Friday, June 29, 2007

The iPhone arrives

Update Mon 2nd July : Scoble compares N95 and iPhone...

Tommi Ahonen from Communities Dominate Brands blog wrote a long piece a couple of weeks ago on "Before iPhone (BI) and After iPhone (AI) with the conclusion that after today, the mobile industry will go into second gear.

Well, today is the day to see if that statement is going to come true.

Whilst there has been a couple of press reviews (see previous post), Steve Litchfield over at All About Symbian has already done a 1 minute review based on the available video clips - note the fake iPhone in the video!. It's these reviews that carry the most credibility since they are aware of the shortcomings and advantages of smartphones (which the iPhone will inevitably be compared to).

Watch out for announcements regards the iPhone coming to Europe.

Monday, June 25, 2007

Google Phone

Seems I missed the announcement last week whilst away of the Google Phone from LG. It's currently for European markets.

As expected there are some (but not all) Google mobile apps present, one touch google search access / googlemail for mobile / google maps for mobile.

Sidenote: I first saw search access from the idle screen in the Samsung 520 range (Google) and I'm sure the other major handset manufacturers will start bringing online /offline "search" apps, closer to the user from the homescreen/idle screen also this year.

Saturday, June 23, 2007

Hype in overdrive

updated 27th June ... to include video review ...

Updated to include an independent video review (wed 27th June):

Trying not to add to the Apple hype before next Friday (but failing) ... here's the guided tour of the apple iphone feature set ... (if you have'nt seen it already). The thing of note to me, was they are showing off the features with an "invisible" hand holding the device steady. I would rather have seen someone trying to make a call or access the applications single-handledly.

I'm a big advocate of integration between mobile phone applications to make things as simple as possible for the user and the Apple GUI does appear to have some neat integrated features between the applications.

However, one comment is that "zooming in" for the the different applications is not always consistent ~(eg. zooming in on photos via the pinch method is not the same as tapping on the screen in web browsing and double tapping in maps applications).

For an expert review of the iPhone soon make sure you stop by All About Symbian. Steve Litchfield already has done a mini comparison of smartphones compared to the iPhone.

Saturday, June 16, 2007

Mobile YouTube

Youtube go mobile (finally).

Youtube have been experimenting over the last 6 months with a version of mobile youtube. (Several months ago TinyTube was prevented from transcoding youtube video clips for the mobile...)

You may have been lucky enough to catch the official mobile youtube site by pointing your mobile browser to over the previous months, but it's been up and down. For the last 5 weeks or so there's been a holding page in place with a "coming soon" message.

Well now it looks like it's finally being released (a subset of youtube clips with a maximum of 5-6 minute video clips using RTSP to stream the 3GP video - so no downloads) ... using the same URL

Friday, June 08, 2007

Mobile Habbo Hotel - Mini Friday

On yer mobile ? Good.
Mix presence, chat, a little social networking and a great gaming type interface and you get mini-friday.

Sulake, the makers of Habbo Hotel have done great job of bringing the interactive Habbo Hotel to the mobile. Screenshots are from the N95 (they seem to have most 2nd edition and 3rd edition S60 platforms covered) and the interface is the familiar isometric avatar-based view.

Set up of an account was super-easy and the interface meets two things I look out for in mobile apps like these :

1) simplicity (dpad and select + softkeys only - the zooming function on the softkey works well). There is no "help" option that I could find - and it's not needed, it's that simple to figure out quickly.

2) in-line context..
when you start chatting to someone it doesn't bring up the entire text input screen , blanking out the entire screen, (so you can't relate to what's happening in the room) , just a popup at the bottom to enter text. ie. keeping within context. Nice.

As a bonus it looks great and is fast... (an application like this would be unusable if the interface was like treacle) - wonder if the speed is maintained when there are lots of people in a room /stuff going on and you're on a 2.5G connection rather than 3G or HSDPA ?
The rooms I visited didn't have many English speaking folk in, so I could'nt check out the full IM type experience... maybe it was my dancing skills :)... I also had trouble as you can see getting served at the bar !
One of the better mobile applications I've seen recently and one I am sure to reuse. It's fun and simple offering an interesting mix of small social networking and chat/IM.

See you in there ...(I'm mjs if you bump into me).

Monday, June 04, 2007

Scobelizer blog will review the iPhone

Robert Scoble for one will be getting my eyeballs when he reviews the iPhone later this month. Luckily he can also compare it to the N95 which he has also recently received.

Official launch date in the US for the iPhone is June 29th. Here are the impressive ads.

Different functionalities , different markets and different UIs - but interesting to compare all the same.