On this week’s episode of TWiG, http://twit.tv/twig37, Jeff Jarvis discussed an interesting concept. That mobile apps are anti-discovery. He talked about the fact that media companies make apps to have complete control over their content and by doing so they limit the options to access the content to this one portal. He compares these apps to “Silos,” contect in side and only coming out the other. He points out that this kind of content distribution will ultimately fail just like Encyclopedias on CD-ROMs failed.
The apps that I like provide either functional utility or that offers a user interface of an existiting web service. I mentioned RSS readers earlier and I currently use Byline to sync to my Google reader account. It provides a great UI with all the functionality I want from my RSS reader. But i can also check my feeds at google.com/reader when ever I want. I use Tweetie to check and post to my twitter. BeeJive for IM. Wikipanion for winning bets. The list goes on and on. But the one thing that all my apps have in common is that none of them are a solid pipe from the the content to my phone, the content is all accessible from anywhere. Why would I ever pay money to get information, on one propitiatory device, that is readily available everywhere. I’ll pay money to make it the experience easier and more functional on one device though.
Apple pulled the curtain on iPhone OS4 last week and I thought that I would weigh in on all the hullabaloo. Let me first state that I, shamefully, own an iPhone 3G. I say shamefully not because I dislike the phone, but because Apple has abandoned it, like last years prized poodle that has lost all control of it’s bowels. Sadly I wont be able to take advantage of all the cool features in the new OS including multitasking. But I guess I can’t expect LAST YEARS PHONE technology to be cutting edge anymore, right?
My phone can do amazing things, even if Steve says it can’t. This problem goes back a long long time, but i’ll stick to phones. The original iPhone still can’t legitimately do MMS. There has been a jailbreak patch for this problem, but its still not supported through Apple. It can email pictures, post pictures to facebook, flickr, myspace, picasa, but it can’t send it via a text message. Why? I dont know and I doubt it isn’t anything more than a reason to make you upgrade. My iPhone 3G will never be able to, because of hardware “limitations”, multitask or record video according to Apple. But guess what? It can and it does.
In the last month I have had the opportunity to tag along with my wife to 2 cities that I have never visited before. My ignorance of these two cities was compounded by the fact that, other than plane and hotel booking, I did ZERO research into entertainment, transportation, or food options. I arrived in the cities, the first by car and the second by plane with only my luggage, my lovely wife, and my trusty smartphone.