Thomas Joos | mobile application developer

(re)create your thoughts and expand your limits.

The future of Mobile Experience

with 6 comments

As a result of a little discussion with a colleague a few days ago about mobile browsing, I started thinking about the future of mobile experience. Not only as a developer but also as a user. The mobile business is already been called ”the future” for several years now, but still we are waiting patiently for the big explosion of the mobile business. Here in Belgium we have lots of (most of the time annoying) advertisements trying to convince you to donwload the coolest ringtones, wallpapers or screensavers. Even though everybody agrees these ads are not pleasant, the ringtone,screensaver,little games,.. seem to have a lot of succes. If not I think they would already have stopped making those ads. You should start thinking the target (teenagers most of the time)

does not mind the whole advertisement thing and just keep downloading this stuff because they want them so badly. Although teenagers are more easy to convince trying these things, I wonder why it seems so easy to let them try and download this type of content. It is far from easy trying to let them download & use applications with a higher/richer entertainment level. Why are they not downloading a mobile application from their favourite bands or soccer team or… Are they just not getting tired of those ringtones and silly games or am I missing something? Actually I am!

Richer Experiences
Where are all the mobile applications providing everything you need to know, see or experience when talking about your favourite soccer team? In England, Manchester United provides MobileTV, they provide a different mobile screensaver every week, you can download mobile wallpapers, animations, ringtones, video highlights.. but still they do not provide a full mobile application providing all this content together.

Another strange example (at least here in Belgium) is the fact that everybody likes the idea to have an app running and giving all the latest news, weather or traffic updates. I have never seen someone actually use an app like that. Please correct me if I am wrong or blind and deaf but there are several mobile rss readers (google mobile, freenews,feederReader). I wonder if there are people using such tools on a daily basis. I have no information about how popular these apps are, but I do not know many people using mobile rss readers compared to desktop rss users. I wonder why. I can not believe people would not like to give it a try.

We all like to get our information asap, no? Are people just not getting in touch with these possibilities or are they just not capable finding and installing the apps? Here in Belgium the main reason is the lack of a decent mobile internet connection I guess. It is just a shame that the providers are not providing!

Mobile Browsing

This brings us to another interessant question. Are people not willing to download applications onto their device and just want to browse to the content directly? Here in Belgium mobile internet is about to become more and more popular but it is far from being a standard. Other countries are way ahead of us it seems. Are those people using more mobile content by downloading and/or browsing? If mobile internet is more integrated in other countries it is interesting for developers providing content online. Getting mobile content by browsing to a url is more user-friendly than donwloading an application and getting it installed. But still, devices are not yet super powerful and the mobile browsers need some more fine tuning. Even desktop browsers still are not perfect! Any way, with today’s limitations a standalone app seems like a more efficient way to provide your mobile content. (in my honest opinion) But again, I’m writing this so you guys could correct me if I am wrong. Please do, actually that’s the main reason I wrote this biggest post of my life!

What do you have to say?

The reason I made this blogpost was to reach out to all kinds of people. We all have a mobile phone, so we all are mobile users. But what exactly do you do with your (smart)phone or what would you like or just like not to do? Are you not capable, lazy, or do you find it difficult to find applications/mobile content? Do you believe in a mobile future or do you just want to make calls and send text messages and be left alone?

As developers we should maybe start thinking about ways to promote our applications better. At least if they provide an enrichment in the mobile user’s life. I’m sure there is a lot to explore, as a mobile developer and as a mobile user. At least for me there is!

Feel free to share your opinion and do not hesisate correcting things I said or assumed.


Written by vilebody

May 28, 2008 at 9:20 am

Posted in Mobile, Press

6 Responses

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  1. Hey, really like the post. Especially the cultural aspect. Indeed in Belgium mobile internet failed in a way or has yet to be discoverd by the big public, while in Japan, people can’t live without anymore. But I think there are some things missing if you want to look at the future for mobile devices. I just did a research project on nanotechnology and future devices, I really recommend people to see the Nokia Morph Concept video. The think I found interesting on this video is the transitions you can do with your device do in order to change it regarding its function. And also think about interactions in general and not only with between humans and their devices (mobile phones, ipods, etc…) but also the environment around that device. There is a blog from a Japanese designer I really like. Here is a post with his opinion of future internet mobile devices: Just check it. Maybe not everything in this reply is in context according to your post, but I believe these things will be very essential for designers, engineers and developer of future mobile devices.


    May 28, 2008 at 10:28 am

  2. I think you are absolutely right, but the thing that stops me from downloading stuff or installing applications is because the GPRS connection is really slow and quite expensive.
    I do download applications on my iphone all the time, and sometimes I even use them when there is a wireless network in range, but most applications that are intressting to me are applications you need a connection for, and on the road, or in the train or where ever you want, this connection is only available trough this slow and annoying gprs which renders the use of almost any application to useless.

    Anyway, really nice post :)


    May 28, 2008 at 11:44 am

  3. Good points.

    These days I see alot of good points made, but almost nobody that does something about it. Blogging seems to be a way to vent about everything without actually doing something about it and on top of that getting away with it.

    Don’t get me wrong, you’re a standup guy and you definately don’t strike me as lazy or venting without action, but by posting this you can actually proof that there is atleast one guy trying to change the mobile market and turn your thoughts into action.

    Maarten has a good point about connections not lying around everywhere and GPRS being slow as f*ck but you can definately build something that keeps its data stored in the cache and when there is a connection available fetches fresh content.

    Easy shmeasy!

    Anyway, keep it up, really liked the post, it shows you have some good insight in what you are doing, now you only have to keep it up by flooding the market with none-ringtone applications.

    none-ringtone applications… Catchy phrase for a mobile application building bussiness, no? ;)

    Murten Saerbi

    May 29, 2008 at 12:40 pm

  4. @Murten: yeah that’s quite a catchy one indeed! I’m trying my best to provide richer mobile applications and I’m doing my best to turn my thoughts into actions. I hope people will try to use their smartphone in a smarter way. Even do it is far from powerfull and wireless connected, it does not mean you can not do something cool with it. I’m referring to the mobile guides I released for conferences like FITC and 2M08. Every attendee likes certain information like a schedule so why not going mobile in stead of loading your self with paper and flyers :) You always have answers to conference related question and you have them right in your pocket.

    Any way, I’m glad you liked the post :)


    May 29, 2008 at 12:51 pm

  5. I’m not using mobile internet ATM, for some reasons…

    – It would be too expensive to use it every day
    – My phone is not a smartphone, but a simple Sony Ericsson Z520i, so most of the applications wont work on my phone…
    – Internet connection is slow…
    – Some other reasons..

    Maybe if I should have a other phone, with faster connection and more possibilities that I would make more use of mobile internet.




    May 29, 2008 at 6:32 pm

  6. I think the development of mobile phones will take us in to areas we previously might not of thought of, with ‘camera phones’ being a prime example of an explosion of technology around an application not normally associated with telephony.

    I beleive ‘smart’ phones will become ‘smart’ in new applications we perhaps might not of thought of – take this as an example:
    When you leave your house, what do you always check you have (apart from clothes on!)? If you are like me, then, keys, wallet, phone. The future will incorporate all these applications in to one piece of hardware – namely your phone. You will be able to buy things, check things, secure things and open things (like your front door, office etc) all with your mobile.

    Just a idea of just some of the smart applications possible in the future of mobile phones.


    June 10, 2008 at 10:25 am

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