Comcast is venturing into the mobile world in more ways than one. Earlier this month the operator launched cable’s first WiMAX market via Clearwire in Portland. Today the company has its first mobile app available for connecting subscribers to Comcast TV, email, and voice services.
The new app is garnering praise in early reviews, particularly for its email and voicemail features. But I’m more interested in what the mobile app does for TV. Today you can only access listings and program details on the Guide, and movie trailers from the On Demand link. With Comcast’s On Demand Online initiative underway, however, I have to assume the app is built to evolve. If Comcast is planning to put programming online anyway, why not bake it in to the mobile app? Yes there is the issue of Flash vs. QuickTime presentation, but that is solvable. (At the CDN level and in other ways) Also, Comcast currently has a lot more freedom to adjust the IP-based interface than it does to roll out changes to set-top guides. That means we should see faster improvements online and in the mobile app arena, not to mention more integration of services through the IP interface. One integration that’s already in place? Integrated search across linear and on-demand listings. Sweet.