The big fight: Mobile vs PC

Apparently Google now officially think that mobile is where it’s at. Read Write Web have reported that during their Q4 earnings call vice president for product development, Jonathan Rosenberg, said “with all the capabilities these phones that are coming out have like GPS, cameras, we think there is the potential to actually make this mobile web better than the PC web.

So what are Google up to?

Google are using the mobile Web for a couple of really interesting things. For example Google have recently introduced optimised search suggestions based on location on both the iPhone and Android platforms. Google also tweaks its search results based on your current location and the ‘near me now’ option finds places in the local vicinity. At the moment this functionality, which uses one’s GPS, is only available in the US but it won’t be long before it makes its way over here. Other Google mobile ideas in the pipeline include location-aware ads and the ability to call directly to the businesses advertised via the link.

So does the mobile web have the potential to be better than the no-so-mobile Web? Or is the the small screen a serious impediment that can’t be overcome?

This weekend just gone my husband and I were lucky enough to get away for a few nights without the children. We took a trip in to Windsor and ended up looking round the Apple store. We had an interesting discussion with one of the sales guys about the move from big to small and back again. As the assistant explained, people don’t like things that are too small, sometimes they feel like they aren’t getting value for money. I can relate to that feeling. A long while ago I had a Creative MP3 player bought for me, it’s a really small player and is perfect for when I go jogging. The only problem is I can’t read the writing that well and half the time can’t tell what time the stop watch is showing. I’ve recently bought myself an iPod touch (partly to see how the other half live – it’s my first Apple product) and also so I can actually tell what’s going on! Small is not always beautiful (or what we are after).

This week Apple will be unveiling it’s new tablet. Insiders have described the tablet (name not yet confirmed) as “a first-generation iPhone that’s met its match with a rolling pin.” The theory is that the tablet will cross the boundary between phone and laptop.

Is that what we are truly after?

Or maybe it is not a case of which is better, the mobile and PC are just different?

One comment on the read-write-web caught my eye:

I also feel like the mobile technology will work nicely as the internet evolves into its next major phase the synaptic web. The web will soon be much more intuitive; being able to anticipate what we need and want…. The future is really going to be amazing my friends!

The synaptic Web is an interesting concept and not one I’ve come across before. I’ll try to look into it and post more on it soon.

In the Synaptic Web, the connections between objects are more important than the objects themselves. The question is; how are these connections changing to create new experiences? In other words, there is an opportunity to stop looking at the nodes and start looking at the space between them.

Whatever future the Web holds it’s clear that we are still only at the start of the journey and desktop or mobile are just steps along the way.


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