Monday 15 September 2008

MomoLondon: Mobile Platforms: Too much choice or Hobson's Choice?

  • Annie Turner — editor of
  • Marko Balabanovic — labs
    • launched fonefood as web site around Western Europe
    • have two or three customisations for screen sizes but not much more than that
    • world looks like iPhone version + everyone else
    • want to have rounded buttons etc for iPhone, but everyone else the same
    • adding location — launched with Google Gears for Windows Mobile
  • Ricardo Varela — European Mobile Engineering Lead, Yahoo!
    • working to make Yahoo Go widget framework (Blueprint) available for single apps
    • have native Symbian, iPhone, Android platforms
  • Ben Last — EMCC
  • Nick Allot — OMTP (Open Mobile Terminal Platform)
    • working with BONDI initiative — calls to mobile APIs from Javascript
  • Simon Rockman — Sony Ericsson
    • hope for the future: app stores

Is there a sustainable business model?

  • iPhone proves there’s people willing to pay money
    • interesting that this has eclipsed any other payment

Designed for device

Simon Rockman: You don’t get games developers wanting to write the same thing for different devices — they optimize for different hardware

  • Simon Rockman: “Trying to make things easy in development will end up with products that people don’t want to buy”
  • Ben Whitaker (Masabi): “Niches are too small”
  • SR: “It’s more about what can you charge for the app. You can do segmentation based on the device — music phones are sold to particular people”
  • Nick Allot: “No route to market”
  • Ben Last: “Can address enterprise using just Nokia Series 60v3 & BlackBerry”
  • BL: “Route to market via the web — mobile apps are often things that people want to take from the web with them on their mobile. e.g. Google Mail, Yahoo”

We’ve heard “write once play everywhere before” with Java…

  • Ben Last: “operators want a piece of iPhone pie, and getting rid of fragmentation will sort that”
  • Kai Hendry (Aplix): “the web can degrade nicely, better than Java”

Will the operators and manufacturers really get involved?

  • Simon Rockman: “Existing phones are getting cheaper and that’s where the growth is. Processor power is not growing in the same way as computers. Battery power is only growing at 10% a year.”
    • however, there is increase in processor growth at the high end, and this is filtering down steadily
  • Nick Allot: OMTP have OEMs & operators on-board

Putting things in the way of normal mobile users actually using applications

  • Nick Allot: “warnings are absolving network operators and manufacturers of responsibility for upstream content, just like warnings in a car park telling you not to leave your valuables in the car”
    • “OMTP trying to come up with a sensible trust mechanism — especially one that will allow you to take a phone from one network to another”
  • Ben Masabi: “setting up data connections and installation warning texts could be standardized across all phones — just like NTT DoCoMo”
  • Nick Allot: “we tried this and have done what we can…”
    • e.g. removing an application that’s deemed dangerous, depends upon legal implications of country, operator contract

What do Yahoo Blueprint think of OMTP and vice-versa?

  • Nick Allot: OMTP based on web standards
  • Ricardo Varela: Blueprint is out there already

Whither Fennec?

  • Ben Last: “Where firefox got good, was when it stopped trying to fight IE but implemented the de facto standards. It’s good to see more browsers coming out that are standards-compliant”

Staying on mobile or going back to web to register?

  • Ben Whitaker: “stats — losing 2/3rds when ask to register on PC; losing 50% when trying to go online with GPRS”
  • Gambling software (J2ME): “78% installed from a link for the trial — gobsmacked! Don’t expect that for the actual release”

How will the platforms go in the future?

  • Ben Last: “will be driven by the killer app”
    • but the killer app is already there — it’s making phone calls!
  • Simon Rockman: “killer app is seamlessness. Need to do the right thing on the right device”


Goojet widget engine couldn’t make it

Shazam — Dominic Pride

Taking music recognition further:

  • buy track
  • artist info
  • share track

Application built by EMCC on Symbian

  • deliver same consistency of experience
  • go deep into messaging & contacts API

Next MoMo

  • October 13th: NFC
  • November 10th: MoMo London Turns Three
  • December 1st: Social Networking Revisited?

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