What Can You Do with a Mobile Phone This Year That You Couldn't Do Last Year?

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Facilitated by Evan “Rabble” Henshaw-Plath

Evan, the mad man of nonprofit mobile knowledge, will facilitate a participant-driven session on applications and action tactics made possible by the latest wave of “smart” phones. He'll discuss the trade-offs of developing for various platforms including iPhone and gPhone/Andriod.

Session Notes

-mobile phones weren't smart, had to test on all phone, nothing in the background, pain in the ass and enormously expensive; had to install and test on 100s of phones -compare to apple's evil control over the platform things are much better... the telephony world is the anti-internet; not free, open, and uncontrolled -lots of incentive to put up towers and repeaters and sell airtime in the developing world, lots of folks now have phones who don't have the internet -windows mobile is a disaster; blackberry had phones good for e-mail but nothing happens on the phone and all on the network, then apple came out... -there's no reason to talk about palm -and now android has become the default platform; lots of people doing apple sharecropping and they make money so long as they don't upset the master -on apple, if does anything with web content then labeled as not OK for under 18 and if don't have filters on it then they'll kick you out -no way of appealing denial from apple, no way of knowing if will get in after months of development -sidekick was an amazing and awesome phone but from a small company (danger), had no way to negotiate w/ providers, verizon compelled them to lobotomize their phone in order to sell it, microsoft buys danger -after lobotomy all of the developers quit, formed a new company that was secret, and then were bought by google -sidekick was first version of android -a long time inside of google to figure things out, the antithesis of normal mobile phone development -android is open source (maybe); more open than anything before and other projects don't have the support / adoption to work -two OS on android phones; one with modem controllers and another which runs apps; two processors in all android phones -iphone is destroying the relationship between the handset makers and the carriers; apple negotiated a split in the price and makes a big chunk of the product on the phone, able to break the back of the mobile operators and turned them into dumb pipes -att hates the iphone but it also saved them... -current state of things is looking at iphone as high end, the mac, and android becomes the lower end (windows) -pre is palm's attempt to save itself, hired away much of the iphone team, created an OS where the entire environment is written in javascript and webkit; all applications are just in html and javascript -pre is a super open platform but a fairly niche thing, not sold internationally, only cdma -can develop native apps on android phones... -nathan is doing a version of android that is more secure; guardian project -cyanogen has an alternate build of android OS that you can install; less sketchy than the iphone hacker community because not violating rules... -rumor is that google is designing the hardware for their own phone and they are going to hire a handset manufacturer to make it; should expect that they'll release their own -do a weird thing w/ versions of the OS and will release certain versions to certain manufacturers first -broken open source world and some level; have hackers who are trying to make it work -in the developing world, no one other than wealthy upper class has these phones -in Uruguay everyone has a phone, socially unacceptable to not have a phone – in the more developed parts of South America culture has adjusted / changed -also now seen as unacceptable not to have a way to get online; folks are getting netbooks, in the last 6 months (because of mobile broadband) -edge connections in Uruguay are now $7/month – targeted to folks at the bottom end of the income scale -nokia is about to put out a $100 smartphone for 3rd world countries, going to run symbian; word is that nokia is in trouble -symbian is technically open source but no one cares, no one works on it, and no one touches it unless they are paid to -nokia is experimenting with linux based phones, think that will eventually be forced to adopt android -when meet the nokia folks have this arrogance, think that because they are popular outside of the US think that you don't know what you're doing -some interesting stuff happening w/ text messages – phone directory and taxi system in Uruguay -DatAgro is one good example -money transfer systems are being adopted; replaces western union -in Kenya it has become a currency in and of itself; you can essentially text someone money; can use for donations now as well -in places with premium SMS there's a 50% service charge, in developing world not paying the VAT -in Kenya banks pushed to shutdown telco; started to become a lender (folks could go a bit over and have 10% charge), but now realizing that they should just get into the game -in countries where it has taken off the regulations are now stepping in -most of the developing world uses phones that are tighly tied to your identity documents and are pre-paid; in brazil if your phone is stolen and not reported then used in a crime you are prosecuted as an accessory to the crime -in countries with dictators (or recently with dictators) have strong national ID systems and such cell arrangement rely on that system -Rhodes is a ruby framework, lets you code and then it compiles into everything else so you can develop for all platforms at one time (other one is called PhoneGap) -but apple says that you're not allowed to do code reuse and not allowed to use frameworks, so have to do a bunch of stuff to get rid of the evidence that you used one of these frameworks -adobe is about to release a tool to compile flash into objective C, can reformat it and compile down for the iphone -”it's so hard to believe that this is better than it was” -android is really odd to develop for... not clear when something started and when it ends -once you jailbreak an iphone it feels like osX, but when you root an android it's not like linux, not like GNU -android seems to have its own history and set of conventions that are totally strange -”android is the best bet for smartphones, and it is going to be the default” -apple is happy with the 5% that pay a lot... -apple bought all of the patents around multi-touch; clear that palm could be sued and lose but apple's not doing that because they don't want the bad press -apple just bought gizmo5, the best skype competitor – rumor that their phone will be an all-data and VoIP phone -lots of people make things that use GSM networks that aren't phones... can do lots of neat stuff, i.e. buglabs -WPTouch is a wordpress plugin that turns your site automatically into a mobile site -WAP : ( -in Japan / Korea there is an entirely different system; can watch HDTV on your phone in the subway in Korea -in Africa there's a lot of J2ME development going on, but that's the only place where people want those apps -Mixd as a mobile social network in Africa, avoiding SMS by using this platform (South Africa) -it's a hugely fragmented world when compared to the web; think of Orkut -it's all going to change when google does whatever they are doing... telcos are saying that they are going to charge X for data... make an enormous amount of money off of SMS -VoIP calls are now incredibly cheap... -lots of countries have telco monopolies that subsidize other parts of the government; have provided by law a monopoly...