Tag Archives: Windows Mobile

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

    Will 2008 be the year of Mobile Advertisement?

    Mobile Phones are personal devices we always carry on with us. As their media capabilities increase, mobile handsets become ideal for brands to get across their message to consumers through personalized multimedia campaigns.

    So far, Operators have used their knowledge about customers mainly for SMS-based marketing, with a high risk of annoying the user with spam. As more powerful and open handsets appear – iPhone, Windows Mobile and Android-, and as Operators adopt flat-fee data plans, other promising technologies are emerging for a better user experience and ad effectiveness:

    Mobile Web. Banners and contextual links are ready to take off, with Google and others occupying that space, probably bypassing Operators. Apart form the personalized targeted ads, features like click-to-call can make Mobile Web even more effective than Internet, with higher click-though rates.
    Mobile TV / Video. Be it interstitial ads before clips or new formats embracing interactivity, this segment, still in its infancy, will develop intensely: Broadcast Mobile TV (DVB-H/DVB-SH) will raise users awareness and will enable broadcast channels mass distribution.
    Downloadable content/apps. Many brands will see interest to sponsor downloadable content specifically targeted to a segment, with interstitials shown between games.

    All these new models will require a 3G network and handsets to make them compelling. 3G handsets are lowering their cost and becoming affordable for teenagers. Teenagers are today the key segment for ring-back tones, logos and game downloads, using their 2G phones. No doubt teenagers are the ones likely to first embrace new types of advertisement. Simply wait for them to get a 3G phone.

    Mobile advertisement market size in 2011 is estimated between $5 and $18 billion, depending on which analyst is consulted.

    How will this market split among the different players in the value chain is still to be seen. Operators risk to be bypassed by Internet players, but let’s not forget that Operators are the ones owning the scarce resource of spectrum. If operators decide to charge data on usage, instead of flat-fee, this can be a showstopper for the mobile ads party.

    NewTeeVee recently posted their “outsourced” predictions for Video Advertisement. Even if focused on Internet TV, most of the comments are also valid for Mobile Video Advertisement. Worth reading.

    Will it be Google the one bringing Linux to the desktop?

    Googlex o Goobuntu? Let’s think about it…

    Google enters the Mobile Phones market by building an open Operating System (OS) for mobiles, built around Linux (Kernel 2.6).

    Android main competitors, apart from Nokia, are iPhone and Windows Mobile. Both Apple and Microsoft come from computer OS to smartphones OS. What is a smartphone but a down-scale computer? Following Convergence trend in the IT/Telecom industry, we could foresee convergent OS across devices.

    Nokia, established #1 in mobile phones, should be worried about new entrants such as Apple and Google, as convergence is unstoppable. In the long run I would bet on iPhone, Windows Mobile and Android to be market leaders as mobile operators move to IMS and all-IP networks, and need Open devices to install IMS software clients.

    Once Google brings Linux to the mobile phone, wouldn’t be Google the one to bring Linux to the desktop too? Many would see with good eyes Google to “organize the information in the world” in what regards to Linux desktop distros. Linux is getting better for the desktop, but still not there. Imagine what a GLinux, Googlex or a Goobuntu distro could do to definitively drive Linux to the masses.

    Eric, Larry, Sergei, please think about it.

    Meantime some reports anticipate an Android debut in Barcelona 3GSM congress in february. I bet there will be a lot of Android handsets announcements in Barcelona, and very few prototypes. Unless phone vendors have been working hard in advance of the Android announcement, it is unlikely to see any Android phone before late next year.