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Archive for the ‘mobile web’ Category

This blog post presents a review of the support for three web standards in mobile browsers: Geolocation, HTML audio and Media Capture. It is actually an excerpt from a draft paper about mobile web apps vs native apps that I am writing for the Nordmedia conference in august. I thought readers of this blog might be interested in the information, so decided to put it here as well. Any comments or corrections appreciated!

Locative media web apps like textopia or Anders Fagerjord’s MUCH project, rely on web standards for positioning and audio playback. A third capability that may be important for applications that wish to invite user contributions, is media capture – that is, the ability to record sounds and images using the device’s microphone and camera.

Positioning in mobile web applications is made possible by the W3C “Geolocation API” (Geolocation Working Group 2010), whereas media playback is enabled in HTML5 by the <audio> and <video> elements. These standards are currently being supported by the default browser in three of the four best-selling smartphone platforms – that is, Android, iOS and Blackberry.

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people keep talking about ipads (and other e-readers) as the salvation for print – in particular, for newspapers and magazines. (books, on the other hand, aren’t really in need of salvation, so for the book industry the e-readers are more of a threat, it seems.) the idea, it seems, is basically this: people don’t want to pay for access to news on a website. but apparently, they do want to pay for apps on iphones and ipads. so let’s sell news as apps!

and the prime example, above them all, is wired magazine, whose first ipad app sold 110,000 copies at $3.99. of course that first app was news itself, so the numbers have gone down since – but according to wired editor-in-chief chris anderson, in an interview with jon lund, they still sell “in the multiple tens of thousands” per month.

that’s a little more modest, of course, when compared to a monthly circulation in print of 750,000 (at $4.99). but hey, if it doesn’t cost them much, it still turns a profit right? well, it turns out that it does cost them a lot.

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this number just floated by in my twitter stream, but it’s so interesting i need a little more than 140 characters for it. according to alex meisl, speaker on the topic “Why the f*ck create an app” at an event arranged by “mobile squared”, creating a mobile app costs around 50 times as much as creating a mobile webpage.

if you hold that together with tomi ahonen’s estimate that a mobile website can be used by 10-100 times as many people as a mobile app, that would mean that creating a mobile webpage is 500-5000 times as cost effective.

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