Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Media Maven Meets Mobile Monday

Geek. Nerd. Dork. Tech-obsessed – that’s what my brother’s MIT friends called me when I showed up late to watch Monday night’s Patriots game. Yes, you can re-read that sentence. A group of MITstudents was standing there calling me a geek. They couldn’t believe I missed most of opening game to go to a MobileMonday event. I didn’t want to miss the game (though I did make it back to see Wes Welker run a 99.5-yard touchdown so I could win my PAN Fantasy match-up.) I tried to tell them how cool it was to hear about HTML 5, some innovative new apps, and best practices and challenges for mobile game development. They looked at me blankly. So I’m hoping I’ll have a different reaction here on prSPEAK, and maybe some fellow “geeks” will think the Mobile Games event, presented by Mobile Monday Boston, was as cool as I did. If so, drop a line in the comments and let me know I’m not alone. There’s a little too much for one blog post, so check back later this week for the second half of my MobileMonday recap.

The new

Whether you’re upset that the Boston Globe is asking readers to pay for online content or not, you have to be impressed with the new mobile design on the My only complaint is that I really do love native apps. I have the app and I love it, and it sits in a group of apps with all my other favorite news sites and blogs. However, I think I’ll find myself giving a shot on my iPhone. Here are the highlights, as I learned from Jeff Moriarty from the Boston Globe at Mobile Monday:

  • Responsive design – Content is sized to any device
  • Touch feature – touch, pinch and scroll your news
  • Bookmark stories you want to read later
  • Device driven formats – Whether you’re reading on a Kindle, BlackBerry, iPad and so on, the content will be optimized to your screen.
  • Same storage space as native apps
  • Gaming component for crossword puzzles – I like to call this old school meets new school. Crossword puzzles – really?


One of the reasons I went to MobileMonday was because I wanted to learn more about this technology, and, more importantly, about the impact it will have on software development, particularly for mobile developers. I’ve been seeing a lot about it, but I wanted the quick-and-dirty from people who know what they’re talking about. The guys who spoke at Mobile Monday had a lot to say, because they’re in the thick of it. The biggest challenge, as Jamie Caralis from MocoSpace shared, is device fragmentation. There is a wide variety of screen resolutions and bandwidth power across devices, and HTML 5 is still an emerging standard. Still, I was impressed by the HTML 5 capabilities Jamie talked about. Here are a few his highlights:

  • Ubiquitous across operating systems
  • Open standards – web and game developers share a common language
  • Open distribution system – not locked in by restrictive policies.

A few other presenters, Trevor Sayre and his brother “Z” from Gradient Studios, closed out their presentation with some final thoughts on HTML 5. HTML 5 is not just HTML; it’s open web technology and integrated media content. Get on board, because you’ll reach a wider audience – everyone has a browser, not everyone has the right app store.

As I said, I still prefer native apps, but I suspect HTML 5 is a huge game-changer for mobile developers and we’ll likely see a lot of companies leveraging this tech to reach a wider audience, as Z and Trevor pointed out.

More to come on MobileMonday later this week, as I share the insights I learned about the mobile gaming industry.

This post originally appeared on prSPEAK, a blog by PAN Communications.

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