Jason Wilde from the Nature Publishing Group (NPG) spoke about some of the things they learned while developing mobile services for their publications.
Mobile technology has exploded, and developing for mobile devices is not so simple. There are many kinds of operating systems and devices. The US has a focus on Apple, Android and Blackberry, while Europe has a lot of devices that use Symbian. Different demographics (physicians, faculty, students, and industry workers) also have different types of technology, and they also use those devices in different ways.
Timeline: Nature Reader for iPod/iPhone released 2/10; Nature Genome released for iPad 7/10; Scientific American for iPad 12/10; Nature Reader for iPad 1/11; Kindle ebook 2/11.
What have they learned? Mobile users are different from web-users. They register a lot more as users, they are repeat users, and they spend more time on the site.
Kindle - Graphics and images don’t display very well on the gray scale screen.
The iPad is where the action is headed. Will develop more in that direction. Will continue to use Flipbook for summary views of the articles.
Feedback from scientists will continue to drive changes, since publishers want to provide what the scientists want and need. NPG will continue with promotion and marketing.