The summer keeps rolling right along and so does the mobile market. We had a busy week here at FiddleFly both on the technology side, and the personnel department as we introduced a host of new features, and expanded both our design and development teams. While we were busy growing and grinding out great new tools, the mobile world was producing some pretty amazing headlines of its own and as we do every Friday, we have rounded up a few of our favorites: Read More…
Wow, what an uneventful week. What’s that? A 900 million user, 85+ billion dollar company is doing what today? Okay fine we’ll talk about it. Facebook is going public folks so grab your popcorn and pull up a chair in front of the stock ticker. Today we’ll see if stock traders worldwide have bought into team Zuckerberg’s promise to continue their growth, or are turned away by Facebook’s admitted struggles to capitalize on the mobile platform. Either way, the move promises to be exciting, and is bound to have some major impacts on the mobile and global web landscape.
While Facebook may have stolen all the headlines this week, let’s not forget that there was plenty more going on in the world of mobile. As always we did our best to keep tabs on all the happenings, so why not take a break from sweating the stocks, and check out some of our favorite news from the past week.
- • Last week some of the most important minds in the mobile and web development game gathered in Amsterdam for one of our favorite mobile conferences, Mobilism. Earlier this week some of the amazing presentations from the conference began to hit the web, like this one from the great Lyza Danger Gardner (@lyzadanger)
- • This week we had a few developments in mobile from the food industry that were particularly interesting. We wrote about Boar’s Head’s misstep in mobile a few months back and this week they came out and amended their mistake. A few days later, our friends over at Mobile Marketer came to FiddleFly looking for some insight on the use of mobile in the campaigns of quick service restaurants. Take a look at the article about how Arby’s is doing just that.
- • Augmented reality might just be the next step in web, and this week the people at Wikitude took AR to the next level by introducing a feature that connects augmented reality directly to the mobile web. Using the smartphone’s built-in camera, now you can get real-time assistance by simply surveying your surroundings. Check it out here.
- • The Apple vs. Android battle continues and this week a report came from Info World that suggests there is a clear leader. The winner for now at least: Apple.
- • Alright, we know you want to see it. Awkward clapping and anti-climactic countdown aside, this is actually a REALLY big deal. Watch the opening ceremonies of Facebook’s IPO here.
- • BONUS: We came across this product called Electric Imp that is designed to connect every electric device in your house via the cloud. Pretty awesome stuff.
Okay everyone, that’s all from us for today. We hope you and your portfolios all have a great weekend, and of course, make sure to connect with us on Twitter @fiddlefly, Facebook, Google+, LinkedIn, and Pinterest for more updates and info about the mobile web.
Maybe there was simply some lingering cheer left over from the holiday weekend, or maybe there’s something in the air that the rest of us aren’t seeing, but yesterday it seemed the climate was just right for some huge, HUGE checks to be signed. We all heard about team Zuckerburg and its billion-dollar acquisition of everyone’s new favorite photo sharing program Instagram, but the Facebook gang wasn’t the only one making game-changing moves on a not-so-quiet Monday.
Yesterday, Microsoft announced it would be buying 800 patents from AOL for just over a billion dollars, and, not to be outdone, AT&T announced its own billion dollar deal, selling its majority stake in Yellow Pages to Cerberus Capital. All of these transactions made big headlines in business publications worldwide, but as always our interest is focused on the mobile world, which promises to see a significant impact from each of these deals.
The obvious place to start in this discussion is with the darling deal of market Monday, which saw Facebook realize its biggest weakness, photo sharing, and address it by tossing a defensive billion dollars at one of its biggest threats. While the deal was a genius tactical business move (if you can wrap your head around the concept of spending a billion dollars being tactical), it also promises to have some major impacts on the mobile web landscape.
With Facebook being the most downloaded app of all time, and Instagram climbing the charts faster than any app ever, the two forming an alliance makes perfect sense and is sure to change the way we share photos on the go. We’ve already seen the folks at Facebook make big strides in supporting the mobile web with their commitment to web-based apps, and bringing one of the most effective mobile photo sharing companies along for the ride will only help their case.
AT&T may have been on the other side of the buyers and sellers table yesterday, but that certainly doesn’t mean the company won’t see a benefit in terms of its mobile presence thanks to yesterday’s blockbuster deal. While selling a down-trending company won’t necessarily skyrocket AT&T’s business, and the company itself admits it expects to see little financial benefit from the sale, jettisoning Yellow Pages will allow AT&T to turn its focus to mobile initiatives in a hope to compete with competitors’ growing businesses.
While AT&T was cutting the fat to look to the future, Microsoft was busy doing some strategizing of its own. AOL has long been looking to transition to a more media-focused initiative, recently purchasing The Huffington Post and Techcrunch, so Microsoft was happy to buy up 800 tech patents from AOL, many of which were mobile-oriented. Microsoft has been very publically trying to keep up with competition in the mobile game such as Apple and Google’s Android market, and the acquisition of a slew of new patents may be just the beginning for the tech giant.
So, which billion-dollar baby will have the biggest impact on the mobile world? Well, despite the insistence from the folks at Facebook that nothing will change at Instagram, the sale likely has the most immediate implications of the three moves. Easier sharing of better photos, all streamlined through the mobile landscape, will almost instantly change the way we connect and communicate.
In the long run however, the new weapons that Microsoft acquired may end up being the biggest game-changer. We’ve seen Apple falter sans-Steve Jobs before, and considering some recent slip-ups, it’s not altogether crazy to think it may happen again. Of course, there’s a new rival that Microsoft will have to face head on this time around in the form of a little company called Google, but however the game shakes out, it’s going to get interesting.
Tell us about your thoughts on the billion-dollar deal day we just saw in the comments section below and of course make sure to follow and find us on Twitter @fiddlefly , Facebook, Google+, LinkedIn, and Pinterest for more mobile web
In the connected world, we all know Facebook is certainly chiseled into the digital Mt. Rushmore. Naturally, when someone from Facebook makes a point to address an issue publically, it bodes well for whoever takes the time to listen. That was the case last week when Facebook CTO Brett Taylor took the stage at the Mobile World Congress, and addressed (among other things) the need for concern about mobile billing.
Of course, this is not the first we’ve heard about mobile billing issues, as the system has long been flawed. With developers having to work with a conglomeration of different APIs in order to secure mobile payments, the result is billing systems that either become muddled with frustrating SMS confirmations, or a payment system that is unsecure (and sometimes both).
According to Taylor, Facebook has begun to work with over 30 developers, operators, and mobile producers to work towards creating a single unifying SDK (software development kit) to make billing for mobile web apps simple, secure, and practical across all platforms. Facilitating smooth operator billing is crucial in continuing Facebook’s growth as a mobile powerhouse as it will allow for access to dynamic premium content, and keep mobile users engaged.
We’ve seen the effects of streamlining billing before in the form of Apple’s App Store. By simplifying app purchases, Apple is able to offer its users access to the content they want without making them jump through hoops. While we still believe the future of mobile is moving away from native apps, it’s impossible to deny the success of the strategy.
The goal in optimizing the mobile billing process is of course to combine security with ease of use, without sacrificing content. The Android Market has seen complaints filing in about users being mischarged (often due to operating systems failing), and has finally launched a support initiative for in-app billing, however the problem remains that there is no unified system.
As more and more companies are developing software that facilitates mobile web browsing, FiddleFly included, the more we see improvements that need to be made. Time will tell if the folks at Facebook have solved the mobile billing puzzle, but it seems they’ve gotten the ball rolling in the right direction at the very least.