2010 was one amazing, hectic, and transforming year. In respect to mobile, the world seems to have begun hitting a stride seeing mobile as something more than a flash in the pan. That’s always been the view from MMM. Mobile intersects with digital faith behaviors, and enables us to send and receive a lens of faith that’s a bit different, a bit fresher. Chances are, in 2011, you’ll refine some behaviors and push a bit more. How could that look in 2011? Let’s take a look first at mobile, then at what’s in store for MMM.
A Mobile Lens for 2011
Mobile will continue to push towards the front of technology, health, educational, and policy conversations in 2011. What will be most interesting is the overlap. As we talked about some last year, contextualization and cross-functional knowledge will play a bigger part in understanding the role of mobile and the impacts to digital faith behaviors. Those individuals and groups that pollinate their mobile perspectives with multiple arenas will remain ahead of trends and applications.
In hardware, we are still looking at more of the same from basic devices (slates, candybar, tablet, some clamshells). Storage and processor technology is again on the verge of stepping up a generation, but battery power isn’t. We should see a few more attempts with device and network intelligence on devices, but only at the highest model ranges. Look at what you see as high-end right now, it will be low/mid-range by the fall.
Price points for devices will come down to orughly $100USD for a smartphone sans contract (currently $130-150). This will continue the transformation of some (mobile savvy) developed markets towards being largely populated with new smartphones. That said, feature phones will continue to sell huge in most markets – and the 2nd owner market should also grow. Service prices will hold steady for a bit longer before we start seeing more tiers in data service offerings with larger carriers. Keep an eye on SIM cards, these might be changing – and not just in size.
Software will continue to go the route of paying attention to user experience and smoother user interface design, though we will get some attention paid to optimization and information security. I wish I could say that users will care about security, but situations such as WikiLeaks shows us that this will remain governmental and enterprise conversations.
Looks like we are on the verge of some jumps in the amount and attention paid to audio and multi-lingual approaches. However, the easiest paths for developing these solutions will continue to be with web-dependent data and transaction services.
Open source will continue as an area of opportunity and frequent barrier in software and business development. Religious content is one of the heaviest areas where DRM and antiquated processes remain, and so the change here to more fluid models is still some time off. We will see more attempts like the Kiosk Evangelism Project and The Evangelical Exegetical Commentary that will push some open source behaviors forward – the catch being with regional and legal issues which don’t change so quickly.
Mobile applications will continue to dominate the conversation in smartphone-heavy markets. Mobile web will pick up steam after Q1 and newer devices will further blurr the line between web and native applications. Would be nice to see a bible software company lead in this area – Logos’s Biblia was a great stepping stone to this.
We will see people more empowered with mobile to create their own solutions through more app-wizard-like programs and processes. I’m not sure if it will come from the faith-based space or outside, but I can see a few groups doing more with mashup-technologies that empower individuals to create solutions, instead of waiting for a larger network to be the solution.
MMM in 2011
With 3/4 a year under the belt as MMM as Antoine’s primary focus – and the addition of two voices for regional and development interests, there’s been a lot of learning and pushing taking place. Here’s some of what you can expect from in 2011.
- Reorganizing the Mobile Bibles page
- More development of the mobile ministry definition and its applicable areas
- Adding additional contributors, with a goal of 1-2 primary contributors from outside our majority US/UK audience*
- Creating more opportunities for speaking/consulting engagements for our primary contributors
- Structuring a mobile ministry course offering around the Digital Disciples effort
- Redesigning the site
If you will, all of this is simply building on the core so that the depth of content hits on as many applications of mobile and digital faith explorations as possible.
2011 aims to be filled with a lot more sending and receiving of Christ in mobile and we invite you to be a part of the signal. Connect with MMM and let’s continue to enable the Body to see the intersection of faith and mobile technology.
*If you are interested in being a contributor to MMM, make your request known via the Contact Form. Include links to sample writing pieces, up to three (3) areas of focus/interest, and how often you’d be contributing by writing. Those who can write in a language besides English are heavily preferred, though all applicants are equally considered.