competitions End User phones

The name that Samsung Galaxy S3 phone competition

Samsung Galaxy S3 seen next to a Samsung Galaxy S2The guess the name of the Samsung Galaxy S3 phone competition from Monday was somewhat buried in the review. It is one of the least entered megaprize competitions I’ve run. This is possibly because it was buried in a long review of the Galaxy S3 or maybe the chances of winning were slim becasue there are lots and lots of names it could have been.

I’m going to assume both so this is a short post just to highlight the competition. Then I’m going to narrow down the possibilities as to what the name might be by telling you that it has biblical associations.

I’m not going to limit the number of prizes here. The competition is going to run all day and anyone who gets the name right gets a prize. There is also going to be a further prize for anyone who comes up with the most unusual biblical name (I’m the judge and my decision is final1).

This competition is also open to Timico staff. If they turn their noses at the mug then I’ll think of a different internal prize but it’s a mug for everyone else. Btw the one answer I did get on the previous post was “Tref’s phone”. Although it is the name displayed on the locked screen I am after the bluetooth name which is different.

Get guessing.

PS if you have already won a mug in a previous competition I can find a different prize for you.

1 though it isn’t beyond the realms of possibility that I can be bribed on this one but the bribe is almost certainly going to have to be for a lot more than the prize is worth.

End User phones

the rose – a Galaxy S3 photo taken with the pure at heart in mind

You don’t always need a reason to write a blog post. June is one of the best times of year in the UKI could justify this one as being a demo of a photo taken with my Samsung Galaxy S3 but it is good enough just as a nice photo of a rose. I dedicate this photo to all who blossom and have goodness in their hearts 🙂 Just close your eyes and imagine the scent. Perfect spring perfume.

End User phones

Unstructured user review of the Samsung Galaxy S3 & comparison with S2

Samsung Galaxy S3 seen next to a Samsung Galaxy S2I’ve been using the Samsung Galaxy S3 for three days now. I don’t think you can sensibly rush out a review within hours of getting your hands on a device particularly as these phones are not simple gadgets anymore. They are highly complex and despite any focus on usability and simplicity there is so much to learn and find out about them that it inevitably takes time.

My first concern was somewhat mundane – the size of the phone. The Galaxy S2 was just about ok for me  – I struggled to read the top of the screen with my thumb and was worried that the S3 might be significantly bigger and thus harder to reach. This aint the case. Although the S3 is advertised as being bigger it isn’t that much different in real life, which is good. I also sat it next to a Samsung Note and it isn’t much smaller than that either but a lot more usable as a phone. I suspect we are getting the best of both worlds here.

The  Samsung Galaxy S3 is otherwise known as the GT-I9300. I know that this is the underlying model number of the phone because whilst trying to name it something to hook up with my Parrot car kit it automatically connected itself. It was easy. All I had to do was enter the car kit pin number.

I couldn’t, in my desire to get going on a Friday evening, find out how to name the phone. It must have been me because when I discussed this with one of the kids the next morning it took him seconds to find out how to do it. I wanted to call the phone “Rosita the Dragon Slayer”. The kids thought that was daft.

End User phones

crystal ball gazing – mobile tech style

I’ve been gazing into that mobile market crystal ball again. I can see nooootthhhinggggg. That’s because all the main phone vendors have sued themselves into the ground in every single market they operate in. This time Samsung is ringing the changes by suing the Australian Patent Commissioner. I don’t need to say more – you can read it yourself on the beeb.

I’m pleased I just got my Galaxy S3 because it is going to remain state of the art for years to come – until the army of corporate lawyers grow so old they trip over their ever lengthening beards, bang their heads against one another and self-destruct. That’s a wake I’d like to attend. It’ll be champagne and caviar all round all paid for out of the rich estates of the dearly departed.

Other than that you aren’t getting an S3 review until Monday although I will say that I have discovered the burst mode on the camera and it is super cool.

End User phones wearable

Galaxy S2 & Galaxy S3 side by side

Samsung Galaxy S3 seen next to a Samsung Galaxy S2Le Samsung Galaxy S3 est arrive. 삼성 갤럭시 S3가 도착했습니다.Mae’r Galaxy S3 Samsung wedi cyrraedd.Որ Samsung Galaxy S3 է ժամանել.وقد وصلت سامسونج غالاكسي S3.આ સેમસંગ ગેલેક્સી S3 આવ્યા છે.Samsung Galaxia S3 iritsi da.Samsung Galaxy S3 gəlib.Samsung Galaxy S3 đã đến.স্যামসাং আকাশগঙ্গা S3 এসেছে.La Samsung Galaxy S3 alvenis.三星Galaxy S3已经抵达.The Samsung Galaxy S3 kominn.سیمسنگ کہکشاں S3 آ گیا ہے.Samsung Galaksi s3 a te rive.An Réaltra Samsung S3 tagtha.Ang Samsung Galaxy S3 ay dumating.Das Samsung Galaxy S3 ist da.Samsung Galaxy S3 прибыло.سامسونگ کهکشان S3 وارد کرده است

Ok folks. As you can see the Samsung Galaxy S3 has arrived and is in my hands. I’m going to kick the tyres over the weekend and give you a considered opinion of it compared with the Galaxy S2.

In the meantime, seeing as it’s Friday afternoon there is a prize for anyone who can tell me which languages (in order of writing) I’ve used in the above announcement. If no one comes in with them all right then the nearest  best attempt wins (all assuming I can remember myself).

End User phones

I’ve ordered a Samsung Galaxy S3

I’ve ordered a Samsung Galaxy S3. I don’t know if it is the right thing to do. Part of me says moving to a new phone means that you should be moving to a significantly better device – I have an S2. Every new phone seems to be “just an iteration” of the incumbent spec. Certainly that’s how it seems with the iPhone and also with other devices that Samsung has brought out since the S2. I’m still on the original iPad!

On the other hand we live in a very fast moving world where even the smallest competitive edge can make a real difference. Can we ascribe this to our use of smartphones? I don’t know, perhaps. I think the S3 probably has just enough on the S2 to make it worth the upgrade. I need to do it because otherwise before I know it everyone else will have moved on to the S7 or S8 and I’ll be so far behind the times I will really have to think of packing it all in.

End User mobile connectivity phones

what price a taxi? – charge what you like courtesy of Vodafone

Vodafone in taxi chargerNever before in the field of blogging have I devoted such a large header photo to a post. According to Scott, my style guru and graphic designer the header is meant to be quite thin giving a tantalising glimpse of what lies within and tempting people to either click to see a bigger image or read the post below.

This one is almost three times the normal size!!! The subject merits the attention for on my way to an ITSPA meeting in a taxi this morning I saw a vision. In this vision Vodafone loomed large and loud and in my face. Well at my elbow actually because sat in that London taxi my eyes fell upon a mobile phone charging point compatible with multiple phone types.

Wow! Cool! So good I could envisage people asking the taxi driver to drive round the block a couple of times to give their phone more time to charge.

The taxi driver gets a few quid a month for hosting the “service”. Vodafone gets great publicity and feelgood factor. They made me think what a great bit of PR. Whoever thought of this in Vodafone’s marketing department deserves a bonus.I will seek them out

Well done Vodafone.

End User phones

She’s leaving home (with her phone) – bye bye

One of yesterday’s posts had a song title from the Beatles’ Sgt Pepper album, one of my favourites and probably the greatest rock masterpiece of all time. This one is also from the same album.

My daughter is off to London today with a pal. It’s an 18th birthday trip. Night out on the town taking in Legally Blonde, stay in the hotel at County Hall followed by a day’s retail therapy in Oxford Street with her birthday money.

All she needs, apart from overnight clothes are her cashpoint card and her HTC Desire HD. Her train ticket reference was on the phone, hotel booking details – on the phone, tube map – on the phone. Get the drift? She is a child of her time. It won’t be long before she doesn’t even need her bank card. It will all be on the phone.

My only contribution to the trip, apart from an element of funding and a lift to the station was to remind her to make sure she took her phone charger with her.

I know she hasn’t left home yet really and even when she has gone I know she will still be coming back occasionally, when she needs something. Hey – that’s why I’m here 🙂

Anyone seen Legally Blonde? Also note the absence of a prefix to the word phone – “smart” is so yesterday.

PS oh and if anyone has a favourite song that they would like a technology oriented post written about let me know – keep it clean. I think I’ll be working my way through Sgt Pepper, somehow.


End User mobile connectivity phones

Apple to rebrand as Kumquat

latest brand revolution - the Kumquat - has fewer pips than an AppleIn a dramatic statement made after hours1 last night Apple announced a complete re-branding exercise under the new name “Kumquat”.

“The Apple brand has served us well and has made us the unbelievably big global giant we are today” says CEO Tim Cook.   However with Steve Jobs no longer around, the share price at over $600 and the Market cap approaching $600Bn this can’t go on forever.

“There is a limit to how many iPods, iPads and Macs our fans are willing to buy so to sustain the growth we need to give them something else.”

That something is the Kumquat. The Kumquat is everything that Apple was but as a more upmarket and exotic fruit we expect consumers to be willing to pay even more for their addiction. Existing sub brands (iPod, iPad etc) will remain unaffected though replacement stickers will be available online and at Apple Kumquat stores and greengrocers in your locality.

The announcement has been greeted with some surprise

End User phones

the ultimate mobile phone – early bird registration now open

early British Telecom handset - smart phones for smart people :)We have started to see speculation surrounding the timing and specifications of the Samsung Galaxy SIII. If truth be told such speculations start soon after the release of any new generation of handset whoever the manufacturer is. Such is the interest.

Although for the life of me I can’t understand why people get caught up in this hype I can understand why websites might want to fuel the speculative flames – loads of advertising dosh to be raked in. Note I have refrained from the slightest involvement in such lowbrow activity.

The hype has made me think about mobile handset technology in general. Rather than drill in to the nitty gritty of

End User mobile connectivity phones

Lumia is light – a new dawn for Nokia?

Nokia World in London October 2011Nokia CEO Stephen Elop launches Lumia smart phones at Nokia World Just finished watching the NokiaWorld webcast.  I don’t watch many of these but last week I also happened to dip into the RIM event and it must be said that there is a world of difference between the two. Nokia CEO Stephen Elop appears to be one of the better front men of the big mobile and platform providers though the language he used was very carefully chosen and was filled with sentences that seemed to me to be the product of long days in the marketing department meeting room.

Nokia today launched the Lumia range of smart phones. In Elop’s words “Lumia is light – a new dawn for Nokia”. This is the “big one”. The one that has to work and which has several shirts and a house riding on it.

Based on the Windows Phone OS the Lumia has 6 times more marketing budget

End User mobile connectivity phones

Ice cream sandwiches, fruit and toiletries – a review of the Samsung Nexus?

stay cool with an Ice Cream Sandwich from Google?When I was a kid the summers were always unbearably hot (and it always snowed at Christmas). We would turn on the hosepipe in the back garden, fill the paddling pool and splash about showering each other with jets of water. Sometimes the ice cream van would come round and hearing the music we would all run outside and line up to choose a cooling treat.

Usually I’d go for a “wafer”. The man in the van would cut a slice off a block of ice cream and sandwich it between two wafers. Then I would lick the ice cream in the middle until it got smaller and smaller and the wafer got soggier and soggier and I eventually had to eat the lot.

They stopped selling wafers for some reason. Health and safety probably or some commercial packaging business case that said it wasn’t economic. I don’t know.

Now I was excited to hear that they were bringing back the Ice Cream Sandwich. Ooo I thought.

Business mobile connectivity Net phones

Roll up, roll up, get yer acronyms here #MAM #MDM #CoIT #BYOD #MPLS #VoIP

Being a progressive high technology company we have a department that is dedicated to coming up with new acronyms. Ok that’s not an entirely fair description of the marketing department – engineering also does it 🙂

We have been upping the ante on mobile products in the last year or so.  The mobile world is rapidly moving on from merely the selling of phones, minutes and handsets (plus BlackBerry of course which has been an added value sell for years).

Unless you have been in a cocoon for the last six months (and you might)

End User phones

Importance of good web design – effect on a sales campaign

BlackBerry,technical,support,contract,UK,TimicoInteresting to see the importance of good web design in action. We have been running a campaign to sell BlackBerry Technical support. Despite not being trendy anymore many businesses out there use BlackBerry and we sell support.

Initially we were seeing quite a bit of interest but not seeing page views convert to new business. The old landing page was too much like a brochure with not enough “call to action”.

This was changed and we have immediately seen a substantial increase in business taken via the web. Over time we are going to systematically evolve our whole web strategy taking on board lessons learnt.

End User phones

Who wants an iPhone5? or Apple smart phone market share could reach 44%?

An apple - grown in my back garden at home

Following yesterday’s Apple iPhone5 stunt we conducted a huge1 survey of Newark mobile phone users to find out how many of them would want to buy the gadget when it goes on sale. The results are as follows:

No  I’m happy with my current phone (49%)

Maybe but not for a while (20%)

Yes  can’t wait (16%)

Maybe  I’ll wait and see confirmed specs (8%)

No  I hate Apple (8%)

1A massive total of 51 people responded to the survey which was exclusively conducted on the Timico intranet. This is the biggest ever survey of its kind conducted by Timico at Timico for Timico. However I thought the results were too exciting to keep inside Timico so I’m sharing them with y’all.

If Apple want to send an iPhone5 demo model over before the launch I have an 11 year old who is totally unhappy with his newish Nokia N97 with occasionally working touch screen (ungrateful wretch).

Wouldn’t touch it myself though.  I’m one of the 49% who are content with their lot – in my case a Samsung Galaxy S2.

Interestingly Wikipedia tells us that Apple had 18.5% share of the smart phone market in Q2 11 which isn’t a million miles adrift from our “Yes can’t wait” number. Presumably their research is somewhat more scientific than mine 🙂 .

The 44% market share forecast comes from the total of yes and maybes, in case you didn’t get that – somewhat tongue in cheek I know but in keeping with the rest of this post.

End User phones

Statistics suggest that Apple staff must lose many phones a year #iPhone5

You don’t need this blog to tell you that hot news this morning is that an Apple employee has gone and lost an iPhone5 prototype in a Mexican Restaurant in San Fransisco.  This is almost not news because it is becoming a regular occurrence – it happened before with a previous version of the iPhone.

This is quite timely because at Timico we have been studying mobile handset security issues at work. We talked to directors of 200 companies in the SMB sector and found that 76% of businesses had staff who had lost company mobile phones in any given year. Unsurprisingly the bigger the company the more likely they were to lose more phones.

If you extrapolate our data to a company the size of Apple then the chances are their staff lose thousands of iPhones (assuming any other device would be heresy) a year. Statistically someone with a new iPhone prototype is bound to lose it at some stage though you would have thought they would take a little more care. I guess the euphoria of being in an elite band of iPhone testers leaves you a little more than light headed.

Our survey came up with lots more interesting stats which I will be writing more about over the next week or two so watch this space 🙂

Lots more coverage on the iPhone5 loss here, here and here.

Business phones

Google buys Motorola Mobility – will Microsoft follow suit with Nokia?

We do live in exciting times. The acquisition of Motorola Mobility by Google turns the pressure on Nokia/Microsoft. Don’t have a crystal ball but it isn’t hard to imagine Microsoft acquiring Nokia leaving us, with Apple, a three horse race.

The interesting question is what happens to the other phone vendors? It becomes increasingly difficult to imaging RIM, HP and any other vendor with their own OS making any headway in this market and the pure hardware vendors (in this case) such as HTC and Samsung must be concerned despite the placatory noises coming out of Google. I guess if nothing else it will heighten their need to maintain competitiveness which is good.

Motorola brings huge benefits to Google: a large patent portfolio, hardware nouse and a resource of developers. I recently took a look at Motorola’s Xoom (online only – there is a limit to how many gadgets I can afford to buy and I’m not ready to buy another tablet yet) and it looked like a good first attempt.  I’m looking forward to seeing the products that come out of this acquisition and I would think that the staff at Motorola Mobile are on a high.

datacentre End User phones

Smartphones: Samsung Galaxy S2 vs. HTC Desire HD

HTC Desire HDPeople who know suggested I should move phone operations from HTC Desire HD to Samsung Galaxy S2 so I have. My main motivation (and you have to take this as read) is not to just have the latest and greatest gadget. Things are moving so quickly in the tech world that I need to stay in touch with the art of the possible. It would also be a good exercise in seeing how easy it was to do the migration.

In reading this post you have to consider that I am not a gadget freak and I don’t spend my life understanding the nuances of different versions of OS or processor hardware specifications. I may therefore make mistakes in setting up a new phone that the geek would not but in this I can’t be any different to most people. My other criterion for success is that I shouldn’t have to rtfm, ie have to look something up in the online support.

I have two benchmarks for comparison – the HTC Desire HD and the iPad both of which broke new ground for me.  iPad was very easy to set up but has clear deficiencies and the HTC represented a learning curve in smartphone tech.

The features I use most on the HTC are Tweetdeck, Dropbox, camera, voice recorder, internet and gallery, mail, calendar, sms and foursquare with a smattering of Bambuser,and ESPN (seasonally) thrown in. I use the internet rather than plugins to access Facebook (keep in touch with my kids) and LinkedIn (rarely) as I haven’t found these plug ins to be much cop. For some reason I don’t use the phone for Empire Avenue and I’m actually currently struggling to get my brain round why I might want to access that particular network.

So in moving from HTC Android to Samsung Android it would be useful for me to see how seamless

Apps End User phones

migration from one smartphone to another #HTCDesireHD #SamsungGalaxyS2

Jfyi I am moving operations from the HTC Desire HD to a Samsung Galaxy S2 (I’m just so with it!). This is going to generate a blog post over the next few days because in my mind this should be a straightforward migration but I’m finding this is not totally the case.  I am also coming across User Interface differences that in themselves are not major but are interesting in that they show that there is definitely some differentiation in this market other than just processor speed, pixel count and battery life.

I’m sure that the Apple fanbois out there will snort in contempt at such issues but all I can say is their blissful state of “Jobs dependence” comes at a price that many are not prepared to pay. More anon 🙂

End User phones

Retro moments – Apple MessagePad2000

The Apple MessagePad 2000

After yesterday’s ministerial round table on IPv6 I chaired an ITSPA meeting on Number Portability. Tim Ward fromTim Ward compares Apple MessagePad 2000 with iPad Neustar wowed us all by unveiling his Apple MessagePad2000. There were few of us in the meeting old enough to remember it.

This museum piece is based on the Apple Newton platform first released in 1993. Tim’s version harks back to 1997 which coincidentally is when Apple dropped support for the platform. He still uses it today instead of using paper – fair enough.

Apple MessagePad 2000The MessagePad didn’t suffer from Y2K issues but funnily enough had a Y2010 problem. Fortunately there are still enthusiast developers around that support it and there is a patch for the bug. These early versions of the iPad (bit of a stretch I know) have held their value well with good condition versions selling for around £400! That’s not far off the price of an iPad.

I did note that the MessagePad2000 doesn’t support flash either. This particular one is still in daily use and is set to last for another few years yet. Nice one Tim:)

Business phones

Nokia knocked off top spot in WE smartphone sales – ducks not lined up – IDC

look out for that cliff edge

In June 2008 I wrote that the writing was on the wall for Nokia. However in August of that year I got myself an E71 and saw that it was good. I note that by June of 2010 I was using a Nokia N97 which at the time I thought was the best phone I had ever had. Although it was targeted at consumers I couldn’t see why business users would not want it.

By November 2010 I had ditched the N97 for a HTC Desire HD. Symbian for Android. Old world for brave new world. Now the HTC is the best phone I ever had – this is a continuing saga.

According to IDC whilst Nokia remains #1 globally for smartphones in Western Europe the Finnish company has slipped into second place behind Samsung.

In a quarter that showed a 76% year on year growth for smartphone shipments Nokia suffered a 10% decline. Samsung grew only 5% and HTC a whopping 271%, admittedly from a much smaller base.

This isn’t really an “I told you so” post and of course it is about operating systems these days not handsets. It is however interesting to be able to read the historical blog posts and be both a spectator and participant in this game.

You would think there have been enough case studies on companies disappearing off the map having been left behind in technological revolutions for modern day participants to see problems coming a long way off. For Nokia the cliff edge is perilously close with only a fence built by Microsoft between them and oblivion (breaking up on the rocks/watery grave etc). Would you bet on the Microsoft fence?

PS the imagination is running riot here with a severe risk of winning an award for most clichés used in a blog post. I could also have used “one last window of opportunity” when describing the Nokia/Microsoft relationship.

Any further appropriate clichés left as comments will be appreciated. No prizes – just points 🙂

PPS header photo is something to do with having your ducks lined up (ok I know they are probably geese but it isn’t Christmas yet)

End User net neutrality phones piracy

BBC iPlayer on iPad and Android – high quality – blessing or bandwidthbuster & what about the TV license? :)

iPlayer running on iPad and Adnroid HTC Desire HD

The twitterstream was full of references to the new iPlayer App for iPad and Android this morning so I naturally dived in and downloaded. I have to say the experience is top quality on both. The colours are great and the TV is very watchable on both size screens.

What really came into my mind though was not the fact that I now had a new app on my devices but the fact that this was yet another driver for bandwidth use and also the question of the TV license.

Cisco internet growth forecast

The chart on the right is Cisco’s growth forecast for internet bandwidth use – a 4x growth between 2009 and 2014. Much of this as you can see is driven by video. The Y axis legend is in ExaBytes/Month!

A one of the World’s best content provider the BBC really is one of the drivers of this (Ok YouTube et al are also contributors) and making iPlayer easier to access on more and more devices adds to the proliferation. Of course this also adds to the pressures on ISP networks and fuels the NetNeutrality debate butthat is not for this post. Grown up ISPs will manage their way through.

The debate about the TV License fee is however another issue. The BBC has said that it is not going after non license payers watching using iPlayer online:

“Well, the number of homes that currently have no television licence, but that do have broadband subscription is currently estimated to be infinitesimally small. The chances are if you want to watch BBC TV programmes via catch-up over the web, you are also watching some BBC programmes at other times, live or time-shifted, via a TV set, and will already have a TV licence. ”

This situation will possibly change quite quickly over the next few years.

You only need a license if you are watching live TV which the BBC is now promoting using the iPlayer App. My question is whether the BBC is able to identify online users? The chances are they will only have an IP address to go at which is going to raise the same issues as we currently see with the Digital Economy Act and the RightsHolder industries (of which the BBC is a member). Unless that is the BBC has some spyware embedded in its iPlayer App that somehow records data on who is using it – via  iTunes username perhaps?!

The other notweworthy point is that apps like this are also fuelling the demand for newer faster smart phones. The iPlayer App for Android needs a fast processor to run Flash. It will inevitably evolve towards more and more HD content which will use more and more bandwdth and need faster and faster processors etc etc etc.

We do live in interesting times. BBC statement on iPlayer here.  BBC position on TV License for online streaming here. Header photo (click to see more) is of iPlayer App running on both iPad and HTC Desire HD (Android).

More TV related stuff:

Sony 4K Ultra HD TV

TV detector vans – the truth

Boring TV & better things to do.

End User phones

The HTC Desire HD – Android review two months in a step up from my old Nokia N97

phonebox in snow in Lincoln Bailgate

I get asked what I think of my Android phone – I seem to have a wave of friends whose contracts are now up and are looking to move (predominantly from a Nokia!)

My first observation is that the moves are typically away from a Nokia and the question is Apple or Android? A second observation is that none of the phones being considered are cheap and people are signing up to spending £850 or so over two years, including the bundle, on a handset that they are almost certain to want to churn at the end of their contract. Such is the pace of development. That’s the equivalent of buying a new 42″ plasma/LCD TV every year!

My two month old HTC Desire HD is the best phone I have ever had. Before that I had a Nokia N97 which was also at the time the best phone I had ever had but the HTC is streets ahead of it.

The biggest leap forward is in usability. Everything is intuitive and easy. Next is the huge range of apps you can download for the device. This is not unique to Android but it is collectively for the industry a big step up from where we were before. There may well have been apps available for older generation handsets but today it is more natural for people to use them. If anything the difficulty is trying to decide which app to use – there are just so many of them.

The apps are also better designed for their environment. For example on the N97 I had a Facebook App that used to give me problems when leaving the house. The device didn’t easily switch from WiFi to 3G and the Facebook app kept complaining about “not having a connection to the network” – a nuisance when I had just set off in the car and didn’t want to fiddle about with the phone. It was easier for me to use the 3G connection most of the time rather than keep switching back and fore from WiFi.

On the HTC Desire HD this is never a problem. It isn’t a problem on the iPad either so I imagine this is a “generational” improvement in software. Using 3G does pose battery life problems though so I do take real steps to prevent this, normally by keeping the phone disconnected from any data network unless I particularly need to use it. With careful management the battery lasts me a whole day and if I know I am going to be “hammering” the phone I take advantage of any opportunity to recharge it.

The Apps I use are TweetDeck, Voice Recorder, Mail, Camera, Messages, Search, Gallery, Internet, Four Square and AudioBoo. I also have Skype on there but more from the notion that I feel I ought to have it than because I really use it. In fact I very regularly use all but Skype and AudioBoo and I’m planning on doing more audio posts.

It isn’t a phone anymore. It is clearly a personal communicator – it’s just that the PC acronym has already been taken.

If I had to make a criticism it is that the sound quality of the HTC Desire HD doesn’t match up to the quality of the rest of the device. The speakers don’t anyway. When I use the headset it is great. Also because it is a touch screen phone I sometimes find that my cheek has “ended” a conversation.

The only other gripe is not phone specific and that is the spelling auto-correction sometimes leads me to including words that I didn’t mean so send in a tweet or text. The benefits of the function outweigh the problems and I am happy to live with the added overhead of having to check what I have a written before sending.

From a parental perspective I fear that a new bar has been set in terms of a child’s expectation of a mobile phone. It’s all about money these days. Whilst I realise that I make a living out of technology, part of me yearns back to the days of my youth where nobody had a mobile, the internet hadn’t been invented and I used to put two pence in the phone box outside school to call my mum to come and pick me up from cricket/rugby etc. In fact I didn’t even need to spend the money because as soon as the pips went mum knew I was at that phone box.

Of course I could always become a monk! Click on the header photo and you will see a boy waiting outside a phonebox in the snow for his mum to pick him up. I suppose there are benefits to technology :). He should have used his Android! (he does have a HTC running Windows mobile 6.5 and an iPod Touch!!)

End User phones

What went wrong with the Samsung Galaxy tab?

Richar Wright of Timico discusses Samsung Galaxy tab with Apple CEO Steve Jobs

STOP PRESS – Richard Wright reverts to iPad from Samsung Galaxy tab

Back in the dim and distant days before Christmas 2010 I wrote a post describing how Timico sales manager Richard Wright had switched from the iPad to the Samsung Galaxy tab. Well gadget freak Richard has switched back!

With echoes of the Consumer Electronics Show still swirling around the ether with tales of 26 new tablets on view I thought I would find out why the sudden reversion. Richard’s feedback is provided below:

  • Android Marketplace did not have as much choice
  • A few apps he used on iPad either weren’t available or not written as well. This was especially true when it came to “sharing” eg Stumbleupon – the iPad app shares very easily but with Android he had to download a 3rd party app called Facebook share – also Stumbleupon just puts the url in.
End User gadgets phones

26 tablets announced at CES last week 15 = Android

photo in the picture is of graffiti taken by Sue Davies

It’s mind boggling how many new tablets were announced last week at the Las Vegas Consumer Electronics Show – 26 according to Pocket-Lint. What can we derive from this, other than the fact that everyone is convinced this is a market to invest in?

Competition is great and breeds choice. Just to pick a couple of metrics the prices ranged between $399 and $999 (thats probably £399 and £999 if are UK based – doesn’t sound right I know).  Also the screen sizes on offer were 4″, 5.5″,  7″,  8″, 9″, 10″ and 10.8″. Wow! If one of those doesn’t do for you I don’t know what to say! 🙂

End User phones

iPad, Galaxy Nokia N97 and the HTC Desire HD

Samsung Galaxy tab

I have just swapped my 2 year old Nokia N97 for a HTC Desire HD. It is mind boggling what you can do with these handsets now. My biggest problem is that with so much in there trying to understand how it works requires significant levels of skill.

This is pretty different to my other new acquisition, the iPad which in all fairness has less functionality loaded at Tzero. I realise it isn’t a direct correlation but it is the iPad I have been using for comparison, especially in respect of ease of use.

Startup is more straightforward with the iPad, even down to inserting the SIM, though this is not a major issue. After a while I gave up trying to learn the Desire HD intuitively and settled for reading the tips easily available in an icon on the front screen. Unfortunately I deleted this when I was only on tip four. I don’t know how I did it and can’t find out whether it is retrievable. I’m sure it is probably available online but I haven’t had time to look yet. So I’m a few tips short of a full deck when it comes to learning how to use the phone.

Apps End User phones

iPad total immersion course

I now have an iPad. I got it on Friday. I thought it made sense not to let the tablet world pass me by and in any case it should be handy for my frequent jaunts up and down to London. The laptop is heavy to lug around.

Now I have an iPad I thought I would share my journey with it with you. At least the early part of the journey which coincidentally has had to be speeded up since a trojan fried my laptop.

The iPad was really easy to set up. There were no instructions other than a card pointing out a small number of salient features – screen etc.

Business mobile connectivity phones voip

ITSPA Dinner and Mobile VoIP

Mobile VoIP discussed at ITSPA dinner

ITSPA, the UK trade association of the internet telephony industry, held its Spring Dinner last night, attended by the great and the good of UK VoIP.  The event was held at the Worshipful Company of Information Technologists which must be one of the youngest Livery Companies in the City of London.


An interesting variety of organisations were represented ranging from equipment vendors Vegastream and ITSPs small and large. I sat between the Tesco and BT representatives, neither of who were willing to divulge the size of their subscriber base although word has it that BT has between 1m and 2m residential users.


After the dinner I led a debate on a number of subjects of interest to the VoIP community and one hot issue was mobile VoIP. Nokia are rumoured to not be providing a native SIP client in the N96, the next version of the N95, although the E Series will still have it.


This is clearly a strategy reversal on the part of the handset vendor, presumably the result of pressure from the mobile operator community. Mobile Operators are saying no to consumer VoIP. However it is harder for Nokia to take the same approach with it’s E series which is pitched firmly at business and which is the handset of choice for a number of iPBX vendors’ in premise FMC solutions.  


As it happens not many ITSPs use the native Nokia SIP client at least not without some element of plug in to make it work and many use third party applications.


Coincidentally I spent some time discussing mobile VoIP with Tesco’s Anna Boukovskaia who told me of their plans in this space. Back in the office on Friday I noticed that The Register had an article on the subject:


Tesco isn’t using the Nokia client and I imagine will be able to migrate to the N96 when available.



There are plenty of other mobile VoIP type topics but I’ll leave them for another day.