How far have we come?

I’m boarding the tube this afternoon when, looking through the window as I walk up to the carriage, I spot a 30-something mother with her toddler child sat holding an iPhone 3G together. I look closer and I see the screen is displaying a noughts and crosses board. I watch as the mother presses on the top right-hand corner and a nought appears. The toddler eagerly presses down on the opposite square and a cross appears.

This is mobile technology. I find it absolutely fascinating to behold. The level of engagement and the seamless, frictionless experience offered by the platform meant these ‘users’ were entertained on their train journey.

What’s even more fascinating is that with Nokia’s finest current devices this experience is simple impossible to replicate.

We’ve come a long way in the past two years when, I’m sure, the mother in question was waltzing around London with a piece-of-shit Razr or similar.

Posted via email from MIR Live

7 Responses to How far have we come?

  1. acurrie August 25, 2009 at 6:42 pm #

    Their “level of engagement” may be wondrous to behold, but they're still playing Tic-Tac-Toe (crosses and noughts?) — which I believe you can also play on a Tablet PC and… What's that other thing? Oh yes, pen and paper.

    If that toddler *wrote* the Tic-Tac-Toe app on the other hand, I'm definitely impressed : )

  2. Mike42 August 26, 2009 at 5:21 pm #

    Yeeees, but did she have a pen/paper handy? And how much? How many games before you are out of paper? And are you serious – when did you last see a Tablet PC? Anywhere? Ever? every mum needs one 🙂

    On the weekend I stopped a 2 year-old from bawling by showing her the Koi Pond iPhone app. Instantly she forgot her sore knee and winded tummy, and started playing around with the fish. The parent was suitably relieved/impressed, and I believe (after learning of the car-trip-soothing wonders of Storynory podcasts and cheap over-the-ear headphones) went and bought one the next day.

    My own kids love Towers of Hanoi, Flight Control, the marble maze one, etc. The 8-year old now snaffles the iPhone to make videos to email to Grandad, on the other side of the world. She has had the run of an N95 8GB for years, but it's just_too_hard. Even for most adults.

    Ewan is spot on, we have come a huge distance in only a few years.

    er, OK – Apple have. Now Nokia/SEM just need to catch up.

    /m

  3. acurrie August 26, 2009 at 6:24 pm #

    You're missing my point, or more likely I'm not making myself clear.

    If mother and child can using mobile technology to communicate across the miles, or if a parent can locate a youngster who's somehow gotten away from her and wandered off into a busy train station, that's an amazing thing.

    But X's and O's? Who cares, except the person making money off of the app?

  4. Mike42 August 27, 2009 at 3:36 am #

    Parents talking to kids isn't amazing. And child finding via mobile is just a sop to irresponsible parenting.

    But the engagement the iPhone's apps gives both adults and kids *is* amazing, and clearly millions of people care, very deeply. That's why they install and use apps, not to make the developer happy.

  5. acurrie August 27, 2009 at 8:10 am #

    Lots of people find monster truck rallies and online porn engaging too, no doubt.

    But I see that I'm wasting my time here. Enjoy the wonders of your Xs & Os!

  6. Mike42 August 27, 2009 at 5:05 pm #

    The whole point of the infinitely better mobile experience is that people can discover and actually use it. It's got nothing to do with the content, as that's very much in the eye of the beholder. And which there is a myriad of – from simple to the sublime. Have you seen the astronomy app? It's mindblowing. Using GPS, accellerometer and compass to paint a moving map over the sky of constellations and planets. That high-brow enough for you? But sometimes you might just want a quick game of Tetris or Tic-Tac-Toe or whatever. Choice, and ease of discovery, payment and subsequent use. If you can't grasp that then the mobile revolution of the last 2 years has rather passed you by.

    Funnily enough, the mum and child probably care less about your issues with the iPhone than you do about their enjoyment of a simple game.

    Or maybe you are right and the 1 *billion* iPhone app downloaders are wrong? A billion, FFS. And I do count them separately, as yes, maybe only 25m iPhones have shipped, but the App store experience is soo good they keep coming back and handing over cash – apparently $2.5Bn to date, it's been estimated.

    If you can't grasp/accept the significance of that in the historical context of the utterly shite prior 15 years, I really do wonder why you follow a blog on the mobile industry?

  7. Mike42 August 27, 2009 at 11:05 pm #

    The whole point of the infinitely better mobile experience is that people can discover and actually use it. It's got nothing to do with the content, as that's very much in the eye of the beholder. And which there is a myriad of – from simple to the sublime. Have you seen the astronomy app? It's mindblowing. Using GPS, accellerometer and compass to paint a moving map over the sky of constellations and planets. That high-brow enough for you? But sometimes you might just want a quick game of Tetris or Tic-Tac-Toe or whatever. Choice, and ease of discovery, payment and subsequent use. If you can't grasp that then the mobile revolution of the last 2 years has rather passed you by.

    Funnily enough, the mum and child probably care less about your issues with the iPhone than you do about their enjoyment of a simple game.

    Or maybe you are right and the 1 *billion* iPhone app downloaders are wrong? A billion, FFS. And I do count them separately, as yes, maybe only 25m iPhones have shipped, but the App store experience is soo good they keep coming back and handing over cash – apparently $2.5Bn to date, it's been estimated.

    If you can't grasp/accept the significance of that in the historical context of the utterly shite prior 15 years, I really do wonder why you follow a blog on the mobile industry?

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