The future of Mobile Experience
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!
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!
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.