Archive for May, 2008

Google Demo’s Android, HTC Dream

Wednesday, May 28th, 2008

Google just showed a brief demo (good stuff at engadget, techCrunch and androidcommunity) of a prototype phone called the HTC Dream. While the demo is just plain cool, we (zintin) think it also sheds new light on the future of the mobile software space, and the upcoming competition between iPhone, Android and established players.

As far as we can tell, the first phones running Android will be targeted towards people looking for a phone/entertainment device hybrid, and thus the phones will compete most directly with the iPhone. A few days ago at the last Silicon Valley iPhone developers meetup Mike Mace (of MobileOpportunity) shared some insight into the mobile market segmentation with us. One of the points he made clear was that there is a large divide between people who want entertainment from their phones and people who want business features. This seems to be a somewhat common perception among people watching the space. However, we think that the street view demo shown today on Android says something else.

The Google street view app is beautifully integrated with unique characteristics of the mobile device, (eg the compass). This is a great example of the kind of new software that people have been waiting to see on phones. However, its not an entertainment app. And its not a business app either. In fact, its just a plain useful app.

What does this mean then? It means that the market segmentation of mobile devices is changing. No longer will there be a strict divide between business and entertainment devices. New phones that have great new features which are useful to everyone have a chance to make inroads in all segments.

Zintin will be out on the iPhone first, but we are very excited about what we have already been able to do on Android. Both platforms are already breeding grounds for innovation, and when new apps start to hit the market, expect to see some big changes in the mobile market.

Visit zintin.com to sign up for the beta announcement.

iPhone app beta signup

Tuesday, May 27th, 2008

zintin.com has just been updated! Our placeholder site is gone, and we are now allowing everyone to sign up to be notified when our beta mobile social media product is out. (We won’t give your email address to anyone, and we won’t send you anything else.)

We have been working hard on zintin on the iPhone for a while now, and while the product has been moving along, our website and blog were not. Our blog should be a little more active starting now. We still won’t be releasing product details for a couple of weeks or so, but want to share our view of the mobile space from the inside so keep an eye out for upcoming blog posts. If you haven’t already, you may want to sign up for our blog RSS feed.

The value of sharing

Wednesday, May 7th, 2008

When building a new product a company needs to be careful to position the product correctly. A common concern is whether the product can stand up on its own, or whether it is only valuable enough to be a feature of something larger. As we continue to define what zintin is, we want to take this concern seriously. I decided a good way to start is by looking back at past examples. When I thought of previous new and unexpected networking technologies I thought immediately of the web (sorry to be cliche). The web lets people share documents between computers, and in it’s first incarnation, not much else. Well guess what, there were already word processors that let you generate such documents, the web must have sounded like a great feature for word processors.

What is missed by this simple view is that sharing is actually much more valuable than document generation. Document sharing on the web is not a feature of some larger product like MS Office, it is a first class product, one that has reshaped the world. At zintin, we are aiming at taking sharing to the next level. We want to connect our users to the people around them so they can share things with anyone they interact with. Of course this sounds like a great feature for lots of products, but we strongly believe that this kind of sharing is going to be valuable. We know we aren’t going to be as big as the web, but we are confident that zintin will be a first class product.