I was asked by the nice people over at the Beeb what my thoughts were on Snow Leopard after getting a copy on release. In a nutshell, I alluded to the fact that it’s an evolutionary but not revolutionary step forward. If the wheel ain’t broke then there’s no point in majorly fixing it. They’ve further refined the already nicely oiled and fully functioning wheel I should say, with some good old fashioned elbow grease.
According to recent research by analyst house CCS Insight, the BBC’s iPlayer came out on top in a poll of what the most desired mobile service is with users saying that they want to get access to the TV and radio programmes on their phone.
There are a handful of handsets out there which currently have the ability to play programmes from the iPlayer through 3G and Wifi, for example, a whole host of Nokia’s like the N85, N96 and N97 phone, Samsung’s, Sony-Ericsson’s and the iPhone. The iPhone can however, only stream over Wifi. Considering the amount of storage available on the iPhone, I’d love to to be able to download a programme in an evening and watch it while travelling in to work in the morning. I’d like to think over time, it will be possible!
Consumers’ mobile internet usage is on the increase due to phones like the iPhone coming with ‘all you can eat’ data packages. I use my phone more for web browsing and emailing than I do for actual phone calls. That’s something the telco’s will have noticed as a growing trend and it represents an opportunity for mobile operators to revitalise their ARPU (average revenue per user) and create new data-oriented business models as voice revenues continue to decline.
In the poll as mentioned above, navigation/maps and unlimited music are the next most desired mobile services after iPlayer, according to the analyst’s report, with around 20% of the votes on each. Maps have been ever present on the more top end of phones for the last few years, I was using an N95 and it’s ‘Maps’ programme about 2 years ago now but it’s becoming more commonplace and a standard feature.
Multiplayer games and other mobile TV were desired by four per cent of the vote apiece, with video calling being requested by just three per cent. Video calling was once a key feature for some top end phones on Vodafone a few years back in 2005. It was expensive, you were prohibited by others needing a front facing camera and well, it never did catch on did it. Picture to the left is Vodafone’s Christmas 2005 handsets which were heavily pushing the 3G technology, increased download speeds and mobile TV.
Interestingly, the respondents of the survey showed that gender informs hardware choice, with Samsung mobiles being twice as popular with women than men – but the reverse being true for the iPhone and BlackBerry. 90% of the users questioned had visited Facebook on their mobile with only 14% having visited Twitter. This for me would be a clear indication of the age of the large majority of users polled, where it was said that 18-35 year olds were polled. I’d think they were mostly of the younger age bracket as it’s well known that Twitter is more widely used by 35+.
Here’s a presentation from a while back now that looks over some of the recent crop of social engagement sites. It looks at the increasing trend for websites to be socially based. This was particularly interesting coming from Dirk as Cow have made the transition from a site which was originally based on Flash to one based on WordPress.
I was a fan of their previous site because it stood out from the rest of the pack but I can entirely understand why they made the change as sites based on Flash invariably are much more of a static, portfolio type showpiece and can sometimes be a case of form over functionality. WordPress is easy to keep current and up to date, loading times are cut to a minimum and SEO’ing is much more useful. Flash is static and needs specialised expertise to keep it up to date, which invariably takes a bit of a back seat to the day to day work.
What’s your website good for? Feast the eyes and the mind.
Coca Cola vending machines as you know them will be changed forever should the following be rolled out globally in the coming years. This summer, over in the US, they are rolling out what they are calling the Coca-Cola Freestyle, which is actually pretty cool. It has a touch screen to make your drinks choice through and 100 flavours, some of which have never been commercially available before like Orange Coke, Peach Fanta and Strawberry Sprite. It’s currently only being tested in their corporate HQ’s at San Diego and Atlanta but beginning this month they will be trialling 20 in live restaurants including Subway.
It sounds cliched but when some head honcho of a division of Coke said “It’s like the iPod of drink machines. We’re essentially reinventing the dispensed beverage business.” He could be right.
According to reports, it’s taken 4 years to produce and over $100m in R&D, when you’ve spent that much money purely on developing an idea, you know they’re going to put everything behind it to make it work.
They wanted to make it fun and easy to use, without reminding people of a cash machine or a computer. To do this, they recruited Vince Voron, now senior director of industrial design, from Apple to work on the project. Behind it all, it transmits data over night about what was sold and at what time that day. Already, they’ve found out that after 3pm Caffeine-Free Diet Coke spikes. Interesting.
Here’s the corporate introduction, and to follow is the ‘in the wild’ public reaction. The latter is a bit more animated..