When was the last time you went somewhere without your mobile phone? Or tablet? Whether assisting us with work or keeping us plugged in to the wider world around us, mobile technology plays such an important part of our day-to-day lives that we rarely leave the house anymore without a device to keep us connected.
This reality was no more evident than when 85,000 people (a new attendance high) descended on Barcelona last week for the Mobile World Congress (MWC), to hear the latest from the star names in the industry on how mobile continues to transform our lives. This year’s show, branded as the ‘biggest and best yet!’ did not disappoint, with launches from Samsung and Nokia, keynotes from Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg and a conference center full of the biggest names in mobile, networking and telecoms.
As you would expect, social media was alive and keeping even those who couldn’t make the trip to sunny Spain, in touch with the latest innovations and technology. Here’s a snapshot of the most talked about topics:
Unsurprisingly, network security was on the lips of most MWC attendees this year, after the revelations of Edward Snowden in 2013 sent waves through the mobile community. Mozilla and Samsung stepped to the forefront of the conversation and announced new projects that they say will ensure the security of data in the easiest way possible: Mozilla with its Future of Mobile Privacy project and Samsung offering a new version of its Knox security product. After facing a stream of glitches over the last year, BlackBerry did all it could to reassure customers of its legacy in the space and promised new enterprise software, including a secure version of its BlackBerry Messenger (BBM) for companies to keep messaging secure – are companies even still using BlackBerry Messenger?
Juniper Networks warned that, as companies move to IP networks that were “inherently less secure”, security was going to continue to be an issue and would have to be at the forefront of any organization.
There’s always an excitement about which new companies will take first place in the race to the top over the next year, but MWC is also an opportunity for the old boys to show off their new tricks. And this year was no different.
Nokia announced three new Nokia X handsets using Android’s open source code, but with access to the Nokia app store as opposed to Google Play. Consumer reactions were mixed…
I had expected Nokia would have optimized things, but that didn’t seem to be the case when I played with Nokia X at MWC. :/
Nokia *finally* joins the android club!! Nokia X launched today to run on Android! #MWC
John Chen, current CEO of BlackBerry was determined to use MWC as a platform to prove that all has not been lost. He promised a new version of BlackBerry Enterprise Server (BES 12) by the end of the year. No doubt we’ll all be watching and waiting to see if this improves BlackBerry’s prospects over the coming months.
Wearable technology is another theme that we are seeing more and more of and, perhaps in an effort to top CES in Las Vegas earlier this year, wearable gadgets were out in force at MWC.
With the advent of Google Glass, firms are competing with each other to showcase their latest offerings – ranging from smart watches to heart monitors, to fitness bands, and even an integrated pulse measuring system in the latest Samsung phone. How will all these cool contraptions have an influence on our lives? Through our smartphones of course!
“The continued expansion of the event to address key adjacent industry sectors demonstrates just how persuasive mobile is in our everyday lives and how integrated it is becoming in everything that we do.” – GSMA, MWC organizers.
How does all of this impact us, you ask? Talk on the floor suggests that we won’t be drastically altering our smartphone behavior just yet. The mobile industry may be growing, but it still has a long way to go.