Wednesday, December 22, 2010

A new dawn for Mobile Development with Telefónica?

So, I have been involved with the O2 Litmus project now for quite a while, which...well, lets say it has been a little slow from a user/testing point but more importantly, it was a big learning process for the mobile provider itself (O2) and to the developers.

The time has come though to release Telefónica's new baby into the wild (kind of, as its in closed Beta at the moment). Quick intro vid:

[vimeo vimeo.com/17369019]

So, its great to see something innovative like this to come from O2 i.e. Telefónica in this form and a great opportunity for mobile developers to take advantage of the free tie in to the O2 APIs for creating mobile websites or apps. At the moment, this is only available to developers in the UK, Argentina, Mexico and Spain but more countries and more APIs will be added soon.

You can apply to the closed BlueVia beta here.
Monetise your apps by plugging in our powerful, risk free API’s offering you revenue share business models.

Altogether, BlueVia represents now the possibility to access more than 80 million customers. And it will be more in the near future.

What exactly will that mean to you though in cold hard cash? This is a snapshot of the monetizing and API situation.



So, what you waiting for?

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Thursday, December 2, 2010

Day 3 and no chance!

Well, theres two hopes of getting my car out the garage. Bob and No.

car snowed in

A 3 foot mountain of snow against a car that although AWD only has about 22cm ground clearance.


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Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Sheffield gets the snow. Big time!

So, its been snowing. Not normal snow, like an hour here and there, small issues and off you go. It's actually been snowing pretty much 80% of the time for 2 days. Its like being on holiday (of the winter variety). The side road of the main road near looked like this after day 1.



The roads are shut and people are actually walking to the local shops instead of taking the car! WOW! There is suddenly a great togetherness too, that makes me love living here even more. I walked about 10 mins up to the shop, kids & sledge in tow, and past about 15 people on the way. Every single person I passed said hello, commented on the snow, laughed about the kids being dragged in the pure luxury of the sledge or had some other friendly banter.

The local market though was devoid of any fresh baked goods (which wasn't a surprise) and had no milk or other essentials. A walk down to Tescos was more effective as they had just had a delivery, but people were already starting to bustle to get their 20npints of milk. PANIC BUY!!

There is plenty of news coverage about the winter weather but here's a few pics of my productive use of time, my first ever.... igloo/snow house. Comact and bijou and complete with 3 rooms. 2 to the side under all that snow complete with beers and a seat at the back. Result.


igloo

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Tuesday, November 16, 2010

The Twitter love affair

I really do like Twitter. Really. I just fell into it. Not sure what really happened but like with all good things in your life, I can't imagine not having it now. I find it more useful, amusing, helpful etc. etc. every day and have 'met' some great people through the service. Actually, despite putting inverted commas around met, I have met some users face-to-face and they are all good enough people for me to still be happily chatting with them. ;)

As of now, my tweet stats prove just how much I do like the service and this is my wordle cloud!






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Ovi Music Unlimited Rant (part #whatever)

OK, I've how just about hit breaking point with this service. Ovi Music


Following on from the previous posts, the backup that I did of the tracks completely failed.

Not only that, but when restoring the data it takes AGGGGGEEES!!! If you want me to define 'AGGGGGEEES' I mean 6 hours to reach 8% of the track restore (17GB in total)

Not only that, but the restore is pointless as you still need to go and re-acquire the license. So that made me think, forget it. I'll just download them all again. Which I have started doing.

But guess what. DRM comes back to bite me in the ass again, as re-downloading an album from the history page seems to only do that, and NOT THE ACTUAL LICENSE FILE to play the DAMN TRACKS! It is totally ridiculous. When this subscription year is over, (although with all these issues (some undocumented here) are taken into account, its more like 10-11months) I wont be going anywhere near Ovi Music Unlimited side of things.

Of course the store itself is good if you want to pass your hard earned pound/euro/rupee over as you'll now receive an MP3 without DRM stuffed in it. Imagine, you could use the track as a ringtone! wow


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Friday, November 12, 2010

Ovi Music license update

Well, after waiting for it all to upload back to the handset it failed. All the tracks are back, but no licenses which means a whole load of clicks now to get all my tracks back. I really hate DRM music. Essentially, you can TOTALLY IGNORE MY PREVIOUS POST!!

fail


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Restoring Nokia Comes With Music / Ovi Music license files

So...

recently I've started to have a load of problems with my Nokia X6, mostly around the battery just getting totally wiped by something pushing/pulling data constantly. I've had a whole host of apps on it and so I guess there could be some remnant of an app thats still fighting. I'm possibly thinking whatsapp.com, Mail for Exchange, or Nokia Messaging... Anyway, it got to the point where I just thought... fuck it, I'm wiping this device. Then I came across a problem.

As it's an Ovi Music device and I've had it for about 6 months now, it's loaded with music to the tune (do you see what I did there) of 17GB. What to do then, about keeping this music, including all its DRM strapped-ness and not having to go though the laborious process of 're-licensing' each and every track.

One of my mates Jon recommended trying PC Suite to run a back up of the info. So, that's what I did.

I've only backed up the music files and it took a good 30mins or so to create the backup itself. Then I formatted the handset (Hard reset with *#7370#).

Seeing as the X6 has UDP (User Data Preservation), when I went back into the Music directory, all the tracks were still there... but as expected... none would play without going to the store to get the license (that's a whole other blog post about Music Store, right there tho)

Next step, restore the backup. First off, I connected the handset in PC Suite mode and started the backup. About 30 seconds later, job done.

Wait sign


Not done at all. It had zoomed though the progress bar and gone to 100% but the report just read 'no data transferred'.

Strange, tried it again and the same result. NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOoooooo! All that music.... gone.



Then I thought, let's try a different connection mode. In Mass Transfer mode, it's a different story and if you end up in this boat of needing to restore music licenses on your Nokia, that's the one you need.

First time of running it, it took a bit longer but then came back with an error about there not being enough space and the phone memory being used also. When I checked the handset, it seemed things still weren't quite right and the music still wasn't on. I decided to connect to the phones mass memory via computer and erase the music downloads directory contents. Now, I really do have a device with no Ovi Store DRM'd music on or any reference to it.

Second time of running then in this mode and things have started to look a whole lot better.

Currently, the transfer of data is going back to the phone. Sending data back to the phone though is a much longer process than taking it off, and after about one hour its only at 20%. So, in actual fact, I don't know if this is really going to work. I'll let you know ;)


Nokia X6
(image courtesy of www.shesthegeek.co.za)


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Friday, October 22, 2010

Getting an Orange Signal on your T-Mobile Device

This is DEAD simple actually and it allows you to start to use the Orange Network when you have no T-Mobile signal. (which is better than it trying to go on Orange just because the signal is better).

If you want to opt in to this, you have 2 ways to go about it.

1st, go to the T-Mobile web page right here and follow the instructions.

Your 2nd option is to skip all that and just send a message to 2121 with the body of the message simply saying 'yes'. You will then get a text back confirming your phone has access to the Orange network.

A word of precaution though, this dual network access is really aimed at allowing you to send SMS and make calls. When you sign up to access the Orange service, you are in actual fact only accessing the 2G network from Orange. This will kick up a few data issues, so look at the 'quirks' list below that T-Mobile present before you sign up, to get a bit of a better understanding.




You can always opt out too. Simpy send a text to 2121 saying 'OUT'



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Thursday, October 21, 2010

Nokia N8 – Double Trouble

So, whats better than the new Nokia N8?

2 Nokia N8's!


Nokia N8

Or you may have thought so... But in this case, its not... as sadly the 1st of these brand new Nokia N8's was faulty out the box, randomly rebooting itself via the white screen every minute of so. You could put this down to a number of things, I'll leave you to it. I ran a hard reset on it (Volume Down PLUS Camera PLUS Menu Button whilst you turn it on whilst holding those keys) which totally removed both Ovi Maps and Ovi Store. (so only do it as a last resort as I and other users have had serious issues trying to get those apps back on the handset). What to do, what to do I thought... but,

FEAR NOT THOUGH...

The cool people over at WOMWORLD/Nokia (who kindly lent me the Nokia N8 in the first place so... we could talk about it) rapidly sent out a new one that is working perfectly almost perfectly.

You'll find plenty of blog posts around about the N8. Some praising, some slamming, but either way I look at it, the working N8 is a good handset.

I'm not looking to compare it and say,
Hey, This N8 is better than an HTC or a BlackBerry or an iPhone

... I'm just looking at it from a what gets on my wick about it and what I love about it. I know at the end of the day, this phone should be perfectly capable of making calls, taking pictures, sending mail, browsing the net etc., so I'm not worried. I'm more interested in how it performs with it being the first incarnation of the new Symbian^3 OS.

So, a few posts during the time I have the handset I'll drop some comments on it. If you want to know anything, ask away.

After the disappointment of the 1st device flopping, I could be falling into a "much happier" zone with this N8, but I do like the phone and its big touchscreen (3.5"; Resolution: 16:9 nHD (640 x 360 pixels) AMOLED), smooth paint job and quality build feel. First impressions have me absolutely LOVING the camera but getting annoyed at the touchscreen keyboard.

Anyway, Im leaving this post here for now, and I'll pic up some more specific looks at the N8 in the following posts.

Anything you want to know?

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Syncing your Nokia contacts to your car via Bluetooth

So, over on the various forums I've frequented, and with the interest in mobiles and cars, I've been asked this question many times. It nearly always revolves around someone having a Nokia Phone and a problem with them syncing that phone's contacts to the car for communication via the dash or the head unit. There's not a problem with calls, its just this issue with being able to see your phone book.

So if you are one of those wondering, "How the hell do I get my contacts to my car from this Nokia N8?" ... or Nokia N97 or whatever Nokia you may have picked up, this will help.

To quote myself from the 1st time I wrote this out (I thought this was worth salvaging from the old blog posts)


You need to download a file from Nokia that is called "810 contacts Download Application" and just for you, this is the link. Find your phone or equivalent and get that version. If you have the Nokia N8 the 5th edition version works just fine, even though you're on Symbian^5.

I'd wait until your going to go off for a drive.

Then,

Delete any pairing.
Turn off BT
Restart phone.

Go to Menu > Applications (or equivalent) and select the new download icon (pixelated car/pc pic) and launch that.

You should get a prompt saying bluetooth is off, turn on... so accept that and let it turn it on.
Turn car to ignition to evoke the BT scan and pickup.
Download program should after a few seconds prompt for passcode
Once thats done, your phone is paired with the car. You may want to go into your phones BlueTooth settings and set it to an authorised pair (recommended).

Then....

Go drive.

I sat in my car trying it for ages ... without driving.... and it didnt work.. probably because I didnt wait long enough or it didnt happen quick enough. I then drove to work with it started and in the 10 mins it took to get there, it had done it. Now the menu button on the Audi displays the phone book.

Once the phone has paired, the download program should go to transferring..

after that, you can enable autostart on the app if you like.


When you've got connection, pressing the command key on the Audi looks like this on connecting, number check and name check.

Audi S3 Dis negative image


I forget now if you need to keep auto start enabled. Leaving it on does leave the phone often popping up with connecting or some such when its not actually doing anything, so its 1 you'll need to choose for yourself that one.

This worked on Audis, BMWs, Jags, Fords, Skodas, VWs... so you should be good whatever car you are driving.

Over on vagoc.co.uk I have a growing thread with a variety of handsets that work with the VW Audi group cars so check that out too for info (and of course, feel free to sign up on the forum for some great info, banter and group deals)


i love Quidco BlueWhite

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

A little about me...

Years ago, there was a blog here that I started on mostly football (with a dash of ranting and some interesting product chat). Times were good back then and so was the football. Now, it's mostly 3rd tier action and right now this is the state of play for my beloved Sheffield Wednesday.

League 1 table

And with that out the way, and not 1 mention of the takeover (ahh bollocks I just did) I'm looking to add some more here.

I have a good presence online and have met some really great bloggers and social media contacts that's got me wanting to add more to who I am, or really, what I'm thinking about. I've a great interest in Mobiles/Smartphones working with O2/Telefonica developer communities and the AllAboutSymbian.com site, and have been somewhat a known Nokia fan for a good while now. There'll be more on that throughout this blog, in the 'Mobile' category.

I also run a forum with some other friends for Volkswagon/Audi group owners and fans over at VAGoc
vagoc bannerwhich, if I don't say so myself, is a quality forum full of the kind of car banter you'd expect, tuning knowledge you want to read, and offers you don't get elsewhere. If you have that sort of inclination... playing with your VAG car, then head on over and say hi.

 

Finally, as you see from the screenshot, I love a bit of music so say hi to Leoyde on last.fm. That'll be me.

Most of all though, I want to hear about your opinions on whats what... so leave a shout and a blog link and I'll follow back :)

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Thursday, October 7, 2010

Rubbing it down

Welcome welcome, Im turfing everything out and replacing it with ....

well...

new stuff.



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