Thoughts on development, design and the world we live in.

ReadWriteWeb Mobile Summit

By sarah in Uncategorized. Posted on May 9th

I was excited to participate in the ReadWriteWeb Mobile Summit last Friday. Elesterama has a nice write-up of the keynote, which was followed by an unconference led by the fabulous Kaliha Hamlin. The unconference format puts the hallway track front and center, allowing for lots of interaction and great conversations. The hot topics of the day were geolocation and the “internet of things.” I attended sessions on mobile video, cross platform application design and development, mobile analytics, identity and privacy — all very engaging and relevant.

Memorable quotes from the day:

“the user experience doesn’t begin when the user starts clicking, it starts much earlier than that… in their minds when they think about using the app” — Nick Bicanic, Echo Echo

Q: Do you do have formal partnerships with the news organizations?
A: They are more like conversations.
— Jim Spencer, Newsy

Cross-Platform Roundup

With a specific interest in cross-platform applications, I attended a compelling session led by TJ Thinakaran of CallFire. It seems everyone creates an iPhone app first — the market is there and it makes for a high-fidelity demo, but what next? BlackBerry still has more marketshare than Android, but many (most?) are business users whose phones are locked down and prevented from downloading apps. I wonder if there are stats on business v. consumer BlackBerry. We also talked about Symbian’s strong international presence, but many of us noted that Symbian isn’t a single platform like iPhone, BB, and Android. The wide variety of Symbian phones fragments the market. Also, someone remarked that for phones that are not iPhone, BB and Android, 95% do not have data plans. At this session and throughout the day, I collected stories of cross-platform development and design:

Micello Maps runs on iPhone and Android with near identical interfaces. Prakash Narayan told the story of implementing first using PhoneGap, but finding that the UI was not responsive. He had more success implementing the applications natively on each platform.

WorldMate, a travel applications, runs on iPhone, BlackBerry, Android, Nokia and Samsung s60, and WinMo. These folks pride themselves on having the best consumer experience and have been at it for a while, so all of their apps are native.

Yapper (Your APP makER) demonstrated their web-based tool for creating RSS-readers for iPhone/iPad and Android.

Echo Echo is a cross-platform library for finding where friends are located (5 platforms: iPhone, Android, BlackBerry, Nokia S60, and WinMo). Nick explained how the design of user interface elements varies cross-platform. The UI implements platform conventions, yet also borrows good ideas from other platforms. The new BlackBerry version (full screenshots here) borrows a badge notification from iPhone UI as well as implementing the standard BlackBerry notifiers. On Android (see full screen shots), the menu bar notifier comes with a slide open list of notifications, as is standard on Android.

I enjoyed the series of demos after lunch, called “speed geeking,” where 12 tables were set up with demos and we switched every 5 minutes. I liked Cinch, an iPhone app and micro podcasting service and MogoTix, a very cool mobile ticketing service that uses QR codes for your ticket and delivers both ticket and ticket scanner on mobile phones. At the end of the day, I was delighted to meet Richard McManus who I’ve long followed as @rww on twitter, and also his colleague Marshall Kirkpatrick (@marshallk).

By sarah | Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged | Comments (3)


  1. Marshall
    Posted May 9, 2010 at 11:42 pm | Permalink

    So glad you enjoyed the event! I will be in touch next week to follow up on our conversation.

  2. Posted May 10, 2010 at 2:41 am | Permalink

    Hey Sarah - thanks for the shoutout and the quote ;)

    enjoyed chatting to you - happy to discuss cross platform design/implementation (and how we approached it) in more detail whenever you like…

    oh and thanks a lot for deciding my contribution was worthy of a winebottle at the end of the day…cool

  3. Posted May 19, 2010 at 12:34 am | Permalink

    Thanks for the great write-up Sarah, and it was wonderful to meet you too!

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