August 2010 Archives

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Did you know that there are almost 5 times more people with mobile phones than an Internet connection? The smartphones are revolutionising the market. There is a distinct trend of senior executives leaving their laptops behind and relying almost entirely on their iPhones and Blackberries when on tour. You need to reach them on their phones to sell to them. What are you doing about it?

We have realised that there is a huge potential in tapping the mobile market for improving the sales and this is picking up increasing momentum. However a large number of businesses are not prepared to take advantage of this new phenomenon.

May be you have a website but did you check out how does it look when accessed from a mobile phone? Is it clearly readable or everything is super compressed to fit the small screen? Will they take the trouble of trying to make sense of what you are selling or they will switch to the web site of someone whose site is clearly visible on their iPhones and Android based phones?

Make a smart move – look at unlocking this huge opportunity. We can help!

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Are you planning to create a mobile application for selling on the App store or marketing your product? Have you considered creating a web application for mobile access? Here are the relevant facts that you help you plan which way to go:

Mobile applications can be listed on the app stores like Apple iTunes store and Android store and these can get several users to download the application from there. This number can increase to a huge number if your application is liked by people and gets positive reviews. However you need to create separate apps for Apple iPhone and Android based devices.

If you want to target HTC, Samsung, Nokia and LG phones running Symbian OS, you need yet another version. Getting the people to download and try your app is the biggest challenge after you have created it.

Web applications on the other hand can be created once and be run on all the different devices. There are directories available where these applications can be listed. Also you don’t have to bother much about distributing upgrades as you can simply upgrade the copy on the web and everyone gets to use the latest version, the next time they access it.

The problem with web applications is that these do not integrate so well with the native OS of the device and therefore it is difficult to access the GPS or other internal settings of the device.

So choose your medium wisely. If your application needs to interact with the device internals and be available even when Net access is not there, you should create a native app. If you are trying to provide a service that needs Internet access anyway and you want to appeal to a broader segment, a web application may be the way to go.

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While there are several nice-looking themes available for the desktop browsers, you have to consider how your blog looks when the visitor is using a mobile phone to check it out. As you know, a large number of people are now surfing the Internet with a smartphone and you definitely want these people to be able to consume the thoughtful blog posts. Don’t you?

Now you have an easy way out.  Just install the wptouch plugin to your blog and relax. This will add a new theme to your blog, making it look like and work like an iPhone application. This enables  the iPhone, Blackberry, Android and other mobile phones users to view your blog posts easily, while on the go.

We install and activate the wptouch plugin to WordPress blogs for a nominal $25 per blog. Just write to info @ webile.co.uk and we will get this done within 1 business day.

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When designing your mobile web site, you must remember that mobile users do not want to fill up forms (specially if they are long). They would rather call you for getting the required information. It also helps them avoid email follow ups later.
Therefore you must put touch-to-call phone numbers on your mobile web sites. These are simple images (showing a phone icon or even your phone number) with a link to tel:phone-number.
<a href=”tel:01274 792525″>Call 01274 792525</a>
Anyone browsing your site with a smartphone can just touch this icon and a dialler screen will open up with the number pre-loaded. One just dials your number by tapping the call key.

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When you are publicising your web site, it helps to put the QR code on your publicity material. This way, people who have a mobile phone with a camera and the right software can just point to the QR code and reach your website without having to type the URL.
But what is a QR Code?
The QR code is a special 2D image with the URL of the web site encoded in it. When the mobile phone camera points to it, the underlying software interpretes this as a URL and automatically loads the site in its browser window.
You can test it now. We have reproduced the QR code of our mobile site to the right. Just aim with your mobile camera and bingo – the site will load in your browser. Look ma – no typing!

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We recently completed the mobile website for a leading hotel of Kolkata and Goa – the Kenilworth Hotels. This is a star hotel and very renowned for its architectural beauty and historic significance.

We have included an easy to use navigation so that people can book rooms online from the mobile phone. They can also learn about the dining options and call the hotel by tapping a button to make reservations. The bar and the spa are covered too.

A special feature of the site is to reproduce the Last Minute Deal, which allows one to reserve rooms for the same day at a special price (when the deal is available).

Technically, the mobile site is connected to a backend database and draws the room and LMD information from there. It has also got the Google Analytics code integrated.

Check out the site by typing www.kenilworthhotels.com on your mobile browser.

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I was at the Nasscom Emergeout conference on 25th August and loved to see the fantastic momentum that is building for the mobile Internet. Almost everyone was of the opinion that people are gravitating towards the mobile as the access device of choice to locate information and do different things that they need to do for business or pleasure.
This is in tune with my expectations. As I say it: “The mobile phone is the accessory that you take to the bedroom as well as the boardroom.” It is only logical that we will like to access information with the mobiles so that we can adapt our working and get habituated in operating a single device all the time.
A few important issues that fuel the growth of mobiles are:
  1. It can handle our voice call (cheap local traffic directly and international through VOIP).
  2. It can handle our text communication (SMS and emails).
  3. It has an in-built camera (for most of the handsets, may vary in resolution and features).
  4. It has an in-built browser (the usage convenience is proportional to teh screen size and data speed though).
  5. A large number of apps allowing you to handle different tasks, are already available and more are launched everyday.
  6. There is more than 5 times penetration of the mobiles as compared to the computers. I think we can bypass the computers and stick to mobile phones for automation in the rural areas where the users need to be updated about education, healthcare, government facilities and like. They are free to use computers when doing complex computational jobs like designing or database work in the offices.
I just carried my mobile phone on this Delhi trip. Never missed my laptop there. And I could even demonstrate the portfolio of the webiles (mobile websites that we are developing) to some prospects and friends.
While on this topic, I am happy to announce a very special 50% discount on a mobile website (regular price £200 or Rs 14000) for the Emerge 50 winners and 25% discount to all attendees. Please email me to avail of this fantastic opportunity to unlock the vast market that is opening up, for generating new business leads.