The Consumer Matters is the blog of Leslie Grandy, aka Gearhead Gal.  My passion is creating and delivering compelling products that delight customers through simple and elegant user experience design.

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Entries in Android (15)

Wednesday
Nov032010

A Few Of My Favorite Tweets

RT@punchcut 5 considerations for  UI: "Not a Phone, Not a PC: Why Tablets Must Be Different"   

RT@: If You Are a Startup Founder, You Need To See This 

RT@ Denying the existence of Android fragmentation is the technological equivalent of being a Global Warming unbeliever.

RT@ webinar w/Berkeley's Hank Chesbrough, the world's leading expert on "open innovation." (Nov 11)

Tuesday
Mar302010

BuildAnApp Makes it DIY Easy To Be On a Smartphone

If you are a small business owner or tech savvy soccer coach wondering how you can get in on the mobile app gold rush and aren’t sure if you have what it takes to launch and manage an app, BuildAnApp may be just the platform you need. Anders Davidson, president of MobileOn, the company behind BuildAnApp says his DIY mobile app solution will simplify the process of communicating with customers regardless of which smartphone they have, because his solution publishes apps to multiple mobile operating systems.

 

Buildanapp logo

Using standard templates and a simple six step wizard, anyone – and I do mean pretty much anyone – can create a mobile app. You simply pick the content pages you want for your app, upload images, pick styles, add links and feeds, and you are ready to publish. You can even preview the app in a nice window next to where you customize the page inputs. Davidson calls the app “morphable” because of the large variety of combinations and customizations businesses can use to merchandise themselves, and because the platform automatically configures the same content for iPhone, Android, RIM, and Windows Mobile devices. “Small businesses don’t have time to manage and support an application, even though a mobile app can strengthen their relationship with their customers.”screens

Davidson has some relevant experience supporting small business as a product manager for Microsoft’s small business portal, bCentral. BuildAnApp provides useful tips for creating your app, too, because Davidson knows Apple has been cracking down on what they call their “Minimal User Functionality.” To be a great app, Davidson says, “you need original, useful and dynamic content.”

To make it easy for any budget-conscious community group leader to see what’s required to have an app, BuildAnApp offers a 30 day free, no credit card trial. Calendars, photos, and social media feeds are simple to hook up. It’s easy to imagine how the local Little League could quickly connect and inform mothers about schedule changes this way. Team managers can create a separate app that also shows stats and standings. “Cross platform is essential to these audiences, because they are so diverse.”

Davidson wanted to remove not only technical hurdles to having a mobile app, but economic ones as well. In 30 days, your app will expire unless you convert to a subscription, and the fee is based on how often you update your app. (The definition of an app update appears to need a little refinement during the beta period, because any streamed content which is added to an app may itself get updated.)

Once your app is published, a link is generated quickly that can be emailed to your existing customer lists directly without worrying about marketplace certification for three of the mobile platforms; the iPhone application goes through a separate three to four week approval process and costs an additional $19.99 fee to publish to it.

On Android, RIM, and Windows phones, applications can be side-loaded directly by the user, making it quick and easy to create and download my own a sample app and watch it running live on my Nexus One in no time. You can also tweet the link and put it on your website or Facebook fan page to drive downloads.

The platform is in beta right now, but Davidson claims there have already been 500 apps built with his company's platform. While you’ll give up a little elegance on the graphics and UI side to get an app that can run on almost any smartphone, you’ll be amazed at how quickly you can say, “there’s an app for that” about your business, too!

 

Get to know Anders Davidson, a small business owner himself, as a consumer (his company has 5 employees), by hearing him in his own words.

How would you describe yourself as a consumer? Anders Davidson
Very intentional. I am not an “impulse” consumer nor am I impulsive with what consumes my time. By the time I am ready to make a decision about how I spend my time or money, I know what I value and what it is worth to me.

Speaking as that consumer…

What is the first and last app you downloaded for your personal use? 
My first app was the NYTimes because it’s a news source I value and the app allows me to have better access to its content than through the Web browser. The most recent apps I’ve downloaded are: 1) an app I built using our service for my son’s school so I can keep track of their schedule and key phone numbers and contact. And 2) the NCAA March Madness app because I enjoy following the tournament results but won’t spend much time watching the games on TV.

What product is sitting in a “saved shopping cart” that you plan to buy soon? 
None. I rarely save items in online shopping carts.

Thinking of non-technology items as well, what product or service have you bought recently that most disappointed you and why? 
I can’t think of any real buyer’s remorse I’ve had recently.

What is the one true thing that exists in every product you love to use? 
Simplicity. There’s often a big trade-off of simplicity vs. features, but smarter designers are getting better at tackling both.

What one piece of technology innovation would you say changed your life the most? 
In 2000, I had a Compaq ipaq Pocket PC with a sleeve that held a Wi-Fi card and was able for the first time to have real-time data come to my handheld device without the need to sync at my PC. This was for me, the beginning of the real promise of mobile computing...

What product did your family or friends have before you did, but you eventually had to buy, too? 
Skype

Are you a Mac or PC? 
Mac laptop dual-booting Mac and Windows XP

What phone are you carrying now? 
In my line of work I carry four. :- ): a Samsung Ace (Windows Mobile), Nexus One, Blackberry Pearl and an iPhone. But I mostly use the Blackberry Pearl because it’s smaller.

Do you Twitter, Facebook or LinkedIn? 
I have accounts on each. For BuildAnApp we tweet with content relevant to BuildAnApp’s customers, I use Facebook to keep in touch with friends and family and rarely mix business into it. And I use LinkedIn to map my professional network.

What was your most unusual job? 
In the early-mid 90s I worked on political campaigns in Oregon, California, Minnesota and Washington.

Where do you like to shop? 
REI.com

Read more: http://technorati.com/technology/it/article/ceo-interview-buildanapps-anders-davidson-says/page-3/#ixzz0jiDCMrEZ

Sunday
Feb072010

Google Shares Nexus One Design Thinking

While this video also sits in my Vodpod collection on the right side of this page, I wanted to highlight the video not for the design secrets it reveals (there really aren't any revelations in the video) but because of how it highlights the importance of an integrated hardware and software user experience. I find that positioning most interesting in light of the UI fragmentation concerns that persist around Android.

Tuesday
Jan122010

Favorite Tweets of the Day

 

RT@TechFlash Zappos' Tony Hsieh on company culture and locking in employees http://bit.ly/8X5umc

RT @ Joepemberton New post: Extending Brands in the Mobile Space: A Response to App-vertising http://bit.ly/74jRWC #mobile#branding

 

RT @frogdesign 19% of Internet Users now update their status on services like Twitter (up from 11% in April) PEW: http://j.mp/3QlZ7E (@nickbilton)

 

Monday
Jan042010

If It's January, It Must Be CES

I'm about to embark on my sixth CES adventure. I have attended the show as an online retailer, at Apple, and then as a product development executive at T-Mobile. The show, at this point in my career, is what Comdex was during my days at Visio, back when boxed software sold primariy from the shelf of CompUSA. The adult entertainment industry, often a leader in technology adoption, runs a parallel show during CES just like they used to do during Comdex. The excess of parties, swag and traffic during the week hasn't changed, although the hotel landscape along the strip certainly has.

In addition to the Adult Expo, Digital Hollywood also runs a conference concurrently with CES, which does a nice job of connecting the dots between the entertainment and consumer electronics industries.  And, for the last five shows, at least, both industries have evangelized the arrival of the connected home. From Web TV to Tivo, home electronics have yearned for several years to unite with your PC and connect to the Internet.  Television screens have been wall-sized for a couple of shows now, but each year there seem to be even more ingenious ways to enjoy multimedia through them, thanks to the tension between the entertainment and high tech industries.

Men love to trick out their cars, and CES has dedicated a section of the North Hall to all things automotive.  While mobile phones are converging with handheld GPS systems, and bypassing the after-market car installers, supersized stereo systems never fail to impress most male colleagues I have attended the show with in years past.

The show has been heavily rooted in Microsoft and its partners, with an ever increasing buzz for embedded Linux thanks to Android.  There were ultra mobile PCs, and then netbooks and now smartbooks and tablets.  Consumers apparently want something bigger than their mobile device to type and surf the web, but not as big as a laptop. The right combination of thin client apps, connectivity, touch keyboard, screen size, weight and battery life just could define a purpose-built user experience this year.

MacWorld, a trade show focused on Apple at which the company has launched many products, has historically butted up against CES, but that never stopped an amazing number of Apple partners from participating in CES, especially the iPhod accessory vendors, the ecosystem of cases, docks, chargers, and speakers manufacturers that secures consumers' commitment to their Apple purchase. With a rumored annoucnement by Apple later in January, and MacWorld 2010 pushed to February, the Google wave will really gain steam quickly in the new year, starting with their January 5th, pre-CES press conference. The November 2008 launch of the T-Mobile G1, and the release of the first version of Android to the developer community in late 2008, made the operating system the ingenue at CES 2009.

I'm excited to be covering the show this year for Technorati, and you will be able to read my posts by going to their home page each day during the show. Additional content will appear here as my devices and their portable chargers and powersticks allow. Please let me know if there are any products or technologies you'd like to hear about by adding comments to this post or messaging me @gearheadgal.

And, since Vegas is a town of gamblers, I do have one superstition I can share with you that I succumb to each year because the new year is all about optimism...each year I put $10 on the Seattle Mariners to win the World Series at the sports book of the hotel where I am staying. Go M's!

And a prosperous 2010 to you all.

Tuesday
Dec152009

Unlocked Android Phones Already Available From Google

First Published on Technorati: December 15, 2009 at 6:33 am

Reuters on Monday quoted an unnamed source that confirmed plans for Google to sell both a locked and unlocked version of the leaked Nexus One device, with the locked version sold to T-Mobile US customers. T-Mobile official sources would not confirm the plan; however, former employees at the company reminded us that today unlocked versions of the T-Mobile G1 and T-Mobile MyTouch are sold through the official Android Developer website.

The site reminds developers that end user devices available through consumer retail outlets “are not designed to allow system image updates by the user,” the site says. It goes on to say, “If you are interested in manually updating the device with custom system images, then you'll need a developer device such as the Android Dev Phone 1.” Android Dev Phone 1 is unique finish of the T-Mobile G1, while Android Dev Phone 2 a variation of the HTC Magic, also known as the T-Mobile MyTouch.
From Google's Official Android Developer Site
In addition to providing developers with phones to run custom builds of the Android software, Google must also provide reference hardware for developers in markets where T-Mobile US does not provide service. Unlocked phones would give those Google employees in countries like China or India the opportunity to build solutions concurrently with new major OS release builds.

In addition, Google has an enterprise agreement with AT&T to offer employee discount plans, like many US corporations do.  AT&T has built a strong base of customers through enterprise sales, which are often designed to enable payroll deductions for wireless service and provide group purchasing power for employees.

Google maintains the Nexus One devices were handed out to employees to encourage “dogfooding”, or internal use of the pre-release product by employees to de-bug and accelerate innovation. However, for a significant number of employees to engage in that activity, the phones needed to be unlocked so their AT&T SIM would provide them a live service experience. Unlocking the device could signal a broader need for testers against a new major OS release, or significant changes to the hardware that triggered bugs across existing applications.

The unlocked G1 devices sold through the Android Developer site did not seem to put a dent into demand for the T-Mobile product, which reached its million-unit mark in Q2 of this year. For Google to drive a substantial number of unlocked units into the market, they will need a reseller partner or retailer who can manage fulfillment, returns, insurance and warranty of the hardware, something that has taken Apple years to develop for themselves. 

Related story: Moconews.net "Google Phone May Be Much Ado About Nothing"

 

Monday
Dec142009

Pre-Pay, DIY and the Future of Wireless

Earlier this month, several senators banded together to introduce the Early Termination Fee, Transparency and Fairness Act, intended to prevent wireless carriers from charging a penalty to consumers that is higher than the discount on the cell phone that the wireless company offers for entering into a multi-year contract. It's a good thing, since a recent research report from New Millenium Research indicates 58% of consumers 25-34 don't know when their contract-based wireless phone penalty ends. The number increases to 61 percent with consumers ages 35-44.

When two year contracts were introduced to cell phone customers, life was a lot simpler, because carriers could look at past consumer behavior as a model for future subsidization of handsets, and not much changed in voice for a couple of years. But today, even pre-paid phones have megapixel-rated cameras, BT and access to web email and IM. The high-end smartphones and broadband data sticks that are sold with all you can eat data may be a good value for the "fat kid at the front of the buffet" (thank you, Mark Cuban), but may seem a big leap economically for consumers who are trying to manage their monthly overhead in this recession.

It's only a matter of time until a low cost Android phone comes to market in the US, and the mobile web will be consumable on an a la carte basis, making it potentially accessible to the prepaid market. Since the app marketplace on Android wll be enabled with APIs for carrier billing by the end of the year, the new pricing model for value shoppers may really be DIY, where consumers put together the apps and services on their phone each month from a buffet of apps and web-based services that can be turned on or off monthly, or based on a level of prepaid credit.

Design it yourself can give the consumer a sense of control, both in terms of how they manage what they spend on, and what they value most in product capablities and usage. In the home improvement market, do -it-yourselfers devalue the expert laborer, and believe they save money in executing their remodel or fix-it project through their own sweat and hard work.  Consumers may devalue the fancy user interface designed by an HTC or Samsung but might pay for a low cost piece of hardware if it gives them higher utility phone that can support them in their moment of need. If I run out of gas, I'll pay in the moment to know if a service station is in walking distance. I may not be willing to pay the same amount for the right to access that service just in case I run out of gas.

Most prepaid customers don't know what they are missing and are content with what little they have because in the long run they feel the simplicity of their device experience gives them more control over their bill. Unexpected billable events are harder to come by when the device is limited in its capabilities.

 

 

Saturday
Dec122009

Can An Open OS Ever Really Be Mainstream?

Nexus One via TwitpicThe recent announcement that Google plans to deliver an unlocked mobile phone into the market sometime next year has been an encouraging sign for fans of the open operating system that finally wireless carriers won't be able to control what phones their service customers can use. Many feel as the Wall Street Journal technology columnist, Walt Mossberg does that carriers have been acting like "soviet ministries" as they intermediate between the consumer and the providers of the handsets they use to connect to the carrier networks.

Having launched the T-Mobile G1 as an executive with the company, I have a great affinity for the open Android platform. I appreciate that the Android marketplace enables garage developers to create magic as moonlighting inventors, and brings innovation to the masses through the power of the open programming interfaces and developer tools Google provides online.  But I also saw first hand the customers who, after downloading 10 random apps, wondered why their battery life halved or the screen seemed no longer responsive.

The open developer model has given anyone who can code access to consumers without an accompanying process to ensure they put quality product on the shelves, and as a result more developers step in and create solutions like Astro, an Android task manager to help manage processes, tasks and files that may impact your Android device's performance. Much like on my Windows PC, I find I am delighted to have such a tool and aggravated when I have to use it. It seems I rarely find myself on my iMac, iPod or iPhone worrying about multi-threaded processes or unresponsive programs. And for most consumers, that's one more thing to love about the Apple OS. Sure, it comes with the cost that I can't have apps running in the background on my iPhone, but my iPhone rarely hangs, crashes or has a radical change in the battery life with each new app I might download to it.

Ratings and reviews of apps in the open market are meant to help consumers, but I often wonder which reviewers to trust and whether one app offers the complete solution I need or a more usable interaction model for my tastes. In the case of Astro, several apps purport to do some or all of the capabilities. Some charge. I then wonder, will the quality be the same for the developer who isn't getting paid?Courtesy of Gizmodo Will they maintain the app? Will they support me if I have trouble? Will they care if the application doesn't work well with other applications I may download? And how will I know if they conflict until I download them. A reviewer of the application may not have the same things on their phone that I do, or want to use their phone as I do.

In a world where there are infinite ways to configure a phone with settings and application combos that meet any user's specific needs, the best solution a service rep can offer when a customer complains about their device's performance is to wipe it clean and start over. But facing that experience when you need to place a call and your phone is frozen is daunting. As an example, last night, my home screen theme application was corrupted and the home screen displayed a message compelling me to force it to close. After five times of doing that and not being able to break the cycle, I removed the battery and I removed the SIM. Neither action, both typically offered as the first cure by carrier care reps who don't know what apps I may have downloaded and configured, repaired the problem. The device seemed completely inaccessible and unusable. After a trip to the T-Mobile Forums and a hard reset, which removed all settings and personalizations,  I was able to make a call more than twenty minutes later. But now, which apps to re-load? How do I know what was the offending piece of code?

As geeky as I am, I still want things to just work, and I get frustrated when I use applications that allow me to do things I really shouldn't or require me to understand arcane technical jargon. And I don't have the time to fuss with bad design to engage and interact with a solution. The challenge with open is that everyone can play, but maybe for consumers that isn't always going to be a simple way to have compelling experiences.

Thursday
Dec102009

Wind River's Android Platform Fuels Fragmentation Fire

First Published on Technorati: December 10, 2009 at 7:20AM

Wind River announced this week the launch of its Android platform, which is intended to aid device manufacturers in the realization of custom Android solutions. The software is designed to extend the kernel through rich media enablers and improved power management, and relieve the application developer from the burden of integrating applications across many devices. The platform will be made available via open source.

Reaction to the news was mixed, but some Android developers are sharing a familiar refrain: "... this just represents one more step toward a dangerously fragmented Android universe."

The negative reaction seems to reflect a bias against the idea of an emerging middleware solution that could potentially provide a path to harmony across ODMs. Creating such an architectural layer, if broadly accepted by multiple, competing hardware manufacturers, could also simplify the path for developers to achieve deeper ROM integration across multiple UI-device combos.

The Wind River platform could also facilitate cross platform portability of Intel-based solutions, helping to bolster the company's profile as a viable option for low cost portable devices, regardless of the operating system. Industry analysts have suggested that Intel's current position as the power behind processor-hungry Windows computers creates a credibility gap for the company in the price sensitive consumer market for mobile devices.

Wind River claims to be the global leader in device software optimization (DSO) today, supporting many competing names in the consumer electronics market. And the company does have existing relationships with CE vendors to commercialize embedded Linux solutions today. In June of this year, Intel entered an agreement to acquire Wind River Systems Inc. Under the agreement, Intel acquired all outstanding Wind River common stock in July for $11.50 per share in cash, or approximately $884 million in the aggregate.

The plan to release a Texas Instruments-based OMAP Android solution was obviously underway prior to the Intel acquisition, and may be the key to unlock Android for many electronics manufacturers who can extend development previously done with Wind River on the Linux kernel, and have been afraid to risk committing more resources to Android.

Porting solutions and services to Android through the Wind River platform could also help electronics manufacturers get innovations to market more quickly, especially in the emerging mobile Internet device (MID) category before the market gets more competitive with the highly awaited introduction of a 10.1" Apple tablet computer, expected by analysts to enter the market in the first half of 2010.

Intel's acquisition of Wind River may give the company leverage to grow quickly in low end netbooks, smartphones and MIDs, segments of the personal computing market Intel does not dominate today. 

Having successfully supported Apple's OS transition from PowerPC to its Xeon processors, Intel could extend the Wind River platform to support other OS development environments besides Android, including its own Linux based OS, Moblin. Such a move would give the company an opportunity to position itself with hardware manufacturers as the platform on which they can develop a single solution to deploy across multiple operating systems.



Friday
Dec042009

Mobile Apps vs Mobile Web - Is It Really a Competition?

There seems to be a raging debate in the mobile marketing arena about which will be the winning platform for mobile advertisers – the mobile application or the mobile web browser. I’d actually say it isn’t a fair fight.

Mobile applications should optimally use a process of integrating with the hardware and/or user interface of the software operating system, generally through application programming interfaces and a transaction engine or download manager, like the Apps Store or the Android Market. The browser, on the other hand, has limited direct access to hardware components (e.g, GPS, camera), yet depends on the software operating system for enablers like video playback. Browsers appear as a standalone application for retrieving and viewing standard web content on smartphones. The browser often requires a zoom-in to position content for reading, and different sites may or may not optimize page layout for a mobile experience, let alone for a particular device, screen size or aspect ratio. Apps tend to have a fixed layout purely intended for mobile display and can call a browser to support visualizing data outside the application UI.

The web provides a familiar metaphor to consumers for discovering content. App stores often have a merchandising architecture intended to promote new apps, top apps, of favorite apps. After that, a consumer must understand the categorization and information hierarchy to directly discover an app, so in either case search becomes the valuable solution.  It is possible from a web page to promote a downloadable app, and on Android devices there is a setting to enable downloadable apps from outside the device marketplace to have access to the device. In this case, a consumer might have an affinity with a brand, content or web service and see that there is solution to extend that relationship to their mobile device.  Added utility – capabilities enabled my the mobility of the user – can be a strong driver for a consumer to choose a mobile app.

For advertisers trying to leverage mobile, the notion that these two distinct user experiences require the same kind of consumer engagement is faulty.  The audience who doesn’t yet have an affinity for a brand won’t necessarily be motivated to discover an app on the shelf of the mobile device store unless it is highlighted and merchandised in the equivalent of a store “end-cap.”  Even though creating the mobile experience could be a tool to convert that consumer as a customer, it will not be enough to simply develop the app and get shelf space.  

First, an advertiser, publisher or content developer will need to determine the goal for their mobile experience – acquisition, loyalty, transactions, consumption – and then determine the right technical environment for accomplishing that goal.  If browser rendering can degrade an experience, then a mobile application can solve that. If there are hardware or application APIs that need to be leveraged, than an app will be better suited to integrate with them than the browser will.  If a mobile application is a desirable course of action, it does not mean that the mobile browser should be forgotten.  Consumers may still discover and engage with your brand through your website on their mobile device, and your application should at minimum be promoted, merchandised and supported through web pages, rendered in their device browser.

The initial choice for brands developing a mobile strategy shouldn’t be mobile application or mobile website. Mobile strategy must start with the consumer, and the relationship you hope to develop with them to engage with your brand. That likely leads to choosing to leverage both approaches.



Thursday
Dec032009

Favorite Tweet(s) of the Day

Interesting reading today from the Twitterverse

@brandchannelhub The Ten Brands That Will Disappear in 2010 http://bit.ly/4z80Ho

@timoreilly Google Android:on Inevitability the Dawn of Mobile,& the Missing Leg http://bit.ly/4R6QLF

@thinkbig_blog Consumers are more discerning, critical & design-centric than ever. Brands must be as well – or face irrelevance. http://bit.ly/yEtjt

@julespieri Funny little indirect jab at consumer culture. http://bit.ly/5S57xN via @TheOnion - New Device Desirable, Old Device Undesirable

Sunday
Nov152009

The Trouble With Social Apps

I recently downloaded the new version of Bump for Android. It is billed as cross platform because you can bump an iPhone and myTouch and exchange files. On both phones, the app performs similarly, except for a few differences like the interaction with the menu being button driven on a myTouch. With the iPhone in my right hand and the myTouch in my left I could tap the two phones and make a photo move "magically" from the iPhone on which I took it to the Android powered device.via intomobile.com

It all works very much as merchandised, but the problem is without both phones having the app, there's no value. If my friend doesn't have the app downloaded, it's just as simple to attach the photo to an email and send it along. In that scenario, I don't have to wait for my friend to download the app and set up their profile so they can receive my file, which I would have to do if Bump wasn't on their phone already. And what if they don't have a phone with an app store? Couldn't I use Bluetooth to accomplish the same thing? Bump without ubiquitous "bump-ability" is like the sound of one hand clapping.

Which brings me to the problem with social apps.

Click here to read more

Saturday
Nov072009

Android Fragmentation is Everyone's Responsibility

In response to a post on Moconews by Tricia Duryee, "Will Google's Android Suffer from Fragmentation?", I'd like to highlight 3 areas most likely driving the variations in Android which will impact how the community being built around the open OS emerges:

1) UI/UX. Each market developer will not be compiling to each of the branded presentation frameworks that the OEMs use to differentiate themselves.  The market is a separate set of apps appended to the interaction screens created for a particular phone.
2) Device. Each manufacturer will try to optimize the way Android runs with their combination of choices for chipset, software solutions, screen and licenses. Over time the linkage between how the market apps are informed as a whole about how to interoperate with these unique stacks may get tighter, but the 3rd party app developer may not get access to APIs directly.
3) Network. OEMs and carriers will not want to enable apps to hog resources like the “fat kid at the front of the buffet line.” Because there are variances in each carrier’s network, and testing between the OEM and the carrier before the device is certified, apps that unduly use network resources may be blocked at the device or network level through configurations that prevent it from degrading all customer experiences on that network (e.g. constantly polling the network.)

Will this de facto create fragmentation? Perhaps. But for Android to succeed at open, everyone in the value chain has to believe it is a good idea to open each layer that impacts the user experience on a particular device. I would argue that it isn’t necessarily in the best interest of the consumer to do that since many consumers I have seen with Android devices can’t tell a good app from a bad app. The messages about what the app uses are so geeky that consumers ignore them, take anything and everything onto their device, and can rapidly find themselves with a sluggish, underperforming handset that is undependable as a mobile phone.

Just like with Windows, consumers may still find they have to purchase a new device to upgrade to a newer version of Android’s OS even though their handset is capable of receiving an over the air update. If their existing device hardware is unable to support the next gen features (eg, better screen resolution, ROM size), the update just won’t come to it and they will have to buy new hardware. This is a bit of a red herring, and pretty much a fact of life with most update-able consumer electronics, but perhaps just more noticeable in the rapidly changing world of wireless devices.

 

Monday
Oct192009

Where's That "Smartphones for Dummies" Book?

Smartphones have more advanced operating systems than regular feature phones, and app markets broaden their capabilities beyond what you find out of the box. Unfortunately, Android phone consumers will need a special geek decoder ring when entering the Android market, because there's nothing to keep the developer in the garage from showing their inner Vulcan.  And while we are on the topic of arcane messages, has RIM gotten rid of that "Send a PIN" option or the "Servicebook initializing" verbiage yet?

My LinkedIn Status. Hmmm...

 

Autofill helps me complete my search for "Am..." Huh?

 

So is this the benefit of "open development" we're hearing about lately? Does open development let developers feel they no longer need to cover up the sausage making? I am not sure that most consumers will appreciate having visibility to their code right from the very apps they want to use.

 

Sunday
Oct182009

Favorite Tweet of the Day

Now that's  advertising & iBranding!  RT @ekowus: iDon't know what it is but I want one  http://bit.ly/pEBbn #verizon #droiddoes #iphone