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Olga Paraskevopoulou Thesis (August 2011)

Olga Paraskevopoulou Thesis (August 2011)

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This thesis is an exploratory journey into the vast mobile ocean. We will review the process of how the Web has merged with the physical spaces through the use of mobile phones and specifically designed applications and services. This requires the documentation of new media and communication theory, social theory as well as to delve into the corporate and commercial world in order to shed light into the history, evolution and turns in the mobile field. As we will examine, it is yet to be determined whether the mobile ecosystem will leverage a proprietary paradigm or innovation would stem from collaborative efforts that will strive for the prevalence of open systems and open source software. Open innovation refers to the ways companies can benefit from distributed knowledge, external ideas and external routes to market. This informs the idea that most successful innovation happens not as a linear process but in environments which encourage the circulation of ideas and approaches. Throughout this journey we will attempt to determine the defining aspects of mobile innovation and finally speculate on the future of the ecosystem.
This thesis is an exploratory journey into the vast mobile ocean. We will review the process of how the Web has merged with the physical spaces through the use of mobile phones and specifically designed applications and services. This requires the documentation of new media and communication theory, social theory as well as to delve into the corporate and commercial world in order to shed light into the history, evolution and turns in the mobile field. As we will examine, it is yet to be determined whether the mobile ecosystem will leverage a proprietary paradigm or innovation would stem from collaborative efforts that will strive for the prevalence of open systems and open source software. Open innovation refers to the ways companies can benefit from distributed knowledge, external ideas and external routes to market. This informs the idea that most successful innovation happens not as a linear process but in environments which encourage the circulation of ideas and approaches. Throughout this journey we will attempt to determine the defining aspects of mobile innovation and finally speculate on the future of the ecosystem.

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Published by: Olga Paraskevopoulou on Oct 06, 2011
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05/23/2012

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The table (page 42-45) provides an overview of the different types of apps provided

by the two main App Stores. The researcher went through different app categories and noted

the kind of content, function and features that where most prominent in each category.

Examining the two columns of the table, that refer to the two main App Stores – the iPhone

and Android – we may easily detect that the two Stores have a different approach to their

users and different target groups.

By reviewing quite a large amount of apps that are at the App Stores at the moment,

the researcher encountered some interesting facts about their development process. Apps both

in the iPhone App Store and Android Market are rated based on their innovative concept and

efficiency in use. The Android Market though appears to address the device as a malleable

canvas that may be transformed by the offered apps. Highly rated apps in the Android market

are for example apps that enable the user to control better, customize their device and increase

its performance: for instance control the Internet connection in order to prevent it from

connecting over 3G/EDGE/GPRS and improve battery life and save money, to transfer apps

from the internal memory to the SD card in order to save space and to manage the SD card in

general, tether devices to the mobile phone connection, customize and/or improve all kind of

different features of the mobile phone, and connecting the phone to other home or car devices.

In contrast, the iPhone App Store, offers a more organized and optimized

categorization of apps, approaches users as distinctive target groups and offers apps that are

tailored around the needs of those groups, invest more in the design and style but falls short in

the experimental force that drive the Android market. For example, Apple App Store’s

biggest and most successful category is the game category and they offer the best apps and

user experience in that domain. Also, iPhone apps offers a great variety of business apps and

entertainment. The wide selection of those apps cannot be compared to what the Android

Market has to offer, at least so far.

A general trend in both App Stores is that they do not market location awareness as a

distinctive type of app category nor as a unique feature of the device. In accordance to the

observation of de Waal and de Lange (page 10), location detections seems to serve as a

complementary feature that adds value to the services offered to users but in many cases the

app may run both with the location detection enabled or disabled. Apps that make use of GPS

technology are found across different categories like for example in the ‘reference’,

‘entertainment’, ‘gaming’, ‘lifestyle’, ‘navigation’ & ‘transport’, ‘social networking’, ‘travel’

and in the Android ‘widget’ category. Another interesting aspect is that social networking

apps are not getting a lot of the developers attention. The main web platforms as Facebook,

Twitter and Myspace are the ones that are prevailing also as in their mobile app version. For

Myspace for instance, Android app reviews compare the app version to the web version

stating that the app provides a much more satisfying user experience. Apart from those two

prominent networks the only mobile social networking app that has gain popularity and is

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well know is Foursquare. Another kind of app that is gaining attention is IM which enables

real time chatting and sharing of photos and videos with the people that someone contacts

regularly. The fact that developers do not invest their time on new social networking apps

may stem from the fact that an app of this kind would only bring revenue in a long-term basis

only after the social network would have grown enough.

TABLE SHOWING DIFFERENT APP CATEGORIES BASED ON THEIR

CONTENT.

iPhone App Store

Android Market

Books, Comics: books, novels and comics in

the fingertips, reviews of books while on the

go

Books, Comics: app to transform the phone

to a Kindle e-reader, download books and

comic books

Reference: acquire knowledge and

information from many different sources

apps, ancestry, thesaurus, restaurants in

proximity, Wikipedia on the go, white pages

mobile for business search

Reference: acquire references for objects

around, reference material for hiking,

camping, dictionary

Business (for daily business routine):

Checking account balance, unit converter,

finding hotel room, logins/account manager

and backup, conduct meetings on the go,

manage and send files

Business: access to office files, credit card

payments

Education: language learning, world

factbook (maps, information about every

country in the world), dictionary and

thesaurus, playing a music organ, astronomy

etc.

Education: learn geography, driving lessons,

IQ challenges, language learning

Entertainment: just for laughs apps &

movies, TV celebrity information,

Entertainment: search game rates,

exploration of physical space, browse TV

program, shows, movies, download music,

miscellaneous fun apps

Finance: account tracker, stock market Finance: account checking, tax information,

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information, currency converter, family

budget sync, meter reading (saving money on

gas, water, electricity bills,

stock market, personal expense tracking

(outgoing-ingoing), manage relative web

accounts (such as Pay Pal) on the move

Gaming

Games

Health & Fitness: body fat calculator,

calories, compass for hiking, eye chart to test

vision, physical fitness

Health & Fitness: track and predict

women’s circle, track and monitor

pregnancy, database for health information

and diseases, maintain or build fitness,

weight regulation, relax and fall asleep apps

Lifestyle: saving money apps, recipes for

food and drinks, restaurants in close

proximity, birthday calendar, home screen

wallpapers, product search and barcode

scanner

Lifestyle: apps to impress, food and drink,

cars, coupons , what is around me’ apps

(return results based on proximity),

horoscope, clearing stored call log, search

and browser etc. history,

Medical: keeping track of pregnancy, news

information about the medical field and

drugs, body anatomy

Medical: on the spot reference material for

emergency and critical care, drug reference

Music: music search and recognition, turn

your phone to a synthesizer, record music,

live radio stations

Music & Audio: music players, music search

and discovery (even by recognizing user’s

singing), control music / audio across

multiple networked media devices

Navigation: the phone as your guide apps,

finding local businesses, GPS meets cycling,

competition and networking, camera

detection, compete and discover your town,

share GPS points of interest and tracks,

navigation apps

Transport: speed camera detector,

community GPS navigation, scavenger hunt,

public transport information, car rental

News: general and focused news from sports

to weather, getting direct feeds from favorite

news sources, read it later app

News & Magazines: RSS readers / manager,

website news aggregations, daily papers, read

it later app

Photography: organize, store and modify Photography: crop, rotate, adjust color and

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pictures and movies

add effects

Productivity: learn to be more productive in

daily routines apps, access and share files

from multiple devices, organize thoughts,

notes, research, voice recorder, manage

important dates, calendar, office on the go,

scanner

Productivity: QR code readers, scan

documents, create .pdf, organization tools,

calendars, increase switch between apps

speed and overall performance and response,

Internet security

Social networking: keep in touch with

friends and your social network apps, instant

messaging, sharing, guide to local shopping,

dining and entertainment, reviews and rate

your experiences, send your coordinates to

anyone that might need them

Social networking: instant messaging,

sharing location with friends, push

notifications,

micro-blogging

tools,

combining all networking services in a

unified interface, compete with others by

earning points for discovering your own town

Sports: following your favorite team or just

keeping up to date with current events

Sports: follow seasons, grand prix,

tournaments

Travel: book hotel accommodation, currency

converter, keep track of where you, your

friends and family are, translator, city guide

tours, travel organizer, locate wi-fi

connections

Travel: updates of flight information,

restaurant review in your area, discovering

new areas, tour guides and personalized trip

planning

Utilities: type while walking app, battery

check, customize desktop, browsers17

, turn

your phone to a remote control/mouse

Communication: new browsers, way to

tether devices, interpretations-translations

Weather

Weather

Personalization: customize the look of the

phone

Media & Video: create, watch and share

videos, organize files, pictures and videos,

cloud-based access to the user’s own music

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Developers were not able to use anything other than the default Safari rendering engine as their iPhone apps
backbone. Lately Apple had been approving a lot of apps that were previously rejected and some of those apps
include browsers.

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library, photo sharing, live radio

Shopping: shopping list apps, online retail

shops, barcode scanners

Tools: graphing calculators, browse Amazon

AppStore and have the ability to ‘test drive’

an app before purchasing it, app/task

manager, backup, voice search

Widgets: keep track of data usage, add-ons

for the home-screen, local search

Source: Black Dog Media Limited (BDM), UK, 2011.

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