The T-Mobile Pulse Mini
O2 has responded to the gratitude shown from Vodafone this morning over a recent poll putting the red network on top.
An independent poll commissioned by O2 showed that Vodafone was fastest for mobile phone web access in the most cities across the UK, prompting a message of 'thanks' from Voda's CEO.
But O2's Chief Technology Officer, Derek McManus, has told TechRadar that the survey wasn't just about who was fastest:
'Ambitious claims are made about network speeds but the situation is far from clear cut. Accurate information and transparency are crucial in helping customers make sure they get the best from their mobile network.
In the loop
'We commissioned this survey to make sure no one is misled. O2 offers faster speeds in many cities, and other operators in others.
'We offer an industry-leading 14-day happiness guarantee, so if customers are not happy with the speeds they're getting, they can bring the device back. We urge customers to use coverage checkers before they purchase a phone or mobile broadband dongle.'
We're hoping that Orange, T-Mobile and 3 join in this debate, possibly ending in some kind of mobile speed-based cage fight.
Mobile streaming video startup Qik has landed a significant distribution deal in the UK.
Vodafone UK customers will now be able to record and share videos from their mobile phone via Qik by texting ‘Qik’ to 97886 (free) to receive a link to the relevant app for their handset (standard data charges apply). Vodafone is the number two mobile network in the UK, behind O2 and ahead of Orange.
Once loaded, videos generated on Qik can be posted to YouTube, Facebook and Twitter and users will be able to send video messages privately via SMS and email, or upload videos to blogging platforms like Wordpress, Tumblr and Blogger.
It remains to be seen how many customers will actually take up Qik however. However, live streaming video from a mobile has yet to take off here and it may well a deal like this to kick off mainstream take-up.
Qik is currently on the iPhone, BlackBerry and Nokia handsets, among others.
Rival European startup Bambuser recently signed a deal with Finnish broadcaster YLE.
Google Voice is about giving you more control over your communications, through dozens of features — ranging from call screening to voicemail transcription to the ability to send and receive SMS by email.
While we've heard from users that they love our growing list of features, we're conscious of the fact that Google Voice can seem overwhelming to people trying it for the first time.
So we've created a short video that gives an overview of what Google Voice can do.
In addition, we've created a set of short videos that dive into more detail about ten features of Google Voice:
The videos show why you might want to use each feature and basic instructions for getting started. And each video focuses on just one topic so you can learn about the features that matter to you.
- Voicemail transcription
- One number
- Personalized greetings
- International calling
- SMS to email
- Share voicemails
- Block callers
- Screen callers
- Mobile app
- Conference calls
Finally, we just launched our own YouTube channel at youtube.com/googlevoice. You can view all of the videos mentioned above in a custom video gadget we built for this channel, which will help you keep track of which videos you've already watched.
One of the more interesting objects on display at Mobile World Congress this year was one produced by a Swedish company, enabling people in developing countries to charge their mobile phone. But no, this was not a car battery or an electrical generator on a bicycle. This was a small portable fuel cell.
Think about it. Mobile base stations can often now reach far into the countryside, even in some previously remote places in Africa. But actually keeping the phone charged is an issue.
myFC is a small hydrogen fuel cell power source which will still work under extreme environmental conditions. The exterior plastic housing appears to be be very durable and it has no moving parts.
How does it work? The fuel cell silently converts hydrogen into electricity via its “Proton Exchange Membrane”. The only by-product from the fuel cell is a little water vapor. To operate, hydrogen is drawn from a small packet of energised aluminium powder, water added and voila, power comes out. In theory you could stockpile these packets of powder and just use them as needed (though of course there remains the issue of how much they’d cost and how affordable they’d be for people in developing countries).
mFC comes in three different forms. Two for outdoor use and one prototype which could be attached to the back of a laptop screen.
I was pretty impressed. Check out the video above.
Source: Mike Butcher on TechCrunch
Sixty thousand handsets per day are shipping with Android.
That's the astonishing figure revealed by Google CEO Eric Schmidt, who hailed the ecosystem around Android as well as the strength of the Open Handset Alliance during his 45-minute Congress keynote this evening.
'It's our time to be proud of what we have built together,' added Schmidt. 'It's our goal to make mobile the answer to pretty much everything.' He then spoke about how Google was very much a 'mobile first' company.
Senior Product Manager for Android, Erick Tseng, got up on stage to demo Flash on Android, showing us a New York Times image ('all the components are there' – a slight at Apple's iPad launch). The handset was running full-fat Flash 10.1.
Tseng also talked about how smartphones had been crucial to the fund-raising efforts in Haiti and pulled up fresh satellite footage taken after the earthquake.
We also had a translation demo as well as a mashup of translation and the recently-launched Google Goggles, whereby an item in German on a menu was translated into English simply by taking a photo of it (on a Nexus One, of course).
Android is now really on a budget
T-Mobile has announced at a press conference at Mobile World Congress that it will be slimming down its budget Android offering in the T-Mobile Pulse Mini.
The new phone will retail for just £99.99 on Pay as you go tariffs, and will allow more users to sample Android without breaking the bank.
It's not got the worst specs in the world either: 3.2MP camera with LED flash, 2.8-inch resistive touchscreen and a 3.5mm headphone jack (where the original Pulse just had a 2.5mm offering).
The Mini phone has dimensions of 106x57x14mm, meaning it's not the thinnest device out on the market - but at that price we doubt that will affect its appeal.
It's not got a lot else to shout about - 300MB on board memory, a microSD card slot for media expansion and Android 2.1 are the main highlights from the rest of the spec sheet (although we're pleased to see the latter on such a cheap device).
T-Mobile also used the press conference to announce that it will be offering the Samsung Wave - the first smartphone based on the electronics firm's Bada platform - in Europe as well.
The T-Mobile Pulse Mini has been given a UK release date of April this year, so there's not long to start rummaging down the back of the sofa to see if you can afford this Android marvel.
[Spain] With the rise of consumer-facing cloud telephone services, such as Google Voice and Ribbit, the call management services of traditional mobile operators are starting to look a bit long in the tooth. How long, therefore, before they roll out rival offerings of their own?
Not long, hopes Spanish MVNO fonYou, which today announced that it will begin licensing its Online Mobile Telephony solution to mobile network operators.
The company’s platform allows operators to offer their customers the ability to control their mobile phone services online, giving them direct access to call records, text messages and voicemails via a web browser. The degree of control and customization seems quite detailed too, including the option to set different voice mail greeting messages for individual contacts, configure your address book online, re-direct and block certain contacts, and so on. The browser-based user interface also appears to be slick, and presumably can be re-branded for each partner operator.
If my network offered such a service, it would certainly be one more reason to consider staying with them next time my contract is up for renewal. And with customer churn the number one issue which preoccupies the carriers, fonYou’s proposition does seem compelling. Cue a quote from Fernando Núñez Mendoza, CEO of fonYou:
“With Online Mobile Telephony services operators can compete with the new generation of aggressive cloud-based models such as Google Voice, Ribbit or Skype, and get closer to their customers. In this new competitive environment, fonYou will empower operators to quickly launch new ‘sticky’ services, greatly improve the users’ experience, and secure their position in the new and growing online market segments.”
And fonYou’s proposition has already stuck. The company says it’s signed up its first group of mobile operator customers who will launch their own version of the Online Mobile Telephony solution in the next quarter.