January 7, 2008
Yahoo has announced a new developer platform for their Yahoo Go mobile web service. The new platform is being set up to enable developers and publishers to mobilise their services quickly, at high quality and low cost, across hundreds of devices.
This is a very different approach to Google’s who are launching a whole mobile operating system (Android) with the help of many partners.
Yahoo’s system aims to build on the success of Yahoo Go and allow developers to tap into multiple phone manufacturers and carriers much more easily. It probably won’t have the flexibility to be able to create as sophisticated an application as you can on Android but it may well have the Facebook effect and allow developers to create simple apps with viral qualities which could prove very successful.
November 15, 2007
I seem to be blogging about Travelocity quite a lot lately. They’re at the forefront of technology in the online travel arena at the moment and seem to be one of the few who are trying to do something different for their customers online.
The latest announcement is the launch of a mobile service which allows users to view their itineraries, book transfers and hotels, get flight info, use a currency converter, check the weather and even check the security wait times at airports.
A great example of doing something useful for the customer instead of just gratuitous additional functionality for the sake of it. The service comes from Usablenet who offer services to get your website content onto the small screens.
November 6, 2007
Well it’s the codename for the Open Handset Alliance software created by Google with input from a raft of other software and handset companies. It should (if all goes to plan) open up the mobile world completely and allow for much better applications and integration to occur on mobiles in the future.
The Open Handset Alliance have released a video (below) to explain Android:
Sounds very promising. I wonder how RIM and Apple are feeling?
September 20, 2007
More rumours today about the possibility of Google launching a phone in the near future.
According to sources at Taiwan handset makers, Google will definitely launch its own-brand handset but has yet to finalize the handset’s specifications, OS, production contractor and operating partners.
It seems Google can’t make their mind up about whether to go EDGE or 3G. Texas Instruments handset chipsets will find their way into the Google phone should the company decide to roll out an EDGE-compliant handset, but Qualcomm could turn out to be the winner if Google decides to bet on a 3G model, the sources noted.
HTC is still earmarked as probable manufacturer of the Gphone. And there are still rumours that Google may try to launch with it’s own operating system to compete with Windows Mobile and Symbian.
September 4, 2007
So maybe Gpay is going to be too late for Google to take advantage of mobile payments (as I blogged about yesterday)…
Today, the biggest mobile phone operators in the UK have all switched on a new mobile payments system called PayForIt. It’s been designed for those who want to buy products or services up to the value of £10 using their mobile phone and bill. PayForIt will appear as an option on participating sites and services, at first just on mobile sites but soon it will be a standard payment option for goods on the wider internet.
It’s a good first move in getting us all towards a digital wallet type scenario, it could become a standard very quickly, is safe and trusted and much more preferred to the old way of paying by premium rate SMS.
It’s not quite the same as Google’s patent but has the potential to get adopted very rapidly.
August 29, 2007
Since I posted the other day about the rumours of a forthcoming Gphone from Google Inc. (GOOG) the blogosphere has gone wild with more unsubstantiated facts.
Rumours range from an HTC exec confirming the forthcoming phones existence, to the fact that Yahoo are heading on a parallel tack and developing their own, to rumours that Google are just looking at the operating system side and linking up with phone manufacturers.
I reckon the most likely is the third rumour that Google will concentrate on the software and integrating their own services into someone elses phone and leave the hardware to those who know. As for Yahoo; it’s quite likely they are working on phone apps as well, but whether that would be a whole OS or just another version of Yahoo Go who can tell…
March 27, 2007
ZenZui is a new mobile phone interface being developed by a company which came out of Microsoft Research and now runs independently although funded by Microsoft’s IP Ventures.
They’ve created a zoomable interface for mbile phones which is looking pretty good from the demo video they’ve created.
Designed by experts in human computer interaction it really does look like a step forwards in how we can access information on the small screen. Just looking at the demo video shows me that the interface has the potential to remove a lot of the frustrations that I come across while browsing the web on my N73.
Check out the demo below:
February 5, 2007
An article in the Telegraph this weekend surmises that some of the large mobile companies may be plotting a new search engine to rival Google on mobiles. It seems the mobile giants are wary of Google muscling in and taking all the real estate on mobile web, especially the search area which is of course the start page of choice for web users everywhere.
Get mobile search right and it could be even more pervasive a start page on the small screen than it is on the big screen. It’s vital to get to the information you require quickly and easily on mobiles, you don’t have the bandwidth or processor to deal with downloading loads of pages, and when people are mobile they are unlikely to have the patience to put up with a poor search experience.
Vodafone, France Telecom, Telefonica, Deutsche Telekom, Hutchison Whampoa, Telecom Italia and one American network, Cingular, are some of the companies that will come together for talks at the mobile industry’s biggest trade show in Barcelona next week. If anyone is going to be able to challenge Google’s dominance in search then companies such as these are surely the type of calibre needed. A joint approach is required in order to have the pull that advertisers will want to see, and any new search (even for mobile) is of course going to have to have an advertising component.
It will be interesting to see how Google responds to this. Faced with losing search in the mobile sector they surely must do everything they can to remain as dominant in mobile as they are on PC’s. If they lost the battle for mobile search how would that affect search on the web as a whole? With mobile technology becoming increasingly important it’s possible that the winner on the small screen may be able to translate at least a modicum of that success onto the larger screens… and what would that mean for Google??
December 17, 2006
News today in the Guardian that execs from Orange (the mobile company) have visited the Googleplex to discuss the possibility of a tie-up between the two companies to offer a Google based mobile phone. The idea apparently is to bring the full internet to people’s mobile phones using Google software and services as a starting point.
A collaboration of two such well recognised brands could be just what the mobile web needs to really penetrate into people’s lives.
The ‘Google Phone’ would apparently be created by HTC, a Taiwanese manufacturer of smart phones and PDA’s. It would use Google software such as the ongoing work on technology to compress data to manageable sizes for download to portable devices. Of course I’d also expect to see an integration of Google’s Adwords thrown in to the search for good measure.
As long as this effort is an open platform and not the usual walled (or semi-walled) garden approach of mobile operators to date it would be a huge leap forwards for the mobile web. Google’s been on board for a long while offering search to operators portals etc but to have them developing applications to make the mobile web more accessible and usable can only be a good thing!