Posts tagged "mobile"

Mobile App Revenue to Hit US$18.9 billion by 2014

Number crunchers Juniper and other research firms estimate big numbers as Internet use switches from the desktop to the smartphone.

Mobile Commerce is the Place to Be

It would appear logical that a lot of desktop activity is switching to the mobile space as smartphones become evermore capable. So the estimates by Juniper that demand for mobile access to Web 2.0 applications and services will hit US$ 18.9 billion in 2014 sound pretty reasonable. That figure was followed by a US$ 17 billion estimate from Getjar on the value of mobile apps in just 2012.

With workers and consumers both heading mobile, Juniper reckons that presence and location features and mobile Voice-over-IP (VoIP), will be the primary market driver. In fact, a second piece of Juniper research, published today, reckons that the presence segment will be worth US$ 6 billion alone, covering geolocation and social web services.

On the consumer side, app stores and social gaming-gone-mobile will eat up staggering amounts of cash. Such is the drive towards mobile, that a third report, from Canalys, reckons that some 65 million smartphones will be sold in the U.S. this year. This will bring the smartphone from vocal, but significant, minority to a market leader over the majority of feature phones currently in use.

Who Will Be In the Money?

With all these statistics flying around, the big question is, who will be raking in most of this revenue? On the hardware side, clearly BlackBerry from RIM and Apple's iPhone, but the reports expect Android to start claiming some of the share. On the software side, those making a major presence in the major app stores will gain.

Joomla Admin Mobile and Squarespace have an early start in the mobile CMS space (on Apple's store at any rate), but there is room for a lot more action and major players will be revving up their services in the near future. Certainly it will take some creativity and effort to produce a slick method of managing sites from a 4" screen.

Trouble in Store

Among all the hype and big numbers, it is important to consider the downside. As users and enterprises are finding that 99.9% uptime for a funky cloud service isn't the same as 100% uptime, they will find themselves struggling to connect and having to revert to old-fashioned laptops and networks, as backup plans for areas where service is patchy, or signal quality is poor.

Perhaps the major drive to mobile services won't start for a few years when LTE and other 4G mobile networks are up and running. This does give larger enterprises and developers the time to come up with the right solution. At the same time this will allow smaller, agile, developers to make their mark. All developments we will follow with interest.

 

 

Document Management Roll-up: Autonomy Releases New CRM Tool, HyperOffice Gets Mobile

There was a lot about managing data in the retail sector this week with the launch of a new customer relationship management tool from Autonomy and a survey that shows the public is ready to go paperless . Also, HyperOffice makes data mobile with HyperSynch beta.

Automony’s New CRM Tool

Gartner’s (site) UK Customer Relationships Management (CRM) conference has only just opened, and Autonomy (site) is trying to hog the limelight with the release of its new customer analytics tool Autonomy Explore.

Autonomy Explore takes all the points of contact between a company and a customer, analyzes them and produces a customer profile that enables businesses understand not only where their customers are coming from, but also they are likely to go.

So it’s just another CRM system you say? Well, yes it is, but one that analyzes not just emails, blogs, document, social media, and any other point of contact with the customer, it’s also one that throws all the information together for a clearer picture of customers.

The difference with many other CRMs is that this can take information from all channels together, not just one channel at a time, and give a much broader picture of what’s happening than would normally be possible.

HyperOffice Takes HyperSynch To Beta

You may remember last week that HyperOffice (site) took its collaboration suite out of beta and made it generally available. Well, this week it began beta testing of HyperSynch, a software package that taps into corporate networks, takes the data and updates mobile workers smart phones.

With support for over 1700 phones, it doesn’t look like HyperOffice is taking any chances on companies not being able to find a suitable mobile device to use it on, with the HyperSynch software bringing mobiles users updated email, contacts, calendars, projects, tasks and notes to whatever mobile they happen to use.

And that’s the real joy of it — companies with even the beta release of HyperSynch won’t have to decide on whether to invest in Blackberry Enterprise Server or Microsoft Exchange Server or MobileMe based on the mobile device their employees are using, as HyperSynch works with them all.

In effect, what it is doing is putting HyperOffice collaboration suite on the road and comes with bi-directional syncing between mobile device and desktop with data uploaded to any desired location, and data downloadable for any location too.

Currently, a subscription to HyperOffice collaboration suite with business-class hosted email services costs about US$ 10 per month per user. Now HyperSynch will be included too for free.

On-Premise, Cloud, or Hybrid?

If you are interested in finding out how you should be using technologies and what technologies you should be using, you might want to check out the recently release paper from HP (site)  entitled A Hybrid Approach to Enterprise Technology.

While it’s not a very long paper, it does have some interesting points that are worth taking on board when it comes to deciding what kind of document management processes you are going to implement and whether you are going to deploy document management software or not.

The principal conflict at the moment, the paper says, is that companies are now faced with a situation where many of the document management processes are now available in the cloud and companies need to decide whether to trust the cloud or not.

Pricing aside, the cloud is an attractive option as deployment. It is easy with a whole range of possibilities through many different vendors, different use and deployment options.

However, the key question for many companies is security and whether their data is going to safe in the cloud. The paper doesn’t deal with that and no one can really definitely say for certain, but it does discuss a third alternative apart from on-premise and cloud — a hybrid of the two.

Properly deployed, this option offers the price benefits on some levels of the cloud, with security issues covered by on-premise solutions. If you’re at the crossroads, it’s well worth a read.

Public Goes For Paperless Office

We hear all the time about companies that are embracing the paperless office with document management systems and turning to electronic documents to stamp out the scourge of paper. However, there has been little research as to how the general public will respond to electronic documents issued by companies in the form of invoices, insurance policies, mortgage statements and so on.

Research by NewRiver — a financial services customer data systems provider — seems to suggest that the public is just as interested  as the corporate world is in getting rid of paper.

The research looked principally at insurance documents, but many of the insurance documents surveyed had legal and compliance issues around them, so it’s probably safe to assume that many other documents could be sent electronically too.

The research showed that there is a strong demand from variable annuity (VA) and variable universal life (VUL) policy holders to receive prospectus and compliance documents electronically.

More than half of the respondents who were not offered electronic delivery of documents from their VA/VUL company said they would be interested in electronic delivery if it were available. In fact, only one in four (26%) could ever recall being notified about the option.

For those that did not want electronic documents, nearly three out of five (59%) said it was due to the difficulty in reading compliance documents online. The findings are available for download, but you will have to register first.

Is Microsoft's New Windows Phone 7 Smartphone Competition for iPhone?

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The mobile space is always ready for a good dust-up, will Microsoft's (site) Windows Phone 7 be the one to shake the Apple tree?

One Ringtone to Rule them All?

Technology empires regularly come and go. When was the last time you heard the phrase "IBM PC", "Hayes Modem" or  "Sega Console"?.

In the mobile space, things seem to happen even quicker. PDAs — now smartphones — were long considered executive tinker toys. It is only in the last few years with BlackBerry, and then Apple's entry into the market (approaching a dominant 70% of the smartphone market between them) that cemented the idea of doing business on the phone.

Windows Phone 7 goes straight for the consumer with its bold, block-panel display, slick all-in-one interface and use of large font sizes. It all looks a million miles away from those HP iPAQ's that were de-riguer but much-despised before the rise of the BlackBerry.

The hype around the announcement is rather reminiscent of Windows 7 blowing PC users away after the botched launch of Windows Vista. It's a big improvement on Microsoft's existing product, therefore generates much noise, but still has to appeal to the wider phone market and picky real-world users. Even Microsoft staff seem loathe to drop their iPhones, to the annoyance of the head honchos.

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Microsoft has come a long way in interface design, but is it enough?

But can Microsoft and its many hardware partners (including; LG, Samsung, Garmin, Sony Ericsson, Dell HP and HTC) really storm the iPhone's market share in any meaningful manner?

A Brave New Rebirth

Apple, while hardly being innovative on the ideas front, has redefined the idea of apps and touch screens firmly in the consumer conscience and created a controlled environment to change the market.

Which brings us to the late market re-entrant that is Microsoft. Ever since the early PDAs and smartphones, Microsoft OS-based mobile devices have been clunky and boring to say the least. So, a total refresh was obviously needed. Something it took a brave decision to do, even as Windows 6.5 for smartphones was also in development. 

What the Experts Say

Mark Hattersley, Editor-in-Chief of Macworld UK, took some time to point out what he thinks are the pros and cons of the Microsoft's new play in the market.

The greatest strength is, of course, that it's Windows. Despite everything, that's still an operating system that many people are familiar with and integration with the desktop edition is always a strength Microsoft will have — especially integration with Office.

Beyond that key features such as tethering (available as standard on Windows Mobile phones) is something you have to pay for on an iPhone. Plus, of course, the OS supports a range of handsets giving consumers choice for things like keyboards, larger screens, haptic screens, and so on."

Too Little, Too Late?

Hattersley also points out the cons:

Weakness is simply timing, above all. Microsoft has been extremely slow to react to the iPhone, and Android, and it's hard to genuinely see a standout feature that Windows 7 Mobile has over the iPhone. The runaway success of Apple's App Store means that many iPhone owners have invested not just in hardware, but software, and it will be hard to convince them to lose all that for a phone that doesn't offer something substantial."

How does he think it will do in the overall marketplace? 

I think it'll struggle to take on Android, let alone the iPhone. Certainly for the next year or so. But Microsoft plays a long game and the mobile market is still incredibly new. I have no idea on numbers - shall we say"

Slightly more optimistic, Ben Harvell, editor of iCreate magazine, reckons

It seems the UI has more of a social bent than the iPhone which is a bonus for today's web-focused, social networking obsessed market. I also like the fact that (according to MS) all of the contacts I need and the information I'm after is available quickly and from the interface, not within individual apps. I would even go so far as to say I like the design! XBox Live integration will be a major deciding factor for a massive user base of gamers."

Under Pressure

The pressure is on Microsoft to get this right the first time. Apple got a lot of flack for issues with its early iPhones that have taken many updates and the recent 3GS model to put right. Apple still hasn't mastered multitasking, although that should be sorted by summer, and refuses to let Flash run.

Microsoft will not have the luxury of time (Zune, anyone?) on its side to get issues right. The phones, user interface, app store, the number of apps and marketing, all need to be 100% present and correct on launch day. 

Inter-Face-Off

On the plus side:

Range: Compared to Apple's single choice (barring memory sizes) of three different phone-types lets the buyer pick the phone of their choice:

  • Large touchscreen (iPhone)
  • Keyboard at the bottom model (Palm Treo-style)
  • Candybar or (possibly) slide-out keyboard (To be confirmed)

Office: Compatibility with SharePoint and Microsoft Office means instant access to most of the world's businesses.

Games: Linking into the Xbox Live brand could tempt gamers and the power of the SnapDragon CPU and portability of DirectX means a big gaming cross-over. Something that could produce better PSP-style gaming rather than the iPhone staples of cutesy time wasters.

On the minus side:

Brand: The name, "Windows Phone 7 Series" is already a confusing, jumbled, marketing loser. Hopefully, something snappier will be available by release — or phone makers will use their own branding — but that too will dilute the idea of a unified ecosystem which is where Apple has made its mark.

Late, late, late: Microsoft is so far behind the curve, to be almost off the chart.

Fortune Favors the Brave

Perhaps the biggest advantage Microsoft has is that a large core of phone users are gadget buyers who want the latest, coolest toys. It's this vocal minority of people who brought Apple into the market and they could do the same for Microsoft — if the product hits the right notes.

Time will tell if these people are Apple-followers in the Mac sense, or just a passing crowd willing to leave their iPhones behind.

Check it out for yourself:

 
Google Exec Says Desktops Irrelevant in Three Years Time

"Go mobile young man" is the cry as a top Googler (site) echoes his bosses sentiment on the smartphone being the way forward.

Search on the Move

The Digital Landscapes conference is an Irish event where emerging technologies are promoted to business and some blue-sky thinking gets writ large by the IT industry's bigwigs. At this year's event were directors from HP, Cisco, Facebook and John Herlihy, Vice President of Global Ad Operations for Google.

He made several interesting comments about mobile services and search during his speech, including the smartphone one grabbing all the headlines, "the desktop is doomed".

Ignoring the fact that most knowledge workers will still be sat at some sort of computer in five, even ten years time — you try writing multi-page documents or wrangling a spreadsheet on anything other than a keyboard and big screen — he made some potentially valid points.

Japan Leads the Way

Herlihy pointed out that more research is now done on phones than on computers in Japan. This may be true, and the eastern nation has indeed whole-heartedly grabbed the smartphone. However, cultural differences see the Japanese working insane hours with grim dedication to their company, on heroic commutes with vastly superior network services. Will westerners really follow that same pattern?

One thing he was spot on about is the need for fast and accurate results. With a mobile there's limited alt-tabbing to something else while you wait for an answer — or the room to display dozens of results. 

So Google's future aims are to sharpen up results to get the information people need first, because if they don't he is convinced that other companies will — and steal Google's market share.

You can find more detail, including video on the Digital Landscapes event from Ireland's own Silicon Republic site.

SiteExecutive Web CMS Updated with Support for Google Android

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SiteExecutive (site) packs in the foot-soldier friendly features with a new update to make things more accessible from the road.

Support for Google Android

Less than three months after its last Enhancement release, Systems Alliance, the company behind SiteExecutive, a Web-based CMS popular among health and education services, has released Enhancement Pack 7 to users. The latest update adds support for Android-based mobile devices.

The product will identify any Android device and provide an optimized experience for it. In the background, SiteExecutive can help manage content that can be custom imported, get templates created as well as assist with usability and accessibility testing.

With Android phones currently shipping tens of thousands of units a day, it is starting to generate momentum in a crowded marketplace. By adding support, SiteExecutive will endear buyers and users who are focused on Android as an up and coming platform.

User Requests include SharePoint, Java Portlet Standards

SiteExecutive is regarded as a user-driven product and, as such, many user requests get built-in to the product. This pack's biggie is support for the latest version of ColdFusion 9 from Adobe. Also among the latest with this update is support for Firefox 3.6, performance improvements and tweaked automatic site-map creation.

Improved SharePoint integration, Microsoft Office file support and built-in support for the Java portlet standards: JSR-168 and JSR-286 round out the list.

SiteExecutive is a web building tool as well as a CMS, with ease of use for non-technical staff as a priority. It is available as a hosted service or SaaS. Discounts are available for charities, not-for-profits, some schools and small colleges.

Mobile Strategy is Key: More Than 50% of Internet Shoppers Went Mobile in 2009

You're behind the curve if you haven't been working on a mobile strategy. Consider this: the mobile sector is a US$ 850 billion global market and will comprise 62% of the total telecom market in 2010 (IDC study, Worldwide Mobile Trends: Steady Subscriber Growth, the Proliferation of Applications, and the Mobile Internet ). Or this: more than one half of internet users worldwide used a mobile device for part of their shopping activities in December 2009 (Mobile Shopping Takes Hold Worldwide - eMarketer).

But before you circle the strategy and tech wagons, step back and think about how you really need to approach this channel. Need help? Read on.

The Wrong Way to a Mobile Strategy

Here's how you shouldn't approach a mobile strategy: You look around at what your competitors are doing and read about the current stats for mobile usage and you say "we need one of those [mobile strategy] too".

Wrong. Yes, mobile is just another channel, but you need an integrated view across all your channels. The problem is, most companies put the mobile channel in a silo because they really don't know much about it.

This is the experience of Greg Dowling, Semphonic's newest VP. He is leading the consulting firm's mobile strategy and measurement practice, so he knows a little bit about mobile strategy. Dowling (who by the way is holding a breakfast seminar series on this very topic February 23rd in Washington DC and February 25th in New York) told us that companies need to determine their mobile readiness and figure out if a mobile channel is suitable to their current offering.

He says companies "need to get SMART with mobile". What does that mean exactly? Follow along:

S is for Strategy

Every good plan starts with a strategy and the decision to add a mobile channel — or not — should be considered carefully. Unfortunately many organizations are still starting with the technical decision and not with the business requirements.

Do you know the technograhics of your consumers? Do you know user types, geographic distribution, what they are doing on your website? If you already have good measurement of your current website and visitors/customers, you are well on your way to creating your mobile strategy.

It's important to understand that some products and offerings don't lend themselves well to a mobile environment (one example is lead generation websites). Mobile is used the most by consumers in the media, commerce and social markets.

We see this clearly in a report from Motorola that surveyed retail shoppers usage of mobile during the Christmas holiday season: 

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eMarketer — Mobile Shopping Takes Hold Worldwide

and in a recent report by The Nielsen Company:

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Mobile Audience Mirrors Total Internet as Search, Email, Social Networking Drive Traffic

What are your objectives?

Why do you want a mobile channel? Are you trying to increase revenues? Decrease costs? Or do you want to increase brand awareness or cut calls to your call center.

What is your Level of Commitment?

To add a mobile channel you have to be 100% committed Dowling says. Testing the waters won't be good enough. He told us that in 2010 there isn't a ton of commitment by agencies and brands. According to Equation Research, the breakdown for 2010 plans for mobile marketing is as follows:

  • 10% have mobile as a line item
  • 60% are experimenting with mobile
  • 30% have no mobile plans at all

What's interesting though is that mobile is the fastest, largest and most readily adopted channel, says Dowling — 3-1 over Internet users. That means 70% of people have mobile devices compared to 20-26% that have the internet.

According to recent research from the IDC, the mobile sector is a US$ 850 billion global market with smartphones emerging as a key driver.

The mobile sector is in transition from its prior focus on subscriber growth. The expanding demographics of smartphones and new operating systems, the arrival of mobile broadband, and the explosive growth of applications and content are combining to reshape the landscape of mobile telecommunications," said Courtney Munroe, group vice president of Worldwide Telecommunications at IDC.

Can you define reasonable ROI?

Don't try to get overly specific and detailed when defining ROI. Dowling says a rough order of magnitude will work. You just need to know if it's worth your time.

M is for Measure

Determining what you need to measure once you have your mobile website or mobile application up and running should be an obvious next step. You need to clearly define your KPIs and they should be aligned with your business objectives.

You need to think about measurement enablement options. How do you measure?

The reality is that mobile is hard to measure. Dowling says there are so many nuances to the space, that measurement can be challenging. There are three primary areas to consider:

  1. Platform:
    Traditional website measurement is done with the help of javascript. But javascript is not present/not enabled in many mobile devices, so traditional tagging won't work. You could use cookies but device limitations can prevent cached data coming from your server to ever reach the user's mobile device.
  2. Carrier Limitations:
    Many carriers give mobile users a subscriber ID (usually a hash of their account number). This allows them to marry up the requests that get passed around and is the preferred method to capture unique information. Unfortunately some carriers strip the HTTP header or limit the size of the request.
  3. Mobile Applications:
    Mobile apps live on the mobile device, so you are essentially trying to track behavior that takes place on the application on the device; you want to understand how the application is being used. In this case, measurement becomes a component of development — you need to add your measurement tactics prior to developing the application. This means that more QA time is required — and more rigor — to insure you are measuring properly. Also user identification can be an issue. You can give each user a unique id to track them, but how do you tie that together with that users activity across your other channels?

What is likely to happen, is that you will have a hybrid measurement methodology. Omniture, WebTrends and Google Analytics are examples of web analytics vendors that offer multiple options for measuring mobile usage including leveraging server side scripting or device side tracking (with or without javascript). But there are also a number of niche mobile measurement vendors out there like Flurry and Localytics who offer an additional level of tracking that traditional vendors can't provide.

A is for Analysis

The analysis you need to do for mobile is not your traditional web analytics. You will do basic metrics like handset, manufacturer, browser, device, geography. But you will also have to do intelligent correlation across your other channels.

You need to understand how users come using other channels, like your website. What you are trying to understand is the entire user experience across all channels. It is important to find out how usage differs between other online channels: traditional web, mobile website, mobile application and then integrate this usage with what you know about usage in your offline channels: call centers, other internet marketing, etc..

R is for Reporting

So you have measured, and you have analyzed. Now you need to make that information available in obvious data visualizations and interactions. You also have to create the right reports with just the right amount of information for the right people.

Note that the higher up you go, the less detail they need to know. For example, most senior executives only need to know 3-5 key metrics.

And automate your reports, so you aren't spending a lot time pulling the information together.

T is for Tactics

Once you know what you need to know, start thinking about optimizing tactics. Generate actionable insights and ensure you are providing the right message to the right person at the right time.

Try to understand how offline conversions are affected by mobile, optimize the channel. And where you can, use your fixed website to drive people to the mobile channel.

Dowling also says to leverage experience design and always be testing.

Putting it all Together

According to research firm Gartner, mobile users will spend US$ 6.2 billion in mobile application stores this year, with expected advertising revenue of US$ 0.6 billion worldwide. Now that's only mobile applications. How many more of your customers will visit your website via their mobile device, expecting a good user experience.

The question still comes back to whether or not you need a mobile strategy. You need to understand your market and their needs and expectations. One you have established that mobile is indeed a channel you need to have and you are prepared to do what is required to develop it, then you are on your way.

Social Media Minute: Facebook Rockets to #2, Mobile is Hot With Socialites

Social media moves so fast, it's hard to keep up. Here are the week's top stories in scan-friendly format:

  • Facebook is now Number Two Site in the U.S.
  • PleaseRobMe Lets Burglars Know When You're not Home
  • Google Admits to Privacy Foul-up
  • Social Networking is Hotter on Mobile than Desktop Web

Facebook Now Number Two Site in the U.S.

The ever-popular social networking site Facebook has moved ahead of a web pioneer company to become the second most popular site in the US. According to compete.com, an Internet analytics company, Facebook is now generating more online traffic than Yahoo.

In January, Facebook was accessed by 133 million unique visitors in the United States, whereas Yahoo garnered 132 million visitors in the same time frame. As a blog post points out, Facebook is also doing very well in the user engagement arena as well. This means that when a Facebook user comes to the web site, they stay on the site for long periods of time, a figure advertisers look to for where to market their goods.

With Facebook crossing the mark of having 400 million users, there is no indication of this traffic growth letting up. With Google ahead of Facebook in terms of monthly traffic, we will all watch and see if Facebook surpasses the search giant in web site popularity amongst U.S. web surfers.

PleaseRobMe Points out When You're not Home

Location based sites (LBS) and games are very popular amongst smart phone owners right now. Services such as Foursquare, Loopt and Gowalla allow you to share your location (and play a game in Foursquare's case) with the public and your social network. If Twitter was voyeuristic, these new class of games take it to a whole new level.

One site, called PleaseRobMe.com aggregates all the updates that folks using these LBS sites and points out "all those empty homes out there." This is because if you're checked in at the Starbucks down the street, your house might be empty for burglars to potentially pay you a visit.

The site has garnered some privacy concerns, but is is pointed out that PleaseRobMe is merely aggregating publicly available information that anyone could find on Twitter. What about you, do you use location based games? Does this site and others alike give you pause the next time you 'check-in"?

Google Admits To Privacy Foul-up

Google launched their Facebook-like social application Buzz and was immediately flooded with privacy concerns from the public regarding the information it allows to see. With Buzz, personal email addresses could be harvested by merely viewing the messages going back and forth between users. Also, without any action by the user, your Gmail and Google Talk contacts were publicly revealed for everyone to see.

At the onset of Google Buzz's launch, many users online protested via Twitter, blogs and other outlets. Google made adjustments over the weekend and now users have more control on what content Buzz displays to the all Internet users. Why did Google let this happen? Buzz was initially used internally to Google, where all email address are available amongst co-workers. When Buzz was made public, they didn't envision the privacy issue until after the public outcry was all over the Internet.

The ironic part of Google's privacy failure is that recently, rival Facebook has received loads of criticism for their handling of similar privacy matters. Users online are very particular about the manner in which their private information is used on the Internet. Google will hopefully take the Buzz incident into mind when rolling out other social systems in the future.

Social Networking Is Hotter on Mobile Than Desktop Web

A study out of Ruder Finn, shows that Americans are using their mobile phone for a period of around three hours per day. That begs the question: what do people do on their phones for that long?

The mobile web is mainly being used to socialize with friends, family and colleagues. Finn's study show that 91% of mobile phone users are making connections with friends. This is compared to 79% who report using their computers for socializing.

These number point to a trend that has been covered here on Social Media Minute, cell phone users are highly social folks who utilize their mobile phone as a gateway for their friends. The mobile phone, therefore, can be seen as the ultimate onboarding device for social activities.

Recent figures show that smartphones now make up around 30% of sales volume in the mobile handset market. It is now 'cool' to have a smartphone and usage models are showing that more and more folks are using smartphones to access Facebook and other social networks. Advertisers and other stakeholders should be on notice: people of all ages are hopping online via their mobile devices: how are you going to reach this new market?

Google Buys reMail, Prepping to Boost Mobile Inboxes?

Google Buys reMail, Prepping to Boost Mobile Inboxes?

 

Apparently Google’s shopping bug wasn’t squashed when it acquired social search startup Aardvark last week. The company has gone and bought up another email-based startup called reMail, but this time the focus is on mobile capabilities.  

reMail

Like Aardvark, reMail’s original team was sprinkled with ex-Googlers. reMail Founder and CEO Gabor Cselle, once worked on the Gmail team, and backer Sanjeev Singh helped build Gmail as well as co-founded FriendFeed.

Just Launched in August, the tool is an alternative to the native iPhone mail client. reMail provides a nifty iPhone application that gives users full text-search abilities for all of their e-mal, as well as storage for an entire account on the device using advanced compression techniques (word is you can fit 100,000 messages into 500 megabytes).

Back to G

Cselle reports that he will be returning to Google in Mountain View as a Product Manager on the Gmail team.

“Gmail is where my obsession with email started as an engineering intern back in 2004, and I’m thrilled to be coming back to a place with so many familiar faces,” he said. “reMail’s goal was to re-imagine mobile email, and I’m proud we have built a product that so many users find useful. Still, I feel like we’ve only seen the beginning of what’s possible. Google is the best place in the world to improve the status quo on how people communicate and share information. If you have what it takes to make these changes happen, I encourage you to reach out and come join me.

Meanwhile, reMail will be discontinued and has already been removed it from the App Store.

Do you smell incorporation? We do. Google’s been making too many moves in the social email and search field not to have something up their sleeve. The incorporation of reMail into Google’s own mobile technology could lead to a load of happy Android/Nexus owners, and, let’s face it, in the wake of Buzz a few new fans wouldn’t hurt.

New Mobile Meta Search Service Uses Google, Bing as Sources

Why stick with one search engine, when you can get the best of both worlds? New service, Gune, takes this approach to mobile search.

Make Search Google With A Bing

Gune is a beta search service offering a meta-search service focused on mobile information, which works on the desktop but is now extending to the mobile space. It is available as a plain mobile web page or there are a series of web launchers for Noka, BlackBerry and Palm phones.

The results of your searches are combined from both Google and Bing, and it also has old-style Yahoo-like categories you can investigate including business, technology, shopping and so on. Each of these provides a list of mobile sites for services that may be useful such as Bloomberg, CNN and so on.


Find stuff easier on your mobile.

Results On The Go

With an initial thought that they were trying to combine Google with Zune, it actually transpires that Gune is Basque for "Site." A Brazilian-developed product from Handcase, there are a couple of language foibles in the text, but it works as advertised, splitting the results into two panes, with the top results from each service, optimized for a mobile screen.

For anyone with something less than an iPhone or Android who wants decent search, or just needs a set of links to hand quickly, Gune is practical and to the point, a welcome change to the increasingly bloated search sites and products.

Oracle Supports Mobile, Embedded Apps with new Database Lite

The Mobile World Congress in Spain has only just opened and already news is just busting to get out. Oracle (site), for example, has just announced the release of its upgraded Database Lite, a solution that enables the deployment, development and management of applications for mobile and embedded environments.

The focus in this release has been support for synchronizing SQLite Database and Oracle Database. There are two principal upgrades:

  • The ability to synchronize data bi-directionally between SQLite database and Oracle Database
  • Access to a database even in the absence of a network connection

On The Road

The bottom-line result is that users will be able to access data unconstrained by bandwidth or network coverage giving them a similar user experience to users who are connected to the database.

The upgrades to Database Lite take another step in releasing site-based workers from their desks and putting them on the road, while at the same time ensuring that they can access any information they need regardless of physical location.

 … Workers need to be able to efficiently access data without interruption or hassle despite their physical location …[with this release} workers can now access their enterprise Oracle Database, no matter where their jobs take them,” said Marie-Anne Neimat, vice president Software Development at Oracle.

Oracle Database Lite 10.3

Oracle Database Lite 10.3Lite now comes with synchronization support for SQLite databases, multi-device user sharing, file based synchronization and support for RAC databases.

It consists of:

  • Oracle Database Lite Client: A small SQL database
  • Oracle Database Lite Mobile Server: Periodic synchronization allowing use in irregularly connected environments

With support for a number of platforms including 2003/XP/Vista, Redhat Linux, and Windows Mobile 5 and 6, it enables access to data while on the road with periodic updates to the Oracle database without any user actions.

It also comes with lifecycle management tools and scalable data synchronization as well as the detection and resolution of conflicting data.

New abilities that Oracle is underling as benefits with this upgrade include:

  • Device management that enables synchronization between the Database Lite Mobile Server, Oracle Database Lite Client databases and an Oracle Database.
  • Synchronization between SQLite client databases and an Oracle Database.
  • Enhanced security using a Common Access Card that requires user authentication using smart cards.
  • Device registration for common use of individual devices by several users.

Built for enterprises with a large number of devices across and outside the enterprise, Oracle Database Lite’s Mobile Server synchronizes huge amounts of data to a company’s Oracle database, and enables user access to that information when required.

If you’re interested, you can download it from the Oracle site, or check it out if you want to know more.