I attended my first BREW conference in San Diego last week. It was an excellent event by all measures – good sessions, announcements, and people. It's easily one of the best wireless events I've ever attended.
Qualcomm introduced a number of new components into the BREW platform. I had seen many of these concepts before, but from smaller companies. When I see them added into the BREW platform, I think, "OK, this is going to be mainstream. We're not simply talking about the dreams of a handful of entrepreneurs."
One of the first introductions of the week was with Adobe.
Full support of the Adobe three screen initiative with FLASH is big deal. A richer media environment eventually making it's way on to a lot of cell phones (Qualcomm stated that they had 100M devices in the market) is a good thing and will drive use of data services. Also made me wonder what else Qualcomm has in mind longer term – they had a demo of MediaFLO in the car. Will we see the BREW platform move beyond cell phones to portable media players or into the living room?
Support for off-deck content sales. This should open a lot of opportunities for smaller publishers as well as brands to get their applications on to more handsets.
Widgets … I feel like I've been speaking about the power of Widgets to drive adoption of data services on cell phones for a long time. I've been speaking about why it's not a great idea to try to shrink the desktop experience on to a small screen. (See research) However, when Andrew Gilbert and Paul Jacobs say the the mobile browser is not the future and that they don't believe in shrinking the desktop experience … wow, a lot of people listen. This was one of the best things I heard at the conference. Adding widget support to the BREW platform (with Plaza) should be exciting news for publishers.
Fierce has a thorough write-up of the news.