22 . 3 . 13

Watson Mobile – Sam’s Mobile Roundup: Issue #2

Afternoon folks!

Judging by Facebook, twitter and Instagram it snowed today but I’m still not convinced. If you are still feeling the chill, why not let my latest white-hot mobile gossip update warm your frozen bones?

Here are my top 5 talking points for this week…

  • Chrome World Maze – If you try anything today, make it this web-based game that allows you to use your mobile as a controller.Why is this important? Chrome experiments are a great way to see the potential of the tech we have today. They have always been innovative, as that’s the aim of the game, but this one in particular showcases some amazing innovations. Real time synchronisation of mobile web and desktop web browser, impresively animated transitions from web page to maze… could this be a sign of how we’re going to be navigating websites – or even our televisions – in the future?
  • The age-old debate (in our office, anyway): HTML5 vs. AppsHere is my prediction – you’re going to be hearing this debate a lot more over the next few months. Its natural, as web developers create more and more mobile/responsive sites the more competition mobile developers will face. The problem is there isn’t a right way to do it, and if there was it would be eclipsed by a new tech in no time. My view on it is “I can’t tell you until I know your objectives” only when you’ve established that can you make the right decision.
  • Curiosity – It’s still going and the cat is still alive. Remember that game that came out that gave no indication whatsoever what is was about beyond the fact that everyone could play together to help find out what was in ‘the cube’? Well, over 3 months and 200 layers later, it’s still going strong, with hundreds of layers still to remove and still nobody has a clue what the end result will be. I’m thinking its going to be one of those frustrating non-endings like the finale of Lost: “we made it to see if people would follow instructions, and they did”. What is interesting though is how this game can generate further ideas for engaging mass audiences. I think we’re likely to start seeing crowd sourced mobile gaming over time, so watch this space.
  • Time for some perspective in the free-to-play games debateOne of the best things about working in Mobile is the way it is constantly evolving and growing – the HTML5 vs. App debate will continue as mentioned, but here’s another bone of contention that won’t be resolved quickly. In app purchases, its an easy concept to understand but how do you master it? A lot like the right solution for development, this is all about finding the solution for revenue. Will it upset users if you cap their usage? Do you give those that pay extras? What’s the answer? I don’t know!
  • Child-Friendly In-App Purchase UIThese guys should get a medal. A lot of companies have exploited how children can rack up massive bills by making in app purchases too easy to complete. Well these have actually thought of the end user and want the parents to allow their kids to play the game again and again. A “parent captcha” system stops those little fingers clicking “buy now”. Simple but effective and ultimately remembered by the parents as “a good app to play”.

And here’s the best of the rest…

Tom CurleyWatson your mobile?

Each week I will ask a member of the twentysix team to summarise their favourite app to share with the rest of the agency.

Tom Curley – Developer

Before I joined twentysix, one of my last projects was the app for android and iOS. Have a look, it’s one of those apps that will actually help you in life by automatically reminding you that it’s your partners birthday!!

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