Archive for February, 2010

Lee Williams talks Social Mobile Framework with Sasken

February 28, 2010

Before we took a stroll around Mobile World Congress with Symbian Foundation Executive Director, Lee Williams, Symbian‘s Executive Director, Rafe and I took Lee over to meet Sasken. They’re a major contributor to the new open source code (in particular, the Social Mobile Framework). Here’s Lee talking to one of the Sasken representatives:

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

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Taking mobile phone pictures in UK shopping malls means you’re probably a paedophile

February 27, 2010

You know it’s got a little bit crazy in the United Kingdom when mall security guards have stopped worrying about pickpockets and shoplifters in order to focus on parents taking mobile phone pictures of their children. Or at least, that appears to be the case if you’re stupid enough to shop at the Bridges Shopping Centre in Sunderland.

Sky News reports this incident today:

Kevin Geraghty-Shewan had taken four-year-old Ben to the Bridges Shopping Centre in Sunderland to spend £10 the boy had been given as a treat.

He told Sky News: “Ben spotted a children’s ride which had a train on it and wanted to have a go because he’s obsessed with trains.

“When he got on my wife suggested we take a picture of him.

“I took the picture on my phone and suddenly this security guard came up and told me it wasn’t allowed because I could be a paedophile.

“I told him Ben was my own son. But he said I couldn’t prove it. He said there is a real problem with paedophiles and that if I didn’t like it, he’d call the manager.

The centre employees apparently then called the Police who approached Mr Geraghty-Shewan and threatened to delete the photos. Until Mr Geraghty-Shewan put his foot down.

What an absolutely ridiculous occurrence. Absolutely ridiculous. I’d have done exactly as Mr Geraghty-Shewan did and made it utterly clear that the security guards — and the Police — could mind their own sodding business.

Surely it’s possible to tell the difference between a dad taking a picture of his son and some dodgy looking guy taking pictures of any children?

I trust this incident will cause a correction to the policies of the security guards at The Bridges Shopping Mall.

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

Keep your phone *ON* if you want to compete in the Olympics

February 26, 2010

Noah from PhoneDog produced this video to illustrate the point that one should always keep their phone *ON* if one is waiting for a call as to whether one can compete in the Olympics…

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

Video: Ben Keighran, Co-Founder of app-discovery behemoth, Chomp

February 25, 2010

Ben Keighran is Co-Founder of one of the hottest Silicon Valley app startups I’ve come across, Chomp. The primary focus for the company is to significantly boost app discovery, initially on the iPhone platform. One of the key facts that Ben and co-founder Cathy discovered during their initial research was that people tend to download apps as a result of the recommendation of a friend or a trusted third-party.

If that’s the case, reasoned the team, why not make it easy for me to see the apps that my friends are downloading and rating? Further, why don’t we make it stupid-simple to quickly rate any app we want to — and browse a firehose of other ratings? And wouldn’t it be good to deliver personalised recommendations based on the ratings people submit? While we’re at it, why don’t we take a supremely lucrative affiliate revenue stream from any purchases made as a result of giving people access to this kind of information?

That’s Chomp. It’s utter, utter genius.

To rate an app, you simply search for it and either click the red heart (“love”) or the black and broken heart (“no thank you”) and provide an optional 60 character comment. Done. If you’re looking for inspiration, check out the live app reviews section which is buzzing 24/7. One of the rather cool features is the ability to ‘follow’ other users — and if you’re wondering what apps Kevin Rose or iJustine are enjoying, just click on to the ‘app celebrities’ section and follow them. You’ll get updates every time they rate an app. There’s also the obligatory ‘top reviewers this week’ which shows that giantdolphin50 is way out in the lead with over 800 ratings. The last thing he loved? The Whole Foods Market Recipes (“If you really like 2 eat healthy, this is the app 4 u”).

Chomp launched on the 1st of January this year. Ben and his team were hoping for a modest amount of traction and perhaps a few thousand ratings from the odd new user to get them started. Within 7 days they’d garnered 111,000 ratings. I didn’t ask, but I imagine the Chomp team were, as we say in London, ‘properly shocked’ at the way users reacted. Before they knew it they’d been featured — twice — on the App Store’s top 25 hot apps section. Fast forward 31 days and they’ve done over a million ratings already, ensuring Chomp is well on its way to owning the discovery segment and making the dreams come true of application developers around the planet.

Step forward please, the makers of the 2do App. I’d never heard of it until I saw somebody rate it as a ‘really good to do list application‘.

“I’ll have that,” I thought. Baam. It was paid for an on my device. Likewise ‘Air Sharing’ and ‘ConvertBot’.

If you’d like to see what I’m rating, I’m ew4n on Chomp. Add me!

Right then, let’s have a look at Part 1 of the interview with Ben. I strongly recommend watching, particularly if you’re a developer or at all interested in mobile applications.

(My Original Blog Post: http://ping.fm/Eu7Az)

Prototype Novatel Wireless MiFi Unit does 18Mbps 4G over-the-air

February 25, 2010

One of the most valuable pieces of kit in my mobile hardware collection is my trusty Novatel Wireless 2352 unit that I have been testing for a long time. Novatel sent me a review unit a while ago and goodness me I’ve been putting it through it’s paces. It’s simply fantastic to be able to bring up a wireless hotspot wherever I go.

It’s so good, that I turned to Novatel when I was in New York and needed a decent CDMA data connection. I bought one of Verizon’s branded Novatel units and used it on a pay-as-you-go basis for a week. Super, super, SUPER fast. Faster than my hotel’s fixed line internet connection — a victory for both Novatel and Verizon.

Turns out that a 4G Novatel MiFi unit might not be very far away. This is particularly relevant given that Sprint are busy rolling out 4G in various metropolitan areas across the United States right now. This week, Novatel performed a test with one of their 4G prototype units, thus:

Novatel today announced that it has successfully completed over the air testing of its new MiFi(TM) Intelligent Mobile Hotspot prototype based on 4G-WiMAX (Worldwide Interoperability for Microwave Access). Novatel’s WiMAX implementation immediately achieved throughput of 18Mbps in over-the-air testing and can support theoretical peak throughput speeds exceeding 30Mbps downlink and 10Mbps uplink in a 10 MHz channel.

Good good. More please! I’m looking forward to the point whereby I can actually use a MiFi unit to send a 200mb Mobile Industry Review video up to the web in a couple of seconds.

(My Original Blog Post: http://ping.fm/eWPH8)

Video: Ben Keighran, Co-Founder of app-discovery behemoth, Chomp

February 25, 2010

Ben Keighran is Co-Founder of one of the hottest Silicon Valley app startups I’ve come across, Chomp. The primary focus for the company is to significantly boost app discovery, initially on the iPhone platform. One of the key facts that Ben and co-founder Cathy discovered during their initial research was that people tend to download apps as a result of the recommendation of a friend or a trusted third-party.

If that’s the case, reasoned the team, why not make it easy for me to see the apps that my friends are downloading and rating? Further, why don’t we make it stupid-simple to quickly rate any app we want to — and browse a firehose of other ratings? And wouldn’t it be good to deliver personalised recommendations based on the ratings people submit? While we’re at it, why don’t we take a supremely lucrative affiliate revenue stream from any purchases made as a result of giving people access to this kind of information?

That’s Chomp. It’s utter, utter genius.

To rate an app, you simply search for it and either click the red heart (“love”) or the black and broken heart (“no thank you”) and provide an optional 60 character comment. Done. If you’re looking for inspiration, check out the live app reviews section which is buzzing 24/7. One of the rather cool features is the ability to ‘follow’ other users — and if you’re wondering what apps Kevin Rose or iJustine are enjoying, just click on to the ‘app celebrities’ section and follow them. You’ll get updates every time they rate an app. There’s also the obligatory ‘top reviewers this week’ which shows that giantdolphin50 is way out in the lead with over 800 ratings. The last thing he loved? The Whole Foods Market Recipes (“If you really like 2 eat healthy, this is the app 4 u”).

Chomp launched on the 1st of January this year. Ben and his team were hoping for a modest amount of traction and perhaps a few thousand ratings from the odd new user to get them started. Within 7 days they’d garnered 115,000 ratings. I didn’t ask, but I imagine the Chomp team were, as we say in London, ‘properly shocked’ at the way users reacted. Before they knew it they’d been featured — twice — on the App Store’s top 25 hot apps section. Fast forward 31 days and they’ve done over a million ratings already, ensuring Chomp is well on its way to owning the discovery segment and making the dreams come true of application developers around the planet.

Step forward please, the makers of the 2do App. I’d never heard of it until I saw somebody rate it as a ‘really good to do list application‘.

“I’ll have that,” I thought. Baam. It was paid for an on my device. Likewise ‘Air Sharing’ and ‘ConvertBot’.

If you’d like to see what I’m rating, I’m ew4n on Chomp. Add me!

Right then, let’s have a look at Part 1 of the interview with Ben. I strongly recommend watching, particularly if you’re a developer or at all interested in mobile applications.

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

Video: Ben Keighran, Co-Founder of app-discovery behemoth, Chomp

February 25, 2010

Ben Keighran is Co-Founder of one of the hottest Silicon Valley app startups I’ve come across, Chomp. The primary focus for the company is to significantly boost app discovery, initially on the iPhone platform. One of the key facts that Ben and co-founder Cathy discovered during their initial research was that people tend to download apps as a result of the recommendation of a friend or a trusted third-party.

If that’s the case, reasoned the team, why not make it easy for me to see the apps that my friends are downloading and rating? Further, why don’t we make it stupid-simple to quickly rate any app we want to — and browse a firehose of other ratings? And wouldn’t it be good to deliver personalised recommendations based on the ratings people submit? While we’re at it, why don’t we take a supremely lucrative affiliate revenue stream from any purchases made as a result of giving people access to this kind of information?

That’s Chomp. It’s utter, utter genius.

To rate an app, you simply search for it and either click the red heart (“love”) or the black and broken heart (“no thank you”) and provide an optional 60 character comment. Done. If you’re looking for inspiration, check out the live app reviews section which is buzzing 24/7. One of the rather cool features is the ability to ‘follow’ other users — and if you’re wondering what apps Kevin Rose or iJustine are enjoying, just click on to the ‘app celebrities’ section and follow them. You’ll get updates every time they rate an app. There’s also the obligatory ‘top reviewers this week’ which shows that giantdolphin50 is way out in the lead with over 800 ratings. The last thing he loved? The Whole Foods Market Recipes (“If you really like 2 eat healthy, this is the app 4 u”).

Chomp launched on the 1st of January this year. Ben and his team were hoping for a modest amount of traction and perhaps a few thousand ratings from the odd new user to get them started. Within 7 days they’d garnered 115,000 ratings. I didn’t ask, but I imagine the Chomp team were, as we say in London, ‘properly shocked’ at the way users reacted. Before they knew it they’d been featured — twice — on the App Store’s top 25 hot apps section. Fast forward 31 days and they’ve done over a million ratings already, ensuring Chomp is well on its way to owning the discovery segment and making the dreams come true of application developers around the planet.

Step forward please, the makers of 2do. I’d never heard of it until I saw somebody rate it as a ‘really good to do list application’.

“I’ll have that,” I thought. Baam. It was paid for an on my device. Likewise ‘Air Sharing’ and ‘ConvertBot’.

If you’d like to see what I’m rating, I’m ew4n on Chomp. Add me!

Right then, let’s have a look at Part 1 of the interview with Ben. I strongly recommend watching, particularly if you’re a developer or at all interested in mobile applications.

(My Original Blog Post: http://ping.fm/bwu9Z)

Part 3 of the Anssi Vanjoki interview: “The generic mobile interface will be a map”

February 25, 2010

After we’d dealt with the N97 issue in Part 1 and then the way ahead of Symbian and MeeGo in Part 2, Rafe asked Nokia’s EVP for Markets, Anssi Vanjoki, to speculate on the future of mobile 3-4 years out. Most executives when faced with this kind of question will either shrivel up and look to their PR handler for advice, or spout some drivel about ‘ubiquitous connectivity’. I’m well practiced in the art of fake-smiling and nodding at these kinds of situations.

So how did Annsi handle that question?

He got stuck right in. He wasn’t sitting back and trying to remember the talking points, no. I witnessed a chap who sincerely believes (and, has most probably seen) in his vision for the future. It makes really, really interesting viewing — especially his assertion that the generic mobile interface for consuming ‘media’ will be a map.

I really was impressed that this ‘grey-haired’ executive could talk-the-talk. I really hope that he continues to galvanise the team at Nokia (and, to a lesser extent, the Symbian and MeeGo teams) to deliver the vision he described in this video.

I don’t think Anssi was being creative when, in Part 1, he commented that (in relation to the N97 failures) his ‘sleepless nights are now in the past’. For someone as enthusiastic and as excited about the possibilities of mobile technology, it must have been a galling experience watching the utter derision with which consumers and the media greeted the arrival of the bug-laden disappointing Nokia N97.

What the hell were Nokia doing delivering the N97 into the marketplace as a high-end top-of-the-range device when it was going to get immediate comparisons to other bleeding-edge devices (and be found wanting, by everyone but the die-hard Nokia fans).

Of course the N97 and the N97 mini were a total success. Commercially. Annsi was careful to point this out. They shipped millions of them to their customers. But remember, the customers, of course, were the mobile operators, who, frankly, couldn’t-give-a-damn. They’d already committed to adding the ‘next’ Nokia device into their range whether it was good, bad or entirely rubbish. The end-consumers, however, well… I’m reasonably sure a lot of them fully intend not making the same mistake every again.

I think Annsi is right, however, when he makes the point that consumers really do trust Nokia. Or at least, they want to do so. They will, as Annsi maintains, “give us a second chance.” But just once. I think Nokia really must work hard to make sure that the high-end devices they ship into the marketplace this year are fantastic.

Anyway, to the video. If you’re even half interested in Nokia, if you follow the mobile industry, I strongly recommend sitting and watching Part 3 of the interview.

I’m willing to bet that even the most ardent iPhone and BlackBerry fans reading are closet Nokia fans too…

For convenience I’ve put all the parts together here:

Part 1

Part 2

Part 3

(My Original Blog Post: http://ping.fm/X1nVx)

Video: Checking out the Dell Mini 5 Android Tablet

February 25, 2010

As I walked around the MobileFocus event last week I spotted this rather swanky 5-inch Dell Mini 5 tablet unit on the Dell table. The chap behind the table obliged us with a hands-on demo. It’s just a preview unit but goodness me it’s looking gorgeous.

It really did look highly attractive — and whilst it’s definitely not an iPad, I could imagine using one of these around the house and for work, especially if it was competitively priced.

What do you think? Would you have one of these Android devices?

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

This made me want to buy an N900

February 24, 2010

(My Original Blog Post: http://ping.fm/6khQd)