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Mossy mobile mayhem?!?!

January 25, 2010

Is the mobile internet mossy? Yes, and especially so when meant to describe something vibrant and growing. Is there mayhem? Not really but it fits with my alliteration although it could be said that the dynamism of the mobile internet can be daunting to some. Seriously speaking though, it’s like we’re in 1994 all over again and you just bought yourself a brand new Apple IIE. The mobile internet will go through its period of multiple platforms, app store fronts and the like but the real change will come when the period of experimentation ends and a common platform emerges.

What will that common platform be? Simply stated-the browser.

Why do I believe this? Three reasons.

1. Scale. Write once, publish anywhere should be the mantra of anyone wishing to have a presence on the mobile web. Yes, your all-spinning, extra flashy app is nice but what about the other platforms. I know this-you can create a mobile site, have it render on every phone with a browser (which these days is about all of them globally) and use it to communicate with your audience be they customers, voters, members, friends, etc.

I don’t see apps going away but the browser is here to stay and it offers unrivaled scale. Continental Airlines found their apps did better on the browser versus apps when it came to click-through.

2. Cost. Well, actually, cost and return together. Let’s face it-apps are expensive. My sense is that sometime in the not too distant future C-level execs will want to know what their app development dollars are producing in terms of ROI.

With the browser you’d spend a little and gain a lot due to point number one noted above. Building your mobile presence on the browser gives you scale as you develop your mobile presence into a resounding voice.

3. Features and upgradability. Let’s say you want to add features to your app. You need to get your customer to download the new one right? What if they don’t want to? Might you then be faced with supporting legacy versions of your app? Yikes. Android already has this among its versions and developers have actually had to decide which version of Android to write for.

With the browser, you can add features and if you don’t like any of them you take can take them down or you modify them when you want. There’s nothing to download.

Yes, the seemingly lowly browser is there to save the day. It will produce trees from the moss and to reduce the mayhem to the quiet hum of your mobile presence at work for you for many years to come.

Dale Knoop is a mobile multimedia patents holder and an industry-recognized pioneer of mobile data services. In 2005 Dale won an Emmy while serving as the GM for Sprint TV. In August 2009 he launched Ruxter which allows anyone to quickly and easily become part of the rapidly growing mobile internet with a free, fully optimized mobile website they can share with anyone. You can contact him here. Follow Ruxter on Twitter.

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