Archive for September, 2009

Have you entered the Smaato Mobile Advertising Awards?

September 30, 2009

Hi Ewan:

How are you?

I thought I send you a quick update on the Smaato Mobile Advertising Awards.

We have added a great line up of first class VC partners as a “prize” for the winners.
Mark Kvamme (Sequoia), Rich Wong (Accel) from Silicon Valley join Joerg Sievert (SAP Ventures) and our VC supporters from last year that included: Tim Draper (DFJ), aeris CAPITAL and Innovacom.
How do you like that?

We really thought hard on what a young and passionate mobile developer could want to get recognized and possibly a chance to get funding. So we thought a chance to meet 6 VC partners for the winners would be a great push and chance to get ahead of the game.

We also added some great, new benefits to all finalists: they will receive free deviceatlas.com enterprise license from mtld.mobi (the dot.mobi company) which is a great value an immidiate updates to the most accurate mobile device recognition solution around.

Here is some more detail on the Smaato Mobile Advertising Awards – deadline is approaching fast: October 9 for this contest!

We’ve built upon the success of last year’s awards (we had over 100 entries) and think we’ve come up with something bigger and better. This year, we’ve opened it up into three categories:

iPhone
Mobile website
Applications and games on all other mobile platforms

We’re trying to find the people who are making the coolest mobile content on the planet and when they’re found, by our panel of expert judges, they will of course receive some fantastic rewards. We are really proud of the jury this actually: the mobile influencers and shakers from all around the world!

For starters the winners will be whisked away to Mobile World Congress in February, we’ll book the flights and hotel so there’s no need to worry. We’ll introduce them to a number of VC’s on a partner level from Europe and the U.S. There loads of other prizes on offer too, including a booth at M-Days in Munich, Germany in January and free tickets to Mobile World Congress.

So, I’ve been talking about all that you can win, but how do you go about entering? It’s really, quite straightforward. All you need to do is head over here http://ping.fm/Zc7OJ choose your category and fill in the required information:

Entry to the awards is open now and closes on October 9th end of the day PST and the winners will be announced at the Mobile 2.0 conference in San Francisco on October 15th. You can find all the information on the awards here http://ping.fm/Zz6dU

Hopefully we’ll see you out there Ewan, if not before hand!

Speak soon

Harald

P.S. We had a kick-a** Kick-Off Party during MMA Forum on 9.9.9 at 9PM – Sorry you missed it 😉
P.P.S: I will be in London this week for the TechMediaInvest event. Are you planning to attend?

(My Original Blog Post: http://ping.fm/XnB20)

Jobs I’d Like To Have: Windows Mobile

September 30, 2009

As regular readers of Mobile Industry Review will know, I delight in discussing (nay, ripping-to-shreds) the merits of the Windows Mobile experience with people who should know better.

It’s such a thoroughly cathartic experience, it really is.

The red-rag-to-my-bull is somebody sitting in front of me and passing Windows Mobile off to me as something that’s efficient, smart or well put together.

I can move from annoyed to apoplectic within seconds if this random person then pulls out a bollocks Windows Mobile device and proceeds to tap-tap-tap with their stylus before exclaming, “See! It’s really pretty good!”

My party trick is to take these unsuspecting morons — because, I’m afraid that’s what you are if you buy Windows Mobile — and take their argument to pieces within 15 seconds.

15 seconds is all it takes.

Here’s what you do.

You ask them to run MSN Live. Or Windows Messenger. Or whatever the hell they’re calling it this week. Run that. Let it connect.

Then you ask them to run Inbox. And do a send-and-receive on their IMAP account. This is simply fantastic because of the resources it demands.

Then you get them to open a few other applications — Word / Excel or one or two independent apps.

Then get them to fire up Internet Explorer and visit http://www.yahoo.com — or the full-size MSN.com.

If the device isn’t already fucked by the operating system, it soon will be.

The pièce de résistance is this: You get out your phone and call them at the same time.

Watch their smiling face descend into confusion, alarm and outright annoyance as you explain, “It’s ringing… it’s ringing… Oh, now it’s your voicemail…”

Meanwhile their handset won’t even ring. That’s because the operating system is about 5 minutes behind reality busy trying to open a ‘tick’ sound file and re-draw the screen for one of the apps you tried launching back at the beginning of the exercise.

I did this, yet again, on Monday. And after the chap bowed his head in submission to my “Windows Mobile is Bollocks” position, he asked, “So, what would you do to fix it?”

Which brings me to this series I’m introducing today: Jobs I’d like to have. I’m going to explore the possibility in my mind — and share my thoughts here with you — about actually being in a position of control or influence at some of the companies we often write about here at Mobile Industry Review. I’ve already got quite a list of companies where I’d ‘like to work’ from the inside to fix. If you’d like to participate too, then get involved. Pick a company you’d like to work with and tell me — and the rest of the MIR audience — in about 500+ words, why. What you’d do. What you’d like to do. And we’ll publish it. (Mail me: ewan@mobileindustryreview.com)

So Windows Mobile.

How would I change it?

Goodness me.

I think they’ve had their chance. They’ve had their opportunity — indeed they more or less had the ‘smartphone’ segment to themselves for ‘decades’ (A year is a very long time in the mobile industry).

Is it too much to completely re-write it? I don’t think so. Version 6.5 made it look a lot nicer. But under the hood, it still seemed to manage memory extremely poorly. The hour-glass (or that thoroughly annoying little whirling circle) is just seconds away at most points. I think I’d want to get a mobile operating system genius — or team of geniuses — to either fix the slow and sluggish responses, rapidly and quickly, or to completely re-create it.

Many will be reading now, shaking heads, thinking that this cannot be done. You can’t just re-write an operating system in a day. Agreed. But maybe two days. A week to be safe? 😉

Ok… but get some very, very talented people in a room, give them all the resources they need (and right now, Microsoft has a TON — if slightly dwindling — of resources), implement some flippin’ good project and process managers, get the right can-do culture moving and make it happen. I reckon you could knock-out a beta in 2 months. Get it out to the planet and let folk start installing it on their own Windows Mobile handsets (with the provisio, of course, that it might brick). Open up the development process and bug tracking to anyone who’s interested. There’s a heck of a lot of pent-up love for Microsoft out there (and for Windows Mobile in particular).

Perhaps that’s crazy. Perhaps it’s just too difficult, to silly… perhaps you really do have to polish-the-turd.

If that was the case, then I’d really change around how Windows Mobile is encouraging and connecting with developers. I admire quite a lot of the strategies Microsoft has put in place, but I’d really like to see them do a heck of a lot more to appeal to the end-developers out there who’d like to see so much more done with the mobile platform. The next problem are the hardware manufacturers, chucking out some super-dooper devices that, after you’ve got by the gloss and the one-or-two features that they’ve included, are actually pretty boring.

My problem is that it’s so flipping difficult to do anything interesting with a Windows Mobile handset. You can sort-of do it. But you need the experience to rival and enhance the likes of the plethora of iPhone applications out there. I’d want to see development move from .Net to a framework that lets you, me and anyone on the planet with a bit of HTML experience knock out some really functional applications and services.

But I’d want this now. Quicker. Quicker. Fast.

The more I think about it, the more it’s obviously a heck of a lot easier to sit in the corner and throw one’s opinions about — and let somebody else worry about the actual day to day performance.

Still, I think helping Windows Mobile (or, the next generation) would be very exciting. That’s a job I’d like to have.

– – – –

So. What job would you like to have? Got any ideas? What would you like to fix or change? What kind of resources would you like to have?

Knock me over some words on this and I’ll publish (anonymously, if you like). As ever, I’m ewan@mobileindustryreview.com.

(My Original Blog Post: http://ping.fm/k8Uz7)

British iPhone plots his Apple iPhone data usage

September 30, 2009

For any mobile operator about to introduce the iPhone (I’m looking at you, Vodafone and you, Orange, in the UK), this will be of interest.

MIR reader, Derosnec, posted a comment this morning on yesterday’s iPhone operator poll discussion. (more…)

HulloMail’s Blackberry app makes their service even more valuable

September 30, 2009

I’ve been testing out the HulloMail Blackberry application for a little while now and I am thoroughly, thoroughly delighted.

The service, previous to the app, was still fantastic – but I found it ever so slightly annoying having to phone up to listen to messages in sequence. On my desktop, no problem, I just click ‘play’ from the email and I start hearing the audio.

The new HulloMail Blackberry app is a direct interface to your voicemails. Note that where possible, if the caller’s phone number is in my Google contacts, the caller’s name will be displayed.

To listen to a message I simply scroll to it and click. It plays. Brilllllliant. Like the iPhone voicemail system. I keep the app running in the background and switch to it whenever I need to. It’s fast, well designed — and I particularly like the fact I can update my greeting from the settings menu and return calls from the voicemail’s menu option.

If you haven’t yet evolved your voicemail facilities beyond your operator’s default service, take a strong look at HulloMail.

Posted via email from MIR Live

(My Original Blog Post: http://ping.fm/pzPwr)

A video tour of the new DropBox iPhone app

September 30, 2009

I’m a long time user of DropBox on my desktops and laptops — I have a about 35 gig stored on the service. DropBox gives me peace of mind — my local data is constantly backed up (with multiple and, if I like, unlimited versions), my data is synched ‘live’ with as many computers as I want — and I can share folders with friends, family and colleagues easily and without any trauma whatsoever.

They’ve launched an iPhone app. And I’ve made a little video walk-through showing you just how good it is. (more…)

Poll: What’s the best network for the iPhone?

September 29, 2009

Here’s the latest poll we’ve added on Mobile Industry Review:

(more…)

Bubble Motion hits one billion voice SMS messages

September 29, 2009

Congratulations to the team over at Bubble Motion. I’ve been following them for a long time — and they’ve just recently hit the magic 1 billion mark for the transmission of their voice SMS service. (more…)

Hugh Jackman and Daniel Craig super-annoyed by Blackberry ringing during performance

September 29, 2009

There is nothing more annoying that being sat in the theatre watching a riveting performance, only to have it rudely interrupted by some cock who’s left his mobile phone ringer on.
(more…)

Vodafone UK customers will get iPhone 3GS

September 29, 2009

Just yesterday I was getting a notable amount of email and phone calls from really quite annoyed Vodafone executives about Orange’s iPhone announcement yesterday.

There was a significant amount of discussion across the mobile community yesterday, a lot of it directed at how rubbish Vodafone had been for not getting the iPhone.

I mean… how bad do you have to be. Three hundred million plus customers and you can’t persuade Steve Jobs to give you the nod — and your biggest competitor (T-Mo/Orange) has just got the goods.

Awwwwh shucks!

There was no need to panic! The pain was transitory…

Vodafone and Apple today confirmed that they have reached agreement to bring iPhone 3G and iPhone 3GS to the UK and Ireland in early 2010.

Beginning today, Vodafone UK and Vodafone Ireland customers can register their interest in iPhone 3G and iPhone 3GS at www.vodafone.co.uk/iphone and www.vodafone.ie/iphone respectively. Pricing, tariffs and availability information will be announced locally in the future.

Vodafone now offers iPhone through thirteen of its operating companies.

Bring it ONNNN.

Now then, as another chap from Vodafone Group pointed out yesterday, “Don’t worry Ewan, it’ll be on Tesco Mobile before you know it.”

Goodness me, that can’t be far away now then…

So to all Vodafone UK customers sitting looking wistfully at their feature phones hoping for more…

(My Original Blog Post: http://ping.fm/JEowG)

Help: Icelandic company wants to buy UK premium rate services

September 28, 2009

I’ve been sent another marketplace request this evening, this time from a company in Iceland.

They’ve got a thriving mobile sports messaging alerts service which, of course, runs on premium rate. They emailed to ask how the UK does business and I explained that it was eminently possible to contract with one company to provide premium rate connections to all UK networks.

Who would I suggest? Well I’ve got a few suggestions in mind that I’ve talked with them about — but I said I’d open it up to the readers.

If you’ve got a premium SMS connection for the UK, could you drop me a note by email or post a reply here? I’ll simply forward your email to the company directly.

Here’s an overview of what they’re looking to do:

We’re interested in your reverse billing sms service (Premium Rate SMS).

We are currently running a very successful goal alert SMS service in Iceland and we are interested in expanding our service to the UK market.

Following is the process that we use in Iceland and could you please tell us if you can provide us with the same service or something similar.

Signup
– The customer enters his personal info and mobile number on our web site
– We send a single signup confirmation code via SMS to his mobile (this SMS is free of charge for the customer)
– The customer enters the confirmation code and the registration is complete
– After that the customer can choose what alerts he likes to get and also stop alerts.

Goal alert
– Depending on the customers registration an SMS Goal Alert is sent to his mobile and he is charged for every SMS that he receives

Resign (“Unsubscribe”)
– The customer logs into our web site and can resign from there

Lost password
– If the customer has lost his password he can select to get the password via SMS.

So could you please tell us if this setup could work with your service.

Once again — if you’d like to help these guys, drop me a note and I’ll forward it directly to them. I’m ewan@mobileindustryreview.com.

(My Original Blog Post: http://ping.fm/8SqbK)