2008 to be a huge year in mobile apps

So you might be thinking, “Brian, hasn’t everyone been saying that every year for the last decade???” Well you are completely right, people have been saying this, I haven’t, but others have. So why do I think this will be a big year for mobile? A number of factors really:

  1. The experience is changing
    1. iphone native apps will emerge (hopefully, apple don’t let me down!)
    2. Blackberry apps will be easier to build (RIM don’t let me down!)
    3. interfaces are getting more clever
  2. SDKs will explode this year for transitioning mobile phones into better recipients of web content
  3. Web data connections are becoming default (blackberry, iphone, iphone clones, etc.)
  4. People will start building mobile specific stylesheets. Sorry folks, valid XHTML/CSS does not equal nice looking interface on mobile.
    1. Templates should emerge, and virtualization software to emulate mobile browsers.
    2. Mobile browsers will evolve (I hope, safari on iphone is a hell of a browser)
  5. Flash mobile will grow (games, yeah, thats right, games will push this)
  6. geolocation+webdata=goldmine. lead generation is a billion dollar industry waiting to be cracked open on mobile phones. I’m sure some smart VCs are reading this, you know this is true.
  7. Social and mobile will be big big big this year.
    1. Facebook mobile api is actually being very well developed, i can definitely see some sort of neat mashup emerging here
    2. Myspace has lots of mobile deals, once the developers get an api for it though, it will be big
    3. twitter’s api + short code system are a great combination.
    4. Someone else with a lot of money will come up with some sort of short code sms api and foot the bill while that grows to scale.

So what does this all mean to you? It means the 3 tier design for web apps I proposed last year is going to shift to a 4 tier. You need to see how you can tie your data into a wrapper that functions well for the mobile world in addition to your 3 previous strategies (homepage, opensocial, facebook).

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