Tag: Mobile

Coping Without Being Connected – Part II

Coping Without Being Connected – Part II

It’s over 2 months without a data plan now, and I’ve discovered a few things about myself and how I now fit into society.

What I’ve discovered in general

  • There is Wi-Fi everywhere. It’s at the grocery store, fast food places, and schools.
  • I still get email when not connected to Wi-Fi. Yes, it’s true. I don’t know if this is common or not, but with Brightspot I can still send and receive email when not on Wi-Fi.
  • There is Wi-Fi at intersections. My trusty Windows phone tells me when Wi-Fi is available, and often times when I’m at a stop light, there is an open Wi-Fi network.

What I’ve learned about myself

  • Sometimes I really miss being able to access the Internet. I would to be able to keep track of the sports scores, get turn by turn directions, get media texts, and send media texts myself.
  • I realize when I can’t access certain functionality on my phone, I feel it’s good for me. It’s like my spoiled kids who get whatever they want with their On Demand TV, Netflix and Amazon Instant Video. I think it’s good for me to not be able to access media whenever I want to.

How I now fit into society

I was at my neighbors house a few days ago. A friend was telling me how he’s in a league where they pick NFL games against the spread. I told him how my friend and I made a site where you can look up historical NFL odds data and I went to look it up on my phone. Embarrassingly enough, I could not access the site from my phone. He asked me what the problem was and I quickly changed the subject. I didn’t want to go into detail how I don’t have a data plan on my phone. I still wanted to talk about the NFL :).

Since I can no longer get turn by turn directions, I have a few options:

  • Use a paper map
  • Print out directions before hand
  • Call my wife as I’m driving
  • Use my intuition
  • Stop at a McDonald’s on the way, connect to their Wi-Fi, and look up where I need to go

Since I’ve been without a data plan, I’ve used all of these methods. The time I called my wife for directions was not a proud moment :).

What it best for society? Would be better off if none of us had access to data plans? It’s an interesting question because so many business models are now built on people being connected 24/7 along with GPS access. I think about the early 90’s when I would read the paper to see the sports scores and the stock quotes. My life was good then, and I don’t think it was any better when I had a data plan. I wasn’t happier then…

A few times I’ve heard that people’s happiest times are when they have very little, and their scraping to get by. I think a point like that in a person’s life they are able to appreciate the little things much more. Since they can’t just go out and buy whatever they want, each decision in life is important.

It’s make you think what really is best for society, and where we are heading. Would we be better off without the Internet? Maybe so. Maybe we’re heading into a new generation, Generation I, where everything is instant. It will be interesting to see if we can keep our heads above water in a sensible fashion.


This post is a follow up to my original post, here

How long can companies ignore the Windows Phone platform?

How long can companies ignore the Windows Phone platform?

This original post was written for the Aspenware blog


The Windows Phone platform initially launched in October of 2010. The new Windows Phone 7 operating system broke compatibility with early versions of Windows Mobile which left Microsoft starting from ground zero in terms of market share and apps.

Shortly after the initial launch Microsoft partnered with Nokia to build phones for its new mobile operating system. Nokia abandoned Symbian and started making all of its new phones for Windows Phone 7. Nokia has been the saving grace for Windows Phone, even though it hasn’t yet gained any significant market share, especially in the United States.

Currently market share in the US stands at 3.6%. Android and iOS dominate the rest of the market leaving only a shred left for Blackberry. Beginning a few months ago, Windows Phone finally made it to all of the big carriers with the HTC 8x released on the Sprint network. Verizon has had a few phones from Samsung and HTC for the last year or so, with Nokia only offering GSM compatible phones on the T-Mobile and AT&T networks.

As far as app development goes, one can certainly make the case to ignore the platform with only 3.6% market share in the US. Twitter and Facebook have not developed their own apps for Windows Phone as of yet. Microsoft has released their own version of a facebook app, along with many other third party developers. With so many different third party developers supporting the platform, it probably doesn’t make sense for Facebook to support their own native app at this point. That being said, it’s still somewhat of a blemish for the Windows Phone Marketplace. So we can start to look to the future to see what’s in store for the Windows Phone platform.

International Data Corporation (IDC) predicts at least a 10% global market share for Windows Phone by 2017. This equates to over 100 million devices being sold per year as they predict global shipments to exceed 1 billion units per year.

The real excitement for Windows Phone is in the international markets, particularly in Europe. In Italy Windows Phone enjoys a 3.5% lead over iOS with a 13.7% market share. Windows Phone is enjoying similar success in Germany as they are neck and neck with iOS for 2nd place behind Android. Overall in the major European markets Windows Phone hopes to grab around a 10% share by years end.

App developers should not be ignoring what is happening in Europe with Windows Phone. Nokia is charging ahead strongly with highly desirable devices, mostly from their advanced camera capabilities. The new Nokia Lumia 1520 boasts a 6” HD screen and 20 MP camera. So far early reviews have been very positive. There’s also been news that the new Nokia phones will support 3D touch, so you can navigate through your phone without actually touching the screen.

What’s happening in Europe will ultimately help the Windows Phone market share in the US. As more and more apps are developed to support the growing customer base in Europe, it will make the Windows Phone platform more appealing to consumers in the US. With Instagram soon to hit the Windows Phone Marketplace, along with Vine just landing in it, Windows Phone will satisfy a broad appeal of consumers with many of the most popular apps now being available on the platform.

Even though the Windows Phone Marketplace will support most of the well-known app brands, it still lacks a lot of what I call ancillary apps which my favorites include: US Bank, Safeway and Golf Channel. These were the apps I used a lot on my old Android phone which are not available yet for Windows Phone. Nokia claims that it is now a matter of when vs. a matter of if major brands are coming to the platform. Once Microsoft can shore up its app store to compete better with Android and iOS, it should be very interesting to see what happens to the market share not only in the US, but with the platform worldwide.