Windows climbing on the smartphone ladder

After last post, I started searching a little bit on the position of Windows on the smartphone market. according this article: http://datanews.knack.be/ict/nieuws/windows-phone-groeit-windows-8-blijft-het-moeilijk-hebben/article-4000467982768.htm?nb-handled=true&utm_source=Newsletter-09/12/2013&utm_medium=Email&utm_campaign=Newsletter-RNBDATANNL (dutch)

Windows is going upwards and almost has 10%of the market in hands. At the same time, the article points out that Windows8 isn’t doing well. It is half as popular as windows7 was 13 months after release. Which is troubling Microsoft a lot. So the question rises: “Is it a good thing of microsoft to make the desktop version and the mobile version of windows that look-a-like? Or do they better split up those 2 more then they do now… 

Dual boot on smartphone?

Dear readers,

I came across this article this week: http://datanews.knack.be/ict/nieuws/gebruiken-we-straks-windows-software-op-onze-android-smartphone/article-4000414954622.htm (dutch)

It tells about Windows who tries to convince HTC to add Windows Phone as platform. But not as replacement of Android, but as an extra option. The user would be able to choose between Android and Windows Phone. Or, and that is the interesting part, use the phone as dual boot. For those who don’t know the concept of dual boot: It just simply putting 2 systems on 1 device. You start up your device and then get the option: do I want to start-up Windows or start-up Android. It’s a kind of 2-in-1 phone, where 1 day it is a windows phone and the other a Android phone.

The downside is off-course the extra use of memory and that you don’t know if you could use apps cross platform (on the Android part as well as on the Windows Phone part)

What do you think of all this? A good move? Or is nobody interested in a dual boot on their phone?

the wave of phonesizes

The new android is available: android 4.4, better known as android KitKat!
Like explained in this article here (dutch), the first devices who are going to use KitKat is the nexus 5 series.

But I’m not going to talk about that. My focus today is on a new phenomena you can spot nowadays: “new phones == bigger phones”.
First some facts on best sold phones through the years: (source: here)

2013: Samsung galaxy S4: 5,38 inch
2012: Samsung galaxy s3: 5,38 inch
          Apple iPhone 5      : 4,87 inch
2011: Apple iPhone 4s    : 4,54 inch
2010: Nokia 5230            : 4,37 inch
2009: iPhone 3GS           : 4,55 inch
2008: iPhone 3G             : 4,55 inch
2007: Nokia 1200            : 4,00 inch
2006: Nokia 1600            : 4,09 inch
2005: Nokia 1110            : 4,09 inch
2004: Nokia 2600            : 4,25 inch
2003: Nokia 1100            : 4,18 inch
2002: Nokia 6100            : 4,02 inch
2000: Nokia 3310            : 4,45 inch
……

Obviously, phones before 2000 where bigger and bigger:

 Image

 

You can clearly see the race towards smaller and smaller phones in the early ages. The trend was then: the smaller the better. But around the year 2008, with the introduction of (descent) touchscreens, it went the other way around. That is somewhat strangely, because even with the introduction of the first iPhone, people were skeptical about the size of it (it was to big, to heavy, not easy to take with you,…).

But since then, it only got worse: the Samsung galaxy s4, the most popular of this time, is so big that it isn’t fitting in everyone’s pocket anymore, strange, won’t you think?
So the question to ask today is: “Will mobile phones still grow in size, or will the decrease again?”. Is their going to be a kind of fashion wave, where phones increase and decrease overtime like the size of glasses or pants?
And what about tablets? They are also getting smaller, so, is their going to be a difference between smartphones and tablets? Or are we going to talk about “smart devices” in the future, where their is no clear separation between tablets, smartphones and laptops…

Some thoughts to think about,  let’s hear your opinion ;)

Is theire a future for pure CSS?

For those who aren’t that familiar with (client side) web developing: generally you have 3 things you need for your app:

1: HTML, which is a markup language that can be read by web browsers (you can recognize them by their typical tags like <html>, <h3>,…). It gives your page a certain structure. If you want to know how it looks like, just right click on this page and select “View Page Source”. Then you will see the HTML of this page.
2: Javascript, which is a interpreted computer language. Easily explained: it does all the background calculating. for example: if you have a calculator on your webpage, javascript is going to do the actual math behind the buttons you clicked.
3. CSS, which is a style sheet language. this makes your page look “fancy”. It gives you the power to adapt your buttons, change the sizes of boxes, give things a new color etc.

But, CSS is a lot of work and it’s a real pain in the ***. Most programmers even don’t like CSS. So their are a lot tools who try to take away this pain. Like for example: jquery Mobile (http://jquerymobile.com/). It’s a tool that makes all the buttons nice and smoothly in your place. You can see them as a kind of “next level” of styling. An update to the very basic css language. And that’s why I asked myself the question: is their still a future for pure CSS in developing? My personal opinion: no. CSS is going to become a underlying language where other and more sophisticated thinks are build up on, a bit like assembly is for a lot of advanced computer languages. 

Phonebloks, a new view on smartPhones

A few days ago I saw a very interesting video here

Phonebloks (that’s how it is called) is a new way of looking at smartphones. The main focus lies on the fact that at this moment, we trow our entire phone in the trashcan when their is only 1 or 2 parts broken. And that’s a big waste!

What phonebloks wants to achieve is to make a so called “legophone”. That’s a phone build with adjustable parts (like the lego-principle). It allows us to adjust our own phone with the parts we want without needing to trow everything away when we want something new. For example: when you want a better battery or a better RAM, you just plug that part out and change it by a better one. Problem solved! Also, when your camera is broken, you just need to get the camera-piece out and replace it by a new one. No new phone needed!

Image

The reason I post this now, is because they are hosting a “big bang” tomorrow. They are going to post the same tweet and facebook comment from thousands of accounts on the same time, hoping the big company’s will notice the big call for change. Off course they firstly asked permission to the owners of those accounts if they could post something in their name. for the moment 968,455 people have enrolled in this big bang, meaning that the message will reach 378,164,985 people. Hopefully this will work. Enjoy the show tomorrow!

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The future is smartphone ?!

Hello again,

My mom told me about this article (it’s in dutch) she read this week, it’s quit interesting:  http://www.deredactie.be/cm/vrtnieuws/regio/limburg/1.1752170

It’s about a Belgian Industrial Engineer from UHasselt who invented an application who could look up diseases in your blood. The only thing you need is a small (not bigger than a USB stick) device that you connect to your phone trough the headset plug. And if you put a little drop of blood or urine on that device it can search for diseases and/or substances. side-note: At this moment it can only trace some substances (like histamine).

But that’s not the point. The most important part of this article is that it point out that we are only at the beginning of a new era. An era where smartphones (or do I need to call them smart devices?) are going to get a real deep impact on the life of us as humans. They are not going to be just a communication tool, or a gadget collector, they are going to be life-determining devices. They are going to be our digital “us”. Our digital life/ passport/ health register/ life controller…

And in some way that’s maybe a good thing: like in this example, it can make a much faster diagnose of your blood. You don’t need to send you blood first to a lab to get it analyzed. It can be immediately checked at your doctors or even at home!
But, and this is something we really need to watch out for, where is the line? And how do we protect our-self from the outside? Because although a lot of these things are handy stuff, but it’s also dangerous that every little detail of our personal, social and in the future maybe medical life and history is going to be on smart devices and thus online. The privacy of a human is going to be absolute zero.  And thus: where is the line? Do we need to sacrifice our privacy for our health? Do weed need to accept that we just can’t have any medical/personal secrets so we could live longer? 

So maybe it’s a good question to you, my readers: where do you draw the line? What is and isn’t acceptable when it comes down to us & our person versus the smart devices getting smarter and better?

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Phonegap, a new dimension in web-development

Hello to you all!

To know what my thesis is about, you firstly need to know something about the general concept of mobile development.
As you all know, mobile development is booming all around the world. The underlying graph shows that smartphones out passed the PC:

Image

source: gartner, idc, strategy analytics, company filings, bi intelligence estimates

 

That same company, Gartner, also gives the amount of Smartphones sold in the Q2 of 2013 here.
Their it is stated that you have 6 Operation Systems who sales more then 500.000 phones in a quarter:

Worldwide Smartphone Sales to End Users by Operating System in 2Q13 (Thousands of Units)

Operating System

2Q13

 Units

2Q13 Market Share (%)

2Q12

 Units

2Q12 Market Share (%)

Android

177,898.2

79.0

98,664.0

64.2

iOS

31,899.7

14.2

28,935.0

18.8

Microsoft

7,407.6

3.3

4,039.1

2.6

BlackBerry

6,180.0

2.7

7,991.2

5.2

Bada

838.2

0.4

4,208.8

2.7

Symbian

630.8

0.3

9,071.5

5.9

Others

471.7

0.2

863.3

0.6

Total

225,326.2

100.0

153,772.9

100.0

Source: Gartner (August 2013)

 

Now, like most of you may know (or not), every operation system has his own way of developing. In IOS you program in Objective-C, In Android & BlackBerry you use JAVA, in windows Phone c#, In Bada C++ and in Samba C/C++/Phyton.
If you program in one of these languages, you are programming “native”. That is the same as saying: you are programming for 1 operation system specifically. And when you do that, you have access to all possible functions (called the “native functions”) your phone has: Camera, local storage, location information, contacts, notifications,… Which is off course very useful for a lot of applications.
The downside of programming native is that you need to do it for every operating system individually. Which means that you need to code 1 application 6 times!
If you don’t want to develop every app 6 times, their is a solution called “web development”. By web development, you probably think immediately at websites. Which is a good thing, because that is basically what it is: It is an application made like a website. And every website is made by 3 things: HTML (markup language), Javascript (programming languages that makes the calculations and functions you want your page to have) and CSS (the styling and view of your page).
So the positive side of developing in web is that you only need to develop an app once and every operation system can read and understand it.
But like every website you visit from your PC, it has his downsides: It can’t use the native functions of your phone. It can only use it’s own data and resources available on the web. Which is of course not good when you want your app to make f.e. a picture with your own phone.

So until now, company’s had to choose: Am I going to make an application who can do a lot of things but costs 6 times more, or am I going to make an more vague app who can only do web stuff but costs only 1/6th of the price?

Pretty though decision don’t you think?

This is the part where my Thesis comes along: “PhoneGap” (or how it is calles now: cordova)
Phonegap/cordova is something revolutionary in the mobile world (for a youtube introduction click here).
It combines the benefits of native programming with web development. In other words: it allows programmers to program in HTML, CSS and Javascript AND use the native functions of a phone at the same time! 
Pretty awesome don’t you think?
I thought too ;). That why my thesis is going to be about the strength and weaknesses of this new programming element  and which thinks he already can and cannot do.
If you want some more info on phonegap, click here
I
f you want to see the native functions it already (partly) covers, click here

 

 

*As a side-note: Gartner is the world’s leading information technology research and advisory company. So you can find pretty interesting graphs and statistics over there if you like technology ;)

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