graffiti art on the streets of Santa Teresa. incredible. (at Santa Teresa)
Whether it was on the show floor, during our discussions with OEMs, operators, and other developers, or during late night chats over some Rioja, there were some common threads.
I looked back on my post from last year at this time attempting to do the same. As expected, some of these points were still relevant, but here’s my attempt at summarizing what we saw that was unique to this year:
- Let’s play Guess the Android OEM - it’s gotten to a point where all high-end Android devices (and virtually all smartphones including iOS, WindowsPhone, and BB devices) simply look the same. Differentiating through hardware is becoming increasingly difficult at the high-end and this puts developers like us in a really interesting position. Apps, content, and great services are the only way to rise above a crowd of sleek black rectangles until someone breaks away. Apps:Mobile Platforms::Live Events:Cable Television.
- Phablets - Samsung and other Android OEMs are starting to go all-in on these hybrid tablet / phone devices that are gaining major traction among some lucrative demographics. Developers who currently have distinct smartphone & tablet strategies will need to consider what is different about how consumers engage with these devices and how that impacts strategy if the distribution opportunity becomes meaningful.
- Chinese at both ends of the spectrum - Huawei and ZTE are now really good at making high-end devices that rival anything you’ll see out in the market. Copying the innovators with ease and pricing these devices to move. The thing that I found fascinating though, was that when we went to their booths on the floor, 95% of the space was used to show off those high-end phones, but the crowds were always huddled around the handful of their lowest end, dirt cheap Android handsets they were displaying. They might not be as proud of them, but people are much more curious to see what is happening at the low end right now, myself included.
- (Smart-ish)feature Phones - Nokia continues to innovate in a market that few others are paying attention to, improving their s40 / Asha line and keeping a nice hold on device sales in emerging markets. In effect, these devices are the first smart-ish phone experience for all those who can’t afford what we are all so focused on here in well developed markets. Their 15 euro phone (with 35 day stand-by battery life!) was one of the hottest topics at this year’s event.
- This is no longer a Telecoms show - as I heard a few different folks agree throughout the week, this is no longer an operator, telecom conference, but rather should be renamed Digital World Congress. We at Foursquare were not alone representing a developer running around the floor meeting with every member of the mobile and digital ecosystem. The platforms don’t work without great content, and the pipes are still struggling to figure out where they fit in.
Themes from last year such as HTML5 v Native, what will happen to WinPhone/Blackberry, NFC (still?!?!?!), big data, were still prevalent, but nothing new.
A few years ago, I had little appreciation for how interesting the mobile landcape was. Now I can’t imagine a February going by without a visit to the Fira.
not gonna lie. that experience just put Yanks / Red Sox in perspective. #ElClàsico @dens @holger (at Camp Nou)
in 2012, I travelled 81,359 miles and visited 33 airports.
via tripsQ: http://tripsq.com/charlesbirnbaum/2012
Instead of other sites where every place gets 3.5 stars, we come up with our scores using the same Foursquare magic that powers Explore. We look at signals like tips, likes, dislikes, popularity, loyalty, local expertise, and nearly 3 billion check-ins from over 25 million people worldwide. And, with every check-in and Explore search, our scores will get smarter and better.
A-fucking-men. 1 to 5 stars is and always has been pure shit. 1 star (bad) and 5 stars (great) makes sense. Maybe even 3 stars (okay). But what the hell are 2 and 4 stars? It’s different for everyone. And the majority of people doing the rating are usually only going to do so if they hate or love something. It’s such a better idea to use other, implicit signals.
People are starting to get it…
Jerry’s Map. been in the works since 1963. still in process. incredible. (Taken with Instagram at MASS MoCA)
a lil’ meaningful Fall baseball on a perfect night in da Bronx. remember what that’s like Sawx fans? (Taken with Instagram at Yankee Stadium)