Archive for the ‘mobile’ Category

The so called mobile revoultion

March 6, 2007

I usually don’t blog about new sites or products, although I really enjoy beta testing new services and have been doing that for quite a while now. It’s probably some geek inheritance from my developer background. So being myself an early-adopter, I really don’t recommend others to do so. The fact is, unlike movies where the first is always (or nearly always) the best on a series, when it comes to products or services it usually takes some time (and some brave beta testers/early adopters) until the developers get it right. Take Apple for example. Great company with good products, but if you’re planning to go out and buy the brand new Mac___ or i___ (fill in the blanks as appropriate), I wish you the best of luck. After some bad experiences in the past, I’ve learned to be pretty skeptical about new products and services, not only Apple’s but so many others. It’s specially hard to cope with all the new stuff on these web 2.0 times (might I call it pre-bubble 2.0 times?).

Now, the next big thing is mobile. Actually it’s been “the next big thing” for some time, but still very few applications have proven to be successful. Why is that? I think it’s all about relevance and usefulness. Mobile applications should be very easy to use and should provide you instant access to information you might need on the go. You probably won’t write an entire text or create Excel macros on your mobile; you can do that on your laptop. You won’t watch the entire LOTR trilogy on a 240×320 screen, you have your PSP or portable DVD for that. And you won’t play Counter Strike for 8h, unless you want to get a serious RSI. These sort of activities require a decent screen/sound quality and great processing power, which means, at least nowadays, a big and heavy gadget for you to carry (not to say expensive, too). For most of the people, this is definitely not what they want from a mobile phone.

However, you might need a phone number, address or some other critical information when you’re away from your office, laptop or any computer. What should you do, then? Well, in most cases you can just go to Google on your WAP browser and get that. However, what if you need an information only available on your computer, and you don’t have a Palm or smart phone to store this – or maybe you even have one, but you forgot to synch it today, what should you do?

a) call someone at your office/home and ask them to search it for you, meaning you’ll probably have to give out your password. Of course, hoping someone will actually be there when you call.

b) try to call friends/colleagues who might have the same information you need. Chances are you’ll waste some time (and money) on trying to find the correct person, if you ever find.

c) you can use your old-fashioned phone and go to SoonR to have access to your computer.

As I said, I’m pretty skeptical about new applications or products, but this one’s really got me. It has all I really expect on a mobile service: it’s simple, it’s easy to use and it offers me access to important information. It’s basically a client application you run on your computer that you can access from your WAP browser, offering you access to Outlook, Google Desktop and even Skype. All the processing runs on your computer, so you don’t need the latest handheld or smart phone to use it. Actually I have tested it with very basic phones and it worked just fine. You can also access your computer from their web site, from any other computer. The only con is that your computer must be turned on, with SoonR client running and connected to the Internet. Currently you can choose some of your documents and upload to their web site to have offline access, but it’s limited to 100MB.

See a demo here: