Tag Archives: symbian

Searching for the Mobile Killer App

Apple App Store and Android App Market are bringing more spotlight than ever to the applications for mobile handsets. Though a vast number of applications already exist for Windows Mobile, Blackberry or Symbian, developers are working hard to write the next killer app on the iPhone and Android platform.

What criteria should guide developers when designing the next mobile killer app? Here are some suggestions of the ingredients a mobile killer app better have:

  • Useful. There must be a clear value to the user. What problem does the app solve? How is people impacted? Who/how many are impacted?
  • Usability. User experience first. Simple, fast and engaging.
  • Immediacy. Must be useful here and now, where and when I need it.
  • Context-Aware. Intelligent enough to know where are you, with whom, what are you doing (on a call, or a meeting) , your weather, and have the app behave accordingly.
  • Viral / Social. Know your community and your friends.
  • Coolness. Beautiful, elegant and enjoyable.

To these criteria, add this principle: “The innovation […] is not that they let us do something new, but that they allow us to do what we already do better, more often, in more places and more quickly.” -Joshua Porter

I let you test which winners of the Android Developer Challenge I do not have these ingredients nor follow that principle:

  • cab4me: “Ever been looking for a cab? cab4me is the answer. Anywhere. Anytime.”
  • CompareEverywhere: “Shop smarter using your phone. Compare prices, read reviews, and connect with local stores.”
  • Ecorio: “Ecorio automatically tracks your mobile carbon footprint, suggests transit and carpooling alternatives and lets you stay carbon neutral by offsetting your trips easily.”
  • GoCart: “Scan a product’s barcode with your phone’s camera and view all the best prices online and at nearby, local stores.”
  • Life360: “From major natural disasters to little things like your child wandering away at the mall, there is a lot you might worry about. Life360 can help.”
  • Locale: “Locale is an advanced settings manager that automatically changes your phone’s settings based on conditions, such as location.”
  • PicSay: “Easy to use image editor that enables you to quickly personalize your pictures and share them with friends or photo sites.”
  • Softrace: “Turn your workout into a thrilling race and challenge the world in real time.”
  • TuneWiki: “TuneWiki Social Media Player, is an advanced player, featuring synchronized lyrics for audio or video, translation, music maps and a social network.”
  • Wertago: “The mobile application nightlifers have been waiting for. Find the hottest parties in town and connect with friends and others all night long.
  • Compare to the the top apps downloaded from Handango for Blackberry, Palm, Windows Mobile and Symbian, and judge where is the future and where the past. No wonder Nokia is setting a Symbian app challenge.

    Two links to nice mobile apps videos and the latest of TechCrunch on App Market:
    GoCart clip
    Google Maps for Mobile
    A Sneak Peak At The Android App Market
    What Is The Deal With This Stupid Lighter iPhone App?
    This Lighter App shows the powers of location and social network combined. It is a successful App and the only ingredient that is missing from the list above is “useful”!

    Update: Six iPhone applications that combine location and social networks, in TechCrunch

    Symbian Vs iPhone: Is the Glass Half Full or Half Empty?

    TechCruch and GigaOm both commented the Symbian quarterly results. Both blogs compared Nokia’s OS to iPhone and reached two opposite conclusions.

    Facts by GigaOm:

    • Symbian shipped 19.5 Million units in Q2, 5% year-on-year growth.
    • iPhone shipped 0.77 Million units of its 2G model in Q2, a 166% year-on year growth, considering iPhone only sold during last month of Q2 last year. “It is easy to grow from nothing” GigaOm says.
    • Gartner estimates 304.7 million phones shipped during the second quarter, giving Symbian a 6.4% market share and iPhone a 0.2% share.
    • Symbian has more than 9800 applications available, while App Store has only 2500.

    Conclusion: Symbian is still the market leader in mobile phones by far, and iPhone, despite the hype, is almost a negligible anecdote. At 19.5 Million Symbian units in Q2 the glass is half full for Symbian, according to GigaOM.

    Facts by TechCrunch:

    • Symbian shipped 19.5 Million units in Q2, 5% growth year-on-year.
    • iPhone has sold 6 million units of iPhone since the 3G model launched less than 2 months ago. 
    • iPhone is selling 800.000 units per week. At this pace, Q3 unit sales will have a year-on-year growth of 900%. 
    • At one third of that growth rate, iPhone will surpass Symbian shipped units by Q3 2009.

    Conclusion: It is just a matter of time that iPhone beats Symbian. At 19.5 Million Symbian units in Q2 the glass is half empty for Symbian, according to TechCrunch.

    Both posts report that 159 different Symbian models have been shipped “compared to just a handful from RIM and one from Apple”. But is that really good news for Symbian?

    Despite maintaining the market share leadership, Nokia is no longer the object of desire for Smartphone users. iPhone is. Blackberry Bold is too. Nokia might have not lost the lead in market share yet, but they sure have in user’s mindshare.

    I tend to see the glass half empty for Nokia’s OS.

    iPhone and Google will transform Mobile phones

    iPhone iGoogle
    According to NYT technology article by Miguel Helf, iPhone accounts for only 2% of the worldwide smartphones. Nokia’s Symbian 63%, Windows Mobile 11% and RIM 10%. Yet, during Christmas, traffic to Google from iPhones surpassed any other smartphone.

    This data clearly points out that iPhone is making mobile web access a reality, thanks to a web browser user interface superior to any other mobile device before.

    Google acknowledges iPhone browser excellence and predicts it will be a boost to developers to create applications for the iPhone web layer, instead of the heavy task to do specific development for each mobile phone OS and handset model.

    Google has just unveiled a new slicker interface for iPhone.

    “With Google for the iPhone, users will get an improved UI optimized for the touch screen, customization of default tabs (easy access to favorite applications), faster Gmail (email automatically show up, no refreshing needed), a speedier Calendar (including a new month view), and iGoogle.”

    The iGoogle gadget integration will enable developers to create widgets for the iPhone, without the need to develop on the iPhone proprietary platform.

    An opportunity for Mobile Operators? or a threat to be bypassed?