NODE

Variable Technologies NODE

The NODE is interesting… but I can’t figure out who would buy it or why.   It is bluetooth enabled and allows monitoring a variety of environmental items. It can connect with mobile phones and apps.

It reminds me of Sunspot which is a programmable platform with sensor boards.  That also seems to have gone no-where.

Advertisements

iPhone, Samsung, Nokia, HTC – likes/dislikes

I’ve been playing with iPhone, Samsung, HTC and Nokia phones and was reflecting on what  I like/dislike about each:

Samsung Galaxy SIII:

+ great screen (bright, crisp)

+ very responsive

+ comfortable to hold (smooth edges, light)

+ great photo quality

+ microSD card support

+ replaceable battery

+ microUSB charger / sync cable

+ google goggles

– S-Voice

– screen is too wide to easily work with the apps – needs both hands to use the device

– Android OS and apps are not consistent in interaction behaviours

HTC One V:

+ great screen (bright, crisp)

+ can manipulate apps using one hand

+ microSD card support

+ microUSB charger / sync cable

– no replaceable battery

– poor photo quality

– laggy response on launching apps

– Android OS and apps are not consistent in interaction behaviours

– Android OS update to latest version not available

Nokia 900:

+ great screen (bright, crisp)

+ microUSB charger / sync cable

– no replaceable battery

– no microSD card support

– poor photo quality

– uncomfortable to hold (heavy, blocky edges)

– button placement on right side of device not only makes device uncomfortable to hold, but also makes for unintended button pushes

– screen is too wide to easily work with the apps – need both hands to use the device

– WP7 Metro interface is terrible (inconsistent, non-intuitive, clunky, spurious visual effects) – it felt antiquated rather then new

– Not upgradable to WP8

iPhone 4S:

+ great screen (bright, crisp)

+ very responsive

+ great photo quality (with HDR enabled)

+ OS and apps are consistent in interaction behaviours

+ can manipulate apps using one hand

+ iOS updates available to latest version

– SIRI

– no microSD card support

– no replaceable battery

– no microUSB charger / sync cable  (proprietary & expensive connector)

 

BlueStacks makes no sense to me

Bluestack is a company that supports android apps running on Windows and OSX.  They have raised over $14M in VC money so far.

The way it works:

You install their software on your PC.   You create a Bluestack cloud account.   You then install their Android app on your Android device and select the apps you want to sync to their cloud service in order for you to be able to run your apps (or rather a subset of your apps that are supported in the emulated environment) on your PC.

According to one recent investor, “Consumers are increasingly looking for computing experiences that enable them to access their apps across different platforms,” said VP of Qualcomm Ventures Nagraj Kashyap. “We believe BlueStacks is well-positioned to capitalize on the marriage of mobile and PC.”

As with most emulated environments, particularly those that involve graphics, the current Bluestack emulated environment leaves a lot to be desired relative to running Android apps with the same performance and fidelity.   Also interacting with touch-based apps on a mouse-based interface leaves a lot to be desired.

The investment premise that consumers “want this” type of experience does not resonate with me.

However, I guess time will tell….

NFC = “Not for Commerce”

“EBay Inc Chief Executive John Donahoe often quotes a merchant saying NFC stands for “Not For Commerce” – and dismisses the prospects of Near Field Communication technology used to turn cellphones into mobile wallets.”

Ref: Reuters

NFC is technology that is a solution searching for a problem…  it adds cost to mobile phone designs and will never be ubiquitous for mobile phone users (or for businesses).

This article provides a good overview – http://www.telecoms.com/52005/mobile-industry-still-placing-far-too-much-emphasis-on-nfc/

Follow The Money – Apple Apps

Latest article to highlight the obvious – Apple is where the money is at.  Android, not so much.

“Early in Android’s short lifespan, it seemed to me that subsidizing a free, open-source platform to make a land grab for mobile eyeballs was a good play that would pay off over time. Nearly four years later, there’s little data to suggest the investment is paying off. In fact, more data suggests Apple’s methodical approach is financially sound.”

Ref: http://www.businessweek.com/articles/2012-09-12/after-500-million-android-activations-wheres-the-profit

My opinion on why Android is doing so poorly is that Android phone growth is coming in largely from displacing the “feature phone” – and the feature phone demographic have been traditionally interested in inexpensive devices with basic mobile phone features and are not buying the device for it’s smartphone features such as apps, web or digital media.   A lot of the remaining market growth will be feature phone replacement and Android will continue to pick up that market… until the low-cost Android killer comes along and that can’t be too much longer now.