Andreas Constantinou

Carnival of the Mobilists #133

Carnival of the Mobilists #133

Welcome to the 133rd edition of the Carnival of the Mobilists! This week’s Carnival is hosted by VisionMobile.

Ferris wheel

This week there are quite a few thought pieces and observations worth reading. The iPhone 3G has kept most bloggers busy, but it’s refreshing to see the diversity of topics covered, from challenges in modelling mobile broadband subscriptions to axioms of user interface design. This is trully mobile biodiversity!

Starting with the iPhone posts, Justin Oberman at the MOpocket blog recounts his experiences on the appaling battery life of the iPhone 3G… so appaling that to save battery life Apple suggests you can turn off 3G, location services, push email and 3rd party applications. That’s when technology innovation fails – you buy a new iPhone 3G, not to use any of the new features.

C. Enrique Ortiz at his Mobility Weblog reflects on last week’s news that the iTunes Apps Store saw 10m downloads in just 3 days and makes a very sharp observation;  people WILL download applications, if the problem of discovery is solved.. local applications are not RIP, as many have argued.. ease of discovery must always be part of the mobile solution: be it a search box, an icon on the home page of the handset, a mobile widget, or side-loading. Is everyone listening ?

Ian Wood makes another good observation at his Digital Evangelist blog: the iPhone still has a long way to go; for one, it is only available in two colours and two storage sizes, whereas with iPods there is a choice also in terms of form factors with the Shuffle, Nano, Classic and iTouch.

Moving to mobile strategy posts, Ajit Jaokar at his OpenGardens blog makes a good point: every player in the value chain will have to make the choice between being a Pipe (e.g. IP networks), a Software (e.g. WebKit, LiMo) or a Platform (Nokia and Google). It’s a choice certainly most operators are reluctant to make.

Continuing with another thought piece Andrew Grill writes at his London Calling blog: we’re all an impedance to the brands and advertisers getting their message to the consumer. I couldn’t agree more; the mobile industry overemphasizes technology and mobile operators (the main route to market) are especially profficient at stiffling innovation and blocking long-tail opportunities.

Dean Bubley at his Disruptive Analysis blog ponders on the intricacies of mobile broadband subscribers and whether there is really an accurate model for quantifying mobile broadband adoption & device usage.

Barbara Ballard, one of the few voices on mobile user experience writes about design principles at the Little Springs Design blog. Barbara illustrates some cardinal points on user interface design, namely simplicity, progressive disclosure of information, and how invisible interactions are not always a good thing. Which makes me wonder – why is it that so few mobile software companies employ UI design specialists ? This needs to change.

Finally, Martin Sauter at the WirelessMoves blog writes about how wireless internet is now becoming available for the masses. And while there is software (e.g. Opera Mini) and hardware (e.g. EUR100 phones off contract) available, what’s missing is the proliferation of fair use, prepaid data plans, training of sales people, device auto- or pre-configuration and advertising of compeling services. Well said.

The post of the week honours go to C. Enrique Ortiz for his thesis on why discoverability is what’s stalling the take-up of mobile apps. It’s always great to see such thought leadership in the mobile industry.

Next week tune in to MOpocket for the 134th installment of the best of the mobile blogging- and please keep those thought pieces coming!

– Andreas

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