Whenever you hear an ace pitchman like Steve Jobs start a presentation promising something "magical," you know that he's probably about to overreach what he actually believes is true about the product. And then, within minutes he pronounces the "magic" of "having the whole Web site in the palm of your hands." Yeah, the dude is selling himself as much as he is selling us. That is not a bad thing, necessarily. I really don't think any of us knows right now whether a device like the iPad will fit within our everyday use cases. Until then, we just have …
Can't anyone in the mobile industry count? The frustration over getting reliable metrics from mobile media continues, although digital veterans shouldn't be surprised. We are a decade and a half into the life of the "most accountable medium," the Web, and just this week we see some of the major online measurement firms still tweaking their models and arguing over methodology
My mobile bookmarks runneth over. A little adventure in mobile Web browsing for my last column quickly turned into an obsession this week, as I started popping into the address bar every brand name I came across. It wasn't always pretty.
Why can't I pop most brand names into my mobile browser and get a decent interactive experience yet? To hell with all of the hype about brands and agencies finally getting serious about mobile. Yadda, yadda. Most of them seem to be leap-frogging the basics.
As news from Haiti comes first to many of us via our mobile devices, it calls attention to the feature and interface arms race that currently is going on in mobile news. In the app space especially we have providers like CNN, Guardian, and Time magazine making relatively late entries, but with very interesting ideas.
Conceptually, there is nothing new to Google's "Near me now" search function. It taps the geo-location available on the phone to pull in nearby listings. So does Yelp, Foursquare, and any number of user-generated local directories and augmented reality programs like Google's own Goggles and Layar. What it does do is simply shorten the usual mobile search process and also provide a more seamless set of results. It also elevates local search functionality on phones to that front-page search box. Google is trying to get us in the geo habit.
If my movie-Bible memory serves, it only took God two tablets to write his 10 commandments and mail them off via Charlton Heston. The e-reader market could use God as its editor. Exactly how many e-ink and tablet-like devices will it take to save the media industry, anyway?
Lo and behold, it turns out that I am becoming my own best focus group. According to Compete's latest survey of smart phone use in the retail setting, I am pretty much the ideal consumer. Compete polled almost 2,000 smart phone owners about a dozen types of retail-related interactions with their phones. Not only have I participated in ten of the 12, but I have done so in the past month as part of my holiday shopping -- so I'm ready with my analysis.