What makes a great mobile experience

Discussing with some Content Service Providers, some told me that the traffic coming from their apps was now at roughly the same level as their website. And these CSP were just in the biggest in France. So the Internet market in transforming itself into an Internet App market. I don’t think HTML5 will change much the trend. It will help developers in app portability.

I’ve found this interesting chart on visual.ly on how to make a great mobile experience. Nothing rocket science, but a good to-do list for beginners.

Solving the 1 day battery life problem

Yesterday I forgot to fully charge my smartphone before leaving home and my battery went dead at the end of the day. I’m not a frenetic user but a heavy one using push email, some application, sat nav software, SMS and a few calls of course.

There are only a few ways to improve smartphone battery life.

Increase the energy density in batteries is one solution, but unless there is a disruptive technology coming it won’t be enough to provide 2 days of battery life. Currently the energy density store in a battery is improved by at maximum 5% year on year. At that pace, battery life will reach 2 days in around 15 years.

Improve the energy consumption of the device. Multi core processors consume less as when the power required by the applications is low some of the cores are put in an idle mode. >see previous post

Another approach is to charge the device on the go. Some nice products are available today from the Samsung Blue earth solar phone released in 2009 to the Umeox Apollo, the first solar Android smartphone.

Umeox Appolo Solar Smartphone

Umeox Appolo Solar Smartphone

> Specs of the product

The solar panel doesn’t replace a real charger but it will give your smartphone the little extra boost that will let you finish your day.

Another nice innovation is the What You See Is Photovoltaic Surface: a transparent film put on top of your screen that will charge your device when in the daylight.

> Wysips company website

I can’t wait to have these nice innovations and definitely drop my spare battery.

Some fun with Microsoft COO

Microsoft COO just announced today the launch date of Windows Phone 7. It will be October in Europe and November in the US.

> Engadget video

The slide below is pretty interesting. The first thing mentioned is the experience and the key services. Offering a good experience on Facebook and services like Zune Music, Xbox live and Office will make a difference and may save the platform.

I really enjoyed the title of the slide “Getting Back in The Game”, when you know the typical arrogant Microsoft VP.

Windows phone 7

Windows phone 7

What I enjoyed most in this video is the last sentence:

” It’s not like any phone you’ve ever seen from Microsoft. Ladies and Gentlemen I think that’s a good thing.”

I would reply:

You’re not alone mate.  🙂  And I hope you’re right, or you and Steve Ballmer will be looking for a job very soon.

How will mobile devices look like 15 years from now?

I was wondering with some friends and mobile experts what could be the future of the mobile phone. When you look back mobiles have changed during the last 15 years: evolving from a 12-keypad / 1 line display shoebox to a no key / 4” display fit for HD videos and data usage.

You can have a look at the device evolution from 1983 till today on this webdesigner depot page.

How will look a mobile (computer) device in 15 years from now?

One can extrapolate the form factor trend and imagine a device very thin which basically would be a screen with no key. If one goes a bit further, a foldable screen one could extract from a tube to display information.

foldable screen concept

foldable screen concept

One step further would be to eliminate the screen and project the data on glasses or on any surface in front of you. It is the vision of Pranav Mistry and it’s sixth sense project.

sixthsense

sixth sense

‘SixthSense’ is a wearable gestural interface that interacts with the physical world around us making information a part of it.

This is merely a concept, but as the UI used by Tom Cruise in Minority Report, Sixth Sense is showing the way for future mobile interfaces.

Improving the in-car PND experience

PND experience is quite clumsy: you need to fix the cradle arm on your windscreen, put the PND cradle on the arm, and then plug in the CLA.
So far the only alternative has been to buy a car with an embedded navigation system. But these systems are usually not as good as a PND, more expensive and available only on the most expensive cars.

Renault ad with TomTom

Renault ad with TomTom

TomTom is trying a new approach to sell its PND with Renault. TomTom PNDs are offered as an option on middle range Renault cars. What is really new is that  Renault has introduced a cradle in the dashboard. So it’s not a classical embedded solution but a way to improve the PND experience. The TomTom PND is still a device that is plugged in and out in the dashboard removing the hurdle of the cables and arms.

Renault Dashboard with TomTom

Renault Dashboard with TomTom

I find this approach very smart and very flexible. Your PND is still affordable, removable, from a famous brand and the UX is seamless within the car.

With the introduction of the universal charger for mobile phones, let’s hope car manufacturers are working on similar solution to improve the in-car mobile experience.