Saturday, December 10, 2011

WebOS Future is Open Source -HP makes code available to developers

Today, HP concluded months of deliberation, u-turns and negotiations with the announcement that it will open source WebOS instead of keeping it in-house or selling it off to suitors like Amazon.

This is good news because it ends months of uncertainty which have severely tested the patience of developers and undermined businesses that had already committed to WebOS. The fact that no hardware plans have been announced is perhaps not as big an issue as it seems -if the open sourcing of the code works, then the hardware is likely to follow.

It still remains unlikely that WebOS will, at least in its current state, pose any real challenge to Windows or Android. Though sometimes, the power of the community in open-source environments can make the difference, so it is too early to write it off altogether.

Key to the future is not only the development of the code base and the hardware available to run it, but also the distribution for the software or apps developed in WebOS. With over 100 sizeable App Stores out there, the App Catalog needs some attention as well. Hopefully HP will, as part as its committment to continue investing in WebOS, not forget this, and give the WebOS App Catalog a long needed update to keep its appeal. 

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Mobile World Congress 2012 -WIP Jam and Party

BARCELONA- With Christmas less than three weeks away, it can be easy to forget that the Mobile World Congress, the world´s largest trade event for the mobile sector, is also round the corner.

For the joy of mobile app developers everywhere, WIP is organizing the WIP Jam event for developers within the grounds of the Fira complex on the 1st March 2012 (in Auditorium A, to be precise). This will be preceded by the WIP Party the previous evening at the Rock Museum in the Richard Rogers-designed Las Arenas (upstairs in the Rock Museum venue).

Both events are NOT TO BE MISSED. The WIP Jam event will have the successful formula of short presentations and many breakout sessions to talk about topical issues in mobile, facilitated by familiar faces in mobile development. The WIP Party will have free food and drinks and a Jameoke (for those up for some singing).

You can sign up to the WIP Party by clicking here  

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Integrating NFC in mobile apps – implementation costs

In this guest post by Magnus Jern, he sums up the current opportunities and challenges of implementing NFC mobile solutions.
NFC has been around since 2003 but it´s not until now that technology and adoption are ready for commercial deployment. It is embedded in the latest Android handsets, including the Nexus S. RIM are including it in all their new devices and Apple want to equip the iPhone 5 with an NFC chip, despite rumours they would not. Nokia is launching a series of devices including NFC, starting with the C7 and most other handset manufacturers will include NFC in their devices within the next 2 years.
According to Wikipedia: “Near field communication, or NFC, is a set of short-range wireless technologies, typically requiring a distance of 4 cm or less. (…) This enables NFC targets to take very simple form factors such as tags, stickers, key fobs, or cards that do not require batteries. NFC peer-to-peer communication is also possible, where both devices are powered.”
The technology is enabling new and exciting mobile interactions such as loyalty cards,  identification, travel tickets and micro-payments.
What is the cost of implementing NFC in your mobile applications?
The implementation of writing and reading data on the application side is fairly straight forward, just a few API calls that most developers will already be familiar with.
So the cost of implementing NFC in an application is very small compared to the cost of setting up the backend infrastructure that may be required to support it.  A typical NFC application, which reads an NFC chip once to authenticate that the user has been in a certain store or redeemed a voucher, could cost as little as 10-20.000 euros to implement, but NFC itself can be added to existing applications very cheaply.
So what’s next?
During the coming years we will see thousands of different applications including NFC. Some of those will be ground-breaking and others will quickly be forgotten. Banks, retailers, transportation businesses, fast food restaurants and events companies will all be experimenting with the possibilities. Watch this space.