The Mobile Pulse

Covering the world of mobile technology.

Posts Tagged ‘mobile

The New for The Not-So-New

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ABC have launched a new service, aimed at educating older generations and the technologically illiterate: Technology Explained

This plain language blog/news-site, covers the current trends in technology in a well-written and easy to understand way. An area that is sorely lacking at the moment. Investigating other blogs and sites devoted to this niche area of tech news uncovered many lacklustre, poorly written, or worryingly incorrect articles. Almost all of them came across as cringingly patronising, too.

Mobile technology is a big chunk of what’s been covered so far. Conversational and easy to understand, articles on the site do away with the usual jargon and don’t waste time faffing on about typically irrelevant technical details. A bonus, is that the writing staff appear to have strung a coherent sentence together at some point in their past, too.

The more I read on the site, the more I began to realise that this isn’t a site just for the elderly or cave-dwellers. I know from experience, that it can often be exceedingly difficult to get even the most simple of questions answered through mainstream tech sites, without first reading through a couple of pages that appear to have been crafted as some kind of medicinal sleeping aid. Contrastingly, Technology Explained follows the format of: this is what it is; this is why you should care; this is what you need to know. That’s it.

Written by aphelion.

May 15, 2011 at 7:31 pm

Posted in Coverage

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Where are you?: The Foursquare and geo-tagging debate.

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If you’re reading this, it’s probably a safe assumption to make that you own a mobile phone. A significant number of you, maybe even most of you, own a phone with internet capability. And you’ve probably used it at some point.

You may or may not have heard of this little thing called Forsquare, a geo-tagging social network that grew a modest 3400% LAST YEAR. And now boasts membership of more than six-million users worldwide. Even in the shining beacon of freedom, North Korea. Oh, and SPACE.

Opinions appear to be divided in all directions, as the service continues to grow in popularity. One irate blogger’s comments, admittedly captures my initial opinion accurately, asking “WHO THE %*$& CARES WHERE YOU ARE?” [Here]

My opinion first began to change, much in the same way I began to grow fond of Twitter. An article spoke of China’s Tian’anmen Paranoia Police blocking use of the service nation-wide, on the anniversary of the 1989 massacre. This was due to a substantial number of users “checking-in” at Tian’anmen Square, and leaving messages that left the Chinese government a little red in the face. This may signal the beginnings of future activist and humanitarian uses for the service, which may well have already begun to happen, considering the tumultuous state of the world at the moment.

Of course, there’s the downside. Foursquare gives users the option to share their check-ins via other social networks, and for anyone with a substantial Twitter following, this means telling people you don’t know, where you are, or, when you aren’t home.

"France" hey? Plenty of time to steal myself a speaker!

Thus, the site PleaseRobMe was born. It aggregates public tweets posted from services such as Foursqaure, in aid of  “[raising] some awareness on this issue and have people think about how they use services like Foursquare, Brightkite, Google Buzz, etc.” says the site, in a rationale regarding itself, quoted from here. The only real-life manifestations of this danger I could find reference to, was a story of a woman who got called by a stalker at a restaurant and invited on a bike ride, and another woman whose house was burgled in the 10 minutes she was out shopping. Both checked-in away from home, on Foursquare.

But, as always in life, especially digital life, common sense will do you ceaseless good. And at least one other blogger agrees with me there.

Written by aphelion.

March 27, 2011 at 1:28 am

2011: Sony Ericsson Rising Again?

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You may not have heard much from the once renowned mobile-powerhouse Sony Ericsson in a while. And for those of you that have, you’ll know that there hasn’t been much to miss.

2010 saw what for the company?

A smattering of plain-Jane candybar phones and the glitchy, almost immediately outdated and generally lacklustre X10 and X10 mini.

With a 2010 as poor as that, it wouldn’t be unreasonable to find it laughable that Sony Ericsson announced “their goal is to become the number 1 Android manufacturer in the world.” And while it’s true that both HTC and Samsung’s first-quarter announcements left a lot to be desired, with recent sales records to go on, they’ll hardly be shaking in their boots.

But. And this is a big but. Sony Ericsson’s latest batch of upcoming-releases show that they’re not going to repeat the same mistakes twice. While the X10 family lacked many of the standard smartphone features, and lagged horribly behind when it came to OS updates, the new Xperia series appear to be the polar opposite this time around.

All packing Android 2.3 (Gingerbread), 512mb RAM, expandable storage (via MicroSD) up to 32gb and high-res, scratch resistant touch screens ranging from 3.7 to 4.2 inches. Included in this generation of releases, there is even a full-QWERTY business-focused model.

But, without a doubt the most exciting news in the world of mobile technology (for those of you free of Apple fanaticism, that is) is the Sony Ericsson Xperia Play.

Believe your eyes, that right there is the fabled “PlayStation phone” that’s been touring the rumour mill for so long now. A fully-featured Android smartphone, with access to exclusive 3D games through the Android app-store. Packaged for release with the ‘Play is an as-of-yet-unconfirmed “Playstation classic,” and I’m voting Crash Bandicoot.

Early reviews of the device are overwhelmingly positive, both in terms of actual phone functionality and usability, and the all-important gaming performance.

With 50 exclusive titles confirmed for the device on launch, Sony Ericsson have already covered one of the major hurdles facing the launch of any gaming device. Title variety. And with a number of high-profile mobile gaming developers already on-board to work with the Xperia Play, things are only set to improve.

With an expected release date as early as March this year, for certain lucky countries, I’m predicting it won’t be long until this multi-purpose, 175gram dynamo takes over the smartphone market. At the very least in the gaming-heavy young male market.

Sony Ericsson are back, and back in a big way.

Written by aphelion.

March 18, 2011 at 9:20 pm