Wireless Wonders

No news, just comment about mobile phones and services, from a veteran practitioner...3G, GPRS, WAP, Bluetooth, WiFi, etc...

Thursday, August 10, 2006

"Mobile apps" nearly dead?

Before long, probably 3 years, we shall probably no longer talk of mobile apps. All of us "mobile experts" may have to find something else to do. There will be a shift towards iconic designs for larger format devices with keyboards, which more and more consumers will demand - the Motorola Q is already on that track, but the UI will also have finally attracted the design attention it deserves. We will want to carry these devices and they will become abundant - imagine the quality of the Nintendo DS graphics on a handset! Network speed via HSDPA and WiFi will dissolve many bandwidth-related issues (there are still many of them) that plague mobile services today (both uplink and downlink). Rich web technologies will be widely available, including Ajax, Flash etc. Most devices will support one of a few fully-open (i.e. abundant APIs) operating systems.

There will probably need to be some "mobilisation" of apps to make them work well on mobile devices, such as provision for offline data caching, transcoding of content, but these won't require specialised mobile technologies - these will be done within the realm of web technologies and become natually part of web frameworks and platforms.

Mobile will just be another channel for an Internet service. Of course, this idea has been pursued for many years. Remember the original whitepaper for HDML (WAP precursor)? The whole model was "Internet on the mobile phone". They just fudged over the smallprint bit about "...with two buttons and a only 40 words per page". Thankfully, those days are rapidly moving on by.

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Tuesday, August 08, 2006

WAP Banner Ads

Orange has just released WAP banner ads. Is this yet another obviously-going-to-fail attempt to shoehorn the web experience into a tiny device? I'm sure it's an experiment. Let's hope that the ads are highly personalised. Who wants to waste already precious screen space and download time on something likely to be ignored more of the time? And what will the user experience be like when clicking through to the ad? Most ads on the web link to a visual feast of info (i.e. the advertiser's website), not replicable on WAP. They are also actionable - i.e. can often lead to actually buying something, also not replicable on WAP.

I'm sure they've thought it through...banner ads on our site, so must have them on the WAP site too!

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