SMS is the new black

A review of mass market mobile apps

Archive for February 3rd, 2009

FrontlineSMS – helping NGOs communicate

Posted by Admin on February 3, 2009

I’ve been meaning to write about FrontlineSMS for a little while now, ever since TechnoKitten pointed it out to me. However, it’s one of those services that almost defies being written about – because it’s just so good. Once you’ve wriiten – ‘it’s amazing’ – what more is there to say?

I suppose I could start with a bit more of an explanation – it is software that creates an SMS delivery tool for you so that you can send out multiple SMSs to people out and about. It’s been specifically created for charities and NGOs, so the people that receive the messages would typically be people in the field, working at the cutting edge of the charity’s good work, but without access to a computer (and therefore email), but of course with a mobile phone.

What’s great about it is that it makes this form of communication a completely mass-market medium. People, volunteers, local support workers, activitists etc etc, they all have a mobile phone and they all know how to use SMS. So by using FrontlineSMS you are able to keep them updated, warn them, mobilise them – whatever it is you need to do.

FrontlineSMS is currently being put to use in almost every corner of the world. Here’s a map they’ve created of where and how it being used.

frontline-map1

If you are from a charity or NGO, I suggest that you go here and download it for free.

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Posted in Charity, Texts work | Tagged: , , | Leave a Comment »

GeoSim now offers international data

Posted by Admin on February 3, 2009

GeoSim, an international sim card that offers travelers mobile connection without having to pay [often extortionate] roaming charges is now going to be offering data services as well as voice.

This means that you can go abraod and use your mobile to check your favourite websites, or download a music file, without having to pay roaming fees – you’ll still need to pay something, but it’s likely to be much cheaper than using your ‘home’ sim card.

If you are planning a trip, it’s worth a look here.

Posted in Mobile Broadband, Voice | Tagged: , | Leave a Comment »

lastminute.com launches free talking iPhone phrasebook

Posted by Admin on February 3, 2009

lastminute.com has announced a talking phrasebook that is free to download for iPhone and iPod Touch users in the UK. You can get French, German, Greek, Italian Portuguese and Spanish versions, so if you’re travelling to any countries that speak those languages, I suggest you get them onto your iPhone sharpish.

The phrasebooks have been developed by a company called Coolgorilla and made free for UK consumers by lastminute.com. Andy Washington, lastminute.com sales director said of them:

“These new talking phrasebooks will help people to get even more out of their lastminute.com holidays and breaks. With these great applications, UK consumers avoid having to carry around heavy, paper versions. The talking phrasebooks on the iPhone are easy to use, convenient and most of all free.”

The talking phrasebooks also feature a new search functionality. Users can now search for all phrases quickly and easily, so holiday makers do not waste any of their precious time. They also have a list of activity based words and phrases, so now you can ask to go skydiving in Spain, or on a helicopter ride in Portugal. The phrasebooks also include localised options such as playing boules in France, or visiting a Greek ampitheatre.

Roy Forsdick, MD of Coolgorilla said:

“We’ve worked hard to make these phrasebooks simple and easy for consumers to use. And with lastminute.com’s sponsorship, we can offer them free to UK customers, so that they can enjoy their holiday even more … we’ve [also] created new landing pages that allow lastminute.com to offer additional, local deals to people. This provides a very rich and interactive way to reach holidaymakers with targeted and relevant offers, while they are on their holiday.”

If you’re in the UK, you can download the phrasebooks here:
French, German, Greek, Italian, Portuguese and Spanish.

Disclaimer: I’ve been doing some work for Coolgorilla.

Posted in Mobile Content | Tagged: , , , | 1 Comment »