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Future of Mobile conference

Published by Martin Kleppmann on 16 Nov 2007.

David Burke of Google, talking about Android

On Wednesday I went to the Future of Mobile conference in London. It was an exciting event – lots of people had high hopes, in particular for the future of data services on mobile devices (i.e. the internet). Some of my main take-home messages were:

  • The mobile market is HUGE. Seriously. Billions of people worldwide have mobile phones, and more people worldwide access the web from mobile devices than from desktop or laptop computers. By 2010, half the world’s population is expected to be subscribed to the mobile web. A lot of this is driven by developing countries, where mobile is a far better solution for communication than a fixed-line telephone infrastructure. But it is also a growing trend in the developed world.
  • A great user experience is absolutely essential if you want to get people to use your services mobile. The mobile user’s attention is extremely limited: unlike on a computer or a television, where people are more likely to patiently try to come to terms with bad usability, mobile users have plenty of other things to do. If they can’t immediately and very quickly find or achieve what they want, they are gone immediately. Mobile content must therefore be extremely clearly and intelligently structured, presented in an engaging way, glanceable, simple, and be fluid to interact with.
  • Communication is key. People want to talk, create, share, explore – not just passively consume. A mobile is always with you it, it where your life is happening, it is a point of creation and lies in a rich context. The future possiblities for the social use of mobiles is something we can only just begin to envisage.

Amongst the speakers, possibly the most keenly awaited was David Burke of Google, who was the first to present Google’s new Android platform in Europe. See this post for more on his presentation.

Finally an interesting quote, very much in rhythm with the drum I am bashing:

 ”Mobile users are ready and willing to engage with their favourite brands on mobile devices.”

Matt Millar, Director of Mobile and Devices EMEA at Adobe