Archive for the ‘blackberry’ Category

Google Reader Adds Share to Mobile Version

The problem with taking three weeks holiday is that you might miss some announcements. Google have improved the mobile version of Google Reader by adding the ability to share articles a la the full site.

I had been planning on commenting on this in a post about how Google could improve their mobile products. Anyway, bravo Google it might be a small improvement but it is one with a high utility value for me.


If at first you don’t succeed…

As I near the end of my 3 week holiday, I’ve returned from the countryside back to Canada’s capital. During my visit, I’ve kept a mental list of things that I think are worth remarking on. While I was browsing one of the malls, I noticed a new phone by Samsung. It’s called the Double-Flip.

I spent a few moments inspecting the model (go look at the phone) and I think this phone could be a winner. What the link doesn’t convey is the actual size of the phone (Samsung Phones = Slim). My initial thoughts were that the design was quite innovative to bring a full sized keyboard to the user in a very slim package . As a Blackberry user, I find that the full sized keyboard significantly enhances the experience over a standard 12 button phone interface.

That’s where I thought this post would end, but after some quick research, it turns out this isn’t the first time that Samsung has tried this style of phone. They attempted to popularise it in 2005 with the D307.

Why do I think this phone will be a hit this time? The current issue of Business 2.0 has the answer. Samsung is rethinking it’s approach to marketing phones. This time the design has a name; it’s not the U740 – it’s the Double-Flip!

The obvious parallel is Motorola. A couple of years back everyone had a Nokia – everything else sucked. But Motorola turned it round with dominant lines like the RAZR and PEBL. It’s clear to me now that the way these devices were named had a positive impact on it’s success. (History on RAZR here)

Samsung clearly believes in it’s naming strategy, I’ll be watching on in interest to see if the new Samsung marketing machine can turn an older idea into a success.


I thought about holding out for an iPhone; but with no UK carrier announced and uncertainty over how well a non-tactile keyboard would work I’ve plumped for the Blackberry 8800. I’ve had the unit for two weeks and I have to say that I’m pleased that I’ve upgraded my mobile computing experience.Here are my initial observations:

  • Battery life seems good. Easily gets me through the day on my current usage.
  • I am using instant messaging more than I thought I would. The Google Talk for Blackberry application rocks. Unfortunately, it looks like I will have to pay for an application that uses MSN. I never thought I’d have to postpone an IM conversation because I have to change buses…
  • The Google Mail for Blackberry application is OK – although, I find myself using the native mail capabilities of the Blackberry.
  • Google Reader on the Blackberry… Well firstly they don’t have a dedicated application like Google Mail. For the first week, the mobile version didn’t seem to work at all. There are a number of usability issues. Firstly, you can’t share items. You can mark items to be kept unread which is quite neat if you want to review later – but it doesn’t move you onto the next item *sigh*. I hope the Google Reader team are looking at upgrading the user experience.
  • GPS is fun, Google Maps is much better than the pre-installed BBmaps.  Sun’s Jonathan Schwartz described it “as a thing of beauty”. I’m in Cardiff and London in the next month so I will need to give it a spin then.
  • I know a lot of people are happy about the Curve and the fact it has a camera. The feature that I’d like (or at least thought I’d like) is wifi… I think because I’m on an unlimited data plan I’m not that bothered by it.