Posts Tagged ‘iPhone’

Android (and G1) fuels mobile computing

September 25, 2008

Do a search on Google for the “mobile web is dead”.  Use the “quote” marks – guaranteeing that exact phrase and you will get over a thousand results.  May not seem like a lot but the fact that anyone can say that the mobile web is dead is androidprobably nearing death themselves.

3 million iPhone 3G phones sold in one month – 3 MILLION. Yeah – um in case you weren’t aware – that also included a required unlimited data plan – you know the Internet.

Now if you define the “mobile web” as a web browser on a phone then maybe there is some validity to that statement – but if you talk about the “mobile web” as the ability to connect to the Internet from a mobile device and perform functions you would normally perform on a PC or Laptop – then we are far from dead.  In fact, you could say that we are just beginning.

Up until this point there were really only a few choices for accessing the mobile web

1.) Blackberry
2.) Windows Mobile
3.) Pocket PC
4.) Palm OS

Or like some crazy people I know the mobile providers “browser” (if that is what you call it) provides limited “useable” access to the Internet.

Well they have finally announced the long awaited Android. And I am quite frankly very excited.

Granted they are not expecting the kind of surge seen by Apple but then again the model for Android is quite different and requires different marketing techniques.  Rest assured though – this OS will be a formidable opponent for Apple and really for one reason – Open Standards Based Development.

The Android OS is maintained as an open platform which was designed by over 30 technology and mobile companies and is managed by the Open Handset Alliance. I expect this type of Open platform to produce a few things:

iPhone1.) Competition – not just on the software side – but on the hardware side.  The one problem plaguing iPhone (if you think objectively) today, is that there is one piece of hardware and one provider.  Android will work on almost any piece of hardware and can be delivered by any provider.  In a world where Motorola can go to the industries darling (remember when EVERYONE owned a Razr) to the industry’s fool – a la – what have you done for me lately, Android should be welcomed – very welcomed.  Not sure if this will breathe life into companies like Motorola but if I was given an OS that would give me an easy platform to build iPhone-esque applications, instead of spending years perfecting my own – I would jump at the chance

2.) Growth – if everyone bought an iPhone because it was the only viable option for smart applications – in a few years the mobile web would be pretty stagnant. We would be shackled by the vision of essentially one man – that does not sound like fun.

What this means for consumers is that we will continue to see innovation.  If Apple never came back with the Mac and it never gained momentum we would never have seen Vista …. uh…wait…. I mean we would never have seen …. well you get what I mean.

The growth of the Web was fueled by Open Standards and the ability to “view source” – which is essentially an open source environment.  At least, Android will offer that similar environment which can only hope will fuel competition and make mobile computing something better tomorrow than what it is today.


Privacy enabled photo sharing?

July 23, 2008

I have been testing out brightkite lately and I really only get to work with it if I am traveling (which I happen to be doing this week).  I was in Logan today when I saw an interesting site.  A woman traveling with me (someone I did not know) was also traveling with her dog.  She had on a very interesting “Baby Bjorn” style doggie carrier.  One that strapped around her back like a backpack.  I thought it needed to be posted so I took a picture of it and posted.uploading_photos

Immediately, I sent it to brightkite hoping I would get some discussion out of it.  I then received a notice back from brightkite stating that they could not post my picture.  Being that brightkite is a rather new startup (and probably small in size) I thought that it would not be unlikely that my photo was censored  because it was of a picture of someone I did not know (I am surel that the woman would not be happy knowing I took a picture of her and posted it for others to comment on).  I waited a bit and then posted it again – with a different comment which was less descriptive and didn’t lead to any conclusions about my relationship with this woman (or lack there of).  It took.  So clearly, it was a glitch (or was it).

GPS based privacy(automated)

So then I got to thinking about the iPhone (which I do quite a bit) and specifically about the GPS capabilities of the phone.  Many phones have GPS (my BlackJackII for instance does).  But when you put so many people on the same framework (millions of them) you can start to see paths towards mass acceptance and change.

I started thinking about how this situation with the dog lady could be governed better with technology and I came up with this idea:

Phone users taking pictures in public places would be required to register the  capture range for each of their photos/movies and privacy concerned individuals (with GPS enabled phones) could be notified when they may be appearing within a phone.  If the privacy concerned person would be notified when a picture they were in was posted to a public web site.  They would then get a link to that post, and have the ability to “flag” that photo as inappropriate and the original owner would be required to take it down.

Not saying we need to do this – but it might allow those individuals who are concerned about public exposure a means to handle that when they are either  intentionally or accidentally included in a photo posted to a public web site.