March Mobile Monday London – Tablets

mobilemondaylondon.gifThe theme for last night’s Mobile Monday London was tablets. Leila Makki of TelecomTV chaired a panel consisting of David Gibbs (BSkyB), Matt Pollitt (UsTwo), Rimma Perelmuter (Mobile Entertainment Forum), David Roth-Ey (Harper Collins) and Mark Payton (Haymarket Consumer Media).

These were the main issues…

  • Whether to publish things ‘as is’ as scans or pdfs vs adding interaction such as social media and associated user generated content. There are some instances where content is so good that it can be published ‘as is’. Beware of feature overload.
  • Discovery of content such as books
  • What people will pay for – convenience and trusted source.
  • The business model for tablets. Payment and iOS vs Android
  • Whether to use HTML5 (and the web) vs Apps
  • All you can eat for books

Myself and several of the people I spoke to afterwards thought the event lacked anything new. In many cases there weren’t any answers to the (few) issues. It wasn’t anyone’s fault. It’s just that all this is relatively new, there aren’t any answers yet and even the issues aren’t yet fully known.

I think the largest issue is tools and authoring. Related to this is whether to use HTML5 or native apps. The MoMo event gave the impression that it was either HTML available online vs an app via an app store. It’s also possible to to wrap HTML up into an app.

There was contention at MoMo as to whether HTML5 can be used to create apps with a good enough user experience compared to native Apps. You can get very close. The problem is that to do so currently needs so much effort that you might as well create a native app. Also, to do so requires you to end up using browser features that vary (or are missing or buggy) across platforms. Another problem is developer familiarity. There was comment at MoMo that developers like doing what they already know. For iOS this means native as opposed to HTML and Ajax.

With the correct authoring tools, whether it’s HTML5 in an App or native probably doesn’t matter. New tools are required to allow multi-platform and intra-platform (different screen size) apps to be created from graphical and textual assets.