Category Archives: Mobile Development

Tech Strategy – Change the Game Part 2

The large storage future smart phones?

 

What would some use cases be for a smart phone with lots of storage space? The first market that comes to mind is the developing markets where cell data is expensive and slow for most people. The second is just comes from enabling better customer experiences through a faster user interface. The third is in gaming and video streaming.

 

Think of an app like Yelp, if yelp could store it’s top N restaurants in the current city for the user, then they could zip through the interface in their search for a bite to eat instead of waiting on a network call every time they wanted to see the next 10 restaurants or wanted to switch category filters.

Or Amazon prime instant video, enabling people to download HD content at home and watch it on the road without burning their battery life and data plan.

Or maps that don’t have to reload tiles each time, and could cache the users common routes on phone so the user gets their directions faster and with fewer privacy concerns.

A business user could take their entire email history with them and be able to search through it while on a plane.

The downside is that phones are lost/stolen often and that could create more of an information security hazard, but I’d wager that if people are willing to turn their phones into credit cards, car keys and garage door openers then they shouldn’t be afraid of a thief seeing which Amazon movies they have downloaded.

Higher storage devices would enable streaming like services that don’t always need an internet connection. The app could download a wide selection of music onto the device overnight and provide a similar playback experience to what there is today. Or if piracy is a concern the app could just store 80% of the sound range and stream 20%.

The bottom line is that larger storage capacity is cheap, and could enable longer battery life and better use experience in the hands of a clever development team.

Tech Strategy – Change the Game

I’ve long been a sideline strategist watching the tech titans battle for supremacy, reading articles, taking classes and spending my commutes thinking about the way the tech-tonic plates (puns!) of the market are shifting under our feet.  Which doesn’t make me an expert, but it does lead to some wild ideas that an insider may not consider.

Which is a long winded way of saying, I have another idea for Microsoft.  You may ask, why are all your ideas about Microsoft?  Short answer: their core business is slowly eroding so they need to adapt.  On with the crazy idea, it’s time for Microsoft to change the game when it comes to customers mobile expectations.  Right now customers are used to technologically crippled devices, at least compared to their laptops. And the consumers adapting to these limitations directly erodes the value of the Windows OS value proposition, if you have to rely more on outside services and less on your device then your device matters less.

One way to change expectations is in regards to storage.  This is a three pronged attack against the current duopoly.  First, by pushing devices to market with large storage capacities at lower prices ( 256 gb for example) you grab headlines, look technologically advanced and hopefully shift customer expectations. This impacts your bottom line, but will erode your competitors margins significantly, and since they own a larger share of the market they lose more than you do.

Second, it changes the way a developer approaches building apps.  If it’s now possible to cache the 100 most popular pictures/movies on their device, then they can offer a better user experience via faster loads/transitions for big media files.  You’re letting your partners be creative and offer better product than other platforms.  This helps get your developer mind share back.

Third, and this ties into the last point about developers being able to create new and differentiated experiences on Windows.  You make the device a stronger platform which ties into Windows strength of providing a rich on device experience without the need for connectivity.

Fourth, for developing countries where mobile internet is still expensive, this enables your platform to serve them better by letting them utilize WiFi to load up on content instead of spending big money on connectivity.

Technology has advanced rapidly in the storage and battery arenas.  You can now buy 128GB SD card for less than $100, but Apple still charges $100 extra for half that.  It’s time to chop their margins and change the game.

Adventures in Mobile Development

With my computer science degree almost completed, I’m starting a journey into Mobile development.  I’ve dabbled in Mobile Development a bit in the past but found documentation and tutorials not up to snuff for someone who was lacking technical skills.

So with my revamped skill set and a much deeper understanding of how computers work, I’m going to start simple and make a To-Do List application.  I’ll be chronicling my work here.

I’ll start with Android development, move into iOS and eventually Winows Phone.