Monthly Archives: June 2011

Why Android will gain HUGE tablet marketshare later this year

Today I took a brief break from my family vacation to visit Vizio’s and Oakley’s headquarters down in Southern California with my friends Marc Ostrick and Sam Levin to get up to date on the latest 3D technologies from both companies. But while there Vizio pulled out their new Tablet and it shocked me what I thought of it (I’ve hated the Android tablets so far, when compared to iPad 2).

Mark Ostrick, of eGuiders, shot this video (you should follow his YouTube channel). Sam Levin does a cool gadget podcast for app freaks at AppMinute.

I finally had someone explain to me why Android will gain huge marketshare this year in the large-screen tablet wars (aka where iPad is dominant). It took USA’s #1 TV manufacturer, Vizio, to do it. Why didn’t Google have them on stage to show this off a few weeks back at Google IO?

Anyway, here it is: a $350 capable tablet is coming. Coming in July, they told me (and I believe them, they don’t want to piss off the retail chain in the United States because they are #1 in large screen TVs).

Why is this huge? Because it doesn’t compete with iPad. At least not head on.

“What is Scoble smoking,” you are probably asking yourself.

Well, see, people who will buy an iPad will buy an iPad and won’t buy anything else. Count me in that group. I don’t care if Larry Page gave me $10,000 I’m not switching off of an iPad. At least not this year.

But, there are a whole range of uses that don’t need an iPad, but need a good tablet.

For instance, let’s say you are outfitting a school with tablets and all you need is a good web browser at a very low cost? Vizio wins here. Apple doesn’t.

Or, say you are a restaurant and need to put a tablet at every table with a menu on it? Vizio wins here. Apple doesn’t.

Or, like we just saw at Oakley’s headquarters, let’s say you are building a custom retail experience where you can order custom sunglasses. Are you going to spend $500 on an iPad when a $350 one from Vizio will do? No way. Vizio wins. Apple doesn’t.

Get it? This is how Android will take over the marketshare battle in tablets. There are more of these uses than the ones people use iPads for. After all, how many schools need tablets? A whole lot. How many custom retail establishments need tablets? A whole lot. How many manufacturing machines need tablets built into them? A whole lot.

Thanks to this single tablet I can now see how Android is going to get the market share numbers it needs to get developers excited.

But don’t call it an iPad competitor, OK? At least not until there are a ton of great tablet-based apps, which there aren’t today.

Some more things I saw at Vizio today?

1. A look at latest 3DTVs (this is the same one they loaned me for my home studio to develop 3D content on and test out).
2. A look at new 21:9 aspect-ratio TV designed for movie buffs.

Anyway, just a brief break from my vacation, be back on Monday with more tech stuff.

I’m on vacation, check out these cool tech startups

I’m on vacation until June 20th. Say hi if you see me on a beach in Santa Monica or Laguna, which is where we’ll be hanging out.

In the meantime, last night I uploaded a bunch of videos for you to enjoy while I’m gone. I will make a best attempt to really stay off the Internet (I know I’ll fail, but I am going to try).

Twenty Feet lets you know more about your social media stats; I love Twenty Feet. Every morning it sends me an email and lets me know if something weird happened in my stats for Twitter, Facebook, YouTube and other places. For instance, did more of my videos get favorited than usual? Did more people subscribe or unsubscribe than usual?

Twimbow brings color to social media; Twimbow looks a bit like TweetDeck, but look again and you’ll see a colorfully different approach! By using colors you can uncover tweets and status messages from people and brands you care about. Here Luca Filigheddu, CEO of Twimbo, shows me what it does and what his philosophy is behind social media clients.

Intuit opens up platform to outside developers; Alex Barnett, group manager for developer relations at Intuit, shows me their new platform for developers to build functionality into Intuit’s products. ZDnet wrote more about it here. This is called “Intuit Anywhere,” a series of widgets and data services that connect QuickBooks Online data to applications outside of the company’s marketplace.

ShopKeep brings an iPad-based Cash Register to life (and Web, and Mac and PC); Are you a small retail store? Do you need a better cash register? Well, ShopKeep.com visited me yesterday and showed me their new system and explained why it works better than other PC-based cash registers. Plus, they have one that works on your favorite devices. Learn more at http://shopkeep.com/

Microsoft Business Intelligence “Power Pivot” tool for looking at Tweet data; Bruno Aziza of Microsoft’s Microsoft’s Business Intelligence group recently filmed me for BI TV at http://www.microsoft.com/bi/en-us/Community/Pages/BITV.aspx Here I turned the camera on him and he is showing off a free tool for looking at data from Tweets and business meetings inside Excel. Get it at http://www.powerpivot.com/

In-depth look: Genwi app creator for iPhone, Android, and iPad; Do you want to easily create apps for iPhone, Android, and iPad all at once without much coding experience? Lots of businesses do. Here I get an in-depth look at a very useful tool, Genwi with CEO PJ Gurumohan. Learn more at http://isites.us/ and follow them on Twitter at https://twitter.com/#!/GENWI_iSites

Trend Spottr finds trends in your tweets; A real-time analytics service that identifies & curates the top trending content from Twitter and Facebook for any search term or topic of interest. Here Mark Zohar, CEO, shows it off to me. Really useful for Twitter freaks like me! Follow them on Twitter at https://twitter.com/#!/trendspottr

Big Live: fostering real-time interactions around content; Producers of online video content are always looking for ways to get their audience more involved and more engaged beyond just leaving comments. By leveraging the social network, Big Live is providing a solution that fosters real-time discussion among audiences.

Why Nokia’s Elop is wrong about mobile sales: users aren’t idiots

Nokia’s CEO, Stephen Elop, still isn’t quite understanding why Microsoft’s Windows Phone 7 isn’t selling. He thinks it’s about hardware.

“Windows Phone scores better than Android and iPhone with consumers, but OEMs are doing their best work for Android. For Nokia our best work will be for Windows Phone. You will see waves of families of devices that deliver on the promise of Windows Phone 7,” Elop said in a keynote at the Open Mobile Summit in London today.

Here’s the deal. It isn’t about hardware. It’s about apps and the professional VC-backed app developers are actively ignoring Windows Phone 7. Not to mention that even the apps I’ve tested that are on Android, iOS, and Windows Phone 7 generally aren’t as good on Windows Phone 7.

Users are not idiots. They buy use cases, not hardware.

Now, lots of people love to argue with me saying apps don’t matter. But they do. And if you say they don’t then you are betting that there’s a huge market of idiots out there who don’t care about apps. Hint: that market is shrinking all the time.

Think about it. If you buy a phone and then you sit next to someone with an Android or iPhone, and they show you all the apps they are using that you don’t have, won’t you feel like an idiot? Of course you will.

Now, to the point. I’m going on vacation. I’m testing out a Windows Phone 7 device (a Samsung model) and an Android device (a new Verizon Droid X2). First thing up, who has the best Disneyland apps? iOS, of course with Android coming in strong too. Who has the best restaurant apps, like Foodspotting or Chewsy? iOS of course with Android coming in strong too. Windows Phone 7? Not even in the same ballpark. Shall I go on?

So, until Microsoft figures out how to get professional app developers (hint: they are mostly venture funded because that’s what it takes now to hire a team of six developers, like what Instagram has) excited about its platform it will continue not selling, no matter how shiny the hardware is (and, hint, Android’s hardware is pretty damn good, that’s not my problem with that platform).

Here is a hint. Recently Finland’s “Y Combinator” came and visited me. They call it Startup Sauna. Not a single one of those companies showed me a Windows Phone 7 app. Not a single one, and these are Europe’s best developers from Nokia’s backyard. You should have heard what they said off camera. It was stunning. They are betting their companies on iOS and Android and if you care about the apps these startups are showing off, that’s the platforms consumers will bet on too. Unless you think they are idiots.

Don’t believe the Finnish developers? Visit my YouTube Channel. I have more than 700 videos up there. Count how many professional developers show me Windows Phone 7 apps. Go ahead, I’ll wait. I did, three. Out of 783 videos. And that’s not counting the additional 245 videos we’ve uploaded to Building43′s YouTube account (not a single Windows Phone 7 app over there).

Here’s the Startup Sauna videos:

1. Here founder Kristo Ovaska explains the program and what they are doing in California. You can follow Kristo on Twitter at https://twitter.com/#!/KristoOvaska

2. This company is Fund Friends which is a game that helps you with your investments http://www.fundfriends.se/ and here the founder Mikael Andersson shows it to me.

3. FutureFul shows me a new kind of way to discover news and information about topics you care about.

4. http://www.campalyst.com/ is a social media analytics software that measures conversions and ROI for your company’s social media campaigns. Here’s how it works.

5. Guntis Smaukstelis, CEO, of Mighty Fingers, shows off his new real-time game engine, which builds HTML5 games. Pretty cool stuff. Learn more at http://mightyfingers.com/

6. What’s better than Red Laser? Scandit, which is one of the companies that visited me with Startup Sauna, a Finnish startup incubator. Here Samuel Muller, CEO, shows me the app and explains how it competes with other barcode scanners on iPhone, Android, Symbian, and PhoneGap platforms.

If you were an angel investor, which startup would you invest in, and why?

I started quite a thread over on Quora. I asked which early-stage startup should I show Ashton Kutcher, moviestar and tech startup investor, when I have lunch with him on June 17th.

But now I have a tough job. I have to pick, say, three startups to talk with him about out of the hundreds listed. It gives you an insight into how hard it is to be, say, Ron Conway, Jeff Clavier, Dave McClure, or Ashton. You can’t pick them all, you’ve gotta pick just a handful that you can help grow into big companies.

I’ll come back with my answers closer to the 17th, but I’m interested in your answer. If you had $200,000 to invest in one startup, which one would you pick and why?

Oh, and if you are interested in seeing what else I’m doing on vacation, I wrote a little note on Facebook.

Adam Bosworth’s new big game: making us healthier with Keas

You might know Adam Bosworth. He worked at Microsoft and really pushed a ton of developer initiatives there, like XML. He also has done a bunch of other things in his career and launched Google Health at Google. But he learned from that experience that just giving people access to their health info isn’t enough to change their behaviors.

At Keas he’s discovered a good gaming system where you compete against your coworkers. He explains why this works in our interview.

Some things he’s learned:

1. You can not show negative info about health. People turn off. So, saying “Scoble you are 50 lbs overweight” isn’t going to happen here.
2. The perfect team size is six or fewer people. Bigger teams don’t work.
3. Social pressure is important. Why? Because you can’t game your coworkers. They can see whether you are doing the work.

Anyway, I find talking with Adam really interesting. You can tell he’s a guy who looks at the world differently than most of us and has had experiences that most of us haven’t had.

Ford demonstrates how Wi-Fi could save your life

Ford, today, showed off a new set of technologies that will enable cars to talk to each other, helping to reduce crashes and maybe help with other things, like help with fuel economy. Here Michael Shulman, technical leader in Ford’s Active Safety Research and Innovation gives us a demo of the tech in a different kind of press conference than I usually attend. GigaOm’s Katie Fehrenbacher gives you the details behind the technology.

The tech uses standard Wi-Fi and GPS technology, so should be able to be built into cars for far less than the radar systems I’ve previously talked about.

Unfortunately we won’t be able to purchase this technology for several years, probably until around 2015 model years, because it needs to be further tested, standardized, and then offered in cars. Really cool stuff, though, and you can see just how it could be used to save your life by helping you avoid accidents. In the demo we run through scenarios like coming up on a stopped car, trying to pass into a dangerous lane, and seeing cars around a truck or other obstruction.