The Courier: Microsoft wants to send you something nice.

April 14, 2010

We haven’t blogged about this here yet, and given all the tablet-like devices we’ve covered over the last couple of weeks (iPad mania? Maybe.) why not add Microsoft’s possible entry into the fray.

The Courier appears to sit somewhere between a smartphone, PDA, the current imaginings of a tablet and… a book. It may sound odd, but if you can see the picture below, you’ll notice just how enticing this might be to certain creative folk, myself included.

Microsoft Courier

Courtesy of Engadget

Notice the menu on the left hand page, sketching. Sure, reading, playing, all of that is great – but for someone who loves to draw, and loves to draw on the go, this is some kind of dream come true. It hasn’t come true yet, but it looks to be on the way. This concept is intended for both touch and stylus, recognising (much like this) that touch is great for some things… but for others, it’s honestly best to have another tool in hand.

Not all fancy new devices have to come in iPad/Slate/Tablet form, and the idea of a digital note/sketchbook complete with camera and mobile web capabilities is a fantastic step into an innovative, digital future. Better yet, it should fit in your pocket.

@tali3sin


iPhone OS 4.0: The 7 “Tentpole Features”

April 9, 2010

A few hours ago, Mr Jobs delivered a presentation introducing the next version of the iPhone operating system. Expected to be released  around the middle of the year for all existing iPhone models, its reported to bring 1500 new APIs to developers as well as more than 100 new user features, seven of which he discussed in detail.

These are the “tentpole” features highlighted briefly.

1) Multitasking

At last! Run multiple applications and swap between them on the fly. Previously only possible on jailbroken phones. This feature will only be available to the 3GS, iPod Touch 3rd Generation and later models.

2) An improved email application

The mail application is getting a major overhaul with a unified inbox, multiple exchange accounts, threaded conversations and the ability to open file attachments in applications.

3) iAds

Apple will be providing application developers access to in-app advertising to help generate revenue on cheap and even free applications. Ads are built using HTML5 and come up at the bottom of the screen like in-video YouTube ads. They can be closed by the user.

4) Game Center

Basically, it’s Xbox LIVE for iPhone games. Their are already a number of systems such as Plus+ and OpenFeint, but a single Apple-run system would likely attract a lot more users.

5) Folders

Another “about time”! With the capacity on idevices increasing yearly, users are installing more and more applications at a time. Now we will have a way to organise them into folders. Folders appear as icons with smaller icons inside.

6) iBooks

Basically, the iPhone/iPod version of the iPad ebook platform. Books can be purchased and read on the device as well as track bookmarks.

7) Enterprise features

Apple is working to make the iPhone more attractive to big companies with a number of new enterprise features such as email encryption, remote administration and application installs, Exchange 2010 compatibility and more.

Tested.com has a detailed breakdown here. Great site, too!

These all look great, but I can’t wait to see the other 93+. I’m sure some of them will give hints about the next iPhone hardware’s features. Going on previous years, we can probably expect a new phone in June and a new iPod in September.

@bradyohalloran

(via Tested.com)


Apple revealing iPhone OS 4 on April 8

April 6, 2010

Well, I don’t know about you, but I’m getting a little bit sick of seeing iPad news everywhere. *Looks down at previous post*. Personally, I’m more interested in seeing what Apple has in store for the iPhone. It’s pretty obvious they’re going to be releasing another one this year and many of us that got a 3G are going to be ending our contracts soon.

Good news is, we don’t have to wait long! Apple will be revealing where OS 4 is going at an event on April 8. Strange to do such a major event so close to the iPad launch, but I’m not complaining.

There have been a lot of rumors floating around about what the next phone might have – higher resolution screens, multi-core processors, front-facing cameras for video calls. Seeing what OS4 brings will give us the best hints yet of what we might get later this year.

With all the competition catching up – and perhaps surpassing – the iPhone, they’re going to have to bring something pretty good to stay on top.

@bradyohalloran

(via Engadget)


Windows mobile 7, sorry Windows Phone 7 series is here

February 16, 2010

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I have been waiting for a while now and I couldn’t wait this morning to get online and read all about it.

For the past hour I have been watching hands-on videos and I have mixed feelings about it.

First of all I have to say I am impressed with the initial look and feel. Compared to the older Winmos it looks heaps better, more cleaned up and more intuitive. Your homescreen is completely customizable, it has Xbox Live integration, you can finally natively get to your facebook and twitter and and and

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The picture gallery seems pretty slick as well with full multi-touch support. The browser seems to handle page layouts the way it should be and has multi-touch support.

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Oh and of course the music integration that is taken straight from the Zune HD. One big advantage here will be that Australia might get it finally and so will the rest of the world.

One thing I didn’t like is the big bold text everywhere that sometimes doesn’t even fit on the screen and gets cut off – the picture below should say “Anonymous Caller”

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Check out the hands-on from engadget here if you haven’t enough yet.

I personally can’t wait to get my hands on one of them.

@maniac13


Pepsi powered mobile phone

January 22, 2010

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My iphone ran out of battery last night … pesky thing. I’m too impatient to wait and see if Steve has a solution to this problem so I started searching. Anyway, I stumbled across this piece of innovation: a phone that runs on pepsi … well any fizzy pop.

This little beauty is made possible thanks to a bio battery:

Bio battery has the potential to operate three to four times longer on a single charge than conventional lithium batteries and it could be fully biodegradable. Meanwhile, it brings a whole new perception to batteries and afternoon tea.

Genius. More here

@handypearce


A new way to type on a touchscreen phone

November 25, 2009

The inventor of the T9 predictive typing system has created a new way of typing on a touchscreen called Swype.

You type with Swype by literally swiping your finger from one letter to the next as fast as you can.

check out the comparison with iPhone

Phones with Swype built in will be launched next year. the first phone to use the technology will be the Samsung Omnia II (a Windows Mobile phone). But Swype will be included in a new Android phone in the first quarter of 2010.

found here


Orange friend-o-meter

November 13, 2009

An interactive quiz to promote the launch of the Motorola Dext (‘The Super Social Networking Machine’). This quiz connects to twitter, facebook and myspace and tests how well you know your friends by pulling data from their profiles and feeds.

Pretty cool ‘eh.

@handypearce

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E-Commerce meet my skinny, no-foam iPhone

September 24, 2009

Starbucks iPhone app

Starbucks is testing their new iPhone app that lets you pay using just the Starbucks Card Mobile app on your iPhone/iPod touch. Just enter your card number and your device will display a barcode you can use the same way as your Starbucks Card to make a purchase.

The app is currently being tested in Starbucks stores located in Seattle, WA, Cupertino, CA and Mountain View, CA, conveniently, the homes of digital powerhouses Microsoft, Apple and Google, respectively.

This app is an example of a revolutionary convergence between your wallet and smart phone. As well as a brand intersecting technology to shape consumer loyalty programs. Now the stage is set for Starbucks to employ an innovative digital couponing program. Stay Tuned.


Are Your iPhone Apps Phoning Home?

September 23, 2009

I-Phone-Home is a new website dedicated to reporting on iPhone apps that “phone home”, or contact the developer over the Internet, without your consent or knowledge. In one case, it was determined a fairly popular app was phoning home to the developer with your phone number…

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Disclaimer: Amnesia Razorfish in no way endorses the jailbreaking of iPhones.


Live Australian Traffic Information Added to Google Maps

September 15, 2009

…or why I won’t be taking William St. tonight.

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Lucky commuters in Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane can now take a quick look at the traffic in Google Maps before deciding if they should wait for it to clear in the pub over the road or not.

Thanks to Intelematics, traffic data is now shown as an optional overlay in all versions of Google Maps. Green, for good. Yellow for average. Red for nasty.

iPhone users rejoice. That greyed out traffic button under the page curl in the Google Maps app is now alive and ready to serve. Apparantly it works on other mobile versions too.

Other cities (read US cities) have had this for a while so it’s nice to be caught up.

To the pub, now, I reckon.


Amazing App Store hyperwall

June 15, 2009

Soo cool – a live feed wall of over 3000 popular iPhone apps pulsating each time an app is downloaded.

Check it out!

& make sure you watch the videos.

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Eliss – Multitouch Game for iphone

May 28, 2009

Eliss is a multitouch game for iPhone and iPod touch (available at iTunes store).

Keep up harmony in an odd universe made of blendable planets. Touch-control multiple planets at once, join them together into giant orbs or split them up into countless dwarf planets, and match their size with the squeesars.

Via Computerlove

I haven’t played it yet, but if the video is anything to go by it’s a must.
Nominated for an IGF Award ‘Innovation in Mobile Game Design’


WPtouch: WordPress on iPhone, iPod & Android

May 21, 2009

More than just a plugin, WPtouch is an entire theme package for your WordPress website. Modeled after Apple’s app store design specs, WPtouch makes your WordPress website load lightning fast on touch mobile devices, show your content beautifully, all while not interfering with your regular theme.

Find out more…

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How to make a cereal pack engaging

May 6, 2009

The clever folks at Metaio have applied their augmented reality skills to the humble cereal packet.  I like how there’s no need for a special graphic – the mobile software just recognises the packaging.  Data charges aside, the content can be updated daily, creating a reason for people to interact frequently.


T-Mobile, The Beatles & 13,500 Unsuspecting Fans

May 4, 2009

In the latest in the great flashmobs being put together by T-Mobile, people were asked to show up to Trafalgar Square at 6pm on April 30th. Some were expecting dance lessons, but instead they got microphones before joining a massive sing-a-long to the Beatles’ “Hey Jude.” Pink makes a subtle appearance (a brand’s gotta get what it paid for, after all), but all in all it’s more feel-good than down-your-throat advertising. Love it.


Details emerge for iPhone OS 3.0

March 18, 2009

image Yesterday, Apple released details about the upcoming iPhone OS 3.0 which adds a bunch of new things iPhone owners have been asking for… but leaves a few out.

The next version of the OS, which will arrive mid-year will offer developers “over 1000 new APIs” to work with.

Highlights of the feature-set include:

  • Cut, Copy and Paste! – and about time too.
  • MMS! – Quite frankly the lack of MMS was embarrassing to me and a source of amusement for those around me.
  • In-App purchasing – A cool idea, but a way for iPhone app developers to potentially nickel-and-dime us to death.
  • Peer-to-Peer connectivity – LAN games? Sweet.
  • Push notifications – Developers will be able to build message, sound and badge alerts into their apps.
  • Landscape keyboard available everywhere – Write texts and emails with a larger keyboard.
  • Voice memos – No need to buy a separate app for this now.
  • System-wide search – Easily find things in your messages, notes, mail and media files.

Sadly, the capability for applications to run in the background and (official) video recording using the camera is still out.

TUAW.com have a feature round-up here.

Apple have also released a video of the full presentation here.


Radio Controller F1 car using a mobile phone

March 12, 2009

Great little video from Vodafone using the Blackberry storm to control a toy race car, then a real McLaren Formula One car. Features Lewis Hamilton.

The race around the office is gold! I want a test track like that here at Amnesia Razorfish!


Microsoft Tag reinvents the QR Code/Data Matrix

January 12, 2009

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Microsoft has released its answer to QR Codes and Data Matrixes with the appropriately named Microsoft Tag.

Using colours and shape-orientation, the tags are designed to display more information in a smaller place, as well as work when out of focus, which works a lot better with mobile devices where the focal distance is fixed.

Readers for many mobile phones (including the iPhone!) have been released and can be downloaded by browsing to http://gettag.mobi on your mobile device.

You can read more, and make your own tags at http://www.microsoft.com/tag/

I was very impressed with how well it worked on my iPhone. I’ve tried lots of QR/Data Matrix readers out but the poor quality of the camera in the iPhone has always let me down. The Tag worked without a hitch.

They’re still in beta, so no word on if there will eventually be a cost to use these.


Don’t text and drive

December 24, 2008

So I talked about how they can stop you from talking on the phone while driving here.

Soon they will be able to stop you from texting as well.

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A $10 application called Textecution for Google’s Android mobile platform that will sit in the background and use the phone’s GPS system to detect whenever the phone is moving faster than 10 MPH, at which time the app will deactivate the phone’s SMS capabilities.

Once the phone comes to a standstill (say, at a stop light) the driver will be allowed to text again within a few seconds.

The application has been designed primarily for adults looking to keep their teens in check.

When parents install Textecution on their child’s Android phone, they are asked for an ‘admin phone number’, which will be contacted if the child ever needs to temporarily deactivate the app (like if they’re on a train or in the passenger seat). To grant the exception, the parent simply sends an SMS message saying “Allow”.

May our streets be safer from now on.


Augmented reality on the iPhone

December 23, 2008

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Augmented reality used to mean complicated computers that required users to wear goofy looking helmets. Thanks to the latest mobile devices with high speed cameras and powerful processors, augmented reality is within the grasp of your hand.

Artoolworks is a company which has developed software for apple’s iPhone device which superimposes 3D objects onto real-time video. Moving the iPhone sends signals to the software and in turn moves the virtual imagery. While the current software is very basic, eventually the company hopes to be able to integrate this functionality with far more sophisticated things.

http://www.artoolworks.com

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