Mobile geography – 1


Mobile widgets have been on mind for some years now. I used to be upset when a widget wouldn’t run cross platform, but I would remind myself that my distress was professional and not personal. Besides, If I really wanted to try something new, I could always get access to a different kind of device, any time I wanted one.

Well, I can’t get a new device anymore. I’ve got ONE phone. One phone. Who has one phone?… My phone bill is reaching 5 digits because Skype still hasn’t made an Android app, much less a browser based app. And don’t even get me started on Bejeweled*.

I have started to see the mobile space as an extension of the real world and if I may, I wanted to share this perspective.

There is this awesome protected country of Apple ( that is too prohibitive for me to enter at the moment), a vast continent of Android, an over populated and under nourished Africa of Java and the crumbling Victorian empires of Symbian and Flash. To add some politics, operators in European Union like fashion are rightly constructing conglomeration of App stores.

The foot soldiers have no choice but to fight on the side they have made most investments on. Converting an app to another platform is almost like applying for immigration to another country – learn a new language, comply to new rules, get a passport. The thing is, ALL these countries and continents of the virtual world want to stay in power.

In a way, that’s great. More innovation from everyone. But with great power comes great responsibility. The distances, languages, time zones and the passports are  necessary constraints of ‘real’ world. It would be quite irresponsible to transfer some of these constraints to mobile, when they can so easily be done without.

I know that most of you who will read this, are probably thinking.. duh..that’s the whole point of fighting for standards, and evangelizing browsers as applications platforms. You want to tell me that you know all this. Well of-course you do. I know it too.

I just wanted to rant about it because this fight just got personal. 🙂

*Bejeweled:  a really awesome game on the iPhone and xBox. Highly addictive, try at your own risk… but if anyone has any pull, ask them when an Android version is out, will you?

Miss you guys!

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