It seems the mobile web is beginning to come of age at last. Could it be down to the iPhone? The greater occurrence of phones with wireless built in? Better mobile web apps? Increasing addiction to the internet so you just have to get at it everywhere you are? Well, personally I think it’s down to our increasing need for data, connections with our networks and need to access email on the go. Definitely the iPhone has made a big difference but I believe it’s social networks which will really kick start the mobile phenomenon. Just look at Japan and the iMode surge a few years ago, the majority of apps used were related to social uses and email.

Anyway, ZDNet are reporting that Google have seen a 20% increase in mobile search usage.

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Microsoft would be nuts not to take Silverlight fully offline, and apparently although there’s no specific plans yet, it will happen.

Very good timing for such a statement seeing as it’s being reported that Nokia will use Silverlight in it’s S60/40 mobile phones.

It would be a damn shame though if mobiles ended up as another platform for software wars with Google on one side and Microsoft on the other.

See my earlier post on Google Gears going mobile…

Google have announced the launch of Google Gears for Mobile.

I’m a regular user of mobile web apps on my phone, especially when travelling by train, and there’s nothing worse than finding your signal dies and you lose connectivity at a crucial point. Well no longer; now developers can make their mobile apps Gears ready which will enable you to keep working until a connection returns.

I can already think of some great ideas for it; an offline blogger mobile interface which allowed you to write your blog posts offline, then connect to upload. Or maybe an offline mobile email app. And better still a mobile download of Google Calendars (or other online office apps) with both online and offline synchronisation capability!

It’s currently only available for Internet Explorer Mobile so you’re pretty much stuck unless you have a Windows smartphone, but expect it to go to other phone platforms pretty quickly.

This could be a great addition to Android, imagine a phone operating system which allows full on/offline synchronisation with all your favourite web apps available. That would be very cool!

More here from Google Code, including the video below.

Android appears in the wild

February 11, 2008

I blogged last week about the rumour of an Android phone appearing this week and lo and behold more than one have, in fact there’s been a veritable plethora of Android based phones on show at the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona.

The BBC have a report on it here, and Techcrunch have a video of an Android phone in use (see below).

It looks good so far but obviously these are all a work in progress so not that pretty and definitely not iPhone competitors as yet.

British chip maker ARM have announced that they will demo a Google Android based prototype phone at a show in Barcelona next week.

Sadly this isn’t to be the Gphone that rumours again surfaced about last week, however it is definitely going to be interesting as ARM aren’t a phone manufacturer, more an equipment and chips supplier.

Whether this is being worked on with Googles help remains unknown, I’m sure however that it is being demoed with their approval.

More GPhone rumours

January 31, 2008

The latest rumours have surfaced about the infamous Google GPhone. The latest (via Marketing Week) is that Google have teamed up with Dell and will be announcing the new phone next week at the 3GSM conference in Spain.

Great news if it does happen! It’ll give me a real option over an iPhone I hope, I’ve been looking and nothing comes close for functionality, but then the iPhone lacks 3G, has a rubbish camera and seems a bit too much form over function for a user like me. As the link above says, Dell are well overdue a proper move into mobile after their pretty awful attempt with PDA’s.

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.