The Reading List: Sat 3rd October

by Ben Smith on 3rd October 2009

Welcome to a new feature we’re testing on The Really Mobile Project from this week… The ‘Reading List’.

The Reading List is a short selection of the stories that interested us over the last week for you to browse over brunch / a pint / in the park with your cider in a paper bag (delete as applicable):

  1. Dropbox drops onto the iPhone – The Really Mobile team have been using DropBox for a while – Ben and Dan have premium subscriptions. It’s quick and reliable, if not feature-limited relative to some more recent competitors. The new iPhone app is a welcome addition and continues in that ‘quick and simple’ vein. Navigation is slick and the number of file formats the iPhone is able to display is impressive and increases its usefulness. There’s no conversion of unsupported file-formats which isn’t much of a limitation except for video where the option to stream a smaller, transcoded copy would be useful. Images can be added from the camera, but otherwise other files can’t be changed or deleted. An option to store email attachments and to delete files would be nice future additions.
  2. Truphone unveils v2.0 of its Android application – Truphone have released a new version for Android. But apparently it’s a secret, because the usual deluge of press-releases haven’t appeared.
  3. Turn a Zipit Wireless Messenger into a cheap, slow netbook by installing Linux – The Really Mobile team saw a very similar device on a proprietary platform some time ago. It was hard to get excited about it as an offering for consumers, but even then we (and especially Dan Lane) thought it had great hacking potential. The problem is, admitting you consumer device only really gets the modding community excited is akin to admitting you failed to actually satisfy your target demographic… and much as we all love a good mod, there’s little scope to make money out of it on devices like this.
  4. Samsung AMOLED 12M/SCH-W880 goes all official in Korea – AMOLED screens and 12 megapixel cameras… What manufacturers can build into phones and what sensible-sized battery technology can support have become separated somewhere along the way. Expect a rash of powerful, but battery-crippled devices until the equilibrium is restored.
  5. Everything We Know About Apple’s Touchscreen Tablet – Nothing. We know nothing. But enjoy this speculation. As ever with Apple releases you’ll need to look past the initial device to see the long-term strategy to really understand why this matters (or doesn’t).
  6. Vodafone too, Offering iPhone in UK and Ireland – Blah blah blah iPhone. Blah blah blah Vodafone as well as Orange and O2. Post merger (Orange / T-Mobile) the biggest 3 of the 4 UK MNOs will carry the iPhone and it’s not impossible that 3 will join them, although they’re probably in less of a rush having never really sought to differentiate themselves on handset range. In fact a Vodafone purchase of Three may be more likely in the short term. As nice as all this consumer choice is, it’s still likely that the networks will SIM lock their iPhones preventing travellers from using cheaper local SIMs.
  7. nuviphone will cost $300 – More rumours about the release of the G60 outside of Asia for a huge price. Garmin have well and truly missed the boat on this now… The iPhone with TomTom / Navigon will appeal much more to consumers. Even Ovi Maps’ recent improvements make a dedicated Sat Nav phone look like a white elephant
  8. ATT Starts Enabling MMS on U.S. iPhones – AT&T catch up with O2 in launching MMS. It seems to have the US blogs excited, but the only MMS we get on our phones (iPhones included) are adverts from network operators. It really is just easier to send and email…
  9. Super Macro Your Cellphone Camera With A DVD Lens – An awesome hack to use a lens rescued from an old DVD player to give a camera phone great macro-photography capabilities.
  10. Motorola Cliq Android Phone Ships November 2 For $200 on T-Mobile – First the Boy Genius reports the BLUR software#039;s half-baked and that the battery-life is dire and now T-Mobile want $200 plus a 2 year contract lock-in from US consumers. Someone#039;s having a laugh. A really promising handset looks like it’s heading for the FAIL bin. Nice one Motorola / T-Mob. Our only hope is that Orange don’t pull the same stunt in the UK with the European variant, the DEXT – pricing is still TBA here.
  11. Is The Palm Pre Tanking? – Already heavily discounted in the US ahead of its European launch the novelty of the Pre appears to be wearing off. However nice a device it is (and it has some significant failings in spec and price) it doesn’t have the cachet or fan-base Apple had to propel the iPhone into consumers’ hands. Having dropped the Windows range of devices that were (at least) selling to some enterprise users, the best we can hope for now is a purchase or a quick painless death. Success feels like the least likely of the outcomes.
  12. Sizing up Apple’s App Store – An analyst has estimated Apple generate a quarterly turn-over of $60m to $110m from iPhone / iPod Touch app sales – effectively 1% of their annual revenue. Not huge, but impressive both because this has been grown in just over a year (there are now 65,000 apps in the store) and promotes sales of the devices (and their successors).
  13. Amazon makes a Peek Pronto offer you can’t refuse: lifetime service – Never mind the US-only Peek e-mail device… However awesome it may or may not be, unlimited lifetime service is the story here. Operators need to wake up and realise that there are a ton of devices and uses out there for which consumers don’t want independent data subscriptions but for which they will pay a one-time fee. For simple devices like this network operators can limit data use through the software on the device…. This is the only way normal consumers will own several connected devices.
  14. O2 iPhone Update – O2′s cool, calm and collected response to the news that Orange (and then Vodafone) were launching the iPhone. “Look”, they say, “we’ve got the Pre, alright?” …and you can’t argue with that (except to say that it’s not much of a replacement as exclusives go).
  15. Nokia battling for Ovi brand in Brazil – Any world-wide brand will eventually bump into a similarly-named service – in this case Brazil’s Ouvi. It’s hardly the Ovi’s biggest issue though…. Can Nokia educate consumers what Ovi actually is?

Previous post:

Next post: