Just Do iNow or How To Save Apple

Yes, I agree with many comments that Apple should invent some revolutionary toys again, but they also have to provide some rather simple improvements to their current setup in parallel or even before.

This will bring back trust and I believe around 100 Billions in market capitalization.

I see the given order also as a priority indication:

  1. Improve iOS, just copy the best Android features (as Apple has already done in the past, why didn’t Apple do this in iOS6?) like Widgets, replaceable homescreens, better sharing etc.
  2. Even if Apple and I think 5 Inch phones don’t really make sense, the customers want these phones, so build these like you did with the iPad Mini before (Apple, you also didn’t believe the customers need 7inch tablets…) apple_save
  3. Buy Twitter and improve Maps, bring both together and integrate iMessage 
  4. Yes, also create a line of cheaper phones, when you’ve finished with 1 to 3, but these have to be new as well and probably should be sold with a new/different brand name, maybe something like a ‘APhone’ (simply copy successful models like the one of Volkswagen) 
  5. And, Apple, if your are bored, create cheaper iMacs and MacBooks, but only if you are really bored

How did Nike always explained to us in the past ‘Just do it’ or should I better say ‘Just Do i(t)Now’

Nexus 4 – The First 300 Billion Dollar Phone?

I’m an Apple Fan Boy, for decades, and an iOS developer as well.

Grenouille avec un téléphone portable

Everything at home has been designed in California and even my first PC (they didn’t call these machines PCs in these days) was an Apple II Plus.

Yes, I also develop with Java, Android and some other environments, for years, but if somebody has asked me in the past, what is the best phone (especially within in the last 2-4 years), I said, without any hesitation: ‘Of course, the iPhone!’

I was so fundamentally convinced by the superiority of the Apple products (software & hardware) that I also invested my money in Apple shares, very successfully, even when the stock price passed the 500$…and many people already commented: ‘What the hell..!’

And then the Nexus 4 appeared, quietly.

More or less with its appearance the Apple stock price started to tumble, slowly, and nobody really understood why, not in the beginning, not directly, but more and more people started to grasp, why the Apple phone magic might be over: The happy people who received the first wave of Nexus 4 phones were the first ones.

I’ve received my Nexus 4 probably a week ago. I often bought Android devices just to stay with Apple in the end. But this time it seems to be different, I’ve switched my daily phone and the platform… and I guess I will stay here at least until we will see a new iOS 7 and/or new iPhone.

apple

Why? This blog post explains it more or less very detailed or with one short statement:

It’s better in probably every area for half the price of an iPhone.

OK, but why is the Nexus 4 a 300 billion dollar phone? LG has to sell a billion phones to reach this number in terms of revenue.
No, it’s not meant in this direction.

The Nexus 4 phone could reduce the Apple’s current market capitalization by 300 billions back to 180 billions, the share price from 500 $ to something between 150 $ and 200 $.

Why? Because, if they want to compete with the market, or especially with the Nexus 4 and many coming cool and cheap Android phones Apple has to sell their iPhone(s) or coming iPhones for something in between 300$ and 400$, and this could maybe reduce their EPS from 45 to 25.

Many ‘coulds’ and ‘maybes’, I know, but the iPhone is Apple’s main revenue horse and the only Apple mainstream and mass market product today. If they loose their mass market product Apple will still be a cool company with cool products, but  for the niche again as Apple always was before the iPhone and Steve usually wanted to be.

But when and if this happens, Apple’s price tag has to be changed…maybe by 300 billions. Apple will then be the Porsche of the IT market again but with Porsche’s market cap and not with the Volkswagen market cap it has today.

And maybe everything started with the Nexus 4 – The first 300 Billion Dollar Phone…

nexus4-1

Why Google should kill Java for Android

From my perspective there is one main reason why Android, at the moment, can’t compete with iOS.

It’s not the hardware – meanwhile the hardware of mobiles like the Samsung Galaxy SII is somehow even better than the iPhone 4.

And it’s not the operation system – Android is based on Linux, a Unix comparable to the Unix of iOS.

The problem of Android is Java, the programming language of Android apps. And not because Java is a bad programming language. but because it’s has disadvantages over compiled languages like Objective C, C or C++.
You can’t feel this disadvantage on servers or powered desktops, where Java has its strength developing complex systems, but on small devices with limited batterie resources the difference between compiled and not and automatic memory management matters.

Java is easy to develop and easy to learn, the developer has the choice to integrate  a huge amount of third party libs, but when it comes to the runtime costs of Java, compiled languages have their advantages and these are directly related to the user experience.

Java needs a lot of energy and often stops the processor because of it’s automatic memory management. And this automatic memory management also and often leeds to improper application design, because the developer doesn’t have to care for memory management. Huge server systems or strong machines forgive these applications and their developers their mistakes (a/the reason why Java was invented), a mobile not really.

And due to the given physical boundaries I don’t really believe that this behaviour will change soon, even if you power 2 or 4 cores in your mobile.

So my advise for Google would be: Change the programming language, choose a native language for Linux, be as pure as possible.  I’m sure the Android developers will follow you.

And besides you can solve your patent problems with Oracle. Pay nothing.

The Google Nexus could be the best Smartphone ever, if…

…there wouldn’t be the issue with its connectivity.

I’ve tested the Nexus now for 12 hours and I never had a smartphone that was so fast, had such a brilliant display, a perfect usability and such a very flexible and modern operating system.
And I had or have them all: iPhone 3G, Magic, Dream, Droid, some Blackberrys and many Nokias.

But yesterday I also tested the connectivity of the Nexus in two large German cities and compared it to the Motorola Droid .
I drove with my car through the streets both handsets connected with the same provider.

And the result was: The Droid often offered HSDPA or 3G while the Nexus was only connected via 3G or EDGE.

Most of the time the Droid operated on one connectivity level better than the Nexus, and I’ve installed the given 3G Nexus Android patch before.

Due to the fact we are talking about smartphones whose nature is being permanently connected to the internet these results are, in my eyes, very important.

But I don’t believe (as the link above documents as well) this issue is related to Android or Google. It’s a hardware issue and thus a problem of HTC (the reason why the Nexus 2 might become Motorola device, who knows?)

If Apple had built Buzz

… I guess we would have seen brilliant working, stable, fully integrated and tested clients in every Apple layer.

Google has surprised us with a brilliant idea, but with a bit confusing, instable and heterogeneous clients (especially for the mobile), but Buzz is free for all and available for almost every operation system and mobile.

Google created Android, but in many cases I have the impression Google is still missing the feeling for the mobile business, many things they do in this space (App Store, Nexus, Wave and now Buzz) is, in the beginning, a kind of immature and sluggish business and  technology.

That’s the difference between Apple and Google, I love both companies, and it’s good to see both alive and kicking here on earth. They are so different, but both very successful in how they do things and thus important for our further development.

The difference between 12 months iPhone and 12 months Android

It’s just that easy:

Read this related blog post and you know what I mean.

One year back we started with the HTC Android G1, and to be honest, it’s a good phone, but not comparable to the iPhone.
Now, 12 months later, have a look at the Top Five Android phones, and if you own the G1, the Apple iPhone, the Motorola Droid and the HTC Google Nexus, as I do, you will follow my thoughts.

And what has happened the same time in the iPhone space, the last 12 months? Almost nothing!

That’s the difference when things are free and lot of creative people can play around with them…

Is that the Google App Store we’ve waited for so long?

Mashable today reports about a coming Google App Store. Is that the app store, we have waited for so long? The post relates to Google Apps and says nothing about Android or the technology which will be used for deployment and development.

Google needs an app store on the client. Not only because Apple has one like iTunes or because it’s sexy today to have one.

Google needs its app store on the client to round up the Android eco system:
The user needs an adequate opportunity to manage its Android handset on his preferred client – to download (buy) apps, music, videos and to synchronize those artefacts whenever he wants to.

Google needs the app store the establish their e-commerce platform on the user’s client machine.

From my point of view neither Google’s mobile e-commerce nor Android will and can survive without something comparable to iTunes.

Why are they waiting?

When the Apple iPad will fail

I own two MacBooks and an iMac7. I’m buying Apple since 1978, so I’m indeed no one trying to bash Apple.

But besides the fact that the tablet architecture in general isn’t a suitable model for me and my use cases, because if I have the space for a tablet, I prefer my MacBook Air, the iPad seems to be, at this stage, too close for me.

It adapts the closed iPhone app store business model, which is acceptable for me on a smartphone, but if I have something in size like the iPad, I want the freedom of a laptop – I’m used to since years.

If I can only run and install apps, that will come thru the app store powered by only one carrier then I definetly prefer my laptop, where I can choose how to power and how to install apps.

It’s that easy…

Is your Software Architecture social?

Is your Software Architecure social?

If you reply with YES to the 1o questions below it is:

  1. Do you provide almost any important function of your software as open API based on popular web protocols (REST, SOAP, JSON etc.)?
  2. Do you provide an ‘ajaxed’ web client for your software for the most popular browsers?
  3. Do you provide a mobile app client for the most popular smart phone platforms/stores (iPhoneOS, Android, Nokia…)?
  4. Do  your mobile apps integrate with the given mobile application architecture (e.g. Open Intents on Android)?
  5. Do you provide a native desktop client for the most popular client OSes (OSX, Windows, Linux)?
  6. Ist your platform SSO enabled via OPENID, Facebook, Google Account and/or Twitter? Can the user register with these services?
  7. Is your software location enabled? On the mobile and on the desktop?
  8. Do you provide web widgets for the most important functions – for easy integration in other web systems?
  9. Can your software exchange information with the most popular social software platforms (like Twitter, Facebook etc.)
  10. Do you support your developer community with documentation, help and an active forum?

Yes, a lot to do for your software architecture team, but if you consider these requirements from the scratch, it will be easier to implement with less money to spent – in the long term.

And you will need these points, if you want to be successful…I believe.

Why to mobile fight? Think of the App Identity!

In the last days there is breaking out a fight among developers (and others) again.

Which is the best approach to develop mobile apps? Web or Rich Client (native apps)?

I say: Take the best of both and develop Hybid Mobile Apps, which look like rich clients, behave and will be installed like Rich Clients, but which largely depend  on a web based SOA backend and/or integrated web pages.

Why?

The Rich Client is the only one, which creates, im my eyes, the important app identity.

The user searches for (in the app store), loads and installs something, which resides automatically (with icon) on his phone (almost on one of the home screens). This creates the app identity and thus the willingness to spend money for these kind of apps. Pure web apps are anonymous, there’s no store, no download, no installation, no icon (if I don’t do it on my own), no splash screen…These are just links like many others, and the user is used to get those for free (like he did in the internet before and for years).

The Rich Client can integrate much more easier with other apps and functionality on the phone (think of the intent technology in the Android space or think of your beloved twitter app, which can send links from your browser or pictures from your camera).

The Rich Client – today – is faster, can create better GUIs, can work offline, has it’s own storage, although these advantages maybe will fade away will HTML5, new Javascript technologies and modern browsers.

The web SOA background and integrated web pages give you all the advantages, why we all love this kind of development (and to be honest, prefer). Nothing has to be deployed or installed to/on the handset. You develop once and can use these results for many handsets. You don’t waste resources on the handset (battery, CPU etc.).

So don’t fight and combine the best of both, and in the end it will be an incremental approach.The better the browser gets, the more you can port app responsibility to it.

But don’t forget about the user’s app identity and your target: You want to earn money! Or don’t you?

The Mobile App can bring Peace to the Content Gaza Strip

Sounds crazy, do you think?

Maybe, but it could work, because the Internet doesn’t have to change their current models.

Content in the Internet remains free and Google, every search engine works as usual.

Paid content will be delivered by paid (mobile) apps. The user is used to pay for content in the mobile space, and that differs from the ordinary internet.

In order to find the paid content Google or other search engines only find headlines or summaries and the found entries link to suitable app stores (Apple, Android, Ovi and others).

If the mobile model works, and I guess it can, then this model can be extended to desktop Java or Flash driven app stores. In the Java space we have already one.

Nobody has to change existing systems or behaviour with one exception:

The search engines link to content summaries and app stores, either mobile or desktop ones, instead of full articles.

I guess you can do it today already, without having to change search engines technology…

In the year of Google 2013

Google has founded  a world-wide subsidiary called G-Mobile in 2011 (bought different mobile providers all over the world in 2010). G-Mobile is the biggest mobile telephone provider in 2013,  far ahead of T-Mobile, Vodafone, Verizon and all the others.

G-Mobile has over 800 million customers in 2013. G-Mobile speciality is to provide free high speed mobile internet access within all of it’s tariffs.

G-Mobile offers, at a minimum, 3G speed and allows VOIP and tethering in its network for everybody.

Only ordinary GSM calls have to be paid, G-Mobile offers a 2,99 $ flatrate for calls within its own network and a 9.99 $ flatrate for calls outside the G-Mobile network. Free calls are possible, if the users accept ads.

G-Mobile users need a Google account, and payments will be down via Google Checkout.

G-Mobile handsets work with virtual SIM cards, there’s no need for a physical SIM card any longer. Your telephone number is connected with your Google account.

G-Mobile only works with Android and Google accounts, but with any hardware.

Google has never built any own hardware or GPhones in the last three years, as widely predicted in 2009, but in 2013 you can buy simple G-Mobile based handsets for less than 100$ everywhere…

Germany misses the Mobile App Train

The mobile app train has started. No, to be honest, it even has received remarkable speed – in my eyes.
2010 will be the year of the mobile business app, but the Germans aren’t on the train yet.

At least I don’t see many or any apps of the largest 30 companies (DAX companies) in the android or iPhone market yet.
These companies still believe the mobile web is the only approach to the mobile user.

And maybe it’s because of the bad experience we’ve all made with the mobile app technologies before the iphone and the android market (e.g. J2ME).
This defensive trend is still out here in Germany and if you’ve heard about the lastest MobileMonday Kudos champions like the Deutsche Post with their app you’ll soon share my mind.

The usecases in this app are clearly usecases for an app, at least for an hybrid app, but this app is not an mobile app, it’s a mobile web page with it’s, based on the nature of the mobile web,  reduced usability.

And the other 29 are not doing better, or does somebody know more than I?

96 hours Android Milestone Droid

I own/owned 236 handsets till today.
I have/had all iPhones.
I have/had nearly every Android Device, some BlackBerrys and Windows Mobile Handsets.

The Motorola Milestone is, in my eyes, the best smartphone you can buy – today.

Nothing more needs to be said… sorry, if I compare the milestone with the today’s possibilities I can’t find anything to criticize.

And to be honest, I thought Motorola is dying, but they did the right thing. They opened their minds…

Der Handy Markt wird neu verteilt und die Geschichte wiederholt sich

Etwas anderes sagt diese neue Meldung bei Heise nicht aus, meines Erachtens. Und damit setzt sich der von den Mobileexperten und uns :-) schon eine Weile vorausgesagte Trend fort.

Die Firmen, die frühzeitig und innovativ auf neue Smartphone-Technologie gesetzt haben (wie z.b. Apple, Blackberry oder HTC/Google) gewinnen trotz Krise deutlich und die klassischen Handyhersteller verlieren (Nokia, SonyEricsson und Motorola).

Im Handyland wird also nichts so bleiben, wie es ist oder in der Vergangenheit war (auch wenn man Nokia heisst).

Und zum großen Teil sind die Probleme der Klassiker hausgemacht. Man hat einfach verschlafen, entweder etwas Neues oder Innovatives wie Apple zu erfinden oder an etwas Innovativem teilzuhaben (wie z.B. Android).

Es ist wie so häufig: Die Arroganz (“ich kann es alleine besser”) und die Trägheit der Großen führt zum/kurz nach dem Zeitpunkt der größten Machtentfaltung zum schnellen Absturz.

Man sagt so oft, Geschichte wiederholt sich nicht. Doch tut sie, nach immer gleichen Mustern, und vorallem auch in der IT.

Die nächste Statistik sollte aber auch nach Betriebssystem (zumindest zusätzlich) sortiert erstellt werden. Denn nur dann wird man auch Android wirklich mit dem iPhone vergleichen können, denn HTC bleibt mit Nichten der einzige Android…

User wollen Mobile Clients und Mobile Netzwerke

studivzimappstoreDas behaupte ich ja schon eine Weile hier, aber diese Meldung bestätigt mich m.E. :-)

Coole und bessere Browser hin oder her, das “Power-Feeling” ist auch heute nur mit einem Mobilen RichClient möglich.

Und dass das junge “Netzwerk-Volk” natürlich auch innovativer ist und ständigen Zugriff auf ihr soziales Umfeld braucht/haben möchte, dafür muss man kein Trendforscher sein.

Open Letter to Apple – Multitouch

Dear Apple,

I’m a fanatatic user of my beloved MacBook Pro and would never give away my iPhone either.

But now I own a Google G1 phone, too, and I as a testcase I’ve installed a multitouch-enabled Android OS on it.

And after some hours testing I must admit, browsing on a mobile handset without multitouch is not mobile browsing, and only a multitouch-enabled mobile browser guarantees the real mobile browsing feeling.

I know or believe, you own the patent for multitouch, and it’s absolutely your right, to forbid others to implement this feature.

But from my point of view you should enable other partys to integrate multitouch, because with multitouch the G1 and other handsets will improve the mobile browsing expierience for all and that, especially in the times of economic downturn, will give the mobile browsing/the mobile handset market a huge burst.

And at the end of the day the Apple iPhone will profit, too (because it’s The ‘mobile browsing machine’ today), and the community and I will see Apple as we/I want to see Apple:

As an open minded, intelligent and very innovative partner with a broad view of matter.
A company, that let the world benefit from their inventions.

With Regards
Oliver
P.S. Sorry for my English!

Früherer iPhone “Designer Kopf” nun “in Sachen” Android unterwegs

androidarmyDer frühere iPhone Designer, Mark Hamblin, CEO von Touch Revolution, ist nun “in Sachen Android” unterwegs, wie diesem Blog-Bericht zu entnehmen ist.

Eine gute Nachricht, m.E., ist das iPhone doch weiterhin der “Massanzug” für mobile Handsets.

Mark Hamblin hat sich zum Ziel gesetzt, für alle möglichen Geräte Android-Lösungen zu schaffen. Ich freue mich darauf, und vorallem auf die ungebremste Kreativität von Mark Hamblin.

Qype Radar Android – Sehr empfehlenswert!

qyperund Ist schon erstaunlich, dass die Firma Qype nicht explizit auf diese neue Mobilvariante mit dem Namen Qype Radar für das neue Android Betriebssystem hinweist, obwohl mit dieser Applikation m.E. Qype ein ganz großer Wurf gelungen ist.

Nicht nur, dass diese Applikation sehr übersichtlich und klar struktuiert ist, diese ist auch sehr intuitiv zu bedienen und reagiert schnell und flüssig auf Benutzeranfragen.

Mit ein paar Clicks erhält man schnell und übersichtlich Informationen zu umliegenden Restaurants, Bars, Shopping-Möglichkeiten und vielem Anderem.
Die allgemeine Lösung Qype existiert ja nun schon ein paar Tage, und ich habe mir immer gedacht, ist ja nett, aber wozu brauche ich das, vorallem zu Hause oder im Büro?

Aber gerade mit mit dieser neuen GPS-gesteuerten Version ist m.E. (fast) eine Killerapplikation entstanden.
Ich habe diese heute abend erstmalig in Paderborn eingesetzt, und mir dann aus der Ergebnisliste meiner Umgebung das Passende ausgesucht (davon träumte ich, seit ich mich mit Handys beschäftige).

Und Dank der zweistufigen Lokalisierung (erst schnelle Positionsbestimmung über das Mobilnetz, was oft ausreicht, und anschliessend über GPS) ist die Wunschliste umgehend verfügbar.

Fazit: Sehr empfehlenswert und m.E. Die Anwendung im Android Market mit dem höchsten User Nutzen zur Zeit.