Wearables, Mozilla’s $25 Smartphone & Other Highlights from Mobile World Congress

A couple weeks ago, New Relic made its very first appearance at Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, and with over 70,000 attendees, 1,800 exhibitors, and eight halls spanning an entire mile, it was easily one of the most energizing conferences we’ve ever been to. We met with hundreds of mobile developers at our booth in App Planet, while our very own Darin Swanson participated in a podcast discussion run by the Application Developers Alliance on mobile apps (more on that, including a link to the podcast, to come!). There were all sorts of announcements and new products on showcase, but for us, the following highlights caught our attention most.

Wearables, wearables, and more wearables

From smart watches to smart toothbrushes, MWC had it all. Procter and Gamble launched a Bluetooth-connected toothbrush that gives personalized advice on brushing habits to help people improve their dental hygiene. Smartwatch fitness trackers that doubled up as heart sensors and pedometers were the norm with announcements from Samsung, Huawei and Motorola. Motorola also made a special mention of wanting to make wearable tech that was more “like pieces of jewelry, rather than the ugly wearable tech of today.” Existing wearables company, Fitbit, had a strong presence as well and the lines outside their booth were never short. Viva La Wearables.

The $25 smartphone

Mozilla announced their much anticipated $25 Firefox OS smartphone targeted mainly towards cost-sensitive markets in developing economies like India and Indonesia. Although it might be  a little slow to load data, and is probably missing some key features and apps (think WhatsApp), it works pretty well for the price point, and is a good feature-phone alternative, signaling a possible end of the feature-phone market even in developing nations. In fact, Mozilla already has deals in place with some of the phone makers and carriers in Indonesia to make and sell these devices.

The Planet of the Apps

One of the most critical components of the smartphone ecosystem — yes, mobile applications — had their own dedicated hall (App Planet), and this is where the majority of mobile app developers spent most of their time networking with the more than 200 exhibitors, gaining knowledge on different topics like monetization, performance management, and APIs. Some countries, like Japan and Estonia, even had booths set up dedicated to app development in their individual countries.

New Relic was excited to be a part of this, and talk to developers about their app performance management and monitoring needs. It was very clear that since we officially launched our mobile app monitoring solution in 2013, things have definitely started picking up in the mobile APM space. More and more developers are starting to understand the importance of a 24/7 performance monitoring solution for their mobile apps, specifically one that doesn’t just report on app crashes.

And if you want to get your hands on one of our new t-shirts (which were a huge hit at the conference), simply deploy the New Relic SDK and we’ll send one to your doorstep. See you again at MWC 2015!



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