Two’s A Party – Dual-OS

Not long ago, MG Siegler wrote a post about Microsoft Office’s continued existence through Excel, and a few, including myself, also commented that Excel is one of the main reasons for our continued use of the PC.  This demonstrates the value of the operating system and its apps in a consumer’s choice of device and the increasing need for a device that runs multiple operating systems.  Dual-OS products allow for the convergence of entertainment or lifestyle products and business products.

Three days ago, Huawei confirmed that it will release a dual-OS smartphone this year, running Android and Windows Phone operating systems.  Dual-OS smartphones are the first step towards bringing work and leisure together on a single device; however, I don’t believe there is significant value-add of being able to edit Excel spreadsheets or PowerPoints on a phone.  The size limitations of a phone restrict its usage to phone calls, messaging, photography, quick searches and mobile apps.  And I don’t believe Phablets solve or avoid this limitation.  This has already been observed in e-commerce, where tablets are becoming a primary focus as conversion rates on tablets are now higher than smartphones, and I am convinced that this is largely driven by the fact that tablet screens are larger, supporting a more pleasant browsing and purchasing experience.  I believe the most valuable dual-OS product will be the dual-OS tablet, in which consumers can truly rid their need for multiple devices to support different behaviors.

However, it’s not going to be easy for the dual-OS tablet to enter the market as Microsoft and Google have already postponed the release of the Asus’ Transformer Book Duet TD300, a dual-OS tablet running Android and Windows software.  Asus’s dual-OS tablet would allow users to be able to switch between the Android and Windows operating system (“Instant Switch” technology).

There have been a number of reasons circulating as to why Microsoft and Google are so adamant to prevent the production of “dual-boot” machines.  One is that Google wants all-Android devices and so does Microsoft with all-Windows.  Another is that they would allow each other access to the other’s market through the hybrid products (Windows gaining access to mobile; Google gaining access to business tools).  Basically, both are threatened by the possibility of its customers developing loyalty to the other’s operating system, resulting in market share loss.

I believe Microsoft is also afraid it will never be able to gain footing in hardware if it allows other hardware players to offer both Windows and Android on their devices, while Microsoft is only able to offer Windows on its devices; Microsoft would no longer be able to leverage Windows to incentivize consumers to purchase its devices.  It could never become an Apple.  It would risk becoming another Blackberry…

Augmented Travel

Soon we will be able to check-in on our phones while traveling in Europe, Google Map a temple in Southeast Asia and replace our #latergrams with #instagrams.

Last week, T-Mobile announced that it will be eliminating international data roaming fees in more than 100 countries.  As demand for international data roaming increases with increased penetration of smartphones and usage of mobile apps, it becomes more necessary to allow individuals to use their phones abroad.  Currently, business customers generate the majority of roaming revenue, but we can expect revenue from individual usage to grow in the coming years.   According to a report by Hot Telecom, global data roaming traffic is expected to grow 97 percent between 2012 and 2015 and global voice traffic to increase 39 percent.  During 2007-2012, international data roaming grew by 630 percent in the European Union.

T-Mobile’s “Uncarrier” strategy comes at a time when leisure travel continues to increase and business travel spending is expected to be over a trillion dollars in 2013 and grow by 8.2% in 2014.  With these trends, we can expect that other carriers will follow in providing more affordable or even free international data roaming and messaging.  Travel will become easier and itineraries will become more spontaneous rather than planned with increased access to information for the traveler.  What comes to mind are augmented reality applications that provide a solution to the needs shared by every traveler, which are to receive curated recommendations, discover a new place, learn something new and share the experience with friends.

I was in Amsterdam a few weekends ago and found it incredibly hard to navigate my way back to my hotel when I had ventured too far away.  And if you haven’t been to Amsterdam already, I will tell you now that all the cobblestone streets look the same with the canal running between the canal houses.  Dining was also a challenge as I had no idea where the “hot” local spots were and all the recommendations I had received from the concierge and guide books suggested that I eat at 5-star restaurants for tourists.  Although I really enjoyed finding my own local gems, I couldn’t help but think that I was missing something truly unique.  I had Yelped from the hotel but found that the reviews were from other tourists, and what I was really looking for were recommendations and reviews from locals.  I found myself traveling with 3 different maps and notes scribbled all over them as I could not access internet or any apps once I had left the hotel.  I had also written down the names of places or landmarks that I came across and would later google them to learn more about them.  I know, too much work…

Below are a few apps that I am looking forward to using in my future travels!

Like A Local (http://www.likealocalguide.com/) offers curated recommendations from locals to help travelers discover local eateries, entertainment, nightlife, shopping, etc.  What I like most about this app is that the recommendations are all from local experts and it has both an offline and online component.  The user is able to access maps and recommendations while offline.  Once online, the app is able to show recommendations that are open and near your current location.

likealocal like a local 2

like a local 3 like a local 4

Tagwhat (http://www.tagwhat.com/) provides recommendations and local deals or events based on a user’s location and surroundings.  Tagwhat gathers user-generated content near a specific location and information from Wikipedia as well as other open sources to provide real-time content.  Deals are shared from social networks such as Foursquare and Facebook.  Individuals are able to filter their recommendations by choosing which channels to feed their stream of content.

Although Tagwhat does not offer the personal reviews and tips from local experts such as Like a Local does, it has a great history component to it because it pulls content from Wikipedia.  I also like that it offers current deals and event information.

 image (1)image (6)  image (4) image (5)

Comparing Like A Local and Tagwhat to some other travel apps…

Wikitude does not allow a user to easily filter the many nearby points of interest (less is more…just like the Cheesecake Factory menu, it can be overwhelming with too many listed options), compare reviews and receive local tips or deals.

Localmind attempts to provide the most real-time local expert advice by allowing users to submit a question (e.g. “Can you recommend a café near my location?”), which is sent to a number of individuals who are identified as experts because of their frequent visit to those locations.  However, the responses can take time and are not as detailed.  Additionally, there is no general information on the identified nearby points of interest.

And when I get Google Glass, I cannot wait to use…

Field Trip (http://www.fieldtripper.com/glass/)!  So cool!

I wish Peek (http://www.peek.com/) would be available on mobile!  Peek curates activities based on various travel styles and allows individuals to automatically purchase the activities (Peek partners with local vendors to offer a range of activity options).  My favorite feature on Peek is its “Perfect Day”, which includes itineraries, unique advice and shared experiences from its tastemakers.  I envision being able to read a tastemaker’s perfect day about the city I’m currently in and be able to purchase an activity based on their recommendations.

Peek perfect day Peek2

Share with me your thoughts on international data roaming and travel apps @tiffanydstone or comment below!

Source: http://news.cnet.com/8301-1035_3-57606784-94/t-mobile-to-offer-free-unlimited-international-data-texts/http://www.pcmag.com/article2/0,2817,2425436,00.asphttp://investor.t-mobile.com/phoenix.zhtml?c=177745&p=irol-newsArticle&ID=1863211&highlight=, http://www.telecoms.com/22538/roaming-revenues-to-jump-86-by-2015/http://www.businessweek.com/articles/2013-10-10/t-mobile-gets-rid-of-international-roaming-fees-shaming-competitors, Ericsson Mobility Report – June 2013