Tag Archives: Mobile 2.0

Mobile Application Development: Native or Browser

The discussion rages on. I continue to enjoy the experience of native applications much more. But there seem to be a lot of people out there jumping on the ‘mobile browser application‘ bandwagon. Of course everyone has a reason for it but if we focus solely on the end user (how about that?) the native applications provide a richer and better experience (not to mention better integration with device functionality). Inside the enterprise (as we attempt to mobilize our workers) this argument hasn’t taken off just yet. This is mostly because it adds a layer of complexity (and costs) to the roll out and support of multiple devices and platforms.

For now, I leave you with two stories:

  • From GigaOm: The Browser as the Unifier
    A small post and a video from an interview…

    The biggest complaint coming from mobile developers is that there are just too many darn cell phone platforms and devices for which they need to create applications. Compared to the dozens of platforms in the cell phone world, developing applications for PCs is a breeze. But until the cell phone world gets a whole lot simpler, there’s an answer to all that confusion, says Jon von Tetzchner, co-Founder and CEO of Opera Software: the browser.

  • From Jason Grigsby of Cloud Four: The Five Most Common Arguments for Native iPhone Development
  • Jason presents and refutes the most common arguments for why iPhone applications need to be built using native code instead of web technology.

    Three of the arguments either don’t apply in all cases or are simply wrong.

    The five most common arguments for native app development are:
    1. Offline Mode — The ability to continue to use an application when you are not connected to the Internet.
    2. Findability — If you’re not in the App Store, people won’t be able to find your application.
    3. Performance — Javascript on mobile is too slow to use for application development.
    4. Device Attributes — The need to access things like the camera, gps and the accelerometer.
    5. Monetization — The ease with which people can and will buy your application.

    These five reasons are also provided to argue for native app development on other platforms like Android and Blackberry as well.

    Now It’s Your Turn
    Regardless of the number of visitors to the Mobile Strategy Blog we always have a tough time collecting opinions and commentary. Not sure if it has to do with our style or with our readers… But we do value your opinion and we would like to hear your thoughts on this topic (and all the others of course). So please drop us a line or leave a comment below:

    – What are your thoughts?
    – Are these arguments one-sided?
    – What are you developing for?

    App Store Market Data (from AppsFire)

    The mobile service AppsFire released some interesting numbers recently, which are provided for you down at the bottom.  Before the numbers first a brief explanation of what AppsFire is:

    AppsFire allows you to share with your friends your lists of favorite iPhone Apps. All you have to do is download and install AppsFire app on your Mac or PC, let is scan your Apps on iTunes. Then it will point you to your private AppsFire page where you can decide which app you will share and actually share them the way you decide (email, social networks or widget).

    In other words, it is a social service that enables you to share what apps you have installed as well as seeing what your friends have installed and what they think about these.   Take a look at their home page below.   It is a service similar (yet different) to Yappler.

    AppsFire Front Page

    AppsFire Front Page

    Okay, so what are the numbers?

    [AppsFire] used a sample of 1200 appsfire users (meaning that we know precisely what each user has) and took anonymously (we insist on the privacy respect), a picture of what’s exactly installed on each single iPhone. We then aggregated this data to produce a unique overview about what can be found “on average” in an iPhone.

    Now for the numbers… (remember it is based on 1200 users)

  • Over 15,000 unique apps installed
  • On average 65 apps installed per device
  • $80 spent per iPhone
  • $1.56 = Average price of paid app (including free apps)
  • $2.87 = Average price of paid app (excluding free apps)
  • $0.99 = Median price of paid app
  • 7% of users only have free apps (and typically less than 20 apps installed)
  • 65% of the apps installed are free (vs. 35% paid)
  • The biggest conclusion out of all this is that through data extrapolation the folks at AppsFire claim the total App Store market to be around $3.3 Billion.

    If we take the information at face value it is an incredible number that will continue to fuel the App Store phenomenon. However, I would caution at taking these figures as given mostly because I would consider AppsFire users to be iPhone and application powerusers (i.e. junkies). Many of the iPhone users I know do not install anywhere near to 65 apps on their device.

    Unfortunately, some will only focus on the dollar figures and continue to feed the craze. What folks don’t realize is that not every brand necessarily needs a mobile application; not every brand needs to be on my hip (or purse) with me. Folks need to recognize that a mobile strategy is more than just throwing an app together. Sometimes this might hurt the brand more than it helps. Lots to think about.

    Below is the original Slideshare presentation followed by a video.

    AppsFire Video

    Source: AppsFire Posterous
    This story also appeared on TechCrunch.

    Carnival of the Mobilists #189

    This week’s Carnival is hosted by a site I consider required reading. If you are interested in anything mobile and certainly in the real life application of mobile strategy, the resources, the authors and people over at MSearchGroove are well worth your time. Part of my interest in MSearchGroove peaked when I began doing some work and research on mobile analytics… you will see a lot of work in that area on this site over the next few months.

    But I digress.

    Please head on over to MSearchGroove and read Peggy’s summary (links included) about what the Mobilists are writing this week. This week’s Carnival is aptly named: Best & Brightest: Carnival Of Mobilists #189; Can Nokia Cut It?; Positive Mobile Trends; Is Apple Behaving Badly? & How Mobile May Empower Women. Lots of interesting food for thought.

    Here is Peggy’s introduction to our article on Mobile Banking that made this week’s Carnival:

    Another round of important mobile stats comes from Jose Colucci at Mobile Strategy, who continues the countdown of the 12 Reasons Why Canadian Banks Should Really Offer Mobile Services. Jose expertly brings together figures that show significant growth and penetration (despite strict government regulation, a lack of competition and a sky-high mobile data plans and pricing). The bottom line: over 70 percent of Canadians have wireless access. Is Canada an untapped market for banking services? Is there a first-mover advantage for financial institutions that get involved? Read on, find out and tell us what you think.


    Investment in the Silicon Valley Mobile Industry

    Mobile Monday Silicon Valley examined investment trends (venture capital funding and acquisitions) in the mobile industry covering 166 companies headquartered in Silicon Valley and San Francisco over a period of 19 years with an emphasis on the past decade.

    What can we learn from it?  There is money in mobile!  Okay, so you already knew that… nevertheless, read on!

    Some interesting points…

    • In 2007, venture capital investment in local mobile companies reached a high of $1.7bn.
    • 2008 – Saw a significant increase in acquisitions.
    • Total mobile investment increased 18% from $1,26bn in 2007 to $1.49bn in 2008.
    • Total number of companies receiving venture capital funding increased from 75 in 2007 to 90 in 2008 (despite a drop in total funding).

    Another interesting point which is better appreciated in a picture (see below) is the total venture capital investment by category. You can see the progression and the growth in funding for the social media, advertisement and marketing segments.

    Silicon Valley Venture Capital Investment in Mobile

    Silicon Valley Venture Capital Investment in Mobile

    Below is the full document from Slideshare… the author’s post is over at the Mobile Monday Silicon Valley page here.

    View more documents from kateimbach.


    MyBlackBerry.com Launch

    Last week’s big news for some was the leaked information about the new BlackBerry site (social networking huh?) called MyBlackBerry (at myblackberry.com). When a friend emailed the news to me I was actually somewhat surprised by it.  After reading the piece at Berry Review all I could do was scratch my head and wonder how this fits in the mobile and social spaces.

    Since we are both mobile and social creatures this could appear to be a good thing.  What I am not convinced about is  RIM’s attempt of creating a separate social network for BlackBerry users.  To me, it almost goes against the notion of social…  You call people out from where they are (already engaged in their own social interactions of choice) and you ask them to join you and others where you want them to be.  I am of the opinion that you are social where you choose to be social not necessarily where you are told to be.

    However, there is still a chance of this working as much as there is a chance of it not working.  People may very well choose to be social on MyBlackBerry – mostly because BlackBerry still has enough pull to attract users to this site.

    But without yet looking at it (didn’t get an invitation and it doesn’t seem to accept common folk just yet) and with no inside knowledge at all at the moment it truly sounds more like a forum with a ‘social’ facade.  A spruced up version of their current forum.

    Instead of asking people to come to their site to be social, engaging people where they already participate and are socially active is a better idea.

    What about Enterprise Users?

    This launch reminds me of the post I wrote a few days ago on the idea of a Personalized Mobile Enterprise Gateway.

    I realize (or I think I do) that this is not aimed at Enterprise Mobile users and that it is aimed squarely at the consumer.  Enterprise users however, are consumers at the same time, so they may engage depending on their needs and issues (and level of fanaticism).

    Building the Bank of the Future

    For a brief moment this may seem slightly off-topic to some of you.  It is and it is not.

    A while back I found this very good piece over at the Bankwatch that applied Web2.0 concepts into to banks: How to web 2.0 your bank. Please head over there and read it as a primer – especially if you work for a Canadian bank…

    Over the next few days I will be making my case as to why Canadian Banks should jump on mobile banking and why as a Canadian consumer I feel left out and under-served by my banks.  The mobile channel has been largely ignored in Canada and we want to change that.

    Stay tuned and let others know… and if you are in Canada please help us push.

    Collection of tiny mobile apps for your iPhone (or my Personalized Enterprise Gateway)

    New to me … but probably old to you (remember I don’t use an iPhone in everyday life).  It took me back to some of the projects I have worked on before and the ever present need of providing relevant information to our mobile users/workers.

    So today I bumped into Leaflets

    Leaflets are small, mobile web-based applications you access from Safari on your iPhone or iPod Touch. And since Leaflets are designed to run fast over EDGE networks, you can use them anywhere: no wi-fi or 3G required.

    The seeds for Leaflets were planted when we learned that the mobile web would be the primary way to deliver applications to iPhone. We knew what kind of apps we wanted on our own iPhones, so we built those. Then we found a few that other folks had built. Then we put them all together at getleaflets.com. From photos to feeds, Leaflets puts the best iPhone apps at your fingertips.

    Interesting little concept which may already be outdated (for these purposes) because of what the iPhone/App Store combo can already do on its own.   Although their blog does state that…

    The primary goal of Leaflets is to provide relevant public and personal information in the mobile context. This project is meant to upgrade the core product to version 2.0, bringing it up to date with modern convention.

    This gives the impression they may still be working on it.  However, it looks unlikely since the last blog post is from January 19 of this year.

    More to why I find it interesting.  Leaflet to me is a simple concept: a gateway to the mobile web.  Someone does the initial filtering work for me thus saving me time and effort.   I know what you are thinking… as a consumer you want the choice and you want to be the one that navigates, researches and ultimately chooses what you want on your device.   Absolutely… as a consumer more freedom and more choice to you!  You have spent your hard earned money and helped stimulate the economy with your spending.  You should choose your own applications.

    But just for fun let’s turn our sites on the enterprise.  Let’s not talk about you as an individual but you as an individual in an enteerprise (or other large organization).

    I am sure something already exists out there but I would like to see this gateway (actually more like my personalized enterprise dashboard) provide me with quick access to what I need for my job and for managing my device.  These of course will already be pre-approved apps or links (behind the icons) which have gone through all the necessary enterprise rigour necessary to get them through your doors (security, c0mpliance, blah, blah).

    Thus providing mobile users with quick, safe and approved access to ‘corporate, public and personal information in their mobile context.’

    Somethings to provide your users:

    • Self-management options through an internal portal (web or on device).
      • Submit and review tickets
      • Report problems
      • Provide suggestions
      • Change passwords
      • Live chat with your enterprise service desk
      • Request approval for new applications
      • Load new applications
    • Work related applications
      • Whatever is needed for your role… SFA, FSA, etc
    • Administrative related applications
      • Time and expenses
      • Flight requests and approvals
    • Collaboration and productivity applications
      • Email, contacts and calendaring
      • Instant Messaging
      • Other interesting Enterprise 2.0 apps
    • Reference and knowledge based applications
    • Reporting and Dashboards
    • What else?

    There is a lot of integration speak out there… but we haven’t made it so for our valuable resources – our mobile workers.

    Mobile Banking Overview

    We have not been around for a while but wanted to take a brief moment to point you to a report by the Mobile Marketing Association on Mobile Banking Overview which is described as

    an educational resource designed to provide analysis of the unique marketing opportunities and attributes that the mobile channel represents for the financial sector. Key subjects include market size, consumer-focused mobile banking products and services, and the mobile media channels available to banks and other financial institutions. It also provides considerations for optimizing mobile banking communications and campaign effectiveness within each channel.

    Head over there and download the free paper.

    Twitter’s Mobile Strategy

    Reading about Twitter’s new hire Kevin Thau (new Director of Mobile Business Development) reminds me that we still owe you several series previously mentioned here which you have not seen.  They are on their way (but  currently stuck as WIP somewhere between our brains and our keyboards).  Why am I bringing this up?  Well, one of those series has to do with mobile strategy (which after all is supposed to be one of the main topics of this blog) so of course the fact that Kevin will be “working on our mobile business strategy,” is a very positive step forward in this field.

    Generally speaking mobile strategy is aimed in two directions:

    1. Externally – which mostly covers how you will present your company, brand, products and services to mobile phone users in their mobile context.   Unfortunately for most a mobile strategy only means having their website viewable from a smaller form factor.
    2. Internally – this involves equipping workers to be productive and efficient when mobile.  This type of mobile strategy among other things includes mobility policies, mobile end user segmentation (profiling), technology roadmaps and a few other things (more whenever that series comes out).

    Due to Twitter’s size I doubt that this strategy has to do anything with assisting and equipping their internal users when mobile.  Twitter can’t ignore the mobile space and that’s why they are building a mobile strategy.  Twitter is already accessed and updated by mobile users.  Kevin’s position is externally facing and has to do with first type of mobile strategy as outlined above.  Although he will not specifically concern himself with mobile enterprise users you really can’t have a mobile strategy without impacting mobile workers.  So one way or another those that use or manage mobile technology in their day to day jobs will be impacted by Kevin’s work (to some extent).  At the very least we would expect some interesting partnerships to come out of Kevin’s work that may be a first attempt at incorporating Twitter into mobile processes.   Please note the use of the word attempt is on purpose.

    In any event… congratulations Kevin!  Let us know how we can help!

      Mobile Social Networks

      I read and follow L’Atelier US frequently and was going to feature them in our Like Minded Blogs series… before I do that (and to keep you busy) here is a little tidbit from their site:

      Mobile Social Networks Becoming More Popular

      Mobile social networking has grown 187 percent in 2007. While we’re still in the early phases of smartphone adoption, almost one-tenth of mobile users (9.6 percent) now use social networks on their phone.

      In 2008, there were 147 million mobile social network users worldwide. EMarketer predicts that there will be 803 million in 2012 (18.8 percent of total mobile subscribers), and believes that mobile social networking will play a significant role in mobile marketing

      Mobile is the place to be.  What about you… do you access social networks while mobile?  Is it allowed at work?