Who says clouds can’t come on a sunny day? According to some industry experts, there could be a very bright future for mobile cloud computing. This week, Juniper Research released a new report that finds enterprise customers using cloud-based mobile apps could grow to 130 million users by the year 2014. This follows a report last August from ABI Research that predicted that a majority of mobile apps would be hosted on the cloud.
More importantly, these types of cloud-based apps won’t just be for the latest and greatest smartphones and could provide greater functionality to so-called feature phones. The mobile cloud could make virtually any robust handset a device capable of becoming a platform-as-a-service (PaaS) product. So while it was the iPhone and the Apple App Store, as well as the Google Android operating system that put apps on the maps, the technology can be utilized with a wide range of products. Juniper’s report further notes that enterprise will likely drive the cloud-based mobile app revenue by 2014 – with consumer apps, including games, social networking and other non-business applications generating just over one-quarter of the revenue.
This isn’t surprising. For games and music, for example, access to the cloud might not be necessary, nor even particularly desirable. Who would need to be connected online to play a simple game or listen to music? But with enterprising type applications, especially those for specialized businesses, the cloud could certainly be the way to go.
What this report suggests is that there might not be so much a showdown between apps and clouds, and instead the apps will take to the skies and live in the cloud city.
WaPo Tries to Monetize its Mobile Version
How do you get people to pay for content that you’ve been giving away for free? In the case of The Washington Post a start might be to get readers to pay for the mobile version. The paper has launched a paid iPhone app this week to do just that, but at the same time is keeping the ad-supported WAP site.
To further make this as complicated as possible the normal Web version will remain free, but the paper could consider adding premium offers later. For now, the iPhone app is $1.99 for the first year or $240 for a year of the digital edition delivered to the Amazon Kindle or other e-readers. Interesting, the $1.99 version would be available for the iPad. Also interesting is that the iPhone app launched, but other smartphone users (BlackBerry, Android and Windows Mobile) have to wait as The Post decides if and when to roll out additional versions of the app. Finally, it is worth nothing that WaPo’s own tech columnist Rob Pegorano essentially panned the app! I guess it would be funny for anyone who downloaded the app and then read that column.
iPhone as a Mobile Office
Last week USAToday.com offered some tips on how to use apps to turn your iPhone into a mobile office. CyberSpeak’s Kim Komando compiled a list of several apps that might help even seasoned road warriors get a bit of work done while traveling. We’ve taken a look at a few of the apps that Kim suggests and she mentions a few that we haven’t seen. Take a look for yourself.