Nokia (news, site) and its Symbian smartphone operating system might be losing market share in the US, but Symbian still holds some considerable market share in Europe and Asia. Nokia has made it easier for content publishers to turn their websites into content-based applications with the Ovi App Wizard.

Nokia's Ovi App Wizard will turn a site that publishes RSS feeds into a content-driven application. The wizard uses a four-step process in miniaturizing your site into a mobile application that can be run by Symbian phones (which include Symbian Series 60, Series 90, and newer Symbian ^3). Applications are then published on Nokia's Ovi App Market.

Defining Content Sources

Initial setup will require you to enter your website's URL. Assuming you publish only a single feed, clicking the Preview button gets your site content. With multiple feeds defined in your site's meta headers, you are given a choice of which feed to use.

Ovi App Wizard 1

Aside from the main feed, your application can also include three additional feeds. This can be useful if your website publishes content in different channels. You can either use your RSS feed's direct URL, or the Ovi App Wizard will detect the appropriate RSS feed for you. If you key in your site's main URL and you have multiple RSS feeds, the wizard will no longer use the feed you earlier defined in the sub-channels

Customizing Your Application's Appearance

Ovi App Wizard will then require you to make some customizations to your application. This includes the application icon, header image and colors. You can also customize the language setting. Ovi App Wizard will require you to upload your image header and application icon, and you can crop and resize these images from within the wizard.

Ovi App Wizard 2

Registration and Application Review

After customizing content sources and the application look-and-feel, you will be asked to sign up for an App Wizard account. Ovi App Store also gives you the option to include account details with advertising providers Millennial Media and Mpression. You will have to have an existing account with either. Ovi App Store also gives you the option to distribute your application for free or at cost. Currently, costs default at EUR figures, and publishers can sell their app from 1 to 5 euro.

Ovi App Wizard 3

Once you have verified your email address and submitted the app, Nokia will then review your submission. Nokia doesn't indicate how lengthy the review process will be, but you can cancel the submission at any time, if you feel your app is not yet ready for distribution.

In conclusion, Nokia's Ovi App Wizard makes it easier to create mobile applications based on existing and updated content. The service is akin to other mobile app creators such as iBuildApp and Adrenalin. Remember that your target audience here will probably not be as big as with Android, iPhone and iPad, though. If you want to have a wider reach, then it will still make sense to publish to a Symbian-based audience for now, and Ovi App Wizard can make that possible even without knowing how to develop an app from scratch or via SDK.