Monday, May 31, 2010

Microsoft Needs Own Browser OS

It made sense years ago for the government to prosecute Microsoft for its various anti-competitive practices. After all, it was malicious in trying to squeeze out competitors and leverage the dominate position it has in the desktop and office suite business.

Now? I am sure the goverments in DC and Brussels are watching things carefully but perhaps Microsoft need not worry any longer. The market has changed as had technology, particularly in mobile computing.

I think it's time for Redmond to launch a new OS based on browser and open standard technology.

If Microsoft's competitors like Googlecan create an OS and essentially lock out others, it does mean the old ways of thinking about platforms and developments are outdated.

I love to see what Microsoft can come up with in this respect. It will be interesting given the legacy support of Windows and how Microsoft will move away from it.

I don't know if Web-only computing is the future. It'll be more of a merger between cloud-based and some non-Webapp functions.

I am not sure if this will ever happen but Microsoft is slowly loosing grip on their old strongholds and it needs to start really thinking out of the box to compete.


- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Sunday, May 30, 2010

Green: MIT Labs To Reduce 15% Electricity Use

Why does it have to be MIT?  Why not Standard, Harvard, Cal Tech, or UCLA?  Regardless of who, I applaud the effort.

According to CNet, MIT's effort to reduce 15% electricity will power almost 5,000 homes.  That's not a small effort by any means.  Imagine if this effort could be spread to other universities and institutions, it may well make a big dent in energy in America.

Furthermore, the savings from the scale of this effort would be translated into cheaper costs as well.

MIT's effort isn't going to happen overnight.  It's a 5-year effort but the savings will come.  And that is the difference.  While governments and other businesses or schools are still in the planning stages (or just talking about it), others like MIT are doing something about it.

More at CNet.

Should Mobile And Health Go Hand-In-Hand?

I have an image of what a mobile warrior ought to be like.

Strong, diligent but not a workaholic. Don't mind having fun. Ambitious but cares about society in general. Lives a green life as much as possible. Athletic and, if not a member of the gym, is an avid follow of P90X (P90X is a link is to Amazon). Carries a mobile device to check back with the office. Keep up-to-date on world and tech events while occasionally play a few quick games here and there.

There are a lot of apps out there across the mobile landscape and platforms for this life style. Personally, I'm far from it as far as being fit but the journey is long. I think that's key don't you think - the journey?

But the truth of this subject is far the reality I painted just here. I started thinking about now because I'm currently at a Starbucks and right on front of me are three men sitting around with their iPhones and Blackberry smoking away. They seem like accomplished middle-aged men. When I walked pass them to enter Starbucks, I heard them talking about politics (I think they were trashing Obama but at least they're not talking about American Idol).

I suppose as mobile permeates society, we will inevitably and increasingly have people who don't fit a certain type of stereotype carrying around tech gadgets. It is both an accomplishment of how companies have made it easier for the consumer to use technology and how society have come to embrace it to its betterment.

Whether this is about health or even trying to live green, I hope companies and developers will make products and apps that will aid in that respect. We don't need to create a homogenous society filled with the stereotypical mobile warrior I painted above but mobile can be so much more than checking updates, todo lists, or playing games.

For now, I challenge my follow readers to use tech for healthy living. I use a few apps on the Android and the iPhone to help me count calories and keep tracking my weight-loss regiment and track my running. Are there anything else out there you like to share with how you use mobile to maintain healthy living?

To answer the question in the title of this point, I am not sure that mobile and health should go hand-in-hand though I strongly recommend it.

DISCLOSURE: P90X link above will take you to the product page on Amazon.

Saturday, May 29, 2010

5-Minute Work

Mobile has allowed us to be productive in ways that even drones from a half decade ago cannot dream of.

Sure, there was Blackberries but being able to write and post to the Internet, working on Excel sheets, or dial
back to the home or office computer.

I am writing this while I await the rest of my party to arrive for a late dinner. Couldn't have done this before before the iPhone revolution and now practically every mobile platforms from Android to WM can do so with ease (if there was a way to do this, it wasn't easy).

And in five minutes or so, much can be done. We are after all very busy we mobile warriors. For many people, there are a few of these 5-minute work periods. Sometimes longer.

What do you do with your mobile device with your 5-10 minute work periods?


- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Skype Now Makes Calls Over 3G for iPad And iPhone

Skype just released an update allowing the iDevices running the iPhone OS to make calls overe 3G.

I just tried it with the iPad over WiFi and 3G. I also tried with the iPhone over WiFi.

For the time, I think I am happy with this ability. The quality was par but if you move around with the iPad, the quality degrades for so reason.

I hope Skype will make some adjustments for the 3G calls. I know a lot of people who are counting on Apple and Skype to pry them from the clutches of the wireless providers.


-- Post From My iPad

iPad: Yeah, It's Big. Ask the Europeans And Japanese

Friday was the international launch for the iPad in 9 different countries.  Don't think the tablet market has legs? Well, maybe it could be just about the iPads and Steve Jobs' reality distortion field but I think tablets are here to stay.

Here's a video of some lucky buyers in Europe.  Thousands have lined up across Europe and a couple of thousand at Softbank's main store alone.



What's brilliant about the launch is that Apple will roll out the iPad in waves. And it won't be complete for quite some time. So be prepared to see this kind of media coverage.

Oh, and the 4th gen iPhone is coming. Be prepared for Apple to dominate the media still. Google had some great things going for it at the Google I/O. Right now, it's Apple's turn and if I'm a competitor, I get out of the way. Since the iPad launched, it's been Apple and what Apple's doing on mobile.

Yeah, the iPad is big. The tablet market is going to be bigger.

How to Silence iPhone's App Store Criticism Once And For All

I've come up with a workable way for Apple, and just about every mobile platform to solve app store issues regarding approval, First Amendment issues, and general criticisms about walled gardens. No matter if it's Android or WebOS, there is a level of walledness involved. Of course, there is Apple's walled garden with a moat filled with crocodiles and and plasma turrets, some obvious, some hidden.

How? Two app stores. One for approved apps and one for apps that are rejected or ones from developers who never bothered submitting for approval.

And I think it will work better for Apple than what they've current got now. More at On Apple.

Friday, May 28, 2010

Have A Great Mobile Memorial Weekend!

Have A Great Mobile Memorial Weekend!

I don't know about you but I've got a lot of outdoor activities planned. Well, I'll be out of the confines of my little nest but not necessarily in any open area. Allergies you know.

However, I look forward to taking out my tablet, iPad, and my super-juiced up iPhone to document my three-day weekend. As I sit at my desk like I used to as a school boy, eagerly anticipating the 2:45PM bell signaling the end of the school day (which means 5:30pm), I realized how much mobile tech has advanced in one year because I am plot places to go where there is wifi access.

What are some of the changes in mobile from a year ago?

A year ago, "checking in" was not something people really would know what I'm talking about. Now, with Foursquare leading the charge, it's almost if you're not being a good friend if you don't let your friends know where you've been. And geolocation apps have only begun to scratch the surface of how companies and mobile users can use the service (not to mention stalkers).

And let's talk about the handsets. Android was just beginning to take off at this time last year. But since then, 100K devices are being activated each day. And it has really made a different as must Android devices are equipped with a 5MP camera. So I anticipate a lot more folks using their mobile devices to take quality pictures than dedicated cameras. This maybe not be the first holiday when most of the pictures taken are going to be on smartphones but I think we can safely say that we are very close. I anticipating by Christmas, people will be carry around their iPhones or Droids to document time together with family and friends.

Plus, I am weeks if not only a couple of months away from upgrading my workhorses, 2G iPhone and G1. One of the features I'll be looking out for is the ability for the upcoming devices to shot video in 720p. If all things and specs are equal between what's going to be available this summer, the one that can shot great 720p video is going to win me over.

I anticipate more dedicated camcorders to be shooting videos this weekend than iPhone 3GS's but that too is changing. HD video is in and the more robust handsets can do a decent job of that now.

And let's not forget Facebook, Twitter, and other social media. Despite privacy concerns, I think Facebook will have a busy weekend as many in the US share pictures and stories with their "friends" (of course, I include everyone who Facebook shares your intimate details with).

In what mobile way do you plan on spending your long weekend?

Note: A lot of devices out there are equipped with a GPS unit. I'm sure Google Maps and navigation apps will be used quite a bit as well.

Apple Launches Are Festivities and Story Time

Frenzy is not the word I'd to describe the mobs that have sprung up from all over the countries that are part of the first of many wave of iPad launches.  That would be an understatement and a wrong depiction.

I'd say it's more of a block party.  For international readers, think of it as festivities that spontaneously take place out of nowhere without planning.  Certainly, outside of plans by Apple to offer coffee and donuts (well, we were given donuts, not sure what they gave in Japan), no one asked that the crowd show up.

No one said we should call the media and have them do live broadcasts of launches. 

But it happens anyway.  Why is that?  I honestly can't say.  I think society has changed in such a way that we treat our gadgets as "man's best friend" (or "a woman's best friend").  They allow people to do things they could not previously.  SMS was a huge advancement in social exchange but the iPhone really revolutionized how we consume information.

Not only that, it allows the user to exploit the information consumed.  What do you think those apps are for?  Just games?  No  The iDevices now allow society to be more mobile, creative, and savy in ways 

And that's why people are excited about Apple products. It wasn't Blackberries or Palms or Windows Mobile phones that did it.  Certainly not Nokia.

Sure those products were around before the iPhone and now the iPad but Apple made it possible for the rest of us to do all those things.  And more than that, Apple made took the ease of use to a level unmatched even to this day.  

Essentially, while Apple products even as far back as the iPod made it cool to have, Apple also made it cool to use.  

Of course, as with any brand, there is always the fear of overextending it.  However, I am sure that Apple is well aware of that.  Branding for Steve Jobs is just as much a part of selling iPhones and Macs.  Like many have said time and time again, it's also about telling stories about Apple products.

So long as they remain compelling stories, I don't see why people won't come back and back again to Apple.

Every time Apple has a press event, unveils a new product, or hosts a grand opening for a new Apple store, fans and non-fans flock to the nearest live blog or location to be a part of it.  There is something special about it.  Magical as Steve Jobs aptly put it.

So, Apple made it cool to in this manner too.  Hanging out with people who love mobile tech, who like to exchange stories, and just have fun in general.

Thursday, May 27, 2010

I Am Going To Write An App And A Book

With anywhere from $6 to $9 billion in app revenue by 2014, depending on who you choose to believe, I think here's a small piece of action for me right?

I think so. Even it's a couple of bucks, there are a couple people will just buy any app just to test it out. Maybe I'll give it out for free and then collect revenues from the ads.

I am pretty sure I'll give the iPhone market a try first given how much Steve Jobs has hyped iAd if I plan on going about the free app route.

Plus, Apple just announced today a new program for indie authors to submit books to the iBooks store.

As a matter of fact, I just just mention this in a post at On Apple.

I will be tweeting and updating my progress. I hope you will also consider giving writing apps a try as well. Whether it'll be for the iPhone, Android, or another platform, there is certainly plenty of opportunity for a create soul to make some extra money.


-- Post From My iPad

Optimal Size For a Tablet

3.5". Or 10" as what Apple put in the iPad?

Dell's new Android based slate has a 5" screen. Barnes and Noble's Nook offers a 6". So what's the perfect size?

I suppose it depends on what you want to do with it. The iPad offer a good size for viewing documents and the Internet. And as with any video, the bigger the screen the better.

Plus, it offers a semi-full sized keyboard for two hand typing. However, it does take some getting used to. In the beginning, I found it not as easy as typing on the iPhone with my thumbs but it did get better over time.

So it brings me to thumb-typing. I think for folks who complained about typing on a touch-screen, it probably works better then the screen is bigger. I think the ideal size is 4-5 inches though I'm doing quite well on the 3.5" on the iPhone.

At the end of the day though, the onscreen keyboard does play a role in how well the typing experience goes. I simply am unable to type as fast with the Android keyboard. From verion 1.0 to 1.5 to 1.6 to 2.1, Google has made noticeable improvement. Supposedly, 2.2 is even better but even Google engineers say they've got a lot way to go.

Having said that, my experience typing on the Nexus One has lead me to believe that 5-7" screen size would be optimal for a user who want to thumb-type no matter of the OS platform used. Plus, a tablet or slate that is 5-7" should wait much less than the iPad which weighs in at 1.5".

I'm sure we'll see a wide range of screen sizes. Pretty sure we'll see ones bigger than 10". It's a matter of balancing the user's needs.

I'm happy with the 10" iPad because of the large screen that works for both productivity as well as entertainment. Eventually, I think I'll probably have with a smaller size tablet to serve as my mobile communication center when I don't find the need to take the iPad with me. I would be fine with something that has a 5" screen.

On balance, I would be looking for a 7" tablet because it can as a mini iPad that can fit in my jacket or a small messenger bag.

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Apple Has A Bigger Market Cap Than Microsoft - So What?

Apple just overtook Microsoft in terms of market cap...oh...since the 80s.  What does that really mean?  Nothing.

Well, let's give credit where it's due.  Steve Jobs has engineered the greatest resurrection since, well, I don't want to go there but let's just say the iPhone isn't sometimes referred to as the "Jesus-phone" for nothing.

The market fluctuates every day.  A couple months ago, Apple and Google were going back and forth on a daily if not hourly basis during trading hours to see who has the larger market valuation.  Since then Apple has consistently been about $60 billion more than Google.

So what?  It isn't as if it meant the mobile war was over and everyone just packed it up.  Apple did not get a gold star or trophy today.  

My fellow mobile warriors, the mobile war rages on on many fronts.  Apple and Microsoft has about $40 billion cash each and Google with about $30 billion.  This epic fight to define the mobile Internet and how people use their mobile devices go on for years.  Here are the different fronts on this mobile war:

  • The mobile ad war just got started.
  • App versus webapp
  • Walled garden versus semi-openess (let's be honest.  Android isn't open when one company is responsible as caretaker)
  • App versus mobile search
  • Fee versus free
Those are only the major fronts on which these titans are fight on.  Let's not forget that RIM, Nokia, and HP are still around.  So having the largest market cap means nothing.  But it may mean you've got a bigger target for others to aim at.

Weird Day: Russia And China Being Responsible?

I typically about about mobile tech and some social media stuff mixed with some green tech.  But I am an avid news reader and political junky.

So when I heard today that Moscow and Tehran exchanged words, I was flabbergasted.  Apparently, the Russians are on board with US-backed sanctions against Iran's ambition for a nuclear bomb.  Let's not prance around the issue.  They want a bomb.  And I think Russia finally realized that's a bad idea.

Then China is finally coming around being a responsible power by signaling that they might support UN actions (however meaningless) against North Korean aggression when they attacked a South Korean warship two months earlier.

I've mentioned that the Alliance (US-Sino merger) from the scifi TV series Firefly is more than just one man's made-up vision of the future for entertainment purposes.  

Anyway, them's the news.  Back to talking about mobile soon.

Facebook At High Noon

At 10:30PST, Facebook will try again with this privacy thing.

They will be unveiling new privacy settings that supposedly make easier for users to avoid navigating through a maze of settings and what-not.

However, it remains to be seen just how far these new settings go to make a statement that Facebook is serious about its users privacy.  Personally, I am not hopeful.  The arrogance of the CEO Zuckerberg is very apparent even in his correspondence with members of the press.  Never once apologizing for anything Facebook has done but goes on to insinuate that users aren't able to keep up with their visions of privacy.

More at CNet on this event.  It's is my believe that this is one of those two-steps forward, one-step back game that Facebook will be playing.  If Facebook is sorry for anything, it's that they got caught trying to void any notion of privacy and violating the trust users gave them.

I am keeping an open mind about this but I'm not hopeful.

Note:  I have to say this about Facebook.  From a business standpoint, Open Graph is brilliant.

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

T-Mo Introduces 4G-Like Speed But Ma Bell Sayz Hold On A Sec

Talk about an East Coast biase, T-Mobile. It appears many of their HPSA+ rollouts are on the East Coast? How about giving us some love here?

Not only are we on the West Coast not getting any kind of a nod, T-Mobile is arousing our desire for faster wireless access by using words like "4G Speeds From T-Mobile Now Broadly Available".

Of course, not all mobile warriors know that HPSA+ isn't 4G. The optimal speed of HPSA+ is 21Mbps. That's pretty damn fast but it's not 4G. Still, I won't be complaining once T-Mobile decides the cell towers around me starts giving me HPSA+ love.

But with my G1, that's not gonna happen but that's my problem.

Now, ATT isn't too keen on T-Mobile's declaration. And I kinda agree. Its concern is that we might be led astray by the mention of 4G when, in fact, T-Mobile has no plans for LTE, WiMax, or any other 4G network that we know of.

Okay, ATT isn't saying all this because they care. The reason is selfish. ATT will no longer have the fastest 3G network once T-Mobile completes its HPSA+ network upgrade. On top of that, ATT will be slow to upgrade their 3G network while their LTE network won't be around for another 18 months.

Regardless, competition is grand and T_mobile isn't after ATT here. It's Sprint and its WiMax network that T-Mobile is gunning for with those 4G words.

Hopefully, this will light a fuse under the carriers to double time their 3G upgrade and 4G network buildout.

More at Gizmodo, CNet

Right Solar Incentive Could Create 200K Jobs And 1GW of Power In the US

With the right kind of incentive from Washington, 200,000 jobs may be created while 1,000KW of power created to power about a quarter million homes in the United States.  And the benefits don't just end there.  Green tech begets green tech as the old saying goes.  Well, not really.  However, if there are more solar power that goes online, it would also means less fossil fuel burnt as they are displaced by renewable power.

This from a Reuter post taking information from a trade group representing solar manufacturers.  So take it with a grain of salt.  Nevertheless, even at half the projection, 100,000 jobs created in this economic turmoil we're currently in, is a bonus.

Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA) is calling for "tax credits and a two-year extension to a federal grant program for U.S. solar projects".  The idea is to "solar manufacturing costs to be claimed as an investment tax credit".  

US solar energy growth has grown for the 4th straight year even through the deep global recession.  The trade group feared growth would be halted without continuing government intervention.  Again, this is trade group tactics no doubt.

Nevertheless, Onxo does support preservation and conservation of the environment and, personally, as a guy who sweats easily, I wouldn't mind a cooler climate too.  

More at Reuters.

Note:  The US economy is doing well but there is a European contagion that might spread to our shores.  Plus, a jobless economic recovery, in my mind, constitutes economic turmoil.

Another Note:  I'm for free trade and market forces and all that good stuff but pushing for self-sustaining energy source and a clean planet is in the vital interests of US national security.  It's a national security of any country for that matter.  

Last Note:  We can also use some help with battery research to store all that wind and solar powers generated.  You know me here at Onxo.  I love my long battery lives.

-- Post From My iPad

MegaPower:  Is US-Sino Merger Inevitable Like The Alliance In Firefly?

For those who are fans of Firefly, you'll notice that some of the characters mumble through their lines, making it hard to understand what they are saying.  No, it's not that they're bad actors.  I think the crew of Firefly offered a great group dynamics.  

No mumbling by the cast of Firefly.  They're speaking Chinese.  Why?  Well, a true Firefly fan would know that.  For the rest of the world, I'll tell you why.

Because in the future espoused by Firefly, the Alliance, a merger of the US and China, dominated the world and the known universe.  

Is this possible?  A future dominated by the shared US-Sino interests?

More at Onxo Mobile Society

Note:  This isn't a mobile-specific post.  But who knows what kind of new mobile market will emerge from such an alliance or how mobile will aid in forming or making sure such an enterprise is never formed.  At the very least, it's fun to write about. 


-- Post From My iPad

Monday, May 24, 2010

Facebook: I'm Sorry...That We Got Caught

It's happened time and time again. When are we going to say enough? With Facebook continuing to push the limits, not in good ways, in the specific topic of personal privacy, we are being forced to partake in social media or nothing at all.

Let's be clear. Any company that's trade is information would like nothing better than to do away with privacy barriers. Facebook has been the most successful at convincing (though "conning" would be the more appropriate term) users to give up personal information. But the opt-out policy that many including FB and Google instituted is just plain wrong.

There are many sides to this argument but why do I think I am in the right? Because Facebook attempted to address the issue without apologizing. That's what corporations do these days. That is right. However, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg did address the issue and that's enough for me.

No matter what happens, These are the facts. First, Zuckerberg will never apologize.

Second, FB has lost the trust of many users. Many high-profile users have stopped using Facebook.

Third, if FB is actually sorry about anything, it's that the public isn't ready for their brand of privacy and that they got caught trying to sneak one by us.

Lastly, Facebook, and probably others like Google, will try again later. There just simply is too much money in trading away our personalized information.

I think FB does offer value. Well, I have yet to be the beneficiary of such value but my talk with Dave the Mobile Warrior has made me think that some folks will find value in all this. And perhaps over time, I will embrace the idea more.

However, it can be done without users having to give up their notions of what privacy is.

To answer my question at the top, "when are we going to say enough?", the answer is very complex. Personally, I think FB and other social media is just waiting for naysayers to go away along with the old ideas of privacy.

Whether it's Zuckerberg or a successor, Facebook as an entity will remain, perhaps, lying in waiting. I am not saying that the battle for privacy is lost. But I am saying vigilance in the matter will also need to be eternal.

So as that title of this post says, Facebook, if it is sorry about anything, is that it got caught trying to violate our privacy.


-- Post From My iPad

Booksellers, Especially Barnes And Noble, Are Becoming Tablet Players

This morning, Barnes and Noble offers a glimpse into what the future of booksellers will do to remain relevant in the changing world of readers. Since the Nook, Barnes and Noble has introduced a second reader, Novel, this one also based on Google’s Android platform, called Novel for $199.

I’m not here to bore you with a detailed piece about it. You can go to CNet for that. But and Noble’s strategy is coming clear. It means to not only be a bookseller, digital or physical, but it is transforming into a mobile player.

With the line blurring between readers and tablets, Barnes and Noble is leveraging its name to take advantage of the young tablet sector. And I think they’ll be big.

Barnes and Noble superstores are where people go to buy not only books but to congregate. It is a family-friendly environment and the people who work there are generally folks who are knowledgeable and offer great services. It’s a brand that has loyal followings and is trusted.

Now, if I’m Google, Microsoft, or Apple, I would take a long hard look at Barnes and Noble as well as Borders. Why? Borders has more than 500 superstores while Barnes And Noble has more than seven hundreds.

Both companies are super cheap if you want to expand into the retail market. Apple can purchase one of the brand and put in Apple stores as well. For Google or Microsoft, it also makes sense. Either of these companies, with one purchase, can catch up to Apple’s retail presence.

Not only that, Borders’ market value is much cheaper than Barnes and Noble’s $1.2 billion. If one of three mobile companies I mentioned purchases Borders and the other two follows, it can force them to pay a premium and waste a vast amount of their cash in the process. I know that all three companies are cash-rich but any time you make the other guy pay more, it’s a win for you.

Apple-Borders Or Google-Barnes and Noble. Or MS Borders? What do you think?  Microsoft certainly needs to play a little catch up.

Note: Given how Barnes and Noble will soon have two Android-based ereaders, it makes sense for Google to pull the trigger on this idea of mine.

Another note: For Microsoft, I'd offer a full range of Microsoft products as I suggest Apple should do in these superstores. It can sure help make a splashing for Windows Phone 7 products.

Sunday, May 23, 2010

Open War: Apple & Google Puts On War Paint

At Google's I/O conference last week, there was no longer any doubt that open hostilities has broken out between the two friends that many, including myself, thought would last long enough to see them take down Microsoft or create a duopoly that controls mobile and the Internet.

Well, control for the Internet and mobile continues but now it's a free for all.  Google versus Apple, and a diminished if not resilient Microsoft.  What does this mean for us?  Great things.  That's what.

As a long time Apple fan, I enjoy the resurgence in the last decade and Apple has shown no signs of slowing down.  Why is that?  Google.  Google's youthful energy has intensify the pace of innovation.  Because of that, I'm also a Google fan.  I like the vision they have for the future.

Seriously, the pace of Android development is incredible.  There is a case that Android was simply trying to catching up to the iPhone.  And as an user of both platforms, Android has made up on a lot of grounds on the iPhone and surpassed the rest of the field. Who's ahead?  I'm going to hold off on any judgement until Android 2.2 and iPhone 4.0 is out on the market.

Apple does off many things that some companies will never be able to duplicate and the iPhone-iTunes-App Store juggernaut I'm not sure Google will be able to duplicate.  On the other hand, Android does offer a level of openness that Steve Jobs will never allow for the iPhone.  As for the rest of the features that the iPhone and Android share, it is a matter of implementation and personal preference.

So war has broken out big time.  Google has telling loyalists that they don't want one man, one company in charge of the Internet or the future.  This harkened back to the famed 1984 ad from Apple when they introduced the Mac.

Apple will respond in mind.  I can't wait for that.  As a mobile fan and Apple/Google fanboy, it doesn't get any better than this.  Here are some videos I found that was put together by All Things Digital's blog that featured clips from the Google I/O and Apple related videos that pertained to the 1984 ad and visions of the Internet.





More at All Things Digital

Note: Also related is Wired's post about mobile advertising domination by Apple and Google.

Creating a Campaign: Driving and Texting/Talking

I caught my aunt talking on the phone while driving. My cousin was speaking with her on the phone and within five minutes, my aunt pulled up in her car.

Driving while talking, texting, or anything else is something that I've preached strongly against. It's been a while since I've seen a lot of publicity regarding this issue.

I think this is a grand opportunity for handset developers, retailers, and wireless providers create a public campaign regarding mobile and safety. It isn't simply about using the mobile safely.

There are other issues like safe disposal of mobile devices and batteries. More significantly, very few people recycle their digital devices and we're not just talking about cellphones.

So come on, people. This is a great opportunity to serve the public and keep both users and the environment safe.

Friday, May 21, 2010

J Allard Leaving Microsoft? Pouch Him! Somebody!

J Allard has been largely responsible for Microsoft's Xbox effort.  Because of this move, Microsoft has a sneaky way of getting into the leaving room when all the other efforts have not been successful.  Well, they're downright failures but that's another blog entirely.

The word is that J is unhappy with the lack of Microsoft's response to the iPad.  Well, there is a response but probably not the one J was looking for.  Redmond killed off Courier.  

The prevailing theory among bloggers and most Apple fans is that after Steve Jobs unveiled the iPad and what it can do is widely publicized, Microsoft shelved the Courier project and like went back to the drawing board or is just waiting for Windows Phone 7 to be ready to mount a challenge.

Whatever the reason, J, while officially still listed as Microsoft employee, isn't going to return after a leave of absence.

So, if I'm Google, HP, or even Apple, I'll find out the circumstances of this development and do everything I can to get him to join up.  WebOS, Android, and iPhone will be hacking out for years to come and having someone of J's caliber, smartz, and experience would be a huge asset in current mobile war and the coming living room war.  

Yeah, I think he's that important and he can change the tide really fast.

For HP, J's experience could be invaluable to anything they want to stick WebOS in.  Tablets, phones, netbooks.

For Google, J can help shake the hardware development.  I'm sure a true gPhone is an option at Mountainview.  Oh, and there's Google TV that J's Xbox experience can really help out a lot.

For Apple, J can really transform Apple TV and bring it out of its hobby shell.

So, it'll be really interesting to see where our good friend J Allard ends up.

More at Electronista.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Google's Busy Day

Google had a busy day today and it's not over yet.

First, Google introduced a web-based app store for Chrome but it is also accessible from other browsers as well.

Second, Google introduced an open source video codec. I'm not going to get into motives and such here but it's open source and no royalty involved.

Third, a lot of chatters of Google and its move into the living room.

Also just as importantly, Adobe seems to be supporting HTML 5 with a new update pack for Dreamweaver. I'm sure Apple has a lot to do with it as does Google's support for HTLM 5 despite also using Adobe and its Flash as a proxy war against Apple in the mobile market.

I thought I bring this up now without getting into too much details and analysis. But Google is looking to change the rules of the Web. I think it's a great thing. Best way to predict the future is to create the means to fabricate it.

I'm sure its competitors have their own plans as well.

More:
Note:  What I didn't see today but, hopefully this week, is Adobe's Flash demo on Android.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Mobile War: Apps To Be More Popular Than Search?

There's been talk about Apple combating Google's alleged betrayal when they launched Android by creating its own search engine. That may still happen but no one has seen any kind of evidence to support that assertion. It's just a natural escalation should Apple choose to do it. After all, Bing is Microsoft's best hope at dislodging Google from the online ad market.

Instead, Steve Jobs seems to be striking back at Google through another way: apps. In the most recent Apple event where he unveiled iPhone 4.0, Steve Jobs doesn't think mobile search is the future. No one is searching on their mobile devices, at least, not in the ways they do on the traditional desktop environment. I'll have to agree with him on that point.

But I disagree that no one is searching on their iPhones. I do it all the time. But that's probably an exaggeration on his part to drive in his next concept. Apps will drive search in ways that mobile users find most convenient.

If you want a restaurant review or a place to hang out, you probably would have an easier time of it than going through mobile Safari and entering the query in the search box.

Apple promises to provide the means for users to access information more quickly through apps than what they can do through search engines.

In the Yelp example, I agree but if you're trying to be a smart ass at a party and you want to look up information on a particular obscure matter, traditional searches is the way to go, be it through Safari or the Bing app.

I still need to be convinced and with the wait-and-see attitude on iAds from developers and advertisers, I think they're in the same boat.

But hey, this is Steve Jobs. If anyone thinks he or she can upend a market, it is His Jobsness. But we'll need to see when the iPhone 4.0 is out on the market for a few months and see what kind of innovative ways developers can come up with to support or debunk Apple's assertions about mobile search.

Monday, May 17, 2010

Mobile War: Less Talk, More Innovation

I think everyone should just shut up. Particularly on the Adobe side and the bloggers when it comes to the Flash War and whatever philosophy is employed in creating a mobile platform or garden.

I think most mobile users could care less about that. They want thinks to work. They want information and access to it with as little buttons pushed or taps on the screen.

We want beautiful apps that work seamless and looking good.

I'll grant that there are a minority who are interested in openness on all platforms. The ability to install whatever I want. Flash? Okay if you're not concerned about battery life. Porn apps? Not my cup of tea but, hey, if someone wants it, go right ahead. You know your way in and out of a mobile OS? Do what you will if you're not afraid of security concerns.

Personally, I'm for that this openess.

However, I'm willing to live within the iPhone walled garden if I don't have to content with malware and viruses. Apple promises the iPhone just works and I've yet to find a situation where it doesn't.

So where does this leave most mobile warriors? I think you're in the same boat I'm in. So here's what everyone should do. The developers, providers, and platforms just need to shut up and try to win us over with innovations.

So again, everyone needs to chill, shut up, and get to work. If you're going to get in a game of words, we'll see through it. These days, we're pretty savy.

Saturday, May 15, 2010

Mobile Tech From Spy Agencies Down to Mainstream

Rewatching the MI-5 series from BBC. First, it's a TV show. Very well done. Very different from any show in the US. We don't have much way of public surveillance those close circuit cameras have.

But imagine what kind of mobile tech that are currently being employed in spycraft that we don't know about. More than that, how over the years, this will trickle down into the more mainstream consumer markets.

Longer battery life, faster and reliable wireless connection, more secured encryptions to protect our privacy, and small packaging with more powerful computing power.

At least, that what I hope is the case. I would hate to find out Home Office or the Homeland Security is using the same technology that I am.

Then again, I suppose it's how you use it.


-- Post From My iPad

Friday, May 14, 2010

What iPad Killers Need? (It's Not Flash)

I'm typing this post on an iPad with the special keyboard dock from Apple. Since I got it, I have been using it for the bulk of my needs while my Macbook relegated to smallish tasks like editing movies and doing rudimentary Web work.

Presumably, the iPad killers that was suppose to be on the market by now but are back on the drawing board were gonna do just that and nothing more. Well, the first wave failed and, now, the market eager await the second wave of potential iPad killers in the second half of 2010.

You can take this to the bank: they're going to fail to impress once the initial glitter over them is over. WebOS, Android, and perhaps ChromeOS will be put on these tablets and marketed in such a way that will make the iPad look like yesterday's tech spec for spec. That's not going to do it.

What will does an iPad competitor need in order to even compete? Trust me, it ain't Flash. The most important thing an iPad competitor needs is clicks or rather touches.

It much as Apple like to brag about its multitouch technology, it is how little touching that's involved in navigating from one place to another, one task to another that has made Apple's iDevices such a hit.

More open than the iPhone many other mobile platforms might be, there is quite a bit more touches than the iPhone. More navigating means more complexity. Complexity will drive users away.

The bulk of the consumers these days are on the move, mobile warriors even if they don't know it. Moms, teachers, students, and more folks are using mobile devices and, soon, iPads. We're busy and we carry mobile devices because we want information easily accessible.

There will be segments of the market who will like the more open environment of some of the other mobile platforms but the bulk of the users won't need it.

So little developers (OS, hardware, and app guys), ease of use and fast access to information will set up apart from the rest of the field. And if you do a good job, we might bestow upon you the title of "IPad killer".

Note: It's no Flash. Flash would be nice but I'm sure a majority of the market won't care about that. Just as important will be battery life. I'm reading a lot about Windows 7 and Android tablets coming out of China. That's great. We need variety in the market. The problem is that 3 hours of use is't going to cut it.

When the iPad came out, I had hoped to see something between 12-15 hours. To me, that's ideal.

-- Post From My iPad

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Facebook & Privacy: Ultimate Protector of Privacy Is You

I’ve railed against Facebook’s privacy policies multiple. Sure. I’m old-fashion about my privacy.

Still, I marvel at FB’s audacity and for recognizing that its user base might be readily open to the possibility of changes in perception of privacy.

Ultimately, it comes down to personal responsibility. Bottom-line: don’t share information or things that will come back to haunt you. Use your brain.

That’s really the gist of it, don’t you think?

Also, there's heavy chatter about Facebook getting into geo-tagging a la Foursquare. Be warned, my fellow mobile warriors.

Note: When I learned about Facebook's new Open Graph, my initial reaction was "this is freakin' brilliant". After I've digested it, my second thought was "this isn't good..."

Do Some Mobile Fans Feel Like Their Favorite Platforms Is Under Sieged At Times?

I’m an Android and iPhone fan. I wouldn’t call myself a fanboy though I’m fine and ready to defend my mobile platforms against stupid and outdated modes of arguments. I especially like that Apple and Google are going at it because in the end, we, the mobile warriors, win because it’ll for them to innovate and be very very competitive.

More than that, it shift and moves ideas and against conventions smart folks like Steve Jobs are at the head of these battles.

But how does it feel to be RIM or Palm fans? Or even Windows Mobile enthusiasts? Day in and out, it’s Android this and iPhone/iPad that. I will admit, it can get sophisticating on some days when the blogs (and even mainstream media) all regurgitating the same thing over and over.

But with Palm’s buyout offers being rejected by Lenovo and HTC, it can’t be a good feeling for Pre fans. Sure, it got picked up by HP but only because they realized their HP Slate running Windows 7 wouldn’t stand a chance next to the iPad (this isn’t the fan in my talking. It’s HP’s decision to pull the Slate talking).

This harkens back to the days when Apple was about to be unplugged from financial life support. Before Steve Jobs came in and Microsoft’s $150 million morale booster. Folks were just bailing in OS 9 and PowerPC that supported the Macs at the time. It was ugly and everyone was wondering why I stuck with it. It was Windows, Windows, Windows.

Apple was on the verge of collapse as developers like Adobe (hence the Flash war today) and users, even those traditionally loyal in the creative and education circle, left for Microsoft.

To make matters worse, Apple continued to relied on older OS designs while a modern OS capable of such tasks as multi-tasking existed only as vaporware (remember Copland, anyone?). Plus, let’s admit it, the PowerPC 603 and 604 chips were underpowered compared to the highflying Pentiums.

And yes, during those dark days, loyalists still recognize the ease of use and lack of viruses as reason to pay a premium for underpowered Macs and Powerbooks.

Now, the same goes for RIM and Blackberry fans. RIM is doing well but it constantly is being made to look like a douche that only does e-mail well after failing to come out with a competitive touch mobile device. And to make your days worse, a new report just out today says that Incredible & Droid is killing Blackberries at VW while HD2 is mopping the floor with Bold. And we know how the iPhone is doing over at AT&T.

So I can relate.

At the end of the day, we’re all in the same camp. We want Apple, Google, Palm (HP now), Microsoft, RIM, and Nokia to fight like there’s no tomorrow through competition and innovation. Believe me, what’s good for the iPhone folks is good for the Android guys. And that’s also good for WebOS and Blackberry fans too.

Note: I hope to be a Windows Phone fan too when the day comes and it measure up to the gadgets that I’ve got at the time. Also very excited about WebOS too.

Monday, May 10, 2010

4th Gen iPhone: Video shows Part of Assemby

I think the video is authentic because of how it looks and what Gizmodo has been reporting on.

It doesn't show a lot of details that really matter but enough to show that there is a frontal camera and that we're very close to seeing it for real in June.

The key questions still aren't answered by the video:  if Verizon will get it, when we'll see it, and other juicy stuff. Only Steve Jobs knows for sure at this point.

The video and more at On Apple.

Nintendo Tweets

Here are today's tweets on Nintendo and what I think about their mobile gaming plans:

Nintendo: Apple is the future battles will be with. (part 1)

Nintendo: Recently hit by slowing sales. XL version probably not helping much with sales except with senior citizens. (part 2)

Nintendo: 3DS is the future. I’m not sure that’s enough. Need to change rules of the game to compete. (part 3)

Nintendo: Don’t take eyes off Microsoft or Sony, guys. WM7 plus zune plus gaming. PSP2 with mobile computing and telephony (part 4)

Nintendo: App store needs to grow more. Debating about online gaming. Suggest Mario & Co try everything (part 5)

Nintendo: Bring online socials to DS. But needs to make it safe for kids (part 6)

Nintendo: I would play in a “Nintendo Park” or “Nintendo World” (part 7)

Nintendo: I would love to see a multi-touch Nintendo tablet. That would be so cool (part 8)

Nintendo: Maybe they should have bought Palm and WebOS. Too late. How about licensing with HP. (part 9)

Nintendo: Android OS with Nintendo gaming? That would stop iPhone and others in their tracks (part 10)

Nintendo: Interesting post on Nintendo’s views on Apple and what’s next for mobile gaming http://bit.ly/c8Sfmx (part 11)

Nintendo: I’ve got a lot of confidence in Maro and folks. Experienced death before like Apple. Future is still bright. (part 12)

Nintendo: They have the potential to even redefine mobile in ways that is Apple-esque. (part 13)

Sunday, May 9, 2010

Mobile Rights - Tethering

If mobile has its own version of the Bill of Rights, tethering ought to be like the third or fourth amendment guaranteeing this right.

Seriously, right?

Look at the lack of tethering for iPhone users on AT&T while users on Sprint and Verizon Wireless probably find it strange how backward that sounds and, yet, iPhone users pay over to AT&T a bigger bill than their compatriots from other wireless providers.


-- Post From My iPad

Saturday, May 8, 2010

Mobile Tip - Watching Online TV Shows With Mobile Youtube

What's cool about mobile devices is the ability to do a majority of the what we consider to be daily Internet and some computing tasks. And to even more resourceful users, much more can be done.

Watching videos, that's another matter. Sure, if you're on Android device, iPhone, or most other devices with Google links, chances are that you have Youtube. Well, we don't have Hulu yet and the iPad just got Netflix. So where does that leave everyone else and everything else?

Youtube. The problem with mobile Youtube is that it is difficult to find anything beyond a lot of user-created materials. I had hope to see a lot of TV and animation shows but it has been hard to "search" for them.

No longer. I just stop. What I did find the shows on Youtube that I want to watch on my G1 or iPhone, simply copy and paste the URL from YouTube to a mail and send it to yourself. After you received it, click on the links and most videos will play. I haven't had issues with any shows except Star Trek which I wager is still in Flash.

Another way to do this is by adding the shows to your account. That ought to work just as well if not better than using the email method. But this way, you will need to create a google or youtube account.

As for Flash videos, you're gonna be in luck as Adobe is racing against time to provide Flash in Android to fight against Apple's anti-Flash efforts by pushing open standard HTML 5. You will be able to access a lot of online videos like Hulu.

Of course, we will have to see if Adobe comes through and if the quality is as good as we have come to expect watching videos from laptops and desktops. However, Adobe is about 18 months late with Flash Lite so while I am hopeful, I am not holding my breath.

Note: I support the open standards push but until HTML 5 replaces Flash, Adobe is the only game in town for videos.


-- Post From My iPad

Crack In Internet During 1,000 Points Drop In Dow

Did you try to log into your Etrade account during last week's one thousand point drop in minutes before coming back up?

The authorities still have no idea how it happened. I'm sure you've heard the theories. A mistake by a Citibank trader who inadvertently type in "b" instead of "m" for millions. Perhaps though I personally doubt it. Computer errors? More likely. The Fox Mulder in me thinks it's possible this was a test hack.

Back to Etrade. You probably had problems logging in. It didn't matter if you were on your iPhone or tethered to a desktop at work, your attempts at trying to access your money was met with time-out.

Well, I didn't try. I didn't even thought about it. I had problems just access Yahoo Finance, CNBC, and Bloomberg. The updates on my iPhone took a while.

This isn't purely a mobile issue. This is an issue about the robustness of the Internet. I think any Congressional hearings into this matter also needs to include how the Internet dealt with this unique financial event.

So, any bets on what really happened? Aliens. A dark syndicate of hackers?

Friday, May 7, 2010

Mobile Ads - FTC Should Just Watch

Apple's iAds should worry people in both good and bad ways. Apple is shaking up the mobile market while it is limiting choice. On the other hand, Google is the beast in the ad arena and this is why the FTC is asking around wondering if the $750 million deal for AdMob would go through. Word is that the FTCisnt keen on approving the deal.

The question for me is why. The mobile ad market is young and, in dollar amount, insignificant. It will be years of innovation and shakeout before we know how the mobile ad market will look like and whether we are still looking at banner ads or ads that are more interactive like standalone apps. Maybe there's even more creative means to deliver ads.

However, I do want to see the Feds keep their nose in things to make sure things are on the level and that no one is leveraging their position to wipe out competition.

I want to see iAds flourish and others trying to keep Google host. The mobile market is big enough for multiple platforms. It is also big enough for multiple mobile ad companies.

-- Post From My iPad

Using Foursquare To Dethrone Others

Earlier, I posted about looking for an useful purpose of location-based services like Foursquare.

Though that is still in progress, I've figured out how I can use it in a fun but not really useful manner. This is what I posted on my Facebook:

"figure out a good use for location-based services like Foursquare...gonna go dethrone the current mayor of a popular patry/cafe place where I walk/drive by everyday near my house..."

I think I will create a ring of businesses that are "mine".

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Purpose For Location Apps

I have been using Foursquare for a couple of months on a regular basis now. It's great that I can check into some locations and blast this on to Twitter and Facebook.

But I have yet to find a purpose. I know what the purpose of Boomtown, Foursquare, and Yelp is but I am talking about a purpose that serves me, the user.

Privacy issues aside, I am hoping these services will eventually offer services and maybe coupons or discounts to users based on their locations.

Again, I am searching for a purpose. I hope one of these location services breaks out and really offer people a reason to sign on and share where they are.


- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Location:W Washington Blvd,Los Angeles,United States

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Energy In America: We Have Choices

Generally, I talk about mobile tech, trends, and what I think mobile computing has impacted our lives. There is one thing that bends mobile technology and use along with other aspects of our lives: energy.

Since the 70s, we know that we have to rely less on petroleum but not one political power in the US or any other nation has envisioned a wholesale shift in a national energy policy. I had hoped that President Obama would at least move us in that direction but it does seem like we are only taking baby steps towards that end. The end being relying less and less on hydrocarbon and more on alternative energy sources like wind, solar, and other renewable sources.

The oil spill from the sunk drilling platform in the Gulf of Mexico is a remind of the cost of our vast energy need. With each passing year, we are sourcing more from the Gulf and other off-shore drilling efforts as land resources diminish.

Personally, I believe thing should be on the table. Drilling, baby, drilling, right? I also think nuclear options should be included as well. It's going to take a concerted effort and options to slowly wield us off our petro addiction.

And sacrifices will be needed. For instance, the Cape Cod wind farm that was just approved had been bought vigorously by the late Senator Edward Kennedy. When I first learned of that, I was surprised as I am sure many were. There, we had a senior Democratic leader in the Senate against renewable energy. Of course, the facts are more complicated than how I've just put it but the fact remains: not many are willing to make the sacrifice.

For national security reasons, a large scale political effort is needed. The current climate bill being worked on by South Carolina Senator Lindsey Graham (Republican) and Massachusetts Senator John Kerry (Democrat) should also include a comprehensive energy policy announced by the White House.

Of course, we are in an election year with most of Congress running for reelection.  Having said that, more and more, I think it'll be people outside of politics who will stand up and take the lead.  Government can only do so much when politics are taken into consideration.  It'll be folks like the Bill Gates and companies like Google who are leading a greening effort.

It'll be you and me willing to face the facts and reality.  Energy security won't come cheap and will take time.  There will be a paradigm shift in every aspect of our lives if we want to achieve this goal.

And believe me, every light turned off or gas saved by walking to the market instead of driving helps.  That's how it begins.

More on the Cape Wind Project, White House Energy Policy

Flash War: Onxo Tweets About Apple, Adobe, Flash, & HTML5

Here's an aggregate of today's tweets that I put up called "Flash War".

The day started looking quite promising as the media latched onto "reports" from "sources" that the FTC and the Justice Department are negotiating with each other about who should look into whether Apple did anything wrong not wanting substandard apps in the iPhone platform.  I think iAds could also be thrown in.

However, there is certainly no indication that an investigation would even be initiated.  After all, Robert Reich, former Secretary of Labor and advisors to other administrations, believe the FTC has better things to do than to investigate Apple (okay, the Justice Department is another issue).

The tweets:
  • Flash War: Adobe mouthed off to the feds to get them to look at Apple's SDK agreements. Stupid, stupid, stupid... (part 1)
  • Flash War: Adobe should shut up and work hard to make Apple regret it. Go crying to others is just weak (part 2)
  • Flash War: Apple is now pissed. How does getting the government involved help Adobe? (part 3)
  • Flash War: At the end of day, Adobe pissed off one of its better partners. Apple has billions to kill Adobe if needed (part 4)
  • Flash War: Look for Apple to develop its own creative suite. Legions will follow. Adobe, dumb, dumb, dumb… (part 5)
  • Flash War: Macromedia buy by Adobe was a bad bet. Apple will be developing own html 5 tools (part 6)
  • Flash War: Adobe needs to shut up and circle wagon and innovate like crazy. Only way to out-Apple Apple. (Part 7)
  • Flash War: Vids of Flash on Android. Very short. Both promising and worrying. (part 8) http://bit.ly/99ak7z
  • Flash War: Scribd will abandon Flash & move to HTML 5 start tomorrow. 200K of the most popular docs will be ready. http://tcrn.ch/aJBWqG
  • Flash War: ARM blames Adobe for slow smartbook beginning. Reason? Flash & Air delay since 2009. Effort also hindered by interests in iPads
  • Flash War: Adobe will need Google to stave off Flash death. Probably can't wait for Chrome OS to be available later this year.
  • Flash War: ARM had hoped Linux & Flash will be weapon against Intel's netbooks. Linux sales disappoint. But Flash was a no show.
  • Flash War: Here is more on ARM's disillusion with Adobe and Flash. http://bit.ly/bp5nsB
Bottom line: Adobe has a lot to offer the Internet and computing in general. Instead of waging a publicity war that it isn't like to win, Adobe should put the energy into innovating its products. And if Flash on non-iPhone mobile platforms do shine, that'll just shut Steve Jobs up, won't it?

Note: You can follow my twitter feeds here at paul_onxo.

Shopping & Saving With Mobile Apps

May folks are already using scanner apps to help them find the cheapest price for whatever they're looking for.  It was on the Android that I first discovered such an app.  Slowly, more apps came into the Marketplace and soon other platforms have their own apps to scan barcodes.

Amazon even allows us to take a picture of product and return to us the information and price if they happen to sell it.

Now, I'm looking for something more sophisticated.  I'm looking for an app that can run my chores, help me find the most efficient route, and save money in the process.  So what exactly am I looking for?

  • by typing in my zipcode, all the local supermarket specials will pop up.
  • I can match my shopping list to the specials and see which supermarket allows me to get the most bang for my buck.
  • Plot out routes for errands to help me save time.
  • Remember my history - might serve to tell me that I need milk or pay a bill.
  • Recommend nearby places to go in case I need to get something done on a to-do list.
I hate chores, shopping for grocery, and doing bills.  But if such an app can make it easier for me to get everything done on one trip, I think there ought to be an app for that.

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Mobile Apps And Working Out

Accelerometers and GPS are a God-send for folks who run with their mobile devices. Everywhere I go these days, folks generally carry their Android devices or iPhones just for this purpose. Not only do these apps measure distance, many of them provide an approximation of the amount of calories burnt during the run.

However, apps also provide other uses. Tracking weight loss/gain. Finding out the proper diet including counting calories is also another popular use. These two functions quickly came to me because that's what I use my apps for.

How useful are they? Pretty useful but the right question to ask is how effective. Well, that depends on how hard you work. In trying to stay in shape or attempting to lose weight, it will take time and dedication. You may have the best mobile device on the planet or you may have access to, oh say, an unreleased 4th generation iPhone, if you aren't willing to sweat, no amount or quality of app is gonna help you.

Monday, May 3, 2010

Travel Blogs - Every Mobile Uer Can Create One

Recently, I've joined a group of friends on Thursday night trips around town trying different types of food and going to venues I ordinarily won't go by myself.  It's been a lot of fun and I sort of document the experience on Twitter and Facebook.

It got me thinking about an old LA show called "Eye On LA".  It was a weekly show about the richness of Los Angeles.  It's culture, food, and people.  And of course, there's Hollywood.  Now, we've got the Travel Channel that shows off different parts of the world.  I suppose that's what they do since I don't watch it.

Then there's the Food Channel that at times takes the audience to different parts of the world to sample the food.  My mom is particularly interested in Japanese cooking so we try to find stuff like that for her.

But with mobile technology these days, the smartphones, digital cameras and camcorders, and a variety of ways for users to share their pictures and experiences with users, it is entirely possible for people to create a travel log as they go out on the town and show their readers, I supposely, mostly friends and family, what their experiences are like.

There's the obvious privacy issue but this is the age of Facebook and Twitter.  Privacy is different from when I was growing up.  It's different today from even the early 2000s.  So the mobile user will need to gauge his or her comfort level in sharing such an experience.

Personally, my sharing consists of updating from Foursquare to my Facebook account and update thoughts on Twitter.  Occasionally, I upload pictures.

But I can totally make the whole experience richer and engaging if I wanted to.  Certainly, it's something you might consider doing out your outings.  It doesn't have to be a trip to Europe.  Last time, we visited seven different places to eat and drink in one night and traveled from one end of town to the other.

Prepaid Subs Will Influence Device Pricing

In the US, there is a predominant demand for post-paid services for mobile services and devices but now, there is a shift towards pre-paid services. So I pose the question: how is this going to impact pricing on the hardware?

When the iPhone came out in 1997, it was priced at $500-600, depending on the storage size. If you think about it, it's an insane price to pay for a phone but there are literally thousands who are willing to shell out the bills for it. However, once you get past that segment of the market, device makers are hard pressed to find any user who are more used to getting high-end devices for more than $200.

As you know, you can get a Droid for $200, a Pre for free, or the upcoming Wimax powered Evo for $200 only because you're willing to sell your soul to the wireless providers for the intervals of two-years. But the indication now is that more users are moving away from the subsidized model of services and more towards paying on a monthly basis.

Because of this, I think hardware makers and wireless providers will be charging a lot more upfront for smart phones and other devices. I'm not sure the market is going to be able to sustain devices with prices in the range of $400-600.

Over time, competitive pressure will force the market to lower the cost of entry for the average consumer. There will still be a market for devices $500 and up such as the iPhone but device makers will be forced to lower their prices down to $300 or anyone price point that is more palpable for the increasingly tech savvy mobile user.

This is exactly what providers are afraid of. Without the ability to lock in users, they will be force to be innovative, not with just tech but with pricing and creating new services for their network.

However, it doesn't mean that the post-paid market will go away overnight. The new pre-versus-post dynamics will take years to work through the market.

Saturday, May 1, 2010

My iPad 3G Impressions - It Is A Game Changer

You know by now I've been okaying with an iPad for a bit now. A month ago. Now, I am playing with an iPad 3G. More precisely, it's my Mom's iPad 3G.

It is a mixed bag as far as how I feel about it. First, my iPad is a month older. Not dated by any sense because the iPad is the same as the iPad 3G except the iPad 3G has a cellular antenna in there that provides wireless Internet from AT&T.

I have had sporadic access to the iPad because it doesn't quite belong to me. It's my Mom's iPad. She spent some time getting to know it but it was really my job to maker sure the iPad is configured as closely as possible to her iPhone.

Let me get to the 3G service first. Configuration was a piece of cake. I did it while i was participating in a live radio show on planetary and rocketry show. It took all of three minutes to get everything up and running.

The next thing I did was run the newly minted mobile service though few sites I visit on a regular basis. It was refreshing to seed the speed of the mobile Safari. It was exciting to see who fast the pages rendered thanks to the fast home grown chip Apple decided to use.

I went next with the Slingplayer. It worked as expected. The quality was decent but it's nothing to write home about. The fact of the matter is that. It worked well enough and I can't wait for the iPad specific version. I don't expect the quality of the video on 3G to improve markably as AT&T is probably throttling down the speed for this video streaming.

Aside from video, my mom is interested in making VOIP calls. And though AT&T gave the go-ahead for VOIP apps, there really hasn't been a flood of services and apps rushing to fill the voice need. Truly, it's sad. Truly, Skype...I'm talking to you.

Fring was subpar. It worked last night but in the morning, I got the warning signal that calls are only available through WiFi. But an hour after that, I decided to give it another try and calls started going through 3G once again.

Here's the changer for me: a very portable computer with perpetual wireless Internet connectivity. It has a long battery life that offers excellent UI with a huge library of apps. And to my surprise, the GPS in the 3G model is an added bonus.

I don't have the 3G model as you know. I really am amazed at those displayed superhuman patience by waiting an extra month.

-- Post From My iPad