What's the majority of your spam email about, and what keywords dominate the blog spam you have to delete everyday? Whatever pays the most of course, and those lucrative categories such as poker and porn are already getting well and truly stuck into the mobile market...
More Mobile Search and Info News
Gary points us to FAST's mSearch solution for mobile:
“FAST mSearch offers a complete solution that addresses the need of the mobile end user, while also enabling carriers and content providers to own their own destiny in this space,” commented Ali I. Riaz, FAST’s chief operating officer. “Ring tones, images, music and games are just the tip of the iceberg in terms of the content mobile users will want to search for and download onto their mobile applications. Search has become the #1 way of navigating the Internet, and now FAST mSearch will enable people to also find the content and information they are looking for on their mobile devices. Based on the already successful deployment of our innovative search applications for several of the world’s largest wireless carriers and content providers, FAST aims at taking on a position as one of the most innovative vendors in the mobile space.”
AOL unveils set of new mobile services
With deals already in place with Cingular, AT&T, Verizon and Nextel, AOL will launch a series of services that carriers can package and sell as they please reports infoworld.
The services include:
An extension of the Instant Pictures feature for AOL Instant Messenger (AIM), so that users can send pictures from the AIM interface on their PCs to mobile AIM users and to mobile users who don't use AIM as well. This functionality is enabled by AOL's Multimedia Messaging System server. Previously, AIM users could only transmit pictures among PCs.
Two new MapQuest features. One is called Find Me and uses GPS (Global Positioning System) technology to let users determine their location, get maps, obtain driving directions and find nearby sites, such as restaurants. The other one is called Traffic, which lets users obtain real-time traffic information for 90 metropolitan areas in the U.S.
A redesigned mobile portal with a new interface that simplifies access to AOL Mail and other AOL services.
New premium services, including mobile access for the You've Got Pictures service to let AOL members tap into their digital photo albums, and share, download and print pictures; a mobile version of Radio@AOL for tuning in to the service's radio stations; a mobile version of AOL CityGuide, which provides entertainment information for 317 geographical areas; and a new mobile version of Moviefone, to search for movie show times and purchase tickets from the mobile devices.
A Threadwatch reader, Michel emailed me a little earlier to point out that mobile.google.com had apparently, and very quietly launched.
I've spent the last half an hour hunting around for mention of this and at least according to my searches, it is brand spanking new.
Accessing and Using Google Mobile
You can access Google Mobile by simply navigating to the normal Google home page. Presumably it detects you're on a mobile phone and displays the correct formatting for you. You can see how it looks in a web browser by going to www.google.com/xhtml
What you can do..
You can use Google Mobile for:
Other services such as Froogle and Gmail are not available right now. There an extensive FAQ however.
My Yahoo! Mobile RSS
Yahoo's resident tantrum thrower, Russell Beattie, introduces Yahoo Mobile My.Yahoo! RSS.
You can now check your RSS feeds on my.yahoo on your phone! Very, very neat...
To see your My Yahoo! subscriptions, enter the above URL in your phone's WAP 2.0 minibrowser and navigate down to the News link. From there click on My Headlines, log in with your Yahoo! ID and all the RSS headlines that you've added to your My Yahoo! page are listed, ready to be read on the go. Clicking on the individual feed links will let you read a summary of the stories (about 1024 characters, which is actually more than appears on the My Yahoo! Web version) and if you've got a phone which has a browser that supports full HTML web pages, each of the headlines will be live links to the original article. Simple and easy
Or at least according to the typo within his new site at Easy Mobile
As an easyMobile customer you are able to use WAP. Please note that you may not be able to access 18-rated services because you have a content lock. Content Lock has been created to reassure parents that their children won't be able to access 18-rated services such as open chatrooms, gambling, some games and adult content. If you want to remove a content lock, you should just contact our Costumer Service
Putting that aside though Stelios has entered the mobile phone biz in the UK and is offering a VERY competitive tarrif structure, charging an opening gambit of 9p per min to any network and 3p per SMS.
This short term offer expires at the end of June and prices rise but are still extremely competitive at 15p per min and 5p per SMS.
Stelios has partnered with Danish telecoms outfit, TDC and uses T Mobiles' network to offer the service.
TDC changed the way Danish networks operate almost overnight when they 1st launched but I'll let others (Nick or Mikkel ?) who know a lot more about that than I do comment on it.
Sony Ericsson’s W800c and W800i Walkman cellphones
Well, i've been talking about mobile killing the iPod for a long time, though im hardly the only one. Now we see Sony Ericsson launching two "Walkman phones" - not the iPod killer i think, but pretty cool nonetheless...
Engadget has all the details of course:
Sony Ericsson announced the first two Walkman cellphones, the W800i and the W800c. Both are tri-band GSM/GPRS phones that come with built-in music playback software, dedicated control buttons, 38MB of internal memory
Opera and Orange seek phone browsing perfection
The Register report that Opera have teamed up with Orange to work on the mobile interface we reported on last week.
Opera said the customisable browser will make it easier for mobile phone users to access data services, and so drive data revenue for mobile operators. Essentially, the browser becomes the mobile phone's interface, and can be configured according to the whims of the operator. Subscriptions to news tickers, RSS feeds, weather data and email can all be fed directly to the "front page", and, Opera said, phone users will be able to access the web more easily from their handset.
It's very heartening to see Opera dusting itself off from the browser battles and for all appearances, finding itself a niche in which to better deploy all that talent. I know they're not out of the Browser game, but man, with FF hitting 25M downloads this week they really do look like the poor relative...
The 3GSM mobile tradeshow in Cannes this week is something i'd personally like to pay a bit more attention too, but im probably already pushing my luck with evident enthusiasm for the DEMO emerging tech gig in Arizona heh..
So, rather than miss it entirely i'll just point you to excellent 3GSM roundup so far...
Nokia and Microsoft get friendly over Windows Media
Lots of coverage today about Nokia hooking up with Microsoft to provide support for WMA file, Windows Media DRM 10 and Media Transfer Protocol to their handsets.
They don’t get too down and dirty with the specifics (like which phones will be compatible or not), but from the looks of it this arrangement would let wireless carriers offer a download service (which Nokia is developing with Loudeye) that could sync up with Windows Media Player 10, and would also include the ability to transfer over DRM-protected WMA files from a PC.
More details as i find them, but at first glance it could be a killer move for M$ as they move into do what they did with the PC all those years ago on the mobile platform.
Nokia Xpress Audio Messaging, New Way to Instant Message
Having never been a fan of SMS im mildly enthusiastic about Nokia's new Xpress audio messaging technology - Essentially, via a simple menu on MMS enabled phones you can record a quick audio clip and buzz it to your mates.
Nokia today introduced their new service which allows users to send voice clips over their cell network. The service, called "Nokia Xpress audio messaging" will allow users swap audio messages with an easy to use menu that records and sends your message with a few clicks. The service will be compatible with all MMS-enabled GSM phones. In addition, service will also allow users to send the messages to phones that are not MMS capable, to further strengthen the audio messaging drive.
If that takes off it could spell a whole new exciting way to get spam on you phone too heh..
Opera enters UI business
Opera, who already make a browser for mobile, among many other things, are now set to extend that product into the "Opera Platform":
More impressively the browser will feature 'buttons' that take you to the handset's regular applications such as its addressbook. Opera is calling this technology the Opera platform and its major feature will be able to take advantage of techniques such as WAP Push. So, without the user having to do anything, breaking news or new offers from your service provider will appear in the browser. If you're interested, you simply click on the link.
Opera believes that network operators will go for this approach because it will help to drive up their data traffic. The platform will be highly configurable and will give operators the chance to plaster their brand all over the handset.
Opera platform will be able to run on any handset that can run the Opera browser. Hence the INQ saw it running on various Nokias as well as a Windows Mobile based handset.
World's First NFC Enabled Mobile Product for Contactless Payment
Nokia have launched the world's first NFC enabled contactless payment system for it's 3220 series of phones.
The basic deal is that your cc details are stored securely on a smart chip and you can pay and access services via the NFC system - NFC stands for Near Field Communications and you can see how it works here
Remember we talked about mobile as credit card a little while back?
"Visa is always looking for exciting, first-rate innovations that advance
the field of contactless payment and we are pleased to join forces with Nokia
in this pioneering effort," said Jim Lee, senior vice president, Product
Technology and Standards, Visa International. "The development of the Nokia
NFC shell serves as a natural extension of Visa's contactless card and phone
programs around the world. Moreover, it aligns well with Visa's commitment to
enabling payments anywhere, anytime, through any device."
All good stuff, the system will have it's first public test in Hanau near Frankfurt on the regional bus network...
Adult Industry to Net US$1bn From Mobile Phone Users in 2005
Juniper Research are predicting that mobile adult content will top the $1bn mark this year - most of the wan.. er.. customers will come from Europe and Asia while the US lags behind as in most things mobile.
Report author, Dr. Windsor Holden, said, "At the present time, the size of the U.S. market is extremely limited because customers are used to downloading content through the portal of their network operator, and the network operators are reluctant to offer adult content for fear of a regulatory or consumer backlash. But in the medium term, customers will become increasingly adept at browsing wireless internet sites operated by aggregators or other independent providers, with the result that overall revenues will show a significant increase."
I have to say, the whole adult thing on a mobile just baffles me. Why anyone would want to view porn on a mobile is quite beyond me...
A blog tool to fence in your children
We reported on the unfortunately named Crunkie back in Decemeber, a location based mobile social network - since then WaveMarket, the company behind the project have landed a whopping 9.4M in venture funding with Draper Fisher Jurvetson taking the lead role.
Geofence your Kids
They now have several services/products on offer and they look interesting to say the least:
Crunkie — a location-aware mobile social network that allows friends to locate each other as well as share location-tagged blog posts.
Map.Me — a mobile phone map interface that allows users to pan/zoom and experience dynamic mobile city guides
WaveAlert — server that allows users to be notified whenever they enter or leave a designated area. This is called "proximity-based" alerts. You can set “geofences” around important assets or be notified if your friends are nearby.
That last one looks like a killer tool for anxious parents and could, imo put WM on the map...
Being a new parent, the time when i will have to worry about where my daughter is and who she's with is a little way off but i know some of you have older kids right? - How do you keep tabs on where they are and what they're doing? And would something like WaveAlert be good?
Personally i can't think of anything more annoying than SMS and refuse to take part on general grumpy principle but Stuart Henshall has some interesting thought on current technologies Skype, Symbian and Voice Messaging technology.
It will work like VM... Skype will enable a text only program with VM capability... so you can receive and send VM and text... there is no need to yet go to voice on a Skype Symbian solution and most of the phones wouldn't cope. In some countries SkypeOut to mobile will be a good deal, in others it isn't. The presence indicator makes moving to SkypeMobile attractive while the application upgrades will enable you to broadcast presence as on mobile for text, for VM or invisible.
So Skype targets Nokia and begins selling this as an App which means the cell co's ca even retail it too. They are happy because Skype isn't eating their lunch tomorrow on 3G handsets while the Wi-Fi mobility app is already available for Windows PDA's
Whatever way Skype gets used it really is coming into primetime eh?
Verizon takes mobile TV prime time
There's a great piece threadlinked above from telephonyonline detailing Verizon's moves into Mobile "mobisodes" with the launch of it's VCast service tomorrow:
Verizon and News Corp. claim the mobisode is a milestone in mobile content, which may not be over-stating it. It shows that major entertainment companies are willing to devote resources, money and talent toward creating something solely for the mobile format. The studios are willing to bet that the tiny screen of a handset can be an entertainment medium in its own right — a so-called “fourth screen” on par with the movie, TV and PC screens — not just an adjunct to wireless.
“We certainly believe that wireless is becoming a new medium for entertainment,” said Paul Palmieri, executive director of business development for Verizon Wireless. “We're targeting mainstream media and bringing it directly to subscribers. These mobisodes are a signal of what's to come.”
But the industry is also taking a risk. Video streaming is barely in its nascent phases. The repurposed sports, news and entertainment video streams currently available have limited audiences. The format of the short video clips optimized for a tiny screen may seem a bit arcane to consumers bred on living room TV. News Corp. and Verizon are gambling that they can spur the market for multimedia by creating an entirely new format of wireless entertainment. And while industry observers laud both companies for taking the plunge into these unknown waters, many of them expressed doubts as to whether the mobisode will be a success.
Risk or not, the potential of the handset is too great to ignore, said Lucy Hood, senior vice president of content for News Corp. She pointed out that there are 1.3 billion mobile subscribers in the world today, compared with 1.1 billion TV homes — and the growth in handset purchases is far outpacing that of TVs. “This is a growth market that we want to be a first mover in,” Hood said.