"Ericsson, Motorola, Nokia and Siemens Mobile yesterday announced the completion of a jointly developed Push-to-talk over Cellular (PoC) specification based on the IP Multimedia Subsystem (IMS) as defined by 3G standards organization 3GPP. In a statement, the four industry leaders said the specification is intended to reduce marketplace fragmentation and provide end users with an easy-to-use push to talk experience wherever they may travel in the world."
That's bad news for Fastmobile I guess. Still, as Torbjörn Nilsson, Senior Vice President of Marketing and Strategic Business Development at Ericsson said
"End-users want to be able to use any enabled handset on any available network without having to worry about if they work together. This is true for all mobile services and push to talk will be no different."
At long last we get a detailed hands-on review of the Nokia N-Gage, from The Register and while I take much of the criticism on board I'm struck by the alarming inability of the reviewer to think outside the box. Why is he so stuck in the mold as to be concerned about a fiddly cartridge mechanism and questionable 3-D graphics capability?
Why do all games consoles have to be compared as if there was only one type of games market, the existing one? Why can't people see the likelihood that the N-Gage will create a whole new type of games market where it will have a distinct advantage. And that's the market for downloadable multi-player games where playbility, not graphics, is king.
I posted some time back about the wonders of playing GPRS Chess on my Nokia 3650. Now the graphics on that game are crap, I'd give them 2/10. But I was able to download it from the internet and in a matter of seconds start playing a game against someone hundreds of miles away. 10/10 for convenience. 10/10 for playability.
Developers, please think outside the box even if games reviewers can't. User you imaginations to apply the wonder of portable wireless multi-player capability. Don't get bogged down on fancy graphics. One of the best games I've ever played, GPRS Chess, only get's 2/10.
"The five-year-old Dublin firm this week announced that mobile operator Vodafone Ireland is to use its software, called Vivato, to develop new MMS (multimedia messaging) applications for its subscribers. The deal is one of the first for NCL's Vivato, and the company said that Vodafone Ireland's decision to take up the technology should help it to attract even more customers. The value of the deal was not announced.
Vivato is a package of development tools that let companies and application developers create new MMS services such as news alerts with pictures and sound, multimedia advertising and games and customer relationship management (CRM) tools. The toolkit also allows developers to create SMS, Push WAP, EMS, Nokia Smart Messaging, and long message applications for mobile phone users."
Techdirt points to a ChannelMinds article about how a company has come up with technology that they say will stop camera phones from working as cameras in certain locations.
I'd actually prefer to have all those locations that propose to ban camera phones (gyms, swimming pools, etc) implement this technology and just disable my camera, than have to worry about where I am and am not allowed to carry one. I'm sure there will be the the odd 'false positive' but better that than taking the phone into a banned zone accidentally in my opinion.
I don't trumpet blow too often so forgive me the indulgence of noting that evhead - co-founder and CEO of (the company behind) Blogger has decided to link to MMS Memo. The fact that he chose to do so, directly after announcing that Blogger Pro is to become free again, has done no harm whatsoever to the flow of traffic to this site ;)
"Motorola on Wednesday launched a miniature Global Positioning System product capable of supporting autonomous as well as assisted-GPS operation.
The dime-sized FS Oncore can be used for adding location sensing to portable electronics products such as cell phones or personal digital assistants. It calculates its position locally, eliminating network overhead and problems that are connected with network-centric GPS systems, Motorola said."
I wrote previously about my disappointment at the dearth of RSS aggregators for Java/Symbian/Series 60 phones and then my eventual delight at finding a solution.
Here's a clever alternative - Info Aggregator from BlogStreet gives you an IMAP email account and allows you to setup RSS feeds to aggregate to the account. Together with GPRS this is a really neat and efficient solution, only transmitting headers when new blog entries are posted. Try it, you'll like it.
VODAFONE has launched a new marketing and advertising campaign to focus attention away from mobile phone handsets to the actual Vodafone sim card.
The “Red Sim” campaign has launched on television and is backed up by new packaging and point of sale material.
Vodafone Australia director Ian Scherger said the campaign is designed to help the consumer better understand the Vodafone brand offering.
Vodafone, you're a hosepipe - you can't brand a hosepipe. Deliver my water,... er, data and then get the f*** out of the way. If I want a better 'experience' then I'll decide what 'shower head' to use.
"Although the company only started the project around January 2003, ODM manufacturer, BenQ, is very close to launching its first smartphone based upon the Symbian OS.
Significantly this is only the third handset to boast the UIQ user interface for Symbian. The other models are the P800 from Sony Ericsson and the recently launched A920 from Motorola. Unlike the A920, however, which is locked in by Hutchison 3G, BenQ users will have the pick of around 470 applications."
Hooray for BenQ! No walled gardens, no lock in, no assimilation.
Tibia Micro Edition (TibiaME) is the first mobile massive multiplayer online roleplaying game. With TibiaME CipSoft brings the excitement of a graphical real-time online game onto mobile devices. It allows hundreds of mobile phone users to interact simultaneously and experience adventures in a virtual world. The game is currently offered to all T-Mobile Germany customers and is available for the Noka 7650 and Nokia 3650. Support for other devices will follow.
Another reason to be wildly positive about the future for Nokia N-Gage. I just hope this is not going to remain a walled garden application for T-Mobile?
This article from The Register [spotted on TomHume.org] deepens my fear of the direction being taken by Vodafone and other operators. As ludicrous as it would be for my ISP to prevent me logging on to the internet via any device other than one with their branding on it, this is what Vodafone looks to be doing in the run up to 3G -
Vodafone has selected Sanyo and Samsung to make exclusive, own brand handsets for its 3G launch.
According to the FT, which reports the news, the selection shows that "Vodafone... has begun working more closely with Asian handset makers as they have shown themselves more willing to tailor the experience of users of their mobiles to their operators' needs."
As the article says, this is a kick in the teeth for Nokia and I hope they have some strategic plan in place to counteract this horrible trend. In fact I just hope that some other operators with a humble understanding of their place in the mobile universe continue to do what they're supposed to do best - provide the communcations pipelines - and forget any fanciful notions they may also harbour about doing a Borg like assimilation of the wireless cosmos. Resistance is not futile!!!
One of the commentators on the Mobitopia post (see below) points to this article by Guy Kewney which concentrates on the battle between Symbian and Linux and also gives the most plausible explaination I've yet read for why Motorola sold it's Symbian stock.
Diego Doval posts some fascinating thoughts on the current battle, nay war for mobile platform supremacy between Symbian and Microsoft (and others). But the ensuing debate between Diego and Tom Hume is even more interesting. I won't pretend I know enough to take sides on this one :)
In this interview with BBC News Online, Mr. David Levin, head of phone software firm Symbian asks why anyone would opt for an expensive, bulky handheld computer when smartphones like the SonyEricsson P800 were now available for about £200.