Web 2.0 Applications

Pattern 5: Software above the level of a singel device

Smartphones are becoming more and more popular, and because of that the mobile web is getting very important. If your application is only possible to use on a laptop, then you are loosing many valuable users. Right from the beginning of your development you need to think about that the user wants to be able to use your application on his or her phone. You either need to create a scaleable application, that adust to the size of the screen, or you need to make a stand alone application for different devices. Facebook is doing both, you can choose to use the browser on your phone, or the application they have special made for small screens. The difference between those two applications is that the special made one is a lightweight version of Facebook. Its size is made for small screens, it have bigger buttons so its easier to use the touch screen and it have less features so the application doesnt get to heavy.

Spotify is technically not a web application, but I’m going to use them anyway because they use the web platform in a suberb way. You stream music from a collection of 8 million songs, that are constantly growing. You can make playlists, and easily share them with your friends. You can choose between a free account with commercials, or paying 99 NOK (about 18AUD$) a month to get a premium account. With the record sale dropping and piracy growing, this kind of music sharing is, in my opinion, the future for the music industry. But because it is still in the start-up phase, its not available in countries like Australia yet.

Okey, to the point. Why is Spotify a good example of “software above the level of a singel device”? Spotify has created an application for iPhone, Android and Symbian. That is very valuable for the users because you can use Spotify wherever you are. One of the problems with creating an application for mobiles is that they can get too heavy. The mobile internet isnt  too good, and the phones arent powerful enough yet. Another problem is the fact that mobile web is often very expensive, so if you are going to stream from the web everytime you want to listen to some music, it gets expensive. But with Spotify you dont have this problem. If you have a premium account, you can set your playlists to offline. That means that you can listen to music even without internet. You are also always in sync with your computer. You can log in to any computer or device that has Spotify and get access to your own playlists. One more thing that are nice with using Spotify for music playing is that you dont have to fill up your computer or device with music.

One of the issues with having your application available on several devices is walled gardens. Apple has an absolute controll over what and who can publish applications on their phones. Spotify had to convince Apple letting them have an IPhone application, which I cant imagine was easy considering Spotify is competition to Apples beloved ITunes.

What is the benefits for Spotify to use other devices as well as the desktop application? The users can access their music anywhere, which can open to new markeds as well as satisfying the old ones.

Take a look at this demo for the IPhone application!


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  1. * adamcarew says:

    Hello 😀

    Excellent Blog! I think this Application is a brilliant idea! just a shame, due to legal reasons, it’s not available in Australia yet 😦

    Adam Carew

    | Reply Posted 8 years, 2 months ago
    • * nymphad says:

      Thanks! Im happy you like it!:)

      Yeah, it really is.. I love Spotify, dont know what I would do if they suddenly stopped existing. Hopefully they will be available in more countries soon!:)

      | Reply Posted 8 years, 2 months ago
  2. * cwcinb347 says:

    Sounds great, but it looks like you need to have an invite for Spotify free and its still not available in Australia yet.

    | Reply Posted 8 years, 2 months ago
    • * nymphad says:

      Yeah, you do.. But to get an invite isnt difficult at all.. Its currently only available in Sweden, Spain, Norway, Finland, France and the United Kingdom. Which is a shame! But they are working on getting it out to more countries.. The record companies are still skeptic to services like Spotify, thats why it takes so long time.

      | Reply Posted 8 years, 2 months ago
  3. * Jack Marrows says:

    Great Blog. I am glad that you mentioned the issues surround phone connectivity. This can be a real problem when streaming. It sounds like Spotify have a clever way to reducing piracy. Offer a high quality service, convenient to use at a reasonable price.

    | Reply Posted 8 years, 2 months ago
    • * nymphad says:

      Hi Jack! Thanks for the comment! Yes, they do indeed. I am an excellent example of that! I am happy to pay to be able to use Spotify 🙂

      | Reply Posted 8 years, 2 months ago
  4. * Nick Jones says:

    I love app’s on my iphone and reliability is always a concern of mine. App’s are a good example of software above a single device because they use a many devices, But if they are not reliable (need a connection) then it can be quite frustrating for the user. That said, I like that Spotify is a great app because it has the option of offline functionality. I think this could be a real success.

    | Reply Posted 8 years, 2 months ago
  5. * danhendo says:

    Very intersting. Sounds like a promising app. Just a couple of quick questions

    1. Is it due to the fact it is still in a startup phase or due to legal reasons it is not in Australia
    2. Is it available in the US or just in Europe?

    Also, as you stated very interesting that Apple approved it for its app store given the competition iTunes and Apple’s record of not normally welcoming such competition.

    | Reply Posted 8 years, 2 months ago
    • * nymphad says:

      Its because of the record companies. They arent sure whether Spotify can give them enough income, so they want Spotify to do more to ensure that more users buy the premium package. Atm most of the users is using the free one. But they are working on it, so hopefully you will get it in Australia as well:)
      Its not available in the US yet, but according to Daniel Ek, which is the founder, they will release this year.

      Yes, it is quite interesting. Everyone was very pleased, and a but surprised, when IPhone agreed.

      (The link is in Norwegian, so you have to run it through Google Translate if you want to read)

      | Reply Posted 8 years, 2 months ago

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