mobile interestingness : week 18

April 29th, 2010 at 11:27 am. 0 comments.

HP buys PALM
Seems like a good fit. HP has the resources to make WebOS a strong contender in mobile and a great opportunity to make their tablets shine. HP has now entered into direct competition with Microsoft, a very close partner, and Google, RIM and Apple with an integrated software and hardware platform. One wonders when HTC is going to get bought.

Steve Jobs weighs in on Flash
An open letter in which Jobsy lays out the six reasons Apple is not supporting Flash on their mobile devices. These are all reasons that have been given before, just never officially from Apple. Jobs first takes issue with Adobes claims of the openness of the Flash platform and experiencing the “full web”, direct rebuttals to claims from Adobe itself. Next are the reasons one expects in Flash on mobile argument – security, performance, battery life and the touch interface. The most important reason though is last, the platform. Apple wants control of its mobile platform, a third party cross-platform layer gives away that control. 

Froyo, Android 2.2 will support Flash
Andy Rubin also wishes someone would leave a prototype Android phone in a bar. Really.

Manifesto for Mobile User Experience
The MEX conference is built around a manifesto, and this year’s is fantastic. Nailing this one to the wall right now.

Maptor: A handheld GPS enabled map projector
Beautiful little object lets you project a map of your current location. 

Life without technology is unbearable
“Texting and IM-ing my friends gives me a constant feeling of comfort,” wrote one student. “When I did not have those two luxuries, I felt quite alone and secluded from my life. Although I go to a school with thousands of students, the fact that I was not able to communicate with anyone via technology was almost unbearable.”
University of Maryland study asked two hundred students to give up all media for 24 hours.

Paying via phone: Mobile payments getting some attention
Paypal, Intuit, Verifone and Square are all offering systems to allow payments through cell phones. Good New York Times article that gives an overview of whats out there now and now some innovative small businesses are reaping the rewards.

iPhone vs. Android isn’t Mac vs. PC
The whole is greater than the sum of the parts, lose the battle but win the war, can’t see the forest for the trees. The article gives are five ‘little picture’ reasons to pick a winner but they add up to a big one, The Platform.  

Fennec, AKA Mobile Firefox available for Android
Available in air quotes really – Its a pre-alpha (huh?) release, require Android 2.0 and probably a nexus One or Moto Droid. Will be interesting to see if the Gecko rendering engine can carve a space in mobile where mobile webkit is the defacto standard

Android web traffic passing iPhone
Stats via admob, using mobile ad requests as a proxy for traffic data. Android ad requests up 32% in the last month

Barnes & Noble Nook firmware update
Android games Sudoku and Chess, and a lite-web browser which is primarily for logging into public wifi. 

mobile interestingness

April 23rd, 2010 at 11:26 am. 0 comments.
some cell phones in my house
All my phones before the iPhone 3G (not shown)
I’ve been writing up a little linked list with short comments at work for the last few months called This Week in Mobile. I try to sum up a bunch of interesting stories from the last week in the mobile space as well as highlight things that might get missed. It had been internal emails (I know, lame) but they now go to Posterous as well, and starting this week I’m going to be posting them here too.

This Week in Mobile | April 22 2010

Industrial Espionage, Questionable Ethics of All Involved, Give us back our Stolen iPhone
A popular gadget blog happens upon a top secret prototype mobile device that happens to be from one of the most secretive and impenetrable companies around. And when I say happens upon I mean purchases from (we don’t actually get to learn the iPhone finders name) whom found it in a bar where it was left by (Apple engineer who seems to still have a job but his name is a bit tarnished) who was enjoying some german beers. Yay, we get to see the new iPhone (maybe?) early and learn of new features (high res screen, camera flash, bigger battery, front facing camera, possible ceramic backplate)

Mobile App Market global ecosystem : Follow the Money
Excellent summary by Saurik, who runs the jailbreak cydia store, on all the moving parts in the complicated machine he runs.

Mobile Multitasking
Technical at times but fundamentally it boils down to the fact that on the desktop priority is given to keeping all running applications open, utilizing swap to park blocks of memory on the hard drive, at the expense of system performance. On mobile platforms, iPhone and Android, being responsive to the user is the priority, and background apps are killed when system performance may suffer. As noted in the article this is largely a fact of the limited memory present in mobile devices and may in the future move to a more desktop-like multitasking model, but I feel that this focus on the users experience aligned with many of the priorities of modern personal computing and that future desktops/laptops/tablets will move to this model of multitasking. Not thorough enough? More here

Bridging the physical / digital divide beautifully, this app that makes it easy to get extra digital content & social sharing functionality from paper newspapers. Uses your mobile’s camera to recognize patterns in the text and presents the content on screen where you can do, you know, do stuff. Video in the link explains it all.

Alice for iPad (youtube)
If you have not watched this video yet do it now. While physical paper kids books that can be thrown across the room or used as blocks, walls and anything else imaginable by kids will not be going away anytime soon, the story of Alice in Wonderland presented this way is nothing short of pure wonder for me. It is as if imagination was right on the ‘page’.

Consumer Reports has a problem with Microsofts Kin
Hipsters and Sexting. I have several other problems with the Kin. And that UI looks really familiar. Hmmmm.

Flash 10.1 for mobile delayed, slips from 1st half 2010 until 2nd half 2010
Article has a video showing a demo of webcontent utilizing flash. The video shows a simple shooting game and then The National Geographic website highlighting the use of Flash ad banners (yay?) a rich interaction navigation menu and a Flash video player. This all looks pretty good but getting Flash player to run well does require the very tippy top of the line mobile hardware so wide reach of that content is even further away than 2nd half of 2010.

Twitter Stats from Chirp!

Of note – 37% of Twitter updates come from Mobile

Primer on mobile apps dos and don’ts from an e-commerce
Avoid gimmicky features

Apple’s iAds will make mobile ads sexy
Not sure if sexy is the right word but the article makes a fine point about the desire for brands to be on the platform and until iAds the only way to be on the platform was with a branded application. More often than not these branded applications were were just ads, and usually executed poorly (because these companies wanted to advertise and not created experiences, for better or worse) Some brands have been able to join up with apps that provide utility to their customers and ‘sponsor’ a paid app and make it free ie. North Face and the Ski Conditions app The Snow Report. With iAds brands can be on the platform without the burden of creating applications and usefulness and can be creative with their messaging.

Windows Phone 7 Architecture Documents Leaked
Good technical reading here. A Microsoft Live ID is required to authenticate the device, Marketplace is the only spot for Apps (no sideloading), and its built upon the guts of WinCE6

Projects Ares, Palm’s WebOS Dev Platform is Live, in your Browser
Create WebOS applications in your browser. Palm is up against the ropes, with poor sales, a tumbling stock price and rumors it is up for sale – hopefully a more robust third party app ecosystem can breath some life back into them. if there is one thing Palm has going for it, it’s the widely admired WebOS platform, unfortunately the person in charge of WebOS, Michael Abbot, has left Palm to go to Twitter.

GSM Infrastructure Hack allows location, call and SMS eavesdropping
Mining the data available on a GSM network, especially the HLR which is like the DNS of mobile phones, allows a dossier to be created for individual users. From that personal details can be sussed out of the data, and the use of some custom built tools, some caller ID spoofing and other secret sauce gets you voicemails, and even listening in on live phone calls. Because the hack uses the infrastructure of GSM to gather much of the information the attacks could be mitigated but changes would be slow and difficult for the carriers.

Adobe Air on Android
Coming Soon.

Yo, Android 2.2 Froyo in the wild. Yo.
Making an appearance in several sites’ Google analytics. Could be faked, but hey, it’s news. Whats Froyo made of?

Hate talking on the phone like I do?
10 reasons why talking on the phone sucks

station identification

April 16th, 2010 at 2:15 pm. 0 comments.

1954 May 28 Colliers Cover paleofuture-1-1.jpg

weather made to order? i am the weather.

via doingitwrong

google mail envelopes

April 12th, 2010 at 1:27 pm. 0 comments.


Love the idea of making maps into envelopes, even with the limitations of having to send all snail mail south-easterly to get the return address and the recipient’s address properly positioned.

Like when Reason magazine did custom magazine covers with aerial photographs for each of their subscribers homes – in June 2004

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