Monthly Archives: June 2007

Apple iPhone pitfalls – limitations and some things you may want to consider before you open your wallet

ok I know, I can’t seem to leave this one alone today… more on the iPhone. It amazes me seeing all the press coverage and comments from people stating “its like a PC in a phone” … come on man, where have you been for the last 3 years or more? Ever hear of the Nokia Communicator series from years back? How about the Blackberry, Treo, N-Series, E-series, and Sony Ericsson UIQ devices… all of these have amazing functionality, much like what’ you’d get out of your PC. Cameras, video, applications, a slick development environment and supporting SDKs, quad-band functionality yadyada… I have to wonder if people really know what they are getting into when they lay down $600 for an iPhone? Indeed I say $600 because if your going to get one and you opt for the “cheap” $500 unit you’ll only be getting a 4GB capacity device that’s NOT EXPANDABLE… so $100 for another 4 GB is a no-brainer… particularly if you’re getting an iPhone for music and video capabilities (why else would you be getting one??) Some other limitations potential iPhone users should consider include:
– network speed… planning on watching YouTube vids? Consider how you are planning on connecting to the service. How is the AT&T coverage in your area… is it spotty??? Plan on taking advantage of the built-in Wi-Fi to enjoy this feature otherwise you’ll likely be disappointed.
– Gaming – want to play games on the device? After all gaming has always been one of the HOT apps/services for mobile users. Forget it… have you heard about any games that support the device… likely not. Too bad, especially since it sports a 320×480 screen that would be sooo sweet for playing games!
– Business use? Is synching with your corporate email available? Likely not… you’ll need apps from DataViz, QuickOffice and others to enjoy true enterprise communication with your device.
– photos – indeed iPhone sports a camera, however, at 2 megapixels it hardly brings any WOW factor to the table. Integration with Flickr, photobucket, blogger, picass, and shozu would be expected in my mind if it were truly meant to be a cameraphone for the masses (ironically Google just this week announced an extension of Picass to the mobile environment).
– the traveller – given that users are restricted to the AT&T network forget about that… unless you don’t mind $500 phone bills. A true mobile traveller will use a plan from a European carrier if he were in the UK etc… swap your SIM card and forget about the roaming charges. Also, don’t hold your breath for Skype, Fring and the likes for the iPhone… no doubt you’ll have a long wait.
– durability – a glass screen? Sure it looks sweet but I’d hate to be around when you drop it for the first time?
– ArcPad – ok, maybe I’m dreaming but wouldn’t it be nice to fire up your ArcPad session on the iPhone??
Any thoughts?
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Nokia N95 vs Apple iPhone videos

Want some iPhone humor to help celebrate the launch today… here’s a series of clever and funny vids created by Symbian-guru and intomobile — funny stuff! See Vids heremore on the N95 / iPhone battle here

Official Google Blog: Put your photos on a map, and Picasa on your phone

Official Google Blog: Put your photos on a map, and Picasa on your phone: A new Picassa option, ‘Map My Photos’ lets you show exactly where you took your favorite snapshots. When you share an album with friends, they can see your best photos arrayed on a map (or even Google Earth). It’s the perfect way to showcase a memorable road trip or a globe-trotting vacation. Tip: when you create a new album, just fill in the optional ‘Place Taken’ field. You can even drag and drop individual photos directly onto a map, and use built-in Google Maps technology to pinpoint exactly where each was shot. For a quick peek at what the results look like, check out our test gallery.” Visit picasaweb.google.com/m/ on your mobile web browser to see your album

Apple iPhone Quicktake – advantages of Apple’s on-device portal approach and comments on mapping and application development

I recently received some comments about the Apple iPhone from Action Engine CEO Scott Silk… I aksed if he’d like to elaborate on his detailed comments to provide some of his thoughts about the bundled mapping application and hiw take on what application developers can expect from this new platform. Silk provides the following:
Mapping Application:
The mapping application is one feature of the iPhone that is taking center stage in their marketing campaigns. By integrating city guide search features directly into the maps they have made the service very intuitive, logically presenting information in a format that the consumer can really benefit from. Keeping with this ‘integration’ theme, consumers can click on points of interest in the maps to view information or even place a phone call to the place they are searching for.

Unfortunately, however, the iPhone’s mapping application hasn’t incorporated any of the location-based services that could really make it stand out from the pack. We built a service for one of our customer’s overseas that used global positioning to draw maps from one friend to another. Having a feature like that incorporated into the next version of the iPhone could really make it a fun and useful service for consumers that taps into the hot social networking market.

Application Development Environment:
Apple lets you build web-based services but if usability is priority #1 for them then they should understand that the limitations of the mobile web make on-device applications a much better alternative for consumers. The wait times and dropped connections found when using browser-based mobile applications make the experience of searching for content simply unacceptable for today’s busy consumer.

Why stifle creativity by closing off the downloadable application opportunity to developers? This will only prevent iPhone owners from personalizing their home screens with lots of interesting widgets that are developed by third parties. Many of the early adopters of mobile data services have already become loyal followers of their favorite Symbian, Java, BREW, and Windows Mobile powered applications and it is disappointing that Apple’s approach is to prevent them from bringing those applications with them over to the iPhone. I’m hopeful that Apple will enable more offline applications by providing real access to the OSX platform in future releases. See all of Silk’s take on the iPhone in this submission at lbszone

Apple iPhone Quicktake – advantages of Apple’s on-device portal approach and comments on mapping and application development

I recently received some comments about the Apple iPhone from Action Engine CEO Scott Silk… I aksed if he’d like to elaborate on his detailed comments to provide some of his thoughts about the bundled mapping application and hiw take on what application developers can expect from this new platform. Silk provides the following:
Mapping Application:
The mapping application is one feature of the iPhone that is taking center stage in their marketing campaigns. By integrating city guide search features directly into the maps they have made the service very intuitive, logically presenting information in a format that the consumer can really benefit from. Keeping with this ‘integration’ theme, consumers can click on points of interest in the maps to view information or even place a phone call to the place they are searching for.

Unfortunately, however, the iPhone’s mapping application hasn’t incorporated any of the location-based services that could really make it stand out from the pack. We built a service for one of our customer’s overseas that used global positioning to draw maps from one friend to another. Having a feature like that incorporated into the next version of the iPhone could really make it a fun and useful service for consumers that taps into the hot social networking market.

Application Development Environment:
Apple lets you build web-based services but if usability is priority #1 for them then they should understand that the limitations of the mobile web make on-device applications a much better alternative for consumers. The wait times and dropped connections found when using browser-based mobile applications make the experience of searching for content simply unacceptable for today’s busy consumer.

Why stifle creativity by closing off the downloadable application opportunity to developers? This will only prevent iPhone owners from personalizing their home screens with lots of interesting widgets that are developed by third parties. Many of the early adopters of mobile data services have already become loyal followers of their favorite Symbian, Java, BREW, and Windows Mobile powered applications and it is disappointing that Apple’s approach is to prevent them from bringing those applications with them over to the iPhone. I’m hopeful that Apple will enable more offline applications by providing real access to the OSX platform in future releases. See all of Silk’s take on the iPhone in this submission at lbszone

ESRI, Arc/Info, ArcGIS, ArcView… 25 Years in the making – A Time Line

Remember the “good ol” days of PC Arc/Info, ArcView 3.0? Like many others at the ESRI UC I was captivated by a very cool series of posters that displayed the history of ArcGIS and of ESRI… 25 years in the making. I put together a recap of some of the highlights and milestones of the company in this ESRI Timeline – 25 years and growing strong. Check out the product development timeline as well as a brief summary of some of the features that you’ll find in ArcGIS at release 9.3 – recall 9.3 will be released as a series of incremental patches later this year with a major release planned sometime in 2008 – likely early in the year. See the ESRI timeline at http://www.gisuser.com/content/view/11991/53/ – PS: have you been to the MappingCenter yet??

Forum Nokia launches launchpad for mobile developers

Ben Wang, Head of developer programs at Forum Nokia gave me a quick intro to their latest offering yesterday – Launchpad. The program is designed exactly as it sounds, to help developers get up and running and launch their apps on a platform support by Nokia devices. Offered via the developer portal at Forum.Nokia, Launchpad is a new, affordable alternative for those who were restricted in some way from taking part in the Forum Nokia Pro developer program – recall FN Pro was quite costly and restricted to special invite only companies that have a relationship with Nokia. Launchpad is open to all and is affordable – about 800 Euros p/year (priced in Euro the program is accessible Globally). Member developers and companies will have early access to tools and SDKs, access to affordable devices for testing, etc… see more about the program at http://www.lbszone.com/content/view/2016/2/ or jump directly to www.forum.nokia.com/launchpad