19.11.07

Cheap SkypePhone For The Massess


Just like ordinary mobile calls. Select a contact and call for free or cheap. Chitt- chat with allways-on friends

Mobile operator 3 and Skype got a winner.
SkypePhone as explained by Skypephone Journal.

This is finally deal that gives mobile VOIP in the hands of massess and at the same time resolving few important issues like making free or cheap calls on 3G mobile phones ( Not WiFi style, Steve please note ;), bringing easy-to-use interface,chat and IM into a mobile phone in a big way.

It seems it is selling really well.
Who would have thought few months ago it will sell like cakes? Look at the pics.

Skype is not a newcomer. It was already in mobile VOIP operations but this is really unique deal that will bring awareness to the possility of cheap/free calls on the 3G networks.
The visionary and brave mobile operatore 3 Three has made waves again.
The secret could be extremelly calibrated mobile offer for SkypePhone:


3 Skypephone offers:

Free Skype-to-Skype calling worldwide, reducing or eliminating international long distance charges, provided your contact is also on Skype (on any platform)1

• Free Skype IM (presence and chat)

Unlimited Internet browsing

provided you contract to purchase a monthly minimum of £12 of traditional voice and SMS text messaging services from Hutchison Whampoa's 3 Service. on an 18 month contract; the phone itself is then free. Alternatively you can purchase the Skypephone for £49.95 and do a minimum £10 monthly Pay-As-You-Go top up.


SkypeOut is leftout possible because they expect to ride on the network effect. How smart is that ? Very, indeed.

Imagine Steve Jobs choosed to start iPhone revolution in the partnership with Hutchinson 3 Three in Europe and then making pressure to the US shores ? He, he...Oh, yes, I know, iPhone wasn't supposed to be ''masss phone'', but it's intended to be internet-phone, no ?

So, Skype is a very much known internet brand ( very viral too ) and now combined with the most innovative mobile operator in the World ( remember they were first in the world introducing very brave flat rate models for 3G ) and with the little help of chinese manufacturing, they could be enjoying happy Christmas ;)
Skype Telecom. ''No- worry use'' and ''''select your contact and call.''

T-Mobile will have to do something with Jajah in the similar manner.

14.11.07

Agrokor, T-Mobile And EPH In MVNO Croatian Adventure


Croatian business games with telecom flavor

Are they nuts ? Spring 2008 ?

Croatian consortium is preparing to launch KMOBILE brand next spring. I suppose MVNO but it's not clear yet.
''In order to expand mobile telecommunications offer on Croatian market.''So they say.

The members are: Agrokor Group, the largest privately owned company in Croatia and leading retail company, EPH - the leading Croatian Publishing House and T-Mobile Croatia the leading mobile communications company on Croatian market.

At the end of a day. It could be success.
Still, wise concept and execution is the key. I belive they have researched the market extremelly well. It's their modus operandi.
I'll be watching this unusual mobile move in Croatia and report back ;)
I have my opinion on this one, but won't tell ;))

But you know what ?
I read Ivica Todoric's interview given last week to Jutarnji list. Eventually, they ( or he has that big dream about ''global'' Agrokor ) could try to become global company with mobile business in the new ''new'' telecom business , but not in a Kmobile-way. No, no. ( yes, I forgot that's not their core business )
The strategy should be different.

MVNO is usually about simplifying mobile products and service ( overcomplexed businesses, like telecoms are ) with simple message- proposition and tailored marketing push.

Pop-Corn :)

12.11.07

Android, Mobile Maps And Google Earth ?


Today's Android video demonstration had a for one moment an Earth map picture on the display of a mobile phone ( 3D globe looked like Google Earth, but it's only app called '' global time'' ) .

My first thought was '' OhMyGod, somebody read about my silly hopes when iPhone was launching'' :)

I'm still waiting for those to be delivered, but the story is getting closer...

Google Android SDK Is Out


Mobile software developement with Android , the newcomer from last week ?
Ready to PR start. Even marketing program is in place.
At first glance, it looks to me like May 2007 when Facebook announced their App platform only this platform works in mobile internet ecosystem.

There will be thousands apps blooming, but only 5 % will actually matter over time. ;) Digital icons and avatar graveyards or per aspera to success and fame.

If you ( The developer, yes, you ) build BoozeMail, iLike,Are you a naughty girl - I'll be happy with that for more than a week. If I'll be able to find it in my app folder trees and the display doesn't show ''one big ERROR'' ;)

I'll look further into this long tail business.
Where's Apple ? Who knows what Steve Jobs is now thinking of Eric Schmidt ? ;))

Many places are set up to provide more information for Android SDK:

Blog
Faq
Groups

Time to be patient. More than ever :)

USB Mobile Broadband Gizmo


USB info smog, wherever you are, huh

A gizmo made by Sony Ericsson.
USB mobile broadband modem called the MD300 .
Available in Q1 next year and stylish.

11.11.07

iPhone launch in UK and Europe


Few people in the stores

Might be premature for any conclusion, but The Register has an interesting article.
United Kingdom stood cold to iPhone hype. At least for now.
Interesting part is when they cite mr. Ian, a reader from Souththampton, who offered his analysis in a post to Slashdot.
Might be very true for whole Europe:

Quote:

As to why, I'm sure everyone knows, but here's a recap as to why it's not the saviour of the UK's mobile industry;

1. We're used to either paying for the phone, or the contract, but not both;

2. We're used to accessing mobile internet on 3G, which was rolled out wider and earlier here than across the USA;

3. There have been several competing devices launched recently, which appeal to a range of demographics; for example, techies will like the N95 while fashion victims will like the Prada wotsit;

4. It's quite chunky as phones go - which might sound pernickerty but the market here is very much geared towards fashionable, neat phones (for example, no manufacturer would dare launch a phone with an aerial here within the last few years as they look so dated, while I hear they're still available in the US).

8.11.07

Stevan Dedijer Documentary


The documentary about Stevan Dedijer has been broadcasted by Croatian television ( HTV ) and made me think, laugh, and sparked few ideas.
He's the so called '' father of business intelligence '', and some really nice quote from him ( source: his interview ) :

'' Science and technology doesn't matter. It's about what do you know about the world ''.


He was scientist and social monster at the same time.
The great information gatherer .
An extraordinary man. But he knew that ;)

gBluff


An old form of poker known as bluff

Google is bluffing.
All those recent fancy announcements about OpenSocial and Open Handset Alliance is just a grandious bluff.
It's the game that would be in the state of war called ''positional fighting''.

Not that other are doing something extraordinary .
Amazon, Yahoo and Ebay are doing pretty much the same spinning around itself and buying innovative internet products and services .

5.11.07

Open Handset Alliance brought to you by Google

The down of innovation in mobile eco-system ?

The goal is open software stack for ''magic'' phone ( any phone ) . Build it as you like, but keep it open to all. Google made alliance and tries to bring it alive.
The strategy that worked when internet was young. But will it work in the mobile bussines ?

Android will deliver a complete set of software for mobile devices: an operating system, middleware and key mobile applications. On November 12, we will release an early look at the Android Software Development Kit (SDK) to allow developers to build rich mobile applications.

Well, what's then with LiMo initiative ? Some thinks it's here to stay as well.
Here's a short summary and notes of Google conference call ( source: Gizmodo )

Live: Google's gPhone Open Handset Alliance Conference Call

9:52: Call done. Archive below.

9:50: USA Today asks about gphone name again. Coming? Another way to think about the gphone, says Andy, is that there will be 1,000s of Google phones, some you like, some you don't.

9:46: NYTimes asks what kinds of agreements will be in place between carriers and google on ads, and will they have to share ad revenue with carriers? And will this phone change business models in the phone industry? Google answers: Sharing is likely. Our strategy is to share. Android allows it, but doesn't require it. If anything, it provides additional opportunity.

9:44: Sasha asks if its possible to create completely locked down phones. It is, apparently, but Google says that you can do that, according to the license, such a device wouldn't be able to run many apps and would be much less powerful and competitive.

9:43: So if you don't like the phone you get from your carrier, if it's android, you're free to switch it up? Google: "that's an answer for the carriers."

9:39: How will this phone compete with development communities of other OSes, and will yet another platform fragment the dev community. The difference, Andy says, that this one is open. And it's open source. Eric says that because of this, even competitors might both pick it up, if the platform is good enough.

9:39: Eric says he could picture using iPhone in one hand and Android in the other. Strange.

9:33: Chicago Tribune asks what the diff is between the Gmail apps on phones now, and the android ones. Eric answers that the gphone, with a real browser, won't need customized programs and websites, so it'll be easy for devs to support the phone by supporting any desktop browser. Android will be the first to do this broadscale.

9:29: Someone asks, were Microsoft, RIM, and Apple to join the alliance, and what did they say? The question is being dodged but he says the alliance is open and if people want to join they can.

9:29 Financial Times asks if a real gPhone is coming. Eric says that we're not announcing, but if we were to, this would be the platform for it.

9:27: WSJ asks about Google's web applications and ads will work with the new platform. Andy responds that Google's flexible ad platform should be fine, esp since one part of Android is a very robust HTML browser. But you won't see an ad driven browser on this phone for some time.

9:24: BBC is on. They're asking if HTC is going to use Android exclusively. Peter Chou says that they're going to be using all OSes equally. Moto says that this is important to accelerate their development, but they do have some commitments from other OS devs.

9:23: The Q&A is starting.

9:21 Sergei Brin: Sergei is talking about how linux helped him start Google, and now he hopes that they can use open source to develop great handsets. Today's mobile devices were more powerful than the servers he was using 10 years ago, so he's excited.

9:19: VP of China Mobile, biggest carrier in the world. An open mobile platform will accelerate China's smartphone adoption, he believes.

9:16: Ed Zander, CEO of Motorola is on the phone. Says nothing about handset development.

9:13 Paul Jacobs, CEO of Qualcomm, is speaking. He's chatting about 3G. Qualcomm has been working on Android for the last year, committing significant resources. They've been working on the 7000 chipsets for ideal multimedia functionality. They're upcoming snapdragon chipset will do better data throughput, 3d, GPS, and mobile TV at better power consumption.

9:11: Peter Chou, CEO of HTC Corp is speaking. He believes that the point of a mobile phone OS is to provide quick access to the content and functionality of a mobile phone. Android can do this, he believes. We plan to release the first mobile phone in the second half of 2008 with others to follow. "Windows Mobile Sucks!" Just kidding, he didn't say that.

9:08: René Obermann, CEO of Deutsche Telekom, parent company of T-Mobile, is speaking. Squishy quotes but no new data...our current plans include the launch of an android handset in 2008 in the EU and US with heavy wireless and web2.0 capabilities.

9:07: Eric is saying that users want better features. And that you couldn't do this with one company. That's why they've started the alliance of 34 companies.
Access to less expensive phones with more services and better UIs. Elliot Speaking.

9:06: We want to start a mobile phone platform that includes new services and features we couldn't imagine today. First mobile phone platform stack, including OS, apps, etc. Most liberal open source license, too. It's important to say that this isn't an announcement of the Googlephone. It's the announcement of a platform for lots of phones.

9:05 Started. Eric Schmidt is here and speaking.

1.11.07

Nokia Music Store in UK


Uphill battle for music fans just started in UK powered by Nokia Music Store.
Buy a track, album or streaming. Music has been allways hoped to be accepted on mobile phone.
The pricing for such a commodity will be extremely fierce.
I expect some type of digg-a-like rating system ( for similar mobile music services ) for artist popularity in addition to other features made famouse by Last.FM, Party Strands etc .

Nokia Search gets more presence in Latin America


Search the content of your phone and in the outer mobile space

Not so visible and important by metrics and measurement I've seen, but mobile search by Nokia is gaining momentum in Latin America.
Nokia made deals with local search providers ( 15 in South America and 38 overall in the World ).
“We’re on a mission to bring everyone the ultimate search capabilities, whether locally or on the web,” says Jussi-Pekka Partanen, head of Nokia Search, Multimedia, Nokia.


Mr. Jussi- Pekka sounds like they try to explain themselves as internet connected mobile multimedia and phone top search.

What about photo and mobile code searches ( visual ) ? Are those engines counted ?
Point and search ? Not type and search.

A moment for reflections


One needs to write.
It helps on a lot of occasions.

We need to put digital footprints into this digital see of information.
The goal is sometimes to put yourself up for somebody to pay attention or to serve as a reminder to ourselves that we had dreams, hopes, attitudes and done something to feel alive.

That's what I am doing right now.
The life is too short. We must act on our desires, senses, wishes, capabilities and reach what we like and hope for. ''Too late moment'' could be a moment closer then we think.

That's the life.
A bit poetic post today after some time on hiatus. Yes, I am still talking about mobile space.

After some time, I did more closely watched Forum Oxford forum. It's again interesting and nice to see some new important discussions.
But more about this in my future posts.

I've discussed about business opportunities inside mobile space recently with one of my friends but we riched conclusion there's nothing specific we are thrilled right now, so we won't bother with mobile business anytime soon.

But I'll be involved into mobile because of my passion.

11.7.07

Walkman phone w960i


Multimedia phone for beauty contest

Sony Ericsson W960i is entering ''modern'' aproach to mobile handset design and goes after iPhone and N95 market product range ( modern you bet, nice wording ;).

Beautiful design with superb functionality and easy controls ( at least for music, I am not sure how they'll implement it for Web experience ) .
A holy grail of a multimedia handset.

It seems to be more evolutionary approach then revolutionary ( Apple's way ) . Sony Ericsson doesn't insist on radically addressing poor handset controls but making it somehow hybrid ( buttons still there ).

W960 looks powerful:
- memory : 8GB
- Symbian™ OS
- 2.6" Touch screen
- 3.2 mega pixel with Auto Focus
- GPRS EDGE 3G WiFi
- USB Mass storage device
- Video recording at 320X240 with 15fps in mpeg4 for Video & AAC for audio
- MS Exchange ActiveSync
- Jog Dial
- Document editors


Credits:
Photo from Esato

My sinful vision for iPhone


Mea culpa, ring, ring.

Oh boy, I was wrong about Google involvement with Apple and iPhone project.
Mea culpa.
Seems I had connected wrong dots, but that doesn't make me to give up of the vision that includes some sort of mobile mashup services : Maps&Local Search&visual search and image processing .
Far from that. I think it will be doable.

I'll now stop writing about iPhone ( directly ) for some time. Maybe the best review ( altough PDA-centric ) by iPhone user I found to this day is posted on PDAPhone forum.

Asap.
Google & Apple partnership is totally unclear to me right now. They collaborated on what exactly ? Putting YouTube icon on iPhone ? Really ?

27.6.07

Steve Jobs doesn't understand mobility


OK, today ( 28.06.2007. ) I wrote follow up ( scroll down this post )

The first real iPhone reviews are in from a few influencers.

Walt Mossberg - Great, but not so great.
David Pogues- Great, but not so great.

Well, Steve, WiFi is NOT ubiquitous.
EDGE is not enough for browsing.
GPS is not inside iPhone.
Video camera ( ! ) is not inside iPhone.
$ 599 is too expensive.
iTunes won't work directly from a phone.
E-mail is not SMS. SMS is not email.
Removable battery , please


You better get those super-extra gMaps and 3D gEarth or image-processing capabilities on board or else...Eric will leave you ;)

Steve Jobs and the crew of ''mobile experts'' around him should relocate in Europe or Japan for a few months to understand mobility.
It's not that I had too many expectations ( well, in terms of UI it is a game-changer ).
I am currenly using mass mobile phone ( am not techie ) and I can record my videos, and much more here in Croatia.

OK, UI is superb. But everything is dejavu from previus releases.
For $ 599 I can get much better phone, and I won't worry much about UI.

Come to Croatia.

We are waiting for the 2nd iPhone generation and Europe's sale.

FOLLOW UP:

According to real user usage, data and app services should be in this order:

A 6 (six) Core:
In order of importance

1. Voice
2. SMS ( not so much in US )
3. Photo Camera & multimedia
4. Search ( info & news, people, places, maps )
5. Apps
6. E-mail

Services and apps tailored on those basic promises will be successful.

iPhone partly missed those realites and try to bypass some of them ( Wi-Fi instead 3G, email instead of SMS ( mobile phone is 1-to-1 medium - personal ) , not enough camera-centric ( or will be ? ), Maps as a proxy for ''search'', and apps not installed but used on the web ). Kind of too much PC-centric and not mobile-centric ( or is it just me ? )

According to what we know before public release.

Super Google Maps and image-recognition magic could could force me to change my thoughts :))

19.6.07

Google's secret feature inside iPhone ?



A magic carpet for the iPhone ? Google.

Google Phone project doesn't exist per se ( hardware ), the concept might be special software arrangment inside iPhone based on Google Maps & gLocal & gEarth API suite.

Location- aware web & mobile service/browser/app/code ( call it whatever you like ) that will serve as a glue between physical and virtual locations ( via object hyperlinking, sort of, call it information nuggets, placemarks etc. ) .
Suddenly, iPhone user could be having a '' cloud '' and exchange information with the surrounding ( other people, places etc. ).

Google will call your phone to connect you to the business you are searching ( just one example ).

I was doing much research lately about iPhone and possible Google phone so I looked into every possible scenario and found this one as the most appealing to all parties, including end users.

Something was missing all the time. We hear a lot of yelling like ''mobile, mobile, mobile'', then ''maps, maps, maps ''. Well, Google Maps. My maps, my local placemark, review, news...Google free call !

Why would I buy ( I'm in Croatia right now, so I won't ) a handset that costs $ 599 only to make calls, use multimedia etc. ?
Well, I've come to realise it might be worth the price ( I am on defensive and yet unconvinced when talkning about battery, Edge instead of 3G, GPS , and if it is about niche product which it is for start).

There's got to be something that will make Google go not just inside iPhone but to other mass phones on the market. It will NOT change the world solely with iPhone, but it will challenge the current thinking and the way we used to think about mobile.

Suddenly, we will be aware of another informational element ( geobrowsing, information geo layer ) and the wholy new way of making locally accessable information for the mobile phone ( can't say much more about the tech implementation it will be used- GPS probably not available from day 1., user will be asked to provide default location ).

Google will do just fine with extremelly targeted and personal ads. No need to elaborate that. Click-to-call.
Searches will be tailored to location, history of searches in that location , daytime, personal preferences and the results won't be the same for everybody.

But more important, Google will do the CALL for you when you search local businessess and will call you FOR FREE , unless you provide Google mobile number.

Google Phone Company , sort of ;)

Sort of informational / wireless cloud around our heads and authoring tools in our hands ( some authoring widgets for making user-generated content fo the location- annotation if you like ).

These are all ideas floating around a decade , in one or another form, but Apple and Google partnership could be real execution of these ideas.

And as I already said in my previous articles, if Apple succeeds in making the 'widget' the standard app delivery service for cell phone usage, then they can succeed in delivering the first mass-market entirely web-based computing platform and Google could get opportunity to for ''inovative'' software delivery ( the trend is there ).

Maybe my thought are only wild speculations and wishful thinking, but we will know everything on the 29th when iPhone ships ;)

Annotation of the Earth could become reality and sort of ''augmented reality'' perceived on the phone.
''The Google globe'' if you like and you are good to go if you are not privacy advocate ;)

All of this could lead to new way of using, organising and creating information, and Google will surely try to make sense out of this content bits and make a buck.

Here are my other articles about the similar subject during my research:

Google widgets for iPhone ?
Google Mobile Gadget ?
Mobile Web Tablet ( see the end of the article )

17.6.07

Web-based computing platform for mobile phones and software delivery ?



End game ?

I had a second thought today about the thinking on Apple+iPhone+Google+Widgets and try to relay the quote.

'' Everybody's might be missing the point.

If Apple succeeds in making the 'widget' the standard app delviery service for cell phone usage, then they can succeed in delivering the first mass-market entirely web-based computing platform.

That is huge.

iPhone widget development will become the big game.

Now Google apps also have some hardware to live on where they (hopefully) get adopted as another new standard for document exchange.

If it works, then Microsoft is no longer anywhere in the picture of the future of personal computing devices and of the most interesting channels of software delivery.

This is going to be very interesting... ''

Above is a quote by someone unknown in the internet abyss.

Google Gears will work even inside Safari.

Now, everything is fine, but I have only still some issues with iPhone:

1. Battery lifecycle could be too short
2. EDGE not 3G ( what's the value of iTunes integration on a slow connection ? )
3. What kind of unlimited plan by AT & T ?

4. Personalisation of the device ( different models - hardware ''faces'')
5. Europe's and Asia plans in the future ? ( 3G ready ? )
6. Will this Apple's ''philosophy'' sell to others ( carriers, handset makers etc ) and start similar ecosystem ( Nokia, Widsets, Orange )?


7. Selling 10 million phones is not a game changer of itself !?

16.6.07

Webwag mobile widgets


Widgets on demand and from startpage

Webwag.com, a startpage from France launched real mobile widgets.
Download is available on mobile phone or internet.
Consume the internet from mobile with beautifully simple widgets and sync it with an equivalent web service.
Mostly all the MIDP2 handsets are compliant.
They will open up the SDK really soon.

I am playing with the app and find it very nice. Still need to figure some things and catch all those buttons and access keys, but it is elegant, indeed.
Still I haven't used much their startpage at webwag.com. Currently I am trying to explore ''widgets'' and ''mobile'' aspect of the service.

Mobile checkout provided by PayPal


Oh, Lord, would you buy me, a mobile Mercedes Benz or just send me some money.
Please ...


Mobile phone users within as much 130 countries now will be able to pay for goods and services on the mobile web sites via PayPal Mobile Checkout system which was announced on the 11th June.

This is extremelly good for the merchants and the fact you could do a trade in a very easy way.

Cheaper trading

No need anymore for merchants to use expensive premium SMS provided by mobile operators granted under unfair deals .

PayPay had been offering for more than a year mobile person-to-person paying system for its user, but this gives another dimension ( WAP 2.0 ) which will make buying from the mobile phone and mobile web sites much easier and much profitable for the content providers.

Checkout alternatives

Google must be preparing something along the same route for Google Checkout.
Just I think that PayPay has an edge on the users side cause they are extremelly specialised for electronic payments , only doesn't have branding power of Google ( maybe service franchising with local entreprenuers would do the trick here and spread it more deeply among the uninitiated).
OboPay has some interesting offers too.

The Bank of PayPal


PayPal claims about 130 million users around the globe ( 190 countries ) . Only in Europe there are about 35 million users .
PayPal had become European bank in Luxembourg and was given financial licence recently.

13.6.07

Google widgets on iPhone ?



A billion of them ?

It went somehow unnoticed , The Seattle Times has posted an edited interview with AT&T's iPhone project head, Glenn Lurie. In the course of the conversation, Lurie let slip that Google apps are coming...

"There are other things — you have the widgets, some of the Google applications that are coming — there are just so many things here that the price will not be an issue."


He's saying about value for money. We'll see.

Is it possible that Google is much more involved ( integrated ) into iPhone plans that they were ready to admit? Now when Jobs , the other day , de facto announced that the mobile OS is ...well, no need to think in those terms, it is the Web, right ? ( open standards bla, bla... )

Having in mind Google Gadgets which is essentially something very interesting in the desktop world just starting to be more present in the rebranded iGoogle personalised homepage which is now called ''homepage content directory''.

Are those first shapes of Google mobile gadgets/widgets ecosystem coming into shape ?
I wonder. Though, it's now focused only on desktop.

Google Mobile Gadget

What do you do ?
I Google.


12.6.07

PC at hand



Not smartphone. Mobile Internet Device. Co-existence and divergence.

Intel with its Mobile Internet Device platform and Nokia’s move towards Internet Tablets, as I wrote in yesterday's post, could bring some shift in our mobility assumptions. At least, I am challenging my dogmas :)

Intel's Paul Otellini said recently:
But Otellini believes that Silverthorne may be one of the most important products in Intel’s history. “The importance of the new Silverthorne chip is only comparable with the 8088 processor or Pentium,” he told the FAZ


Both of these are so called ultra mobile platforms only Intel's has a distinct attributes ( more pocket friendly ) : size - 4'' to 6'' display, target users consumers and prosumers, instant UI .

Intel is focused on delivering an un-compromised Internet experience with an excellent UI, strong performance, responsiveness, battery and memory. They define the usage models as “Stay in Touch,” “Be Entertained,” and “Access Info and Locate.

Nokia is preparing and re-inventing itself to the possibility of being computer company after all.
Iannucci pointed out that Nokia started as a paper mill and has a history of completely changing its industry from time to time -- from rubber boots to monitors to mobile phones. He said it is once again "a company in transition to the next phase." That next phase is mobile computing.


So, having in mind already announced iPhone, Palm Foleo and other similar products, things can get interesting with mobile computing .


Google and Microsoft still haven't showed their muscles.

Market is in the making.

I call it ''PC at hand''- a casual mobile appliance with full access to the network and the range of communication features.

11.6.07

Mobile Web Tablet by Intel



Internet tablets with Intel Inside.

Intel is another company making pitch for mobile computing.
The device is not smartphone but not a laptop as well. They claim Master User Interface ( MUI ) and it is a mobile internet device powered by Linux.

So, who will come up with ''mobile tablet PC'' in the future ? ;))

Follow up:

What if ... Google thinks along the same line ? Google Ultra Mobile tablet with The Grande phone apps on board ?
They just released Google Gears few days ago which will do mobile offline computing and later synch with server data.
What if they are betting against Microsoft Origami that will come up preinstalled with Live apps ?

Uf...

Could be that Alan Kay was right after all when saying after iPhone announcement:
He responded by pulling out a black covered 6×8-inch paper notebook and said that he would like it to be that size.


;))

This might be a path to Google's Metaverse when taking into account Google SketchUp and Croquet project.

Our world modelled in 3D and presented by Google and its Google AdWords advertisers ;))

Linux Phone Standards forum (LiPS)

Make those mobile apps and handsets really ''work''.
I don't care if it's Linux or something else, it is badly in the need.


The LiPS standard, version 1, is available.

The Register run a story:
The documents published today include APIs for interaction with the address book, text input system, user interface, and the all-important voice-call enabler. LiPS promises full telephony control, messaging, calendar, IM and presence as well as more UI-interface elements by the end of 2007. Unless the organisation has improved its forecasting, expect some slippage.

10.6.07

Google One ( FTM * )


A mother of all mobile browsers

Open up your Google One (FTM* ) browser on the dialpad ( mobile phones with ordinary buttons ) :
Just Dial 1 ! It will be 10 clicks less then opening up your Opera Mini ;)

Your phone browser as your most used app on the phone. Your mobile deck, dial pad etc.
Your mobile ''everything'' and splash screen at the same time.

It is the most direct ( excluding touchscreen icons and dedicated G buttons ) way of using mobility web services provided by ''fantasy'' company or third parties.

A phone wrapped up with the ''thing'' we might call browser, but in the end we might not ;)

It will be so personal so we could call this Spoochy ;)
Spoochy from the Web ! ( Spukni to z neta, na hrvatskom ;) )

So, dare you not to advertise your local shop or service with Google and you are out of business very soon. Nobody will find you, nobody will call you. It's the location and call, stupid.

LG !

Now, back to planet Earth ;)

Disclaimer:
FTM stands for fictional trademark

1.6.07

Happy Googlers


Till the first economic downturn

Part of my everyday job at my present company ( not related to technology ) is to make contacts with people who are possible candidates and could work for us.
I wouldn't discuss my involvement more in this field, but I would be very eager to cultivate the business culture and human resource policy such as those made by Google.

It's possibly silly to call it Chief Culture Officer ;))
Google is currently riding on the wave of success, so relationships among employees are mostly good. But if they ever face tough times, layoffs etc, I would NOT be CCO officer at all ;)

Thomas Yung's writing about pervasive computing

Blogrolling

Thomas Yung cited my article about Nokia mobile web server.
He's running The Mobile Web 2.0 site and his personal blog here.
He's writing very good about tech and mobile.

Thomas runs CityBlogz Design Studio and has extensive experience with Domino/Notes as a web developer. .

30.5.07

Nokia mobile web server



User- generated mobile phone content for your friends and family that doesn't have to be uploaded. It's shared, instant and contextual ! Oh, and it will drain your battery ;)

Juha Pusa, a Nokia man, demonstrated at MobileCamp event in New York for the first time Nokia's Mobile Web Server.
It's the concept of serving web pages directly from a mobile phone connected to the network.

It's a 6 years ahead of thinking for Nokia, IMHO.
The key is access to information such as location, pictures and phone numbers which will enable a new breed of applications to be created. Access from any browser.

But do we need to access all those information using browser ? Is that unnecessary complication while at the same time there is some sort of web service with mobile ''leg'' accesseable from a phone ?

The plan is that every mobile web server will be provided with global URL.
So, I can only imagine a mobile website it will change by its owner and it will be meaningful as the content that is shared may depend upon the current location and context.

If every mobile phone or even every smartphone initially, is equipped with a webserver then very quickly many websites will reside on mobile phones. That is bound to have some impact not only on how mobile phones are perceived but also on how the web evolves.

Mobile Web Server, also known as Raccoon, consists of a port of the Apache web server to the S60 smartphone platform.

It's a very exciting Nokia brave world.
Very interesting to follow up on their actions about mobile web server and it's ''computing'' strategy for the future business.

I can imagine as well this sort of thing; Every mobile phone user is likely to have forgotten his phone at home at some time or another. With a mobile web server on the phone it is easy to browse to it remotely and check, for instance, whether someone has called or sent an SMS, and even answer SMSs.
Cool ;))

All of this is, IMHO , relevant for personal communication and information sharing for small groups not for one-to-many broadcasting.

15.5.07

Google Vision With The Grande Phone App


A future gadget ?

Wow, what's this ?

It's a concept developed by UK designer Callum Peden.
''Branded'' as Google Vision features a handset-type device that opens out to reveal a retractable flexible screen.

Callum envisages WiFi access , GPS, image recognication features etc.
Nice try. But if you take in the account what Andy Rubin did with Android software that is now part of Google Inc, things can get more interesting ;))

Still, I don't think Google is acctually building mobile device.
They are in the software and media business .

So, my guess is still that Google will build UI software platform for mass market mobile phones .

The Grande Phone App is only my fictional name for Google's suite of apps that will include Search, Gmail, Maps and Gtalk etc co-developed with MNO, handset makers and advertisers.

Just like Dr. Eric Schmidt, Google CEO, once said;
Your mobile phone should be free," Schmidt told Reuters. "It just makes sense that subsidies should increase" as advertising rises on mobile phones.


Maybe Blyk is onto something after all.

2.5.07

Mobile User Experience to be debated


People's forum for open, calm discussion. London. Today. Tomorow. No hype.

There is constant need for better mobile interfaces and interaction. People from mobile telecom industry are gathering in London and talk about mobile UIs .
It's the first ''manifesto statement'' I've seen in the mobile space .

Sort of guide and creative thinking highlighting the key issues in mobile user experience. Read a conference blog.

26.4.07

Engage user's pocket


Look back in the year 2005 and messianic prophets talking about mobile advertising.

Financial Times
run a piece about mobile advertising on the front page ( April 6th, 2005 edition) presenting interview with Andrew Robertson the CEO of BBDO, the global advertising agency ( the world's third largest ) .

Why he thought mobiles will become key ad medium in the future ?
It's easy to understand why he thought like many of us, but I wouldn't call it ''key'' medium cause it's just one piece of the advertising puzzle .

The trouble is in the execution. So, rightly he said :

'' You have no way to interrupt because they ( users ) can choose what they can do.The opportunity is if you can create some content that they want to engage with, they can do that all of the time from anywhere.

We´re delighted that many of the smartest thinkers in traditional agencies share our vision of the future. The question for advertisers is whether agencies can do more that talk the talk - does their current business model and company structure allow them to embrace this new future.

We find that Agency chiefs do want to move forward, but find themselves limited by the fact they are essentially factories devoted to creating TV commercials.''

The forcast by Mr. Robertson was way ahead of time and the promise is still not fullfilled. Since then, there was story about YouTube not MobileTube we all know very well...

Mobile phones are just in the ''waiting lanes''.

21.4.07

Web Balkanisation


The Web is split up

Stephen Wellman from InformationWeek was among the crowd in the auditorium during Google presentation about mobile applications and service and quotes Google user experience designer Leland Rechis who said:

''Rechis said, bluntly, that the mobile Web is balkanized, "The Pangaea of the Web is gone." And don't expect this to change anytime soon, either. Thanks to carrier portals and off portal applications, there is no one mobile standard to develop for.''

Read, Google thinks there's a two-tier Web and it won't be reversed fact.
I realised this one year ago when they labeled their search as ''Web'' and ''Mobile Web''.
Tim Berners Lee is strongly against this view but it's a simple truth.

Paul Golding even thinks we can't call it ''Mobile Web'' either. Maybe we should wait DoCoMo to define it :))

Follow up:
What term Pangaea means

VoiceIndigo preloaded podcasts support


Audio- centric mobile service

Samsung UpStage will be the first mobile phone by the global handset maker preloaded with podcasting software provided by VoiceIndigo with its catalogue service and advertising solution.

The service will be free for the consumer ( but not for Sprint ).
This solution is enabled for Sprint users in USA.

The trouble I have with those sort of services is web-based management of the subscription service.
It must me managable from the very same device from which you are occasionally listen audio content.

Latest edition of MobileMedia here in Croatia showed on the main page Beyonce Knowles holding dual-faced Samsung UpStage ( SPH-M620 ) phone. It's clearly phone for mobile entertainment.

VoiceIndigo podcasting app is only one feature but of equal importance just like Bluetooth or 1,3 Mpx camera.

17.4.07

Thought of a day about mobility

Two simple truths:
The World Wide Web is vast, and mobile phones are small.

Low 3G capacity utilisation

Not dumb, but empty pipe

It’ll take a long time for the telecom ''pipes'' to be filled.
Short on incentives for a mass market.

Nokia widgets to charm


Woohy, woohaa, widgets. Hijack !

Andrew Orlowski hits Nokia for its widgets business strategy.
I have to disagree this time with him.

I belive he had mistaken Nokia's Web 2.0 marketing thingie-lingie language and the real reasons coming from the fact that UI concepts tend toward data-centric intefraces ( instead of list-based, now they are becoming more richer ).

I don't like Web 2.0 fancy schmency either, so I agree with him only on the part Nokia hadn't had to mentioned Web 2.0 at all.
But this time, Orlowski in the name of IT security whispers PC bloatware is coming...
We'll see.
I never liked or used widgets on my desktop, but mobile has much more sense, IMHO.

To me, there's real business logic to give web community tools to mobilise more easily their properties etc.

S60 will be software platform that enables the creation of widgets using familiar standards-based Web technologies.
Why uploading html pages ( sometimes ) when you can streamline those data more conveniently, faster and cheaper ?

Widgets will be distributed to users through several channels, one of which is WidSets, a popular consumer Internet service launched by Nokia, which allows users to personalize their mobile Internet experience.

FOLLOW UP:
Microsfot ZenZui bets on widgets
uLocate GPS widgets
GetMobio lifestyle portal
Properazzi widget for real estate

The conclusion:
Enticing vision of what the mobile deck could be if carriers opened their minds to the possibilities of a truly customizable interface. Even if this ether of floating widgets were just the front end to the content portion of a deck, it would be a vast improvement over what we have from any carrier now. First, it lowers the personalization bar so low that almost anyone with a Web connection could be enticed to manage his or her decks from a Web site.

7.4.07

Croatia ready for 3rd party mobile services



The point of saturation.

Puls, a croatian market research agency, presented findings 2 months ago about croatian mobile habits and use.
I almost forgot about these findings.

They conducted interviews with croatian households ( n= 1.000 people, time frame- January 2007., people over 14 years old, national representative sample ).



Key findings:

- Penetration : 101 % ,

- Usage: 37 % photography, 25 % games, 21 % mp3, 16 % video clips, 13 % radio, 12 % content dowloading, 7 % web browsing, 7 % mobile e-mail

- Males and under 25 years old are using more actively multimedia, music, games and web browsing


For example, T-Mobile Croatia has ARPU of € 27 ( In Germany it has about 21 € ).
Tele2 has the biggest subsciber growth. Vipnet provides videocalling, HSDPA network with 7,2 downlink ( HSPU upgrade ) and is actively making inroads in fixed-mobile convergence with its VIP Homebox service.

Open Source Car

Ugly.

But still, you can modify as you wish but share it with other. ;))

6.4.07

Social signs in your hand

What your mobile phone says about you:

Nokia

Family-minded
Middle aged managers
Balance seekers
Health conscious

Motorola

Fashion conscious
Under 24
Fun seekers
Individualistic

Sony Ericsson

Ambitious young men
Professionals
Success driven
Individualistic

LG

Favourite of mums
Stay-at-home parents
Success driven
Harmony seekers

Samsung


Young women
Career focused
Success driven
Fun seekers

Via: WirelessDuniya and Stuff.co.nz

Buddy Calls

Mobile VOIP. Again.

Nokia Nseries or Eseries WiFi handsets and calls with WiFiMobile software ( S60 3rd ).
Buddy lists will sprung up.
All that even before Skype made any significant inroads in mobile space :))

Mobile Web Certification

Excellence

The folks at dotMobi are partnering with Prometric for Mobile Web Development certification.
Their initiatives are heading toward more attention for ''Mobile Web'' or whatever we might call it.

Bedroom full of laptops


Love and marriage, love and marriage

Woman deserves more attention ( FULL ) than laptop.
Indians are learning this hard way.

Motofone


Easy mobile. 1,2,3...Around 1998.

What if Motorola did have released Motofone in 1998 ?
It would be trendsetter and the best mobile UI of its time.
The growth of mobile telecommunications would be tremendeous ( it was, anyway ).
Just imagine.
Slick, low-cost, simple, big buttons, wide display, call, SMS...

3.4.07

3G Stimulation

Finns did it ! Again !

Change the law and adoption goes up.
That's how Finns did for 3G adoption. The results are:

- almost half (40%) already use 3G services and every fourth (25%) is considering their adoption

- the most wanted 3G services are email (60%), map and route services (49%), and Internet (40% )

- According to comparative questionnaire studies, the use of 3G has increased more than six-fold from the previous year's 6 per cent to 40 per cent. Currently, there are more than 700,000 3G phones in use in Finland. A year ago, the number was only 50,000.

- the most wanted were email (60%), map and route services (49%), and Internet (40%). Next most popular were the news (39%), bank (37%), weather (33%), search (27%), music (21%) and television (19%).

From Nokia's mouths

Those bluddy amateurs :)

An interview with Nokia's vice president of Nseries Computers Pekka Pohjakallio about iPhone.

Rare opportunties to hear about iPhone.
He admits Apple implemented some things differently.
"We have been preaching the message of converged multimedia in one device, with lots of use cases and a good experience for the whole life of Nseries. And now Apple have come and said basically the same thing, even if they have implemented some things differently.


And

"They had music, internet, an email deal with Yahoo and a deal with Google, but it is a 2G device, not 3G, which was a surprise to me," he says. "And it's coming first to the US market with Cingular, so let's see. But overall, it's very exciting for us."


But my biggest question for Apple about iPhone is why Apple created a "internet device" running on ISDN speeds ?
How will they connect iTunes library and multimedia rich iPhone without high-speed wirelles tech ?

Nokia 5700


Music phone. Four important buttons.

Mobility thoughts of day

Recent thoughts and question about mobility:

- How will upcoming Apple iPhone handle clicking web links when browsing on tiny device only with a thumb? If there is a list of links, how will screen respond to clicking links and fully precise doing so ?

- Mobile operators want fewer mobile OS. So, is there a space for LiMo, Apple OS and in the future some Google OS ? Basic smartphone OS's are enough or not ? Fast device-to-market is important to them. Third party developers can also benefit from few basic mobile OS's

- javascript:void(0)
Publish

Local production in a globalised world

Reverse-engineered globalisation

Motorola to launch in 2007. a new cell phone fully developed in Brazil.
Why ?
Support of local economy ? Nice try, I guess.
It's interesting development in the global economy.
More of:
Motorola will draw on the technology and software of 600 partners spread throughout Brazil, according to the spokesperson.

Man, it's 600 partners ! Local business and politician dream.
Hard & Soft will be produced in Brazil.

Sonopia

Put your logo on the mobile handset

With Sonopia become MVNO under 10 minutes. Resell mobile phone service to your group/community/users.
Sonopia headquarters are in Kyev and Menlo Park.

19.3.07

World's best overall Flash Lite application: Tube


Developers and experts from User Group gave the votes.

Croatian Flash Lite developer Alen Alebic won again most respected award among Flash Lite developers with Tube – interactive mobile guide for London's subway system ( Nokia s60 3rd edition ) .

Alebic is the head of Gideon Mobile development studio from Split, Croatia ( Split is 3,5 hours of normal flight away from Britain's capitol ).
I wrote many times before about my excitement with Adobe's tool for interactive mobile user interface .

Congrats to Alen and his Gideon Mobile team which again showed how small company with creative muscle, specialisation and orientation for global markets delivers brilliant product.
Gideon Mobile already released few Flash Lite apps ; FIFA World Cup 2006 guide, Woman's guide for ''those'' things ;)) etc.

Currently, they are developing complete mobile guides for Croatia and Slowenia.
Hope to hear more good news about them.

Related :
Flash Lite case study
LG Prada phone and its Flash Lite UI
Adobe's Mobile User Group of Boston

18.3.07

Japanese ''Terminals'' search for identity


Softbank's example and South-Korean innovation :)

I read over weekend NTT DoCoMo's Annual Report 2006. and familiarised myself more with Japanese mobile market. I am trying to put LG's Prada phone UI ( not Apple's ) inovation more into combined perspective .

I notice long ago that FOMA/mova handsets ( and those of other operators ) are not design's cutting edge but they are successful and selling well in Japan.
Above all , 3G usage penetration is almost 70 % in Japan and all that with handsets that are good-all clamshells and candybars.
Japan's market is by all means unique.

If we assume, there's wider shift in the user interface which will be supported by software (touchscreens and fluid/software Uis instead of buttons ) which will make easier using all these multimedia features and advanced mobile services ( payments, keys ), how will ''iphonish'' avantgarde concept make inroads into Japanese market ?
Is it relevant at all since usage of 3G service is not hampered by current generations of japanese handsets ?

I know there were some rumors about possible SoftBank's distribution of iPhone in Japan( SoftBank CEO Masayoshi Son attended MacExpo in SF and Steve Jobs is his friend ) .
If true, whether that would have any sense since iPhone is not build and designed under control of mobile network operator and therefore hadn't had a chance to be adopted to operator's business goals ?

So, I am not talking about features of these future japanese handsets, but of design principle. Will they move building with their partners ( Sharp, Panasonic, Fujitsu ) those sort of touchscreen models with radical UI design proposition ?

I like Toronto Star's article and opinion from last January putting into perspective iPhone and more advanced mobile markets like japanese.

17.3.07

Call your favourite plant


Plants and humans finally talk

Botanicalls is a project of a team of four students at the ITP program at NYU.

Background notes :
The Botanicalls project is fundamentally about communication between plants and people. We are empowering both by inventing new avenues of interaction. Plants that might otherwise be neglected are given the ability to call people and request assistance. People who are unsure of their ability to effectively care for growing things are given visual and aural clues.


When a plant on the botanicalls network needs a little water, it can call a human and ask for exactly what it needs.

Brilliant.

On ot the stated goals is to keep the plants alive by translating the communication protocols of the plants (leaf habit, color of foliage, droop, etc) to more common human communication protocols (email, voice phone calls, digital visualizations, etc).

Brilliant.
Something not meant to be communicating is doing just that. I wonder, how many systems we can setup on top of Botanicalls idea ?

Related:
Botanicalls video
Botanicalls photos

16.3.07

Showcasing LG Prada phone

Touchscreen experience counts or not ?

Why LG Prada phone is interesting right now ?
It shows path toward touchscreen interface and its practical use.
It's a testing ground for ''iphonish'' interface.

Exclusive video over at Litechannel:



Lately, I've been reconsidering my thoughts about iPhone.
( earlier posts : 1, 2, 3, 4 )
At first, I thought it will be failure. I am skeptical about 1st generation of iPhone, but the 2nd generation will be most certainly standard for new multimedia phones ( Apple will learn mobility ).
There's for sure shift from ''brick'' to fluid interfaces in mobile handsets.
We are now at an early stage.

On top of that, LG Prada phone has Flash Lite UI.
Adobe has a chance to rule mobile ;)

4.3.07

Today's Relaxation : Lake Cambina

Croatian northeastern countryside near Hungarian border

Enough a bit about mobile.
Today was all for relaxation. My girl and I went to croatian-hungarian border on the Lake Cambina. It's a beautiful and peaceful landscape.
Some pics I took today in the Protected Landscape of Čambina.



Above: The road to Cambina Lake.



Above: Cambina Lake in front of hunting lodge



Above: Cambina hunting lodge



Above: We moved closer but they didn't care.



Above: Backwaters of Drava river

2.3.07

Faster Mobile Broadband in Croatia


Downlink of 7,2 ( magnitude ) Mbps

The word is out in the press that croatian mobile operator VIPNET will enable faster mobile broadband with 7,2 Mbit/s for his Vodafone Mobile Connect service ( HSDPA tech , PCMCIA card ).
Current offerings are here with three data plans.

The first HSDPA network in Croatia was launched by VIPNET ten months ago ( April 2006 ). At that time, Croatia was 8th country in Europe with 3,5 G technology in the air.

I don't have information for VIPNET coverage ( some say it is 35 % ) , but I know T-Mobile ( 3,5 G from December 2006 ) says their HSDPA network already covers 55 % croatian territory.

20.2.07

''Freshmen'' enters japanese mobile market

Fast and flat. No, it's not fat.

Japanese mobile market enters eMobile , a mobile arm of japanese ISP eAccess, with main points of its offer , aimed at business customers.

E-M ONE at the glance:

- mobile broadband plan - HSDPA ( all-you-can-eat ) for a fixed fee of 50 $ a month ,
- Sharp widescreen PDA / smartphone with Windows Mobile 5.0 operating system,



Also packed into the device is 802.11b/g wireless LAN, Bluetooth and a tuner for Japan’s mobile digital television broadcasts.

If eMobile can successfully attract customers in Japan through aspects such as price and speed, it may offer a breath of fresh air for the japanese mobile industry's stale phone and data pricing schemes.

19.2.07

Vodafone Marches Across India


An uneasy friendship

We know Vodafone recently bought Hutchinson's stake in Hutch Essar Limited, India's fourth biggest mobile operator, but we still don't know who and how this venture will be run.

Arun Sarin, India-born Vodafone's CEO, tours India in the private jet, and tries to convince Essar's representatives ''this is fair game''.
Shareholder agreement is still unsigned.

Vodafone has already committed to invest two billion dollars in a "couple of years" for expansion of Hutch-Essar in India as part of efforts to become the country's largest mobile operator with a target of 100 million subscribers.

Emerging market rings.

According to Hindustan Times and given Sarin's quote there:

"ROIC (Return on Investment Capital) test met in year five and Internal Risk of Return would be around 14 per cent,”

18.2.07

Boris Nemsic serves on the GSMA management board


Mobile Tszar Boris

Boris Nemsic, at the moment CEO of “Telekom Austria Group”, has been chosen to become a member of the Management Board of the World GSM Association with a two-year term of office.
Congratulations.
I would call him ''our man'' :)
Among other facts, his work left a huge mark here in Croatia and practically he was one of the most infuential people building ''mobile crazy'' nations in the Southeastern Europe.
In November 1998, he became CEO of Vipnet, the first private mobile communications operator in Croatia.
His official profile is here.