Tag Archives: blackberry

Two out of Three Still Choose Spouse over Blackberry

A few days ago, Sheraton announced the results of a survey they commissioned on the work habits of today’s professionals. Some of the findings:

[…] the vast majority of people (84%) say they check their PDA’s just before going to bed and as soon as they wake up, 85% say they sneak a peak at their PDA in the middle of the night, and 80% say they check their e mail before morning coffee. A whopping 87% of professionals bring their PDA into the bedroom, and in what may or may not be a related finding, more than one-third of folks surveyed (35%) say if forced to choose, they’d pick their PDA over their spouse!

I double checked to make sure the report was not issued on April Fools. The study does not provide information either of what time of the day (or night) the survey was taken, or whether respondents passed any drink test. Maybe a Mail Goggles test should have been run before accepting answers…

It is not in the report, but I am sure a high percentage would admit they also hide from their spouses to check email furtively during weekends and holidays. Isn’t that kind of cheating? 

With the impressive Blackberry Storm (the first one with a touchscreen) just announced, I am afraid American couples’ life is only going to worsen.

On a less ludicrous note, the report also highlights the freedom that these devices provide:

New technology continues to transform the way we live and work with 85% of U.S. professionals surveyed said that because of new technology, they feel compelled to be connected to work 24/7 and 81% say they work harder than they did five years ago.

[…] 85% say that PDA’s and cell phones allow them to spend more time out of the office and 79% believe they can be just as productive outside of the office […]. Most people feel that technology gives them more quality time and flexibility with family and friends (84%) and 77% say their PDA helps them enjoy life more.

Blackberries and other smartphones with mobile email are great productivity tools and have really changed our life for better (addictions aside). The truth is once you get used to Blackberry, you can not leave without it. Well, isn’t that the definition of addiction?

Searching for the Mobile Killer App

Apple App Store and Android App Market are bringing more spotlight than ever to the applications for mobile handsets. Though a vast number of applications already exist for Windows Mobile, Blackberry or Symbian, developers are working hard to write the next killer app on the iPhone and Android platform.

What criteria should guide developers when designing the next mobile killer app? Here are some suggestions of the ingredients a mobile killer app better have:

  • Useful. There must be a clear value to the user. What problem does the app solve? How is people impacted? Who/how many are impacted?
  • Usability. User experience first. Simple, fast and engaging.
  • Immediacy. Must be useful here and now, where and when I need it.
  • Context-Aware. Intelligent enough to know where are you, with whom, what are you doing (on a call, or a meeting) , your weather, and have the app behave accordingly.
  • Viral / Social. Know your community and your friends.
  • Coolness. Beautiful, elegant and enjoyable.

To these criteria, add this principle: “The innovation […] is not that they let us do something new, but that they allow us to do what we already do better, more often, in more places and more quickly.” -Joshua Porter

I let you test which winners of the Android Developer Challenge I do not have these ingredients nor follow that principle:

  • cab4me: “Ever been looking for a cab? cab4me is the answer. Anywhere. Anytime.”
  • CompareEverywhere: “Shop smarter using your phone. Compare prices, read reviews, and connect with local stores.”
  • Ecorio: “Ecorio automatically tracks your mobile carbon footprint, suggests transit and carpooling alternatives and lets you stay carbon neutral by offsetting your trips easily.”
  • GoCart: “Scan a product’s barcode with your phone’s camera and view all the best prices online and at nearby, local stores.”
  • Life360: “From major natural disasters to little things like your child wandering away at the mall, there is a lot you might worry about. Life360 can help.”
  • Locale: “Locale is an advanced settings manager that automatically changes your phone’s settings based on conditions, such as location.”
  • PicSay: “Easy to use image editor that enables you to quickly personalize your pictures and share them with friends or photo sites.”
  • Softrace: “Turn your workout into a thrilling race and challenge the world in real time.”
  • TuneWiki: “TuneWiki Social Media Player, is an advanced player, featuring synchronized lyrics for audio or video, translation, music maps and a social network.”
  • Wertago: “The mobile application nightlifers have been waiting for. Find the hottest parties in town and connect with friends and others all night long.
  • Compare to the the top apps downloaded from Handango for Blackberry, Palm, Windows Mobile and Symbian, and judge where is the future and where the past. No wonder Nokia is setting a Symbian app challenge.

    Two links to nice mobile apps videos and the latest of TechCrunch on App Market:
    GoCart clip
    Google Maps for Mobile
    A Sneak Peak At The Android App Market
    What Is The Deal With This Stupid Lighter iPhone App?
    This Lighter App shows the powers of location and social network combined. It is a successful App and the only ingredient that is missing from the list above is “useful”!

    Update: Six iPhone applications that combine location and social networks, in TechCrunch

    Back from Holidays

    After a long summer break, welcome to the new season of tech-talk.biz

    It has been two months with big sport events as the UEFA EURO Cup and the Beijing Olympics, covered for the first time not only on TV but also on Internet and mobile phones. And competition has not been intense only in Beijing these days among the Phelps, Bolts or Nadals, but also between the biggest challengers to Nokia’s reign in the handset market.

    On 11 July Apple launched the much awaited 3G iPhone in 21 countries, and 20 more would follow on 22 August, including Singapore, Philippines or India. The 3G iPhone has not disappointed, though some complained about 3G connectivity issues supposedly linked to its Infineon chipset, and promised to be fixed in the next iPhone software update. Still the launch can be considered a great success with more than 6 million units being sold in the first 2 months.

    iPhone competition has not taken any break, and the first Android handset is rumored to be launched by T-Mobile US as early as September. The handset comes from Taiwanese vendor HTC, and has been dubbed Dream, although the official name will be G1, reminding it is the first Google phone in the market. Equipped with a sliding full qwerty keyboard, a full web browser and a powerful CPU,  it will have access to plenty of applications to download from Google’s App Market. I can not wait to grab one.

    In parallel, RIM is about to launch its Blackberry Bold, targeted to keep the heavy email business users away from iPhone, and adding functionality such as iTunes sync, GPS, Wifi and HSDPA support. Even some iPhone users might switch back to this beast from RIM once they realize email is so much easier.

    Competition is great, both at the Olympics and at making us mobile users happy.

    Mac and iPhone also popular in Enterprises

    Apple success in the consumer market, with Macs winning market share positioned as high-end stylish computers and iPhones revolutionizing mobile phones, might extend to enterprises too. BusinessWeek reports in detail about this trend in The Mac in the Gray Flannel Suit.

    Mac’s move to Intel CPUs is paying back. Apart for the cost decrease, it enables Mac computers to run Windows. Better yet with virtualization supported by Macs, switching between Windows and Mac OS on the same computer is a matter of a click. This is like a “safety net” for companies scared to entirely break with Microsoft. With Windows support, and more and more enterprise applications running on the web (or as SaaS), Macs are beginning to be seen as an option for companies, that is also very well received by employees.

    iPhone email capabilities are also appealing business users as an alternative to RIM’s Blackberry, with the advantage that they can use iPhones for both work and entertainment. A NY Times article this week analyzes the threat that Apple supposes to RIM.

    Although in terms of market share in enterprise, Apple penetration in computers and mobile email is still very small compared to Microsoft and RIM, the power of Apple’s brand and their iconic, trend-setting products are not to be disregarded.

    Dealing with email

    No doubt email is an extremely useful tool for communication. It has replaced fax and snail mail in enterprises and it is widely used …and abused. Email has made organizations flatter. Any employee can reach anyone in the organization, including the top , with a simple email. Adding people to distribution lists is so “cheap” that long distribution lists become the norm. This is forcing managers to deal with hundreds of emails a day. So huge is the inbox overload, that many are questioning the effectiveness of email and some are even declaring email bankruptcy

    Different techniques have emerged to deal with email, and RWW details some of them in Five Methodologies to Deal with Email Overload. The five techniques are:

    Getting Things Done (GTD). As you read each item, if it requires action: 1) Do it (if less than 2 minutes), 2) Delegate it, 3)Defer it.
    Tim Ferris’s method: check your email only twice per day: once at 12:00 noon and again at 4:00 pm. Never check email first thing in the morning.
    – Keep email responses under 5 sentences long.
    Folders and Rules. Set automatic filters (MS Outlook) or labels (Gmail) to organize your email.
    Email Bankruptcy method. Give up email and let your colleagues know.

    The five methods can be used concurrently. I use a GTD-like approach when reviewing email, but following Tim Ferris advice, I only check email during a few slots a day. I do not do the five sentences strictly speaking, but definitively avoid writing any long email. I use filters and labels mainly to deal with newsletters. I have not declared email bankruptcy, but I sometimes fake it, so that people do not expect from me an urgent response if they just send an email. If something is so urgent, it should deserve a call. 

    Another email golden rule: “Agreements are written, disagreements spoken“. That is, never try to solve a disagreement by email. You will only get an annoying ping-pong email trail. Pick up the phone or organize a call, get the agreement and distribute by email.

    And if we speak of tools to deal with email, Blackberry is the one. It helps do emails in any waiting situation (traffic jam, long lines, while in a taxi, or waiting for boarding…) Just beware it can create addiction..

    iPhone SDK and attacking Blackberry

    Apple is reinforcing its iconic iPhone (even more) to grab the business segment, now owned by Blackberry. Apple announced support for Microsoft Exchange, putting iPhone in a position to swap the professional Blackberry handsets with the stylish iPhone for email access.

    Even more important was the announcement of the iPhone SDK. Many blogs are writing wonders about the elegance and simplicity of Apple’s SDK, that will enable a foreseen army of developers to build applications for iPhone. ReadWriteWeb’s article Why Apple Will Dominate Next Gen Computing gives a good view of the SDK.

    Apple is bringing the Internet model, with intelligence at the network edge end-devices, to the Mobile Internet world, that used to be controlled by telcos. Whether Mobile Operators will benefit from this Internet (free) applications model is to be seen. It seems that user will benefit for sure.

    A sample of the powers of the iPhone SDK in the following video. The application game was develop in two weeks!