Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Squace: the latest mobile internet navigator

I've been having a play with Squace this morning - which launched in Beta earlier this month.

It's a Swedish-based play to compete with the likes of Widsets and Mippin

In the same way as both you can create your own sites on it free (so for me, another place to vent the rss spleen of fasterfuture). Like Widsets (and unlike Mippin) you have to download a bit of software. Very intuitive and seemless for my Nokia N73 - as was the case when I tested Widsets.

I like the grid-like interface (it's a series of tiny squares which you scroll over to discover what you want) - it's a good effort at making a navigation which suits the mobile screen rather than following the list-like precedents of web1.0.

What I do like is that using the rss feed to build a site retains the links (even though if you do click a link to a page which has not been perfected for mobile the experience gets shaky. At least the opportunity to point is retained - a key element of the power of the network).

How does Squace stack up against my old moon-on-a-stick measures?

1. Really easy creation of mobile pages (on fixed line and on mobile)
2. Really easy ability to change the design to our tastes (and I'm thinking icons/desktop style as well as background colours and layout)
3. Ability to add and create rss feeds
4. Ability to add code snippets (ie YouTube video, google adsense)
5. Really easy share/ creator propogation (ie socially networked)
6. Enabled for social trade.
7. It has to be free to the site owner.
8. Option to offer as an application-based widget.

Squace scores well on 1, though I think you'd struggle to make a page via your mobile for it. It is very easy online (seconds of your time!).
On 2, halfway there, easy to add your own background image or logos. The grid (very well designed for mobile) can't be changed (correct me if I'm wrong on that, but it does appear fundamental).
3. Easy to add your rss feed.
4. Nope - can't add code snippets.
5. Easy share is very much front of mind.
6. Not as far as I can see.
7. Yep.
8. Not yet - let's see where the developer forum goes.

All in all, a very fine contribution to enabling the long tail of mobile internet. Many congrats - but not quite the full cigar.

How it works:

The rate of change is so rapid it's difficult for one person to keep up to speed. Let's pool our thoughts, share our reactions and, who knows, even reach some shared conclusions worth arriving at?