[ 1 (Dec 3-some of Dec 4) | current ]
I read in PC World (which is, strangely enough, a Windows-oriented magazine) that Apple's AppStore was the 2009 Product of the Year
...and I totally agree. The AppStore is incredibly significant and in my opinion revolutionary.
Let me explain my history a little. I used BBS systems (bulletin boards) while I was in middle school. They were computer somewhere in town (or a nearby city) that had a dial-up phone line connected to a dial-up modem. You got the number, created an account (sometimes paid a fee) and you could exchange messages, play little games (pretty much known as doors) and eventually get a real e-mail address.
My friend Andrew showed me HTML in 1995. I tinkered with it a little bit, and put it on the backburner. The web was still pretty small then, Mosiac was out, Netscape was starting to get some news, Yahoo was tiny, Google didn't exist. (Netscape actually charged for the first web browser, it wasn't totally free like Internet Explorer or Firefox is now.)
Internet advertising started before I got into it, but I joined the first major public network called the Commonwealth Network... all it was was a small 468x60 banner on the VERY top of the web page, and we got paid up to 1 cent (if we promoted Internet Explorer instead of Netscape in addition to showing the ads).
If you're into computers, you might know of Tom's Hardware, an awesome web site for computer builders. Sites like that got an early start with the banner, and derived profits from banner advertising, and later other types of advertising. The fact is this: the web sites you visit today, mostly, are from the fact that the banner ad came out in 1996 and not later. When the banner came out, web sites just came popping up because anyone with some great information could potentially make a hundred bucks a month or more. The payment rates are much lower now, and many people totally ignore web banner advertisements, but it -was- what helped the web to get so big so darn fast.
My point is this: The AppStore from Apple is doing the same thing the banner ad did for the web. Some of the apps are free, some of them are low cost (a dollar or two) and some are higher priced. Many free ones have ads, which can help the developer make a small profit. Likewise, developers who make apps for a dollar or two are actually paid for their work, something that "shareware" made difficult... AppStore is more strict about payment, not an honor system.
AppStore will continue to grow, amazingly fast, and have amazing apps in it. I am hoping Android Market (Google's application store) takes off a little so AppStore has some strong competition. Android Market is a little less intuitive... you have to register a checkout payment which I'd rather see automated, but you can't win them all, right?
And for developers looking at the two... iPhone, in my opinion, is significantly easier to program for, which is why you see great apps come out so fast. The Android Market allows for really powerful apps, but I consider it more difficult to program for it.
I spent the past six-or-so hours doing major preliminary research. I'm really amazed at where worldwide wireless technology is heading.
I've seen Netbooks advertised that have built-in 3G wireless (basically, through a cell company like AT&T or Verizon) and that be a special feature. In reality, we'll see those Netbooks increase in speed and power (processing wise) and battery life increase. So the Netbooks 3-5 years from now will probably be just like the current laptops we have now in terms of abilities, but a heck of a lot less expensive and with always-on Internet.
I enjoyed the "Map for That" advertisement Verizon Wireless had out against AT&T for the iPhone... the funny part is, both AT&T and Verizon are fully expected to use one converged technology (first LTE, then LTE Advanced) so I expect the maps to even out pretty darn fast over the next few years.
Sprint, on the other hand, is supporting another technology called WiMax through a company called CLEAR, which is already launching (almost) 4G service in several cities across the United States. Several other companies, including Comcast, put some money into the CLEAR... I think you'll probably be able to pull your DVR recordings from the "cloud" in Comcast-land someday and watch whatever you recorded on your whatever-phone.
I think this is a time to evaluate how you really feel about things. Things in general. Ever heard of the Six Degrees of Kevin Bacon? Well, we're all pretty darn connected now that we have cellular telephones. Certainly in the United States, issues like map coverage will seriously start to disappear, in my opinion. The map you see now, will be fuller with coverage over the next few years. Devices will evolve and do more. We'll probably have totally cool fullly functional video gaming video editing photo editing laptops with a 2yr cell contract for $299 or less in just a few years on Black Friday! (Those of you looking this up right now in 2012 or whatever, you're laughing at how expensive I guessed I'm sure...)
Anyway, away from the tangent... I'm guessing we'll be more likely to pick a phone or device (hopefully device... convergence, more on that in articles...) based on it needing to do exactly what we want it to do and less so on the network it's own (sorry to say that, cell network guys!). Certainly there will be differences between the different phones... now on computers... we have Windows, Mac, and types of UNIX... but you know, they can all browse the same world wide web. They all have features specific to their users.
In 1996 I saw the huge potential of the web to the general population, before a lot of people had even visited a web site. Now your grandparent might have a Facebook page... how things have progressed... right.
We're looking for the killer app. The next big thing. The next Myspace, Google, Facebook, YouTube. Start thinking. So many possibilities.
I'm Google-ling and bookmarks lots of research links. I like all the extra content, related topics that come up once you get past the first ten pages of Google. You know, sometimes you click page 2, 3, 4... I just went up to 42, bookmarking the links that will be a great read for this project.
I opened Safari Mobile on my iPhone to make sure the site was acceptable and readable on the iPhone. I can't test this web site on every cell phone that can access it, so I'm sticking to web standards, HTML and CSS, with a free-flow web design layout.
I'm going to stick to pretty standard coding for the entire site. For those of you web designers out there, this is a web site attached as an add-on domain to a GreenGeeks Web Hosting Package that I already had purchased for The Cancer Game, a computer game I made during college for cancer patients and survivors. The initial package was about $100 for the year, so I'm basically piggy-backing on cancergame.org for virtually nothing, just the cost of the extra domain name (about $10 a year).
Putting the site on GreenGeeks was an active decision and not an accident. Parts of this site are going to be based on the positive effects of cell phones, but I'll also post potential danger or hazard articles. Anyway, what I'm saying is this: GreenGeeks buys extra wind power when you use them as a host. So the more people that access this site over time, I'm actually helping the environment by promoting wind power. That appeases the environmentalist left in me.