Just a quick post on Improving the Mobile Web Experience by measuring in real time how fast your Web site loads on a Mobile device. Note the huge difference in time when testing on an emulator vs. the real device.
Thursday, January 19, 2012
Tuesday, January 17, 2012
We’re pleased to announce the “Choice™” browser for Android and iPhone. For the first time you can now automate browser testing using the popular open source tool – Selenium across any carrier network. For more information please check our web site @ www.3pmobile.com or email us at email@example.com
Monday, January 09, 2012
It just keeps getting better… today AT&T announced a new developer platform (link: AT&T Announces API Platform to Boost Innovation and Collaboration with Mobile App Developers).
Only one problem (well several actually).
- It only works on AT&T's network/phones. So if I build something that works for them it won't work on any other platform
- AT&T controls access to the API's. This is the Carrier dream. You get to see only what they want you to see. Want to innovate? Then wait for the next set of API's to be released
- No support for Privacy - you can now access the API's to the device and unless there's a fancy pop-up (easily suppressed) then you won't know what's happening
The holy grain for HTML is access to Native Device side API's AND, the ability integrate that capability with Native Web Services. It's the game changer and makes Mobile apps obsolete (well except maybe for gaming). However the along with nirvana comes the privacy problem. How do I control what has access to my device?
I can see it now. Lots and lots of Mobile Web apps (simple apps where the content lives on the server and you access it through a "browser like interface). But therein lies the disappointment - the interface on the Mobile device will never be a full browser - just a very limited Web run time engine (think Phone Gap).
The solution - a Mobile browser that connects to ANY Web service (not just a Web app) AND allows Native Device side API access with standard programming techniques, all while protecting the users Privacy.
Because they don’t know “Me”.
There’s this great TED video up on Yahoo… What Facebook and Google (and a few others) are hiding from the world.
So what’s going on here? Well what the Content providers are doing is “monitoring and measuring” You…
And then they start building a profile on You…
Which means that “You” get placed in a bubble…
And then they give “You” content they think (algorithms) is appropriate…
But what they (algorithms) fail to do is give you more content because they’re not very good at solving these kind of problems…they’re filtering and NOT in a good way.
When the Internet finally “Knows Me” it becomes a much more colorful and relevant world.
And that’s why when we built the “Choice” browser, we included a little something for You…it’s called “Me”, and allows “You” to chose what you want to share with the Internet. This allows those algorithms to make some really smart “Choices”, and for you to see “lots of really cool bubbles”.
Friday, January 06, 2012
Well let's think about it for a moment and revisit an old blog post - "Privacy on the Internet is NOT binary" I started with a definition from Wikipedia....
Privacy (from Latin: privatus "separated from the rest, deprived of something, esp. office, participation in the government", from privo "to deprive") is the ability of an individual or group to seclude themselves or information about themselves and thereby reveal themselves selectively. The boundaries and content of what is considered private differ among cultures and individuals, but share basic common themes.
When something is private to a person, it usually means there is something within them that is considered inherently special or personally sensitive. The degree to which private information is exposed therefore depends on how the public will receive this information, which differs between places and over time. Privacy partially intersects security, including for instance the concepts of appropriate use, as well as protection, of information.What privacy allows us to do is be selective in what we share. It includes data about myself, my current location, my device that i'm using to connect with etc. In essence it's context. The more context you have about something, or somebody, or some location, then the more PRECISE your response can be.
And Virginia therein lies the key to unlocking performance on the Internet - the precision you can bring to your response then the faster it will get there. Here's a simple example. Yesterday I ran a performance test on Google's Mobile home page. Here are the results...
- Load time was 5.789 seconds on Sprints network
- Page size was 525.83kb - that's 525,830 bytes worth of data
Think about that for a moment. Google sent over ½ MB of data to my Mobile phone and it still had to ask me for access to my current location. Imagine for a moment that I could transmit my personal information to Google BEFORE it had to send a response back to me. Instead of ½ MB you could drop it down to less than 100,000 bytes of data. That's an 80% drop in the data sent. And on top of that I get a personal response.
So there you have it - Privacy really can help speed up the Web. The more you trust and share with content providers then the better job they'll be able to do with the response that you get back.
It's all about the "Benjamin's" . Here's a simple graphics that says it all...
The guy on the left represents the Mobile OS manufacturers. In exchange for "free" they want access to your privacy so they can sell more ads. They've invested an incredible amount of money in infrastructure to support you. And as the old saying goes "pie is not free at the truck stop". Someone has to pay for all this "stuff".
So whose the guy on the right? Well right now he's the Enterprise user and he's got a real problem. The lack of consistent privacy controls across devices prohibits them from extending their Web strategy to Mobile users. Lots of people are now bringing their own devices to work (BYOD) and corporations are looking for ways to integrate their current Web services with those devices. The problem - the current Mobile browsers (with the exception of RIM, Opera and Mozilla) don't allow for plugins that could be used to increase privacy.
So why not switch to the alternate browsers? Well RIM means a Blackberry, Opera means everything goes through their servers in Norway. Which leaves Mozilla - it supports plugins but there aren't any that increase privacy. And there's no developers building anything for them. (Because the current browsers that come with the device are "good enough").
Which if you think about it leaves a huge opportunity open to someone enterprising enough (pun intended) to build a new browser, one that gives you a Choice in what can be shared and with whom.
PS. The W3C solution is just a guideline and offers no complete solution. As for "self-regulation", well everyone agrees that doesn't work unless there's an incentive.
So there you have it - there's no financial incentive to solve the Privacy problem - simply because there's too much money in NOT solving it. As for the Enterprise - therein lies the opportunity.
Back in October I wrote a blog post titled "Privacy on the Internet is NOT "binary" Since then i've been giving Privacy a lot more thought. And so it seems has the IETF (The Internet Engineering Task Force)
From the IETF draft document published, November 14, 2011… (link)
The goal ( of this protocol ) is to allow a user to express their personal preference regarding cross-site tracking ( using an HTTP X request header ) to each server and web application that they communicate with via HTTP, thereby allowing each server to either adjust their behavior to meet the user's expectations or reach a separate agreement with the userto satisfy both parties. Key to that notion of expression is that it MUST reflect the user's preference, not the preference of some institutional or network-imposed mechanism outside the user's control.
In short they want the browser to send a message to the server that says don't track me. So I thought I would check back in to see how much progress they are making? It's a little techie but worth a read.
Privacy is a really tough problem to solve. My personal opinion is that the W3C is on the right track, however without the ability to influence to the Browser manufacturers there is little chance for implementation. It's going to require changes to the browser and to the Web server. Changing the HTTP protocol doesn't solve anything - as it's just a communication mechanism. What you have to change is both end of the pipe - and that is going to take some real innovation.(hint www.3pmobile.com)
Here's the closed issues with some notes to follow along with.
C. Postponed Issues
Wednesday, January 04, 2012
In my last two blog posts I talked about why Mobile apps don’t matter anymore (Part I & Part II). I finished the blogs with a quote, “In the future – the ONLY Mobile app you’ll need will be the Browser”. My personal opinion is that with now close to 3/4’s of a million apps between the top two Mobile operating systems how can someone hope to come up with something new and, (key part here) sustainable?
6 years ago almost to the day we set out to solve that problem. Our focus was simple – users should have a Choice when it came to sharing their private information on the web. They should also have a better, faster, more personal experience. Like most things – at the end, everything appears deceptively simple (as it should be).
A simple analogy would be like pulling your car up to the gas pump – you now have a choice – “Regular, Unleaded or Premium Unleaded”. There are no changes required to the infrastructure (well maybe a newer car), but for the most part virtually every engine can run on either of the three grades of gas. However if you pay a little more – then your engine runs a little better.
That’s the way it should be with the Internet – if you’re willing to share a little more data with those content providers you trust, then the experience should be faster, more personal, and more rewarding. We summarized those things as the Three P’s… Faster Performance, Better Privacy, More Personalization.
And now we’ve released Choice for Android (and soon for iPhone). A mobile app (or a mobile browser, you decide) that for the first time allows you to deliver a faster experience, one tailored to the capabilities of the device, the operating system, the carrier network and most importantly to “Me” the user.
And just to show you we haven’t lost touch with those native app we’ve introduced something new for the first time ever – we call them contextual menus. Browser menus that take into account your context and the web services context, and then adapt and change in real time. Giving you the user and the content provider millions of different uses for a single mobile app – the browser.