Real men don’t eat quiche. Don’t they? It took the quiche industry years to recover from those 5 little words. Our society constantly pits people/places/things against each other and HTML5 vs. Native is no different. Can’t we all just get along and realize that there is a time and place for everything. I for one, truly enjoy a nice quiche Lorraine after my Saturday morning hike right before I go for a nice glass of Pinot Noir (notice it’s Pinot Noir, not Grigio, as real men cannot eat quiche and drink Pinot Grigio in the same day, that’s just a known fact). It’s time people realize that you don’t have to choose one camp over the other – there is a time and a place for HTML5, and a time and place for Native development – don’t let anyone tell you differently.
All posts tagged Android
I was just listening to Jon Stewart interview NY Times writer Michael Moss about his new book Salt Sugar Fat and he said something that struck a chord with me. He was talking about the science of creating food and something called the “Bliss factor.” That perfect balance that will ensure that the products are a smash hit with consumers. That’s where I want to go with BYOD policy – I’ve been searching for that perfect mix of hardware, software, and education that will protect my IP yet give my consumers that rush they get when eating a Twinkie. OK, I know it’s a bit of flight-o-fancy to think that a BYOD policy can compare to a Twinkie (they are coming back!), but why not, why not venture out on that quest, at least for a little bit.
After a series of delays and months of industry speculation, RIM BlackBerry has finally unveiled its new BlackBerry 10 OS and accompanying devices – the Z10 and Q10. The big question in everyone’s mind now, is whether it will help save the company…or if it was too little, too late.
The features BlackBerry has been betting on to impress consumers with include dual layer on-screen keyboards, cloud data storage, and cutting edge multi-media capabilities. If you’re thinking that none of this sounds particularly compelling, I understand, but keep reading, because they have also thrown something else into the mix: a single interface with separate ‘work’ and ‘play’ profiles – BlackBerry Balance. The work profile, for example, will include a distinct calendar and a specially tailored app store. For enterprises, a built-in BYOD solution may take the edge off the long wait.
At a conference prior to the launch, the company’s senior director of enterprise product management, Jeff Holleran, spoke at great length about how many of the features of the new Blackberry 10 OS have been designed in response to the rise of BYOD. If you’re thinking ‘about time’, then again, I’m with you – BlackBerry’s server-based enterprise play met its Waterloo when the iPhone 3G launched back in July 2008. In case you were wondering, fierce competition from MDM ‘point’ solution vendors doesn’t worry BlackBerry, because, according to Holleran, “There’s a different hundred players week after week. It seems to be a very young market, with a lot of new start-ups…there is no clear [leader] who customers are flocking to.” Whether or not you think Holleran’s underestimating the competition – and I do think he is to some degree – there’s no doubt that BlackBerry has a strong enterprise brand that might help it steal back some MDM market share. There’s a distinct opportunity for BlackBerry to claim back some lost enterprises and to please some companies in industries that are still using BlackBerries…but who have been considering a device refresh.
There are some really cool things about the new OS and devices – time-shift camera, predictive typing keyboard, BlackBerry Hub for messages, BlackBerry Flow and BlackBerry Balance. There’s been a few great live blogs and recaps out there – like this one, this one and even this.
We’re all so busy these days, sometimes it’s hard to keep up with all the news and changes – especially when it comes to the warp speed of the mobile market. So to help make it more simple for our Mobile Masters readers, I’ll be putting together a recap each Friday of some of the best mobile news stories from the week. Let’s kick it off!
Google has announced that its Google Play app store has officially hit the 25 billion app download mark. The store is now home to 675,000 apps and games for Android devices.
Shoppers spent $5 billion while using tablets over the past 12 months, a trend that’s going to keep growing, according to Javelin Strategy and Research.
Samsung expects sales of its new Galaxy Note 2 smartphone to get off to a stronger start than its predecessor even after Apple Inc. sold a record number of the latest iPhone in its debut weekend.
RIM has offered a $10,000 sales guarantee for developers after it claimed its AppWorld platform will generate them more sales and cost them less than using Apple’s iOS App Store.
By Jason Wong
This week, starting today, the tech world will be tuned in to the Apple World Wide Developer Conference (WWDC) in San Francisco. Many will be looking for CEO Tim Cook to announce the next wave of revolutionary products coming out of Cupertino; while some will be looking for any signs that Apple is stumbling in the post-Steve Jobs era.
For those working in or around the enterprise mobility space, here is what I expect and wish for in key Apple product announcements for this market.
The universal expectation is that Apple will announce the iPhone 5 in some fashion at WWDC–whether it will actually be called that is another matter (see iPad 3 naming controversy). There are whispers that this new iPhone 5 will be a bigger form factor with a four-inch screen to equal those of popular Android devices from the likes of Samsung and Motorola. Personally, I like today’s iPhone screen size just fine, but many others want that extra screen real estate – maybe to better aim those Angry Birds!
For the enterprise, a larger iPhone 5 will add more challenges to mobile app development. Compared to the vast variations of Android device sizes and resolutions, the iPhone has stayed fairly uniform since launching 2007 – only adding high-resolution Retina Display in the iPhone 4. There may be enhancements in the Apple xCode SDK to help develop for two iPhone screen sizes, but I expect device fragmentation to become a growing issue for enterprise mobile app developers. I wish this were not the case, but fortunately cross-platform development tools, like that from Antenna, can help developers tackle this challenge more easily.
The new iPad (AKA, iPad 3) only came out a few months ago so there isn’t expected to be much new news on this product line. However, there are still a faction of people looking for Apple to announce a mini-iPad – a version with a seven-inch screen akin to the Amazon Kindle Fire. I’ll just say that to me this is stupid. As an avid iPad user, I find the size to be just perfect. Any smaller and you compromise the essence of the device. Just because the Kindle Fire sold well as a seven-inch device, does not mean that the iPad needs to mimic it. I don’t expect Apple to announce a mini-iPad and I wish those asking for it would just go buy a Kindle Fire!
Web as a development platform for enterprise mobile applications is gaining momentum. It make sense to develop a single HTML5 application and run it on multiple mobile devices. And today’s web browsers are doing great job keeping up with HTML5 standards. Then why you need a hybrid client. The question is simple and so is the answer. Things are built keeping some objectives in mind.
A Web Browser is a general purpose web-client to show and capture information online through web-pages. No doubt a great tool but enterprise mobile applications need more. Let’s take a quick look at some of those important requirements:
1. Offline Support: They should work offline. Yes, HTML5 is there but it better suits to applications that require temporary storage or where life-span of information is small. Life-span of enterprise data on a mobile app is generally more than a day
2. Data Security: Security is one of the major concern in enterprise mobility. You can’t leave your data with web browsers because there is no proper data security. A hybrid client can provide a secure and robust way of storing and retrieving the information.
3. Auto-Provisioning: A hybrid client can auto-provision your enterprise applications based upon the authentication. End-user does not to worry about which web-app is for me and which not.
4. Version Updates: What if you need to upgrade application on the device of your end-user but he has some pending updates for the server. You can provide a robust way of optional, delayed or compulsory upgrade through a hybrid client.
5. Transaction Handling: An app running on mobile means no guarantee whether you are in network or not. Handling transactions when you are in offline mode is a big headache with web apps. But a hybrid client can handle them nicely and automatically.
6. Data Size Limit: HTML5 has data size limitations. A hybrid client can overcome these limits and allows you to store data based upon your device storage capacity.
7. Device Integration: Enterprise applications are very demanding these days. You need integration with GPS, NFC, camera, phone book, calendar etc. You can’t do most of these things through web apps. But a hybrid client can make it happen by exposing the native device capabilities to web-apps.
8. Native Push Notifications: Native push is really cool feature when you are not using an app and you need to be alerted with its notifications. With web apps, when you are online, you do not actually need native push but what if you have exited your web app. You can’t get any push notifications specific for that app. A hybrid client can allows you to receive these notifications and to handle them automatically without any user-intervention if needed.
9. Mobile Advancements: Mobile devices are getting smarter and powerful day by day. You can’t keep up with these advancements and leverage them in your mobile web applications until your device web-browser starts supporting them. Further, we all know that HTML5 is quite slow in keeping up with these advancements. A hybrid client can fill this gap. It can provide you the opportunities to keep up with these innovations and make your app more powerful, productive and future-proof.
What is your take on it?
The following is a guest blog post, contributed by Mobile Masters reader and member, Tyler Moore. Tyler is an alumni of the University of Utah and is a tech, mobile and social media enthusiast. He is a professional writer for SatelliteInternet.com.
It was really only a matter of time before other designers and companies took a look at the iPhone and said “You know, we could probably do this or that better than Apple is doing it.”
The Android was a big step forward, offering an open source app store allowing anyone to publish without fear of censorship under Apple’s iron fist; and now Nokia is getting in on the action with the Lumia 900. Addressing “poor design” in the iPhone, here’s what it supposedly does better than Apple:
It’s 99 Bucks
The iPhone’s steep price tag seems to get steeper with each generation, so the 99-dollar Nokia will offer users a chance to play palm-sized games, browse the web and chat online all for a reasonable price tag. Right in the middle of a recession, not everyone can afford an iPhone, but most of us have spent more than 99 bucks on a nice dinner.
While the designers have been somewhat vague about this, they have promised an easier interface for the phone, suggesting that users won’t even have to touch the screen if they don’t want to. Whether that means improved voice command functions or a phone that reads your mind remains to be seen.
Along with the easier, hands-free interface, we’ve also been promised streamlined usability. Where Android and iOS are compared to “dollhouses” with furniture that users can rearrange, the Nokia is promised to be more in-depth, intuitive and open-ended without sacrificing ease of use or clarity of design. This is in part thanks to the Windows operating system, which we will also see in the upcoming Microsoft web phone.
This is what’s promised of the phone, which just hit the market, but there’s no telling whether or not the product will be the groundbreaking new gadget that Nokia is promising. Voice command is already present in a lot of devices this year, and the new Microsoft Windows phone is offering much of the same open ended accessibility and user-friendliness.
In short, it’s going to be a crowded year for phones. This is for the best, in the long run. For the longest time, iPhone was really the only game in town, and then came Android, leaving users with two options, both a bit on the pricey side. Now, we may have half a dozen new phones to choose from by the end of the year.
Nokia’s statements would seem to be going after the iPhone demographic whereas the new Windows phone is likely to appeal to people who have never even considered spending more than $60 on a cell phone. Whether this proves to be a good strategy or not, only time will tell. What we can say is that they’re definitely going after a loyal fan base.
Where Nokia is promising a technological revolution, Apple is promising more of the same, but better. Microsoft is offering user-friendliness and Android offers a fun alternative. Users will simply have to wait and see what the future has in store for the phone market.
The pre-fabricated buildings are being dismantled, the Huawei Pegasus has been led back into its stable, and the pretty, largely Eastern European females that are used shamelessly by certain exhibitors have gone back to their day jobs and universities. Yes, Mobile World Congress 2012 has come to an end.
This year, as in two previous years, there was a question-mark over the industry’s ability to demonstrate buoyancy in the face of the troubled economic situation in countries across the globe. However, apart from the protests outside the front gate on day 3, the show projected a form of technological and financial confidence that political leaders will want to encourage (and claim credit for) with all their might.
Nokia unveiled the 808 PureView, a smartphone with a 41 megapixel camera, the Google Android pod (you couldn’t really call it a stand) was constantly buzzing as punters queued to grab free smoothies and ice cream sandwiches and watch a clever robot make bling phone covers by punching gems into metal, while Samsung unveiled a device which doubles as a pocket projector, and had a team of artists drawing portraits on the new Galaxy Note 10.1 to show off its capabilities.
At the end of each of the first three days, attendees gathered for private parties—with Cava-flute-clutching crowds spilling out of the major booths—or clustered around the fountains at the head of the Fira to watch jets and walls of water fly in every direction accompanied by music composed by the likes of Vangelis and Howard Shore. In other words, far from being austere, MWC 2012 was actually pretending towards excess. And it’s just possible that that excess was meant to cover the dearth of something other than money – namely: creativity.
Phones which can project and take hi-res photos are nothing new – nor are they ‘game-changing’; Android is proliferating like mad but the devices all look the same (regardless of who manufactures them) and they’re still not that much fun to play with. BlackBerry presented nothing which suggested they can turn around their current fortunes (there was a consensus amongst attendees that their stand was ‘quiet’ for most of the show) and Microsoft’s Windows 8 showcase was notable for the lack of love and attention they showed Nokia hardware, rather than the reverse.
I don’t think I’m alone in saying that MWC 2012 revealed that the industry as a whole is desperate to hide the fact that it hasn’t had any big ideas for a while and doesn’t have any brewing. In the past, all eyes would now have been on Apple to take advantage of the situation by announcing a few big ideas of its own, but there is increasing scepticism that it will be able to continue innovating as effectively without the help of the late Steve Jobs. Apple’s new tablet device is due to be announced this week and the word on the mobile street is that it’s going to be more of an iPad 2.5 than an iPad 3. The next Steve is surely out there somewhere – but no-one’s found him yet.
By Jason Wong
Another crazy year in the mobile space and food world in 2011. I made some predictions a year ago and for the most part I was pretty on target–OK so maybe some of them were pretty obvious.
On the food predictions, Richard Blais did win Top Chef All-Stars (pretty easily I thought) and Korean food was “killin’ it” on the Great Food Truck Race show on Food Network (until they were accused of cheating and got kicked off), but David Chang alas did not enter the Next Iron Chef competition (he’s probably spending too much time counting his money).
On the mobile predictions, it was more of mixed bag. Microsoft did not buy Nokia but Nokia did go “all in” on Windows Phone 7 – success still TBD. My Playbook prediction was DOA, but my HP webOS prognostication was spot on. My HTML5 prediction was pure clairvoyance (it’s everywhere now – even Adobe has relented); mobile malware is certainly on the rise (especially for Android); NFC is still in early days; and finally Angry Birds didn’t quite make it to a billion dollars for apps, but have you seen all the licensed merchandise people are buying?!
So what’s in line for 2012? I’ll make it a shorter list of five predictions and keep it to mobile topics.
1. RIM’s BB 10 will underwhelm. It’s not about the hardware or the software any more. It’s about the ecosystem. And RIM just doesn’t have the developers, content and apps to compete any more. Their BES paradigm seems antiquated (did you hear about the outage?)and their value prop is just not relevant in 2012.
2. Facebook phone (if all the rumors are true) will be a dud. Facebook is useful and even fun for many people, but do you really want it to be your phone provider? Carrier IQ has gotten so much backlash, what will Facebook face in terms of the stuff they are capturing from your Facebook phone? Just say no.
3. Amazon phone (again if the rumors are true) will be a success. Why? because the Kindle Fire is selling briskly and Amazon has the ecosystem to sustain a real mobile strategy (see RIM above). They have an app store, they have content, they have commerce and they have the new Steve Jobs in Jeff Bezos.
4. Microsoft will exceed RIM for smartphone and tablet market share. Windows Phone devices and Windows tablets will be embraced mostly by businesses and this will directly cut into RIM’s target market. Microsoft is an aircraft carrier that is slowly turning to get back into the mobility game. HTML5 and time will be its two biggest allies to help it catch up to Android and iOS.
5. Oracle will make their move and start buying mobile vendors to catch up to SAP and Saleforce.com, both of which are betting big on mobile as the new UI for their apps. If 2012 is really the year when mobility breaks through to the big time, you can be sure Larry Ellison won’t want to miss out.
Jason Wong is a founding member of Mobile Masters, blogging about the gourmet side of mobile. Follow him on Twitter @mobilegourmet
As Microsoft continues to stumble around in the dark many of the customers who have committed to Windows Mobile applications running on rugged devices are asking, “What about us?” These companies made fairly substantial commitments by purchasing rugged devices with price tags ranging from $800-$2,500. Many now feel like they are being taken for granted or ignored completely and simple assurances that the rugged device manufacturers will support Windows Mobile 6.x devices for the next five years points out the key problem: What about the future?
There isn’t a week that goes by when I don’t have one of many conversations with customers and prospects who are asking what the next platform will be for rugged devices. Many of these same customers express frustration with the lack of available alternatives to the Windows-based handheld devices. Some have gone as far as saying that if there was ANY alternative they would jump ship immediately because they are tired of being held hostage to the Windows Mobile platform.
With the advent of iPhone and Android phones, and the proliferation of apps for these devices, “good enough” just doesn’t cut it anymore. Having a Windows Mobile rugged device that has a dim outlook for future enhancements isn’t new, but it continues to trouble companies that want to future-proof their investments. On the flip side of that coin, product cycles for rugged devices tend to be very long, making it easy for a company to commit to a hardware platform that they know won’t be obsolete before they deploy it. The dilemma comes when companies have no alternative and no solid assurance that the rest of the industry advancements will not be lost on users due to limited OS support.
Contrary to popular belief, there are still situations that require a rugged device and an iPhone with a “sleeve or cover” won’t cut it. Imagine mining, oil and gas exploration, trucking, warehouse or other users trying to do their job in a “hostile environment” with a less-than-durable device. Better yet, what if they need high-volume bar code scanning under any lighting conditions? And don’t get me started about intrinsically safe device requirements for the oil refining and delivery industries. These users groups do exist.
One of the attractions of rugged devices is the simplified support processes they offer a company. I’ve heard hundreds of people say, “For the price of a rugged device I can buy four consumer devices.” The problem is that they don’t actually buy the extra devices and with a consumer product life cycle of only a few months for most phones, you quickly can’t find replacement devices, batteries or accessories and are forced to deploy multiple devices. The iPhone is a bit of an exception to the life cycle woes but it also isn’t exactly cheap or rugged.
Android would seem to be the choice for folks that want to build the next generation of rugged devices. It’s an open standard, multiple manufacturers are building them, there is healthy competition, etc. The problem is that the OS also has a rapid life cycle of evolution making it a moving target. Any device manufacturer considering Android as the alternative to Windows Mobile-based rugged devices will need to address the future proof concerns of the customer prior to pushing their wares. It only makes good sense.
In this day and age of rapid change and ever evolving requirements it seems odd that a device OS that seems to have stalled has become the poster child for long-term stability. How did we get here? And more importantly, how do we get past this point and look to the future?