Mobile Interestingness : week 19
US in the Mobile Stone Age
According to a study commisioned by Sybase 365 the United States ranks last in the use of simple mobile technologies such as text and instant messaging. Only 1 in 3 US respondents take advantage of these services, while 9 out of 10 do in China. The results were culled from a study of 4,100 mobile phone users across 16 countries, including the United States, China and Germany.
While this is certainly true, mobile technologies have allowed leapfrogging of technology in developing society. Since it is easier to deploy a mobile network than install a landline network so the use of mobile technology in these areas is higher on average. From a service point of view it works the same way, mobile banking which is causing sea change in many parts of the world doesn’t have the same impact here in the US as we have an easily available network of banks, ATMS and the support systems in place. And as for the rates of use of SMS by the mobile population at large, Howard Reingold has posited in Smart Mobs that in the US mobile technology has traditionally been positioned as a business tool for business people and voice was more important than text, and price was no object. In other parts of the world mobile tech was seen as a wider consumer product and services had more price consideration built in – making it cheaper to send a text than to make a call. Anyway…
Touch Target Sizes
With all the different screen sizes and pixel densities on the touch devices we find ourselves designing for today, we find the need to speak in the “physical” dimensions of the interface. So how big should touch interface elements be ? Touch targets should be roughly 7 to 9 millimeters and the visual object being touched shouldn’t be less than 60% of the touch target size. You just need to convert backwards from there to pixels per inch and factor for device independent pixels and resolution independence and … ? Fun.
Yo dawg, I herd you like to hear yourself talk. So we put your voice in the GPS so you can give yourself driving directions while you are listening to yourself give driving directions.
Nokia Ovi Maps is offering the ability to record your own voice, aptly named Own Voice, to be used in the turn by turn navigation on your Nokia smartphone. How will you compare to Darth Vader or Snoop Dogg at giving awesome directions?
How Teens Use Mobile Phones
Mostly for texting, but some other interesting insights here in this infographic
Location based Ads are a Goldmine
25% of US adults use location based services like google maps, foursquare etc. 50% of them click on these ads. Thats a crazy number and it is from The Mobile Marketing association but it illustrates that relevancy, in this case your location, has a huge impact for engagement. When I look at google maps and I see resturants listed, some of those are paid ads, but to me its just content. It blends in contextually and thats something that advertising usually has a hard time doing.
Microsoft Kin One and Kin Two Reviewed
Somewhere like a high-end feature phone but not quite a smartphone, no app store or apps for that matter. It does one thing – social networking oh, and takes pictures and video. The nicest feature isn’t on the phone itself but in the cloud, the Kin Studio, creates a online backup log of all the activity on your phone, uploaded in the background, and its presented in a Silverlight powered timeline interface. This phone would have been a hit a few years ago, which is when Microsoft bought Danger but it seems out of place in the current market, especially when you consider that on Verizon, you need a full on smartphone plan, like you would get for a Droid, incredible, or Nexus One. As the Engadget review notes. there are some good ideas in the phone but leaves one with a sense of want.
Restlessness in the House of Android
HTC and Motorola are big success stories as of late with Android hardware but both are making noise about their own OS. Motorola recently acquired Azingo Mobile, which is a Linux base mobile OS with a webkit browser, flash runtime and dev tools
Clear getting into the Mobile Hardware Game
Clear, a Schematic client, announced that they would be releasing 2 Clear branded 4G phones before years end. One would be a high end Android powered device the other was not specified. Manufacturers HTC and Samsung would be building the devices. Or maybe they will dump WiMax and go forward with LTE.
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