Wednesday, July 6, 2022

Trends in Mobile

July 22, 2009 by · 81 Comments 

BlackBerry Pearl 8100
Image via Wikipedia

These are not some sort of top ten trends nor are they new (you may have heard of these before), but they are trends which I increasingly see  in Mobile:

1) It is all about the platforms that developers will care to develop for: Android (free), iPhone (easy) – these will dictate the intelligence of apps and their adaptation to hardware in the future. Simply put, the hardware is not as important anymore.. or will continue to decline in importance as the features of the platform capture the interest of the public.

2) Hardware capabilities and optimization will dictate the UI design of the mobile internet 2.0.. if you have location, for example, you don’t need to have a UI that requires data entry for certain types of things. Perhaps this is more a way of thinking rather than a specific technology development, but I’m seeing more and more apps that are smart about using the hardware.

3) Location is a feature not a destination site – this is a natural extension of the above.. location based services as a destination site will struggle compared to a destination site that has location as a feature. Don’t know how to rephrase that.

4) Cross-Platform compatibility of applications & games will be expected and required. I want to play games with my friends, chat, and share media regardless of whether they are on a smartphone or on Facebook. More and more companies are coming out with platforms which enable this cross-platform talk as well as services coming up with APIs that interface with the major players.

5) Advertising will have to evolve (relevance vs reach) provided it respects what I call the “3 P’s” of mobile advertising (privacy, preference and permission) that ensure users have complete control over what appears on their handset.

6) Emerging markets will drive the growth of the mobile internet (India alone has 150m Java-enabled phones and a growing number of smartphone users & 400m mobile subs vs 40m broadband) Indian Twitter clone makes  $150K month.

7) Attention spans for interaction will be short 5-15min on average- apps will be designed for that and games as well. It is very hard to sit and play a game, for example, like you do on a console, on a mobile. This goes for any kind of data, location, or media query. Things have to be fast.

8 ) Mobile will be the authentication mechanism of the future.. I expect not to have a token in 5 years. I expect to use my phone as a sort of Auth token

9 ) Whilst carriers are increasingly becoming data pipes, they can and will add value to offset that via their services. Seed services such as 02 Litmus APIs + Vodafone Betavine can help app developers get exposure to mobile users directly. In conjunction with companies such as Adaptive Mobile, an operator (in the operator security cloud, so to speak) can take care of the security issue for the plethora of devices on their network(can we say fragmentation?) which are less uniform than the 3 operating systems prevalent in the PC world.  Lastly, operators own THE social network, your addressbook, and can faciliate many services that are currently done in the handset. Carriers, therefore, can become ecosystem enablers.

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