Archive for the ‘Cellphones’ Category

Blackberry Storm – More Than Just a Name!

Friday, December 5th, 2008

It seems RIM’s latest release the ‘Blackberry Storm’ has been well named, and is certainly living up to its reputation.

Reports from several sources indicate that buyers are not happy, with complaints ranging from being “frustrated, confused and bewildered by the device” to “absolute nightmare”

Whilst attempting to offer a similar user experience to the iPhone, Blackberry Storm users are finding the user interface difficult to use, and lag times frustrating. First indications are that the device is not living up to quality claims either in design or functionality.

  • User Interface – select an icon and it jumps over to navigate to the function linked to the next icon
  • Address Book – having to scroll through a whole letter section to get to a contact
  • Slow navigation, scrolling, selecting applications
  • Crashing – playing movies
  • Typing – not easy to use and keyboard takes too long to appear
  • Scrolling – insufficient vertical scroll

Not good news for those who have waited a year to upgrade to Storm from Treo…some suggest you go back to the BlackBerry 8330 instead.

But for those who have no need to do anything in a hurry and have small enough fingers to make inputs very precise – the Storm…well it’s just in a teacup and the device works fine.

The Blackberry has a long history of good products and an equally strong cult like following as Apple. It was not until the third quarter of 2008 that Apple took over the top spot as the world’s best-selling smartphone – 6.9 million to Blackberry’s 6.1 million. But the battle is not over yet. We must be wary of first reaction reviews and wait sufficient time for a wider range of users to provide feedback on the various funcitonality and features of the device.

In the meantime – I think I will just wait and see.

Masher

Will Native Email Support Boost iPhone Sales?

Saturday, June 14th, 2008

Historically, RIM Blackberry has been preferred over Apple iPhone by business users largely due to the iPhone having no native support for corporate email systems such as Exchange Server, limiting its usefulness as a business tool.

Now that Exchange ActiveSync support will be built into iPhone 2.0 software, expect a change in the marketplace. Service providers are likely gearing up to help customers migrate to iPhone to access service cost advantages of the iPhone compared to BlackBerry.

However, RIM has also announced the BlackBerry Bold, a strong competitor featurewise to the iPhone.

The iPhone’s unique user interface and video capabilities provides an ideal platform for launching new business applications. Other support such as Google Maps could pave the way for new logistics applications and Objective C programming language is providing the ISV community with a platform to develop feature-rich applications that make use of iPhone’s unique capabilities.

The iPhones new capabilities will better position it against the popular Treo 600. The Palm Treo 600 combines personal digital assistant and phone, with a touch-screen interface gained rapid adoption in the mainstream business market, providing an opportunity for value-added resellers [VARs] to offer integrated email solutions .

Whilst the phone market is still changing, BlackBerry and Windows Mobile have settled as the dominant operating systems.

Preview of 3G Apple iPhone – Launching July 11

Tuesday, June 10th, 2008

The next generation iPhone is cheaper and faster than – in fact according to Steve Jobs who recently unveiled the new iPhone 3G at the company’s Worldwide Developers Conference in San Francisco it “is twice as fast at half the price. It is also reported to be thinner.

The new version will roll out in 22 countries on July 11 and to 70 countries by end of 2008.

Mobile operators are ramping up great value data plans for when the new version is released. The original iPhone, built to run on slower, so-called 2.5G networks, with the new version upspec’d to 3G networks, accounting for its faster speed.

Currently Apple holds 20 percent share of the US smartphone market, and 5 per cent in the rest of the world.  Main competitors to the 3G iPhone are RIM BlackBerry and Nokia’s N95.

Expected Retail Price – US$199 for an 8-gigabyte model; $299 for a 16GB version. This compares very favorably to the first version which sold out $599 and was subsequently reduced to $399.

Color – a choice of black or white for the flagship version; the entry-level 8GB will only be available in black.

Other Special Features – The new iPhone also comes with built in GPS satellite navigation to support location-based services. The prior model used a combination of Wi-Fi and cell tower responses to determine a users’ location.

iPhone 3G has also resolved numerous issues with the original, adding a flush-mounted headphone jack and increased battery life.

A short video on some of the iphone features [poor sound-sorry]

 

iPhone Features
Good Things Come To Those Who Wait – I’m sure glad I have!

Is Talking Or Texting On Your Cellphone More Dangerous When Driving?

Tuesday, February 5th, 2008

Do you think talking on a cellphone whilst driving is safer than texting on a cellphone whilst driving?  You may be surprised…I certainly was.

I was watching an interesting program on television last night about this very thing. A parent was horrified that her teenage daughter was constantly receiving and sending text messages whilst driving. She also admitted that she spoke almost constantly on her cellphones whilst driving, using a handsfree kit. She felt this was safer than her daughters habit. So the local safety authorities took up the challenge to prove exactly which interaction was more distracting…….and the texting won. Texting proved safer than talking on a mobile phone even using a handsfree set up.

The reason it seems, is that texting, like using your GPS, is something that is within your control in terms of concentration. The drivers tested generally deferred any inputs if they were in close proximity to other vehicles or negotiating more hazardous road conditions.

Those speaking on mobile phones, however, were largely at the mercy of the person on the other end. Their interaction required concentration on the other person at all times. And this proved to cause more accidents than expected.

So there it is. Personally, I don’t believe in either. I don’t have too much problem disengaging my conversation when I need to concentrate more, and I find people talking to me in the car, or loud music even worse.

Each to his/her own I guess?

Whats your thought.

Masher

Apple iPhone “Invention of the Year” ….yeah right!!

Thursday, November 8th, 2007

Apple iPhone ” has been dubbed by Time Magazine as the Invention of the Year” sparking all sorts of hot debate between lovers and haters of the device. The main debate is more around whether Apple ‘invented’ the cellphone component or just built it into their form factor. The only outcome to date on this debate is confusion…..sure, Apple has improved on the concept of the cell phone and as such may the title would more aptly be innvative technology of the year.

One poll at consumer technology review site CNET cites the following user debates:

  • Not an invention
  • iPhone, an invetion. You can’t be serious!
  • Who cares and what difference does it make.
  • Iphone? Invention? AHAHAHHAHA
  • did blackberry’s treo’s get this title?
  • (NT) Nope, doesnt count
  • Not for the working person
  • It is an invention, in all definitions of the word
  • Not an invention New!
  • Give me a break . . .
  • The term is Re-Invent
  • are you crazy
  • Excuse Me, However Its Only Time Magazine New!
  • It’s a joke, that iThing
  • did blackberry’s treo’s get this title?
  • I love my iPhone, but “Invetion of the Year”?

For the most part it seems that Time is under scrutiny for its short-sightedness in viewing the iPhone as an invention, rather than a crtique on the phone itself….. maybe it indicates that we are reaching a plateau in inventiveness and instead, innovative extension and repackaging of existing invention is where most of todays hot products are evolving. As they say….as true entrepreneur is not a developer, rather someone who takes something existing and makes it better and/or more attractive to the market.

Masher

Palm Centro Aimed At Youth Market

Monday, October 8th, 2007

Palms Centro finally hit the streets with Sprint recently and at only $99.99 with a two-year Sprint contract, promises to be a hot item with the youth market.

Sprint has 90 days exclusive on selling the Centro, but expect other carriers such as Verizon Wireless, and maybe Alltel pick it up when Sprint’s exclusivity period ends

The screen may still be the standard Treo touch screen and the QWERTY thumb-keyboard is still pretty much Palm but little more than that is standard fare, especially considering the price.

 The Media focus is very much targeted at the social activities of the youth market –  1.3 megapixel 2x digital zoom digital camera, a bundle of email and messaging capability and with enough storage muscle and expansion slot to hold a nice supply of media memorabilia.

Full details of Palm Centro

Customised Ringtones For iPhone

Thursday, September 13th, 2007

Apple has unveiled the feature set for the next version of iPhone. One of these is custom ringtones -30-second snippets from pop songs. These snippets are an industry in themselves earning $5 billion a year, worldwide. At present only about half a million of the store’s 6 million songs are available as ringtones. More are following once Apple gets permission from the record companies, for each sone.
Heres how it works –

  1. Set the options to display the ringtone icon – View menu > View Options > Click Ringtone checkbox.
  2. Buy a song from Apple’s iTunes store for $1that bears the little bell [ringtone] icon.
  3. Download the song to the iTunes program on your Mac or PC
  4. Click the little bell icon to open up a the ringtone editor.
  5. Select a slice of the song, between 3 and 30 seconds long
  6. Set options to either loop or fade in or out.
  7. Buy the ringtone for another $1 and transfer it to your iPhone.

Apple is selling a ringtone and the full song together for $2, that’s a bargain when you consider that the clip lasts a lifetime and the price of ringtones from Telcos

Pop song ringtones from:

T-Mobile and Sprint – $2.50 each

Verizon – $3 each

NOTE: Incredibly, Sprint ringtones only last 90 days before you have to pay another $2.50 to keep it. Verizon’s last only a year.

AND you don’t get to customize them, choose the start and end points, adjust the looping and so on.

Not sure that I agree that you should have to pay more to “play” the ringtone on your phone – surely it is no different than playing a clip on your CD player, MP3 or PC. With the number of free ringtones available from countless dubious sources, it seems to be a common agreement….but if you have to have one….it seems like the deal from Apple is hot.

One more up for Apple!

For more on Apple iPhone Review

Masher

Call Evidence Using Smartphones

Saturday, June 30th, 2007

I came across something interesting on BNET the other day. It seems that many smartphones are capable of recording voice conversations.

 Now you will have to check your state legislation regarding the recording of phone calls, but in most cases, as long as one party is in the know [that’s you], all is well.

All it takes is a bit of inexpensive software….

Most software versions will record either all calls, or just the ones you selelct.

For comparisons of smartphones and PDA’s

Mashser

iPods Power Depends Upon Haircut

Thursday, June 28th, 2007

Never worry about batteries again…..just plug your ipod and cellphone into your jacket. Well, that’s the idea behind a recent entry into an Italian fashion show this week.

Solar Powered JacketZegna debuted their solar powered jacket, made with conductive textiles and a solar panel in the collar. This allows the person wearing it to charge cell phones and iPods through the jacket.

Two solar modules in the coat’s collar convert the solar energy into electricity.

The electricity is routed by conductive textile cables to a buffer battery.

The battery is then used to charge a device directly or store the power until needed.

I guess that’s one more reason to keep your hair cut short.

Masher

Cellphone Wars Hotting Up

Monday, June 25th, 2007

As the impending launch of the Apple iPhone will rocket IP cellphones into a new orbit [expect an announcement June 26], it brought my focus back to not only cellphones, but to wireless carriers.

Obviously, there is no point having sexy cellphones, without the carrier services. So I took a wee peek and found some interesting user reviews of the main wireless network carriers USA. (more…)