Opinion: Today’s most promising mobile apps

November 28, 2007 at 9:42 pm

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Several veterans of the mobile industry shared their assessments of the most promising mobile applications today, and listed some of their favorites.

Ross Rubin, Director of Industry Analysis, The NPD Group:
Some of the most promising applications are ones that provide information within a useful context; location-based services have come a long way in the past year. Song identification applications also put knowledge where you want it (hearing a song in a restaurant, for example). There’s a lot of promise in leveraging the wisdom of crowds for real-time information — everything from highway traffic insight to recommendations on what to do in a new city to instant, community-driven versions of Yahoo! Answers.

Brian J. Friedman, executive vice-president of mobile translator Enterpret:
Mobile applications are really starting to come of age and there are many productivity and lifestyle applications that show promise. Mobile TV is a good time shifting application, there are many middleware applications that provide mobile access to enterprise data and of course tools like the Enterpreter that combine productivity with lifestyle usage.

Song Huang, Chief Evangelist at mobile file access provider SoonR:
Personally I like location based services. Phones already have the GPS capability built in; we need to surface that in our applications. I don’t think proximity-based social networking apps are the answer, but enhanced functionality for travelers. Also mobile payment systems are very promising.

Kai Yu, president of mobile messenger developer BeeJive:
The best mobile apps are those that really fit the mobile device, and provide some utility that desktop apps wouldn’t be able to provide. Google Maps and TeleNav are both excellent applications, and really useful. Obviously it’s much more useful to be able to view location, navigation, or traffic information when you’re actually out and about, lost or stuck in traffic.

Steve Hartford of mobile file-sharing company Avvenu:
Beyond Avvenu Music and Access ‘n Share, I love Google Maps and Yahoo! Go.

Dave Singer, vice-president and US general manager at Telmap:
Wow, the possibilities for location-based mobile navigation seem endless right now. I have been in the mobile industry since 1989 when I was with McCaw and I equate mobile navigation to the early days of voice mail and more recently, cameras within devices. Within the next 24 months, every phone will be capable of providing mobile navigation… As for my personal favorite, I like them all but really the best for our entire industry is still yet to come.

Matt Turetzky, vice-president of non-PC platforms for RealNetworks‘ game division
[As far as games go], I can’t put down Collapse! Chaos on my touch screen 8925. I also love Seven Wonders.

Kai Yu, president of BeeJive:
Mobile Safari on the iPhone is really a groundbreaking product, more because of its usability innovations than any technical breakthroughs. Opera Mobile and the Series 60 browser actually supported Ajax earlier. Opera Mini is also very good for regular Java phones. We’d like to think our application is promising as well.

Francis MacDougall, co-founder and CTO of GestureTek:
The most promising mobile applications today are interactive games (such as bowling, tennis and boxing) as well as the GPS map implementation on DoCoMo phones. My personal favorite is the bowling game. As well, many popular game titles such as Crash Bandicoot and Katamari, have been transported from the console to the mobile phone because they play well on that sort of interface.

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Entry filed under: mobile applications, mobile content.

Interview: Dave Singer of Telmap on turn-by-turn mobile navigation Interview: Matt Turetzky of RealNetworks on mobile game styles and interfaces


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