Mobile innovation

Posted by in Mobile

While the smartphone market is structuring around the big OSes that are iPhone, Android, RIM and Windows Mobile, one can wonder where the next powerful ideas will be coming from in terms of killer mobile applications. After the hype with casual games and the usual set of tools (better to-do list, better email client, better… , remotes…), and as the app stores are now super-filled, inventing and promoting relevant mobile application is far from being a breeze.

Yet, mobile apps is probably the most growing field in the computer world today. With all those feature-phones being converted into smartphones, this is the most growing space in the industry yet.

Below are a few themes worth thinking about that have yet to be addressed correctly:

  • Convergence : Obviously our life is split between devices, and there even apple fails at offering a perfectly convergent experience (i.e. my iPhone doesn’t sync with 2 iTunes on 2 MACs even while they both are authorized on the same account). Ubiquitous data, ubiquitous usage… 1Password is an excellent example of how a great simple desktop app gets a mobile extension generating lots of value, same for Evernote.
  • Productivity : there’s still plenty of space left in this area, all the vendors doing complicated stuf such as office doc editor which are totally not suited to mobile usage.
  • Lifelog / LifeTracker : while there are tens of ways of sharing stuff from your mobile, I don’t feel satisfied with any as they all feel limited regarding the verbosity of the infos i want to share or the pertinence of the info I would like to see stored.
  • Presence : Presence information is currently poorly used either in the core network or in the way events are being treated. Google Voice did an amazing first step (and they are way ahead rest of the world with this) yet there is still a long way to go before presence information is treated seamlessly and adds value to our live
  • Books : Publishing is being reinvented through tactile interfaces, from interactive publishing to cross-media, there is loads to do there.
  • Banking : I often wonder what Mint would be like on a cell-phone. Apart from the security issues, finances is a standard theme usually badly addressed. Update: As Jerome pointed out in the comments, the mobile payment is also something hot, but the ecosystem is a huge pain/mess to organize to see this happening.

There are probably lots of other themes that could be added for this list, so I’m open for contributions / ideas of use cases that need to be polished/enhanced / developed !