Mobile trends and developments have been moving at very fast rate since the iPhone raised the bar, in terms of both the user experience and how the mobile device can be used in our busy everyday lives.
Back in the 90s, mobile development began with WAP sites consisting of a collection of “cards” making up a site. You were limited to wap images (*.wbmp) and very limited user client side interaction with the browser. See Wap Basics at W3C for more details.
Now, high profile sites that you can visit on browsers such as Symbian’s (Webkit-based) browser or iPhone’s Safari are based on current web standards used by desktop computers, and often written in XHTML (eXtensible Hyper Text Markup Language). However, we can now target for these handsets and for older phone models using the magic of CSS. The CSS file specifically targets mobile browsers, the CSS tells the browser how the layout and presentation is ordered.
For the third time since its release, the iPhone has had a massive price cut. Following the recent price drops in Germany, today saw O2 and Carphone Warehouse knock £100 off the price of an 8GB iPhone. Plus, if bought through cash-back merchant Quidco with an O2 contract, the price drops to just £69!
Why is Apple’s unsubsidised uberphone suddenly so cheap?
You, me and next door’s cat know that a lot of the hardware and software designs coming from world phone manufacturers and mobile developers have been directly inspired by the Apple iPhone. All of a sudden full-screen interfaces are back in fashion, with even Windows Mobile getting finger-friendly additions bolted on wherever possible. From HTC’s TouchFLO to third party utilities, the finger-lovin’ starts off as reasonably impressive and then disappoints fairly soon afterwards. And there are a whole crop of proprietary OS devices with iPhone pretensions, such as the LG Viewty, about as close to the iPhone as you can get while still being able to say ‘hey, don’t send the lawyers round here, guv, this is totally different’. (more…)
Round here, we’re a big fans of Booms! They’re often found in Steve Jobs’ keynote presentations, heralding new things that you never knew you needed before, but have to get right now.
This week’s Carnival at mobilejones also focusses on the Boom! – this time in mobile data and the always-on lifestyle. As well as once again featuring yours truly*, it’s a good read, and there are a couple of complementary posts about mobile data usage.
(1) Chetan Sharma looks at the numbers, showing mobile data is taking off in the US
(2) C. Enrique Ortiz looks at the confluence of factors as to why this is happening
Basically, the networks are getting there and the handsets are getting there. As awareness of the possibilities of the connected lifestyle rises, so does (data) usage.
*It’s getting a bit self-referential round here, so I’ll step up the frequency of posts.
In case you hadn’t noticed, this is a blog about the iPhone, and one of the striking aspects of this device is the web browser. It is one of the most usable of any mobile platform, and in its short existence has forced web developers to re-think how they develop for the mobile web.
In this vein, I’d like to introduce All About iPhone’s newest writer, Jim Callender. Jim’s an award-winning web developer who’s going to give us insight from the other side of the coin – the developers who are responding to demand for websites that work just as well when mobile. Browsers such as Safari on the iPhone are a key part of this trend.
Back in the day (ahem, 2003), I was amazed when I hooked up my Nokia N70 with an account at Mightyphone and was able to bi-directionally sync my contacts. Any changes made through their web interface appeared on the phone and vice-versa. This was my first smartphone, and it seemed like magic. Unfortunately (owing to Orange’s data charges) it was expensive magic, and consequently I had to drop the service because of cost. But in the following 5 years, data charges have dropped. Over-the-Air (OTA) synchronisation is now not only technically feasible but actually affordable.
Check out the Carnival at http://mobilestance.com/2008/03/31/carnival-of-the-mobilists-117-is-here/
I suppose I’d better hurry up and write some more
The iPhone is now not just your phone, iPod and web pad – it’s your PSP as well. The game demos at the SDK launch looked fantastic, and I think great things are in the offing for games on this platform. Time to dial up the hyperbole, but not quite to the level seen with Roughly Drafted’s take on iPhone gaming. Am I being blindly optimistic or is there something to back this up?
Well, for starters, consider the line-up of companies who’ve already said they’ll be developing games for the iPhone: Sega and EA both demo’d games at the SDK launch, and since then others have announced upcoming games, including Artificial Life, Aspyr, Feral Interactive, Freeverse, Gameloft, iD, Pangea, PopCap, THQ, and Namco Bandai. Plus I know one additional large games company that is likely to enter to the market, and whose entry would be huge.
But aside from great games houses developing quality games, I think iPhone gaming will be massive for a few simple reasons.
Sorry for the hiatus. The Smartphones Show 55 is out, available at http://www.smartphones-show.com, featuring me blathering on about the SDK release and what I think it means. Thanks to Steve for cutting it down from my rambling rant
I’ll be posting expanded thoughts about gaming on the iPhone later today.
For all the plaudits that Apple rightly got for the things they did well with their announcement of the iPhone SDK and their supremely well thought out AppStore ecosystem, there’s (at least) one major brickbat which needs aiming in Cupertino’s direction.
It seems that third party iPhone applications will be forced to exit when you press that ‘Home’ button to bring up the launcher – a big mistake that will limit (again) the iPhone’s potential as a true smartphone. As a longstanding smartphone user on other platforms (S60, Windows Mobile, etc.) (more…)