2011-01-01

Two cogent analyses of the state of mobile computing

The following are two nice analyses of the state of smartphone computing. I like reading anything that does not make the assertions that “Android is open” (what does that actually mean in practice?) or that “Android is Windows” (a flawed analogy).

  • Peter Vesterbacka, one of the creators of Angry Birds (via Daring Fireball):
    Apple will be the number one platform for a long time from a developer perspective, they have gotten so many things right. And they know what they are doing and they call the shots. Android is growing, but it’s also growing complexity at the same time. Device fragmentation not the issue, but rather the fragmentation of the ecosystem. So many different shops, so many different models. The carriers messing with the experience again. Open but not really open, a very Google centric ecosystem. And paid content just doesn’t work on Android.

    Besides Apple and Google, it will be interesting to see how long it will take for Nokia to get their act together. MeeGo is clearly the future there, remains to be seen how big and how soon. HP-Palm webOS is a really cool OS and has been a pleasure developing for that one, but the volume is irrelevant for the time being. Everything else is more or less “interesting” right now, ie no real business to be had, at least not yet.
  • Tim Bray (Google), in “Year-end View of the Mobile Market” (via Daring Fireball), has many interesting things to say about mobile computing, e.g. the developer stories of various companies, or how he sees “Apple versus Android” go in 2011. The whole post is very candid and insightful. You would never read something like this from an Apple employee, but then again, he is just one of many voices coming out of Google. Interesting quote:
    Tablets and handsets can displace computers as play and reading devices, but they really can’t become dominant as work tools until we have a better solution for high-speed low-friction text input.
    I would add that physical keyboards are also used to quickly access functionality which is something that devices without them cannot replicate.

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