Friday 16 November 2007

Future of Mobile: Next Generation UI

by Matt Millar (Adobe)

  • How do we make the content richer?
    • Especially for those people who are paying more for their device/contract
  • 77% of iPhone users said they were "very satisfied" with their device
    • Highest satisfaction level for any mobile device
  • The experience should be expressive, memorable and desirable

    • "Hey, isn't this great! Let me show it to you."
  • Expecting same quality of content as get on TV, PC, etc
    • The mobile is not the only way to get hold of (your) content
  • Animation helps guide and draw the eye towards things of interest
  • Transitions help ease context switches, avoid users losing focus
  • FlashLite 3 will be coming out on first devices Jan/Feb 2008

    • Supports video & up to Flash Player 8 content

    • Most content published on the web seems to be Flash Player 7 & 8

  • Not investing that much in SVG -- going for Flash instead
  • Integration with address book etc: nothing announced at the moment, but may be privately
  • Touch interaction is supported with Flash Lite 2 but devices do not necessarily support the hooks (even the ones with a touch interface...)
    • e.g. LG Prada has a touch-enabled Flash Lite player
  • There are more Nokia S60 devices in the market than there are Macs

Future of Mobile: Cracking the Code: Developing for Mobile Devices

by Luca Passani (Admob)

  • Original web -- started without thinking about money
  • When companies started to monetize, they weren't able to muck with the basic standards
  • On the mobile web, companies are trying to monetize before the technology is solid
    • e.g. Vodafone & Novarra "breaking the underlying technology"

  • W3C denying the issue is there (One-Web)
  • WURFL updating process is a bit heavy to manage
    • 6Mb file, hand-edited by Luca
  • Building new public interface to WURFL
  • Enables users with accounts to add patches and download updated version on the fly
  • Luca can then merge in changes more easily
  • Other WURFL sub-communities: J2ME, Flash Lite & Video

  • WALL:
    • created in 2004 and looks it
    • new version WALL NG (WNG) allows css to degrade gracefully
    • object model with Java API & tag lib, integrates with JSTL

    • levels: XHTML advanced (level 3 or 4), XHTML simple (level 1 or 2) & WML (level -1 or 0)

      • only 5% of devices accessing mobile web are WML only
      • level 3 assumes no AJAX, level 4 supports AJAX
      • company working on AJAX for mobile that Luca intends to work with

Future of Mobile: How the iPhone Will Change the Mobile Space

by Brian Fling (Blue Flavor)

  • Jason Devitt - Testimony before congress about operator anti-competitiveness

  • Uses video iPod as babysitting device for his daughter when out at a restaurant
  • iPhone is educating the consumer about what a mobile device can do
    • Nokia is happy that iPhone is encouraging web use as it helps sell higher-end Nokias
    • Introducing flat rate data
    • Has updatable software (and is easily updatable)
    • Makes difference between EDGE & Wifi clear - encourages users to demand better speed from networks

    • Big impact on web communities (introducing them to mobile)
  • Leaflets:

    • Reformatter from RSS to make look good on the iPhone
    • Also has a list of other iPhone apps
  • Daniel Applequist's daughter was able to enter a URL
    • She doesn't even know her letters -- doesn't know what URL to type
    • How many times have we complained of how hard it is to type in a URL on a phone
    • But if people spend $300 for a handset, they expect it to be unlocked

Future of Mobile: Android and the Open Handset Alliance (OHA)

by Dave Burke (Google)

Software development kit released on Monday:

  • Exposes Java for application developers -- SDK is based on Eclipse (works on Windows, Mac & Linux)

  • Free phone stack provides at least 10% reduction of bill of materials for device
  • Applications run as individual Linux processes with different user ids
  • Complete two-way sync for user data (google gears?)
  • Leveraging open APIs to expose application functionality
  • Scalable to work with different device capabilities & input

  • Component-based -- user can replace components
    • e.g.
  • Overall architecture:
    • has freetype, media framework, SGL, OpenGL, LibWebCore (part of WebKit) libraries

    • Java runs in Dalvik Java VM
    • Four core apps: home, dialer, contacts, browser (can all be swapped out)
    • Can run MIDP applications in parallel
  • Full source will be released with first handset
  • Browser has visual history
  • Can use Google Maps as a control in your own applications
  • Example development process:
    • Emulator is real ARM emulator
    • Can create user interface declaratively using XML
    • Plugin picks up ids from UI XML and makes them available in java code completion
    • Can extend javascript in running browser component with native Java code
    • manifest file has permissions where can add security permissions
  • Application Developer Challenge will distribute $10 million in awards to developers of applications for the platform
    • Developers retain all intellectual property and other rights to their applications while granting Google a license to evaluate and test the application for purposes of the Challenge as well as a license to display the application to promote the Android platform. More information will be provided when we make the Terms and Conditions available
  • Android has simpler security system (for the user) than MIDP -- need details here

  • Already works with real handsets but not available to public
  • WebKit engine supports Netscape-style plugins

  • Released under Apache license at the moment
  • Designed for high-end platforms that include an MMU
  • Own set of APIs providing full access to the device as opposed to MIDP
  • Java is 1.5 so has generics etc.

Future of Mobile: How Devices Will Evolve

by Simon Rockman (Sony Ericsson)

  • His job is understanding what people will want to do with their cheaper phones in the next couple of years
  • T68 hit the market right -- introduced colour & Bluetooth at the right time

  • Technologies take about 3-5 years from introduction to mass adoption
  • When WAP failed, WAP-Push succeeded
  • Therefore spotting the next big thing is not coming up with new ideas, but working out what will work
  • Don't think that UMA (home/mobile together) will take off
    • e.g. when BT has tried to sell DECT phones that look like mobile phones, they haven't sold
  • Difference between listening to what people want and understanding what people want
    • Nokia 5100 huge success in India cos it has a torch vs Motorola rugged motophone
    • Painting a Razor pink way outsold new 3G Nokias in Xmas 2005
  • What will win is building phones for what things they want to do
    • e.g. new TomTom navigator has a SIM

    • 60% of Blackberry users have a voice phone
    • 100% penetration is not the limit -- probably 5-6 phones each
    • Currently 2 billion devices, but really 2 billion SIMs -- can get larger
  • Simon thinks fragmentation is a good thing, as it meets the demand for the multiple needs of each person
  • When building millions of phones, the thing that drives down cost is cheaper or omitting components
    • "Software can be more expensive as need to ensure platform passes tests"
    • Cheaper and better for developers to keep the platform stable
  • People accept larger bills by separating out into different categories
    • e.g. my music bill, my messaging bill and my voice bill

Future of Mobile: Beyond WAP: Advance Browsing, Mobile Ajax, and the future of the Web

by Daniel Appelquist (Vodafone)

  • Voda are pushing forward on xHTML Reunification
    • XHTML Basic (W3C) vs XHTML-MP (Open Mobile Alliance, ex-WAP Forum)
  • Participating in W3C Ubiquitous Web working group
  • "In 5 years time, there will be only one web, and it will be the mobile web"
  • W3C has launched mobileOK from today
    • Tests plus open source java reference implementation for local checking
  • Mobile AJAX Workshop from Sep 2007:

  • DOJO has refactored itself and shrunk down to target iPhone and Nokia S60 browser
    • A lot of the bulk in DOJO was dealing with IE6, taking it out made the lib much smaller
  • Device access vs. security
  • SVG tiny 1.2 includes AJAX capabilities
    • e.g. Vodafone Germany - Bundesliga SVGt app running in Ikivo player
    • will move to be integrated within the browser
  • WICD - Web Integration Compound Document

Wednesday 14 November 2007

Future of Mobile: Discovery & Off Portal Search

by Steve Page (Mobile Commerce)

  • Discovery & off portal search

  • Currently provide local search & travel information on all mobile networks

  • Mobile Commerce are tech partner with yahoo for Orange off-portal search
    • Social networking sites are very much at the top
  • UK: 25 million searches a month
    • 3 times as many search requests coming from Google than from Yahoo
    • But three times as many click throughs coming from Yahoo
  • Vodafone contacted them and said moving to ad-supported, so they started setting up off-portal sites intending them to be found by search
  • WAP & Web backfill -- free discovery (see below)

  • Google mobile search is appalling
    • Not enough searches
    • Nobody goes down to click more
    • None of the mobile sites are linked to each other
  • However, finally got some stuff to the top on google mobile search
    • Spent about 8 months working out their findability
    • it's free!

    • Findability:
      • Personal contact at Yahoo very useful
      • Google ranks WML above XHTML -- mime types & DTDs really important

      • Need to submit site map & wait for crawl

      • Google uses Nokia 6220 as user agent -- weird device
      • Need to permit bots through robots.txt
  • Really good slide on discovery prioritisation for mobile operator portals

Future of Mobile: PayForIt

by Guillaume Peersman (Dialogue)

  • PayForIt

  • About 7 APIs (intermediaries) available
  • Moving to max £10 soon
  • Fourth release is due soon
  • Typical implementation time seen at Dialogue: 3 days
  • Stats so far:
    • Some services have seen increased 27% conversion rate
    • 13% of users go to payment page and cancel
    • failures around 7% on average
  • Subscription services
    • Confidence increasing due to trusted framework
  • Clients: NewsCorp

  • WAP billing only available on Orange, 3 & Voda at the moment