CTIA: Android and Apps everywhere

CTIA: Android and Apps everywhere

Summary: In the lobby of my hotel yesterday afternoon, I engaged in some small talk with a guy who was wearing a CTIA badge as we waited for the elevator. As we talked about the show and what we had thought of the first day, he said what I had been thinking all day.


In the lobby of my hotel yesterday afternoon, I engaged in some small talk with a guy who was wearing a CTIA badge as we waited for the elevator. As we talked about the show and what we had thought of the first day, he said what I had been thinking all day. The crowd felt kind of light and, it seemed, that many of the exhibitors were just talking about their iPhone Apps.

For the most part, the biggest news out of the CTIA Wireless I.T. & Entertainment conference came from the big players earlier in the week - AT&T announced that it would open its networks to VoIP services for the iPhone, Verizon announced a deal with Google to offer Android phones and Sprint announced a second Android phone - called the Samsung Moment.

As for the smaller players, there just didn't seem to be anything that jumped out. At an evening event called Mobile Focus yesterday, there were plenty of phones on-hand (yawn!) and plenty more apps for the iPhone.

Case in point: both Mapquest, the online mapping company, and TomTom, best known for in-car GPS devices, were showcasing in-car iPhone apps for their services. The offerings are night and day. Mapquest is selling a 99 cent iPhone app and then charging as much as $4 per month, or discounted to $30 per year, for Mapquest GPS services via the app. TomTom, on the other hand, is charging $100 for its app but isn't charging a monthly fee.

OK, but I get something extra cool with the apps, right? After all, $100 is a lot to drop for a mobile app and if anyone expects me to pay for something on a monthly basis, it had better come with something extra. Actually, they were pretty basic features. The Tom Tom app offered pretty much everything that a Tom Tom device woud get you (though considerably less expensive). But the Mapquest app only had updated roads, business listings and so on to justify the monthly fee.

This was just one example. Everywhere you turned at CTIA this year, someone seemed to be talking about an Android strategy or the iPhone app in the works. Given the economy and what's happened to other industries, I guess I should be happy that the mobile industry at least has those two things to get excited about.

Also see:

Topics: iPhone, Apps, Hardware, Mobility, Smartphones

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  • Locked Up

    We'll only see real growth the market liberalises, and real competition is given a chance -- when I can buy an iPhone/aPhone outright and use it only any network.
    • You can get unlocked gPhones and iPhones!

      As long as you are willing to accept that the phone will be a little more expensive than if you get a phone that is subsidized by a carrier (for example: <a href=http://www.buy.com/retail/usersearchresults.asp?store=9&querytype=wireless&qu=iphone+unlocked&loc=12435&qxt=wireless&display=col&suggest=1>unlocked iPhones</a> and <a href=http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B002IC16O2>unlocked gPhones</a> will run you about $1000 list). Not exactly cheap and no contract (or carrier based subsidization).
      • Buy iPhonesa and Gphones on ebay much cheaper! :D

        Unlocking a phone today is a simple process and they can't keep you from doing it once it's yours. Get it done for a fee or buy 'em already unlocked on ebay for:


  • @leegee

    Unfortunately, without those kinds of lockdowns and gaurantees of profitability for the producers & telecoms, there is no incentive for a company to put such hi-tech into our hands at such a low price. Once the tech has become ubiquitous, that's when the competition will really begin, and I can't think of an approach that would get us there quicker.
  • Android is on the move!...

    I, for one, am glad to see handset makers finally embracing the Android OS. Android has had four major releases of its platform in the last year (1.0, 1.1, 1.5 and, this week, 1.6) and it gets better each time.

    Google did a good job of thinking out the platform and especially its development tools. I dabbled in developing for Palm OS and the Android SDK is so much better and easier by comparison (although there was a bit of a learning curve at the beginning).

    Android has made inroads at large companies also. I attended SXSW 2009 this past March and put a question to a Facebook higher-up about what he thought of Android. He poo-poohed Android, saying it had no sizzle. About a month ago, though, there was a Facebook-branded Android mobile app for the Facebook service, and it's pretty good. That Android could get a company to do a 180 from about six months ago is a pretty nifty trick!

    I am hoping 2010 will be even better and that the blog posters on ZDNet will be buzzing even more loudly come this time next year!

    • Definitely on the move...

      The really amazing thing to me is that all of us G1 owners were really beta-testers, and still enjoyed it.

      The only negative thing I have to say about my G1 Android experience after almost a year is:

      1. The irritating lack of full Bluetooth functionality.

      2. The speed at which the battery discharges when doing anything!

      Still, I'm considering it to be the test model. All of the stuff coming out next year will be much more refined and consumer friendly. I have to admit that I'm spoiled by a full keyboard. You'd never get me to bother with a phone that had an on-screen keyboard.
      • i hear this from some.....

        The thing about the keyboard. Still I never used one of those keyboards
        before so I had no habits or built in prejudices towards a virtual
        keyboard and I found the keyboard first on my iTouch and now on my
        iPhone to be great! At first it was odd but it did not take me any time at
        all to learn how to use it and now I can type like a pro on it. I think its a
        matter of adjustment. Still I have to admit I see the tiny keyboards on
        other phones and I can't image even with my small hands being able to
        use those very well. Those keys are so close together and very small.
        Still to each their own I suppose:P

        Pagan jim
        James Quinn
  • RE: CTIA: Android and Apps everywhere

    iPhone apps... I can't help but say who cares, and also yawn? Like most Apple stuff most of it's overpriced garbage and even the good stuff will leave the bad taste of Apple/AT&T in your mouth. The Android stuff is exciting, but cell phone companies in general are still pretty abusive overall and still receive the 2nd most BBB complaints annually. Although Android will give us a more open, great, platform to develop for without a lot of the Apple BS to put up with, the cell phone companies are still going to gouge us on monthly fees, contracts, etc. In general the Map Quest and Tom Tom offerings are disappointing at best especially for the price tag. I would urge people to stop rewarding these companies by purchasing such overpriced phones, and plans, and buy a map of the town they live in, for example, instead of yet another overpriced app.
    • maps!

      u techno crazy dude!


      use the sun and your .01 microbit memory space.

      its free and hopefully we won't run into each other anytime soon
      • RE: CTIA: Android and Apps everywhere

        Well this is way late, but way to miss the point on your part. I'm mostly saying that rewarding companies that operate poorly just for something that can easily be gotten around because it's pretty and shiny is stupid. Also, I'm sure if we met it wouldn't be for long. I try not to hang out with brainwashed fans of any abusive corporations whenever possible. Wake up.
    • Ah the classic Rebel with vvery little cause...

      As for caring well I'd say there are many an iPhone user and many a
      soon to be iPhone user who cares about iPhone Apps. As for value
      that is a very subjective argument that a generalized statement such
      as the one you made is bound to prove false. I agree that the service
      providers are greedy pigs but welcome to American and may I
      introduce you to our current health care mess while you are here? So
      Android is an interesting competitor and I hope it's introduction will
      effect costs across the board for all consumers to enjoy less
      expensive options. As for the whole "Open" thing I like it as a
      alternative but I'm not one to think its the end all to be all nor do I
      think it in and of itself will be anything but another player. Still I do
      like more players and competition you "OPEN" you go girl. You should
      try to be a little less bitter as well. Apple did not become successful
      simply to blank you off. In fact I'm fairly sure you've never been a
      consideration for Apple. You don't sound like the kind of consumer
      Apple is interested in... it's sort of like that movie Apple is just not that
      into you. Nothing personal but Apple has never been the "We'll try to
      make everyone love us or make everyone happy company"

      Pagan jim
      James Quinn
      • RE: CTIA: Android and Apps everywhere

        @James Quinn
        Well at least you have mostly well reasoned arguments. Still, stating "welcome to America"... Shouldn't this kind of behavior upset all Americans? I mean getting screwed when you don't want to be screwed is bad right...? Also, the health care mess is not what we're talking about here unless you are comparing abusive companies to abusive companies in which case my arguments of not rewarding companies that behave poorly are still valid.
  • RE: CTIA: Android and Apps everywhere

    ok, let me first say that I am an Apple fanboy....(wait did
    someone say iTablet!?), so while the event's may provoke a
    yawn to some..for others it means a great deal.

    As far as the nav apps, I bought the TomTom app. Ok, i
    fell for the hype, but man, it is daunting! It's not an app
    you can just "jump into". Got the MapQuest app this
    morning and tested it out, in my opinion $3.99 a month
    and the ability to dive right into the app is huge. I am not
    sure I will plunk down another $29.00 for a year though (I
    have learned my lesson).
  • MapQuest Too $$$

    For $30 a year, you get updated maps. Let's see, a decent Garmin costs about $180 and they charge $29 for updates. Forgetting the updates (and the time value of money), you would need to pay the Mapquest fee for 6 years before you reach the cost of a standalone GPS device.

    TomTom's $100 is less than the cost of any decent TomTom GPS.

    Both of these look like a bargain. One device, two functions. Less cost.
    • Convergence may not aways be a good thing

      What happens when you are using the iPhone app in your car and a voice call comes in? Does the voice call get interrupted by the GPS announcer? Or does the voice call get precedence. In which case, what happens when you are in a voice call and an exit comes up?

      What about when you are listening to music. I don't know how these things work. At the moment, I'm happy with getting a first class GPS device and a phone/media device. Just like, there is no cell phone that can match a dedicated P&S camera - except maybe this beauty - http://www.dpreview.com/news/0909/09092902samsungamoled12m.asp
  • RE: CTIA: Android and Apps everywhere

    Check out this cool photo tagging software called Fotobounce! It can help you sort your images using face recognition! It can also download & tag your photos from facebook & flickr! You can get it for free at: http://fotobounce.com/index.php?blog
  • New GPS units are $100.

    "The Tom Tom app offered pretty much everything that a Tom Tom device woud get you (though considerably less expensive)."

    What? I just bought a new Garmin GPS unit for under $100, and it doesn't interfere with the use of other apps on the iPhone. All while being almost as small as the phone.
  • How does this constitute an article?

    The first and last paragraphs just say the same thing: "everyone seemed to be talking". Two other paragraphs talked about GPS, which isn't related to the title of the article. The rest gives next to no details about all of these supposed Android announcements.

    If you don't have enough material for an article, please take the day off instead of wasting our time on empty blather.
    • Amen, brother!

      Total waste of time, server space and bandwidth.
      • Cellular Over Internet Protocol COIP Better Answer


        We all know peak bandwidth is a real issue, just look at AT&T not being able to support all applications on iPhone?

        Texting sucks up more bandwidth than any carrier expected, so how long do you think it will take to have beyond peak bandwidth issues with VOIP over mobile being an even greater bandwidth hog.

        The only real solution is COIP, it can be used on any cell phone, any carrier and it used no optional $40. data plan or extra bandwidth, it simply puts dial tone on any mobile phone worldwide with simple device which provides both VOIP and COIP from one device, so you can save even more money by eliminating home or office phones.