My Mobile Musings

WAP Page: winksite.com/hephail/news
Ideas from and about the mobile industry!!

Tuesday, May 16, 2006

Brit Mobile

Been here in Britain for about 5 days, and I must say I'm loving it ;)
The interesting thing overall about the British, is that neither are they as overly exhuberant as the Americans nor are they as overly social as the French.
Somehow, it's all about balance!
The houses here all look like they haven't changed in years, but the truth is, they have!
The guest house I stay in has a light which pops on everytime I reach the front door, which made me think that the owner was sitting on the side window watching everyone who came up:-P

The truth was, there was a photo sensor below the light, which would get triggered every time someone came to the front door.

That's exactly how the Brits are, they like the way things are, and they would like technologies which keep things that way :p

Their choice of devices is somewhat the same....

Nokia: 6230i,6230, 6610
Sony Ericsson: W800i(Very popular), K700
Samsung: D500, D600(Really popular phones!!)
Motorola: Razr V3(or V3i, can't make out the difference :-p ), Pebl


The interesting thing is, that due to contracts, they can get which ever phone they want, but these are the ones they stick to.

Multifunctional doesn't seem to be high priority, since everyone around is shrouded with their iPod ear plugs, making them seem fiercely private.
It's the outsiders who'll buy phones such as the N70, and use the attached earphones.
For the Brits, a phone is a phone, and music is the iPod.

Lottery

There seems to be a huge fascination with lotteries, as I could see with the various booths around, as well as the late night shows, with belly dancers and funky hosts.
It was interesting to see, that most of the people who called up to these kind of shows, were women, showing ofcourse, that the women here are a lot smarter, more upfront, more mature than the guys here.

Big Brother

Coming from India, it was a little disconcerting to see cameras everywhere, meaning that somewhere, everything I've done before I even land in England, is documented somewhere.
I mean, they even have mikes, so with my big mouth, it won't be long before I get caught for saying something provocative :p

Cars

Being in Dubai, I thought I would see the same kind of cars here, but that ain't true.
The accent here is more on quality than economy(depending on your economy of course :p ), so the guys who are still studying , would typically have an American car like a Ford, or a functional japanese or korean car.
People who want functionality, get a Ford.
The techies, seem to love their BMWs ... they seem to be the only ones who walk in with all their gadgets ;)
Otherwise, it's VW everywhere!

Monday, April 03, 2006

XDA2: Hooked

I used to wonder why people would use a brick as a phone!

Now, I realise, they don't! ...They use a computer as a phone :p

Been using the XDAII for over two months... and it's addictive.

Reasons:
Easy writing: The ability to forget T9, I-Tap ... and just write.

Easy Transfer of information between PC and device : It's a Windows device, so it opens up as a separate folder.

I just started cooking, meaning dosas, rice, dal, etc. so a friend sent me a cooking manual PDF.
Now that was 128 pages, so I wasn't printing all of it. I just transferred it to the O2, and now next time I cook, the O2 sits, where the recipe book should ;)

Easy Transfer of information with other embedded devices: A revelation, is that because it supports the SD card format, I use it for sorting my digital camera pics, or showing them around.

Thinking about the time I had to take pictures with my Nikon 3200 for a function, and wasn't able to delete old pics which had been backed up. The only option was to format the whole thing.

With the XDAII, I directly copy the pics I need onto the phone, to make space for more ;)

The XDAII fits in with my idea of Wearable Computing where the mobile device is the main centre for data storage and communication.

That this central device would be wirelessly(Bluetooth, obviously!) connected to the audio headset, the display unit(one of those TV sunglasses), input device (i still think that input devices have a looonggg way to go, maybe Steve Jobs can help ;) )

Let's see how it goes .. hmm

Werner

Monday, February 20, 2006

Virgin Territory

I was going through Losing my Virginity, and it's amazing... how ... Richard's Branson company will always remain a virgin in every new territory they explore.
I mean, to be able to take the first step... in every new industry ...is amazing to me.

It means that... as long as the perception is fresh... and the need to do something off the beaten path exists, the search for, as well as the discovery of, hidden treasures... will go on, eventually bearing fruit.

Looking at their launch of Mobile TV, I still have my earlier apprehension about whether it will actually take off.
But the way Virgin is approaching this is amazing, where they take almost the entire family of Operating system, Device manufacturer and Operator, in the effort of creating the service.

Another thing, is that they realise that broadcast of music, will always have a much larger demand than mobile based TV.

So, they create a niche market ... and profit from it !

:D

Wednesday, February 15, 2006

Mobile Web Best Practices?

I was going through the W3C Working Draft 13 January 2006

It still seems to miss out an actual understanding of what applications made for the mobile are actually able to do.



I posted a few comments, which are summarised as:

1. Device Limitations

The word "Device Limitations" is not right,

The main interest here, should be to first make note of the fact that the mobile device, has an evolution which is very isolated from the evolution of the PC.

The mobile device was evolved from the Telephone, rather than the Desktop PC. Hence, the mobile device as it currently exists, is an advancement of Graham Bell's invention, rather than a downgrade of Charles Babbage's invention.

Where it goes, from there, is advancement to a cornerstone of the virtual, online, World.

2.Advantages

The mobile device is slowly becoming a key component of the wearable computing phenomena, where multiple devices, will use the mobile device as a central point of control and storage.

Hence "Differences between the mobile device and the computer" would be the right word to use.

The mobile device has added advantages compared to a desktop or a laptop, which are:

1. Always On:This device is always on, and always has phone connectivity. Hence websites have the ability to directly connect a user with a phone number, or IP address, if the requirement exists.
2. Accessibility to near field devices, via infrared, Wi-fi, bluetooth and USB(but this option is far less used!), such as car audio systems, music players, cameras, gaming devices.
3. Added capability for Wearable computing , where the mobile device may communicate with other devices, using the means mentioned above.

The mobile is destined to be a universal point of data storage, and execution, rather than a data creator. This is greatly due to the various means of device-device communication available to the mobile, such as the operator network, Wi-fi, Infrared, Bluetooth, audio ports and USB ports.


3.Navigation and Links

All the URLs for each page, must be listed in the options(or right click) menu, so that if a user he/she wants to go to a URL on the page, he/she just has to scroll through the options(or right click) menu to reach the required URL.

URLs of Site Entry Points

Here, if URLs for a menu system running into more than 5 pages can follow a URL syntax containing page numbers such as:

http://wap.hephail.com:81/categories.php?page=59&category=11

then it becomes easy for the user to navigate between pages, just by changing the page number on the URL, through the bookmark. Of course, if the browsing application itself could provide a page browser using this syntax, the user's task of navigating through pages would be much easier.

Link Target Identification

The cost of following a link,as in the case of articles, should be identified in the number of pages which are required by the article, as is done by the BBC Wap page.

Hence we get a link at the bottom of the first page of the article, which says "Continued Page 2/4".
The user is then able to choose whether he/she wants to read a 4 page article, or whether he/she should look for another article.

Access Keys

Access keys, should be made accessible, according to prevalent usability standards.
One standard, would be that page up and Page Down keys, must be permanently hard-coded, to make navigation of a page, less arduous.
One suggested implementation, is to use a slider key for the volume, during the phone mode. Then, when the browser is activated, use the same slider key as a Page Up-Down key.


Sunday, January 22, 2006

Mobile TV?

I remember the first time my director presented DVB-H.
I dissed it then, and I diss it now.

The main problem is going to be the price of the handsets and the fact that the operators need to support it, and charge for it.

If there is anything that Web2.0 has taught me, it's that people want to choose what they access, and they want it cheap, if they are to make a habit of it. They don't want to get content which is pushed to them by some guy, who thinks he knows what they want.

Ok, maybe I am a little biased because I don't have a TV. The times when I hang out at a friend's place, I totally pig out on TV till 4-5a.m. , realising what Bruce Springsteen felt when he sang 57 CHANNELS (and nothin' on)

If we apply The Carry Principle, you will understand why I believe that broadcast to a phone is not a good idea.

Another idea which I think will work, though, is the Google Video store !

I mean, you let people choose what price they want to charge, and then rate the material based on who wants to watch it.

The business model of the future!

Thursday, January 12, 2006

Nokia has lost her Identity!

Compare (design-wise)
Sony Ericsson's T630 (My phone ;-) )Vs Nokia E60 Phone
RIM's BlackBerry 8700r Vs Nokia E61 Phone
Motorola's MPx Vs Nokia N92
Samsung's i750 Vs Nokia N80

and you'll know what I mean!

Thursday, January 05, 2006

Palm + Windows= Irresistable

This is real kewl!

A Handheld expert teaming up with an OS expert.

The Windows Mobile 5.0 (Magneto) based Treo 700w should be out on Thursday in USA.

The interesting thing here... is how Palm seeks to differentiate itself from Microsoft's other handhelds.

The juicy part is :

Palm was careful to not make the Treo 700w simply a clone of other Microsoft-based handhelds, however.

"We said we didn't want it unless we can make modifications," Wirt said.

Hehe... That's smart

;-)