Something occurred to me yesterday: the fixed Internet enjoyed a period of rapid innovation between 1995 and 1998 as improved browsers were released with new capabilities (images, Javascript, plugins, Java, Flash) and adopted quickly. Ooh a new Netscape - quick! Download it!

Mobile hasn't enjoyed this cycle of rapid upgrades and is increasingly fragmented, partly because of the difficulty of upgrading or installing software which is typically baked into the devices. Yes, you can do firmware upgrades (and it's even technically possible to do them over the air) but it's hardly simple. And all those folks hanging round with older phones are a headache to deal with.

Is this somewhere where downloadable Java or Flash apps could help? What if we bundle the means of viewing content in with the content itself, so that refreshing one refreshes (upgrades, updates, bug-fixes) the other? Would a framework for producing these lightweight apps be more workable than a traditional browser-based means of distributing content, even if it duplicates some of the functionality of browsers?