Mobile Microblogging Devices. A List that Doesn’t Include Intel.

Updated on 12 November 2019 by

Back in Feb, I listed a set of devices that should be high on your list if you’re thinking about mobile microblogging. It included MIDs and UMPCs. As the market for mobile social networking, mobile web search, mobile content creation, location based services and lifestreaming (my rough definition of Mobile Microblogging) gathers steam we’re seeing more and more devices coming into the segment and it’s mainly from the smartphone sector. UMPCs and MIDs aren’t getting a look-in. In fact, in my latest list, below, you won’t find a MID or UMPC.

Smartphones with bigger, higher resolution screens and high-end processors are appearing on the radar almost every week. Smartphone-based mobile software development is increasing too as more and more mobile device application stores tempt developers with easy-to-use, rich SDKs and APIs, a channel that reaches right down to millions of users devices and a good cut of any earnings.

ringoffieWhat’s really interesting about the Mobile Microblogging phenomenon is that very little software development is happening for today’s Intel MIDs, the very devices that were targeted into this segment. Intel have stopped work on the Moblin OS for them and they’re effectively UMPCs. You could even argue that there are no Intel MIDs any more! They are being totally left behind in both software and hardware until Intel push the reset button when Moorestown MIDs with Moblin hit the market. Until then, it’s desktop operating systems for MIDs and UMPCs.

You won’t find an easy-to-use, small-screen, GPS-enabled search service on Windows. You can’t even link Google Maps to a GPS on the browser. Forget the thought of a compass helping with augmented reality, an accelerometer, an FM receiver with RDS or, if you’re into internet photography, a half-decent snapshot camera. There’s no application store either. Only on smartphones will you find the creative software and hardware that is driving the mobile microblogging market and making it exciting, fresh, competitive and, quite frankly, desirable.

Moblin-based MIDs do have a chance as do Maemo 5 based devices but you won’t find any on the market yet so it’s going to take time for the developers to warm to those platforms. Come back in 2010 to discuss that!

Apple and Android have done a lot for the new generation of mobile internet devices and usage scenarios and so it should be no surprise to see smartphones dominating this Mobile Microblogging segment to the point where UMPCs and MIDs don’t get a look-in. UMPCs and Netbooks still have big  advantages for general purpose, day-to-day productive computing but if mobile creativity is your thing, there’s nothing better than the new generation of smartphones.

One could argue that smartphones have grown into the MID segment but for me it was always about usage scenarios rather than device categories. As Intel said, communication, location, entertainment and productivity. It’s a shame that Intel’s MIDs aren’t living up to their own hype yet. (see my recent Moorestown article for thoughts about 2010)

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21 Comments For This Post

  1. Steve 'Chippy' Paine says:

    My list of top Mobile Microblogging devices. Intel not inside. See which one I bought. http://cli.gs/udvPL

  2. Pavels Romanovskis says:

    RT @chippy: My list of top Mobile Microblogging devices. Intel not inside. See which one I bought. http://cli.gs/udvPL

  3. turn_self_off says:

    Technically, recently(today in fact) released firefox 3.5 should allow a gps enabled device to share its position data with a correctly enabled page…

  4. chippy says:

    I thought FF3.5 would only use Google Location Service and not a local GPS device. Happy to be wrong because it will be a great step forward for geo-enabled web apps.

  5. turn_self_off says:

    hrmf, seems i was wrong about the gps thing, tho i could have sworn thats how its been presented in the past…

  6. turn_self_off says:

    Ugh, as i poke at it, i find contradictory data.

    Best i can tell is that it defaults to the google service, but should also be able to make use of a GPS device, if so found (or something).

  7. chippy says:

    I think the idea is to allow a plugin to access GPS data and feed to FF3.5 but I agree, there’s some contradictory info out there.

  8. turn.self.off says:

    Yep, thats the impression im left with to…

    Odd that they could not include a bit of code that could maybe read a com port and collect gps data…

  9. Vadim says:

    May be offtopic, but new FF 3.5 is SO FAST! I’m realy impressed..

  10. Wishmaster says:

    Chippy check toshiba k01 it is tg01(you mistyped it LG01) but with slideout keyboard with capacitive touchscreen should come early next year so it may suggest that it will be released with wm7 all at 16mm. Considering that tg01 has USB host option k01 should have too only video out(miniHDMI or DVI) is something that should be included in k01 to make it the best ultraportable.
    You should keep an eye on this one!

  11. Chippy says:

    Wishmaster. Thanks for that. Correction made. k01 now on the watchlist!

    Steve

  12. animatio says:

    nice assay again, chippy. you show again that the market, means the user decides which way to go, the street to chose and not a company . at least not if she is not willing to kep in close contact with the custoners and to respect their opinin and wishes.
    water finds always its own way downhill – if hindered it will force it

  13. animatio says:

    just forgot to mention the new mobiles that are capable to act as pda, smartphone, camera (still and motion), gps, modem, digital TV/radio, video/music player, usb data storage device (using mini sd cards) … just got such one, didn’t cost me more than 200 bucks. the ideal companion to my netbook.

  14. suchus says:

    I’m really happy with my new 32GB iPhone 3G S.
    It’s probably not the best device when it comes to productivity, due to the lack of a physical keyboard.
    However, for everything else it is absolutely perfect (at least for me).

    Cheers,
    suchus

  15. admin says:

    I really think Apple could reach out to a new sector if they did hardware keyboard on a device. I doubt they will do it though. Shame.

  16. Ken Neal says:

    Chippy, you are on the right track, to find a device for microblogging. My similar interest could be called Micro-Business. Imagine the same device with PTab spreadsheet, and maybe someday a mobile OpenOffice.

    Intel has a quickly shrinking window to make Moorestown comparable. There is no doubt they will get the hardware done. Moblin sounds interesting, but unless they get a large base of software, it will go slow. Moorestown doesn’t run Windows initally, it seems.

    You made a great choice on a device. Now that Apple has gone Cortex, the others will have to follow shortly. HTC is rushing to sell Touch Pro 2 before they will look slow to the rest. Concerning the devices without keyboards, a BT one seams a workable solution.

    I see you did not alter this site’s name. I am glad you covered this subject. Still cannot find a good name for these Unique Mobile Phone Computers.

  17. Vakeros says:

    Of course it could stand for
    Ultimate Mobile Portal Creator

    For a door either to the cloud or to blogging sites etc. I sampling a Kohjinsha SX4 with built in 3G, 3MP camera and 1.3 Webcam. Just need GPS and I’ll have everthing on Chippy’s list – once the software comes for Geologging….

  18. admin says:

    Unique Mobile Personal Communicators? ;-)

    Vakeros, I just don’t see the location based software coming to the ‘desktop’ OS soon. It’s funny, like the smartphone arena always lags on FIE, the desktop is going to always be behind on advanced mobile services like this.

    Steve.

  19. animatio says:

    @Ken Neal. as far as winmobile is concernd exists a full office suite (ms compatible) – softmaker office (text, spreadsheet, database, powerpoint)

  20. Christian Kurz says:

    I think windows mobile is the next OS generation, though its not quite there.
    Until WM7 or WM8 a dual OS solution like “Snapvue” on th HTC Shift is the way to go.
    Mobile device really need to get rid of the booting process. They need to get more serious software too.
    By incororating a dual OS solution you get both until a newer Windows Mobile will be able to replace the Desktop OS`s…

  21. Vakeros says:

    A dual OS will remain due to legacy apps. whether it is possible to be dealt with in virtual windows as Win7 is meant to be doing for XP and previous OSes.
    If WM7 ticks all the right boxes that they are talking about, then you might see it spread to bigger devices. With the power of ARM processors increasing, you can already run Virtual OSes on a smartphone (though limited to older ones), with the release of Win7 and WM7 it might be possible to run both on one chip. With one of them virtualised. The problem with Snapvue is it requires a separate chip – thus increasing cost and complexity.

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