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Mobile Fix – Jan 8 2016

A shorter Fix to ease into the New Year. To get a sense of what 2016 holds for us we think you’re probably better looking at what GAFA are up to, than ploughing thorough the (too) many 2016 predictions and trend pieces

 

Amazon won Christmas – a press release from Amazon talks about their success with news they added 3m Prime customers in the week before Christmas alone. They doubled their hours of video viewing and Jeff Bezos wants to win an Oscar.

Their dexterity in last mile delivery is creating a moat that rivals will struggle to beat – even though Sainsbury want to buy Argos for their good delivery service in the UK.

 

The AWS dominance in cloud services looks likely to grow with the launch of their Workmail service – perhaps a good Trojan Horse for those IT departments who see embracing cloud as analogous to Turkeys voting for Christmas.

 

FacebooksMark Zuckerberg is to spend this year building an AI for his home – which as he admits is just so Iron Man. Nothing in the functions he describes is that novel, but the fact he plans on tying them all together shows how close to the mainstream the Internet of Things has come. Couple that with the fact he focuses on voice control and image recognition and we can see how quickly interfaces are evolving.

 

That’s supported by the news that David Marcus who runs Messenger (which now has 800 million Monthly users) sees threads as the new apps – whether they be text or voice driven.

 

Their post announcing the plans for Messenger in 2016 includes killing off the phone number – so you can call (voice or video) and message across devices – without now needing a Facebook account. News that a select bunch of developers are working with the Facebook Chat SDK to develop Messenger Bots reminds us that smart businesses are going to be very focused on building their presence within Messenger. The Uber integration we mentioned in the last Fix sets the bar here.

 

This look at how Facebook decide what content to include in your feed also illustrates the power of tech over our lives and their influence over the many publishers relying on Facebook to distribute their content. Long, but worth reading.

 

Google has arguably most to lose if this shift to a chat interface does take place as search is probably the way people get these tasks done or at least starts the process

 

So it’s no real surprise that Google are building their own Chat Messaging app. If you look back at Google product archeology we see many things that came and went yet now seem prescient. Another good excuse to remember Google Wave and the Pulp Fiction example – a precursor to Slack from 2009. With the learning from Google Now – still the best indicator of how AI can transform the mobile experience – plus Hangouts and Google Messenger they have some good (raw?) ingredients – they now need the right recipe.

 

Blend in their work on deep linking, and they can still be a real player here.

 

One other new product from Google looks interesting too – Tango uses the phones sensors to deliver a much more VR like experience.

 

Apple have come out swinging to react to their poor share price – pointing out they took $20bn in appstore sales over 2015 and it is being pointed out that using the Netflix valuation means the App Store would be worth around $150bn alone. The Apple story isn’t over yet by any means although we think the balance between hardware and software sales – in which we include media - will change over the next few years.

 

Predictions

 

If you do want to read some thoughts on what might be important in 2016 we would recommend these;

 

Ben Evans – 16 Mobile Theses

 

Fred Wilson – What is going to happen in 2016

 

John Battelle – Predictions 2106

 

Tom Goodwin – 8 trends and thoughts for 2016

 

VC Josh Elman – Bring On 2016

 

Quick Reads

 

A long but excellent read on bots and messaging – this is something we think will be key over the next 12 months

 

Are subscriptions really the future of journalism?

 

More background on Ridley Scotts VR version of the Martian

 

Good data on mobile usage from Flurry – its all about Phablets

 

Don’t want to wait for Oculus? – or too pricy? Check out these cool VR apps for Google Cardboard

 

Good piece on App developers talking to their teenage users. Lots to learn.

 

Someone found a purpose for Periscope – a puddle in Newcastle

 

Finally - The Expense accounts are taking a battering as the Ad Agency world descend on Las Vegas for CES. It’s always felt like a flash version of C5s Gadget Show to me and with the focus on Cars this year it’s crying out for Jeremy Clarkson. We will wait for the legendary Irwin Gottlieb tour video, but in the meantime we can all relax – there is a new connected Fridge.

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