One of the best things about living in New York or more and more "Silicon Alley" is the amount of really cool technology conferences that are on.
On Saturday i got to share some time with about 100 or so amazing people at http://barcamp.org/MobileCampNYC
So here's my take - mobile application development is really moving along, there were some things coming out of the NYU ITP class that made my head spin (even if I'm not sure they grasped all the commercial aspects of what they were working on), almost makes me want to go and enroll in a few classes there.
Was also surprised by Nokia's attitude to embedded web servers in the handsets themselves (specifically S60's), especially that exposed API's for all hardware and built in applications address book-numbers dialed etc) As for why having a web server on your handset is so cool I'm going to skip for this post as it's a full post on it's own.
So here is the issue as I see it;
Everything sucks and is doomed for commercial failure....for the moment.
The issue at the moment is all these applications are handset specific OR carrier specific, talk about niche markets - not only are you targetting the 'bleeding edge' users (not necessarily but more about that another time) but you are tageting this small fraction of users that 'happen' to be using the brand (and sometimes model - eg Nokia's webserver application only works on the Series 3 version of the S60) so you build the worlds coolest mobile application that can only be used by 3% of users who class themselves as bleeding edge AND you only get to build it on the 10% of them who are using the model of handset your application is designed for.
The same issue with Physical World Hyperlink applications...get a freaking standard and stick to it - there is no point if I have one application for a marketing campaign, then another for my amazon upc app, then another for my subway "e-money" app.
Having said all that.... It's still very cool. - this situation will change in the blink of an eye but for the moment it's time to watch and learn without necessarily giving up your day job.
Anyway thats my thoughts - always interested in people challenging my take.
P.S. If you are interesting in running a webserver on your handset apparently the apache crew have a mobile server under the code "racoon" that is gaining some good traction.