Posts Tagged ‘iOS’
Whether it’s “Mobile Web is Dead” or “Mobile Apps Will Soon be Dead“, the last two years have seen some sensationalist opinions by journalists on both sides of the web versus apps debate. And the argument erupted earlier this year after Mark Zuckerberg made a searing statement claiming HTML5 to be Facebook’s biggest mistake.
This past Tuesday evening the battle raged on, albeit in a less apocalyptic tone, as I had the pleasure of attending a good old fashioned mobile web vs apps debate hosted by Ben Galbraith and Dion Almaer from Walmart Labs (@WalmartLabs).
Sidenote: I’ve seen Ben and Dion (former key WebOS team members at Palm) present a couple different times over the years and they do a great job in making things interesting and bringing a lot of history into the discussion—Tuesday’s meetup was no different.
Fresh off the plane, coming back from Breaking Development conference (@bdconf) in Dallas, packed with 3 days of stimulating presentations and discussions with such Web thought leaders like Brad Frost (@brad_frost), Lyza Gardner (@lyzadanger) and Luke Wroblewski (@lukew) to name a few. Right off the bat, 2 points were clear to me. First, how far Web technologies have come in the past couple of years and second, how hard we still need to work to bring mobile Websites to 2012.
What do I mean by bringing mobile Websites to 2012 you ask?
CES has come and gone, Mobile World Congress is less than a month away, and following both we are primed for a new wave of next-gen smartphones and tablets to drool over. But with the onslaught of saliva-inducing nerd treats ahead comes an age old discussion and issue within the mobile industry… FRAGMENTATION.
(take a second for the mobile developers to shudder)
Fragmentation has been around forever–differentiating a product is a basic concept in any business strategy. Different manufacturers make things with different parts, and different products are going to work differently in hopes of creating one-of-a-kind value. In mobile, the issue is the same. You’ve got a multitude of manufacturers creating devices with different hardware for multiple OS’s that each support their own browsers (some supporting multiple browsers) and applications. Developing a consistently exceptional user experience, while taking each flavor into account sounds rough, doesn’t it? Well it is.
Welcome to the fourth installment of our 2011: A Mobile Year in Review Q&A style blog series that features the thoughts and insights of mobile industry luminaries, media executives and brand marketers.
In this post, we interview Ethan Alexander, VP of Mobile for LivePerson, Inc (@LivePerson) and leading industry figure for over 15 years. Ethan shares why it’s difficult to choose only one great mobile innovation this year, why LivePerson’s clients are so interested in advancing their mobile initiatives and why mobile chat is essential to the customer experience. Lastly, Ethan compares mobile growth to the early days of the internet and decides what he thinks 2012 will bring.
Ethan Alexander is the VP of Mobile for LivePerson, Inc., which provides online engagement solutions that facilitate real-time assistance and advice. The company’s hosted platform supports and manages real-time online interactions for businesses and independent experts. With its B2B services, chat, voice/click-to-call, email, self-service/knowledgebase and now mobile interactions are managed from a single agent desktop. Ethan spearheads the company’s efforts to extend real-time, intelligent interactions beyond the browser to anywhere with mobile service. Previous to LivePerson, Ethan was a part of the mobile leadership team at Salesforce.com where he helped develop their mobile platform and business strategy from the ground up after the 2006 purchase of Sendia, where he ran business development and partner efforts. Through the years, Ethan has worked closely with leading device manufacturers, various network operators and mobile integration and app development partners.
If you’re thinking of building a native mobile app and not sure which platform to tackle or what’s the effort involved in building a cross platform app, then you should probably read an excellent article by Wireless Week – Traversing the Labyrinthine Maze of the Mobile OS. You’ll get a very solid overview of the pros and cons of dealing with Apple iOS, Android OS, RIM and Windows Mobile 7. The bottom line is that with native apps, the effort can be quite expensive and complex, despite the numerous development tools that are out there.
What the article doesn’t mention is that creating for the mobile web can remove many of the pain points of native application development. And if you want to take advantage of the distribution that an app store offers, any mobile website can be easily packaged into a wrapper (also referred to as launcher or lite app) and submitted to an iPhone, Android or Blackberry app store. This will not only make the initial development of your web app simpler and significantly less costly, but will also enable you to more easily manage your site going forward to support various types of new devices, make UI changes and introduce new features.