Nokia unlocks Ovi, invites us inside

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Joe capitalises on a life-long love of blinking lights and upbeat MIDI soundtracks covering the latest developments in smartphones and tablet computers. When not ruining his eyesight staring at small screens, Joe ruins his eyesight playing video games and watching movies. Twitter: @Joseph_Hanlon

Nokia has unlocked its online door to Ovi, and opened the site to the public for beta testing.

The Ovi landing page

The new site lets Nokia phone owners back-up contacts and calendar entries from their phone to the site, plus add and edit entries on the site before synchronising the new data back to their handset.

Ovi also features online storage, called Anytime Files, with the emphasis on allowing users to view synced files remotely via their phone's Web browser. Different from similar services like Apple's MobileMe which rely on dedicated clients, Nokia's files storage is accessible via any Web browser — this means you don't need a specific device, or brand of phone, to access your files.

After announcing the Ovi service late last year, Nokia has been trickling its content services out one by one in preparation for the release of Ovi as the unifying interface. To date we've seen the release of Nokia Maps, Nokia Share, the Nokia Music Store and the N-Gage gaming platform, with services including an improved email service still to come.

The Ovi website offers shortcuts to these existing content services, but strangely doesn't incorporate them. Selecting the N-Gage shortcut, for example, leaves the Ovi portal and directs the browser to the dedicated N-Gage website. Without integration the links to Maps, Music and N-Gage are little more than advertising at this stage.

Subscriptions for the Anytime Files service on Ovi costs US$9.95 per month for 10GB or US$19.95 per month for 30GB. Users of Nokia Series 60 handsets can register now to use the Ovi service for free at the Ovi website.



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