Archive for the 'Wireless IT & Entertainment' Category

Carnival of Mobilists #195

Following plenty of action at CTIA, Carnival #195 is at Always On Real-Time Access AORTA, where host Chetan Sharma describes the past week’s mobile blogging as an eclectic mix of viewpoints. Check out Andrew Grill of London Calling’s post where he delves into the world of mobile and social networking. He looks at taking social media mobile and how the growth in social networks will drive mobile internet usage.

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The Future of the Mobile Development Industry; perspective from Sony Ericsson

We are pleased to bring you an interview with Erik Starck, Community Manager, Developer World, Sony Ericsson. Sony Ericsson is a Developer’s Choice sponsor at WIPJam @ CTIA taking place on October 8th in San Diego.

1. What’s the biggest change you’ve seen in the industry as a whole?
Definitely the move over to open source platforms. That changes the logic behind innovation creation. As it drives the cost of the platforms down it moves the resources of the entire industry over to applications and services.

2. What are the biggest changes you’ve seen in mobile development specifically?
Well, as a consequence of the above application developers are in a better spot than ever. The playing field has been leveled between developers, carriers and device manufacturers. It’s a better time than ever to be a mobile developer.

3. It’s pretty tough for small mobile development companies to survive on just one device and/or one market. What’s your advice to our mobile developers for growing a successful company?
It’s no different than for any other business. Know your customer and your markets, don’t focus on technology but on the value you can create for your customers. As always, user experience is key. If your coming from a web paradigm there are some things you need to rethink. A person should be able to use your application with one hand while riding a bike. If that’s possible you have a simple enough UI. :)

4. What do you think are the top 2 - 3 mistakes mobile development companies tend to make?
- Don’t be afraid to charge for your product. Free only gets you that far.
- “Distribution, distribution, distribution.” How easy is it to find your app, recommend it to someone, spread it?
- There are lots of “me too”-applications out there. Be innovative, try something new, test the limits!

5. In the global marketplace – what are you seeing that are hot geographic markets?
There’s lots of interesting stuff happening in Africa. In many ways they are ahead of the rest of the world especially when it comes to mobile payments. There are many emerging markets all over the world where the phones on the street are still quite basic, but they will be moving over to more advanced platforms in just a few years. These are markets where the mobile phone will play a key part in peoples’ lives in ways we haven’t fully realized yet.

6. How do you think our mobile developers can take advantage of these hot/growing areas?
The mobile phone is actually the personal phone. Since it such a personal device you really have to understand the cultural context in which you’re trying to sell your application. Maybe you should leave your keyboard and start traveling for a while to get some new ideas.

7. What’s your current role at Sony Ericsson? And how do you think you can support our mobile dev? I’m the community manager at Developer World. We run a developer forum, blogs and have a Twitter account. Join us there!

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Carnival of Mobilists #193

Carnival-Manchester 193This week, Volker on Mobile hosts Carnival #193. Volker Hirsch writes, “We have an abundance of variety, showing how incredibly diverse this “little” niche has already become.” Blogs include: general market overviews, novel handsets, subscription services, mobile learning, how smartphones will look and a WIPJam interview with Lauren Thorpe, the Sr Director, Developer Relations at Qualcomm. Qualcomm is a Developer’s Choice sponsor of WIPJam @ CTIA, a Day for Developers, taking place on October 8th in San Diego.

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Mobile Development Industry: Changes, Success and Hot Markets

Lauren_Thorpe_Casual cropped smLeading up to our WIPJam Session on October 8 @ CTIA in San Diego, we have asked Lauren Thorpe, Senior Director, Developer Relations, Qualcomm Incorporated, a series of questions regarding the mobile industry. Lauren is part of the first WIPJam UnPanel taking place @ 11:15 am.

You’re a veteran in the mobile industry having been with MForma, Helio, THQ and now Qualcomm. What’s the biggest change you’ve seen in the industry as a whole?

Finally people are looking at and “touching” their devices rather than just holding them up to their ear. For years I would travel around and observe people while they waited in airports and train stations, desperately trying to find someone who was a potential customer; someone who was playing a game or using an application on their device (other than email, of course). In the early days, while trying to pull marketing materials together there weren’t even any stock photos of people doing things other than talking on a mobile phone. The biggest change I have seen is with people – consumers finally get that there are lots of really cool things you can do on your mobile device besides just talk. We are finally seeing a hint of the full potential of mobile.

What are the biggest changes you’ve seen in mobile development specifically?

Mobile developers have been dealing with device and platform fragmentation for years. This isn’t going away any time soon, especially as new platforms seem to be proliferating. However, during this time, developers have gotten really smart and built some amazing tools and middleware to help manage this complexity. As a result, I believe developers are in a better position to compensate for device variation today. There’s also been a significant change the way user experiences are developed for mobile. In the early days – whether it was for WAP or an application – we brought other experiences to mobile, trying to cram an experience not made for mobile onto a 125 x 125 pixel screen. That’s a miserable user experience! As a development community we have moved on a long way toward “made for mobile”, which enables more positive user experiences and the hope for repeat business.

It’s pretty tough for small mobile development companies to survive on just one device and/or one market. What’s your advice to our mobile developers for growing a successful company?

Reach is clearly important to a developer achieving commercial success. However, it’s important to scale profitably. There are obviously lots of factors that impact this, but I would encourage developers to look for platforms that showcase the quality of their application, underscore their value proposition and deliver a good return, and then look at volume. Stay true to your core values since no amount of scale will make up for a poor user experience.

What do you think are the top 2 - 3 mistakes mobile development companies tend to make?

I think the biggest mistake is probably in building applications for the lowest common denominator device. At one level this simplifies the post-production/backend process. However, it’s likely to be at the expense of the overall end user experience which turns off consumers. Another mistake I’ve seen is in building an application without taking into consideration what platforms and devices it will eventually run on. This requires developers to stay on top of the market and be prepared to respond quickly to trends because putting in touch or accelerometer as an afterthought can degrade an application and definitely drives up cost and time to market.

In the global marketplace – what are you seeing that are hot geographic markets?

Certainly emerging economies are seeing a lot of growth based on advancements in the data capabilities of lower-tier devices. China and India continue to be hot spots of growth. However, we’re also seeing innovation coming out of Latin America. Here I would point to América Móvil, who is bringing more advanced data services to market including mobile widgets and new app stores. In developed markets, it’s fair to say that the iPhone App Store is driving a wave of innovation. The US is a hotbed of activity right now as carriers look to capitalize on the “new” app store phenomenon.

How do you think our mobile developers can take advantage of these hot/growing areas?

From a business perspective, Operators and OEMs are moving to create marketplaces for their various platforms. They *need* a strong development community – the more diverse the better – so in a sense the market is wide open. However, this creates a bit of a paradox. There seem to be too many go-to-market options. Developers can benefit by seeking out companies that are actively building cross-platform and cross-channel ecosystems to help them scale and address a broader set of opportunities. The can also look at partnering with aggregators to enter new markets, sharing revenue, but also risk as they prove out the opportunity. Once developers have identified their channel, there’s the challenge of scaling technically. Here developers can look at building apps in a way that makes it easy to swap out resources, for example supporting multiple languages by making it easy to swap out text files. They can also look at developing relationships with local porting shops to be able to correctly cover local devices with lower start up costs.

What’s your current role at Qualcomm? And how do you think you can support our mobile development companies’ growth?

Now I can provide a much better answer to your earlier question of how mobile developers can take advantage of global opportunities! At Qualcomm, I am responsible for growing our developer ecosystem. This means helping developers find cost efficient, high revenue paths to market working with more than 60 operators, more than 60 device makers and across more than 1,000 handset models worldwide. In terms of practical details, we work side by side with developers to identify commercial opportunities and provide a channel through which they can address them. We continue to introduce developers to new products like Plaza Mobile Internet – an end-to-end widget solution – and Plaza Retail – our device and platform agnostic storefront – in addition to the BREW solution. Lastly, we are working to streamline the process of porting, testing and commercializing against multiple devices across multiple networks worldwide. We have some interesting updates coming over the next few months in this regard so stay tuned!

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You’re on an app store; now what?

We’ve asked our speakers and sponsors to provide some blog fodder as a lead up to our WIPJam Session on October 8 @ CTIA in San Diego!

mitch_oliver_croppedThe following is brought to you by Mitch Oliver, vice president of ecosystem development for Qualcomm.

Although the mobile applications market has been evolving since 2001, the year Qualcomm launched one of the first app stores with BREW, the pace of innovation has picked up significantly over the past two years. Following the launch of the iPhone 3G in 2008, with which Apple became the poster-child for the modern day “App Store”, there has been a proliferation of market channels for mobile apps.

This competition for attention appears to be paying dividends for developers. Industry efforts to improve the quality of tools, lower the cost of testing and certification, speed time to market, and (most importantly) promote these solutions to consumers have resulted in an explosion of applications. While a catalog of several hundred applications used to be considered a well-stocked store, now the benchmark may be more like the thousands.

The problem is that it’s getting harder and harder for developers to stand out in today’s mobile app stores. A lucky few have a truly ground-breaking application, or sufficient negotiating power, to get featured in a national ad campaign or placed at the top of the store. What about the rest?

This is an increasingly well documented problem in the blogosphere. While a long-tail of content is ultimately good for the consumer, developers need new ways to manage the marketing of their application in a crowded space and consumers need better ways to filter their choices. Here, we’d like to offer a few thoughts on the things that developers should be asking of their app store partners to improve the merchandising and management of their applications:

  • Tools that allow developers to directly influence consumer purchase behavior. These can encompass traditional promotional vehicles such as in-store banners and microstores, but consideration should also be given to the use of externally driven tools such as deep-linking to content in the storefront from messages or third party sites (developer websites, social networks). Flexible pricing models, including trials, time-based “passes”, upgrades, and two-fers, in addition to paid placements are also important elements in the promotional mix.

  • A strong recommendations engine is a big plus. This exposes consumers to a broader range of content than they may have otherwise discovered while also managing the paradox of choice. By allowing the right content to find willing consumers over time, and moving from search to discovery, the overall ecosystem can support a greater range of viable, long-tail content . In Qualcomm’s experience content uplifts in excess of 20% are possible with good quality recommendations.

  • Lastly, reporting and analytics tools that allow developers to track their performance, understand revenue drivers and evaluate the impact of placement, campaigns and pricing models are key to bring this all together and optimize the marketing mix. These should be simple, straightforward and offer a way to compare different channels.

Qualcomm is addressing a number of these areas today with the Plaza suite of products. However, we also need to come together as an industry to truly realize the potential of mobile merchandising and marketing. Join me at the upcoming WIPJAM @ CTIA for a lively discussion on merchandising and marketing your applications. Look forward to jamming with you!

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WIP Opportunities @ CTIA

Be Scene @ CTIA

Great news for WIP members! Here are 3 ways to get involved with WIP @ CTIA in San Diego, CA. (Not a WIP member? Register here!)

1. Developer Pavilion at CTIA
Wednesday, October 7 - Friday, October 9, 2009
Fully pimped out booth (5′ x 10′ for $2,000.00) and valuable extras
Deadline August 7 for full benefits!

2. Pepcom - Mobilefocus@CTIA WIRELESS IT&E 2009
October 7, 2009; 7:00 - 10:00 pm
At the Omni in San Diego
20% WIP Member Discount

3. WIPJAM @CTIA
Thursday October 8, 2009
Don’t forget to sign up to Jam with us!

Here is more information on these great opportunities!
wite2009-for-newsletter
Developer Pavilion at CTIA
Wednesday, October 7 - Friday, October 9, 2009

Become an exhibitor at the CTIA Wireless IT & Entertainment Show with us!
We’ve secured a great rate and valuable extras for WIP members and partners at the Developer Pavilion. Fully pimped out booths are available in 2 sizes:
• 5’ x 10’ booth for $2,000.00 USD
• 10’ x 10’ booth for $3,800.00USD

All booths include:

• 2 chairs
• table (3′ for 5′x10′ booth, 6′ for 10′x10′ booth)
• Electricity (5 amps)
• 5 exhibitor passes to the keynotes and onto the exhibit show floor
• guest passes for customers
• 50 word company description in both the show guide pavilion section as well
as in the regular exhibitor listings. (deadline Aug 7)
• company listing in the cross reference section of the show guide(deadline Aug 7)
• sign identifying each exhibitor hung from the back wall drape
• opportunity to provide a logo to be placed above the company description in
the pavilion section of the show guide. (deadline Aug 7)

WIP is also going to provide a WIP Developer Pavilion Show guide, along with marketing and promotion for the exhibitors before and during the show.

Next Steps:
Go to the Pavilion web page for contracts and registration.
Contact us if you have any questions or require further information.
The deadline is fast approaching so act now!

Pepcom - Mobilefocus@CTIA WIRELESS IT&E 2009

October 7, 2009; 7:00 – 10:00 pm
At the Omni in San Diego
20% WIP Member Discount

MobileFocus is the #1 mobile and wireless press showcase event - held at both CTIA conferences and at Mobile World Congress in Barcelona. Pepcom is offering a 20% discount on the price of a table to any WIP member company that has not previously done a Pepcom event. There will be special signage to identity APP developers at the event! MobileFocus is a great opportunity to demo your products and services to a huge press audience. To take advantage of this great offer, please contact Jon Pepper (jon at pepcom dot com) and mention the “WIP” offer. Space is limited so act fast.

WIPJam @ CTIA

Please register for this popular “Day for Developers”. We have now held WIPJams, miniJams and Jam Receptions on four continents! Jam On!

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Open Source in Mobile (OSiM) USA Event

Presenting the only Open Source in Mobile Gathering in the USA with full ecosystem representation!

OSiM USA
Open Source in Mobile USA
March 11-12 2009
The Westin, San Francisco, USA

Developers Go Free! OSiM USA 2009 will cater for the independent developer. All developers are invited to attend the conference for free and will benefit from not only high level strategic presentations but technical, developer focussed talks as well. The Independent Developer Pass entitles you to attend both days of the conference in their entirety for absolutely no cost. To register email adam.shaw@informa.com

We are definitely going as Caroline will be chairing the morning session on the 12th. She is also planning a dinner meet up on March 10th so if you are interested in attending the dinner, give her a shout at caroline@wipconnector.com

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here’s a straw set of input on what’s better, what’s worse, for mobile developers, today

We’ve asked our speakers and sponsors to provide some blog fodder as a lead up to Mobile Jam on September 12.   Sean O’Sullivan from Dial 2 Do weighs in, with a little help from Raj Singh:

 Sean O'SullivanI’m helping run a couple of session sat the Mobile Jam Session at CTIA Wireless San Francisco next week, so I said I’d write a few words as input for the session. 

From a mobile developer’s perspective, the last few years have been wonderfully frustrating. It’s a classic case of “on the one hand….but on the other hand”. I think we should use the session to flesh out both sides of today’s current position for a mobile developer, and then present a summary at the end of the day. And we shouldn’t take ourselves too seriously. So without further ado, here’s a straw set of input on what’s better, what’s worse, for mobile developers, today…

Life is better as a mobile developer today because

  • The toolset these days is composed of more than just vi
  • There’s evidence that some people do actually buy mobile apps these days
  • The handset guys are finally starting to let us at the cool stuff (address book, GPS, SMS…)
  • The carrier will now let me keep more than 2 cents on the dollar :-) In fact, Mobile advertising finally allowed the independent developer to make money although only pennies compared to going premium on-deck  (for most apps)
  • I don’t have to mortgage my house anymore to have an application certified for a network
  • The PalmOS has died a death so I can just forget about developing for it. Phew!
  • Things are not bad If you focus on the mid-development-tier :  i.e. not native apps - but create great web applications and just bet on better browsers across all phones
  • Carriers now treat me like their friend
  • I can use images larger than a postage stamp
  • Analytics for everything has improved - so we don’t have to go to court to figure out my app was downloaded a million times
  • Social networks have created a whole new pull for rich, connected mobile applications; connecting the online world with my mobile world is a truly rich new vein for cool apps
  • Apple are dragging the whole ecosystem in to the 21st century

Life is worse as a mobile developer today because

  • Turned out Java wasn’t the answer!
  • They said life was going to get simpler; Android, iPhone, LiMo, WinMobile, J2ME - they lied! Apple has just added more fragmentation – the target platforms are going through a shift but there is still a ton of platforms – porting is as hard as it has ever been, if not worse (aside: as the platfroms become richer, with GPS, 3D graphics, this porting problem becomes worse not better)
  • The carriers man, the carriers - don’t talk to me.  Apple’s App store has been executed well - but it has only shifted the walled-garden (i.e. Apple will not list local music playing apps or even a competing browser like Skyfire, ha!)
  • The Widget ecosystem is a mess – too many proprietary runtimes although a chick of light appears with regard to standardisation on web runtimes for widgets finally starting to happen
  • Browsers are different; APIS are different; busness models are different; permissions are different - gimme a break!
  • “Allow this application to access the internet” - excuse me?
  • Seamless convergence is not really in the interest of the carrier - so I have a hard sell for my “converged app”
  • I’d need a Cray just to run all the toolsets I need 
  • They still need a note from my parents before they’ll deploy my application (well, that’s how it feels)
  • Thanks Mr Carrier, your API is waaaay cool. It’s just a leeeetle different to to every other carrier’s API….. but thanks anyway

More suggestions? Send them to sos “at” dial2do with the subject “Jamtastic”

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What Captain Kirk, Batman and the Justice League know about Opening the Mobile Web

 We’ve asked our speakers and sponsors to provide some blog fodder as a lead up to Mobile Jam on September 12.  

Steve McDonnel   Steve McDonnell, the Global Alliance Manager, Strategic Platforms & Internet Technologies at Motorola has a few things to say about how the mobile web is going to open up: 

 There are so many people talking about widgets and mobile web today and is it really any wonder? I remember watching TV shows where the characters (Captain Kirk, Batman and the whole Justice League, for example) had access to the types of communication devices that are only now becoming a real possibility. I’m not optimistic about driving a jet car any time soon, but I’m pretty close to having a gadget that will surpass Kirk’s communicator, (GPS and voice, big deal.) 

Why is mobile web so exciting, and why are widgets making the whole thing more real for so many people, here’s what I think.

 

Mobile is the most personal, immediate and convenient way to access the web

·         Personal - A consumers phone is possibly the most uniquely personal computing device they own

·         Always with the user - Instantly accessible

·         The only always-on mass media

 

Today’s the web experience on mobile is like the Internet circa 1997

·         Mobile browsing is not living up to user expectations

·         Without widgets, users need to actively search to find exactly what they need

·         Once there, many pages are static

·         Or there is limited information on a small screen, so they need to scroll or search further

 

Consumers are demanding a better mobile web experience.

We don’t have to open up the mobile web, consumers will do that, 25% of all mobile phone users around the world access the internet on their phones, a staggering 825 million people (Real Networks, 2007). Paid content on mobile is already $31.3 Billion globally…greater than Hollywood or video games. Consumers are demanding a better mobile web experience.

 

Widgets and web applications provide consumers the mobile internet experience they want, reducing friction on the way to getting the information and services they’re looking for.

  Agree or disagree?  Steve will be on the UnPanel #1  - Opening the Mobile Web.  Give him more to think about by providing your comments!   

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Sneak Preview of Topics

We recently met with a group of developers to get some advice and input into topics and speakers for  Mobile Jam.  Here is a sneak peak at the schedule thus far:

10:30am - Noon  ‘Unpanel’ discussion:  Opening the Mobile Web

How do we open up the mobile web to ease development and really open up the mass market to consumers?  Let’s talk about native apps and web apps; suggest common interfaces and consistent security; and review best practices. Contribute to OMTP’s BONDI initiative.

 1:00pm – 3:45pm  Improv sessions

Led by developers and industry leaders alike, where everyone gets a chance to be heard and have their questions answered in small discussion groups with these topics:

  • Mobile Security and Anti-viruses
  • Mobile banking and payments
  • Browsers & widgets
  • Device attributes  - vendors and mobile use cases
  • Porting, Testing and Certification
  • Distribution and channels

  4:00pm – 5:00pm  ‘Unpanel’ discussion:  The Broken Path to Market

Where’s the money?  Following the path from investors to customers and all links in-between.  How do developers make choices and get rewarded.

 5:00pm – late   Wrap Party:  offsite  

You have to attend Mobile Jam to find out the location, but it will be the best party of CTIA!

 

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