I know, a very heady and timely topic for someone that posts as infrequently as I do. I've been a little pre-occupied with my Twitter steam and ignoring this blog, but hopefully that will change and I'll be back to some semblance of weekly posting again soon. Anyway...
In the past few weeks there have been two big mobile OS announcements, and both of them have featured (at least publicly) the same thing. Both Apple's new OS4 and RIM's new Blackberry 6 feature touch-interface based multitasking as well as integrated social networking accounts. Of course there were other things in Steve Jobs' 7 pillars and BB seems to be focusing on appealing to a younger demographic, but as far as consumers are concerned, multitasking and social integration are the big steps forward.
Those of you that follow me on Twitter (or have just glanced at the stream on the right) no doubt know about my feelings on these "innovations" from Apple and RIM. Simply put, Android has been doing multitasking out of the gate and Motorola has this great little UI called Motoblur that does an amazing job of social integration. I won't go into depth here about those two, other than to say that I love my Cliq XT simply because it handles both multitasking and integration so well, and all this before the Android 2.1 upgrade scheduled for this quarter!
What I'd really like to note here is that the adoption of these features by Apple and RIM (in addition to the Facebook announcements from F8 last week) should mean great things for the inter-connectivity of the web. The thing that I love about the integrated social accounts on the Cliq XT is that it allows me to have a true snapshot of my life. If you looked at my old phone, you would assume that I'm a recluse that orders a whole lot of take-out (nearly 30% of my phone book was dedicated to delivery joints in my neighborhood). Now when I look at my phone I see all of my work and personal contacts with an option on how to contact those that blur the boundaries.
Allowing people to feel connected (and indeed reflected) by their hardware will, in the long term provide a greater incentive for sharing and web usage, which is exactly what applications (like Facebook and Twitter) and cloud-based services like Google and now Microsoft want. This is also crucial information for marketers and advertisers to keep in mind.
Both the mobile and social spaces will continue to expand exponentially in the next 2-3 years (I include tablets in the mix here, since I see them more as mobile computing devices than a replacement for the desktop). Mobile gaming and location-based services should be in the front of mind when looking to emerging and new technology. Same with QR and AR, especially if Motorola continues to move forward in 3D tech for mobiles.
These are just a few suggestions for people and agencies to keep in mind when it comes to the utilization of next gen tech. What you do with it is of course entirely up to you.