January 22, 2010
Amongst rumors of the impending arrival of the Apple Tablet, Amazon announced this week that they’re opening the Kindle, their famous e-reader, to external application developers. Techcrunch is not impressed and says ”If you are going to try to steal Apple’s thunder just before its big Tablet announcement, you are going to have to do a little bit better than E-Ink Sudoku” but a lot of people are drinking the Apple kool-aid before even seeing a product…
As for the size of the installed base, Mitch Ratcliffe at ZDNet thinks Amazon has sold approximately 1.5 million Kindles so far.
What it means: I think it’s important news. When new “platforms” open up to developers, it’s the first ones in that get the biggest bang for their development efforts. I would suggest to everyone currently involved in mobile applications to sign up for the Kindle dev kit. There are probably interesting hybrid print/online applications that can be deployed on the Kindle (I’m looking at you directory publishers…). You can sign up for the development kit here.
June 11, 2008
It seems like everyone is excited about the new iPhone that was introduced by Apple on Monday (many people are actually calling it the Jesusphone) but I think everyone’s missing the big picture.
Flickr photo by nedrichards
What triggered those thoughts was today’s blog post from Mashable, discussing what was really revolutionary about the new iPhone:
And, The Really Big Thing About The New iPhone Is… GPS. Global Positioning System . Geo-anything. Location based services. (…) Why hasn’t all this happened before? Three words: ease of use. While you could have done all these things for the Symbian or Blackberry or Windows ME platforms (provided the device had GPS capabilities), it just took too many clicks and required too much fidgeting for any of it to get mass appeal.
I actually agree with that statement. The iPhone is well designed, it’s very easy to use, it’s now location-aware and the touchscreen navigation is amazing…
- RIM (Blackberry) is working on a similar device
- Nokia is working on a similar device
- Samsung is working on a similar device
- HTC is probably working on a similar device
- Google might be working on a GooglePhone
I give kudos to Apple for innovating, creating a user-focused device and forcing change in a market that badly needed the kick in the pants but, the same way the social Web is not about Facebook, Friendfeed or Twitter, the mobile Web is not about Apple and the iPhone. It’s about permanent change in the way we access the mobile Web and that’s good. But, it’s certainly not about the iPhone…
Update1: David Pogue from the New York Times reviews the Samsung Instinct.
January 23, 2008
Skyhook‘s technology uses signals from WiFi hot spots to triangulate and find a person’s location, instead of using a chip that lets a mobile device communicate with the satellite-based Global Positioning System.Skyhook, founded in 2003 by Ted Morgan and Michael Shean, has gathered and catalogued the WiFi fingerprint of streets in thousands of US cities and towns by driving along roads and collecting the unique signatures of 23 million WiFi signals that flow out of houses, businesses, and public access points. The company uses that data to let WiFi-enabled devices know where they are. (…)The software upgrade that includes the new location feature – it’s available free on an iPhone and for $19.99 on an iPod Touch – allows people to simply press a button to see where they are.
A map displays a bull’s-eye that’s centered on the user’s location; Morgan said Skyhook’s technology typically is accurate up to about 165 feet. The technology builds in the likely margin of error and draws a circle on the map, taking into account the likely error of the location technology, so that the user will be within the radius 95 percent of the time.
(flickr photo by tibopoix)
What it means: I believe Apple is betting that location-based services represent the future growth for their iPod line of product. During Apple’s Q1 2008 conference call, their execs called it potentially the “first mainstream Wi-Fi mobile platform, running all kinds of mobile applications”. With the upcoming release of the iPhone SDK, we should be monitoring the growing installed base of these devices.
October 16, 2007
Still a rumor at this point, Business Week says Apple will start offering software development kits for the iPhone beginning of 2008. According to the article, the delay was caused by Apple wanting to release his new OS Leopard before opening the iPhone to developers instead of the official statement related to “bugs from third-party software posing a threat to cellular networks”. But “concerns like that will probably lead Apple to be careful in selecting which programmers are given the tools to build iPhone software. It isn’t clear yet how Apple plans to go about vetting programmers or to what extent it will open the platform to them.”
Flickr photo by dylanparker.
Update: Sylvain Carle (in the comments) and the The Unofficial Apple Weblog report that the SDK will be available in February.
What it means: Apple has created a mini-revolution around the iPhone when it launched in the US last summer (it’s still not available officially in Canada). More than 1M units have been sold and this has created a very interesting installed base for third party applications (hundreds are already available and can be installed on a hacked, unlocked iPhone). If you operate in the local space, mobile is key and you should be looking at the iPhone as a potential platform for your local app.
June 27, 2007
“We have been testing the iPhone for two weeks, in multiple usage scenarios, in cities across the country. Our verdict is that, despite some flaws and feature omissions, the iPhone is, on balance, a beautiful and breakthrough handheld computer.”
Walt Mossberg reviewing the iPhone in the Wall Street Journal.
Via the Center for Media Research:
A new report by Media-Screen finds that, although more than 60 percent of U.S. broadband users currently own an Internet-enabled mobile device, only five percent of them, approximately five million, use the mobile Internet. The report concludes that they are reluctant to partake in online mobile activities due to extra fees and difficulties establishing and maintaining Internet connections.
Jean Durall, Media-Screen’s Director of Research Service, says “Broadband users… have historically driven innovation of online applications by being the first to adopt and embrace new services on the Internet… Understanding this group of influential consumers will help carriers, content providers and marketers develop new offerings.” (…) Over 50 percent of respondents say that the mobile Internet access does not “fit with their lifestyle.”
The study reports that the top mobile Internet activities are:
- Sending email 47%
- Playing games 27%
- Read the news 16%
- Watch TV programs 13%
More info can be found on the Adotas web site.
What it means: Wow. The way the market is buzzing about mobile Internet, you’d think everyone was using it. I’m still surprised that number is so low. But when I think about it, even I (an early adopter) is not using my mobile device for Internet needs. I’d love to be connected all the time and I’ve sent e-mails, played games and read the news on my mobile device before but I wasn’t too pleased with the experience. I think form factor is a definite issue. I still think we haven’t see the killer app in terms of device. I had high hopes for Apple’s iPhone but it’s unfortunately going to be built as a closed platform. I think WiFi/WiMax-enabled phones (to help reduce usage costs) and open platforms (to make your device more relevant for you) will speed up adoption in the future.