Archive for the ‘Social’ Category

Ten things you might not know about me (


What started off as a bit of fun on a long New Year’s day weekend, has launched as

… a place to share (up to) ten things about yourself that your friends and co-workers might not know.

It’s in part inspired by the recent viral hit but also an old blogging meme whereby bloggers wrote a post dedicated to letting their readers know a bit more about themselves. Just for fun. And so in the age of Twitter and Facebook in which most people don’t blog anymore, was born so that the old ‘ten things’ meme could live on.

Here’s 10 things you might not know about me

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BlackBerry OS 6 gets previewed, continues consumer push

I’ve never quite understood why Nokia’s Symbian gets so much flack for having an outdated UI while BlackBerry is let off the hook. In my book, RIM’s OS is equally old fashioned and despite years of maturity still looks a bit, well, unfinished in parts, with text hard aligned on certain setting screens and a kludge of drop down menus at times. But that’s set to change with the upcoming Blackberry 6, which got a tasty preview on video today.

What’s shown seems very consumer-focused too as the company continues to break out from its core base of corporate users and build on the success of BlackBerry Messenger amongst teenagers and other non-suits, as well as Facebook integration and a slew of consumer apps.

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Quick review: HTC Legend

I didn’t have as long with HTC’s Legend as I normally require for a full review – so I’m going to keep it short. To sum up the Legend: it takes everything we liked about its predecessor, the HTC Hero, and turns it up a notch.

As regular readers may remember, the HTC was the phone that restored my faith in Google’s Android, largely because of HTC’s Sense UI, which adds much needed polish to the out-of-the-box Android experience and other improvements, such as social networking integration, a better virtual keyboard and web browser.

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Motorola just bet the house on Android and social networking

motorola-cliqOn stage live at GigaOm’s Mobilize 09 conference, Motorola just unveiled a large part of its comeback strategy (there seems to be a lot of “comebacks” in the handset market at the moment) based on a new smartphone powered by Android, the Google-led mobile OS, featuring a custom UI that puts social networking at its heart.

The phone, to be called the Motorola Cliq and offered exclusively on T-Mobile in the US, and the Motorola Dext in Europe, features 3G, WiFi, a 3.1 inch touch screen, slide-out landscape keyboard, and 5 megapixel camera, amongst its specs.

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Nokia dumps location-based service Friend View, falls in love with Facebook

During the opening keynote at Nokia World, which kicked off today, CEO Olli-Pekka Kallasvuo was at pains to point out that the handset maker didn’t view Internet “services” as an interesting side business but that it was still the future of the company.

And along with music, messaging and turn-by-turn navigation, location-aware social networking, which the company calls SoLo, and other types of location-based services are key to this future. After all, Nokia has invested heavily in GPS-related technologies and applications, the boldest example being the $8.1 billion purchase of Navteq in late 2007.

What was and still is unclear is how much of Nokia’s SoLo strategy involves building out its own social networking offerings or partnering with and supporting established social networks. With today’s announcement of a tie up with Facebook and with it the death of the company’s own ‘Friend View’, with regards to the simplest of ‘SoLo’ applications — share my current location with friends — the handset maker has seen sense and decided to do the latter.

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INQ working on a mass market 'Twitter phone'

Hutchison-owned INQ, makers of the Skype phone and INQ1 – dubbed the Facebook phone – is said to be targeting Twitter next, according to a Reuters report. That’s hardly surprising considering the rise in popularity of the ‘micro-blogging’ site and the large amount of media attention the service has garnered here in the UK, one of the primary markets for the INQ1 via mobile network “3”, which is also a subsidiary of Hutchison.

“This can really help open up and drive Twitter use on mobile when usage becomes part of your data package like on the PC”, Frank Meehan chief executive of INQ tells the news service. One again the proposition to carriers is that a low cost ‘Twitter phone’ would help to drive data usage and retention amongst mass consumers not just those who can afford a traditional ‘smart phone’.

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XBox 360 to support Twitter and Facebook. Who's the biggest social network on TV now?

Facebook on XBox 360

Facebook on XBox 360

For a long time now, Microsoft has made the rather lofty claim that the company’s XBox 360 was the biggest social network on TV. For the most part that was in reference to XBox Live – the games console’s online service – and its integration with Windows Live Messenger, Microsoft’s cross platform Instant Messaging service (Windows, Mac and mobile). Yesterday, however, Microsoft announced at E3 that the XBox 360 will soon be adding support for two competing social networks – Twitter and Facebook – making the XBox 360 undoubtedly the most socially networked set-top box, but not necessarily a Microsoft-owned social network the biggest one on the television. I’m not sure how Windows Live Messenger user numbers and Facebook’s compare in terms of cross-over with XBox Live membership but it’s nonetheless significant that Microsoft has chosen to embrace two competitors.

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A glimpse into the Nokia N97's Facebook app (screen shots)


Six months prior to its scheduled release, influential tech blogger Robert Scoble dubbed Nokia’s upcoming N97 the “ultimate Facebook phone“. And as impressive as the device promises to be, that seemed just a tad premature, especially as the handset maker was reportedly still working out how deeply it should integrate a rival’s web service into its flagship phone. The competition wasn’t going to stand still either.

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Palm Pre aiming to be THE Facebook phone – social networking still mobile's killer app


(Credit: Jamie Gonzalez via twitpic)

I’ve written many times before that social networking, and Facebook in particular, is the killer application for mobile phones. It’s what’s driving take up of mobile data and the adoption of higher end so-called smartphones. The mobile networks have taken notice and jumped on the social networking bandwagon, heavily promoting access to Facebook as a key feature, and handset makers are doing the same.

RIM has been targeting consumers with an ad campaign that features the Blackberry’s Facebook application.

Ditto Apple with the iPhone.

And there’s INQ, a new entrant whose first device, the INQ1, has been dubbed ‘the Facebook phone‘ based on its deep integration with the social networking site.

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BlackBerry address book integrates Facebook, apes Palm Pre's "Synergy" and INQ1

blackberry-facebookA new version of the Facebook for BlackBerry application has been released that offers better integration with the social networking site. Two standout features: a user’s friends list is kept in sync with the handset’s built-in address book – Facebook avatars show up as called ID, for example – and notifications from the social networking site are “pushed” to the phone’s home screen. Other features offered, not all of which are new, include:

  • Send/receive message or wall posts, pokes and friend requests.
  • Update your status, view and comment on your friends’ status.
  • Share photos from your BlackBerry smartphone with tags/comments and post to Facebook with just one click.

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