Ivy Worldwide Wins HP Circle Award!#
Post By Steve "fyiguy" Hughes

Well, congratulations are in order for our hard working friends over at Ivy Worldwide (formerly Buzz Corps), who were selected by Hewlett Packard for the HP Circle Award by HP Worldwide Marketing Executives in an an extensive competition among several other marketing companies. The had also were the 2008 Wommie Award Winner for the 31 Days of the Dragon Giveaway Promotion.

hp circle-award

Ivy Worldwide created the "31 Days of the Dragon" promotion in July 2008 - which ran on 31 separate blogger sites for 31 days. We were extremely fortunate to have participated with 30 other websites and blogs, where BostonPocketPC was honored to be selected to be a part of this promotional program for HP.

There were 411 entries of various promotional campaigns from 36 countries, each of which was seeking recognition for their work in promoting HP products. HP Global Marketing Executives were seeking to reward the highest performers that showed creativity, a high return on investment, and brand building via the HP Circle Award.

HP Circle Award

Created to celebrate MARKETING AND DESIGN EXCELLENCE at the company, HP’s CIRCLE Awards have created some fierce internal competition. In 2009, the global technology leader saw an unprecedented 411 entries pouring in from 36 participating countries for the chance to be recognized with this prestigious award sponsored by HP’s GLOBAL MARKETING EXECUTIVES.

Entries were judged according to the CIRCLE criteria of Collaboration, Innovation, Relevance, Consistency, LEADERSHIP, and Effectiveness. The overall goal: to reward CREATIVITY, ROI and brand building. In the first round of judging, review panels from within HP chose finalists in each of 14 categories. In the second round, executive judges were invited to HP headquarters to select CIRCLE Award winners

Again Congratulations! Not only to Ivy Worldwide, but this is something that should be shared with every blogger who participated in the campaign and their online communities!

08/31/2009 10:23:00 (Eastern Standard Time, UTC-05:00) #     |  Trackback

 

Zune HD Pamphlet#
Post By Steve "fyiguy" Hughes

I have received quite a few tweets and emails pertaining to the Zune HD Pamphlet that was handed out at Best Buy during the Zune HD Best Buy Event (even more since it was posted on Engadget).

One thing I noticed was how similar the pamphlet size was to the box on the demo table and just assume it is one that will be included in the box as an accessory up-sell to inform users of the available accessories and services available to the Zune HD. A video and few pictures on the internet have confirmed this.

The Front – Zune Everywhere

Front of Zune HD Pamphlet

explore beyond music at zune marketplace

Zune HD Front 1

(The upper left corner)

Access Zune Marketplace from your Zune software. Easily find music, HD movies, TV shows & podcasts from millions of selections. Explore new and more music with Mixview & other unique discovery features.

This got a lot of people excited- seeing HD movies available for download. I wonder if Mixview will apply to videos as well - Kind of how Netflix does their movie referrals based on your ratings of movies. This may or may not be the new Zune 4 software or it could be an aspect of it. It looks very much akin to the Xbox 360 Zune Video Marketplace that was demoed earlier this year. Hopefully the same ease of use, UX, and nice graphics will carry over.

simplify your life with zune software

Zune HD Front 2

(lower left)

Zune software smartly organizes your collection exactly how you like it. Browse Zune Marketplace for music videos,& more. Get all your favorite music & recommendations right up front with QuickPlay.

This seems the same as the current Zune 3.0 desktop client. I wonder if there will be some integration of song PINs, New, and History on the desktop client as there is on the Zune HD, so you will have a similar experience when you are experiencing music on your desktop software client. What they really need is a Mac OSX client that will help transition those from iTunes and iPods and those that use Macs that don’t want to run a Virtual PC session in Fusion, BootCamp, or Parallels just to sync their Zune.

Zune HD Front 3

(Underneath the Zune)

HD Radio & HD –compatible video. Multi-Touch-navigation is a breeze.Surf the web & download music from Wi-Fi hotspots.

The current Zune needs configuration of Wi-Fi hotspots via the desktop client to enter any keys,pass phrases, etc. Now that the Zune HD has browser support it can easily jump on public Wi-Fi hotspots that require proxies and passwords. Older version will probably have to look at using the desktop software unless a software update includes a keyboard.

connect with music and more on zune.net

Zune HD Front 4

(middle right)

Log into Zune music universe from a web browser. Stream music & podcasts. Check your inbox & see what everyone’s playing in the Social.

Pretty much the same currently on the web client.I wonder if there will be some UI enhancements and some Silverlight or similar interfaces as seen on the Xbox 360.

expand your entertainment with Xbox 360

Zune HD Front 5

(Upper Right)

Buy movies & TV shows and playback on your TV, PC or Zune player. Get smooth HD video streaming from Zune on Xbox LIVE Marketplace. Play music from your Zune player on Xbox 360 while you game.

This is the integration between the Xbox LIVE Marketplace and Zune Marketplace in regards to video which was announced at E3 09 this June that the video on the Xbox 360 will fall under the Zune brand and Marketplace. Note on the Xbox 360 it will get 1080P movies in 5.1 surround sound. The Zune will get 720P movies down-converted to fit on the screen, but will still have 5.1 surround sound support. Looks like MS is finally aligning their services together and got all the legal matters settled with the content providers allowing them licensing on the Zune and hopefully other devices as Zune as a service evolves. The music while you play was always there and the Xbox 360 supports other sources for music as well including iPod.

Zune Pass enjoy unlimited music for one low monthly fee

Zune HD Front 6

(lower right)

Download as much music as you like. Keep your favorites with 10 song credits per month. Use you Zune Pass with up to 3 different players & PCs. Try a 14-day Zune Pass @zune.net/free

Still a good deal. It might be better if they throw a free movie every other month as well - I am just sayin’ :) Here I would love to see some interface with other services that are out there that are now supported on the Xbox 360 like Last FM and Pandora support with the ability of adding songs that are streaming from these services to “my favorites” or “pins” and for purchase via the Zune Marketplace.This would also be great for other devices that support the Zune Marketplace like Sonos, which already has these partnerships. Hopefully this is in the works.

The Back – All the Accessories You Need

Back of Zune HD Pamphlet

These are the accessories available at www.zune.net/accessories

Zune Premium Car Pack

Zune Premium Car Pack

Charge and Play music, podcasts & HD Radio stations from your Zune HD player while you drive. FM transmitter / car charger auto seeks the best available frequency on your car stereo. 

From Microsoft Store ($79.99):

Charge and play music, podcasts, and HD RadioTM from your Zune HD player while you drive. FM transmitter/car charger auto-seeks the best available frequency on your car stereo. USB port allows you to charge a second Zune player simultaneously.

  • Includes FM Transmitter/Charger.
  • Compatible with all Zune players.

This looks like V3 of the Car Pack aka FM modulator for the Zune. It looks much smaller than the previous versions, but I want to know will work better? The two previous versions have incrementally gotten better, but still how do you say? - suck. I don’t know if it has to do with the new FCC regulations for FM transmitters that Satellite radios had to deal with recently for being “too strong” or just poor design. I have an older Griffin iTrip that works fine, but doesn’t charge the Zune. The new Car Pack has the tuning LED display in the Zune connector with what looks like two Preset buttons above the display like the last version. There is also an additional USB port for charge another USB based device like your phone. There also appears to be a hole under the cable connector. I wonder if that is an additional AUX 3.5mm input or antenna for the HD Radio?

Zune Charge Pack

Zune Charge Pack

The Zune AC Adapter will quickly recharge your Zune player up to 70% within an hour. Folding blades make it easier to travel with. use The included USB cable to sync with your PC.

From Microsoft Store ($29.99):

Includes AC adapter and USB cable.
Compatible with: Zune HD (32 & 16), Zune 120, Zune 80, Zune 16, Zune 8, Zune 4.

About time faster charge and folding blades make it more travel friendly. It also looks thinner with the USB port on the side. It looks like the small USB wall-wart charger that comes with the Aliph Jawbone II and Prime and can easily fit into a crowded outlet strip. It looks like it will easily fit in ones gear bag or pocket. Specs don’t list the Zune 30GB, but I am sure it will work fine.

Zune HD,AV & Power Pack

Zune HD AV & Power Pack

Connect your docked Zune HD with the A/V cable to your home audio system to play music and HD Radio stations. The HDMI cable connects your docked Zune HD with your HDTV so you can view movies & videos. Zune AC Adapter included. (Dock sold separately)

From Microsoft Store ($49.99):

Includes AC adapter, HDMI cable, and AV output cable.
Compatible with: Zune HD (32 & 16), Zune 120, Zune 80, Zune 16, Zune 8, Zune 4.

This cable was on display during the Best Buy demos Hooked up to the AV Dock.

Zune Sync Dock (not shown in pamphlet)

Zune Sync Dock

Connect with your PC and sync all your content while you charge your Zune player. Wireless remote included.

From Microsoft Store ($49.99):

Includes dock, three inserts (one for each Zune model), wireless remote, and AC adapter.
Compatible with: Zune HD (32 & 16), Zune 120, Zune 80, Zune 16, Zune 8, and Zune 4.

This isn’t shown in the pamphlet, but I would assume it would be the same as the AV Dock, since it comes with a remote control, but it looks like it’s designed for the desktop only to connect your computer. I am hoping that it also has audio out and maybe composite video(yellow RCA) I am confused on this one without a picture, one can only speculate that this dock will be backwards compatible with the older Zunes and support the new Zune HD. Looks like the 30GB Zune will be left out of this one like with the Zune AV Dock unless there are different docking options like the ones offered in the iHome accessories and wonder if no adapter inserted would accept the 30GB Zune. It would be nice if this dock allowed you to charge your Zune and play audio out to PC speakers when connected to a PC when the play button is pressed instead of default synching.

Zune HD & AV Dock

Zune HD AV Dock

This all-in-one package enables Zune HD to charge,snc & play HD videos on supported HDTVs. Send music and HD Radio content to your home audio system and control it all via wireless remote.

From the Microsoft Store ($89.99):

This all-in-one package enables your Zune HD player to charge, sync, and play supported 720p HD videos on your HDTV. Send music and HD RadioTM to your home audio system and control it all via a wireless remote.
Includes dock, three inserts (one for each Zune model), wireless remote, AC adapter, HDMI cable, and AV output cable. Zune HD player sold separately.
Compatible with: Zune HD (32 & 16), Zune 120, Zune 80, Zune 16, Zune 8, and Zune 4.

As said in the text this is the all in one AV pack needed to show video on an external display/TV. If you notice in this picture it shows the Zune Charge Pack with the AC blades folded – showing a nice compact block. The cable length is fairly bulky to carry and one would hope there was some way to contain the octopus of cables like a bag or something.

Zune HD AV Back

(Photo Courtesy of Gizmodo)

The back is the business end of the dock with a thin wire that looked like an antenna and a hardwired cable and connectors for both the tri-3.5mm AV jack that has your standard Composite video (yellow) and stereo audio(red and white), optical out and HDMI out. 

Zune HD AV remote

(Photo Courtesy of Gizmodo)

The remote control is different from the ones previous in that there are more buttons. One at the top simulates the D-pad with left,right,up,down and middle select. Beneath that are two thin rectangular buttons the back and Home keys and below them are the media buttons- Volume Up and Down, Next and Previous track and Play/Pause.

Zune HD AV Box

If you are wondering what the product boxes may look like. The images on the back of the pamphlet look to match up with what was on the Zune HD & AV Dock box that was demoed at Best Buy. ;)

Hope that answers most of your questions. If not feel free to comment below.

08/29/2009 03:48:00 (Eastern Standard Time, UTC-05:00) #     |  Trackback

 

Zune HD Best Buy Event#
Post By Steve "fyiguy" Hughes

Well we had some errands to run as a family is the per usual and my daughter read about the new Zune HD Best Buy events and saw Boston was one of the chosen few areas. So we pulled up the PDF off of the Best Buy website and headed to Framingham. The display was right at the front of the store for Demos this is a premium real estate with a lot of foot traffic, a small crowd was already gathered when we arrived and jumped into the demo and fondled some mock up models that were being passed around.

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Zune HD Hardware

The ID (Industrial Design) of the Zune is really cool mainly due to the addition of the OLED (Organic Light Emitting Diode) technology lending to its svelte thin size. This device is really thin! My daughter placed the mockup being passed around next to an iPod Touch for size comparison and when placed next to an 8GB Flash Zune (sorry I don’t have a picture for comparison my oldest wanted to go look at all the phones) The weight we were told was the same as two of the mockups together, very light and barely noticeable in one’s pocket (So be sure to check you pockets before doing a wash!).

  • To power on the device you press the power on at the top of the device. My daughter asked how you lock the device and I believe the person giving the demo said you press the button to lock the screen and press and hold the power button to turn the device all the way off and on. There is a lock screen like many phones and DMP (Digital Media Players) have that can have a PIN to keep people off of your Zune. The lock screen image is the same as your background image which is selected from images on your Zune like on the current Zune.
  • Pressing the button on the upper left-hand side toggles the transition interface that has both volume up and down controls as well as Play/Pause in the center and previous track on the left and next track on the right, which the current Directional-Pad/Squircal does now, with a large text read out of the volume great for those over 40. Pressing the transition button on the side will bring you back to the screen you were previously on.
  • On that same side one of my daughters noticed the Hello from Seattle that used to be on the back of the Zune.
  • The back of the Zune has two beveled edges for a nice comfortable grip in ones hands no matter what you hand size and it’s held together by 4 Tri-Wing screws that are found on some of the previous Zunes.
  • The Home button does just that, brings you all the way back to the Home interface, much like pressing and holding the back button on previous Zunes. That’s it for buttons on the device the rest of the interface done via the beautiful touch screen with a swipe in the back direction to bring you back.
  • The accelerometer automatically shifts the screen from landscape to portrait mode depending on the orientation of the Zune.
  • HD Radio is added that allows you to listen to HD enabled radio stations, much like OTA (Over The Air) HD TV where you have many HD options on one main frequency via the headphones doubling as the antenna. HD stations are indicated with an HD text
  • On the bottom of the Zune HD is your headphone jack(no headphones where shown at this event) and the same Zune connector so if you have old Zune accessories and cables they will work with the new Zune HD.

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User Interface

UI Elements you have the standard:

  • Music
  • Videos
  • Pictures
  • Radio (FM and HD)
  • Marketplace
  • Social
  • Podcasts
  • Settings

Removed from the menu is Games (which used to reside between Podcasts and Settings). Squeezed in between Podcasts and Settings is the Internet, which is an internet browser that wasn’t shown at the demo due to some changes that might occur. Also not demoed was the Marketplace, which was revealed on the internet in another BestBuy demo that there is an Apps and Music listing. At our store we were told that Microsoft gave specific directions that no one was to see some of the unfinished portions of the software, because they haven’t been finalized yet and didn’t want to give the public a false information – those being the Internet browser and Marketplace. MS also requested that no one, but the person doing the demo could touch the device. So we all got to touch and fondle plastic mockups, which are generally sent to accessory manufacturers so they can make cases, docks, etc. Back to the UI. When asked if the current Zune devices will receive updates, he said yes, but it won’t have all the features of the Zune HD and wouldn’t go any further. I am assuming this means the basic menu structure will be changed reflective of the new offering in the Zune Marketplace, but it wasn’t clear if the new sidebar UI would be there.

New UI on the side under the Standard UI are really cool shortcuts to get you to your media quicker.

You have Pins, which are songs and playlists that you can drag and pin to the UI great for favorites or favorites at the moment. You also have a History that allows you to not only look at songs, but radio, videos, pictures, and media last viewed. Also added is a New category. Something which is really cool if you have a Zune Pass or you just downloaded a new song, video, podcast, to the device and you want to get to it quickly you can find it listed under here.

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During playback you have the same series of artist pictures that are shown in the desktop software as well as access to the Artists bio. You also get the same cool animations that In regards to new software that not only works on the Zune screen, but can also be displayed in party mode via the Zune HD & AV Dock. It kind of reminded me of liner notes on vinyl, cassettes, and CDs - I used to read when listening to their music. I would love to see the addition of lyrics here as an option in the Zune software. I asked how large the pictures and information were for each artist and our demonstrator said a few kilobytes and I asked if there was an option to toggle this on or off on the Zune desktop software and thinks there is an option, but wasn’t a 100% sure.

The Zune HD & AV Dock shares the same connector as the previous Zunes, but the ole 30GB Zune won’t fit into the slot. The dock had a few issues displaying via the HDMI cable, probably due to scan and resolution switches that the Samsung LCD television couldn’t detect - (our television at home has similar issues synching when video sources change when played through our receiver like switching from Xbox Dashboard to playing a DVD-a quick turn off and on usually reestablishes synch). Our Demo person was able to get it to work once and showed an HD video of the next series of Heroes that was shown at ComiCon09 He ran most of the other demos showing off the UI and playback via the composite connection.

HD Video (720p) is actually compressed and reduced in size to the resolution of to save space on the Zune HD otherwise you would only be able to store a handful of HD videos. Playback supports 720p HD video files play on the player, downscaled to fit the screen at 480 x 272 - not at full HD resolution.

I asked about Media Center synchronization of recorded television and the demo rep wasn’t sure.

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Overall we were impressed with the Zune HD. It was much nicer than I had expected and it was smaller than the iPod Touch, which is pretty remarkable considering it has some great ID. The UI and side-by-side comparison makes the current iPod Touch look very dated. As the iPod starts to move away from Media, it appears Microsoft is focusing on media first and add-ons like apps, games, and internet – (with social media Twitter and Facebook which the Zune is all about sharing media) second, while not losing sight of what is important to the consumer. It does seem to come a bit late especially the Zune video store and merge with Xbox Live. To gain true market share MS really needs an OSX version of the Zune software and the ability to sell media and Zunes in Europe, the Pacific and Asia even if it is in baby steps.

My kids who are current Zune owners – 1 30 GB Zune, 1 8GB Zune, and 1 4GB Zune wanted the new Zune HD for Christmas, but missed the games that were present on their current Zunes. My wife who loves her Sansa Clip even wants one (in green). Myself I am still on the fence since my current Zunes work so well and with each product update it stays current and works better than it did with each software update. However the gadget lust is really getting me thinking. As with my kids if there are more XNA games in line with the Xbox 360, with Xboxlive Gamer Tag/ Zune Tag synch and achievements/badges along with some cool apps like a Sonos control application(please?) like the iPhone/iPod Touch have as well as Netflix streaming over WiFi, then I am full on board.

I will get a Zune HD, its just a matter of when.

Zune HD. The wait if over. Pre-order yours today.

Both Zune HD 16GB and 32GB and both are ready for pre-order for September 15th delivery date through Zune HD’s product page. You can pre-order the Black 16GB and the Platinum 32GB Zune HD from one of five retailers; Best Buy, Amazon.com, the Microsoft Store, and Walmart. If you visit Newegg directly you can preorder from them too. (I don't know if its on Bing Shopping yet for Cash back.) You can also visit Zune.net/zunehd to find links to the four online retailers and to get a more detailed look at the device. As expected, the suggested retail pricing will be $220 for the 16GB model and $290 for the 32GB version.

Make it yours

Also at  http://www.ZuneOriginals.net, starting on September 15th both 16GB and 32GB capacities of Zune HD will be available in four different colors with the option to customize your player with one of 10 new engravings designed by guest artists.

Videos:

Here are some great videos to check out on the Zune HD.

One by our buddy Andru Edwards from GearLive.

Another by TechFlash with Brian Seitz of the Zune team.

Gizmodo has one too on the Zune HD TV interface.

And another recorded by at the gdgt event in San Francisco.

If you would like to win one the folks at Microsoft have a few contests going on. Head here for more info.

You can win a Zune HD through Microsoft, ;) if you're social enough.  According to another press release and giveaway rules, if you visit Zune's Facebook and MySpace page and comment on their profile about the one Zune HD feature you're most excited about, if you're on Twitter you must add a Zune gradient to be eligible at http://zune.m80im.com and @reply to Zune about the one feature you're excited about.  Here are the rules:

  • You must be at least 18 years old
  • Only in the United States
  • One entry per social network, three entries per person in total
  • Four 16 GB Zune HDs are being given away
  • Giveaway going from Aug 13th through Sept 10th

Good Luck!!!

08/23/2009 05:45:00 (Eastern Standard Time, UTC-05:00) #     |  Trackback

 

SureLock Studio: Kiosk-Mode Lockdown for Windows Mobile Devices#
Post By Don Sorcinelli

I am frequently asked by enterprise IT groups about ways to control user access on Windows Mobile devices, restricting use to only “business-critical” applications. While there are any of a number of ways of managing this, having a “kiosk-mode” type functionality that only displays shortcuts would typically be the easiest implementation from a device management perspective. Software company 42Gears recognized this fact, releasing a new application named SureLock -

surelock_small

“In recent times Windows Mobile has become quite popular among companies to deploy and run their business applications. Windows Mobile is a generic operating system and therefore provides opportunities to employees to use the device for entertainment and gaming purposes (browsers, audio players, games, phone etc) which results in wastage of crucial working hours. Besides, accidental corruption of device settings by employees can cause critical business applications to fail.

SureLock Studio helps enterprises avoid above problems by locking down Windows Mobile devices into kiosk mode. As configured SureLock allows the employee to launch and use only the "approved" Line of Business applications.”

If kiosk-mode is what you desire, you should check out the SureLock product page. There is even a free trial download to evaluate it for yourself.

08/21/2009 12:08:17 (Eastern Standard Time, UTC-05:00) #     |  Trackback

 

Lest Ye Forget… The Mobile Web and Multi-Platform Development#
Post By Don Sorcinelli

During our Boston/New England Windows Mobile User/Developer Group meeting this past Wednesday, we had a wonderfully interactive discussion during my presentation “State of The Union: Mobile Device Application Development”. A common theme/concern during the presentation revolved around the effort involved in creating a single logical application that runs on multiple devices across platforms like Windows Mobile, iPhone, Android, WebOS… and on and on. We talked in great length about development tools, programming languages, learning curves and the like. During the presentation, one consistent message I tried to impart the audience with was simple…

Don’t dismiss the possibility of leveraging the mobile web for your application.

I think the greatest example of this came from one of our attendees, Jim Travis (thanks, Jim!). He gave an example of an iPhone application currently available in the iTunes App Store (and a quite popular app as well). This application, focused on mobile banking, is quite nice and has the visual appeal expected when using iPhone applications. Jim then pointed out that by using this bank’s mobile web application, you received a similar visual appeal with similar functionality. No application download required. It is this very example that brought me to writing on this subject.

Any seasoned application developer will tell you that there are times when a web-based application simply will not work. Usually, it is business-critical requirements like offline access to the application, detailed interaction with hardware and/or system resources or local storage of information that becomes a “show-stopper”. I understand this entirely, having experienced this far too many times myself over the years. I believe, however, that when it comes to mobile application development, we have become conditioned in an almost Pavlovian way to assume mobile application equates to native application.

Part of our conditioning when it comes to mobile application development comes from the evolution of mobile devices themselves. For so many years, mobile web browsers were well behind there desktop counterparts in capabilities. In fact, it was not that long ago that the only “safe bet” when developing for mobile browsers was to keep it as simple as possible, falling back to WAP standards to guarantee that the application would work. Times have changed in this regard; today’s mobile browsers are quickly gaining the ability to render desktop web sites with near-desktop fidelity. Unfortunately, these capabilities have led to yet another aspect of our turning away from mobile web application development.

With today’s mobile browsers supporting near-desktop browser capabilities, many have come to assume that there simply is not a need to mobile web equivalents. I frequently hear people say “let the user go to the ‘regular’ web site if they want <fill in the blank>.” Sadly, simplistic statements like this forget an oh-so important principle of software design – accessibility and/or readability do not equate to usability. While I can see my bank’s web site on my mobile browser, the process of using my bank’s web site to manage my finances is fraught with challenges zooming in and zooming out of a page, panning, scrolling, doing data entry, etc. All this typically leads to frustration and (inevitably) abandonment. If the banking site is optimized for my mobile browser, however, I can perform the tasks I require with improved readability, navigation and data entry. Result – a workable application that, when crafted correctly, can support a user base using different devices.

The techniques for supporting mobile mobile web browsers have existed for a long time. In fact, those who have developed web applications long enough can recall having to use the same techniques for desktop browsers (remember the first “Browser Wars”, with IE 4 and Netscape 4?). Interestingly enough, desktop web application developers are finding themselves in a similar situation today with IE 8, Firefox, Safari and Opera. To best provide rich web application functionality using “browser sniffing” (the web application determining the browser being used) and appropriate rendering of the web page, one can leverage a single base of common business application logic and customization only for the user interface. If you are developing using this technique today for your desktop experience, why not simply extend it for your mobile experience? While this approach requires a greater development effort, I think it is safe to say that it is usually far less effort than the alternative of learning multiple programming languages, investing in multiple toolsets and trying to keep everything “in sync” from a feature/functionality standpoint.

Another major challenge with native mobile applications lies in the process of distribution. How do you get your application to your users? Every mobile platform currently has one or more ways to deal with software distribution, but managing this when complicated by one logical application having multiple device-specific implementations is complex, to say the least. One compelling reason for the explosion of web applications in the past decade has been around this challenge. Simply put, web applications have no distribution issues to address, at least from a mechanical standpoint. New features? No problem. Bug fixes? No problem. Simply update the web site and voila! Bottom line – distribution of software is almost always a major complication for any type of application; web applications practically trivialize this issue.

All of this may sound like I am minimizing the importance of native device applications. I most certainly am not. I recognize their importance as well as scenarios where they are the only option. What I want to make clear, however, is that they are far from the only alternative for building solutions that support disparate multiple device platforms. When the idea for developing a mobile application first arises, you should be asking yourself some simple questions…

  1. Is there a compelling business and/or technical reason why I cannot design the application for the mobile web? Sometimes, a legitimate business reason may trump technical reasons. An example – the exposure of a native application to the public through a distribution channel provides more marketing ROI than a web application would. I think the mobile banking example mentioned previously could support this scenario.
  2. Can I provide the functionality for the user that meets the business and/or technical requirements with a mobile web application? While this used to be a blocking factor for the mobile web, it is increasingly becoming less so. Remember – the same mobile browser functionality that allows for the rendering and interaction with desktop web sites can be leveraged with a mobile web site; it is the design for usability on mobile devices that makes the extra development effort worth while.
  3. Is the extra cost associated with multiple versions of the same application for different devices worth it? Back to the ROI discussion. If there are no blocking factors for a mobile web application, it is crucial to address the costs and benefits of going the native application route to make sure that there is a very real reason to “go native” (held off using that phrase up until now ;-) ).

As a presenter, I love discussions that make me think in the same way that I hope to get my audience to think. This past Wednesday’s meeting/presentation was one such discussion. I really believe that the diversity of mobile devices and associated platforms may in fact be a greater driver to mobile web application adoption than anything else prior. By simply being open to the idea of cross-platform mobile web applications, we can potentially see a new world of opportunities for all mobile device users.  

08/21/2009 09:53:30 (Eastern Standard Time, UTC-05:00) #     |  Trackback

 

WinMoDevCamp – Boston, Anyone?#
Post By Don Sorcinelli

In case you haven’t heard, the first of the WinMoDevCamps is occurring tomorrow (8/19/2009) in Seattle. Just what is WinMoDevCamp, you ask?. Well, here is the answer, direct from the WinMoDevCamp web site -

WMDC004-background

“WinMoDevCamp is a series of upcoming not-for-profit gatherings to develop applications for the upcoming release of the Microsoft Windows Mobile 6.5 O/S. The event is currently being planned in 7 cities around the world. Our first Windows Mobile Developer Camp event has been scheduled for August 19 in Redmond, Washington at the Microsoft Campus. You can register now on the form below. Dates will soon be announced for the following additional cities: Austin, London, New York, San Francisco, Singapore, and Toronto. We will also encourage other mobile developers to host their own events on the same dates. This website will have facilities for local events to organize as well.”

The last sentence in this paragraph is the reason for this post. While a New York City event is planned, there is nothing set for Boston. This begs to ask the question -

If a WinMoDevCamp event was planned for the Boston area, would you attend?

If there is the interest in this event, we here at BostonPocketPC.com are willing to try and make it happen. However, no one likes having a party where no one shows up ;-) The best way to express your interest – send an email to winmodevcamp at bostonpocketpc dot com. Please don’t delay – the sooner we can gauge interest, the faster we can get the ball rolling!

08/18/2009 09:47:29 (Eastern Standard Time, UTC-05:00) #     |  Trackback

 

USER / DEVELOPER GROUP MEETING: Wednesday, Aug. 19th, 2009#
Post By Don Sorcinelli

It’s that time again! The next meeting of the Boston/New England Windows Mobile User and Developer Group will be held on Wednesday, August 19th starting at 6:30 PM at the Microsoft offices in Waltham, MA (201 Jones Road, 6th Floor).

Map picture

Our next meeting will be of interest to anyone who currently is or is looking to develop applications for mobile devices…

“State of the Union: Mobile Application Development”

If you are a mobile device application developer, there has never been a more opportunistic time to leverage your skills. With several established device platforms out there and more gaining traction daily, the decisions as to where to place your development efforts have never been more challenging. 

In this presentation, you will receive an overview of all of the current opportunities for mobile device development. You will learn about the market opportunities (both consumer and enterprise), the technologies needed for success and strategies for leveraging your knowledge to maximize your productivity and skillset.

As always, we will have lots of giveaways for our drawings at the end of the meeting. All you need to do is… be there!

08/04/2009 07:29:39 (Eastern Standard Time, UTC-05:00) #     |  Trackback

 

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