SMS is the new black

A review of mass market mobile apps

Posts Tagged ‘iPhone’

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.

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

Is battery life making the term ‘mobile’ redundant?

Posted by Admin on January 23, 2009

Here’s a second chance to see another post that originally appeared over Christmas.

– – –

I’ve recently bought a G1 and the battery life on it is shocking – less than a day of normal use seems to be the average so far. And if you use extra functions like GPS it seems to be even less than that. Fortunately for me I don’t use it as my main phone – I use almost exclusively for data and it’s not ‘mission critical’ to me if it’s dead for a while.

The G1 isn’t the only phone with poor battery life. There have been numerous reports of the iPhone’s poor battery – especially the 3G. If you search on Google under ‘iPhone poor battery’ you get over 250,000 results.

If you want to read a more detailed analysis of some of the technical issues, you can read Dean Bubley’s post here.

But I’m not interested in the technical background to this. Like the majority of mobile users I don’t care whether it is the fault of the hardware manufacturer, the software, the network or any other reason. What I do care about is that I’m getting a poor performance from my phone.

I want my phone to allow me to be connected while mobile. The main form of connection obviously is that I want to be able to make and receive voice calls – I want to be able to talk to people while I’m away from a landline. I also want to be able to send text messages. Now, I’ve got a ‘clever’ phone which also allows me to check email, go on the internet, check my location or get directions, play games and a whole host of other cool stuff – I’d like to be able to do that while I’m out and about too.

But it seems that I can’t – I can’t be truly mobile because I’ve got to make sure that I’m close to a power socket every 24 hours or so.

So what to do … Well as a user I start to rationalise my usage. What’s most important to me – well firstly it’s being able to receive calls, then it’s the ability to make them, then it’s all the other stuff. So I just cut back. Firstly on all the other stuff, then if the battery’s low on making calls too.

If my battery’s low, I’m effectively carrying around a pager.

I’m not sure that’s what all the new, exciting smartphones were intended to be … but without decent battery life that’s all they are.

Posted in Annoying, Handsets, Opinion, Voice | Tagged: , | 4 Comments »

12 Days of Christmas – Is battery life making the term ‘mobile’ redundant?

Posted by Admin on December 31, 2008

I’ve recently bought a G1 and the battery life on it is shocking – less than a day of normal use seems to be the average so far. And if you use extra functions like GPS it seems to be even less than that. Fortunately for me I don’t use it as my main phone – I use almost exclusively for data and it’s not ‘mission critical’ to me if it’s dead for a while.

The G1 isn’t the only phone with poor battery life. There have been numerous reports of the iPhone’s poor battery – especially the 3G. If you search on Google under ‘iPhone poor battery’ you get over 250,000 results.

If you want to read a more detailed analysis of some of the technical issues, you can read Dean Bubley’s post here.

But I’m not interested in the technical background to this. Like the majority of mobile users I don’t care whether it is the fault of the hardware manufacturer, the software, the network or any other reason. What I do care about is that I’m getting a poor performance from my phone.

I want my phone to allow me to be connected while mobile. The main form of connection obviously is that I want to be able to make and receive voice calls – I want to be able to talk to people while I’m away from a landline. I also want to be able to send text messages. Now, I’ve got a ‘clever’ phone which also allows me to check email, go on the internet, check my location or get directions, play games and a whole host of other cool stuff – I’d like to be able to do that while I’m out and about too.

But it seems that I can’t – I can’t be truly mobile because I’ve got to make sure that I’m close to a power socket every 24 hours or so.

So what to do … Well as a user I start to rationalise my usage. What’s most important to me – well firstly it’s being able to receive calls, then it’s the ability to make them, then it’s all the other stuff. So I just cut back. Firstly on all the other stuff, then if the battery’s low on making calls too.

If my battery’s low, I’m effectively carrying around a pager.

I’m not sure that’s what all the new, exciting smartphones were intended to be … but without decent battery life that’s all they are.

Posted in Annoying, Handsets, Opinion, Voice | Tagged: , , , | 2 Comments »

Over 300 million iPhone apps downloaded

Posted by Admin on December 9, 2008

Apple has recently let it be known that its app store has now had over 300 million downloads. The company didn’t reveal how many of those apps were free and how many were paid for, but either way, it’s a lot of new things that iPhone users are playing with on their phones.

You can read more about it on FierceMobileContent here.

The other question that of course remains unanswered is how many of those apps were downloaded by tech-savvy individuals who would have got hold of them anyway, and how many were downloaded by people new to mobile content? The answer of course is that some must be new. Thanks to both the handset itself and the app store a whole range of people have been introduced to cool new apps they never thought possible.

Posted in Handsets, Industry, Mobile Content | Tagged: , | Leave a Comment »

Is the iPhone changing mobile behaviour?

Posted by Admin on December 3, 2008

The anecdotal answer would immediately be yes, so here’s a really interesting anecdote from Ewan of Mobile Industry Review (I’ve copied his entire piece, or you can read it here).

– – –

I’m standing on the Vomit Comet from London Liverpool Street to Southend Victoria. This train leaves at 2315 and is usually one of the first to attract the drunken dregs of Essex. And the odd sane and sober individual hiding from cold, hard reality with a pair of headphones and an ability to avoid projectile vomit with a skill honed over years of experience. I’m standing. Which means there is no sodding space to sit and that I have a birdseye view of proceedings. So whilst an arse in the middle of the carriage is relating a tale about a box of margarine and a recent sexual experience at 200% volume, my attention was drawn by a lady sat by the door. I was able to look over her shoulder and see Prison Break (latest series) playing away on her iPhone 3G in her lap. She’s overweight – “plump” – she is literally wearing a pink Anorak, she has bleached blonde long hair and she’s weathered to at least, by my reckoning, 45+ years. This, ladies and gentlemen, is your new power handset user. Think you’re all smart with your N95s and N78s? Think again. I’ve just seen her use a TV listing application, the web (Facebook and some Googling), some music and the Prison Break TV episode. Oh, and the text message function. Unbelievable. Fascinating. Truly fascinating. This isn’t a digital obsessed teenager. This is someone who went to school *without* computers in the classrooms. Not even a BBC Micro jobby. And here she is, consuming data and using her iPhone 3G to an extent that, truly, I didn’t expect to see. Her battery is, by the way, totally screwed. I can see the little icon nearing empty. Brilliant! More!

It’s great to see practical real life experiences of folk using mobile technology beyond calling and texting.

Posted in Handsets, Mobile Content | Tagged: , , | Leave a Comment »

Search for restaurants on your iPhone

Posted by Admin on December 3, 2008

A new app has been launched for the iPhone and iPod touch that gives you access to Zagat Survey’s ratings and reviews of restaurants, hotels etc. It contains details of over 40,000 venues and also includes photos, menus, Google maps, click to call capabilities and functionality that allows users to make instant restaurant reservations.

Zagat Survey has worked with Handmark to create the application and Evan Conway, Handmark Executive Vice President of Marketing says: “ZAGAT TO GO ’09 is a must have mobile app for any frequent business traveler or restaurant enthusiast with an iPhone or iPod touch.”

It’s available from the Apple App Store for $9.99.

Posted in Mobile Search, Travel | Tagged: , | Leave a Comment »