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Cat is Reading Constant Touch

Constant Touch
by John Agar

If you know someone who is new to the mobile industry buy them this book. They will love you for it.
Constant Touch is the story of the mobile phone; how the major players came to be. It’s coloured with how both the Thatcher years and unification of GSM contributed to the success of the mobile.
It was published in 2003 however the historical anecdotes, like Ernie Wise making the first call on Vodafone don’t date. I read it when it first came out, dipped into it again for this review and was hooked. I re-read the whole book.

 

 
 
 

Everybody hates qwerty

4/5/08

Watching  The Apprentice is disheartening for anyone with a  techie bone in her body. Contestants incompetence extends to a pride in their inability to use computers. In the third programme they had to print pictures of people on mugs and mouse mats.  Not a single one of them, on either team managed the simple process of printing from a PC. What’s really depressing is they didn’t think this a great problem. But it’s not just publicity hungry reality show contestants with delusions of adequacy that suffer so.

You would have thought if you had a life-changing communications device you’d be good at communicating. Why is it that so few Blackberry users share the secrets of their devices?

Blackberry has a very clever system of testing it’s user interface. A focus-group-of-one: President Mike Lazaridis. But Blackberry users as addicted as they are to their devices don’t use them to tell each other about the great user interface.  People devoted to their guitars or  coffee machines are full of how to get the most out of them, yet the Blackberry-owning hordes are not like that. A quick browse of the help files shows neat tricks like pressing space twice to get a full-stop and space. Eighty percent of Blackberry don’t know it.

Tell someone to try pressing the space bar when they are typing an email address and they treat you as some kind of guru. They’ll delight in telling this to people in the lift but will they ever email anyone and tell them? No. It’s a damn communications device. They haven’t spotted is that it can be used for communicating.

If the average Blackberry user was 18 and not 38 it would be different.  In the 1980s it was social disgrace to have a keyboard on your desk. Typewriters were for secretaries. Now you want qwerty in your pocket but the mindset of sneering at technology still exists.

This will change as the Text generation grows up. One of the great things that has happened is the slow demise of txtspk. If you shorten messages by missing out the vowels you don’t know how to use  predictive text and that’s uncool.

They are as adept with 12 keys as the current generation are with 102, but that’s not what matters, it the use of social networking to pass on tips that will really define the future.

The Apprentice might run for a couple of generations, AMS, Nick and Margaret will be replaced, but let us hope that their candidates of the future don’t lust after anything as antiquated as qwerty.


Links

Texting habits are different depending on how old you are and some research predicts that IM will oust SMS.

Mobile search is going to be big. Duh! But a brave and expensive research company is daft enough to put some unbers to ‘big’.

Popcap games aims to raise $100k for breast cancer. The bosses asked their mums who thought it a good idea.

AT&T , Microsoft, HTC  and I-play announce  the AT&T Game Development Contest. Just like the Sony Ericsson one, the Motorola one and the Google Android one.  Not what you’d call innovation but hey, it’s $25k

If rumours where money then Steve Jobs would be rich. Hmm, perhaps, never mind, still the 3G iPhone at $200 is a good rumor.

T-mobile launches  3G the wrong way round. It’s voice only.


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