Friday, May 30, 2008


** Update ** looks like I spoke too soon, Qik adding geotagged video-streams too (from Mobile Monday Barcelona)...

Qik, FlixWagon, Kyte, ComVu, Floobs, CometNow, and Bambuser are all mobile broadcasting services, a couple of which I've played with previously. Qik seems to be the mobile geeks current favourite.

These services allow you to broadcast live video from your mobile and stream it to the web - part of the LifeSteaming or LifeCasting tool set, you'll need for a self-produced Truman show, to be a BBC journalist or NASA operations.

You can notify your twitter, jaiku or pownce followers that you're broadcasting live, right now, allowing interactive comments to be posted into the running mobile app's user interface. YouTube integration for direct streaming upload is also possible with Qik and flixwagon.

Bambuser was at the conference I attended last week and not having seen them before I tried it out, downloading the Symbian/S60 client from

It's similar to Qik and Flixwagon with a straightforward user interface and to start broadcasting just "connect". One of the features it has over the other services is the ability to GeoTag your live video stream (although an additional sis client install is required) so you can view the stream geo-positioned on a GoogleMap.

(Nokia's Sportstracker widget also now supports video upload although its not mobile broadcast streaming.)

Bambuser indicate there's more integration features coming soon, so one to watch ...

For an overview of how to do mobile broadcasting and more details on the above services visit Steve Garfields blog.

Friday, May 16, 2008

Zyb bought

I posted the other day about Zyb and why I thought it was the right approach to Mobile Social networking and communicontent (starting from the phone address book) and I see they've just been bought by Vodafone.... interesting.

SMS Text news (who always seem to be first) has multiple posts on their service, including a quote from Vodafone about the acquisition. Official press release here.

I wonder what this means for mobical, mobyko, bloove and anywr.

Friday, May 09, 2008

Touch take 2

I have'nt blogged about devices for a while, what better time for an update...

There's some posturing going on by the big 5 handset manufacturers to have the best flagship, high end, multi-feature phone for their 2008 portfolio - this includes touch screen devices.

Nothing new there of course.

But, since last year's iPhone, the race has intensified to get something close to the user experience it provides 12 months on. We are now seeing the second generation of iphone-like-clones hit the market and if the rumours are true we'll shortly see Apple's second offering too.

Haptic feedback is appearing and more emphasis is obviously going into the user interface and user experience.

Slimness of device has long since been to be a a differentiating feature in the flagship models.

The HTC Diamond (MDA Compact IV), Samsung F480, LG KF750(Secret) are all launching now or very soon and further devices coming later this year include the Samsung Instinct(i900), Sony Ericsson X1 and rumoured Blackberry 9500).

All of the above have great form factors (I particularly like the HTC and Samsung,- the latter being very similar to the LG Prada). They're, thin and small, with large touch screens.

The haptic feedback on the F480 works well and tapping around the interface is simple and response time fast (but the transitions are too slow). Typing a text or email with one hand/thumb is possible since it supports T9-equivalent input and the haptics helped here as did the sensitivity of the screen.

Usually I'm less a fan of the stylus based touch screen devices (like the HTC Diamond /Compact IV) as I find them fiddly and very difficult to use single-handedly even to make calls. However, HTC have introduced their TouchFLO 3D finger based interface (in a nod to the iPhones interface) to address this and there are also third party installable options. This makes the phone much easier to use through a simpler, attractive interface than the traditional windows mobile menu based interface.

With other touch screen devices coming from Nokia, Motorola and devices running Android the second half of the year will see things heat up further in this area.

If touch based devices are not your thing then there's also some great non touch based handsets coming as well, both consumer and enterprise, such as the Blackberry 9000, E71 and N96. I'm sure Sony Ericsson will put some strong top end non touch based devices out too.

Thursday, May 08, 2008

Communi-Content aggregation

Shozu added more high profile end destination partners this week including twitter (& twitpic), photobucket and seesmic.

The microblogging end-destinations such as twitter are an obvious addition (text upload and comment/replies synching back to the phone) and indicates Shozu is heading towards becoming more of a mobile social service rather than just a pure uploading app to web end destination sites.

Flickr comment downloading on your uploaded flickr photos have been supported for a while and now you can receive yours and your friends timeline tweets. Hopefully geotagging text/status updates will be enabled if the end destinations supports it too, (like jaiku).

As I blathered on previously, there seems to be a race on to own communi-content aggregation and there's been a few moves in this area lately. was recently bought, Facebook apparently is failing, Ovi is expanding it's reach, FriendFeed continues to be the current web 2.0 darling and other services head towards aggregating all of your content and communication such as the services mentioned here (there's lots more).

Zyb, whilst originally a different proposition from Shozu, is related because it is now evolving from just contact and pim synching service to add in lifestreaming and aggregation. (see picture below). Shozu used to have mobile contact /address book synching but dropped it in the latest client version.

Jaiku, whilst being a micro-blogging end destination in itself, also used the mobile phone address book (in the client based version) to include presence and added the ability to import other web 2.0 service updates (Facebook, twitter etc..).

It looks to me like these types of services are converging and it will be interesting to see which ones go on to be the most successful, those based around the personal/social network, aggregating destinations (for content and/or communications), a hybrid of both or none of the above.

For me, those that include and integrate the mobile phone address book (and synch to the web) are the most interesting. After all the mobile address book/contacts the ultimate personal social network isn't it?

Comparing Zyb's new mobile enhanced contact/address book and Dashwire will be a blog post for a future date.

Tuesday, May 06, 2008

Facebook in Reality

No mobile related post this time, but I thought this was rather amusing ...