G wireless, of course). Once the photograph is uploaded, then you can do all kinds of things with it… like display it in a flash widget, for instance.
The other really cool thing you can with it is give others read / write permissions on the media channels you create. For example, the channel I’m displaying in the widget above is the media I created at Mobile World Congress. If you have photos or other media you would like to share from Mobile World Congress as well, you can simply add them to the channel titled asaunders66.MWC (Ovi account required). Then your media will become part of my media channel.
Share on Ovi is more than meets the eye. I’m looking forward to learning how to exploit its unique capabilities.