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Will Windows 8 open new Doors?

IS THIS IT? Is this showtime for Microsoft’s Windows 8?

Amidst the anticipation of the next iPhone 5 to be released shortly, there’s some excitement brewing as Microsoft are ready once again with their re-entry into this market with what is promised of being an amazing experience…(Drum Rolls………) enter – Windows 8.

All we’ve been seeing and hearing from quite some time now is only of Apple, Samsung, Android, iPhone, iPad, Google when it comes to mobiles and device operating systems and not much about Windows. Yes Apple devices are everywhere, Samsung seems to be going places with their devices not only by manufacturing some amazing devices (ie. S3, Galaxy Tab…) but also packing new features into their mobiles and tablets…it’s been a while now that I’ve not seen anyone pull out a different phone other than an iPhone but these days I’m sure you would’ve probably noticed yourself, Samsung devices seems to be making ground.

Samsung range of tablets are moving quite fast too and they don’t cost an “arm and a leg” to try one out, whether it’s the “non-apple” fans or the “android-pro’s” there is no choice currently in the market for any other mobile device or operating system.

Image from: http://www.samsung.com/global/ativ/index.html

Samsung have confirmed that they will be carrying Windows 8 on a few of their devices - that includes Samsung mobiles, tablets and TV’s. Check out the ATIV range (as it’s called by Samsung) which carries the Windows 8 across devices – ATIV S for Mobiles, ATIV Tab (Tablets), ATIV Smart PC and ATIV Smart PC Pro.  We couldn’t find much reference to what ATIV actually meant whether it was an acronym for something but seems like it’s VITA spelt reverse…meant life….deep….blah blah…

And NOKIA says…lets hold hands Windows?

NOKIA like Microsoft have a challenge up their sleeves to win back market share and consumer confidence and as users have started to massively adapt to and get accustomed to the Apple and Android eco-system, this will be quite an interesting phase to see if the Nokia & Microsoft Windows 8 combo does it this time around. NOKIA seems to have instilled a lot of faith into their new LUMIA range carrying the Windows 8 Operating System.

NOKIA, once a leader in this space who has seen massive decline in it’s share now confirming that their range of Nokia Lumia range will be carrying the Windows 8 as their operating system.

In the second quarter of 2012, Microsoft’s share of the global smartphone operating system market was a lowly 2.7 per cent, according to tech industry analyst Gartner while Android had 64.1 per cent  and Apple 18.8 per cent. (source here).

The Windows 8 experience blog does promise that this version has a lot that has changed, and yes it would not be fair to say that Windows have been so hung up with so many issues in the past over their operating systems but I guess that’s the kind of extensive user base that the windows have too – more ain’t always the merrier when it comes to technology. All brands these days whether it’s manufacturers such as LG, Samsung, Nokia, HTC or the experience providers such as Apple, Google with their Android operating systems, Microsoft Windows are all undergoing a substantial amount of metamorphosis as the internet has evolved to being something we sat behind a desk and used and or late on a mobile device to being the “internet of things” where even our cats and dogs are connected to a network so we can track where they are and what they are doing when you are out and about!

Apple has undergone considerable transformation themselves as I remember not that many years ago, you could not buy anything but from a special “Apple” store specialist and when not much was going in Apple’s favour – they brought about the iPod and then the infamous iPhone followed by the iPad which made history and seems like they’re having a dream run since then. Who had heard of an “app store” a few years ago? Who knew that you wouldn’t need to run down to the DVD store down the road to book in your copy of the latest movies? Maybe the day is not far when there will be robots around the house which will bring you popcorn automatically when you’re watching a movie! Well, Well, lets get back to talking about Windows 8…there is a pre-release Windows 8 version available for those enthusiasts but we couldn’t find a set date for the Windows 8 date in Australia but news items do hint at it being around the corner!

Windows 8 has a completely refreshed touch integrated experience, and the new improved multi-monitor support, and new Family Safety features, social seems seamless, there’s also new improvements to the Mail, Photos, and People apps and see new Bing-powered Travel, News and Sports appsInternet Explorer 10 also has new capabilities in the Windows 8 Release Preview like “flip ahead” and a fully integrated secure and power-optimised Adobe Flash Player. IE10 is also the first browser to feature Do Not Track “on” by default.

Would you be still willing to give Windows 8 a chance? Have Microsoft got it right this time around? Guess, time will tell but onya’ Windows as they say “You’ve got to be in it to WIN it – All the best!

 

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Samsung unpacks Samsung Galaxy S3 at Mobile Unpacked 2012

London has a lot happening this year! This one is about Samsung’s Mobile Unpacked 2012 event and an event where Samsung launched the “Samsung Galaxy S3″

As our lives become increasingly complex, people are no longer enthused about new technology for technology’s sake! They desire products that genuinely think and care about them. Products created with humanity at heart! - voice over at the Samsung Mobile Unpacked 2012, London.

Must say, Samsung have been trying quite relentlessly adding in new features and updates to their models of Smartphones – specially talking about the “S” range. Samsung has now announced their next mobile the ‘Samsung Galaxy S3‘ with a lot of new features and some of them seem quite cool I’d say and whether they’re compared to the iPhone or not – they have the first mover advantage this time around (sorry Apple!). Samsung announced the launch is going be across 145 countries across 296 Mobile operators.

Yes, you’d expect that a new mobile is going to have higher specs, better style…stuff like better resolution, a better look than it’s predecessor, a better camera and probably a few tweaks here and there which make your consideration score go up when you’re either out of contract from your telco or need to buy a new mobile no matter what the reason. Here’s a few features that we picked up which are quite different and cool too!

Samsung Smartstay technology that use eye tracking technology to keep awake!

Smart stay: It’s like your mobile looking at you and keeping awake! A feature keeps the brightness up as long as you’re looking at it. A feature that use eye recognition technology that tracks eye movement and keeps the screen “ON” as long as you’re looking at it.

Direct Call: Texting someone….and how many times we feel the need to just pick up the phone and ring..this one does it automatically…ah! what say…LIKE?

Smart Alert: Think iPhone and a few other phones have this feature but in a mention, but not sure exactly how this feature is different from the notifications of the iOS version. The phone apparently has a vibrating nudge to let you know that you missed a call or a text. uhmm…nice anyways.

S Voice: Probably for “Samsung” Voice. A feature which iPhone made popular by the SIRI in their mobiles.

Will be on the lookout to get our hands on one, will probably have to let the boss know we need one for ‘testing’ or internal R&D purposes :) that way we can explore it in and out! and if it were a car, I’d say ‘take her out for a spin’! Go Samsung!

Social Tag & Buddy Photo Share: Now, this seems like a cool feature. As per the Samsung website – this feature is to keep track of your loved ones, a glance at your friends’ photos will show you their Social Network Status…there’s also the Buddy Photo Share feature. How many times that we take a photo and what do we end up doing with it? Send it to our buddies. Samsung S3 comes with this feature that recognises (guess made popular by Facebook’s tagging feature) and shares photo’s instantly. I think if there is a good enough way to control what you end up sharing and what not – this is a good feature! Hopefully we don’t end up sharing all photos and spam our buddies ;)

Do check out some of the other features – there’s stuff like the “All Share Play” then there is the Pop Up Play – a feature to watch HD videos whilst you’re texting ah…multitasking! For those thinking of Apple’s ‘Air Play‘ there’s the Allshare cast feature ie – this is to watch photo’s, videos from your mobile on your TV and your mobile then becomes the controller. Pretty nifty feature these days if you want to experience HD content or sit back, relax and watch content on a larger screen at home.

For those who need to know the specs – The Samsung S3 is 4.8″ HD, includes a 4.8″ 720p resolution screen with an inbuilt quad-core processor, has inbuilt [Near Field Communications] NFC built in runs Google’s ‘Ice Cream Sandwich’ version of the Android operating system. Guess a lot will depend on the ease of using the phone in terms of the user experience too!

In all, seems like good timing (expected to be released end of May in Europe) and a good mobile when there’s rumors that the next iPhone (the 6th generation from Apple) is probably going to be released end of year and Samsung have played their card first!

PS; we are not paid nor contracted by Samsung to say good things :) 

If you are interested and have time to watch the whole event – here’s a link below:

Samsung Mobile Unpacked 2012 Event – FULL [London]

a few references:

 

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Australian’s Multi Screen Affair! Smartphones, Tablets & the Digital Home…

“Screen Screen…who is the fairest of them all?” Probably the toughest question as we love all our screens!

TV’s, Mobiles, Tablets are getting smarter and smarter…we came across the Australian Multi-Screen report from the last quarter of 2011 by OZTAM / Neilsen and quoting a few interesting stats from this report.

  • 49% OF AUSSIE’S NOW OWN A SMARTPHONE
  • 10% HOUSEHOLDS OWN A TABLET DEVICE

Firstly, Aussies love affair with the smartphones continues which is now estimated at about 49% ownership (up from 43% from the third quarter last year, age 14+). The household Tablets penetration seems to be getting there too, starting at about 8% in the second quarter last year, shooting up by 2 points to almost 10% metro by end of last quarter 2011 and on the rise! According to Nielsen’s Australian Online Consumer report, watching any viewing ‘video’ content on Tablets grew from just 2% of the total online population at the end of 2010, to 5% by the end of 2011.

  • 95% OF HOMES HAVE ACCESS TO DIGITAL BROADCAST
  • 44% HAVING PVR ACCESS

As at the end of the last quarter of 2011, 95% of all homes were estimated to have access to digital broadcasts on at least one TV set in the home, this is up from 90% in the first quarter. Currently 44% of homes have access to some form of a PVR (Personal Video Recorder) allowing consumers to use the ‘time shifting’ incase you can’t watch ‘Home & Away’ whilst you are doing the child care pickup’s or need to unwind at your own leisure and catch up with ‘Desperate Housewives’ when it suits you!

  • HOUSEHOLD INTERNET IS AT 77%
  • WATCHING ONLINE VIDEO HAS INCREASED BY 13% 

Household internet remains at about 77% but there is an increase in the time that content is being consumed online, watching online video has increased by about 13% and all probably due to the popularity of the smart TV’s which most of them come with their own browser, app setup’s or access to browsing your own internet of connect devices at home. Consumers spent about 3Hrs 27Minutes watching any video on the internet. No longer do you have to take someone to your bedroom to put on your PC to share some photo’s from your trip to Fiji – it’s all about having ‘smart access’ to your content in the house and out and about on the mobile too! Watching video on the mobile phone is not that hot a number, guess mainly due to the fact that a lot of users are unsure of how much bill they’re going to clock up when they’re going to watch the news via video or play catch up TV via mobile on their way home on the train! But, sure we’ll get there.

Watching any video on a mobile phone is at about 1hr 20mins per month average but interestingly almost at 3 hours per month with the 25 – 34 year olds. Video consumption via mobile phones for the 16 years and over category is at about 1 hour 20 minutes per month (up significantly since Q1), the main users are those aged 18 – 34, averaging almost 3 hours per month.

The combination of the extended screens (PC and mobile phone) usage for any video content still accounts for just 4% of video consumption on traditional TV, as quoted in this OZTAM/Neilsen report.

Mobile devices are not only used outside of the house now but playing a key role within the house too as Australia’s love affair with multiple screen’s grows!

DOWNLOAD HERE [PDF] incase you want to full report  the Australian Multi-Screen Report for Q4, 2011.

Thanks to OZTAM and Neilsen for putting this report together. It is preferred that you download the complete report at the above link and make note of all the fine print and the greater detail. 

 

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That’ll be £6,000,000 Sir! Seen these Luxury Mobiles?

Have you been to that fancy cup cake shop down the road, must be something fancy about that place? What about that lil’ italian joint down your street where you have to wait to order a take away…oh, and what about the various types of Milk you get at your supermarket, when all you want is just ‘Milk’?

Well, there’s a lot more that meets the eye! And as they say – there’s a customer for every product out there. Mobile phones as a category are not excluded if you really have a spare few lazy millions!

Seems a bit like that when it comes to mobiles these days that “commoditisation” is the word that springs up my mind. I remember years ago, you either had a Nokia or a Motorola or a few had the Ericsson.

You look around these days and hardware manufacturing in the mobile sector has gone crazy and I’m not even looking at the ‘non-brands’ here. Apple got into it, then Google Got onto it – Dell, HP, Acer, Sony, HTC, LG, Samsung, Sagem, Blackberry…and now what amazes me is that even luxury brands are onto it – Vertu (which is a division on Nokia), luxury accessories designers, fancy watch and racing brands all seem to have taken a fancy to coming up with their own signature mobile phone versions too.

Check out some of the below, bet some of them will surprise you, as it did to me!

  • Ulysse Nardin’s The Chairman – $49,000…uhmm slightly believable…when you go down this list!
  • Sony Ericsson Black Diamond – $300,000….oh well, slightly less than a mortgage ;))
  • Vertu Signature Cobra – $310,000…hissssssss
  • Gresso Luxor Las Vegas Jackpot – costs approx $1 million….yay!! that’s a jackpot!!
  • GoldVish ‘Le Million’ Piece Unique  – $1.3 million…can’t be true…..err maybe??
  • The Diamond Crypto Smartphone – think about $1.3 million.…oops…that hurts!!
  • Peter Aloisson’s Kings Button iPhone – $2.4 million….is what I read….really….??
  • Stuart Hughes iPad 2 Gold Edition - Price - £5,000,000.00 as quoted on their website!!!!

Special mention to what is claimed to be the world’s most expensive iPhone:

The most unique mobile phone ever created with a total construction cost of £6 million. The bezel is handmade from rose with approx 500 individual flawless diamonds which total over 100ct. The rear section is formed using 24ct gold with the added touch of its 24ct gold Apple logo and 53 diamonds. The main navigation is made from gold which holds a single cut 8.6ct diamond. Also included is a rare 7.4ct single cut Flawless pink diamond which can replace the existing one.

Claimed to be the world's MOST expensive iPhone

Apparently (and quite unbelievable…) the chest is made from solid Platinum with polished pieces of original Dinosaur bone from the T-REX (really….?) along with rare stones such as Opal, Pietersite, Charoite , Rutile Quartz, Star Sunstone. The handset is 64GB and limited edition of only 2 to be ever made…(damn!) and a price tag of £6,000,000.00 

And also check out TAG Heuer Racer mobile – not sure what the price ‘tag’ is on this ‘tag’ but guess when you own a tag – you don’t bother about the price.

What's the price TAG on this TAG?

TAG's Racer Mobile - Register interest on their website

So, if you’re thinking of new mobile? what’s it going to be? My iPhone 4S looks so ordinary now but you know what….I’m happy and can have a peaceful sleep with my iPhone on my bedside not a million dollar baby :)) Infact, I might go get that fancy cup cake now! 

Check out TAG Racer’s video too:

A few references:

 

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Android touches 700,000+ activations per day and 10 Billion App downloads

What better time of the year than this for Android fans, and we at mobiDdiction also agree that 2012 is going to be the YEAR of the MOBILE, if you didn’t read one of our earlier posts.

Google recently announced that the Android Market Place passed 10 Billion App downloads from their market place with the Android device activations reaching a staggering 700,000+ activations per day, the figure of 550,000 was released back in June 2011.

There is also a supporting infographic that tells stories such as the ‘most popular time to download an app’ to the least popular. Also the most app-crazed countries in the world from South Korea being number #1 to Norway at number #10. I was a bit surprised to see that Australia doesn’t even feature in the Top 10 list of countries though we’ve been hearing a lot of Android talks specially from last year. Guess, it’s all thanks to the iPhone’s out there and their loyal base.

Few stats from the Android – [INFOGRAPHIC]:

  • Most popular time to download an App: Sunday 9pm
  • Least popular time to download an App: Monday 4am
  • People from 190 countries download apps every day
  • 25.6% of downloads are Games (39.25% of which are Arcade games)
  • 12.2% Entertainment related
  • 4.0% Social related
  • 11.17% Tools aka productivity, utility factor associated
  • 100 Million words translated every week in 200 different countries on Google Translate
  • 4054 years spent playing Talking Tom during which Tom has been knocked down 10.6 Billion times.

We had a few more stats on our blog for 2011 - incase you’re interested.

Google’s infographic on Android Market Growth:

REF:

http://googleblog.blogspot.com/2011/12/10-billion-android-market-downloads-and.html
http://android-developers.blogspot.com/2011/12/closer-look-at-10-billion-downloads.html

For those who’re interested in the Android developers channel on YouTube, here’s the link: http://www.youtube.com/user/androiddevelopers

 

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Commonwealth Bank launches “Kaching” Mobile Payment App

Left your wallet and cards at home and need to pay? Need to make a quick payment to your friends on Facebook…no worries, use your mobile! 

Ok, I’ve said it in the past that I think the banks have been doing well in the way they’re thinking ahead of coming up with mobile apps that are based on providing “on-the-go” utility leveraging the growth in the area of mobile technology. Back in July 2011, we wrote a piece on when we noted that the Commbank updated their App and also another quick blog on the future of mobile payments and why it’s all that important.

Almost all the major banks and the mid-tier ones too such as co-op’s and building society’s have come up with mobile banking apps. Sure you’ve seen that the banks have started to use this in their marketing too, as in – you would have spotted a poster when you entered a St George or a Westpac or any other bank, looked at a bus-side talking about their mobile banking facility. For those who have used the ANZ’s “Pay to Mobile” feature, it does work like a breeze specially from one ANZ to another ANZ customer account. And now – to add to all this, the Commonwealth Bank of Australia have launched their ‘Kaching’ app. For those who are unaware of what ‘Kaching‘ means – it’s a slang thingy meaning to “cash in” or make a lot of money. Sometimes, “rich” this being derived from the sound of an old fashioned cash register – get it? “Kaching” “Kaching”… not a bad thought as the CommBank mobile app is about payments — wonder if the app makes the “Kaching” noise too ;)

 

Here’s the AppStore link to download the Kaching App and here’s a page on the Commonwealth bank Kaching website with a video showing how Kaching works – check it out.

So, what does this CommBank Kaching App do?

  • Send money to someone using their mobile number
  • Make payments using your email contacts or by entering an email address
  • Make payments to your Facebook friends
  • Shop without cash or cards by holding your iPhone4S or 4, using the iCarte case, over the PayPass™ contactless terminal
  • Make payments via BPAY® or with an account number and BSB

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There’s a requirement mentioned too that users first need to be registered for NetBank and have NetCode activated to make payments and purchases using a mobile phone and the Recipients of payments via mobile, Facebook and email need an Australian bank account to claim.

Whilst it’s really early days, both banks and users have a lot of extra areas to be cautious of I guess, in terms of security and how tight the measures are – and it’s great that users are able to do all this but not to forget that we’re in a hyper connected world and now our information is being accessed by multiple applications so yes there are exciting times ahead in terms of convenience and the fact that we are entering another new era of cashless transactions, security is going to be of prime importance.

Android is on it’s way

The Commbank Kaching is compatible with all iPhone’s operating iOS 4.2 and above. The Commbank Kaching for iPhone 4S, 4 3GS and 3G, you can pay anyone via mobile, email or Facebook, make BPAY payments and transfer money between your Commbank accounts. An extra bit of stuff you need to do to set up your iPhone 4S or 4 for contactless payments by ordering an iCarte case from Commbank via the app. When you receive and activate your iCarte case, just hold your iPhone 4S or 4 over any PayPass™ contactless terminal to pay for purchases under $100.

Read more on the App Store description – Link Here - Seems like the Android fans will have to wait for a bit more as per the note on the website but knowing Commbank sure the Android and the tablet version won’t be too far down the track!

The Commbank’s media release section on their website claims this App is the first in the world that you would be able to make payments to your Facebook friends which is an awesome feature I think as you now don’t need to worry about asking your mates that you some beer monies for their BSB and account number details which I’m sure most of us don’t even remember or if we do remember, we need to recheck somewhere on our bank statements or a notepad hidden somewhere.

It’s a New App

One thing I’m still a bit unsure of is when I’ve got the CommBank App which also allows me to login to my mobile banking which I’ve been using for quite a while now, the Kaching is an all together new app that one needs to download. No wonder it does use the same access details but not sure why this is done as an altogether new app, being a customer I would’ve liked to see this integrated into my current mobile banking behaviour.

NFC but still uses external hardware

To use the contact-less PayPass payment you still need to buy a piece of hardware that is in effect your NFC (Near Field Communication) reader by buying an iCarte case (for A$54.95) through Commbank and I tell ya it was quite hard to find where to buy this! Having searched for quite some time on almost all of the Commbank’s websites, we then found the below info on the support page

iCarte cases are available for order within Commbank Kaching. In the ‘Cards’ tab, select the credit or debit MasterCard you wish to set up, press the ‘Set up PayPass’ button and follow the on screen instructions.

It seems like the purchase of the iCarte case needs to be made from within the App itself but I did not have that option showing up of buying the iCarte case…not sure why, maybe the reason being that I don’t have a master card. But would’ve thought that if that was the case, it would’ve been used as an opportunity to sell me one? But, there’s no obvious link from any online site that you can buy the iCarte case from – must be s

We did register interest to hear about this app a few months ago but didn’t hear about this and just a few days ago we came across this App while googling something about the upcoming NFC technology I think it was…or maybe it’s that we jumped the gun and searched for it even before they could let us know. But at the end of the day, Kaching is here and must say Commbank have taken a giant step to try and move ahead in the world of mobile payments.

Sure, as we go on – there will be more and more phones with inbuilt NFC and other mobile payment gateways that we can use so we don’t external cases but for now it’s “KACHING KACHING” time ;)

Cheerios!

 

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2012 – The year of the MOBILE

Phew! what a year it has been and sooner that we realise – 2012 is round the corner and like a lot of us, we reflect back to the past year and look forward to new beginnings, resolutions to take our lives to the next level and quit some of our vices…well, well, that may seem a bit nostalgic. But hey it is really about looking ahead to a new year with positivity. So, here’s hoping that you’ve had a great year too and best for the upcoming one.

What an amazing year it has been for mobiles and related stuff too, we have seen productivity gone haywire as people got onto Angry Birds and Facebook on the mobile adoption grew. A not to miss highlight of the year was the way Android shot up and still continues to do so. And the shocker that we got on 5th Oct 2011, when the man who made it happen – our beloved Steve Jobs unfortunately left us, but who would disagree that the visionary changed the world of mobile technology. Steve changed the way we interact with our devices and brought life to his passion a few years with the iPod, the iPhone and then the iPad. Our salute to this legend, Steve Jobs who is going to be a hard act to follow in years and years to come.

2012: Year of the MOBILE - Who's going to lead and who is to follow?

Social Media saw some amazing take up’s too, Google Plus launched, some amazing apps were built, people still continued on with Twitter. We saw the iCloud and also the take up of users start to talk to our devices coming to reality in 2011, feels quite sci-fi but Google Voice, Google Translate and more so by Apple’s SIRI on the iPhone 4S is all making it possible now…

In July 2011 – Facebook reached 750 Million (was 250 Million in July 2009). With more than 350 million active users currently accessing Facebook through their mobile devices. More than 475 mobile operators globally work to deploy and promote Facebook mobile products.

ROVIO (the maker of Angry Birds) in November 2011 announced 500 million total downloads of Angry Birds games across various platforms. Here’s a few stats about the game we spent so much playing and trying to get those flying birds sling across…

  • #1 in 79 countries with 266 Billion levels played
  • 400 Billion Birds shot & 44 Billion stars collected
  • 200,000 Years of Angry Birds played 
  • 300 Million minutes played – Daily
  • 500,000,000 Billion Downloads 

TIME’s TOP GADGETS, SMARTPHONE APPS & IPHONE APPS FOR 2011:

Some Twitter stats over the years:

  • 2007: 400,000 tweets posted per quarter in 2007.
  • 2008. 100 million tweets posted per quarter in 2008.
  • February 2010: 50 million tweets per day.
  • June 2010, about 65 million tweets were posted each day equaling about 750 tweets sent each second. Twitter mobile usage experienced a year-to-year increase of 347% back in 2010.

Google’s Android took off in 2011:

GOOGLE had some amazing success in 2011 specially with Android achieving the 100Million Android activation landmark and then the 200 Million Activation landmark (Nov 11) – to be verified. The last we had heard that there were about 550,000 android devices being activated each day worldwide.

CHECK OUT GOOGLE’S VIDEO on the Android milestones:

Thank you Steve.

“That’s not what we think design is. It’s not just what it looks like and feels like. Design is how it works” Steve Jobs. A very special tribute to Steve Jobs who sadly left us in 2011. Over a million people from all over the world have shared their memories, thoughts, and feelings about Steve. Check out this page on Wiki about Steve Jobs. And this page on Gizmodo about Steve Jobs life.

mobiDdiction: 2012 & beyond…

Last but not the least – mobiDdiction was born in 2011. So, it has been a big year for us –  a year that saw us launch our services from Sydney, Australia & take our first baby steps – we saw great support from our clients, friends and well-wishers. Our mobiDdiction Facebook page in just a few months is almost at 2,000 supporters and thanks to each and every one of them.

Wonder what’s coming up in 2012 for mobiles and related stuff…devices that tap into our brains and the phones can understand what we’re thinking? Sure, this is not far away. Mobile payments will probably see a big take-up once mobiles and technology meet up to make it more accessible, smartphones are going to see a lot more traction, the tablet which not long ago we weren’t sure of what to do with is going to see a take-up as there’s a place between the laptop the TV we’ve found for it and there’s a lot more customisation we’re able to do now and access to these devices in terms of cost is becoming less of a fancy too. We will continue to adopt the Apps and “appcessories” to suit what we’re looking for and needless to say, there’s going to be a lot more take up of HTML5 and cross-device experiences coming up. Mobile payments & NFC will be big and the challenge of catering to the varying device and screen types is going to exist but devices will be a lot more smarter too!

2012 is going to be a great year and a year of the MOBILE! All the best to all of you and may you see great success in all your endeavours! 

ps; Thanks to our friend, Tommy ‘the gun’ Wells for his “2012″ illustration on this page.

Few references:

  1. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Twitter#cite_ref-bbc.co.uk_5-0
  2. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Twitter
  3. https://www.facebook.com/press/info.php?statistics
  4. https://www.facebook.com/press/info.php?timeline
  5. http://www.google.com/about/corporate/company/history.html#2011
  6. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Android_version_history
  7. http://www.theaustralian.com.au/australian-it/opinion/apples-iphones-to-be-mobile-wifi-hotspots/story-e6frgb0o-1225989740497
  8. https://blog.facebook.com/blog.php?post=10150311269432131
 

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APPCESSORIES FOR AN APPY XMAS!

Is it that time of the year already? Bet it is – and yes the year has gone by quickly and here we are looking forward to another big year whether we get a reprieve from our bank’s on the interest rates or whether the world’s going into a ’round 2′ on the recession, but seems like one thing’s on the rise! YES, no prizes for guessing – the world of APPS & MOBILE TECHNOLOGY.

Interestingly so, what started off as being a ‘smartphone’ aka the iPhone or even the Android’s of today – some of the App developers have started to come up with really cool ideas and really taking the world of mobile applications to an altogether new. Not that long ago, I came across an App that was looking at directing the blind by way of sounds or signals which would recognize the size of object in front and hence aiding the blind to walk. Then, there was the app which was used by medical institutions to check patient records and access details on the go – replacing that daggy old sheets of papers hanging around in patient beds!

APPCESSORIES

But having said all this, what I really wanted to share was something I came across in the David Jones’ (or DJ’s as it’s referred to here in Australia) from their Xmas catalogue over the last week. They have a section called ‘APPCESSORIES’ and caught my attention as really I thought of it as ‘mobiDdiction….’ get it? uh…

Apart from the usual iPad iPhone, Android and the new Sony Tablet S – there are some interesting products in that catalogue that relate to using an App for some cool things to do over Xmas and add them to the wish-list! I dug out a few links that I thought might be useful – Have you been naughty or nice? Check em out…and by the way, don’t quote me on the prices – they’re straight off the catalogue.

iBaby Monitor:

 

 

 

 

 

 

You pay about $249.95 but you get to see you lil bub from your iPhone. So, whilst your wife thinks you’re monitoring the bub – you could be facebooking or watching some YouTube clips ;)

Withings Blood Pressure Monitor & Wi-Fi Body Scale:

Around $179 bucks gets you some kind of a thing that you wrap around your arm and measure your BP but using your iPhone, iPod or iTouch at the other end for the reading. Smart uh?

Withing’s also seem to have Wi-Fi Body scale. About $295 gets you this and registers your weight, fat and BMI calculation through your iPhone or iPad.

 

 

iBike Coach:

GPS measurement of speed, distance evaluation kilojoules and more on your iPhone. Think there’s a few out there like this, but I havent given this a go.

iGrill:

Nope — you don’t use this instead of the stove!! It’s a bluetooth cooking thermometer.

iKon:

Buggy remote control — guess what you control this with. Nah, no price for guesses!

iON:

 

 

 

 

Need piano lessons and need to learn to play the Piano just like the cat on YouTube? Shell out $149.95 and you get Audio Piano. Doesn’t play the piano for you but apparently teaches you how to play the piano.

GOPOINT BT1 Bluetooth vehicle diagnostic:

If you are not sure what the ‘Check Engine’ light in your car is about – this one claims to speaks to your vehicle in a language which your car understands, decodes and translates it back to you what exactly the “Check Engine” light means and in all in a human friendly language!

 

Gosh iPanda Speakers

iRemoco Remote Control Chopper

Last but not the least – there’s the GOSH iPanda speakers, Zeppelin’s @ $799 using Apple’s Air Play technology that allows music to be streamed wirelessly to your Zepplin Air from your Mac or iPhone and iREMOCO which is a remote chopper which you control with your iPhone, iPad or iTouch device. Just make sure you have enough charge in the device to avoid crashing into your Christmas pudding!

 

 

We came across all these as mentioned in the DJ’s Xmas printed catalogue so I’m sure if you’re somewhere in Australia and went up one of the DJ outlets you could check ‘em out.

Not sure why, the “i” seemed to be quite a common theme across all these products. But nevertheless, if you do have any thoughts or comments or have come across any weird and wonderful toys that somehow use the mobile, do share them with us.

That’s about it folks, it has been a busy year and we look forward to bringing you a lot more interesting stories in the new year.

Stay safe & have a fab Xmas and New Year. Best for 2012!

 

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Ah, thx my iPhone ;)

Have you had to go through the trouble of copying your contacts from your old phone to the new one or had to spend time copying your contacts manually?

Whether you’ve lost your current mobile, replacing to a flashy new smartphone or just tired seeing your mobile after paying out your Telco for the 24-month contract you had signed up for and everyone around you seems to have a ‘newer’ phone! Every now and then comes a time that we all dread! changing or upgrading our mobiles…

Just like a lot of you – I went through this experience not that long ago. I changed to an iPhone 4 from my 3GS which had been quite faithful and had taken quite a few blows during it’s journey with me. I had the shiny iPhone 4 and needless to say I was too excited to even think of the pain to copy my contacts to some other place, I did not even think twice what would happen to all my fancy apps that I’ve downloaded so meticulously over the past year and a bit and – and not once did I think what if I lost all that? or had to do the traditional way of ‘copy from SIM’ and ‘transfer’ — it’s always a pain those things & sooner than you realise you end up with multiple contacts or no contacts showing up, you loose your settings, your favourites or whatever you were used to and had taken so much time to make your phone that ideal companion that you could call upon….but must say, the switch over from one iPhone to another iPhone was truly a blessing in disguise!

Connect to iTunes to get started...

The customer experience was second to none, easy as the initial screen asks you to plug in your new device – in this case the iPhone 4.

Once I connected my iPhone 4 to my mac, iTunes started up and popped up with a message recognising that I’ve connected a new device and asked me if I wanted to use a back-up from my previous device and there was a selection of two of my previous devices – aka, my iPhone 3GS and the iPad. Obviously, I choose back up from my 3GS.

Of course, there was the option to choose to set it up as a ‘a new device’ and not bother about anything else but I did want my back-up. I wanted my new iPhone to have all the things I was use to on my previous iPhone so I don’t have to go through the trouble of any re-setting stuff etc.

While I had a sip of my pinot noir, the back up restored from my previous iPhone was synced up to my new iPhone and was ready to use. The sarcastic side of me and thinking that ah, it can’t be that simple plugged out my the new device and I was surprised (read = elated!) about the whole experience and really I must say, this is the first time that I didn’t have to bother about any external apps or syncing services or the ‘talk of the town’ these days – the cloud…zillch! all was taken care from my iTunes account and the fact that I regularly back up my iOS devices and everything was fine and in no time I was up and running with all my contacts, SMS message history, Apps and to the extent that I was going to reset my weekly alarm and even that was synced up – now that’s got to be something!

Yes, a few of you would comment that contacts from MS outlook can be synced up but hang on, how many of us really use outlook as the place we store and regularly update our contacts.

Thanks iPhone for making my life so much simpler! that I didn’t have get frustrated copying or syncing my data, specially my contacts from one phone to another. 

How was your experience when you changed to a new phone? Would be great to hear from you…

 

 

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Commonwealth Bank updates Mobile App [Pics]

Commonwealth Bank – updates their mobile banking App. iPad and Windows 7 versions included.

Further on the mobile bank side of things from one of our previous stories about how banks seem to have taken the mobile side of things in their stride, the Commonwealth Bank of Australia have announced updates to their mobile banking app, also referred to as NetBanking. We’ve seen a few example of banking apps but must admit, for what CommBank have done so far with the latest updates – this seems to be quite a smart app packed with a heap of new features but also what makes it interesting. It does deliver that app experience.

An updated experience, includes a version for Windows 7 & tablet devices too…

Comm Bank App - updated look and feel

Comm Bank App - updated look

One noticeable difference for users who have been using the CommBank App is that there is a significant improvement in the number of features and also a considerable improvement in the quality of the visual or creative elements from the the previous app. In the earlier version, logging onto NetBanking used to just kick off and open a new browser window via a mobile optimised site and it still seems to do that but as a user you probably don’t realise it as it’s probably hidden off – so yes a better user experience there.

The updates also includes locating a nearest branch or ATM based on your location co-ordinates and native GPS device capabilities. For a first time user or for someone who has updated the App, there are location aware notifications, push notification & also if you’re wanting to take a tour of the app to understand how the app works which is quite user friendly and clicking on different bits takes you through some of the key functions.

Push notification on the CommBank App

Push notification on the CommBank App

The Comm bank App now also includes feeds and links to their social media channels such as Twitter, Facebook and links to their YouTube channel.

Social Media feeds

The Comm Bank updated App include feeds from their Social Media channels

The updated CommBank mobile banking app supports NetBank for the standard online banking, CommSec for the share trading side of things & there’s also a CommBank Property Guide and a new included foreign exchange tool kit.

Some of the Apps you would’ve noticed do log you out when you click on the “home” button of your phone but this one seems to be a ‘timed’ app so doesn’t log you out. Think it might’ve been good to actually have the auto log-out function due to security reasons if that’s possible too as then I’m not worried if I leave my phone on my desk or get started on something else and forget to log out – or the worse is if you’re logged on and you lose your phone and I know a few of us don’t have our phones auto-lock but a potential danger if you logged on. I do note that under security tips – there is a mention of a log out at the end of a period of inactivity.

There is a link to “visit commbank.com.au’ from the App and clicking through it takes you straight to their PC website. We think having a mobile optimised (cut down) version that displays properly on a mobile device would be good to present with an option of visiting the PC (full version) website. But guess, this is not a biggie.

And if you haven’t noticed yet – they even a version which we haven’t tried out for Windows 7 and must be quite assuring for Windows users so they’re not left out. The CommBank have even set up a page for more info for tablet users on their website.

In all, think they’ve done a great job in putting this together and an App that delivers an update experience.

Note that you can’t use your phone as an ATM just yet and withdraw cash from it ;) but maybe we wouldn’t need those ATM’s anyways once NFC comes in which is being talked about in a big way!

If you have seen or heard of any other banking or related apps – please share them. It would be great to hear from you if you have any other comments too.

Check our more on the CommBank website.


 

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