Tag Archives: mobile

New app, Colors, raises eyebrows & $41 Million Dollars

Have you heard of Color? Me neither before a couple of days ago. I think what’s got people’s keyboards clicking around the blogosphere and thumbs taping about the twitterverse is the fact that they raise $41,000,000. It is an incredibly simple idea. It’s a mobile photo app that lets you share those pictures with people in proximity to you. I think whats really interesting is that it does this without GPS. It reads all kinds of other data from the phone and sends that data to the cloud where it determines that this group of people be at the same place. If you ask me THAT’S what’s worth 41 mil. Not the app it self. But the tech that makes it possible.

Mike Melenson at ReadWriteWeb agrees with me:

I’m going to go out on a limb here and say “no.” Color may have offered a terrible first impression for folks out in the boonies with nobody nearby, but it says it’s fixing that. It may have shot itself in the foot in terms of rising to the top of the App Store and raking in the new users. It may have even confused and annoyed the early adopter set with its puzzle-esque and sometimes serpentine design, but if it can really do what it proposes – change the way our social graph works by way of accurate location and proximity data – then none of that may matter

Color Demo from Color Labs, Inc. on Vimeo.

I’m going to miss T-Mobile when it’s gone

AT&T has begun cracking down on those subscribers who are tethering their laptops or other Wi-Fi enabled devices to their smart phones for Internet access. The company began sending texts and e-mails to those it suspects are doing so without subscribing to the carrier’s $45 per month DataPro plan.

via Unauthorized tetherers on AT&T being told to pay up | Wireless News – Betanews.

Let’s get this straight. I have a data plan that I pay for. It is not an unlimited data plan in the truest sense of the word. There is a limit to how much data I can consume in a given month. If i exceed that limit I must pay a overage charges. I have agreed to this. We are in business. Why would AT&T, or anyone for that matter, care if I share that bandwidth my laptop or my four friend’s laptops? I think I have decided that I will NOT be with AT&T after the merger.

T-Mobile 3G days are numbered

The big story in mobile today is about the AT&T T-Mobile merger. One thing this means for T-Mobile 3G customers is the loss of there 3G service. After the merger At&T plans to repurpose all of T-Mobile 3G spectrum for LTE 4G. At the very least T-Mobile 3G users will be stuck with 2G speed, if any access to data at all. I believe that is the case with the Nexus One, the phone that I have. Those of us who already have 3G phones, I think we have time to get decent use out of them before having to switch. It will take at least a year for the merger to be complete and the 3G to 4G conversion will take several years after that. So I wouldn’t panic. The merger in and of Itself is not a reason at this point to upgrade phone you phone or switch carriers. I don’t think I would at this point buy a NEW 3G phone from T-Mobile.

Dap: Everything Android

RIM and Mobile Carriers fight to hold our leashes

Near Field communication will soon come to mobile phones later this year. This technology can be used to enslave us. How this tech is implemented will decide who our master will be.

Enslave is a strong word. But let me tell you what I mean. The next big thing you will be able to do with your phone is pay for stuff. You wave your phone over a little pad and TADOW, you just paid for stuff. The argument is over where the credentials will be stored. Here is and article from WSJ that explains:

The carriers say they want to encrypt and store the credentials in the phones SIM card, the small chips placed in the back of phones to activate access to mobile networks. SIM cards can be easily swapped from phone to phone. Such a system provides a single payment hub that doesnt depend on what kind of phone you have, the carriers argue.RIM wants the credentials built into a secure area of the BlackBerry itself, which would bind users to its devices and potentially cut carriers out of the loop, according to officials representing some of the carriers. RIM is already reaching out to banks on its own, these people say.

via RIM, Carriers Fight Over Digital Wallet – WSJ.com.

RIM, who makes the highly successful, but quickly becoming irrelevant, Blackberry wants it stored on the phone. Why? Because if your payment credentials are on your phone, you are less likely to get another phone. <sarcasm> And I’m sure RIM will make is SUPER EASY to transfer those credentials to your Nexus S.</sarcasm> And Blackberries stay relevant for another 18 months. The mobile Carriers, on the other hand, want it stored on the your SIM. So when you upgrade your phone it is as easy as swapping SIM. Still making it hard to switch carriers because phone companies will have the same attitude about transferring credentials as RIM probably will.

I say (and I’m sure people will listen to me) neither. Put it on the flash memory.  RIM if you want to stay relevant than do relevant things. You are still the man in the enterprise market but total slept on the consumer market. Until it was too late and Apple came and took the hole thing.

What can I say about mobile companies, I hate you all. Your business model is not one of providing the BEST service, and BEST experience for customers.  You use phones as a the bait for your trap which are the contracts we must agree to in order for afford the handsets. I for one don’t want another way for a company to trap me.

So, I want control of the credentials myself. I want to be able to see the file, copy it, back it up, and move it to any device I want. And when my phone has lost its luster, and they all do, and my carrier disappoints, and they all do, I can take that data and move where I wish. Freedom at it’s most basic level is the ability to leave. The way the mobile industry is structected right now there is no freddom for the consumer. Maybe I was wrong earlier. Maybe ‘enslave’ isn’t too strong of a word.

MetroPCS 4G Data Blocking Plans May Violate Net Neutrality | Epicenter | Wired.com

This is why STRONG, FAIR, CLEAR Net-Neutrality rules need to be drafted.

MetroPCS, the nation’s fifth largest mobile carrier, announced earlier this week it was offering new pay-as-you-go mobile data plans for its 4G network that would block online video streaming — except for YouTube — for its lowest level plan, and for all plans, block the use of internet phone calling apps.

via MetroPCS 4G Data Blocking Plans May Violate Net Neutrality | Epicenter | Wired.com.

Rumor has it that Amazon may build it’s own Android App Store

Similar to Verizon’s bold move it looks as it Amazon may be considering to launch it’s on App store on Android devices. To compete with Google’s own, and Verizon’s VCAST app store the Amazon app store will offer some perks to developers as well. The online retailer will allegedly pay a royalty “equal to the greater of 70 percent of the purchase price or 20 percent of the List Price.” This “List Price” is said to help protect Amazon against the developers offering their apps for cheaper on the other markets.

via Amazon also considering it’s own Android App Store | Android Community.

I see this working in concert with Google’s App store. Google would be the place where anyone could get there foot in the door and providing paid or ad supported apps. And Amazon, would be the place where curated apps could be found, being of higher quality because Amazons recommendation engine would engine could weed out the dregs. Not to mention they receive payments in more places than Google checkout.

The 5 do’s and don’ts when your phone gets wet

Smart phones have ceased to be trivial communication devices. We uses them to manage our relationships and run our businesses. We document important events with them and reveal our secretes to them. These devices are now extremely important.

They are also extremely expensive. Think about it. These devices that you can put in your shirt pocket can cost three or four hundred dollars. Most of us “finance” them by signing up with a carrier for 2 years, and at rates that are higher than those that own thier phones outright. We are invested heavily in these little bobbles of cool. This is a testament to the utility of mobile devices, why we pay such a dear price if they were not useful, and in some cases necessary.

So, when we do  something stupid, like … jump into a pool while forgetting you put the phone in your pocket, it is not a trivial thing. I did such a stupid thing, just this passed week while on vacation. I was fortunate. I brought my laptop, and the hotel had wifi. So after Googling around I found stories of others doing similar things to mine: dropping them in water, running them though the washing machine. In most of the cases the phone came out fine, if they did the following 5 things:

  1. Don’t panic
    Like I said before smart phones are not trivial things; therefore replacing one is not a trivial matter. The ranges of emotions are probably similar to the 5 stages of grief, but you CAN come back from this. It is NOT hopeless. All is not lost. There is still a chance your phone can be saved. If it where not so, why would I be writing this?
  2. Don’t turn it on
    You may be tempted to turn on your phone to see if it still works. I’ll answer that question for you. I doesn’t. It’s wet. Your phone was not meant to work while wet. If your phone was on, when you did your dumb thing, that got it wet, I’ll wager dollars to donuts, that it isn’t now and it should stay that way for the time being. Turning it on now can cause irreparable damage. If it wasn’t done by the initial event
  3. Do remove everything from your phone
    Take the back off and remove the battery, sim card, memory card, and ANYTHING that might be attached that is suppose to come off. (I don’t know what else there could be though)
  4. Do remove liquid with a hair dryer, or a vacuum
    In my research I found a differing opinions about whether one should use a hair dryer or a vacuum. In my situation I used a hair dryer, but thinking about it the vacuum makes more sense. The dryer could push water into areas of your phone that had dryed out or where never exposed to water. The vacuum removes it completely. The results of my own thought experiment are as follows:

    • A vacuum is better than dryer
    • A dryer is better than nothing

    If I’m off base with this one please let me know in the comments.

  5. Do bury you phone in uncooked rice
    Take all the components of your phone and bury them in a sealed container of uncooked rice. Let it set for 48 hours. That means don’t touch it, don’t check it, don’t even think about it for 48 hours. It is important that the phone stay sealed for the entire 48 hours. You don’t won’t outside moisture interrupting the process that is saving your phone also you don’t want try turning on your phone unless you are reasonably sure that it is completely dried out.
    Why the rice? None of my research explained why, but it seems to me that rice draws out and absorbs the moisture from the phone, and components. You can see this when you cook rice who it expands to several time it volume. I assume something similar is happen for your phone.

Once the 48 hours has passed, fish out the components of your phone and put the, together, cross your fingers, and power up your device. I am happy to say in my case I got full functionality back. It is as good as new. I hope the same for you.