Mobile Boarding Passes

The ability to check in before you get to the airport is awesome, it saves so much time and speeds up getting through to the get hugely. Printing off a boarding pass at home is pretty straight forward, but the problem comes when you can’t yet check in for the return leg. You can only check in 24hrs before and that usually means checking in whilst your travelling. That’s OK if your in an office with a printer say your own company for example, but if it’s someone else’s office you’ve got to print to PDF transfer it to a USB memory stick and beg someone to print it out a right hassle.

Now, forget the printing, just have the boarding pass emailed to your smartphone. My recent trip with KLM to Vienna was mobile boarding pass enabled and made checking in at home and whilst travelling a breeze. No more thinking how am I going to get this printed or how much extra time will I need to leave to queue up at those self service machines, it’s just in your inbox.

If you get a chance to try it, I recommend it as it works great. Out of the 4 flights I made last week, 1 flight attendent grabbed my phone and scanned it, but most just asked me to place it on the scanner my self. The security guys at the scanners just wanted to check the date so there was no issue their either.

80% of IT Organizations to support tablets by 2013

Gartner has published it’s report – Gartner Reveals Top Predictions for IT Organizations and Users for 2011 and Beyond – and in there is that by 2013, 80% of business will support a workforce using tablets.

By 2013, 80 percent of businesses will support a workforce using tablets.
The Apple iPad is the first of what promises to be a huge wave of media tablets focused largely on content consumption, and to some extent communications, rather than content creation, with fewer features and less processing power than traditional PCs and notebooks or pen-centric tablet PCs. Support requirements for media tablets will vary across and within enterprises depending on usage scenario. At minimum, in cases where employees are bringing their own devices for convenience, enterprises will have to offer appliance-level support with a limited level of network connectivity (which will likely include access to enterprise mail and calendaring) and help desk support for connectivity issues.

That’s a pretty big number of business supporting devices such as the iPad in just over 2 years. We knew the iPad and tablets would make it into the business world, but Gartner’s confident numbers back that up.

Also posted at Orange Business Live

apple is in the enterprise

The need for IT support within the Enterprise is an interesting topic as some people believe that as more tech aware employees (Gen Y?) enter the workforce the need for IT support will shrink. We’ve all ready read about how the voice strategy is influenced by the users, but it’s now becoming clear that users are setting the agenda for mobile handset choice too.

If you step back a few years a corporate handset was a pretty basic Nokia handset (remember the 6310i) that was pretty much on a par with what consumers bought as well (I remember having two 6310i’s).

Now there’s a huge choice in the consumer space with devices such as the iPhone 4 and the HTC Desire which are very high spec devices. So when an employer hands over a blackberry curve or a Nokia E72 a lot of employees struggle with why they should use for a large portion of the day a device that is inferior to their own.

These high spec smart phones are capable of performing all the same tasks as the blackberry and they are at a price point were consumer adoption is high so the users flip the simcards around and bingo they are now able to use the handset they want in the Enterprise.

There’s two interesting elements to this, Apple is forging ahead almost by stealth into the enterprise without even trying and secondly it’s continuing the trend that we are now seeing that IT services and now hardware is heavily influenced by it’s users.

As I’m writing this news comes in that Apple may be moving on from the stealth approach, Apple is rumored to be poaching Enterprise Sales staff from RIM, makers of the Blackberry.

Also posted at Orange Business Live

What I’d like to see in Tweetdeck for Android

Tweetdeck have released there Android app to the public, but it’s Beta, and it’s got a lot missing. Here are my thoughts on the Tweetdeck app for Android and what it needs to displace the likes of seesmic, Tweetdecks arch rival and more platform specific apps such as Twidroyd.

Now, I’ve mentioned this before, but I’ve tried pretty much most of the Twitter apps available for Android, Seesmic, Twidroyd, Touiteur, HTC Peep, Twitter’s own app (basic), Twicca (pretty), Swift (fastest), TweetCaster (horrid), so I’m pretty sure I can comment on which ones work and which ones don’t.

We’ll start with the what’s good first and there’s several things, first up it’s not yet in the market so you have to download it from here (don’t forget to set the allow any app to be installed check box). This means you’ll have to watch twitter for notifcations of a newer version as you won’t be alerted by a little shopping bag just yet.

The yellow bar highlighting what’s new is a nice touch, the yellow dot’s near the top left and right also highlight new information that’s arrived in the specific columns is nice, but I’m not sure how long it’ll take before it get’s tedious.

The integration of all the feeds into the single stream is done very well, the colour coding makes it easy for you to spot what’s from which service, Facebook blue, buzz red and so on. Signing in is a breeze too, just sign in with your tweetdeck account and boom all your services are sync’d across.

The little twitter bird is nice, I like the bird in the notification bar rather some strange logo, so nicer that both Seesmic and it’s mutant Raccoon and Twidroyds dancing alien. When a post fails, the logo is upside down, a dead bird, pretty humorous.

Now the room for improvement bits, yes I know it’s a beta app and it looks like updates are happening quickly too it. One of the items I was going to point out was how large the font was and how it limited what you could see on a single screen. But within the last few hours that’s been fixed and the latest build has font size adjustment. I’m not sure if the The tweet which font size you use is a gimick or a nice way of letting other people know how you use the app.

Frequency of the updates, this is key for battery conscious people and there’s no way to adjust how frequently the app updates. Other apps allow you to set intervals from 5 mins  through to 6 hours for example. But there’s no option on Tweetdeck which needs fixing, for example I left Tweetdeck on all Saturday and my battery died around 6pm, when it would normally make it through a day no problem.

Audible notifications is missing too, I like to get a ping or a bird tweeting to let me know I’ve had a reply or a DM, but this is missing so you have to check. I don’t want to check so this needs fixing and by the current rate of progress, it should be sorted by the weekend.

Picture sharing, it’s just twitgoo at the moment, I like Twitpic but as far as I can see there’s no way to change it. Support for twitlonger would be nice too, Twidroyd has got that one sorted very well along with the also missing Link shortener of choice options, bit.ly etc.

Something that’s missing on Touiteur, but I’m glad to say is here on Tweedeck is location, you can either add a generic location or log into a specific place via Foursquare. I’m not sure if you set your locations once it stays or you have to keep adding locations to tweet’s that would be too tedious.

Number of tweets, I’m not sure how far this goes back, but there’s not ability to select 180 tweets for instance, it scrolls back pretty much through all your tweets, so not sure what impact this is having on storage, but not too worried.

A tiny niggle to see how someone has tweeted you have to open the tweet up and it shows you, web, Tweetdeck, peep etc. I like to see that on the stream, it helps me to see what people are up to, are they mobile or are they in front of a PC.

Overall, I like it, I think it’s going to continue to improve of the next days, weeks and months into a pretty solid integrated social media application for the Android platform. At the moment I keep flicking back and forth between it and Twidroyd as I find something I can’t do without, but I’m sure before long Tweetdeck will claim a place on my homescreen as the twitter app of choice.

if I’ve  got something wrong let me know, if you can think of other items that would improve it let me know.

Photo’s from the Seventies

I’m trying out the Vignette app for my Android phone, it’s a camera replacement that allows you to add frames and all sorts of effects. There’s a free version in the Android store, but taking just one photo, I decided to upgrade to the £2.99 pro version and it’s a pretty cool app.

It moves the processing of photo’s from the PC (or Mac) to the phone itself and makes it easier to add interesting effects to a photo, either before you take it or afterwards.

This is the breakfast table taken with a very leaky Polaroid camera from the Seventies. There’s a Flickr group for the app too, so if you’re interested in more photo’s take a look here.

Location is coming to Touiteur

I wrote about Touiteur a day or so back and how good it was. But I missed Location, it’s not in there right now. I had a positive response on the ‘micro review’ and have spotted a few other people using the tool too. But I like the location aspect of Twitter and feel as if some functionality is missing. Actually it’s not a big deal, but I still feel as is I’m missing out. Twidroyd is about to get twitlonger support I noticed which is interesting. So this is a two horse race now, with Twidroyd just with it’s nose in front, come on Touiteur, you just told me location is coming.