Opinion Articles

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

It's the wrong song

Mark Bridge writes:

“T’ain’t what you do (it’s the way that you do it)”

So sang Ella Fitzgerald, Bananarama and the Fun Boy Three - although sadly not on the same recording. But that message is no longer being followed by many companies. Instead, the new mantra seems to be the other way round. And I think that’s a good thing.

Today, Apple announced a new iTunes U application. The iTunes U service isn’t new; it’s been around for a few years and is all about enabling colleges and universities to put lectures and presentations online. However, the new educational app makes it easier for students with an iPad, iPhone or iPod touch to take an entire course on their Apple device - whether reading books or making notes - and also lets teachers manage these courses.

As long as you have an Apple device - perhaps an iPhone, perhaps an iPad - you can use iTunes U. There’s no need for a particular handset. Mobile is part of the mix... but it’s not essential.

Over in Nike Town USA, the winged goddess was talking about the NIKE+ FuelBand. It’s a wristband (don’t mention the Jawbone UP) that tracks everyday movement and measures it using ‘NikeFuel’. The more you move - whether running, walking or dancing - the more NikeFuel you generate. Alternatively, it’ll count steps or calculate calories if you prefer.

As well as displaying coloured LEDs that help the user see how they’re approaching their daily goal, the FuelBand also synchronises with the Nike+ website. You can plug it in to a PC or you can connect via Bluetooth to a mobile app.

Once again, mobile is there - but it’s a ‘nice to have’ option and isn’t mandatory.

And then there’s Facebook, with its 60 new applications for Timeline, letting users share where they’re going, what they’re eating, the films they like... on mobile and on non-mobile platforms.

We’re finally starting to see mobile being accepted more and more, being part of the bigger picture and not having a cameo role.

Finally, companies are moving away from simply showing off with mobile - and are starting to take advantage of mobile instead. At least, I hope they are.

It ain’t what you do?  It is now. And that’s what gets results.

You can hear Mark Bridge, Iain Graham and James Rosewell discuss the latest mobile industry headlines every Wednesday. Pick up their podcast from iTunes, find it via RSS or listen on the home page of TheFonecast.com.
Author: The Fonecast
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