Tuesday, May 01, 2007

Welcome back Russ! (and mobilebuzz)

This being my first post in a while, I thought I would commemorate the occasion with a welcome to a fellow mobilite, Russell Beattie, who is back on the scene again too.

I attended last month’s Silicon Valley's MobileMonday at UC Berkeley. The most pleasant surprise was to see Russell Beattie present. I will post about what he talked about, which was mainly a plug (a very informative and well done one, by the way) for his latest venture Mowser.

Russ broke the ice with his BS-meter about mobile Web – which I found so true, so I thought I would post it here:

- “Users only care about x and y”
- “Users don’t need a, b, or c”
- “Networks are too slow” (my personal favorite)
- “Mobile Web is too expensive”

Russell synthesized the approaches to Mobile Web to the following three. The first is the “Dedicated” (all xHTML) approach, which is ubiquitous today. It has its limitations because it is not what we would expect as an Internet-like experience, but it is very good for mobile-specific functionality to complement other services (banks, weather, maps, etc.). Lastly, it is very easy to create applications using this approach. The problem: low-end mobile browsers. Not that I would call this a “problem” personally, but a way around the many limitations of feature phones, which is what the majority of consumers can afford today.

The second approach Russ named the “Internet of Phones” (smartphones, that is). This approach is possible thanks to next generation browsers, such as DeepFish (MSFT), the Nokia Mini Map, and the Access Netfront 3.5. There was mention of the iPhone browser, but by the way, most of us have yet to see and for all we know is nothing but vaporware – and as Russ cleverly mentioned, it will only operate in GPRS, at least at launch. The problem with this approach is that the PC experience is still too difficult to mimic.

The third approach is Widgets. Russ’ perspective: mobile widgets are difficult to find, they need to be downloaded and installed, there are steep learning curve for users, and take time to develop.

I will continue to comment on Russ’s extremely insightful presentation later (he spoke about Transcoding and obviously, Mowser.com). For now, I close with the hopeful thought Russ will continue to honor us with more posts of his own, as he promised at MobileMonday.

No comments:

Post a Comment