Tag Archives: mobile

Yahoo! New Look on Mobile

Yahoo! CEO Marissa Mayer announced the new Yahoo! welcome page yesterday (this may jump to other page based on your locale setting).

To understand the change this time, let’s look at it from the good old days of the Yahoo! Directory age.

From top left we have the first directory created by Jerry and Dave, and then later on became the most familiar page of my year (I still remember how I tried to submit my little GeoCities page page onto the Yahoo! directory), and then evolved into the maze-like landscape full of landmines (ad banners). It was so unusable, because we simply don’t want to start from what Yahoo! wants to tell us anymore, but rather from what we want to seek from Yahoo!

And that’s when Google came in and crushed Yahoo!.

Yahoo_BeginningYahoo_OldYahoo_BeforeYahoo_Mobile

Imagine all these screens on mobile devices. They are either unreadable or are diverted to an uglier m.yahoo mobile site for some local adaptation, which sometimes is an even worse experience. Or, for the US main site, they simply forward the traffic to the App download page (as shown in the last image above), and that experience is not united and streamlined either.

For this reason, I haven’t come in to Yahoo! page for a long time. Not just because I simply can’t find anything from that massive page anymore, but also because I don’t even start from that directory.  To be honest, Google.com is not my Homepage either, because I simply don’t start from any page any longer. All I do now is start (desktop or mobile/tablet ~ which is more than half of the time) with a search term at the Chrome bar and land on the search results directly, or click on referral links from emails, Facebook links or Tweets.

Yahoo_New

With this angle, I understand the rationale behind the Yahoo! repaint of their Welcome Page. It is not a big upgrade, but it fundamentally changes a few crucial items:

  1. It focuses very much on the newsfeed as the core real estate space and search, prominent search bar at the top . News and Search are the two main reasons that  users visit Yahoo! So now they cut the clutter and make it a bit more obvious to deliver on this objective upfront, and that’s great!
  2. Since Mobile and Tablet access will soon (or has already, at least for me) surpassed desktop access, their Responsive Design rather than a stripped down version of the m.yahoo site is the way to go, and that’s great too.
  3. They allow users to login with their Facebook ID or Yahoo account. Yahoo! is never in the Social space, and it makes sense to “outsource” this effort to the greatest social platform.

I still don’t have a winning verdict on Yahoo! and Mayer, but looking at how they are addressing mobile use  (news can be read on full-featured www.yahoo.com on Smartphone rather than a stripped down m.yahoo version), I am looking forward to seeing the next outcome of this continuous improvement initiative.

“Do You Have Mobile?”

“Do You Have Mobile?”

Of course I do. I keep two smartphones and one dumb phone with me all the time. I also carry a tablet to work so that I can draw pictures (mostly infographics by the way) during meetings.

But most of the time that was not the real question I was being asked. When my colleagues asked for “mobile”, they meant “mobile marketing stuff”.

“What stuff?” you may ask. Exactly. Mobile Marketing could mean anything ranging from a SMS promotion blast, to a full blown m-commerce site, or anything in between.

To make the situation more confusing, we also have things like a responsive email design, a QR code printed on an outdoor billboard, or a click-to-call button placed on a website which provides a bit of mobile compatibility, but embedded in the traditional (relatively speaking) marketing vehicle.

To sum up, some of these items are referring to mobile as the channel that marketers reach out with, some of them are referring to the device characteristics that the end users are interacting with, and some of them are referring to the nature of geo-location.

This confusion continues as we move along with the mobile journey. This also explains why the one who holds the marketing budget is not embracing the concept of “mobile” yet: As long as people still treat this term as a buzzword to collect all the different kinds of “new” digital tools and features into one big basket, we can’t have a clear picture of what it really means.

Sounds familiar doesn’t it? We had this 10 years ago when everybody was asking how to put things “online”. Now, it is even silly to have a job title like “Online Manager”. I am waiting for my own time to come when my title “Mobile Manager” becomes obsolete, and my mission will then be accomplished. Until then, we still have a lot of education, sharing and exploration work to do, and I will still ask you back “What is Mobile?” if you ask me the question “Do you have mobile?”.

Chrome for iOS

I have been using Chrome since day one (well, honestly, since day three, 4/Sept/2008).

At that time I (correctly) predicted that Google would flood the world in the mobile space. Three and a half years later, Android + Chrome conquer almost 60% of the smartphone world. Interestingly at that time I named his rivals as MS IE, Firefox and Safari, now it seems that the browsers game is not even the battleground anymore at all.

Anyway, a few days ago Google has launched Chrome on iOS. After the trial, I would say even though it is not as strategically important as how Chrome was for the desktop world at the previous age, but still it is a sticky product because the UX is smarter and neater (than Mobile Safari) (I never a big fan of Opera so I won’t compare with it).

Chrome on iPad offers Siri-liked voice search function (previously already on the Google iOS app), that’s cool, but not exciting. Syncing everything everywhere is handy, especially it remember which devices I have surfed that location with, that’s really cool.

I have put my Safari inactive and surf with Chrome on my iPhones and iPads from today onwards. No turning back.

Number One Concern in Blogging Today: Mobile

Original article posted on here.

If you still care about blogging (and I have just shown I do), what would be the number one concern that you should have? The answer is easy: make sure that your blog is mobile optimized.

This should not be any news to anybody anyway. This is one of the main reasons why Microblogging (Twitter and Weibo) and Miniblogging (light-weighted Tumblr) flourished recently in the first place. Traditional blogs are too heavy to be social, mobile and instant enough.

Anyway, my blog traffic has around 35% viewed by mobile devices for the last 30 days, and the trend is increasing rapidly recently. Out of all my Facebook referrals, more than half of them are from m.facebook, indicating that mobile+social is a big thing and if our landing page (the article page on the blog, for this instance) is not mobile optimized, we are doomed.

On the other hand, I got only a few percent of visitors coming from mobile search. And that’s normal, given that my blog is not that location-search relevant unlike retails or tourist attractions.

So, what I have done to make mine mobile? For my Blogger.com site, I have simply use the mobile template that provided by Google. I have tried the Dynamic Views on my iPhone, and found that although it is mobile compatible as the Mosaic screen would adjust the number of columns based on the width of the screen, the loading time is way too long for a normal 3G connection to download and render. For my WordPress site, I have employed a plugin to enable a mobile theme when loaded in a mobile device.

It is not enough just for the platform to be mobile optimized. The content matters too. When it comes down to content, “mobile optimized” means “concise”, “location relevant” and “time critical”. I believe this is where “blogging” is falling apart. Blogging is not 100% mobile if we look at the nature of the meaningful contents. We could optimized for the audience who come to us via mobile, but we can’t entertain the needs of the vast majority on the mobile traffic. If we want a happy ending, we could either limit ourselves to the concise and immediate world, or leave the detail world untapped and use social media as the mobile outpost to guide us towards the real content. With that in mind, all we need is a good landing page that optimized for mobile devices and mobile referral (for example, the article shown directly via Twitter, Flipboard, Facebook and LinkedIn mobile apps).

I am good. I am mobile optimized. At least my mind does. The rest will follow.

[Tech News] NEC thinnest 1.3Mega Pixel Camera GSM fold phone

NEC Corporation announced Wednesday it has launched the world’s thinnest fold-Type mobile phone with mega-pixel camera on the Hong Kong market.

NEC’s proprietary, cutting-edge technology has realized the creation of a modern, smart, compact and attractively packaged clam-shell type mobile phone. It boasts slim measurements of 47.9mm (width) X 101.5mm (height) X 11.9mm (depth; when folded) and a weight of 96g. Supporting mobile-internet and GSM/GPRS, it is equipped with a 1.9 inch (176 x 220 dot) 65,000 color display in addition to a digital camera (1.3 mega pixels). The sub-screen with an organic light emitting display is convenient for scrolling text messages. The phone is also loaded with a wide variety of features including PictBridge, MP3, Java and Bluetooth. Up to 64-polyphonic ring tones and two minutes of movie shooting can be enjoyed by the user.

This highly innovative model was enabled through a combination of NEC’s unbeatable technological competence in the areas of R&D and mobile. Ultra-slim mounting technology continues to be an important and constant R&D theme for NEC.

“This ultra-slim, clam-shell type mobile phone is a symbol of NEC’s leading position in the area of mobile technology,” said Susumu Otani, Associate Senior Vice President and head of Mobile Terminals Operations Unit at NEC Corporation. “We will continue to strive to offer the latest, most innovative and most attractive mobile terminal solutions on the market. Boasting compact shape and the latest technologies, our phones allow our customers to choose the right phone for their individual needs in all of our target markets across the globe.”

(Source: NEC Hong Kong Limited)