You know what? Mobile software is not about bits, coding and all that. It's about understanding trends and what our motivations, problems and limitations are. I don't really know can you say that there's been a killer app since short messaging (SMS)... That's one thing that got adopted by a huge majority of mobile users. It's pretty obvious, just take a walk in a city, enter the traffic terminals, shops - keep your eyes wide open; observe. It's real fun! You can sense what people are looking for, at least you get some tips about it.
Where I see possibilities for new software & services is:
- logistics. Very easy to use, intelligent routing of people point-to-point
- exploration: satisfying our curiosity for getting more information; when you're at certain place, you can download text and images of that place
- meeting people. Dynamic matching, getting to know casually. Business partnering, dating; all done with the help of a mobile. Currently we have basically listings of people and pictures, but there's no geographical info. And no dynamism: the systems do not yet keep you updated about what really going around you, right now!
Logistics applications will be a major hit. Why? Because they are extremely useful. They really bind the code into real world, and make a big difference to the way we live. These applications can really suggest optimizations to our daily patterns. And there's even more interesting genre of logistics apps: the ones that utilize our movement, and that of others; matching people with the same mission ("Do you want to suggest to Dave you share the car to work? You both have the same route.").
The success of a system is of course the sum of all parts: the device, the network, applications software, and the operating system the phone runs. When all click into place, voila! Oh yeah, and add one more ingredient: the users! Without, you can bath in your private shampagne, but the skeleton needs some live meat to make it tick.
What we currently have, is a machines, more machines!! -phase. We get all these new mobile models, probably several each month. It's good, this is a necessary thing for mobile evolution, but it's not the hardware itself that should evolve.
The mobile world is an interesting one. I'm looking forward to getting some of those apps. I know there are legions of coders at work on the subject. So it will be anytime soon that someone blows the bank.
I haven't tried yet, but would certainly want to get my hands on iPhone. Saw couple of those here in Helsinki / Finland. They're not very popular yet. But all the things I saw convinced me that it's going to be a pop machine. I really liked the large screen real estate. I think it is something that transforms the use possibilities in a major way. Instead of having a Web page rendering on a tiny backyard, you can now have it basically without modifications.
Have a good weekend! 🙂