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Mobile Operators Fight App Store Fragmentation

kdawson posted more than 4 years ago | from the preferring-trifurcation dept.

Cellphones 178

angry tapir writes "Twenty-four mobile network operators have formed the Wholesale Applications Community to avoid fragmenting the apps market and to give developers one point of entry to all the members. The Wholesale Applications Community members include: AT&T, China Mobile, Deutsche Telekom, NTT DoCoMo, Orange, Telefónica, Telenor Group, Sprint, Verizon Wireless, and Vodafone." The vision seems to be eventually to create one unified app market in addition to Google's and Apple's. The article quotes an analyst noting that the mobile operators have "a poor track record with this type of industry consortium."

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Standards... anyone? Anyone? (4, Insightful)

LostCluster (625375) | more than 4 years ago | (#31151516)

One thing that allows the Apple app store to be so popular is that the number of screen sizes it need to support is limited to one resolution, with a second larger screen announced but not out yet, and that'll come with a scaling tool so apps that are designed for the small screen will look okay on the bigger screen.

It seems that in order to have an app store that's cross platform, we'll need a cross platform hardware standard too. Apple's app store is a hit because it allows developers to score big with comparatively little effort, especially if the developer already knows how to program with XCode on the Mac. How does this proposed alliance claim to be able to get the same benefits?

Re:Standards... anyone? Anyone? (2, Insightful)

shutdown -p now (807394) | more than 4 years ago | (#31151716)

Variable screen size is not an issue. Or rather it shouldn't be a problem with any decent framework, that provides dynamic layouts which allow widgets to scale and reflow to fit. We've had that on the desktop for decades (e.g. all Linux UI frameworks use this model by default).

Re:Standards... anyone? Anyone? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31151826)

You know how I can tell you've never really worked in mobile content or development?

Re:Standards... anyone? Anyone? (1)

shutdown -p now (807394) | more than 4 years ago | (#31151928)

Your comment would be more helpful if it detailed the real issues you have with my statement, rather than trying to be snarky.

No, I've never worked in mobile development (though I am familiar with some contemporary mobile frameworks). However, I possess common sense. I also know of at least one mobile platform that uses scalable/reflowing UI, so it is clearly not just wishful thinking.

Re:Standards... anyone? Anyone? (1)

digitalunity (19107) | more than 4 years ago | (#31152018)

PalmOS, Symbian, Windows CE, Android, Blackberry OS, iPhone OS, webOS, Linux, Maemo.

This isn't even a comprehensive list of mobile phone operating systems. There are others, and more on the way.

None of them use the same GUI toolkits, and even have more fundamental differences such as a lack or presence of multitasking. There was an initial mad dash for Windows CE because of the perceived time to market improvement but the market quickly regained its sanity after realizing CE wasn't all that good.

In short, Mr. Anonymous Coward was right, although chose not to elaborate why. Unless all the mobile phone makers settle on one GUI toolkit such as GTK, Qt, etc., there is no easy way for one app developer to target all the phones out there.

Re:Standards... anyone? Anyone? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31152214)

It seems to me that Android is a step in the right direction in this regard - after all, it uses java to write apps in and java has had cross platform UI GUI toolkits for years so it shouldn't be that much of a problem to create on for handheld apps that could be available for any phone that runs java apps....

Re:Standards... anyone? Anyone? (1)

shutdown -p now (807394) | more than 4 years ago | (#31152264)

Uhh... this thread isn't about UI frameworks. That's a whole different kettle of fish! It's specifically and only about fixed, standardized screen size being a prerequisite for meaningful cross platform app compatibility. See the first post [slashdot.org] , to which I replied.

Re:Standards... anyone? Anyone? (1)

naz404 (1282810) | more than 4 years ago | (#31152984)

Unless all the mobile phone makers settle on one GUI toolkit such as GTK, Qt, etc., there is no easy way for one app developer to target all the phones out there.

Say hello to Adobe AIR 2.0 on mobile. Flash/Flex/Javascript developers will soon be able to deploy their apps everywhere
http://finance.yahoo.com/news/Adobe-Unveils-AIR-on-Mobile-bw-730511059.html?x=0&.v=1 [yahoo.com]

All major phone manufacturers & platforms except for Apple will be supporting it by late 2010.
http://www.openscreenproject.org/partners/current_partners.html [openscreenproject.org]

For iPhone and iPad, you can use Flash CS5 to build native iPhone apps, so your project can easily be published for iPhone OS too.
http://labs.adobe.com/technologies/flashcs5/appsfor_iphone/ [adobe.com]

Re:Standards... anyone? Anyone? (1)

furball (2853) | more than 4 years ago | (#31152030)

Scaling and reflow doesn't fix everything. Things that are small in one screen size will be really small in another screen size. For trackball or other systems with a cursor, this can be remedied but for touch it'll make the interface intolerable to use.

You can scale up. Scaling down will usually result in a flawed interface.

Re:Standards... anyone? Anyone? (1)

shutdown -p now (807394) | more than 4 years ago | (#31152270)

Yes, so specify a minimum screen size, and work up from that. Again, same way it works on the desktop (most Gnome dialogs won't fit in 640x480, for example, but will scale up).

Re:Standards... anyone? Anyone? (1)

Jah-Wren Ryel (80510) | more than 4 years ago | (#31152032)

We've had that on the desktop for decades (e.g. all Linux UI frameworks use this model by default).

And it's still a crapshoot whether stretching any particular application's window will cause it to reflow like crap or not. It seems to be one of those UI things that far too few developers care about. I doubt they'll be any more conscientious on handhelds/phones than they are anywhere else. For example - there are lots of 'themes' for firefox that don't reflow for crap and that's for themes - something that is 100% pure UI. If people who are only doing UI work can't get it right, then expecting developers of full blown applications to get it right seems like wishful thinking.

Re:Standards... anyone? Anyone? (1)

shutdown -p now (807394) | more than 4 years ago | (#31152288)

I dunno, maybe those desktop UI developers just need to relearn? We've had proper reflowing UI in Web applications for ages now, and that's with all the ugly hacks you often need to do to get there in HTML+CSS.

Meanwhile, I can't help but notice that even on Windows, new UI toolkits go for reflowing-by-default (case in point: WPF). And there are very good reasons for that. One: you can't do proper theming without it - unless you restrict widget sizes to fixed values (which is very limiting). You can't let user change font face, since text size and proportions will become different, and it may overflow fixed-size widgets. You can't easily localize by substituting strings, since translated strings are often significantly (2x is not uncommon) longer than the original ones - again, overflowing in fixed-size widgets.

And, so far as I can see, this all is just as applicable to mobile UIs.

Re:Standards... anyone? Anyone? (1)

Jah-Wren Ryel (80510) | more than 4 years ago | (#31152488)

We've had proper reflowing UI in Web applications for ages now,

And yet, the web apps tend to reflow like crap too.
Look at the nytimes website, or yahoo.com, even youtube.com - all basically fixed size and there are bazillions more. My experience is that reflowing websites are the exception, not the norm.

I dunno, maybe those desktop UI developers just need to relearn?

Lolz. The whole point of those examples is that "need to relearn" ain't enough motivation - and handhelds don't bring any new motivation. If anything, the limited number of resolutions will just encourage developers to code for a specific handful of resolutions and each time a new one becomes common enough, they'll hardcode that one in to their apps too.

can't help but notice that even on Windows, new UI toolkits go for reflowing-by-default

Just because the toolkit supports it doesn't mean the developer will implement it properly. Same problem with all the other toolkits already discussed.

Re:Standards... anyone? Anyone? (1)

grumbel (592662) | more than 4 years ago | (#31152498)

We've had proper reflowing UI in Web applications for ages now

Thats not my experience. Increase the font size and close to 99% of all non-trivial webpages out there will break, some with just minor glitches, other will become unreadable thanks to overlapping text. Horizontal resize doesn't work all that great either, as by far most pages out there have a fixed min-width, get below that and welcome to the horror that is the horizontal scrollbar. Clever relayouting of the div boxes once you get below a certain size? Haven't seen those. Some portable browsers provide that, but with limited success. Wikipedia is pretty ugly and near unreadable on the PSP, thanks to the vertical navigation bar which takes away all the screenspace. Autoswitching to a horizontal one? Nope. And scaling images is also a clusterfuck, Firefox on Linux still can't do basic bilinear filtering so everything looks like crap on zoom and even with filtering everything will just turn into a blurry mush on larger scales. Higher res pictures for higher zoom levels? Haven't seen those.

The web these days is a bit of horizontal resize and the rest is not far away from pixel perfect placement. As soon as you throw a small screen, high dpi screen or a custom font at the web you run into tons of annoying issues.

Re:Standards... anyone? Anyone? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31152388)

You must be a KDE user

Re:Standards... anyone? Anyone? (1)

A12m0v (1315511) | more than 4 years ago | (#31152862)

Yet Gnome sucks on low resolution small screens. I know this because Gnome sometimes renders widgets off screen!

Re:Standards... anyone? Anyone? (1)

Renderer of Evil (604742) | more than 4 years ago | (#31152946)

Variable screen size is not an issue. Or rather it shouldn't be a problem with any decent framework, that provides dynamic layouts which allow widgets to scale and reflow to fit. We've had that on the desktop for decades (e.g. all Linux UI frameworks use this model by default).

Not everything is composed out of scaleable UI elements. There are lots of apps that have logical layouts made specifically for the iPhone screen, especially games. Try telling a graphic artist to draw a background for 50 different screen sizes.

If you're worth your salt as a developer, you wouldn't code for the lowest common denominator. Similarly, you wouldn't want to put your company's name on a product that looks and functions like ass on a dinky old smartphone or a feature phone.

You should go check out some of the games and applications on the App Store. There are many instances where lots of polish went into the product and the experience wouldn't be the same when you crop or widen it beyond its intended aspect ratio.

Re:Standards... anyone? Anyone? (1)

pacificleo (850029) | more than 4 years ago | (#31153108)

Screen size is just one aspect of it , this is a multi headed monster , other issue is input method ( touch ,trackball, triple key press ,QWERTY) , Heap Size, Memory constraint , diffrence in JVM implementation ,diffrent interpretation of specs etc . Device fragmentation is the harsh reality of Mobile world and its going to stay . let me repeat fragmentation is here to stay . Its evil cousin of differentiation . As long as manufacturers keep producing different devices we will keep running into these issues . I doubt if any of these alliances can do much to change that . not in any meaningful way , unless they can enforce end user to get app from them only or work with handset OEMs to make devices comply with some common minimum criteria before they allow them on their network .

Much as I like to be other wise genie is out of the bottle here , only thing we can do is to keep design of your app as platform neutral as possible. than attack the implementation part with tools for cross platform development , Java , J2ME is one way , there are other tools like Mobile Distelry [mobile-distillery.com] ,Phonegap [phonegap.com] and Mitr [spicelabs.in] trying to solve this problem only . but we have a long way to go on this . for more detail i suggest you read this excellent paper [nus.edu.sg] from a NUS professor named RAJAPAKSE . it will give you a lot of insight about the same .
Disclaimer : I work for SpiceLabs the company behind Mitr [spicelabs.in]

Re:Standards... anyone? Anyone? (1, Insightful)

pydev (1683904) | more than 4 years ago | (#31151730)

In different words, Apple is following the same trajectory as previous mobile platforms: start off with a single screen size and a whole bunch of simple assumptions, and then try to patch things up as additional demands become apparent.

That's a great way of getting into the market, but it's a bad long term strategy. If you want to see where that kind of attitude leads, look at the last years of MacOS before it expired.

Not true, Apple's path shows planning (3, Interesting)

SuperKendall (25149) | more than 4 years ago | (#31151904)

In different words, Apple is following the same trajectory as previous mobile platforms: start off with a single screen size and a whole bunch of simple assumptions, and then try to patch things up as additional demands become apparent.

If you work with the platform, you realize this is not true - but it was only really apparent with release of the iPad.

Yes they started off with a single screen size, but not with the bunch of simple assumptions - from the outset for example all the tools totally supported defining resizing behaviors for any GUI element in Interface Builder, the GUI development tool. The Image API lets you define stretchable image types where only endcaps (on any of the four sides) remains fixed, while the middle simply repeats which lets you use the same nice graphics on elements that can take on different sizes. That did exist because of OS X, but there were other OS X elements the tool did not have to support - yet that was included.

But of course, as graphic designers are wont to do, many app developers did develop a lot of stuff targeted at pretty specific sizes (just like the web, take a look sometime at how many sites really support resized windows instead of having a design constrained to a particular width).

So how to solve that problem with devices that have different resolutions while still bringing new devices to market? I think the way Apple decided to address that, was by fixing categories to specific pixel sizes. So mobile devices the size of the iPhone get 320x480, but devices the size of the iPad get 1024x768.

Now where that gets interesting is that they don't just fix pixel sizes for categories, but within the categories they define UI elements that you can only use when you have the larger amount of space available. That is how they work around the issue, instead of letting developers flounder in a larger sea of pixels they give them some guidelines as to how they can use many of the elements they are used to while showing them ways to make better use of the larger space.

I would say that is in fact a different trajectory than other mobile (or even desktop) platforms have developed, where you have the same GUI libraries for devices of any pixel size. That to me shows at least some thoughtfulness as to direction and what it means to have more pixels.

Re:Not true, Apple's path shows planning (1)

pydev (1683904) | more than 4 years ago | (#31152122)

Apple inherited some resizing capabilities from their desktop platform, but they were fully aware that it wasn't mature enough for small screen devices, so they stuck to a single size. So, parts of their software support arbitrary sizes, parts work via rescaling, and others are specific to a couple of pre-defined sizes in their product palette (since they only have two devices, that's not really rocket science).

Really, it's exactly the same as other mobile platforms. Android has 320x480 and 480x800 (with a little extra on the Droid), although Android scales fairly well to larger screens as well.

Aren't you getting dizzy with all your Apple spin?

"not mature"? (2, Interesting)

SuperKendall (25149) | more than 4 years ago | (#31152262)

but they were fully aware that it wasn't mature enough for small screen devices

How exactly are the existing tools "not mature"? Remember these inherit not just from behaviors that were around since OS X 10.1, but even to some extent from NeXT before that!

At this point graceful resizing behaviors are actually pretty mature I would say, compared with a number of other GUI frameworks I have seen on a lot of other platforms.

So, parts of their software support arbitrary sizes

Default sizes, I don't know of any that are specifically fixed in size... Even some that seem like they are, like a navigation bar, you do not use as though they are a fixed size (you set left and right buttons and a title).

It always seemed to be Apple though pretty carefully about UI elements at different sizes, even if they have initial states set to specific sizes I can't think of any that do not work when resized.

Aren't you getting dizzy with all your Apple spin?

Cheap shot and ill-deserved I would say given the deliberation I have given the topic along with lending expertise to the discussion.

Re:Not true, Apple's path shows planning (1)

pydev (1683904) | more than 4 years ago | (#31152148)

Oh, and of course Apple's path shows planning. I mean, Apple isn't stupid, they know what it takes to get a platform to market quickly. If they had spent another couple of years trying to get iPhone to work on different screen sizes, they would have missed the market. That doesn't change anything I said: Apple has been following the same path as other mobile OS platforms and they'll end up with the same mess on their hands in the long term.

Re:Not true, Apple's path shows planning (1)

SuperKendall (25149) | more than 4 years ago | (#31152342)

I think you may have glossed over the part where I theorized how Apple avoids that same trap. Fixed resolutions for different categories of devices, along with more advanced UI elements as you move through the categories to encourage designers to treat categories differently in terms of design. They avoid the specific headaches of supporting devices that might differ wildly in DPI or even aspect ratio, and I think they can do so basically forever if they keep to the same strategy.

It is a different approach than the other devices makers are taking, which is the traditional approach of supplying the same frameworks no matter the device size (i.e. Android tablets still use exactly the same Android GUI frameworks the smaller devices use).

Re:Standards... anyone? Anyone? (1)

jo42 (227475) | more than 4 years ago | (#31152872)

start off with a single screen size and a whole bunch of simple assumptions, and then try to patch things up as additional demands become apparent.

You are an epic idiot. Read through the iPhone OS SDK before making completely ignorant statements. Start with struts and springs in Interface Builder -- laying out UIs that scale as screen size or orientation changes is trivial. If that isn't enough, all the APIs are there to find out device orientation, size of the status bar and every single UI element -- and have been there for over a decade since iPhone OS and Mac OS X share over 80% of their source code. Writing custom UI classes that adjust is also trivial. Please extract your head from your Apple bashing rectum.

Re:Standards... anyone? Anyone? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31151748)

Parent is spot-on. The more resolutions and platforms you have to support with your app, the less time you have to spend on design, adding features, and ensuring quality. Even the seemingly minor Apple requirement that iPad apps adjust their layouts depending on whether the iPad is in landscape or portrait mode is, for my app's purposes, a complete waste of time that reduces the quality of the app for its proper landscape layout. Supporting a laundry list of different screen formats, multi-touch capabilities, etcetera, is of absolute no interest to me.

Of course, I have a skewed perspective because I actually use my app and therefore put quality and features as the top priorities, rather than what strategy will maximize profit.

Re:Standards... anyone? Anyone? (1)

sexconker (1179573) | more than 4 years ago | (#31153146)

If I was developing an app that should be in either portrait or landscape (but not the other), rotating it would just produce a black screen with the following text:

You're doing it wrong.

Re:Standards... anyone? Anyone? (3, Interesting)

Hamsterdan (815291) | more than 4 years ago | (#31151788)

Kinda like iTunes...

That proprietary music player will never catch on. Yet all the younger people I meet have a iPod Touch or a standard iPod. I myself used to have a 40GB iPod, and now own an iPhone.

iTunes might seem evil on some platforms (and on Windows it's a bloated &*^%$%^& piece of *&^%$, but on a MAC (or Hackintosh), it's really nice.

Now, what they need to do is two little things.

Make the freaking player look like a standard USB drive to the computer. if it's DRM'd, fine, go with iTunes, but for other stuff, let it act as a USB key (like other MP3 players)

And allow an iPod to sync with other media players, like Media Center...

Like it or not, MCE is really nice and gets the job done, not like Snapstream who promised integration 3 years ago and ditched all their customers. (i've got two licenses here, sitting on my mail server, BTV and Beyond Media bought on a promise that Snapstream would merge the product in 5.x, along with their Firefly remote).

Re:Standards... anyone? Anyone? (1)

AuMatar (183847) | more than 4 years ago | (#31151960)

Of course, that's also why a lot of us don't have iphones as well. I want a phone with a fold out keypad- an on screen touchscreen keypad is epic fail- I'd rather type on a 9 button pad than that. By not having a hardware standard, Android lets me do that- there's several models with fold out keyboards. That'll change of course- as Android rises in popularity and as revamped Symbian and WinMo come up Apple will need to put out more hardware configurations or it will get beat into the ground.

Apple's app store popularity had nothing to do with hardware standards anyway. It had to do with the tremendous marketing of Apple, a good price point, and being the first easy way to get applications on a cell phone (no requirements for a computer, no buggy software). It also has a lot to do with the large number of free and open source programs available- without that you'd have maybe 5% of the activity you see now, most people don't buy apps.

Instead what they'll end up needing to do is to allow an app to require certain hardware (ex requires GPS), or to support only certain configurations (such as resolution- btw having written GUI apps, I'll give an auto scaler a 10% chance of working well. In fact I expect apple to be in for a world of pain as new configurations enter, because they and app devs didn't think about them as the platform was created.) and caveat emptor on the rest. Or just not allow an app to appear in search if the configuration isn't supported.

The real problem here is that you have way too many players and they'll be working at cross purposes. There's a good reason to have app stores that are separate from the platform makers (just look at Apple's convoluted and broken approval process), but a conglomeration of carriers isn't the place to do it. Too many chiefs, not enough indians. I wouldn't be surprised to see someone like Valve or Stardock get into it though.

Re:Standards... anyone? Anyone? (2, Interesting)

SuperKendall (25149) | more than 4 years ago | (#31152140)

without that you'd have maybe 5% of the activity you see now, most people don't buy apps.

On other platforms that is more or less true, but what Apple has succeeding in doing is creating an environment where people DO pay for apps. They may not pay a lot, but there is a culture of willing to spend some money to experiment.

I think in large part that is because from iTunes Apple had so much experience in making payment as easy as possible, and of course the fact that millions of people already had a CC on file with Apple. So there was zero barrier to entry for initial purchase, and once you get into the habit it's easy to justify a lot of small purchases.

I also think you give too much credit to Apple's marketing, and not enough to the functionality and UI it offered out of the gate - after all, initial Apple marketing was (and to this day primarily is) simply showing applications running on the device.

In fact I expect apple to be in for a world of pain as new configurations enter, because they and app devs didn't think about them as the platform was created.) and caveat emptor on the rest.

This is not the case at all.

Apple's UI builder has supported a pretty rich definition for auto-resizing behavior from the start - to some degree developers actually do have to make use of them, because some system actions (like the status bar dropping down to indicate a call is in progress or the keyboard popping up) can change available screen space.

While I do know many applications have tended to hard code things around the iPhone screen resolution, it is not that hard to adapt to the larger screen real estate the iPad offers and this transition will really get developers in the habit of properly supporting resizing from now on, without that much pain in the present.

Or just not allow an app to appear in search if the configuration isn't supported.

In the more general case of all different phone App Stores, I have to think that will be the case - for instance there is a Windows Mobile app store today. Yet none of that software will be able to run as-is on the newer Windows Phone 7 Series, so it seems like there is no-way any of that would appear in the revised app store. Perhaps app stores per-configuration eventually (I guess the same thing as what you are saying, or the same effect anyway).

The real problem here is that you have way too many players and they'll be working at cross purposes. There's a good reason to have app stores that are separate from the platform makers (just look at Apple's convoluted and broken approval process), but a conglomeration of carriers isn't the place to do it. Too many chiefs, not enough indians. I wouldn't be surprised to see someone like Valve or Stardock get into it though.

Although Android and WebOS let you download apps from anywhere, I do not think the next Windows7 mobile platform will let you do so. For one thing taht degree of control appeals to Microsoft but also they have been but by the security bug so many times they really like the idea of eliminating one source of potential issues for users (which totally fits in with the newer OS being far more consumer focused).

So that cuts Valve/Stardock right out of the loop. Thus the remaining approach is the varied cross-platform development platform development - Adobe is trying with Air and Flash (both to compile to iPhone binaries, Flash already does) and there are a lot of other cross-platform mobile frameworks that target iPhone and Android at least. Cross platform development tools like that have never really worked well in the past though and I continue to think they will suffer to some extent, especially when any significant effort is put into a native app that performs the same function. A native app has the potential to always be better than any app developed in a cross-platform framework, no matter what the system.

Re:Standards... anyone? Anyone? (1)

toastar (573882) | more than 4 years ago | (#31152092)

so the answer to app store fragmentation is another app store?

Re:Standards... anyone? Anyone? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31152160)

Oh man where have you been JAVA lets you Write once, run anywhere

Re:Standards... anyone? Anyone? (1)

Enderandrew (866215) | more than 4 years ago | (#31152786)

This isn't about development, but rather about revenue.

AT&T, Verizon, etc. all used to make all the money by selling directly to the customers.

AT&T decided to pay Apple for the right to hand their revenue stream over to Apple. It was an all-time brilliant move by AT&T that screwed the industry.

Apple dictates to the music industry how they will operate now that they are an industry leader with iTunes. Apple is now going to be selling music, movies, books and software through iTunes. But ultimately the company that should be the most concerned is Amazon.

They probably just want a shite BREW store (2, Funny)

danielsfca2 (696792) | more than 4 years ago | (#31152880)

How does this proposed alliance claim to be able to get the same benefits?

They probably just expect to just do a shitty BREW app market (such as the Verizon Get It Now/VCAST store) and think that users won't laugh in their faces and go back to using native apps written by people who know what they're doing.

I welcome this initiative, but only because it will be a giant waste of money and effort for the cellcos, and anything that hurts them makes me smile spitefully.

Buying goldfish food (5, Interesting)

BadAnalogyGuy (945258) | more than 4 years ago | (#31151562)

I didn't think there was so much to raising goldfish until I went to the store to buy goldfish food. Did you know they have different food types for different varieties of goldfish? There is a separate food just for Lionheads that "enhance and grow" the bumps on the heads of these freaks. Then there is food that increases the vibrancy of certain varieties of goldfish. Not to mention that there are foods that float versus foods that sink. Flakes vs pellets. Live worms vs freeze-dried worms. Feeder fish vs 3-day time release blocks.

My goldfish had an air bladder infection and was constantly floating to the top. I ended up getting the sinking pellets because that discouraged it from eating from the surface.

My goldfish is better now, but I wonder how much more trouble it would have been if I had multiple varieties of goldfish in the same tank.

Re:Buying goldfish food (1, Insightful)

LostCluster (625375) | more than 4 years ago | (#31151630)

I'd like to remind the mods that there is no moderation called "-1; I don't get it!"

Re:Buying goldfish food (2, Funny)

Cryacin (657549) | more than 4 years ago | (#31151654)

And come on! It's BadAnalogyGuy!!! The analogy is as advertised.

Re:Buying goldfish food (0, Offtopic)

c6gunner (950153) | more than 4 years ago | (#31151718)

And come on! It's BadAnalogyGuy!!! The analogy is as advertised.

I'd like to request that a new moderation category be added: "-1 BadAnalogyGuy"

Re:Buying goldfish food (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31151732)

I would make it "+1 BadAnalogyGuy"

Re:Buying goldfish food (-1, Offtopic)

Max Littlemore (1001285) | more than 4 years ago | (#31151800)

So your saying that the post you replied to was a bit like a car with manual transmission where the gear positions are labelled R 2 4 across the top and 1 3 5 along the bottom when in fact the linkages are such that it should be 1 3 5 along the top and 2 4 R along the bottom?

Mod abuse (1, Offtopic)

Max Littlemore (1001285) | more than 4 years ago | (#31151776)

C'mon, the guys name is BadAnalogyGuy and he makes a really bad yet on topic anaolgy. Geez.

Re:Buying goldfish food (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31152236)

which car does your fish own?

they misspelled monopoly (4, Insightful)

SuperBanana (662181) | more than 4 years ago | (#31151578)

Twenty-four mobile network operators have formed the Wholesale Applications Community to avoid fragmenting the apps market and to give developers one point of entry to all the members.

You say "ah-void frag-muhn-tation of the mar-ket", I say "mohn-op-oh-lee."

Anyone want to guess how they'll leverage this? My guess is that if you piss off one mobile carrier with your app (or blame them for a problem), you'll be blocked from all of them. Plus, of course, pushing the carrier's commissions as high as possible.

Re:they misspelled monopoly (3, Insightful)

Shadow of Eternity (795165) | more than 4 years ago | (#31151582)

Yeah, I was going to say the word they're looking for is not "Consortium" but "Collusion".

Re:they misspelled monopoly (2, Insightful)

fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) | more than 4 years ago | (#31151782)

I'm sure that they have exciting plans to "provide market stability" and "avert consumer confusion" through "industry standardized pricing models"...

Re:they misspelled monopoly (1)

ooshna (1654125) | more than 4 years ago | (#31152462)

George Carlin much?

Re:they misspelled monopoly (1)

EvilNTUser (573674) | more than 4 years ago | (#31153168)

I can already foresee one of them: "avert consumer confusion by only allowing our cartel's app store on our networks, blocking Apple, Android and Ovi".

When will the governments finally step in and force these mafias to work like ISPs?

Re:they misspelled monopoly (1)

TubeSteak (669689) | more than 4 years ago | (#31152376)

Yeah, I was going to say the word they're looking for is not "Consortium" but "Collusion".

Collusion is what companies do in secret.
A cartel is when they do it in public.

Re:they misspelled monopoly (1)

Shadow of Eternity (795165) | more than 4 years ago | (#31152412)

My bad. Perhaps we should replace CEO with Don and just stop pretending...

Re:they misspelled monopoly (1)

godrik (1287354) | more than 4 years ago | (#31151856)

Somedays, I wish I could mod +4 insightful/funny. Today is one of those.

Can you say "Least Common Denominator"? (1)

bdsesq (515351) | more than 4 years ago | (#31151966)

Each carrier will want to approve the apps that are sold to its customers.
So each app will need 24 approvals. Some will get 24 thumbs up. But I imagine most will be banned by one carrier or another for political reasons.

By the time this is done it will make Apple's approval process look attractive.
   

Fight Fire With Fire (4, Funny)

SuperKendall (25149) | more than 4 years ago | (#31151586)

"We plan to fight application store fragmentation, by fragmenting all of the application stores!"

Do they have a choice? (5, Insightful)

pspahn (1175617) | more than 4 years ago | (#31151636)

It's clearly Apple vs. Google vs. Everyone else as it is. A couple of computer companies came up with novel and interesting ways to sell software on phones and now you have all the phone companies freaking out trying to figure out how to do the same thing and still compete.

Their business is telephones, not software. There really isn't any other choice the telecoms have. They know they'll be more effective working together and pooling talent, but will they deliver? I'm sure most people doubt their ability to come up with an answer, but you never know...

Re:Do they have a choice? (2, Insightful)

Kevinv (21462) | more than 4 years ago | (#31151676)

the only way they might actually come up with a decent answer is in putting their egos away and actually working together. Instead I bet every company tries to twist the process into their own advantage over the other participants, just like they do when they sit on standards bodies.

Re:Do they have a choice? (1)

maxume (22995) | more than 4 years ago | (#31151694)

I doubt it matters all that much; the most popular apps will end up coming with phones, and people are only going to pay so much for chintzy games on a 3" screen.

And Microsoft (1)

SuperKendall (25149) | more than 4 years ago | (#31151930)

I didn't think Microsoft would actually have the courage to totally overhaul Windows Mobile, but "Windows Phone 7 Series" I think now may be a contender for some serious contention of marketshare, in part because it's Microsoft leveraging partnerships to the hilt, and also in part because they have a very loyal development base.

Yes, even though it doesn't come out until the end of the year...

fixed that for ya (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31152644)

A couple of computer companies came up with novel and interesting ways to sell software on phones

They came up with a way to sell software which most people in their wildest dreams never would have guessed any significant fraction of consumers or developers would have tolerated. Now everyone wants to jump on the cashwagon before people wake up and start using apt-get as their app store.

fighting the wrong fragmentation (4, Interesting)

Kevinv (21462) | more than 4 years ago | (#31151664)

They're fighting the wrong fragmentation. The fragmentation is in the number of handset form factors, chipsets and OSes. Apple, Google, and now even Microsoft are fighting this fragmentation. Apple with total control over all form factors and OSes they use. Google with a standard OS, but less standardized form factors. And with Win Phone microsoft said they'll be vetting manufacturers more than in the past and won't allow UI skinning.

Write once, run everywhere doesn't work when the basic functionality of each device varies so much.

Re:fighting the wrong fragmentation (1)

Totenglocke (1291680) | more than 4 years ago | (#31152084)

Write once, run everywhere doesn't work when the basic functionality of each device varies so much.

Really? Because it's worked damn well for Java. All they need is to 1) really speed up Java or 2) use a similar (but faster) language for writing phone apps. All you have to do then is make sure that each OS runs that interpreted language - problem solved.

Re:fighting the wrong fragmentation (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31152130)

What does the language have to do with variations in hardware that dictate the UI, either locking out many platforms or being unattractive and sub-optimal by targeting a lowest common denominator?

Re:fighting the wrong fragmentation (1)

Idiomatick (976696) | more than 4 years ago | (#31152688)

"and won't allow UI skinning."
AKA the only thing that stopped win mobile from being a completely failed disaster the last several years. My current phone is only made usable by the COMPLETE overhaul done by telus. I think many features would not be worth touching had they left regular windows there. And I still find it very lacking.

they fight for control (4, Insightful)

pydev (1683904) | more than 4 years ago | (#31151688)

Mobile operators don't fight "fragmentation", what they fight is their loss of control. With Android and iPhone, the era of operator-controlled feature phones is coming to an end even in the US. They don't want to become the dumb pipes and commodity service that by all rights they should become.

Re:they fight for control (2, Interesting)

LostCluster (625375) | more than 4 years ago | (#31151706)

Actually, they're headed away from that. T-Mobile will welcome any GSM phone capable of using their frequencies and even reward such a customer with a discount on service. Verizon has announced they'll design their 4G network to allow anybody who uses a certified radio chip. Sprint allows many "virtual" network operators to rent their network. So, AT&T is the last to this party, but they'll get there eventually.

Re:they fight for control (2, Interesting)

maxume (22995) | more than 4 years ago | (#31151738)

Sprint outright owns Boost and Virgin Mobile, are there still 'many' virtual operators left on their network when you take that into account?

Wireless trying to get the ball back... (4, Insightful)

ducomputergeek (595742) | more than 4 years ago | (#31151698)

Wireless companies are trying not to be dumb pipes. And increasingly that's what they are becoming. Before Droid, on Verizon if you wanted a feature you had to pay more per month. The Wireless companies at first were happy about the smart phones because everyone had to buy a dataplan. Great, more revenue per customer. And that is the measure in the industry: how much can we suck from our customers.

Well Apple came along and launched their app store for the iPhone. And how much does ATT see from the app store? $0.

I've often wondered when the Carriers would hijack Android and do what they've done to other phones in the past and implement a "on our network, you use our Appstore."

The carriers see Apple earning hundreds of millions and now want their share of the pie.

Re:Wireless trying to get the ball back... (1)

trawg (308495) | more than 4 years ago | (#31152064)

where are my mod points when I need them?

Telcos are kicking and screaming and trying as hard as they can not to be dragged into the New Age.

I've often wondered when the Carriers would hijack Android and do what they've done to other phones in the past and implement a "on our network, you use our Appstore."

This has already happened here in Australia - you can't use the Android AppStore if you're on Optus (one of the major mobile phone companies here).

Apple has done more to blow away this monopoly than anyone else - it's made people realise that there's no need to be shackled to their telco and paying $5 for ringtones, etc. Telcos need to stop clinging to the past and display some adaptability here.

I'm hoping someone on this side of the pond starts up a telco whose entire focus is being dumb pipes, and starts stocking all the good phones like the N900 (which Australian telcos refuse to stock).

we need a open app store not where you need fee (1, Insightful)

Joe The Dragon (967727) | more than 4 years ago | (#31151700)

we need a open app store not where you need to pay a fee to MAKE FREE APPS. and one where you do not give 30% of the sale for paid apps.

Re:we need a open app store not where you need fee (1)

Hamsterdan (815291) | more than 4 years ago | (#31151818)

Cydia fixes it for you, if you're willing to spend 2 minutes to jailbreak the thing.

Blackra1n, WinPwn, and many others, I jailbroke mine with something else on OS X running on a PC netbook (10.6.2, Atom, even if Steve doesn't want it to run)

Last time I used Quickpwn I think (modified the firmware on my netbook and flashed it on my PC)

Works fine...

Re:we need a open app store not where you need fee (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31151922)

we need a open app store not where you need to pay a fee to MAKE FREE APPS. and one where you do not give 30% of the sale for paid apps.

And do you think that the carriers will give developers (or the consumer) a better deal than Apple does today?

Re:we need a open app store not where you need fee (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31152102)

You need a good smack upside the head with a fat nigger cock.

McDonalds, Burger King, and .... Wendy's? (1, Insightful)

BlueBoxSW.com (745855) | more than 4 years ago | (#31151766)

Obviouly the iTunes store is McDonalds.

Android is Burger King.

And these clowns are fighting to be Wendy's?

Or are they trying to be those hybrid KFC-Taco Bell-Pizza Hut stores?

Re:McDonalds, Burger King, and .... Wendy's? (1)

93 Escort Wagon (326346) | more than 4 years ago | (#31151900)

And these clowns are fighting to be Wendy's?

You're way off base - they're hoping they'll make White Castle.

Re:McDonalds, Burger King, and .... Wendy's? (1)

dangitman (862676) | more than 4 years ago | (#31153026)

You're way off base - they're hoping they'll make White Castle.

In that case they'd better not pick up a hitchhiking Neil Patrick Harris on the way.

Re:McDonalds, Burger King, and .... Wendy's? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31151910)

Obviouly the iTunes store is McDonalds.

Android is Burger King.

And these clowns are fighting to be Wendy's?

Or are they trying to be those hybrid KFC-Taco Bell-Pizza Hut stores?

So a Microsoft smart phone would be Jack in the Box?

Re:McDonalds, Burger King, and .... Wendy's? (1)

sowth (748135) | more than 4 years ago | (#31153062)

Good analogy [about-ecoli.com] . Let's just hope no children have to die this time. Then again, Bill Gates is hungry, so no guarantees.

Re:McDonalds, Burger King, and .... Wendy's? (1)

GaryOlson (737642) | more than 4 years ago | (#31151950)

Sounds more like the Dunkin Donuts/Baskin Robbins stores. Multiple flavors in the morning, multiple flavors in the evening. All the flavors are expensive, all the products are unhealthy with consistent continued use. And 2 hours later you have that craving for more crap.

The Year of Linux on Mobile Devices: Coming Soon? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31151792)

Does this mean that AT&T, China Mobile, Deutsche Telekom, NTT DoCoMo, Orange, Telefónica, Telenor Group, Sprint, Verizon Wireless, and Vodafone will all be agreeing to a Linux system the base of which will offer consistent compatibility for applications across phones? Kind of like having several brands of PC manufactures all using x86 and windows, running the same apps at different performance levels. I really can't see going with another operating system other than Linux. It's already well developed and proven across many mobile devices. Also, its easier to throw any interface on there as long as they all use the same libraries and versions of libraries as well as file system layout. Windows would not make sense to attempt this with for so many reasons I that will not bother - everyone here already knows the arguments anyway (long time lurker, been here since beta, many accounts come and gone).

Cheers!

Re:The Year of Linux on Mobile Devices: Coming Soo (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31151838)

"The standard will be independent of phone type and operating system"

Mister long time lurker here again. As someone who has been here since the start, I didn't RTFA till after I posted. But I mean still, it make more sense!

Why do we need an app store at all? (4, Interesting)

SashaMan (263632) | more than 4 years ago | (#31151802)

Seriously, the PC market seemed to do just fine for decades without an official "app store". Why can't I just download an app from any vendor's site without having to go through some gatekeeper (who keeps 30% of the revenue). I'm a huge IPhone fan, but has Apple brainwashed us so much that we need an official app store that we forgot that it's not really necessary in the first place?

Re:Why do we need an app store at all? (1)

R3d M3rcury (871886) | more than 4 years ago | (#31151916)

Well, this isn't really an "official" app store, unless someone decides to make it one.

There've been plenty of app stores over the years, both pre-Internet and post-Internet. Stores are nice for things like one-stop shopping in a "trusted" environment. If I have a choice between buying something from Amazon or "Joe's Internet Store", I might be a bit more concerned about whether I'll get my stuff from "Joe's Internet Store" than I would be with Amazon.

So I don't see a problem with yet another app store. I don't even see a problem with vendors pre-installing appropriate software to access it on their mobile phones. But if they actively go about blocking other stores, that's wrong.

Re:Why do we need an app store at all? (5, Insightful)

iluvcapra (782887) | more than 4 years ago | (#31151920)

Palm and Winmo supported downloadable apps forever, they just didn't move. Vendors were fighting rampant piracy, end users often didn't know what was available except through rumor, and stuff that you could download frankly sucked half the time.

The store concept is the killer app that makes the whole third-party app concept worth the phone OS vendor's time. I remember having innumerable problems keeping my the various junk on my Treo 650 working and compatible, and migrating from one phone to another while keeping app vendors serial numbers entered. I also remember downloading lots of different PRCs and them not working for my OS revision, or phone model, or carrier firmware. It was a mess, and the app store concept is a solution. They just took the concept of a package manager and put a credit card slot on it.

Re:Why do we need an app store at all? (1)

sowth (748135) | more than 4 years ago | (#31153030)

So...your thanks go to Debian?

One thing I don't understand: why were you downloading lots of People's Republic of Chinas? Isn't one enough?

One more thing: why did the vendors have to fight pirates? Were they sailing a boat past Somalia?

Re:Why do we need an app store at all? (1)

Urza9814 (883915) | more than 4 years ago | (#31152228)

The PC market at least had Windows and a standard aspect ration of monitors. It may be 800x600, it may be 1024x768, but it's still 4:3. It's still Windows. It's still IBM-compatible. And it's still multitasking. All had a keyboard and mouse.

My phone? Well, my last one was about 1:1 aspect ratio. My current one is 2:1. Mine is who-knows-what processor, at godawful-slow MHz. Some are tens of MHz, some are GHz. The CPUs vary. There's Android, Apple OS, RIM's OS, Verizon's OS, Sprint's OS, AT&T's OS, LG's OS, etc. There's no standard hardware, no standard software, not even a standard interface. All of which we pretty much had on PCs.

Re:Why do we need an app store at all? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31152428)

Errr wrong, Windows has supported other aspect ratios than 4:3 for ages.

There is a standard platform for a lot of phones (all phones if they chose to use it), Java J2ME. It supports different devices and different resolutions, and renders it all using the native interface of the device.

Re:Why do we need an app store at all? (1)

sowth (748135) | more than 4 years ago | (#31153000)

So cellphones are like computers were in the 1980s. You had the Commodore 64, Atari 8-bits, Apple 8-bit (IIe and friends), then the Mac, Amiga, Atari ST, IBM compatibles, and many more.

Cross-platform development can be a pain, but if you are disciplined, it is possible. If they did it with the tools we had 30 years ago, you can do it today. Not everything will convert over, but if you modularize your program enough--especially separating components which need the OS and your internal processing--you will minimize the extra work you need.

The key is learning how to create a universal design which plays well to any OS.

As for different processors, do you really have to use assembly for everything? C was made to cross compile on just about any processor design. Yeah, when the processor is tens of MHz, you will probably have to optimize some functions (or many or none depending upon the program), but even so, how often will you beat out a modern compiler by doing it in assembly?

I don't see what the big stink is about the different systems. The problem seems to be they lock down their systems and make them deliberately incompatible, so you can't just write a program and cross compile it. How many cross platform toolkits are going to be written in such an environment? Especially freely available ones?

The pc also has free and open apps iphone does not (1)

Joe The Dragon (967727) | more than 4 years ago | (#31152468)

The pc also has free and open apps iphone does not devs need to pay a fee to have free apps and apple has to much lock down on there stuff same thing for other operators and now they want 1 store with even more lock down?

Re:The pc also has free and open apps iphone does (1)

arminw (717974) | more than 4 years ago | (#31152732)

...The pc also has free and open apps...

as well as zillions of viruses, Trojans, worms, spyware and mountains of spam. When a PC gets infected with these, it is not usually a life and death situation, as it can be with a phone. A phone has to be at least 1000 times more reliable and dependable. Can you imagine loading a unknown app with a virus which breaks the phone? Can you imagine someone trying to dial 911 and nothing happens because the phone got some malware?

No, Apple has done the right thing with their store in preventing just any Tom, Dick and Harry Hacker from infesting the the iPhone, at least not the ones that have not been in jail broken. Cyber criminals would love to be able to do to the millions of phones out there, what they have done to the PC and its users. Apple has built security into the device, not added it on as an afterthought.

Re:Why do we need an app store at all? (1)

jo42 (227475) | more than 4 years ago | (#31152920)

Why can't I just download an app from any vendor's site

Do you really want to be running anti-virus/anti-malware software on your mobile device? Do you really want a repeat of the junkware/crapware/malware idiocy on desktops, on mobile devices too?

who keeps 30% of the revenue

Go ahead. Set up your own vendor site that takes credit cards from over 50 countries in the world and drops the revenue right into your bank account, or go with an established provider of this kind of service, see how much of your take is left -- hint: not as much you think.

Re:Why do we need an app store at all? (2, Interesting)

dangitman (862676) | more than 4 years ago | (#31153050)

Seriously, the PC market seemed to do just fine for decades without an official "app store".

Actually, the PC market has been mostly shitty, unless you happen to be Microsoft or Adobe, or one of the big enterprise software writers. For the most part, users didn't buy many applications that didn't come with the computer. And the majority of people who did use third-party applications pirated them.

Compared to the iPhone app store, the third-party PC software market is a failure. If PC software sales were even close to the per-user sales on the iPhone, the market would be much larger than what it is.

Apple... (4, Insightful)

QuietLagoon (813062) | more than 4 years ago | (#31151824)

changed the mobile industry singlehandedly. While the transition of power is not ultimate, consumers in the mobile marketplace now have a new found power over the purveyors of the wireless service. AT&T, Verizon, et al, are now in reactionary mode. That is good for their customers.

Re:Apple... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31151854)

Yeah, because Apple invented the online app store. Yeah. Uh huh.

Get a clue, fanboi.

Re:Apple... (1)

QuietLagoon (813062) | more than 4 years ago | (#31151918)

Apple made the App Store a competitive advantage and an entry barrier into the market. Who else has done that?

It is not I that needs the clue.

Re:Apple... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31152898)

This is all a load of crap. Apple ONLY HAS A SMALL PERCENTAGE OF THE FUCKING MARKET! They did not by any means revolution anything. The technology existed long before Apple and marketing was the only thing they did or even really do as a company. Almost everything the company has done or does is done by others including the iPod, the mac, etc- The MP3 player was invented way before the iPod. It may not have taken off without the marketing of Apple. We all know Apple's strength is marketing. GNU/Linux might not have had mass success- but it certainly doesn't mean it wasn't successful due to lack of merit either. GNU/Linux on the desktop hasn't been marketed to the general populous and yet everybody says it has failed. I'd disagree. It hasn't taken off because nobody has solid it to the general masses. Apple solid GNU/Linux to the general masses and has had success. Proof positive GNU/Linux was successful. It may have had a different kernel, it may have had had some changes to the appearance of what we think of as GNU/Linux, it may have had a different desktop manager, but under the hood it sure looks allot like GNU/Linux to me. khtml check (konueror, open source, etc), terminal check, unix roots check, etc. Apple is an awful company that I would NEVER recommend anybody doing business with. They are by all means as bad and even worse than Microsoft.

Re:Apple... (1)

dangitman (862676) | more than 4 years ago | (#31153094)

Apple ONLY HAS A SMALL PERCENTAGE OF THE FUCKING MARKET!

Really, so who holds the majority of the mobile phone application market? If you put all the other app stores together, they wouldn't sell anywhere near the amount Apple does on its own.

The technology existed long before Apple

Uhhh, so what? How is that relevant in any way? Oh right... I'm replying to a troll.

Isn't this the purpose of J2ME? (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31151968)

Sounds like we need some sort of cross platform language (e.g. Java), that has a common platform for mobile devices (e.g. J2ME). That allows for applications to run on different handsets via some sort of profile (e.g. MIDP, CLDC).

What are we waiting for...oh yes mobile makers to get there fingers out of their asses and start helping the consumer (e.g. through no vendor lock in).

I'd love to feel safe and warm knowing that any apps I've bought for my iPhone could be used on the new Samsung, or latest HTC device. As it stands I'm not able to swap hardware as easily as my investment in those apps is then lost...and this is what Apple wants (so do the others). Mobile makers don't want to compete on hardware specs alone, as that takes more time/money to develop than the software (hence a bigger potential loss if a rival comes out with better hardware that everyone uses 2 days after their release).

Re:Isn't this the purpose of J2ME? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31151992)

and to finish...

A global app store based on Java would be great, reward the developers with a share of the profits, the rest of the money goes to whoever builds the store and processes the payments.

Its a shame that this won't happen any time soon, or perhaps ever...only when 1 platform (Android/iPhone) dominates the market with others be begging to support their API in their own mobile OS and this will become a defacto standard rather than one defined from the start.

Andy K.

Market trailers = consortium (1)

jgerry (14280) | more than 4 years ago | (#31151978)

What do you get when you take all the companies that are scrounging for the last 15% of the mobile app market and put them together? A consortium.

Can you think of a single consortium of market trailing companies that every created anything worthwhile? Because I can't.

App store concept needs to die (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31152010)

And HTML 5 needs to hurry up and bring us all of the standardized, offline goodness it has promised for some time now.

Anonymous Coward (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31152998)

Among these operator is Bharti Airtel, which is a leading mobile service provider in India. In last 15 years it couldn't update their software to provide its customers a unified bill. Such a company in that list means its all vapor ware and just trying to get 15 milliseconds of fame.

http://m.google.com (1)

duane534 (1431259) | more than 4 years ago | (#31153188)

http://m.google.com/ [google.com] Step 1. Select the search field. Step 2. Type 'mobile app' and a word describing the functionality you need. Step 3. Search. Step 4. Install.
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