eCoast Mobile Summit Wrapup

Yesterday I attended the eCoast Mobile Summit. It was a good day of panels on various topics in the mobile realm. Chuck Martin (@chuckmartin1) kicked off the day with a great overview of many issues to consider when thinking about mobile (the Third Screen – as his book is entitled). He touched on topics from understanding where your users actually are to what devices they have and what they like. Designing mobile apps for what you like (a trap I have fallen into many times) is a common mistake. It was interesting to see the volume of people in the audience who have Android devices and the lack of people who have BlackBerries. In Canada, BlackBerry has such a higher penetration level, and Android is so low, that it makes it hard to remember that in the USA, the numbers are different. That constant reminder (when I’m at a USA event) makes it easier to understand when USA companies give us odd looks when we try to convince them to do BlackBerry development.

The first actual session for the day that I attended was purportedly on web vs native development. How ever there wasn’t really a balanced discussion. The Adobe rep (Brian Rinaldi @remotesynth) is appropriately focused on tooling support for either, the Microsoft rep (Chris Bowen) was really a web advocate in MS by day but mainly presenting on Windows Phone 7 tooling — which is mostly native development. The third panelist (Michael Davies) seemed evangical on using HTML5 but I, and most people I spoke with after, found his talk sounded more like a person who doesn’t believe in the widely accepted “use the best tech for the task” opinion that most experienced developers have and was saying HTML5 can solve all your problems. Not an opinion I share (as you well know).

At shortly after 11am, the session I was most interested in (the one I was a panelist on!) begun. Chris (@savetherobot) talked about applying gaming concepts to business and mobile apps. He did a great job outlining the different types/profiles of gamers and how those profiles can/should impact how your apply gamification strategies. I gave my talk on engaging customers by using mobile, social and LBS (which you can read more about on my previous blog posts: here, here, here and here) and Stephen Krueger followed with some practical experience on his use of LBS and social on mobile. I thought there was a lot of good questions by the audience and really enjoyed my experience as a panelist.

I only managed to catch one afternoon session where Margot Bloomstein (@mbloomstein), Shawn Grant and Paul Laroche talked about user experience concerns in mobile. This is an important topic and through various examples the panel provided good insight into what to consider when deciding on a mobile user experience strategy.

The day ended with a beautiful boat cruise which was a great capper to my quick trip to Portsmouth. I was excited to have the opportunity to be a panelist at the show and look forward to a future trip to the next eCoast Summit.

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Fun iPhone Game of the Week: Chicktionary

Apparently this is a well-known flash game but I had never heard of it until I found it on iTunes. Basically, it’s Boggle with Chickens. You have 7 letters (printed on chickens) to arrange into any words you can (minimum 3 letters). There’s timed and relaxed modes. I’m not sure why I like this game any better than Boggle (which I also enjoy) but maybe it has to do with dragging around chickens with my fingers =). It’s well done and just really fun if you like word games. There’s a couple of variations on iTunes but I’ve only played the primary one so far (there is a lite version as well).

Previous Gaming Picks:

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How to Leverage Mobile for Customer Engagement: Part 4: Personalization

One of the greatest benefits of adding a mobile presence to your business is the ability to completely personalize each customer’s experience. By providing information, specials, promotions, sales and experiences that resonate with each specific customer, response rates and conversion rates can be increased to levels previously unheard of. Continue reading

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The Week in Mobile: Ep. 11: Big media kicks sand in Zite’s eyes

The awesome (and Canadian!) Zite app on iPad gets a cease-and-desist letter from 10 major media companies. Legal action by RIAA didn’t stop the proliferation of digital music, how will media companies adjust to the new digital news distribution reality? QR codes are just getting going, but are they DOA? Google is clamping down on Android device manufacturers; is a truly open mobile platform doomed to fragmentation and what is the long-term strategy for Google on Android? RIM is on the verge of their most important product launch in years, but is the QNX operating system the real crown jewel of RIM’s future, not the PlayBook? PlayBook ships without native PIM clients, in-app billing in Android could have a major impact, and more verbal jousting from your favourite mobile media commentators! Continue reading

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Fun Mobile Game of the Week: Dungeon Raid

Dungeon Raid is going to challenge your strategy skills to the max! Trace a path and match the tiles to collect treasure, buy and upgrade weapons and defeat monsters in this exciting and addictive puzzle roleplaying game. Things happen fast in Dungeon Raid, so gather your courage and dive in!

I am crazy addicted to this game. It’s like Puzzle Quest, but less complicated. You can pay close attention to all the details on upgrades to maximize your scores… or just play and pick what seems good and have fun. The latest update really added a lot of depth and choice for character classes without ruining the simplicity that makes the game really fun. I know it’s $2.99 but I have no regrets about my purchase.

Unfortunately it is currently only available on iTunes but hopefully it will move on to other platforms.

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The Week in Mobile: Ep. 10 – The $41 Million Bet

Why is Google delaying the availability of the Honeycomb source code? How will in-app billing on Android impact the market? We have a heated discussion on the PlayBook, its competitiveness, its support for Android, and more — one of our better discussions I think. And finally, how can a $41 million investment in a company that hadn’t launched a product be justified? Is this truly the sign of VCs going crazy?

PLUS: We are now on iTunes!

Pro podcast tip: listen at 2x speed if you find the hour too long! It’s still easy to follow along at that speed.

Subscribe to the feed (audio | iTunes) or download the latest episode here: audio | video.


This week:

  1. No Open-Source for Honeycomb?
  2. In-App Billing on Android
  3. PlayBook: competitiveness, Android support, and more!
  4. The Color of Money
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