I work in a large company and have been doing web site building, SEO, web design and web strategy for 12 years.
Just about every person I work with has an iphone. Some have both an ipad and iphone. A few have android smartphones. Others’ 5 year old kids have ipads or iphones. It’s not a fad, it’s the future of computing.
My company does not reimburse employees for any mobile devices. With the lousy economy there is no prospect of that policy changing. However they have been content to allow BYOD (bring your own device) -- maybe because it saves them having to buy so many new computers.
Clearly experiencing the nature of mobile apps requires letting the device infiltrate your life so you appreciate the possibilities. So many apps tie into location services or other sensors to enable all kinds of new and exciting things. I don’t think a simulator on a desktop computer will give you the insight into what the device can do.
Due to an unfortunate series of events I cannot afford to spend $2000 on an iphone (the true cost when you factor in the 2 year commitment) or $700 on an ipad. It wouldn’t matter if the true cost of either was only $500, it is still out of reach.
Here’s the insane part: I am responsible for recommending the company’s mobile strategy for web. As in should we be making apps, responsive websites or just html5 pseudo-apps? If we make apps, should they be for all platforms? Just iOS? What tools to use?
Certainly you can read about what’s going on in industry journals or Gartner reports. I've bought a shelf full of books on how to make apps. However how credible is the recommendations of a web professional who has no experience with any mobile devices? It’s fairly obvious to coworkers whether you have a mobile device or not, since everyone is constantly showing new apps to each other or playing back videos or texting on them, or complaining about AT&T or even writing apps.
What to do? It’s just driving me crazy as I feel my career will suffer.