2011 – The Service/Social Era of the Mobile Ecosystem

227904949 2011 – The Service/Social Era of the Mobile Ecosystemphoto © 2006 Steve Jurvetson | more info(via: Wylio)
The US wireless data market has grown to exceed $14B in mobile data services in Q3 2010. It is likely to surpass analysts estimates of $54B this year and will dwarf that in 2011. Subscription rates in the US are nearing 100% and many people are now touting 2+ Internet enabled mobile devices. Tablets have just begun to reach the mainstream and have already experienced 12% growth quarter-over-quarter compared to 1% for the same time period last year.

All of this growth is being driven by new hardware and new software and is pushing the mobile ecosystem into a new era of mobile computing.

Gartner defines the mobile wave as consisting of three major eras:

  1. The Device Era: This era was when the popularity of phones like the Motorolla Razr was skyrocketing. It was the era when cell phones became truly mainstream as adoption rates drastically increased.
  2. The Application Era: The application era was largely brought mainstream by Apple’s iPhone and the App Store. This era is characterized by the ability for users to easily purchase unique application to run on their new devices.
  3. The Service/Social era: The Service/Social era is where we are right now. It’s an extension of the application era but is differentiated by the increasing use of cloud computing and streaming entertainment. This era is characterized by lightweight mobile devices that are supported by infrastructure in the cloud. This is the era that enterprises will benefit the most from as the mobile workforce will have improved access to large databases and computing power.

How Hardware is Driving the Evolution:

Devices have evolved from the Palm Pilot and Razr to the iPhone and iPad. Mobile devices are no longer PDAs and cellphones, they are smartphones and tablets. These devices are always connected and are now more powerful than ever.

Not only have the devices become more powerful themselves, but improved cloud technologies have enabled these devices to leverage the Internet and data centers to access computing power not possible on a mobile device.

A typical example is an application called Shazam. Hold your phone up to a speaker playing almost any song and record 15-seconds of music. Shazam will then take that 15-second clip and compare it to their massive database of music to identify which song you’re listening to. The computing power and database required to conduct that analysis is not possible on a mobile device, so Shazam uploads the 15-second clip to their cloud computers to do the heavy lifting. Then the result is sent back to the smartphone within seconds. This simple example of cloud computing illustrates the powerful possibilities when using a lightweight devices connected to a powerful network.

Top-5-Smartphone-Producers-20101 2011 – The Service/Social Era of the Mobile Ecosystem

The above graph shows the explosion of Apple on the smartphone market. Apple’s market share doesn’t compare in units, but in dollars it has become a formidable opponent overnight to the long standing incumbents.

How Software Has Changed the Mobile Ecosystem:

Software is shaping the mobile ecosystem by removing barriers for developers. Cellphones come pre-loaded with typical applications: an address book, a calendar, an alarm clock, and maybe some games. Getting contracts to get your application pre-loaded on a device is still only for the biggest players in the game; however, now anyone (literally) can develop a mobile application and use it personally or upload it to the marketplace for the general public.

This increased freedom and access has enabled developers to create very creative applications. From location aware Tim Horton’s locators to the enterprise ready Citrix Receiver, mobile devices have become far more powerful than the device itself. Ken Rutowski from KenRadio said it best, “Your smart phone is like a fridge, it’s only as good as what’s inside it.”

The Mobile Operating Systems:

Top-Mobile-Operating-Systems-Q3-20101 2011 – The Service/Social Era of the Mobile Ecosystem

*OHA: Open Handset Alliance is a group of 78 technology companies that have worked together to develop the open-source Android mobile operating system.

The fragmentation of mobile operating systems and mobile application marketplaces has been an increasing challenge as businesses try to satisfy the demands of their customers and staff. To combat this, companies have increasingly been building mobile versions of their websites using technologies such as HTML5 to create a mobile experience that works across multiple devices.

At Optimus we work with clients to define their mobile strategy and help them design, build, test, and deliver cross platform solutions. Connect with us to discuss these opportunities at info@optimusinfo.com.

What is HTML5?

The above presentation gives a simple overview of What is HTML5?

HTML5 is a new programming language that is being used to enhance the web on both personal computers and mobile devices. HTML5 gives developers the power to create new web experiences with enhanced capabilities like drag-and-drop, local storage, and geo-location. It can also be used to play video, animations, and music on many devices without additional plug-ins.

Here are a few examples of how HTML5 is being used on the web today:

  • Try drawing a picture using HTML5 here.
  • Play with real HTML5 capabilities here.
  • Check out an HTML5 physics engine here.
  • See how Facebook uses HTML5 here.
  • Read how YouTube is implementing HTML5 here.

At Optimus we have been working with our clients to take advantage of the new capaibilties of HTML5 and CSS3. To learn how Optimus can help with your HTML5 development project, send us an email at info@optimusinfo.com

iPhone 4 Coming to Canada on Friday

iPhone4-comes-to-canada iPhone 4 Coming to Canada on Friday

Have you been anxiously waiting for the iPhone 4? Well get in line because it lands in Canada on Friday.

The new phone from Apple comes loaded with new features supported by the latest version of their mobile operating system (iOS). The hardware itself is a huge improvement from previous iPhones; however, there have been well documented cases of a faulty antenna and Apple has been giving out free cases to resolve the issue.

As illustrated in the picture above, one of the flagship features of the iPhone 4 is video calling, coined FaceTime. The new feature allows users to have video chats directly from one iPhone 4 to another, as long as both parties are connected to WiFi.

As exciting as this feature is, it is really just another step towards mainstream mobile video conferencing. This is not the first time video chat has been available on a mobile phone, but Apple has put their marketing and user interface expertise behind it. You can also expect the next version of the iPad to be equipped with a front facing webcam allowing iPad users to video chat as well.

The most interesting aspect of this new feature, is that Apple plans to release an API so that FaceTime applications can be developed for other devices.

In Canada, the phone will be available on the big three Rogers (and Fido), Bell, and Telus on July 30.

At OptimusMobile we’re excited for this new phone and especially the new OS. From FaceTime to multitasking iOS 4 is the most powerful mobile OS to come from Apple and is opening up new opportunities for developers.

If you’re looking for iPhone application development in Vancouver, connect with us at info@optimusinfo.com

Android Development Growth: Huge Leap in Adoption

Image348 Android Development Growth: Huge Leap in Adoption

Google’s mobile operating system, Android, is poised to make yet another huge leap in adoption. The steadily improving user-interface and native support for Google Apps is solidifying Android’s position as a leading OS for mobile devices.

Software improvements aside, Android’s growth is largely attributed to the open source operating system enabling hardware manufactures to bring down prices. For example, in China an unlocked iPhone 4 costs $1,282 USD; whereas, new Android phones could be under $150 USD.

Smartphone manufacturers and wireless service providers have been successful at penetrating developing markets with expensive 3G services. However, in order to increase the rate of adoption they plan to introduce powerful 3G enabled smartphones in the under $150 price range.

These lower priced smartphones are well positioned to reach mainstream adoption in developing markets. A recent study from ABI Research reports that there will be over 5 billion mobile subscribers by the end of 2010. The largest growth rates are expected to be in Asia and Africa.

In addition to the opportunities in developing markets, Android has been gaining ground in the US. According to The NDP Group, Android has pushed past Apple in unit sales for Q1 of 2010. RIM still leads the group with 36% market share, but Android has beaten Apple’s 21% share by increasing to 28%. On Google’s official blog they have reported 160,000 Android powered devices get activated worldwide every day.

The expanding market is opening doors for Android application developers. Last week, Google released a WYSIWYG (what-you-see-is-what-you-get) application development platform called App Inventor. Although the platform is currently in closed beta, it promises to make Android application development much easier by enabling users to create applications without writing a single line of code. This new development method is likely to push the number of applications on the Android Marketplace well past the nearly 100,000 applications available today.

At OptimusMobility we believe Android is a powerful mobile OS with great potential. That’s why we have our developers creating advanced applications for our clients.

To find out how OptimusMobile can help with your Android development in Vancouver, send us an email at info@optimusinfo.com

(Photo credit: Jay Cuthrell)

Over 600,000 ordered the iPhone 4 on Tuesday

Image093-150x150 Over 600,000 ordered the iPhone 4 on TuesdayThe new version of the iPhone has received the largest number of preorders Apple has ever experienced in a single day.

Over 600,000 orders were made on AT&T’s and Apple’s websites. That huge influx of traffic inevitably led to performance issues and system failures.

In a quote from Apple, they admit they hadn’t anticipated the huge demand during their performance testing:

“It was the largest number of preorders Apple has ever taken in a single day and was far higher than we anticipated, resulting in many order and approval system malfunctions,”

~Apple

The huge demand for the new iPhone shows that Apple still has supporters as it faces increasing competition from Android powered devices.

Here at Optimus we are glad to see the swelling demand for smartphones as it gives our clients the ability to interact with their customers in a powerful, feature rich environment. Through our mobile application development services we have helped clients release interactive applications across a variety of platforms.

To learn how Optimus can help build your next mobile application, email us at info@optimusinfo.com

IT Outsourcing in British Columbia

I met many technology CEOs in last 2 weeks. Most of them have shown an interest in having a reliable outsourcing partner. Partner who can work as an extension of their engineering team and help in the areas of software development, software maintenance and software testing.

The key questions:

  1. Can it be same or better quality
  2. Can it be same or better productivity
  3. Would it be cheaper, faster and better.

I believe that hybrid model i.e. an extension of client’s engineering team with on-shore and offshore capabilities is the long term way to succeed.

Where do things go wrong ? I think that wrong expectations, wrong assumption that all work can be done offshore and also mistake in ascertaining what is offshorable and what is not, are some of the reasons.