So with the start of the mobile revolution over a week old what is the future for mobile web services? F/F share their thoughts with you.
Well App Store shows there is at least intrigue in mobile based web/desktop apps. And the support Apple is putting into developing this platform certainly shows they believe mobile browsing is a big part of the future of digital connectivity. On the whole though App Store is still a home for iPhone versions of apps that presently exist as Widgets for Mac or Gadgets for PC, most of which are basically feed readers for a particular type of information – like ‘shares’. But there are some great apps as well and the initial level of game development would suggest this platform is going to be a serious competitor over time for Sony and Nintendo products alike!!
GPS for us offers the real excitement. Obviously the device is a really small laptop with a phone and a camera so great desktop like apps will get developed for it – the key is for developers to tap into the unique nature of this device over any other CPU and that is GPS. This thing is on the move with you and while in contact with the network service it knows where you are and can connect to where millions of other people are. It can feed unique information to a user based on their location, it can personalise the user experience based on that data – this is a genuine first. However there is still quite a way to go.
We already have apps like Loopt and CenceMe that tap into the idea of connecting to your network of friends and seeing what each other is doing in real-time. This type of functionality actually brings the social back to social networks, by bringing the experience and connections to the real world. Heading to a spot in town at the weekend and seeing via your map where all your other iPhone friends are.
Citysense another app that is available for the Blackberry and is coming to the iPhone is another nice early example of bringing real life data to users finger tips. They aggregate massive amounts of anonymous user data so you get a break down of activity in your area – how busy the CBD is to plan your travel. The busiest night spots or restaurants etc etc Though reliant on users being happy to be tracked it is anonymous and over time the useful data that can be captured is interesting.
It is obvious even with these very early and basic GPS based apps that the economic opportunities will be huge and also why the addition of open mobile platforms like Android and LiMo is going to help grow the space very quickly.
Users themselves are already pretty familiar with geo-tagging and now the device enables this to happen automatically, live blogging from the field will open some interesting opportunities in the news and reporting arena – see CNN’s Magic Wall and you start to get an idea of where this can be taken for mainstream news casting – then switch it back to the user and you get personalised interactive news casting to your phone.
This is the start of what we at F/F are coining ‘NextWeb™’.