Monday, November 06, 2006

Enriching your MObile ONline experience

Google's focus on mobile oriented products should be no news to you. I enjoy the Google apps everyday, and these are the applications I use (or I want to use):

  • Google maps Java Mobile Application is a really useful geo-referenced search engine, which helped me in discovering best paths and pizzerias in unknown places during my last trips by car.

  • Gmail, initially accessible via XHTML is now available as Java Mobile Application (Om Malik reviewed the product in detail): I agree with him, it's really fast and usable, except for some "glitches" which -I am sure- will be fixed shortly

  • Google Reader works perfectly on mobile, and every pure time wasting activity (like waiting in the never ending queue at the post office) is converted in "good time" by reading the feeds

  • YouTube, recently acquired by Google, is rolling out an application for Mobile users: I'm waiting for it!

What I am curious about is this: do the Googleplex inhabitants have a plan about mobile application deployment? I am seeing that some applications are deployed via web (Wap and XHTML), others are both accessible via J2ME and Web, but I have no clue on how Google is going to move in the MOBile ONline Sphere.
As Ken Camp suggests in answering the big question "How big is the internet", the Internet fits in a pocket. The access device takes the form of a smartphone or a wireless pda: this Vision is a winning one, in my opinion, but I am quite concerned about the standardization and the accessibility issues that we are going to face: is Java really the best platform in terms of user experience, or a xhtml paradigm fits better in the space of UI effectiveness and deployment issues?
Will Flash be a true competitor in the world of mobile apps? And, more into the access device topic: is the smartphone the next "killer application" host? What will be the interoperability issues?
Google could be the early adopter that marks the pace on this field, as it has already done in others.

Another interesting clue could be the fact that Nokia is beefing up its innovation and creativity department by building a camp in Palo Alto. Perhaps they are scouting for interesting startups on mobile and wireless applications, just confirming that the business2.0 is there, and it is on mobile.

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