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Watching the evolution of MMS camera phones and the Symbian OS for the purpose of Moblogging.



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wSaturday, August 09, 2003

T-Mobile GPS offering: powered by a Nokia 3650 [from Geek.com]

"T-Mobile is offering a service (in Europe) involving a Bluetooth GPS device, a Nokia 3650, and a GPRS account. Basically, you log into a map service via GPRS with your 3650. The 3650 then gets your location from the GPS device. The phone acts as middle-man between your GPS and the server, all the while delivering maps and spoken directions to you."

posted by James at 8:37 PM

wFriday, August 08, 2003

Real computers crash [from Smartphone Thoughts]

"Somewhere Along the Way, Mobile Phones Became Real Computers. And when that happened, they started acting like computers: they crashed.

What's the moral of this story? As phones become increasingly advanced, they're prone to the same issues that affect our desktop computers and PDAs. Nokia and the others in the Symbian camp might have a lot of marketing muscle, but they're also new at the operating system game. Microsoft, on the other hand, has a lot to learn about the consumer mobile device market - but they excel in building operating systems. It's an interesting battle being fought in the market, and ultimately I believe it will breed strong competition and a desire from all parties to improve rapidly"

Err, excuse me? "Microsoft excel at building operating systems"? I've poured loads of software into my Nokia 3650 since I got it, a few new apps every week. And while a few of them have crashed out, mainly due to memory low errors, I've yet to experience a crash. On the other hand, I've had to reboot this damn Windows 98 PC a few times already today!!

posted by James at 9:02 AM


Motorola launches its first camera phone [from PCPro]

"Motorola yesterday announced the immediate availability of its first camera phone and chose Taiwan as the first market to sell the product.

The E365 is reportedly made by Taiwan's Compal Communications. It features a built-in digital camera with VGA (300,000 pixels) resolution, a 65,000 colour TFT LCD panel, 40 ringtones and MMS support. Suggested retailed price is NT$12,600 (about $366), cheaper than rival camera phone models currently on the market."

posted by James at 8:53 AM

wThursday, August 07, 2003

Nokia Observation Camera Review [from infoSync World]

"In use, each of the functions of the Observation Camera performed flawlessly. The quality of images proved to be as good as that of any comparable VGA camera, while MMS messages were delivered with good speed"

The Nokia Observation Camera brings a new twist to the concept of remote monitoring, and succeeds both in delivering useful features and rendering these easy to use. Its ability to provide instant notification is a boon is a boon both in consumer and enterprise scenarios, and its audio monitoring feature provides a unique opportunity to determine more accurately what is taking place on the other end of the line"

I guess they like it! It's expected to cost in the €350 range which is less than I had forseen and very welcome.

posted by James at 9:59 PM


The most innovative mobile developers?

I've just spent some more time browsing Simeda's website and I must say they look like *the* most innovative mobile developer I've come across, bar none!

Not only do they make the excellent, aforementioned ActiveViewer but they have some other truly original apps aswell. Such as ActiveMatch which is the first application of its kind to -

combine location information with a matchmaking database to create a new kind of service for mobile phone users. The user defines his personal profile (nickname, phone number, gender, age, hobbies etc), and includes a picture of him/herself. The user then defines a search profile (or more than one) for the person he is looking for. Finally, the user sets the "Search distance", which is the maximum distance (in GSM cells) that the server will scan for potential matches. One cannot set it higher than 5, because searching over long distances is too processor intensive. It would also run counter to the proximity principle of the application. If set to 0, the search will occur only in the current cell.

Once started, ActiveMatch constantly compares all posted profiles within the defined search area, trying to find a match for each user. The application stays “hidden” in the background and doesn't disturb the user. Nor does it interfere with other phone functions

When a match is found, the phone beeps and displays the match (with the description and the thumbnail picture of the other person). The two matched users can now get in touch by phone or SMS. Since they are both close by, they can meet without delay (short time to fulfillment).

Sounds excellent! And as I'm currently 'available' I hope to put it through the hoops. So come on Irish girls within a few cells of me - go buy yourselves a Nokia 3650 :D

posted by James at 9:57 AM


VNC Viewer for MIDP

Holy s**t! Just the other day I was prattling on about how brilliant Nokia mobile computers (sic) are when I realized that you could install a web server on a Nokia 3650.

How could you could possibly top that? What gobsmacking discovery could I make this morning that would leave me breathless yet again? ActivieViewerPI. That's what! It's merely a piece of software that allows you to remotely control your PC from your phone, that's all. No great surprize really to us 3650 veterans..... :p :D

By the way, Russ has managed to get the web server working on his 3650 which is really pissing me off, as i just can't get it working on mine. However, I think he misquoted me when he said I had insinuated it was thus useless. Au contraire, I think it's bloody brilliant but just useless *to me* when I can't get it working, that's all. I'm going to keep hacking because Russ has pointed out an excellent use which somehow hadn't occurred to me -

"I can imagine many times when I have an important document stored on my phone and no great way to get to it from a PC I may be working on (say at a client site - or even down at your local cybercafe or copy shop), so being able to start up the web server and hit it directly from any browser is just fantastic."

posted by James at 9:15 AM


MMS too expensive in Malaysia too? [from Computerworld Malaysia]

"I must admit I'm not on the MMS bandwagon yet, and there are a host of reasons why I'm not. Call me miserly but the cost per message is definitely one deterrent. And to pay more than RM1,500 for a reasonably good quality camera phone is still hard for me to justify. Then again, I might very well not be the target market."

Hmm, is this problem repeated all over the world? Are the operators just hoping to cream from the early adopters or have they decided that these are the final price points (until a critical mass of users forces competitive price decreases)?

posted by James at 8:22 AM

wWednesday, August 06, 2003

Vodafone joins bid to screen football clips [from Times Online]

"VODAFONE is vying with BSkyB, the satellite broadcaster, for the rights to show Premiership football highlights on third generation mobile phones from next year.

The contest, which also features the incumbent, new mobile phone operator 3, is likely to push the cost of the three-year rights package more than the £35 million that was reportedly paid last time.

Vodafone’s bid reflects the philosophy of Aun Sarin, its technologically minded chief executive, that the mobile is at the centre of the telecoms and “infotainment” industries, a view that revives the once-fashionable notion of convergence between technology and media."

posted by James at 9:27 PM

wTuesday, August 05, 2003

No Offline RSS Newsfeed Reader on P800 / J2ME ! [from Christoph C. Cemper]

"Well, I have been researching the web now for more than 2 hours to find a tool for performing a common task on my Sony Ericsson P800 RSS newsfeed reading on my P800 ... and this of course *OFFLINE* while sitting in the pool - without additional GPRS transfer cost if I just took my P800 away from the docking station :-(

Can you believe it? No application found - no Opensource, no Commercial, no nothing - Am I the only person equipped with a Smartphone with some megs (80 to be precise) longing for an offline version of Sharpreader or some other Aggregator?"

No, you're definitely not the only one and no I still can't believe it! I started looking and asking a few months ago for an RSS app for the Nokia 3650 and was met only with a deafening silence. I hardly browse websites anymore, instead relying on my RSS aggregator to keep an eye on a few dozen of my favourite weblogs and other RSS enabled resources. I would definitely pay up for a good aggregator for my phone. So come on developers, get you act together!

posted by James at 9:46 PM


Motorola Smartphone Pulls an "iPAQ"? [from Smartphone Thoughts]:

"Federal Communications Commission (FCC) recently published photos, test report details, and a 123 page user manual of Motorola's Smartphone. I believe that Motorola's phone has the potential being the 'iPAQ' of Smartphones, or at least make Motorola the 'Compaq' of the smart phone market. If it is well marketed, accepted by carriers and prioritized by retail stores, I believe that this phone can pave the way for the success of this platform."

Sheesh, give me a break! If he's limiting his review to Microsoft based Smartphones (if that's not an oxymoron), then fair enough. But if by 'Smartphones' he means all mobile phones with PDA like functionality then he absolutely needs to get a grip ;)

posted by James at 11:26 AM


Another IM for Series 60...

... and other Java phones. Coojo is a full featured Mobile Instant Messenger:

- Chat with your ICQ, MSN and Yahoo friends
- Friends list shows you which of your friends are online or offline
(also ICQ, MSN and Yahoo friends)
- Meet new people in public chat rooms
- Foto Messaging: Take and receive photos. Send photos to chat rooms or to your friends. All this is very cheap and photos are transferred in few seconds while no MMS messages are used. (Symbian S60)
- Use cool and funny avatars and smileys (Symbian S60)

Looks great but I'm happy with my Agile Messenger

posted by James at 11:05 AM


Big four announce alliance services [via cellular-news.com]

"Both GPRS and MMS roaming will also be available across key Western European territories. Customers can access GPRS services such as music downloads or send MMS messages to friends and family across the members' networks, when travelling in Western Europe. In addition, a phased approach will be taken to the introduction of the pre-paid top-up service, whereby customers can quickly and easily top-up their credit when travelling in member countries."

As I've said before, this kind of thing really shouldn't make the news but at least the operators are getting their act together, even it is belatedly so.

posted by James at 10:31 AM

wMonday, August 04, 2003

A web server for Symbian Series 60 phones [via My-Symbian.com]

Incredible. This is absolutely incredible! Not because it's highly practical, nor because I can actually get it working on my phone (I can't for some reason), but because it's simply changed the way I think about my Nokia 3650.

Yes, I've been doing lots of PC like things with my phone since getting it, like email, IM and FTP, but it's not until I saw this web-server that it really struck me how this phone is nothing less that an always connected, highly portable,.... computer! Yes, it's a c...o...m...p...u...t...e...r.

What next? P2P file sharing? A mobile Napster? Would it be called mobster :p

posted by James at 9:53 PM


Gizmodo : Samsung's A600 cameraphone finally out

"It's taken freaking long enough, but Samsung's SPH-A600 cameraphone, the one with a rotating 65,000 color screen and a swiveling camera with 4x digital zoom, has finally, finally come out."

posted by James at 3:43 PM