Sad but true, Symbian-Guru.com is Over

This is a sad story, but one that’s happening frequently, guys and girls who once cheered for Nokia are making the leap away. Symbian-Guru, like me, has moved to Android, others have moved to iPhone, atmaspheric endeavors for example;

As of today, I will no longer be updating Symbian-Guru.com, and will be purchasing an Android-powered smartphone – my new Nexus One should arrive tomorrow. I’ve been a Nokia fanboy since 1999.

I’ve tried to use all of Nokia’s various products and services to the best of my ability, and I just can’t do it anymore.

I can’t continue to support a manufacturer who puts out such craptastic ‘flagships’ as the N97, and who expects me to use services that even most of Nokia’s own employees don’t use

I’ve noticed a lot of the buzz surrounding Nokia has gone, WOM World is working hard, but they’ve got their work cut out now. Nokia has got to pull it’s self up by the boot laces quickly, it’s fine concentrating on the emerging markets, but they are aspirational too, they aspire to own iPhones and Droid’s and cheap Nokia’s are just a stepping stone. They also want apps, have you used the OVi store recently, don’t it’s just awful. The new handsets, N8 for example look hampered with the same old issues, see the photo above from the Nokia Blog

I hope Nokia listens to what people like Symbian Guru says as it’s cheer leaders are leaving in Droids.

Gravity will soon allow you to forward a Tweet as an SMS.

A few days back I tweeted the message below, wishing that the awesome app Gravity had the feature to forward tweets as an SMS.

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A couple of days latter @janole tweets back;

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Now that’s what I call a service. The reason behind the idea was that there were a few really funny tweets from @genehunt that I thought would be appreciated by a few friends who weren’t on twitter. As tweets are 140 characters they fit right into SMS 160 characters just fine.

So this is @janole’s handy work, as you can see there’s a “FWD” option, Reply, retweet, favourite and then Forward.

The “FWD” option allows you to forward either as an SMS, an Email or copy to the clipboard. The Email options requires you to have an email account set up obviously. The copy to clipboard allows you to do what you like with it.

And here it is, the tweet dumped straight into the message window, allowing users to pick the recipient from the contact list and send away.

It’s a bit ironic that here in the UK, where twitter stopped it’s SMS alerts we’ve found a way back to text…

Truphone could wipe the floor with Google voice

There’s a lot of buzz on the web right now about Google voice going public. But there’s still a huge problem, text messages.

What people are looking to do is disconnect their number from their sim card. People are keen to have a number that’s theirs but not tied to a specific handset (voip, fixed or mobile) and are looking to Google voice to give them that functionality. The extra benefit being they don’t have to carry or use the same device they are device independent.

Google voice will only give you half of that functionality, the voice portion, the text portion is still left on your handset. So you’re left holding multiple devices again, if you want to receive SMS or MMS.

This is where Truphone trumps Google Voice, Truphone disconnects your number from the device, you can install Truphone onto most mobile devices and then insert any sim, local or roaming and it’ll just adopt that network as the transport, but using your truphone number as the ‘from’ number for both voice and text. So your Truphone number can deal with both Voice and Text. But you’ve spotted the tiny issue, it only works for mobile devices.

A little while back (august 2008) I wrote to the guys at Truphone with the following message, with the relevant one here being point 4 enter the Grand Central space (Grand Central is now Google Voice)

1. Number choice – The ability to choose a number from those available and or buy a ‘gold’ (and silver?) number.
Some carriers used to have the concept of Gold and Silver numbers, where you paid for a more memorable number.  If you don’t want to buy a number, you’re given the ability to select a number from the db. For example, my (GSM) number is XXXX 7887898, but my truphone number is +44XXX8804483, so I’d maybe try for  07978 887898 or 887899 for example.

2. Number portability – port my GSM number to Truphone.
James mentioned this in our short and bad line quality call the other day. I think this would be great as I could port my number to truphone and then use any carrier pre-pay sim card behind it for gsm coverage. Assuming truphone anywhere would still provide my Truphone CLI so it wouldn’t matter which sim you used. This I’m sure could cut my personal phone bill from a grand a year to a few hundred. The ability to disconnect your well known phone number from the carrier and allow you to move around carriers, both national and international would be a great benefit and provide a huge amount of freedom.

3. CLI choice – The ability to select.
I think there’s been some issues in this area with fraud, but the ability to choose either the GSM or Truphone CLI to be presented shouldn’t be a problem. People could put Truphone on their whatever phone and use it where there wasn’t any GSM coverage, but I would want to present my GSM CLI which my contacts can identify. (assuming you haven’t ported your number)

4. Enter the Grand Central space?
We don’t get Grand central in the UK and it’s had problems because it doesn’t do SMS, (no sms forward so resorting to sms to voice!). Could Truphone step into this space, by allowing users to register several numbers which are called in simultaneously or in order. The ability to define when certain numbers can get through or go to voicemail. The SMS capability of Truphone gives you a huge advatange over Grand Central here.

We know Truphone bought Sim4Travel and are working on their own sim for roaming, but I think some work on the back end of the voice routing, which could then allow users to tweak call routing via a portal would allow a much richer functionality to be gained and provide users with what they want, a number that’s not connected to a specific device that handles both voice and text.

Palm Pre has a shocking boot up time

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Just watched CNET Asia’s ‘prize fight’ between the iPhone 3G, 3GS and the Pre and I was shocked as to how long the Pre and the iPhone 3G takes to boot up. My N95 takes about 25 seconds including entering my Pin. But 1 minute and 46 seconds to boot that’s just nuts, 48 seconds for the iPhone too, ain’t too clever.

The Pre did go on to win the next two tests, web browsing and taking a photo and emailing it. The second test is a little useless here with MMS already available.

Watch the video here. [via intomobile]

The E71 is back as the king of phones

..well it is in my view. Having had an E71 from WOM ages ago, I was seduced by the keyboard and the screen, but the camera was a little flaky. I purchased one back in September of last year and enjoyed using it, but the poor camera ruined the experience for me. Having two kids, the camera is an important element of the phone for me, so the E71 found itself on the shelf, replaced by an N95 8GB.

@Ratkat not a great difference, lighting different, you can see an improvement http://bit.ly/NSmvO was old this is new http://bit.ly/UFGg

However, as you may have read there’s been a new firmware release and it’s fixed the camera. Check out the photo’s in the above tweet and you’ll see the difference. The E71 has pretty much everything as a device, granted the keyboard on the E63 is better, but fixing the camera and losing the purple tint has made the device much more complete.

So for me the E71 is back as the king of phones, the N95 8GB has found itself confined to my gadget basket along with the N70, SVP C600 and so on.

Google’s Latitude

Over the last few weeks I’ve been testing the new Google Latitude application, and have found it to be a useful tool. It allows users to locate “friends” – other contacts- and display these locations on their mobile phone via Google Maps. Latitude also allows the user to quickly get directions, and to search for nearby services.

Google has invested heavily in maps and location services, and in my view is trying to become the go-to place to find (and get directions to) just about anything. Moving this functionality to mobile devices will allow Google to generate revenue by providing “sponsored links”, or paid-for adverts, in response to your location search. For example if I’m wandering around Covent Garden, London and I fancy a pizza, entering “pizza” into the Google maps application on my mobile will generate a list of nearby pizzerias. The ones at the top of the list will be sponsored links, as they are on the standard Google results page.

Providing search results and subsequently directions to shops and restaurants has to be a marketer’s dream. Most adverts are passive- you see the advert on your PC and you probably aren’t close to the shop or in this case pizzeria, or even thinking of pizza. However, when you’re mobile and hungry that advert is much more likely to make you turn up and buy the product, especially if you’re also given directions.

Location based services also work the other way round. By knowing your location, advertisers can target specific products towards you- for example, if you’re walking down the high street at approximately lunch time, marketers could post an advert for a local restaurant on the webpage you’re viewing, even if you’re not directly searching for food outlets.

A recent application for Google’s Android platform of mobile devices (e.g. Google G1) allows users to scan a barcode of a product- for instance an LCD TV -and the application will provide the price of the same LCD TV at the major on-line retailers. That’s great, but it becomes much more powerful when you add location into the mix- not only could the application tell you where to buy the TV and its price, it can then direct you to nearby stores.

As location-based applications become more commonplace, services can be adapted to utilise them. One example could be to arrange taxi pick-ups- I could call for a taxi and then just carrying on walking or shopping. Using a location service, the taxi driver could find me and let me know when he (or she) is ready to collect me- I’d no longer need to wait in one place for the taxi to arrive.

Google Latitude isn’t the first location aware service, others include FireEagle (Yahoo), Brightkite and Plazes (owned by Nokia). As the Market wakes up to LBS I’m sure it won’t be the last.

Also posted on Orange Business Live