Monday, April 30, 2007

Weekly Links roundup

Carnival of the Mobilists 70 is at Mobile Opportunity this week.
The mobile advertising post I thought was particularly interesting.

It was also the S60 Summit in Madrid last week. Links and (some) presentations are here (thanks to Stefan).

There was the follow up public announcement from Nokia regarding Widgets (there was a demo of how quick it is to build and deploy a widget on Feature Pack2 - see previous post) and touch-screen interfaces (the inevitable response to iPhone) for S60.

Also on show were the chipset manufacturers showing very, very quick Symbian OS boot time!

The 6120 Nokia classic phone which supposedly has days of battery life and the Nokia 6110 Navigator were on show as well as S60 edition 3 Feature Pack2 which is much quicker navigating around the user interface.

Generally I like these types of event mainly for the networking and (re)viewing mobile content and services startups. There were some vendors this year that I'd not seen before.

One fun little mobile application was SMS wizard by Zensis which allows emoticons to be sent as part of a text using the standard notation eg. :)..

Further richer functionality is available with pre-selected animations and once the application is installed it's integrated into the "new messaging" options in the messaging client. ie. I don't have to go into the client app once it's installed.

Series40 as well as smartphones from the other handset manufacturers already have emoticon support in the symbols menu for texts (as well as IM).

I have no idea why S60 has not included this basic feature into their text messaging client, it certainly livens up text's a little...maybe it's just me that expects these types of cosmetic features and from an S60 point of view it's way down the wish-list..

Thursday, April 26, 2007

MySay and PhoneTagit

See the previous post about mashing mobile voice and twitter.

MySay allows me to post voice-snippets to a public/private web page or blog. A supposed Voice 2.0 service, (like Local Voice Search from mobile - ref: Google and Microsoft/TellMe services).

I'd prefer to post my mobile phone voice snippets to twitter having set up a twitter account, rather than MySay and this seems to be service offering of PhoneTag (currently in beta).

I can't try it though as it does'nt seem to accept non-US numbers at signup... come on developers or Spinvox integrate directly !

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

More widget news

So Netvibes widget content will be available in Widsets...

I've gone off Widsets a little since their last release, the J2ME client has got more bloated, takes longer to initiate and is much more confusing in synching desktop widgets back down to the mobile. Before it was simpler, faster but had less functionality. There's always a trade off.

However, Widsets do make it super-easy to create new widgets in a matter of minutes with no coding required. The barrier-to-entry of creating personalised widgets is therefore lowered.

One consequence of this is searching for and finding useful widgets from the longtail and not just the head (ebay,email,flickr etc..) as Ring Nokia points out.

Netvibes allows access to a handful of their enormous number of widgets via the mobile browser and (just set up a tab called mobile in your web based Netvibes).

To complement this by allowing the mobile widsets client to get access to the netvibes catalogue ensures they are covering both options.

Monday, April 16, 2007

Widget, widget web and mobile

Nokia announced today their vision of widgets on mobile...well, at tleast the S60 platform.

Whilst various startups such as Widsets, Bluepulse, Plusmo, etc... and other players such as Opera have been building mobile clients/and or browser access for widget development and distribution in this space for a while, it's interesting to see the weight of a major handset manufacturer such as Nokia joining the fray..

The new Web Runtime (only on Feature Pack 2) is not yet integrated with native applications on the phone which would allow proper mashup type services, but understandable from a security perspective. The ecosystem needs to be built up first. .

Whilst I use widgets on the web in personalised homepage like Pageflakes, Netvibes and Google IG (and in this blog), porting the vast number available across directly to mobile may not be enough. Again, integration with native apps however opens up new opportunites - it remains to be seen if this will make the difference.

As one of the commentators on AAS says,the desktop widget engine Konfabulator in all it's shiny-goodness was dropped after the inital wow factor wore off, because the browser proves to be more flexible especially with broadband as the enabler.

All in all, it's an interesting announcement and allows another runtime beyond Java and say Flashlite for developers to get into mobile apps, but we'll have to wait and see if customers will adopt this new form of content-packaging to digest web based content on their mobiles...after all it's a compromise currently between full web browsing and richer client apps.

Thursday, April 12, 2007


Had a couple of posts in draft for the last week - here's the blurb rounded up ...

Firstly Carnival of the mobilist 68 is live over at Always On blog. One of the most interesting posts I thought was Google launching Local Voice Search in the US - link here here.

Google definately seem to understand that mobile context is different from the web and that they need to use the best features of mobiles to enhance existing services or create new ones purely for mobile ...

Readers of this blog know that I'm keen on ** integrated ** mobile services that make tasks simple and particularly those that take advantage of the best features of the phone (eg. in the case above, voice). Examples of other great integrated data services are Shozu (Symbian version integrates with the Camera functions and GPS) or Blogger on Sony Ericsson K800i (integrates with Camera functions) - both allowing photo upload and mobile blogging.

On a different tack, but still related to Google, I was lucky enough to pre-trial an N95 version of GSync. This Symbian application is created by Psiloc and allows synhcing of any SMS's or MMS's in your phone's inbox into your GMail account. It's a cool little app that works well if you feel the need to keep your messages - it's been useful for me a couple of times when the SMS's have been deleted from my phone Inbox as it got full and I've needed to refer back to them.
Comprehensive review here. Now if only this was actually already a built-in function of the Inbox on your phone and you could point it to different email accounts.

Tuesday, April 03, 2007

Carnival of the Mobilists 67

One of my favourite sites WAP review is hosting the Carnival this week. Link in title.