the next mobile battleground

Flash was just a minor skirmish. Today Adobe Flash has little (and steadily decreasing) relevance in the internet landscape. The cloud is going to be the next major battleground of the mobile revolution. The latest breakthrough software has been based on internet services coupled with well integrated client applications. Here are a few examples that iPhone users should be well aware of:

  • Dropbox
  • Twitter
  • Instapaper
  • Simplenote

These are some pioneers of the real cloud services that have seemed like a pipe dream for the last decade.

Google has been banking on the cloud. They’ve been pushing their web apps for years. They offer a wide range of free, ad-supported tools and services to anyone who will choose a username and password.

The iPhone, and more importantly the App Store, has brought a many of these cloud based services to mobile devices in an effective and usable way for the first time in history. No longer is a phone relegated to calls, texts, and email.

Google has recently been pushing hard to catch up with devices that can stand next to the iPhone. They’ve been having a good bit of success. Apple, on the other hand, is anemic when it comes to hosting cloud services. They have MobileMe which consists of email, file storage, photo sharing, contact and calendar syncing, etc., all for an expensive (relative to Google) annual subscription. But by reputation, MobileMe is widely considered a joke.

It appears that Apple is building up some infrastructure to start making headway in this direction. They acquired Lala streaming music service, which has led to somewhat obvious rumors that some kind of streaming iTunes is on the way. It’s also been published that they’re building a server farm in North Carolina, which could very well support a lot more cloud based services. They’ve recently updated the email web app for MobileMe, and there have been yet more rumors that MobileMe is soon to become a free service. All that said, Apple is still extremely quiet about plans for expanding their presence in the cloud.

Granted there are a host of third parties with great services, but Apple knows better than anyone the power of controlling the software for your devices. Google has lots of first party services that are getting well integrated into Android. If Apple wants to keep on top of its share of the mobile device market, they need to create some compelling new services. Google doesn’t appear to be cutting them a lot of slack. Let’s just say I hope that, come June 7th, we hear about a lot more than just a new iPhone.

you will laugh

This is the funniest picture I’ve seen in months.

fly the eco-friendly skies

A team from MIT makes an airplane that runs on 70% less fuel than conventional planes as part of a NASA initiative to create more fuel efficient aircraft.

software recognizes sarcastic tweets

This is an interesting idea. I wouldn’t know where to start to come up with an algorithm for detecting sarcasm. It would be cool to build this into an instant message client to automatically notify people of possibly sarcastic statements (I know some people who could use the hints).

nintendo ds testing platform revealed by fcc

There goes the FCC, leaking someone’s hardware platform again.

advertising gone right

As a follow up to my mention of the appalling ads in Wired’s RSS feed, I thought I’d take the opportunity to point out someone who has managed to get advertising on the web right — just right. Fusion Ads has the best ad platform I’ve seen on the web. Both their advertising and publishing partners create great things, and Fusion’s ad spots are a great way to discover them.

Our passion is to serve ads that are downright gorgeous, accepting only relevant advertisers of the highest calibre. We choose from among cream-of-the-crop publishers who exclusively show only a single ad per page.

Take a look back at the homepage around the release of Lock’s Quest. It’s clear that not everyone adheres to this same ideal of advertising. Many sites out there have such distracting ads that the content is actually second-order.

I’ve discovered many services that I use quite regularly in Fusion Ads. In fact, I’m drafting this post in Simplenote right now, a Fusion-supported free iPhone and web app for writing/synchronizing text notes across devices. On various occasions I’ve refreshed Geek & Mild repeatedly just to see if there are new ads that might interest me. That’s a high mark for any advertiser, to create ads that draw customer attention. It seems the standard M.O. of advertisers is to force feed ad impressions.

Additionally, their new touch network has enabled developers to provide some very useful tools for the iPhone OS platform free of charge. I feel as though they’re adding value to my experience online, not taking away from it. Fusion Ads, good show.

here on gilligan’s isle

I love how one of the best snippets about why the iPad is a “big deal” is technically a post about Gilligan’s Isle.

advertising gone wrong

It appears as though Wired has been running an experiment in their news feeds. Increasingly, I’ve found more and more graphical “Ads by Google” filling up their Wired Top Stories RSS feed. Ten days ago I tweeted the following:

Wired’s in-feed ads are getting so out of control, I had to zoom my browser out to capture this:

Comparing that to what I saw in Google Reader today, I’m not sure what to make of Wired’s strategy. This is hardly just distasteful advertising. It’s almost as though they want people to stop following their news feeds. I guess I’ll have to comply with their wishes.

the adventures of beetlecam

Simply incredible! (via @philcoffman)

what ipads did to my family

There have been so many great articles lately about the iPad. Too much stuff to link (although Gruber is trying), but this one I thought would bring the conversation home for many people.

the battery flashlight

Who says a flashlight needs to have a case?

@skoda on @technochocolate on