Nokia Releases Cutting Edge Conversations App!
The Register reportedon the launch of Conversations from Nokia “Beta labs” division. So don’t get me wrong. I applaud Nokia’s efforts on releasing this and in particular in releasing it for existing handsets. However, this release brings some questions to mind.
First of all, why wasn’t this feature part of the original functionality of the device. Integrating the SMS inbox with the address book surely should be one of those features that you should expect to be on every device. The fact that this is being released in 2007 as a high-tech, cutting edge, “beta” function is a little sad I think and belies a dysfunction in the mobile industry with regard to integrated user experience.
But leaving that to the side for a second, who now gets to benefit from this innovation? Certainly not the majority of Nokia S-60 owners since they will likely never install the app themselves. It’s only the early adopter users and industry insiders who know how to install apps on their phones that are able to benefit. That’s not a critique of the app as much as it’s a critique of the whole mechanism by which software updates roll out onto handsets. There should be a mechanism for automatic over-the-air updates analogous to the software update functions prevalent in the desktop world.
Having said all that, the app itself is definitely a step forward for SMS discussions and I can see myself using it a lot. However, applications like Jaiku already go so much further in allowing one to many messaging, integrated with a Web user experience. SMS discussions is a great tweak on top of a “Mobile 1.0” service but it doesn’t really seem like the kind of envelope-pushing application that I’d expect out of a “lab.”
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