Archive for the ‘android’ Category
So, tomorrow’s the big day.
Research In Motion is formally introducing its BlackBerry 10 operating system.
Will the industry yawn and wonder what part of the mobile wilderness that RIM the BlackBerry has been wandering, or will it welcome the potential for new innovation with open arms?
We shall see, but there’s been no end of speculation and expectation appearing in the blogosphere.
For IT professionals, The Wall Street Journal’s Clint Boulton indicated CIOs should be prepared to ask (and get answered) a few key questions.
They center around pricing, upgradability of BlackBerry’s Enterprise Server, interoperability with iPhone and Android, and the like.
The broader question is what will drive demand? Will the market be receptive to the new phones and software behind BlackBerry 10, or are iPhones and Androids “good enough?”
Plenty of tech and mobile companies have had their time “in the wilderness,” and there’s nothing to focus innovation and R&D like dwindling market share.
I was a faithful BlackBerry subscriber for several years, before the lure of the more user-friendly environment of the iOS operating system drew me away from my last RIM device, the BlackBerry Bold.
Looking back, there were a few things I especially liked about RIM’s earlier offerings.
Most notably, the real-time, secure email capability. At a time when I was traveling extensively, there was nothing like being able to walk off the plane and crank up my Bold to find out what had happened in my world the prior 10 hours I was in the air.
I also liked the ability to synchronize with my work calendar — nothing like missing a meeting because you didn’t know it was even happening.
What I didn’t like? The inability to easily introduce new applications and content, most notably music and video (vis a vis iTunes), and yes, that all important road warrior time killer, games. I could only take so many bouts of “Bricks” or “Breakout” (It’s been so long, I forgot what the game was called!)
The application universe also always seemed so limited with RIM, so if they are going to “break out” of the wilderness, that app ecosystem is going to be key.
But only if the OS is up to the task.
CNET’s Roger Cheng explains we can expect two new devices at least, the Z10 and X10, a touchscreen and keyboard version, respectively, and that they’ll be available in February.
As far as apps are concerned, Cheng indicates BB 10 will launch with 70,000 apps.
Though that pales compared to the number of iOS and Android apps currently available, it’s a start, and the real key will be are they the RIGHT apps (the ones that help the mobile warrior stay productive, informed, entertained, and sane on the road, and yet have enough attraction to pull in other demographics).
Creating awareness through marketing will also be key to RIM’s renaissance. The “mindspace” for mobile has been increasingly dominated by the Apple and Google juggernauts over these past few years, and we can hardly turn our heads without seeing Samsung’s TV spots suggesting the iPhone is your our parent’s geriatric mobile device.
RIM hasn’t been part of the conversation for…well, years.
But I think RIM’s challenges are much bigger than awareness. The proof is going to be in the pudding, or in their case, in the user experience.
Design of a useful, attractive and compelling user experience may not have been MORE important in a new product launch in eons, because despite having the early advantage in the mobile smartphone space, now every new experience (including the BB 10 is) going to inevitably be compared to another, existing experience like iOS and Android.
Between that, the desire for a rich apps ecosystem, and getting the word out to a skeptical public — well, over the next few months, let’s just say we’re going to find out how much Motion their Research has as they try to convince loyal, “pry this mobile device out of my cold, dead hands” users out of their comfort zone and into the land of the unknown BlackBerry.
Well, I hope you and yours are having a happy holiday season, wherever in the world you may be.
I just returned from a wonderful visit to see my parents and some extended family up in my hometown of Denton, Texas, where we were treated to our first white Christmas in three years, the snow billowing down starting around mid-day Christmas Day, and plunging the Dallas/Ft. Worth roads into a virtual ice skating rink.
As for the Christmas holiday shopping season, Sarah Perez with TechCrunch just reported that Amazon.com once again came out on top, in terms of online satisfaction.
No big surprise there. I conducted a large portion of my own holiday shopping via Amazon, and received everything I ordered within a few days. I also treated myself to a set of Ben Hogan 1988 “redline” blade golf clubs, which I discovered on eBay for a very agreeable price. Unfortunately, the weather in Texas has kept me off the golf course (now back in Austin, I hope for that to change in the next few days!).
Of course, if you were trying to watch movies on Netflix on Monday, you might have found yourself watching a blank screen. Due to an Amazon Web Services outage, Netflix viewers were treated to bags full of coal starting around 3:30 PM on Monday, AWS’s third major outage this year.
Myself, I went on a “Redbox” binge over the holiday, discovering some recent titles for $1.20 a pop (including the latest Spiderman!), only to discover they’ll be bringing some competition to the streaming realm with the introduction of “Redbox Instant,” expected to go into private beta sometime soon. Redbox Instant is expected to match Netflix’s monthly streaming subscription price of $8 U.S.
Whatever your preference, it certainly looks like more and more Americans will be viewing filmed entertainment on devices other than their TVs. Another TechCrunch story reports that one in four Americans now owns a tablet computing device, with such devices now even having overtaken the number of e-reading devices like the Kindle (again, I did my fair share here over the holidays, giving out two Kindle Fire HDs as family gifts. Now I can only cross my fingers my family will use them!)
Regardless of your preference, the story goes on to say that one in three people in the U.S. now owns some kind of tablet or e-reading device, and this data before the full gamut of holiday shopping data has hit analysts’ spreadsheets.
One such analyst, Strategy Analytics, has Apple’s iPad still leading the pack, with Amazon and Samsung quickly narrowing that lead.
So what did Santa bring YOU for Christmas, and better yet, what did Santa YOU give others???
So I followed some of the liveblogging for the Apple announcements earlier today, with the Apple iPhone 5 being the headline announcement.
I hope to later go back and watch the video webcast, as much interested in the theater of it as the details.
Overall, I walked away with the impression that it was a relatively impressive update from the iPhone 4, but I wasn’t convinced it was enough to compel people to upgrade.
I mentioned in a post a while back I’ve gone native, now using a “dumb phone” (an LG), because I had left AT&T, toyed with an Android on Virgin Mobile, before deciding on the LG dumb phone primarily for phone usage.
I still have my iPhone 4, which I use sometime for checking email and calendar, and reading or watching a movie on plane rides, but because I’m not as mobile as I used to be (not traveling as much), I didn’t feel compelled to need a smartphone.
Back to the 5. I didn’t see a compelling reason to upgrade with the new features — the bigger 4″ screen, the thinner form factor, LTE support, the new camera (including the admittedly cool panorama mode).
But just for grins, I clicked on the Apple application that let me checked what it would cost to go ahead and upgrade ahead of my current pre-rebate date (the date for which I could upgrade with the device actually being subsidized by Verizon).
Here’s what I found in the graphic you see here…hold on for the sticker shock:
I couldn’t get into a 5 for less than $649 until December 9, 2013…by that time, I suspect there will be an iPhone 6.
Even jumping back to the 4 would cost me $375!!!
And therein lies my distaste with the current mobile phone economics in these United States.
Hey, if I was traveling all the time and depending on those services the iPhone could offer remotely, I would consider it.
But recognizing I have other devices (the iPhone 4 using wi-fi, an Android tablet AND an iPad), no way, no how.
I suspect many Apple fan boys and girls will pay the pre-rebate price, and more power to them.
But my money would be better invested in a new mini iPad (apparently coming in October) or even the new iPod Touches also announced today.
But if you get an iPhone 5, be sure to give me a demo the next time you see me.
The Interwebs platform wars continue to escalate.
Not days after I read Ken Auletta’s fine New Yorker piece on the U.S. antitrust suit against Apple and several book publishers for alleged price fixing — a scheme that clearly had Amazon and its Kindle Fire in its gunsights — do we discover that Amazon is working with Foxconn on its own mobile mousetrap, one that, like the Fire, would presumably provide easy access to all kinds of compelling content from Amazon’s vast cloud of digital entertainment.
Books, movies, gaming apps…Amazon’s play suggests that the Internet industry is moving into the razor/razorblade club, with the devices being the razors, and the razorblades being all that vast digital content.
I, personally, mostly don’t care which razor I use. I’ve owned tablets and smartphones both Android and iOS now, and most recently have given a Kindle (not the Fire) a test drive.
The most important element for me in the digital content wars are the depth and sophistication of the content libraries themselves.
That is to say, help me move beyond Amazon and Apples’ 57 Channels On Demand and Nothing On!
Amazon’s bookstore, of course, has virtually the world’s book population at your disposal, so no complaints when it comes to reading (although I do agree we need healthy, competitive alternatives to the Amazon reading ecosystem).
But when I go into my Amazon Prime movie library, which lets me watch some movies for free with my Prime subscription, it’s like dragging the bottom of the movie barrel.
To some degree, I see the same problem with Netflix, although Netflix has seemed to have worked more diligently to expand its library. Amazon Prime, on the other hand, just added a bunch of new episodes of William F. Buckley’s “Firing Line.”
Woo hoo, where do I renew my subscription??!
The cloud providers may be lining to try and lock in as many denizens as they can via their device and subscription services, but the form factor is less important than the catalog function.
What’s kept me from cutting my own cord on the TV is the fact that the Netflix’s and Amazons of the world don’t have enough diversity of content (never mind live event access to major sporting events, which for my money are msotly worth the high cost of monthly cable subscriptions alone).
So if the Apples and Googles and Amazons really want to move these markets, they need to quickly hire some sophisticated business development executives and hard-driving attorneys who can make some negotiation headway in the hills of Hollywood’s film libraries rather than try to draw lines around the device footprints.
It’s never about the razors, always about the razorblades.
As someone who regularly monitors and communicates key trends in the digital marketing environment with IBM, I obviously have to keep pace (as best I can!) with those emerging arenas that I think are going to have an impact in our (IBM’s), and the industry’s, ability to communicate effectively, efficiently, and to the right audience.
The emerging mobile space is a good example of one of those trends. With the advent of the iPhone in 2007, and later the Android platform and, more recently, the rapid adoption of tablet computers like the iPad and now Microsoft’s “Surface,” the opportunity to market and communicate through these devices is enormous.
But the opportunity doesn’t just end with marketing. Companies around the globe are also realizing mobile computing can change business in fundamental ways.
Enterprise Mobility: A Top Strategic Priority
In our recent CIO study of more than 3,000 CIOs, IBM discovered that 75 percent of respondents asserted that mobility is a top priority in their business strategy.
But, there are significant challenges. New platforms and operating systems are emerging all the time, security and privacy are critical issues of concern to business leaders, and there’s a need to maximize development investments for the mobile platform.
IBM has been communicating more aggressively about this opportunity, and our own Bob Sutor has been a critical thought leader for IBM in this space.
As some of you may remember, Scott Laningham and I interviewed Bob recently about IBM’s mobile strategy at the Impact 2012 event back in May. You can find that interview below:
Continuing IBM’s mobile drumbeat, we most recently partnered with eWeek to produce a short slide show that articulates some best practices in mobile deployment that Bob and his team developed, best practices based on extensive experience with real (and recent) customer engagements.
I’ll hit the wave tops for you below, but to read all the details, you’ll need to visit the full slideshow over at eWeek.
- Don’t Compromise on User Experience. Good apps are engaging. They are designed for performance and customized to deliver the functionality your users need in a simple and easy-to-use manner.
- Support Different Development Approaches. Mobile apps are no longer an experiment. Companies are quickly realizing their value to different lines of business, both as productivity tools for employees and engagement channels facing customers. Choosing a development approach for these apps entails many parameters such as budget, project timeframe, target audience and application functionality.
- Build for Performance. Recent reports show that already today, mobile users are spending more time using apps than mobile browsers. Combined with projections that more than 50 percent of users will access the Web through mobile devices by the end of 2013, application performance has never been more crucial for your mobile initiative.
- Enable Collaboration, Efficiency. Modern business applications are constantly changing, and they are rarely developed by a single person anymore.
- Ensure Proper Authentication and Address Security Concerns. Whether employee- or customer-facing, mobile applications are quickly assuming the roles of many mission-critical systems in the enterprise. It is no wonder that authentication and security have become the top concerns of the mobile enterprise.
- Close the HTML5 Gap. Commitment from all major mobile vendors, active standardization efforts and a growing ecosystem of third-party tools has been fueling recent success and adoption of HTML5.
- Connect With Back-End and Cloud-Based Systems. Mobile business apps are not independent entities. They should be tightly connected to a variety of existing back-end and cloud-based systems.
- Manage Mobile Apps, Devices, Data. Managing applications after they are downloaded and installed on devices has become critical, with the bring-your-own-device (BYOD) trend specifically challenging IT departments. A growing number of organizations are starting to adopt a combination of management approaches, both on the application level and the device level.
- Evaluate Supporting Services. The mobile channel is transforming the way companies are doing business, and with that transformation, new challenges arise on both the business and the IT levels.
- Protect Your Investment. As the mobile landscape develops, success lies in the ability to adapt to change.
IBM: Goin’ Mobile…and Then Some
IBM has been steadily investing in the mobile space over the past decade — not as a device manufacturer, but as a provider of mobile enterprise application and platform technologies, including tools for developing software in the mobile realm, and also to provide endpoint management (management of all those various and sundry devices your employees are now bringing to the office and expecting you in IT to support!).
We acquired Worklight in February to help more quickly deliver mobile application management capabilities across a range of industries, and as eWeek observes, Worklight’s software “enables organizations to efficiently create and run HTML5, hybrid and native applications for smartphones and tablets with industry-standard technologies and tools.”
If you’re looking to get into the mobile game, a good place to start is our webcast, “Harnessing the Power of Mobile in the Enterprise.” (Registration required)