AMPLI Report 2012 is out, and brings some news

As an Australian resident and professional, this was obviously a highly expected publication. But as a citizen of the world, any of you guys out there should also grant it a bit of your interest and time, since Australia is now the #1 digital nation in the world!

It’s not me saying it, it’s Google for instance, in their “Mobile Planet” interactive report: Australia is well ahead of most advanced economies in terms of smartphones penetration for instance.

Smartphone penetration in 2012

And that’s what the AMPLI report 2012 confirms, with a higher figure of 76% smartphone ownership among the population surveyed. Considering that, it’s fair to say it’s good “lab” data for our all market researchers around the globe.

The Australian Interactive Media Association (or AIMIA) has faithfully prepared and published this survey for 8 years in a row now, bringing a remarkable contribution to our industry. Here are some facts I’d like to highlight here to feed your geeky appetite:

  • AIMIA AMPLI report 201276% smartphone penetration (p16) => That puts Australia #1 now, before the US and UK!
  • 40% of Apple devices, then 18% Samsung (p18)
  • 42% shop online on mobile (p27)
  • 50/50 use of apps and mobile web (p33)
  • 85% of people use less than 10 apps a week (p57)
  • Top apps are Map/Navigation, games, news, social, photo/video (p59)
  • 50% of smartphone users also have or are considering a tablet (p71)
  • Apple has 77% market share for tablets (p73), but Samsung and Acer ramping up
  • Greater use of mobile websites on tablets (as opposed to apps) (p79)

And obviously there are plenty of other very interesting data! Plus guess what … IT’S FREE FOR ALL! So just get it now 🙂

Cookbook: HTML5 for creative directors

HTML5 for creative directorsJohn Allsop from Wedirections has just published an interesting short 30 pages book about HTML5, to help an audience of creative professionals understanding what sort of new features and capabilities they can leverage for their projects and customers.

“HTML5 for Creatives takes a high level, yet in depth, look at the capabilities, use cases, strengths and limitations of the whole suite of related technologies that are broadly referred to as “HTML5”. It’s written specifically for people who make decisions about the use of technologies, particularly in the creative industries, (but it’s more than a little relevant for other industries as well) rather than for developers and implementors. We keep it high level, so there’s no code to worry about, but we’ll also delve into these technologies in some detail.”

The PDF is available for free, and is certainly worth having more than a close look at. It tackles and kicks out a number of urban legends and preconceived ideas with both honesty and clarity. However, consider it for what it is, an introduction to a complex topic, good enough for awareness but insufficient to jump into a real life project. Some chapters are very promising yet frustratingly embryonic (such as “Device APIs”). The take on Native Apps vs/with HTML5 (hybrid apps) sounds reasonable to me, although the discussion already starts being a bit outdated according to me.

A good download anyway! Thanks John.

Lessons from Breaking Dev 2012

Breaking DevelopmentReblogged from LukeW

In his “Beyond Mobile, Beyond Web” talk at Breaking Development in Dallas, TX Scott Jenson talked about native apps, the Web, the future of mobile, and the role of just in time interactions in the Internet of things.

“Native applications are a remnant of the Jurassic period of computer history. We will look back on the next 10 years as the time we finally grew out of our desktop mindset and started down the path of writing apps for an infinite number of platforms. As the cost of computation and connectivity plummets, manufacturers are going to put ‘interactivity’ into every device. Some of this will be trivial: my power adaptor knows it’s charging history. Some of it will be control related: my television will be grand central for my smart home. But at it’s heart, we’ll be swimming in world where every device will have ‘an app’. What will it take for us to get here, what technologies will it take to make this happen? The principles of the open web must apply not only to protocols but to hardware as well. How can we build a ‘DNS for hardware’ so the menagerie of devices has a chance for working together?”

You can read LukeW’s insightful notes on this talk here.

Another summary of what went on and was said lately at GigaOM Mobilize 2012, courtesy of Kevin Tofel.


A long, early Saturday flight home highlighted the end of our Mobilize 2012 event, giving me plenty of time to digest all of the salient points made by our speakers and panelists. Many of these spoke to not only the current state of mobile, but the future too. And that future is fast approaching as we’re watching improvements in mobile broadband networks, better software tools, smarter app discovery engines, and hardware cycles that are revving faster than ever.

Some of the more poignant thoughts from our Mobilize speakers exemplify this theme, so here are a few I thought worth sharing:

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Benefits of Server-Side Device Detection

ImageThere’s a great article on Smashing Magazine to help clarifying on this complex topic of device detection, and most importantly of device “capabilities” detection. Even very senior developers and designers often fail to adopt the right practices in leveraging device detection for responsive design or progressive enhancement. Quote:

“The expansion of the Web from the PC to devices such as mobile phones, tablets and TVs demands a new approach to publishing content. Your customers are now interacting with your website on countless different devices, whether you know it or not.

As we progress into this new age of the Web, a brand’s Web user experience on multiple devices is an increasingly important part of its interaction with customers. A good multi-device Web experience is fast becoming the new default. If your business has a Web presence, then you need fine-grained control over this experience and the ability to map your business requirements to the interactions that people have with your website.

Drawing on the work of people behind the leading solutions on the market, we’ll discuss a useful tool in one’s armory for addressing this problem: server-side device detection.”

I agree that the proper way to do it is to do it on both sides:

=> Server-side detection is fast and fairly reliable, it’s smart and scales for high traffic sites, and coupled with the right device database (Wurfl, Device Atlas, Netbiscuits) it allows unique server side content personalisation and UX optimisation.

=> Client-side detection is much more granular and accurate, and it allows UI/UX designers to get the best out of each target browser, especially regarding rich media. But it can be cumbersome and slower, as we have to deliver Javascript code payloads to be run from the device at loading time. Plus it’s likely to lack flexibility and integration with the Content Management Systems in most Enterprise scenarios.

In my own experience, what I gather from the market and from our customers is that server-side device detection is critical to unleash the full power of content and feature personalisation, in a progressive enhancement approach (as opposed to just responsive design maybe).

Read the full article here


The New Multi-Screen World according to Google

ImageGoogle just released a few weeks ago a very interesting survey report regarding the new internet and media consumption habits, shedding an interesting light on a new heavy trend: Multi-screening.

Today 90% of our media consumption occurs in front of a screen. This cross-platform behavior is quickly becoming the norm, and understanding it has become an imperative for businesses. Here are some insights from our latest research:

  • 90% of consumers begin a task on one device and then complete it on another device. Smartphones are by far the most common starting point for this sequential activity.
  • TV no longer commands our full attention. In a typical day 77% of viewers use another device while they are watching TV. Because of this, a business’s TV strategy should be closely aligned and integrated with the marketing strategies for digital devices.
  • While consumers are using more than one device simultaneously, content viewed on one device can trigger specific behavior on the other. Businesses should therefore not limit their conversion goals and calls to action to only the device where they were initially displayed.

Discover many more valuable multi-screen insights by downloading the full report here.

New market Survey on multi-platform app development

ImageAn ongoing platform and device fragmentation challenges developers and increases complexity and cost of mobile application development. Fragmentation not only includes operating systems and their different releases, but devices as well. Currently there are three major approaches to simplify application development: HTML5, multi-platform development tools and industry specific white-label solutions. The report compares multi-platform and white-label solutions of 60 key players in the market.

The “Multi-Platform App Development Service Market Report” provides an actual status on the multi-platform development service market. This report concentrates on the tools that help to reduce cost, time and risk in developing mobile applications. The targeted audience for the report includes CIOs and app managers responsible for application development and strategy as well as purchasing managers of companies who are planning to publish mobile applications. Mobile network operators (MNO) and mobile handset manufacturers will benefit from key insights into the application developer tool market to improve their app store ecosystems.

Some of the questions the report answers are:

  • What are the ready-to-use solutions to reduce development cost and time to market?
  • How stable are HTML5 standards and how well are they deployed?
  • Which white-label solutions are available for retail, news, publishers, gastronomy, travel, and many other industries?
  • Which operational systems and APIs do multi-platform solutions provide access to in 2012?
  • Which features (e.g. sensors, calendar, etc.) are being accessible by multi-platform tools?
  • What are the costs and benefits of multi-platform solutions?
  • For which app projects should I make use of multi-platform tools?”

For more information

List of companies mentioned in the report (obviously there’s a lot that I even don’t know!)

  • Adobe
  • Airport Direct Travel
  • Appcelerator
  • AppMobi
  • Appticity
  • Appworks
  • Artez Interactive
  • Bizzness Apps
  • Blue Shoe Mobile
  • Butterware
  • Corona Labs
  • Craig Brass Systems
  • Crossmobs
  • DoubleDutch
  • DragonRAD
  • DWC
  • Gizmo Farm
  • Gomeeki
  • Grapple Mobile
  • IBM
  • iGenApps
  • Innaworks
  • KIT Digital
  • LiveCode
  • Local Click Media
  • Marmalade
  • Media Quake
  • Meteogroup
  • MIT
  • Mobcast
  • Mobile Bytes
  • MoSync
  • mTrip
  • Multichoiceapps
  • Netbiscuits
  • Nokia
  • Order Mapper
  • Pagesuite
  • Point About Inc.
  • Polar Mobile
  • PutITout
  • Quick Connect Family
  • Rhomobile
  • Rightware
  • Runtime Revolution
  • Shopgate
  • ShopSavvy
  • ShoutEm
  • Smarter Agent
  • Software AG
  • Superwaba
  • The Associated Press
  • Unity Mobile
  • Unity Technologies
  • V4x
  • Vopium
  • WebMobi
  • Worklight

Next big event downunder: Web Directions South 2012

Web Directions South

Web Directions South 2012 will kick off on October 18th, held in lovely Sydney.
It offers nearly 50 sessions across 4 tracks over two fully catered days, plus a lavish reception to close day 1, and a closing party on Friday night.

Make sure to check out the agenda and to attend if you’re a developer.

From a technical perspective, as usual there will be a lot of talking around CSS, Javascript, frameworks, etc … interesting to spot Kendo UI among the exhibitors, as well as Drupal and Silverstripe for the CMS side of things, obviously betting on the developers community to grow their local footprint.

I have to confess I discovered 2 new names:

  • WakandaWakanda is a new Javascript stack (derived from JQuery) for web and mobile business apps. The name hinted at a kiwi background, but no, it’s more native American Indian, and more precisely Sioux.
  • Still AliveStillalive is a live web app monitoring service, allowing you to write your own unit tests to try out your entire application. Nice cloud service for medium sized businesses and independent developers.



New UX contender: Kendo UI

Kendo UI.NET tools provider Telerik is adding support for tablets in its release of Kendo UI Complete.

Kendo UI is an HTML5, jQuery-based framework for building HTML apps. Todd Anglin, Telerik Vice President of HTML5 Web and Mobile Tools, said in a statement that the new release moves the product beyond mobile phones to help developers create experiences with HTML5 that look native on the iPad and other tablets.

Developers are increasingly using HTML5 tools and Javascript to create products that can run on a wide variety of devices and platforms. Telerik said that Kendo UI’s unified framework utilizes adaptive rendering so that an app’s look-and-feel can automatically adapt to the display and characteristics of “any smartphone or tablet device. Which is certainly true to an extent, as only webkit based browsers are fully supported.

But that’s a nice and worthwhile initiative to bookmark. I particularly like the Kendo UI Dojo, to learn how to use the framework, a neat job. Last but not least, the price point is agressive, at $1,000 per year with unlimited support for the full suite.



Gartner MQ for WCM 2012 is out

Gartner Report Web CMS 2012Every year, Gartner publishes one of their Magic Quadrants about Web Content Management Software, and you can count on leaders to spread the word and give access to the full report for free:

Gartner defines vendors in the Leaders quadrant as companies that drive market transformation, have the highest combined scores for ability to execute and completeness of vision and are prepared for the future with a clear vision.

Furthermore, Leaders have strong channel partners, a presence in multiple regions, consistent financial performance, broad platform support and good customer support. In addition, they dominate in one or more technologies or vertical markets. Leaders are aware of the ecosystem into which their own offerings need to fit.

More on Gartner WCM MQ 2012