Don’t write off Nokia and Phone8

20130221-201351.jpg I usually stay away from evaluations as they are subjective and can be damaging, being only one mans opinion after all. For the Top Gear fans amongst us the Vauxhall Vectra springs to mind? I have never driven one but Clarkson has made sure we think they are the worse car ever made and to walk is better than to ever get within a mile of one, they surely can’t be that bad?

With all that said I am now going to share my opinion on the new Nokia Lumia 620, pictured above.

On opening the box, which is not an Apple box opening experience, I was impressed, the device outshines its humble wrappings for sure.

On boot a bright and colourful screen greets the user, the phone feels strong, all be it the back is a little plasticky, its overall a “Nice to hold” device.

We now move from reviewing a Nokia to reviewing an operating system and Microsoft Phone8 is impressive to. This is my first exposure to the tiled interface and it feels slick, the phone is responsive and fluid the UI enjoyable, in fact the novelty/fiddle factor lasted some days.

So after a month of use I can officially say I like Phone8 and Lumia, a good marriage and one that works.

I would like a charging cover to be able to wireless charge, which is on my shopping list and I would like to see more apps in the Microsoft Store, which will come in time but Microsoft has been slow out of the blocks here.

Now onto Nokia Maps, this is the piece de resistance! I downloaded the Maps Beta and this is superb, full turn by turn GPS in the phone, plus you can download a region or map in advance, so if you end up someone by suprise, no problem, download the map over WiFi or Cellular. If you know where your headed, pre-download from home before you leave, the perfect scenario, global maps built in FOC. (Free of Charge)

The camera is good, not astonishing considering Carl Zeiss is involved but physics still has its part to play and it’s a small sensor after all.

So to sum up then,

    Windows Phone8 is fresh, tiles that change and provide information are great, it is easy to find your way round and not frustrating when you first try to find your way round.
    The phone, Nokia know their beans, it shows, nuff said, although it’s about the Apps and let lets the side down right now.
    Having made many calls on the phone it’s clear and reliable, the speaker needs to be right over your ear, which I found difficult aligning initially, a small detail once you get used to it.

Is this package good enough for 3rd place and enough to keep it from Blackberry? Yes but so is BB10 on paper… may the best platform win!

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Is eMail unsustainable and broken?

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Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer recently said that Email was broken and it got me thinking about the scourge that is the inbox.

One issue lies in how smartphones and desktop computers are synchronized. Reading emails on your phone and then taking the extra step of marking them as unread so they will still be there on your desktop is a key problem, Mayer said.

This is exactly what happens, you read an email you cannot deal with at that moment and then it disappears under the stack, unless you do as Mayer says and set it unread its lost until the person chases you, that’s what happens to me anyway.

Remember back to when we received email, dealt with all 10 or 20 that came in a steady stream allowing us to do our day job? Now we get 100+ a day and it just never stops.

So Mayer is right, email is broken, but I think it is worse than that. The Yahoo chief is of course setting us up for something new in an attempt to put Yahoo back on the map, but ignore the sales pitch and think about it…

An office, many people sitting looking at screens, reading and writing email to others, often a few minutes or even seconds away and when a chat does occur the last request of the dialogue is to follow up the conversation in an email.

Companies concerned over the lack of collaboration end up buying tools to help the process occur. Trials have been done by some to have email free days, but stats show the same number of emails over the time.
With spam filters working pretty well targeted spam is an issue but from reputable sources you should block or have them remove you. Analytics projects try to work on a better ways of locating that email you received, from someone about something to do with your project, but you cannot remember the sender or anything else about it, probably because you read it briefly on the train on your mobile device.

Enough of this waffle where is the mobile link here? Well mobile has caused and continues to make this entire problem worse, it’s to easy to create emails, to easy to reply and generate more work and email chat like Instant Message often occurs, this should happen on IM and stay out of the inbox.

I wish I had the solution but I do believe that collaboration face to face (calls and video conferences are good to) are the answer, talk to each other, make some notes on your mobile device and free yourself of the nightmare, but for it to work we all have to join in.

Humans are naturally sociable so how did we beat it out of them in Corporate’ville?

http://www.cio.com/article/728757/Yahoo_39_s_Mayer_Says_Mobile_Mail_is_Broken

Story source CIO.COM

Skype on Android on BB10

20130210-232241.jpgBlackberry announce Skype on the BB10 platform and reports are circulating that it is just an Android version running in the emulation!

These reports are rather negative reporting Blackberry as cheats, the version available is allegedly the Ice Cream Sandwich iteration.

I can’t see the issue myself, in fact if it gets the apps on the platform who cares? You install an app and it works, so what can possibly be the problem, when an app is not available that’s a more annoying situation.

It makes you think that sometime along the way RIM, at the time, made the wrong decision and should have picked Google rather than purchasing QNX (April 2009)

The QNX platform behind many vehicle systems is impressive, with technology that makes it truly real time, but it’s the uphill struggle of starting from scratch when you need the community that’s the real issue.

So on the flip side then perhaps someone had an epiphany to run an Android emulation on QNX to help bridge the gap of that struggle, IMHO this is the case, after all you can’t possibly come to market with the same level of support as the existing established players, being 2 years late doesn’t help either!

BB10 is completely new to the core, it’s not compatible with the previous versions of Blackberry it uses activsync to talk email messages, unlike previous versions.

Remember if your bashing Blackberry, we need them, imagine how much innovation comes from competition.

I say Bravo Waterloo, good move with the emulation, and fingers crossed it works out for you….

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4G, does this mean Three will become Four?

20130206-000209.jpgThat age old issue of bandwidth, as devices got faster the issue was getting worse, then LTE/4G came along, the nirvana? Only if money is no object, and your in the right place at that moment, but it’s changing

If your interested in LTE info I waffled on about this back in November so take a look, this time it’s tariffs up for discussion.

LTE Article (November 2012)

EE, formally Orange and T-Mobile have merged and obtained the licence to initially offer 4G services here in the UK. This was late, the U.S were already wizzing along on the iPads that had shipped 6 months earlier. The offering, needless to say is not the greatest deal you have ever seen, who would give something away on the cheap and especially as they are the only ones at the party.

The Analogue To Digital TV switchover happened and the government auctioned, meanwhile Three managed to buy some spectrum from our friends at EE, everything everywhere, deep joy.

Now would you prefer lots of something slow at a low cost, or a small amount of something fast at a high cost? Quantity or Quality?

Aparantly Steve Jobs said “One Home Run is better than two Doubles”

In this case it’s not true because of all you can eat! This is the best aspect of 3G services, currently only offered by Three here in Blighty, therefore “One Home Run is not better than as many Doubles as you can eat”

Getting onto Tariffs then, EE’s deals are grim IMHO, let me elaborate,

iPhone5 32Gb £36 per month 24month contract.
Upfront device cost £269, compared to £599 Sim Free
Unlimited Texts and Minutes, I see minutes have become pretty valueless, it’s all about data.
500Mb data, yes 500Mb which will last preciously 20 minutes.
For 8Gb is another £20 per month, taking you to £56 per month for 2 years, ouch.

Compared with Three (3G)
iPhone5 £36 per month 24 month contract
Upfront device cost £199, compared to EE £269
5000 Texts, 7000 Minutes and of course All You Can Eat Data, no limits!

I just ran a test and got this result on my Three 3G enabled iPad.

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The latest is Three have announced they will be offering LTE/4G to all their users at No Extra Cost! They have not yet confirmed if the All You Can Eats will continue but at least you get the premium bandwidth sat no extra cost!

Three, voice calls are pretty rubbish in my experience lots of calls failed, but their data network is brilliant, bravo to Three!

Mobile Device News

20130204-010028.jpgIt’s busy busy at the gadget end of the mobile world and although it’s not all about the bling its still our most favourite part.

So here’s a round up of the latest action,

  • Blackberry (formally RIM) release Z10 and Q10, they look great, let’s hope it all works out for them. I have to say I’m looking forward to playing with one.
  • Blackberry have also said they will release BB10 for Playbook, that lovely little bargain of a tablet, could spark a revival for the pint sized beauty, more apps would also help!
  • Samsung to launch the XCover2 S7710 builders phone, waterproof to 1m for up to an hour and pretty rugged, great if you need tough.
  • Samsung have been busy, soon we also get the Ativ Odyssey I930 Windows Phone, running Redmond’s latest release 8, can it give the Lumia’s a run for their money?
  • LG announce their Spirit 4G with all mod cons and a staggering $199 price tag. With 4.5′ screen, dual core CPU 5MP camera and running the latest in Jelly Bean, this is a bargain, I couldn’t however find any info on this device in the UK.
  • February 19th should see the launch simultaneously in New York and London of HTC’s flagship M7, this beast gets 1.7Ghz snapdragon CPU, 13MP camera and pixel density that’s off the scale at 469ppi (iPhone5 has 326ppi) can’t want to play with this one, looks great to.
  • Nokia are having better times at the moment with the Lumia’s doing well, the rumour is a 38MP Windows Phone will release this year, sounds mad but I bet the pictures will be good.
  • Ahead of Mobile World Congress in Barcelona this is the most important news I could find, lots more to come over the following weeks.

    Having hoped to be at MWC this year I got a ticket, then tried to book a fight, everything is booked solid and priced through the roof, I need to be more organised for 2014 MWC!

    I’m test driving a Nokia Lumia 820 so will write up experiences over the next few weeks, what is cool is that Nokia have released the 3D information to allow you to print your own backs, well assuming you have a 3d printer that is.

    Picture: Nokia 2650 2004 Nokia sold 35 millions of these storm trooper phones.

    IBM Connect 2013 Building your social workforce

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    Loud and clear we are hearing that we need to build a social workforce, IBM tell us that this is tangible, productivity of course has long been difficult to measure, like nailing jelly to a wall some may stick but the rest will fall.

    Seen this? companies buy products, implement them and say go on employees collaborate …..(tumbleweed)

    So it is not about the products, yet we are all at a product providers conference learning about how important it is and all the products you can use to make it “happen”. I think it is probably easier to mate Panda’s in captivity, hold on that’s also social(able)!

    So this weeks IBM Connect 2013 has been a big change to previous years Lotusphere events and has had much more focus on Social with HR with other functions being talked about more than ever, not something you would have mentioned a few years ago at a largely “Techie” event.

    If you ask people how it was for them you get a mixed bag from, good conference and refreshing, to a rant about IBM abandoning their hardcore technical following, you will never keep everyone happy but I think in all most of those I asked said it was a welcome change and necessary evolution.

    Key Observations then from the conference,

  • The Lotus Brand is history, everything starts IBM now
  • It’s all about Social, Mobile, Analytics, and Big Data, but you knew that
  • Create a Social Workforce, see point 2
  • Device Fragmentation is so prolific don’t attempt to manage it, BYOD it!
  • Use App analysis tools when you launch an app to get insights into usage
  • Traveller is NOT in a container, so without MDM it is useless
  • Checkout Gamification to drive adoption, it really works
  • Think beyond the app … whatever that means went right over my head!

  • A good IBM Connect 2013 with good sessions, good company and good food, thanks to ChoosePortal for looking out for us!