I attended Internet World yesterday (29th April) and joined in the round table discussion in the Masterclasses stream run by James Hilton Joint CEO of Inside Mobile, and Andy Smith, Sales Director of Admob. Both were good speakers, who had strong opinions about the industry, bunches of knowledge and spoke with passion – a recipe for success in my opinion.
One of the questions that came up from the floor was how the mobile operators could be assisted in improving the experience they deliver. This was asked by Nadia Kauser from Motorola and the response was revealing about the state of the mobile market. Although technology providers are very focused on what their customers demand they are unable to meet their needs in user experience because it is simply too complicated. With literally hundreds of different devices the best they can hope for is to render screen images in a meaningful way on all the different devices but carrying out user testing is simply uneconomical.
James believes that the development of Android is the key to the future of the industry. The software will provide a platform that enables anyone to develop for mobile devices in a meaningful way. In turn this will allow user testing to take place on a single, representative device rather than needing to test on all devices and it therefore becoming uneconomic to do so.
Another question that came up was about whether the panel thought mobile and web would truly merge so that one was the other or whether applications specific to one or the other would still be developed. There was a strong feeling that convergence would be total as screen sizes increased but this only deals with the web through mobile.
There are a bunch of application opportunities that utilise the unique capability of mobile devices – small size, always with you. Take Doug Richards new Venture Trutap. This is an application that leverages all that is good about mobile. It is an IM tool for the mobile that allows you to bring in your Messenger and Yahoo IM accounts and use your mobile to keep in touch. Yes you could use this instead of a PC and probably some people will, but it is an obvious and viable mobile application.
I recommend your check out James and Inside Mobile as I think they do some clever stuff.