Not Trendy. Forward-Thinking.

July 17, 2008

You may notice this blog has a whole new look now. (I got the header photo from the web… no pencils were harmed in the redesign of this website).

Well, there’s a reason for it. A reason why the “widgets” – links and whatnot – are located all the way at the bottom of the page. Why there’s only one simple column.

The iPhone.

Yes, I have finally joined the ranks of millions of deliriously over-joyed iPhone owners… wandering city streets with our faces down, almost getting run over by rogue taxis. Never bored or out of touch. And part of what could finally f*&k Bill Gates in the @$$.

The format of this site is optimized to be viewed on mobile devices and the iPhone. Why’d I make the switch? Because mobile applications and websites specifically optimized for handsets aren’t the future. Unless today is “the future.” And apparently, it is.

According to an article in Time Magazine, Bill Gates’s biggest mistake was never embracing the web. He poo-pooed the onset of the Internet Age and just kept developing applications that allowed people to work, but didn’t effectively connect anyone… with the exception of a few Exchange, email, and server apps.

He never jumped on board to help the common man connect to the world and all of his peers. And because Microsoft ignored this obvious need, they might flounder in the coming years. What will become of Bill’s empire?

Mobile sites have sprung up over the past few years, but never with the amount of urgency and finesse as they have lately. Major sites like NBC will redirect iPhones to a special nbc.com/iphone version of their site… specially optimized for the device and allows for streaming video. (Not great quality yet, but give it time…)

But even mobile sites may play second fiddle to speedy, slick-interfaced, ready-at-hand mobile applications. Google is saying its new phone will launch with at least 1,800 new applications. The iTunes app store apparently launched with 1000. A venture capitalist has even started a $100 million fund to support the development of great iPhone apps.

In the first FOUR DAYS that Apple’s free iPhone SDK (Software Development Kit) was available to the public, it was downloaded 100,000 times. It makes mobile application development super easy. Heck, even teenagers will be able to program their own applications in the near future. You might find the next big app designed by that zit-faced Chad guy from down the block… and his ugly mug is on the app icon just to prove it’s his.

Suddenly, people won’t just want to build their own websites and blogs… they’ll express themselves through applications… and put their work out there so the public can carry around a little piece of their genius.

Granted… a lot of this is could be considered speculation. But things move faster in software development than hardware development… and if you give people the right tools, you can ignite a cultural phenomenon.

Look at Facebook… just a networking site like MySpace. For a long time, it wasn’t even as dynamic or useful as MySpace. Then Facebook added apps. Changed the whole game. Suddenly, people had a reason to visit and use the site… over and over… hours on end. In some ways, Facebook was almost a precursor to the iPhone.

Will the iPhone be a precursor to Google’s phone? Or a cooler iPhone? Or something even bigger and un-thought-of?

I guess we’ll just have to wait… and, in the meantime, try not to get hit by oncoming traffic while texting.

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