Posts Tagged ‘Apple’

Managing a Million Apps…

Sunday, November 28th, 2010 by Roberto Saracco

How many Apps are out there? Difficult to say and their number grows any day more. If at the beginning of 2010 the Apple Apps store had some 120,000 apps and the Android market 20,000 in November the Apple store has exceeded 300,000 and the Android market 175,000. And, of course, they are not the only ones. Facebooks is credited with close to 500,000 apps and then you have the Nokia, Microsoft, RIM and many others.

Growth of apps and downloads from the Apple Apps store

Growth of apps and downloads from the Apple Apps store

Once you are confronted with all theses apps it gets difficult, no, impossible, to keep track of what is going on and be able to take advantage of what is becoming available.

We are going to need a search engine to get the apps but, and here it gets interesting, differently from information where syntax and semantics basically coincide with apps a semantic search is really what is required and what we are missing.

The article “Top trends of 2010: App Stores” published by ReadWriteWeb, makes for an interesting reading. It reports of a poll on App stores customers on their liking/disliking of App Stores in terms of usability. Take a look.

What is also interesting is that the difficulty in keeping abreast with new apps being released and finding the one that might serve your whim (or need) is generating a number of recommendation sites, like Appoke, AppStoreHQ, Appolicious, Chomp, AppsFire, AppBrain, Appboy, AppAware, SmoingApps,, 16apps, Apptism, Freshapps, ScatterTree, Frenzapp, Sidebar, Chorus, Appsaurus…and may be it is better if I stop here. You can search for more using Google.

Most of this recommendation sites are leveraging n crowd sourcing to review (and discover) new apps and to provide the guidance that can be transformed in semantics.

I feel that we have just started. This is Web 2.0 come to life and we have to learn to use it. Many enterprises are now creating their own app as a way to access their products so we can expect a further increase in numbers and consequently a bigger problem in finding the right app. The solution to this problem is not easy and will bring us into the Web3.0 where semantics will dominate the landscape. But that won’t happen in the next 2 to 3 years. My bet is on the second part of this decade.

Is it going to be a smartphone future or a tablet one?

Wednesday, November 3rd, 2010 by Roberto Saracco

I just read an interesting blog on “How Apple could become the world’s biggest tech company”

Take a look at it. There are several interesting issues being raised but the one I like to discuss here is what will the future in our hands be like at the end of this decade. Are we going to have smart phones or tablets by the end of this decade to dominate the landscape?

Clearly the form factor is important and it is difficult to imagine something that does not fit a pocket to be always with us (I use the pocket since the bag for the other half of the sky is much larger). Hence, my first pick would be a smartphone. I do not believe that within this decade we will have a screen woven in our shirt (at least not in any shirt…) so a specific device to interface with the network will still be required.

On the other hand tablets will be probably replacing PCs and Laptops in most homes and will be equipped with wireless connectivity (LTE and local area wireless) and therefore they will likely be used for communication within the home (and the office, our and our client’s office).

The Smartphone “form factor” convenience is also its limit and I bet we will be using it along with tablets. More and more we will see tablets integrated in objects (I am sure that by the end of this decade many homes will have the small table in front of the couch embedding a tablet, a big one…) and biometrics will ensure that we are able to transform any interface into our interface.

Technologically speaking, the diversity that has set smart phones apart from computers is likely to fade away and this will bring companies like Dell, Lenovo, HP on the same turf of Nokia, Motorola, Sagem… Samsung and Apple, of course, are already there and this may be a strong competitive advantage.

As Telecom Operators I am convinced that there is no chance for us in the device domain but we may have a chance, and a big one, in the virtualization of the device.

Will programs disappear?

Sunday, October 24th, 2010 by Roberto Saracco

This is quite a peculiar question! Of course the future will bring even more programming, and programs, than what we have today. At the same time some people are starting to wonder what is the implication of the explosion of Apps. Particularly so, after the announcement made by Apply that a new Apps Store will be available in the next few months to create a market place for Mac application. Additionally, the 2011 evolution of Snow Leopard, Lion, is promised to be able to run all present iPhone and iPad Apps.

Where is the Apps Store steering the Program Ecosystems?

Where is the Apps Store steering the Program Ecosystems?

Indeed, this may be seen as a turning point in programming. We will no longer buy/download a program but an App delivering a service. The advantage of course is to get rid of viruses and malware problem, the drawback is to hand over our freedom to choose from an infinite variety and be limited to what the Apple of the situation will consider as appropriate.

In a way this is the real arrival point of the Web 2.0, changing the rules of the game in terms of perception and biz framework. Will people be willing to give out the flexibility in exchange of increased security and simpler interactions?

We’ll see. In my opinion I believe this will be a natural evolution. Ecosystems are based on some de facto domination, resources rule. The ambient is closed in the sense that whoever wants to play the game there has to conform to the unwritten rules of that ambient. If your ecosystem is the ocean you better swim.

Take a look at this blog for further thoughts on the subject (the picture in this post is taken from that blog), a nice piece written by Matt Buchanan:

Is this strategy sound?

Sunday, September 19th, 2010 by Roberto Saracco

Last week an article on Le Figaro

anticipated  a joint initiative by Vodafone, Orange, Telefonica and Deutsche Telekom to be announced on October 8th. There is not enough information to really get a grasp on what they are after but based on the speculations put forward by the journalist, an alliance to create a new “systeme d’exploitation” I started to think and want to share now with you some of these thoughts, ready to change my mind as more information will become available.

These companies have a market size of about a billion customers and according to their statement this is a gigantic market place giving them the strength to be leader and shape the innovation. Difficult not to agree to that. Or is it not?

How could it be that such strength has not already resulted in the evolution of the mobile marketplace being led by the Operators? Remember that there are (since many years) several association bodies that could have dictated how the evolution should be like.

The fact is that the time where single centralised “muscle” can shape the evolution is gone. Now it is a time where innovation is pervasive in its creation and in its effect. Those succeeding are not necessarily the one making the “spot” innovation, rather those that can leverage on some asset to steer others’ innovation.

Apple and Google are case in point. Besides, their success can be measured in terms of number of apps downloaded or people “googling” by the money stick to measure success in gauged in number of physical pieces sold (iPods and the like for Apple) and number of ads clicked (Google).

Now, let’s assume that the new association manages to get a market share with its “systeme d’exploitation” (is it an operating system like Androids or Symbian, a platform to release apps like iTunes….?). It is not going to be easy to get a significant (and worth) market share but let’s assume it will succeed and get a 10/15% of the market. Where will new revenues come from?
Remember that revenues to Apple and Google, the evils they are fighting, are not from the download of apps. Hence we can easily forecast that also the successful “systeme d’exploitation” will not derive any significant money from that. What is the asset of the Association? Connectivity of course, but they are already selling as much connectivity as the marketplace is willing to pay and it is very unlikely that the offer of apps or whatever will increase the willingness to pay for connectivity per se.

Yes, if I am given more appealing service I would like to use them and hence will require more connectivity but the market pressure will end up in providing me that extra connectivity at a lower price than today!

Let’s wait for October 8th to understand a bit more what their strategy is…

Apple’s Trackpad: The new multi-touch mouse

Thursday, August 5th, 2010 by Apurav Agrawal

RT ceoSteveJobs @Twitter: “Floppy disks, trackballs, serial ports, dial-up modems… All gone. Now it’s time to kill the mouse.”

The recent tweet from Steve Jobs pretty much sums up the story. In the years I’ve been using computers, monitors have grown thinner and more vivid in their picture displays, and the technology that runs them has grown faster and less expensive. But two things have remained relatively constant: my keyboard and mouse.

Yet that’s about to change. I’m pretty certain I will never own a traditional mouse again, at least when I use an Apple computer. Instead I will own a trackpad — a Magic Trackpad.

The new gadget, which was announced by Apple last week, and works only with the company’s computers, looks more like a large silver tile than a mouse. But when it’s properly connected, it affords a traditional desktop computer a multitouch mouse, just like those available in most Apple laptops today.

The trackpad works like an ordinary laptop trackpad, where you slide your fingers to control the cursor on the screen. Once you become comfortable with it, you can take full advantage of its features, which include two-finger scroll on Web pages, pinch and zoom on images in Apple’s Preview application and a number of other multitouch features.

The technology behind the trackpad originates from a company Apple purchased in the late 1990′s, which had designed a similar device for people who suffered from repetitive stress injuries. The idea is that a touch surface would be less taxing on a user’s hands than a traditional mouse.

The trackpad, which costs $70, easily connects to a computer wirelessly though a Bluetooth connection, but requires the latest version of Apple’s operating system, Mac OSX 10.6.4.


Experience is everything!

Thursday, July 8th, 2010 by Roberto Saracco

You have probably seen some of the ads built on iAd from Apple and you might have read comments on various blog about what is nice and what could be better. Anyhow, take a look at one of  them like the one here:

I don’t know about you but I get a completely different feeling and experience from this ad. I get involved, I can interact in ways that suit my interest. It is quite a different experinece from that sort of interaction provided by other ads where what I can do is just click through and be taken to the advertiser home page for more…of the same.

I wonder what the experience would be if it were possibile to merge in the ads, and thus reshape it, my previous experience. A (my) trusted service provider might share some information to the advertiser in such a way that the ads would fit my context. That would bring the experience to a higher level.

A touchy issue…

Wednesday, May 5th, 2010 by Roberto Saracco

The advent of touch interfaces, booming after the iTouch and now being exploited by the iPad, has been seen by users as a new, easy way to interact with content. Actually, most web pages have been designed with the “mouse interaction” in mind. As an example an application would detect a mouse hovering on a button and then got ready to intercept the click. This approach does not work with a touch based interface where when you touch… you click.

Touch is the new way to go...

Touch is the new way to go...

Flash has also been designed having mouse interaction in mind and this may explain the opposition to Flash by Apple,
According to Raju Vegesna, evangelist for Zoho, , a company producing a suite of complex on line Web applications:

…the advent of touch-based devices is almost asking the entire Web to change its behaviour from what has been built up over 20 years. This is a big user interface problem for Web applications and means that many will need to be redesigned.
The fact is that the Web, and html, has been designed having a CRT screen and a keyboard/mouse in mind. As new devices, smart materials and new interaction means are being exploited new neutral ways for managing interactions have to be found.
As in many other areas, we have just started. Stay tuned for the Future!

Apple Tablet is coming.

Wednesday, January 27th, 2010 by Mariana Lopes Ribas

Apple is coming up with Apple Tablet. The Beta version has already been tested and here we have a feedback from the tester. How is it like?

“Apple tablet is OLED + back has solar pad for recharging, but (the charger) really doesn’t work quickly. More a gimmick. Verizon+att, wifi yes!

Apple Tablet has thumbpads on each side for mouse gestures, reads fingerprint for security. Up to 5 profiles by fingerprint for family.

Yes, there are 2cameras: one in front and one in back (or it may be one with some double lens) so you record yourself and in front of you.

I can tell u the battery life is great in ebook reading mode but not great when on wifi or playing games. 2-3hrs.

Yes, the apple tablet is running an iphone os flavor with ability to have multiple apps running at same time (ie pandora, browser).

The price will be $599, $699 and $799 depending on size and memory in apple tablet. Also, wireless keyboard + monitor connection for TV.

Also, the apple tablet is really amazing for newspapers. Video conferencing is super stable, but nothing new.

The best part of the apple tablet as beta user has been the built in HDTV tuner and pvr, and the chess game.

Yes, it’s true… I’ve been beta testing the Apple tablet for the past two weeks and it’s amazing!”

Really seems to be an useful tool. But despite all its functionality we should concern about all the critics related to the solar panel. Would it be efficient enough???

Talking about the “Future of Retail” why not imagine this device as a way for people to interact with the retail stores in a sense that they will be able to reach more information and be updated to the latest news of the market enlarging business opportunities?!

Apple’s Next Streaming Video Strategy is entangled with our Digital Life

Tuesday, January 26th, 2010 by Gianni Fettarappa

Apple is building a real always-connected, share-everything future, with personal broadcasting feature. All the bricks are just ready and Apple is building a huge data center in North Carolina with high bandwidth enabling ubiquitous streaming video. Apple’s devices have a video camera embedded and now even live video-streaming functionality have been approved and are available for download in the App Store.
It is clear Apple wants to enter the consumer video market: the company’s new personal-media strategy is to improve iTunes into a streaming video service.

The goal for Apple is: personal broadcasting, or sharing personal experiences. YouTube and Flip are just the key players in this market, and for Apple the only possibility is to make personal media deliverable and accessible anytime, anywhere through its devices. In the next decade, we will see video cameras with live-streaming software built into new generation iPhones, iPods and touchscreen tablets; everything will be integrated in iTunes, that Apple wants to use like a social experience with real-time sharing services.

All these steps are the Apple path towards the creation of an always-connected, share-everything future.
So if users have live-video capability in a phone, they can use it everywhere and broadcast live from anywhere and this huge creation of personal content will be easy to share and tag opening up a new world of collecting individual’s digital life.

The enemy of my enemy is my friend

Sunday, January 24th, 2010 by Mattia Mialich

During the past years, Apple included Google in its business integrating Google search into Safari, and Google Maps on the iPhone. And it made sense. Now Google is attempting to enter every kind of business and in particular it sells Nexus One, directly competing with not only the iPhone, but with all their own mobile phone hardware vendors. To face Google’s domination in the thing (and this means OS layer, browser layer, mobile platform, and many other applications), rumors talk about a possible deal between Apple and Microsoft.
As you know, Microsoft has tried for years to gain a strong presence in the online search business. In the early 2008 Microsoft tried to buy Yahoo, with a $47.5 billion acquisition bid. After this, the two companies just continued stealing each other’s traffic, without taking it from Google. In order to compete more effectively with Google, which dominates the online-search business with 67.3 percent of search traffic (Yahoo! and MSN/Windows Live/Bing Search just 14.4 and 9.9 percent respectively, according last Nielsen Co. survey), few days ago Microsoft and Yahoo! presented a partnership plan to the European Commission and now the talk passes to the European antitrust authorities that will decide within a month if the deal is in line with the competitive norms, or not.
According to some articles over the net, Apple and Microsoft made a deal. Even if it’s not new such a cooperation between the two old-age rivals (Microsoft builds Mac versions of its Office suite of business programs, such as Word), it’s undeniable that it sounds paradoxal. The two competitors, in fact, are going to replace Google Mobile, the actual default search provider for the iPhone, with Bing (it already has its own application on the App Store that allows voice search, location finder, maps access and more), as well as the Safari browser. Being the default search engine on the iPhone obviously carries benefits for Google, which gets revenue from ads placed alongside its search results, sharing a part of that with Apple.
Most of people who want a Mac don’t like Microsoft products. In addition, users see Google as the gold standard in search. So, is get-a-mac generation gonna appreciate this contamination? Do customers accept embedding of products they didn’t request? Analysts say that this agreement could bring Apple more risk than reward.
Personally, I see this nothing more than “the enemy of my enemy is my friend”, a survey strategy adopted by an impressive top predator who can become a prey.