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October 05, 2013

Mobility Techzone Week in Review

Let's start our week's mobility review off with some enterprise stuff. This week, Mobile Application Management platform vendor Mocana introduced a new release of its mobile application technology - which allows mobile apps to be self-aware, so to speak, with regard to mobile security issues. The new release delivers support for iOS 7, which continues to quietly create a major presence for itself with enterprises. Apple has added over 40 enterprise features to iOS 7 and Mocana is not able to make full use of a variety of these features.

The Mocana solution is used primarily by its mobile application partners; it isn't really a direct enterprise developer platform. Still, it is hugely useful for enterprise IT to be well aware of what Mocana brings to the table and IT should demand its services be available when dealing with its partners. In thinking further about mobile applications in the enterprise, we often concern ourselves with the notion that some specific team of people should have real ownership of mobile strategies -- the Mocana scenario is but one of many things an enterprise needs to concern itself with when it comes to mobility. Given that we were somewhat surprised to discover this week by way of a new Appcelerator mobile enterprise survey, that at least 60 percent of companies surveyed have no such leadership in place. It's a scary number.

Also on the enterprise side of things this week, Motorola Solutions has delivered a newly refreshed line of rugged and semi-rugged mobile computers that now run the latest version of Android -- Jelly Bean. Motorola has also provided a new set of software additions to Android that greatly improve security on the new hardware, as well as a new version of its RhoMobile mobile app development platform. Moto is clearly stepping up its game for companies that require rugged devices, and it is doing so in what we believe will be very well-received ways. Those enterprise workers that require the use of rugged hardware should have the same experiences as those who get to use regular BYOD devices.

And last, but far from least, long time communications player Aruba introduced this week a new cloud-managed Wi-Fi solution that will make it easy for enterprises to easily deploy Wi-Fi on both a large but also extremely well-managed scale. Wi-Fi of course continues to play a major role within the mobile enterprise and the new Aruba products are a welcome addition for continuing to drive secure Wi-Fi enterprise use.

Let's turn our attention for a short bit from the well-connected mobile enterprise to the wirelessly well-connected automobile. Ford made some news this week when it announced the acquisition of startup Livio, a company that focuses on the development of in-car connectivity software. The move will help Ford to deliver more smartphone apps that will work with its cars. Also this week, Sweden-based Solution57 delivered a new Remote Application Framework (essentially a set of new APIs) that will easily allow an in-car dash display to not only mirror on the screen what users see on their smartphones or tablets, but also lets a user fully interact with the mobile device, including running multiple applications simultaneously -- a very useful capability.

We'll close our week's review with a collection of mobile device and purveyor of mobile device items. First, here is a tale of two mobile device vendors headed in different directions. Samsung pre-announced some earnings information in which it says it will deliver record Q3 2013 earnings. At the same time HTC sadly announced its first-ever quarterly loss. We hope HTC is able to turn things around. For BlackBerry, meanwhile, things keep heading from bad to worse as the company sees huge drops in demand for all BlackBerry mobile devices.

We can't leave Apple out of the mix - at some point this month the company will announce a new collection of iPads. There has been some speculation that it will announce retina display iPad minis but that supplies may end up being constrained. Or does Apple have something else up its sleeve on the mini front? This week Apple also announced the acquisition of a small company called Cue, ostensibly to help it develop the necessary capabilities to take on Google Now head on. It will be interesting to see what comes of it.

Last, Apple is apparently hiring some very interesting new networking types - all of whom suggest that perhaps Apple is beginning to get much closer to pulling together its long awaited Apple Television strategy. OK, almost last on Apple -- one last thing here worth noting is that T-Mobile is indeed undergoing a renewal that can be traced almost directly to the company's sales of iOS devices.

And we'll really call it a wrap by noting two final things. This week Amazon watchers began to provide leaks and hints on a new collection of Amazon developed smartphones. There should be two of them making an appearance soon. And we've heard that Nokia has received FCC approval for a brand new Nokia tablet to run on ATT and Verizon LTE networks. We've been waiting a long time for a Nokia tablet to emerge -- in fact we've been waiting since 2010! Well, it looks like it will finally happen!

Have a great weekend!

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