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On national TV regarding iPhone flaws

I was on national TV tonight (starting 10:12 into the clip), commenting on the recent reports regarding iPhone security flaws. My take on the whole thing is simple:
  1. The risk for an iPhone user to be affected is minimal. The flaw is yet to be found exploited.
  2. The security model in both the iPhone and Android phones are strong and protects the user from the most common virus behaviors
  3. So far, the known security flaws need user action to be harmful, for example the user has to download a malicious document or install an app that does something maliciously.
  4. There are millions of known viruses targeting desktop PCs, and so far not one single iPhone virus outbreak has been reported. That should set the perspective on media reports right now.
That said, it is important to remember the background to these reports. iPhone and Android sales are incredible. Millions of new users come onboard every month. This is an increasingly interesting market for those who intend to harm and destroy. I expect makers of malicious code to someday be successful in setting off the first outbreak, but so far we haven’t seen it.
What you can do to minimize the risk of being affected in the future is:
  1. Don’t download apps that you don’t trust. The app description might say one thing, yet the app does something secretly that you don’t want it to. For example, monitor network traffic to pick credit card numbers and passwords that you use when surfing.
  2. Don’t download documents or execute code from unknown sources

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iOS4 bugs

The update to iOS4 on my iPhone 3G went well. Quick and flawless… but now I’m running into bugs and issues. I never saw this in any other iPhone update. I’ll keep this post updated with what I find. Also, the forum post iOS 4 Issues and Bugs contains much more. Disappointing, Apple.

My bugs so far:

  • time format for Sweden incorrect (23:59 should be 23.59)
  • the title “All Inboxes” in Mail sometimes reads a 30 character GUID
  • text box input in web pages zooms incorrectly, making it impossible to finish input

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Microsoft KIN-phones Dead on Arrival?

Microsoft released two new phones a few weeks ago, the KIN One and KIN Two. The KIN release is likely to go down as one of the worst in the company’s history. Rumors, true or false, state that only a few hundred phones are sold to date.
The company is positioning these phones to the younger audience, and focuses feature set around social networking.
That might sound like a good idea, but the market moved from feature phones to platform phones years ago.
The fact that it’s Microsoft that misses this point is indicative of its current leadership, in my opinion.
In early April I wrote about the KIN release:
I seriously doubt the long term relevancy in the business strategy. I don’t see that any Apple competitor has the luxury of diverging its focus into multiple arenas.
The more I think about this, the more I see evidence of the company’s divergence from its platform first-philosophy. Microsoft was always a platform company, and its products always had clear threads tying them together. There were solid architectural thoughts overarching product strategies. I doubt an off platform device like the KIN would see the light of day under the leadership that made Microsoft’s successes.
I could see a potential rationale behind trying an off platform path if the product would be extremely well designed, complete, and in all aspects awesome. But to release devices in 2010 that is both off platform and having its quality/usability questioned is a mystery to me.
For the sake of giving Apple- and the Android-teams a run for the money, I hope the KIN experiment is halted and that all energy and focus is put into making Windows Phone 7 and beyond substantially competitive.

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App Outlook #1

I’ll post an App Outlook post every 3-4 weeks, summarizing state of app market from a business perspective. This is the first App Outlook post.
  • Large companies start to include apps in online strategy
  • 7+ billion app downloads, 200 000+ apps in AppStore, 40 apps installed per user
  • $1+ billion paid to developers from Apple
  • Only iPhone- and Android-users show app download and usage patterns
  • Business apps are external and customer facing (buyer team is sales, marketing and marcom)
  • Business apps are categorized into four categories: pure branding, hygiene factor, mobile aware, new opportunities
  • Analogies between early web days and early app days (today) are relevant, difference is that pace of adoption is faster today

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Business finally went mobile (’cause of apps)

Mobile has been picked up by businesses. However, it didn’t come in through the processes most of us thought it would. The IT-industry tried for years to sell mobile solutions to accelerate internal processes. Field service, sales support, and logistics support were main target processes.
The industry did succeed in getting a few successful projects in place, but from an overview perspective nothing really happened in ten years. That’s all changed now, and it was the apps that brought business attention to mobile. Here are some thoughts on the whys and whats.
  • apps are facing the client, ie they are externally facing
  • externally facing technology can drive revenue and brand recognition
  • buyers of externally facing technology is most often sales and marketing teams
  • sales and marketing teams have bigger budgets than service teams
  • apps weren’t an option until apple showed how app distribution should work
  • process of acceptance of mobile solutions is similar to what we saw in internet solutions (first external web site, then internal intranet)
The irony is that in all this customer facing app frenzy, I am hearing more and more:
Well, if can do this for our customers, can’t we accelerate field service too!?
Yes, we can because now we’re coming from the right place. From customer facing first, to internally facing second. My only advice is: don’t go internal before you’ve done your first successful customer facing app.

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