Following up on my previous post on how we believe the best mobile apps are built , I’ve been asked what the somewhat nebulous term “mobile 2.0” means to me. From a technology perspective I would summarize it as the following things:

  • locally executing applications that work to some level even when disconnected and thus have…
  • locally cached data
  • leveraging relevant open standards where possible. for example be opportunistic about the presence of Opera, Minimo, IE, Nokia on peoples devices
  • controls that are optimized for the capabilities of a particular device and the unique functionality required by mobile apps. there is a natural tension between this goal and the previous point of just using a browser

From a user experience perspective I would suggest that it is the following three things:

  • “context and user aware applications”: delivering the app to users with knowledge of their preferences, their previous uses, their defaults and their likely current actions, to accelerate their tasks and put them into the right form/page/screen/action without a lot of navigation
  • “shared knowledge among applications” – in order to ease the previous goal of minimizing user data entry and navigation on mobile devices, applications should share information about user profiles, preferences, authentication, past usage and defaults. in this context its worth the extra effort to perform this integration
  • user interaction and content contribution – this is probably the only point that truly echoes web 2.0. mobile 2.0 apps should incorporate user feedback and results in intelligently rapid ways

From a business perspective the following trends will drive massive user adoption and make mobile applications tools that everyone uses

  • low to no cost through an advertising and transaction revenue model – users shouldn’t have to pay for services
  • cheap to free data plans – this still has to happen and may be the biggest barrier to entry
  • tools and platforms to make the nontrivial technology and user experiences described above happen for many applications and content in as cost effective and rapid way as it did for the web