Note: This thread started in a different thread about making front ends easier to customize. Comments from there on the topic of the Mobile Manifesto have been moved here.
What is the Mobile Manifesto? A discussion about a possible network based future for creating a customized mobile experience. Read on for more detail.
This idea solves several problems:
1. OS dependence, which limits adoption
2. Device dependence. One could run this front end not only on a car PC but also a mobile device such as a Windows Mobile phone or iPhone. Anything with a decent browser.
3. Allowing the user to customize the GUI on a website using Flash objects they drag around and configure increases access to those without technical skills.
4. Dynamic menus and configuration are introduced. Relying on the network to load the GUI means you can update the menus once on the server and the new menus are available on ALL devices.
5. Moving some of the computing resources to the net reduces the need to take up storage with monolithic programs.
6. A net-native application has access to everything the net has to offer. All data, all computing resources.
7. Moves more into a 'mobile experience' that blurs the lines between device (car PC) and task (in-car) and real life. (Imagine the FE would switch from in car use when you arrive at home and loads a home automation control menu, or turns on the lights in your house)
1. Obviously, the downside is that when not connected to the net the user would experience interruption of service.
2. Right now, many users do not have internet data service inexpensively. However, in the next few years, that will be less and less of a problem.
I have one additional thought in this area that goes along the lines of the plug-ins. I think that Service Oriented Architectures hold a great deal of promise for delivering a mobile experience to various devices.
If one were to create a bare bones 'container application' on the mobile device (possibly a browser or perhaps more likely a java app) that effectively operates as the user interface, services could be constructed the run on the web server and function much like plug-ins. Users could configure those services to define the functionality that they would like to have.
As a simple example, the bare bones app might be able to access and relay the GPS location to the server. A service could be written that would monitor location while downloading the .csv file on Trapster.com every minute (lists the locations of radar speed traps). It would calculate when you are near a trap and send a message to the device (could be text, could be an audio file announcing the trap and location). The bare bones app would then respond the the message by displaying it or playing it.
As other, better services are added, the user would be able to access them and mix and match them to build a truly customized mobile experience.
Ummm...I guess this is a long way around of saying I really LIKE that idea.