At The App Business we’ve been briefly consumed by the Mobile World Congress and what the third iPad event will reveal. So we’ll focus on this in our second blog post (saving our planned HTML5 breakdown for another time).
Starting with MWC, two themes to report on:
#1 is 4G / Long Term Evolution (LTE).
MWC showed that every single network and manufacturer message is focussed on their 4G-readiness and edge. These high-capacity networks are essential for successful evolution of mobile to its position as ‘the first screen’, especially for video content. However, early data suggests that the demand for bandwidth is so far ahead of supply that they’ll be creaking from launch. What’s more, the UK lags the rest of the world, held back by OFCOM regs and a bunch of operators who got burned last time around. A healthy 4G network is essential to the UK’s app economy so let’s hope things fix up fast.
#2 is Google’s Ice Cream Sandwich (ICS) aka Android 4.0.
Whilst openness has enabled Android to accelerate to the #1 smartphone OS, it's resulted in awful OS 'fragmentation'. Google upgrades its Android OS regularly but because there's no central body saying 'all handset manufactures must now ship with OS version X' you end up with a market full of handsets running different OSs. From a developer perspective, it's difficult to make a killer experience that works on all OSs perfectly. And, as a result, Android lacks the killer experiences of iOS.
Google’s fight-back begins with its latest OS - Ice Cream Sandwich - and a bunch of controls and guides that they have put in place to ensure ICS becomes all manufacturers’ default Android OS and is a consistent experience across devices. It’s important that this works because a healthy app market needs healthy competition for engineers’ hearts and minds. But right now, Google’s MWC visualisation of thousands of handsets running Android makes those hearts skip a beat.
Finally .. a few words on Apple’s iPad event (nicely announced in California during Eric Schmidt’s keynote at MWC).
The thing we’re most excited about here isn’t the new iPad but the familiar promise of ‘one more thing’, right at the end.
We can safely say there’ll be no big Apple TV launch on Wednesday, but what we might be treated to is an upgraded hobby-grade Apple TV and its software.
This device could well be Apple’s last chance to test its TV prototype (and how very un-Apple) before they drop the big shiny new TV sometime at end 2012 / 2013.
At The App Business we believe that smart TVs will revolutionise our lives just as smartphones have - but not in terms of watching TV. Rather, we see the TV as an assistant that sits at the heart of the home helping you decide what to watch, wear and whatever else; all powered by app software ..
And, whilst TVs currently occupy the anchor position in billions of homes around the world (with the right to sit there because of their video content) there still is no decent app or non-TV service in sight. So there's a pretty big opportunity ahead of us to breathe new life into that big, ubiquitous screen.
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