Monday, April 30, 2007 

Carnival of Mobilists #71

The Carnival is online now at Silicon Valley Himalayan Expedition. Dorrian Porter has done an masterful job of reviewing this week’s best mobile blogging.

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Jott it down on your mobile

Logo130x55.pngEver find that using a mobile to send a very quick short email is a needlessly long and drawn out affair? Checking emails on the go is a joy with most up to date handsets, but unless you own a Blackberry sending them is not quite so hassle free owing to the lack of a querty keyboard. But that is all about to change because a new free service called Jott has set its sights on revolutionizing dictation and memos for busy professionals.

It works like this; you call Jott and after the beep leave a voice message of up to 30 seconds in length. The Jott service then transcribes your message and emails it to you or to whomever you need to send it to. Very handy for those who need to send quick messages on the move with their mobile.

The idea is disarmingly simple and although the 30 second limit may seem a bit tight, there is talk of a future premium addition that will add other features for a small fee. Jott’s creator former Microsoft executive has stated however, that there will always be a free ad funded basic service available. Jott is currently only available in the US and Canada, here’s hoping the beta makes its way over to Europe before long. Look out legal secretaries, your transcription days may be numbered.


Friday, April 27, 2007 

7 Million Download Games Each Month In US

The NPD Group has issued a report stating that more than 29 million US users play mobile games and more than 7 million download games to their handsets each month. Last year 29 percent of games were downloaded by consumers aged 25 to 34, 27 percent by those aged 18 to 24, and 15 percent by teens between the ages of 13 and 17. Although teens are the most likely to download games there aren’t as many of them as in the adult groups. In terms of playing games about half of mobile gamers in the 25-34 age bracket play games at least once a day, while the figure for teens was 41 percent. The results are based on an ongoing monthly service of about 75,000 US people. (release)

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Wednesday, April 25, 2007 

Mobile Browser


Get a mobile-friendly version of any web page with Mowser (short for "mobile browser"), a webapp that translates pages for your mobile phone. Mobile user Steve Rubel says the best part is Mowser's "command-line interface":

Preface your searches with special keywords like "am" for Amazon, "gs" for Google or "wi" for Wikipedia and Mowser will present a stripped down version of the page.

Mowser is still brand spankin' new but it looks like it's got lots of potential as your mobile browser's homepage.

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Mobile Search: The Next Big Thing (Not)?

Will mobile search live up to the market hype and push mobile ad revenues to $6.5 billion as anaylsts forecast?. There was a consensus that online search behavior (and its growth trajectory) will translate to the mobile space – someday. “But until users use search habitually, it’s not going to live up to the hype,” Andy Walker, CEO of local search provider m-Spatial said. That day will likely arrive when the industry successfully tackles poor usability and understands that the paradigm in mobile search is not about links – it’s about actionable and relevant answers.

But there also needs to be enough content worth searching for, said Michael Bayle, who heads search monetization at Yahoo. With this in mind Yahoo has recently launching a slew of mobile publishing services to involve content providers – even real estate agents – who have content users would appreciate on-the-fly, but can’t get on the mobile Web today. In the meantime, Yahoo plans to make what little content exists on the mobile Web more enticing by harnessing social media – and specifically its existing Yahoo Answers community - to deliver not just links but what users who know the content think about it. “We’re going to invite consumers to be part of the (search system) to rate content, tag content and expose content to consumers.”

Another reason mobile search fails to meet high expectations is a disconnect between what advertisers want (namely reach and revenues) and what mobile search can currently offer (namely, neither). The jury was out on how to solve this one – but there was a general consensus that building inventory (and this interest among advertisers) is paramount. As Omar Tawakol, chief advertising officer at Medio Systems aptly pointed out (quoting someone who coined it before him): “There’s just no ‘M’ in CPM.”

But there will be. Tawakol outlined how money will pour into mobile search – if mobile search companies become brokers linking operators and advertisers. Today, he said, mobile operators are paying search providers to provide search on a per user basis. “We think this has to go the way of ad subsidized [content]. The two models will exist in parallel for a while and [eventually] the ad model will dominate.” Advertisers will bid and buy ads and that money will go to the search vendor, whose function is to facilitate cross-carrier bidding. The revenues will go back to the operator – or to the content provider if it’s off-portal (but no hint of the rev share split here). The money pumped into mobile advertising encourages other content companies to join the party, which grows the inventory, and so on. Advertisers will foot the content bill because the “mobile is the last mile to the customer,” Tawakol said.

Mark Chan, who heads mobile search at Sprint Nextel, was equally optimistic about the outlook for mobile search and mobile advertising. No word on when it will happen, but Chan pointed to a positive development in mobile search usage (again, no numbers) and acceptance. His conviction: online search behavior will move to mobile and ad revenues will follow. He offered an overview of the Sprint’s most popular search terms to show users are beginning to see search as more central to what they do on mobile. Terms included (not in any particular order): weather, ESPN, games, MySpace eBay, maps and lyrics. In addition, users are searching when they are in shopping mode, looking for real-world shops and goods including:, Target, Wal-Mart and Best-Buy.

Does this pivotal role of mobile search put an end to last year’s branded vs. white label debate? For some – predictably white label providers – the debate has gained new importance. Sprint’s Chan, whose company partnered with MSN for mobile search, argued that brand is not a major concern. With mobile search usage at only 5 percent it’s hardly the time for operators to worry about which brand is on the service. “It’s about the quality of service and not so much about the brand.” However, he admitted the debate could take on more meaning “once search usage reaches 30 or 40 percent.”

Predictably, both MSN and Yahoo played down the importance of brand – with Yahoo’s Bayle even going so far to say that “brand is not important.” He later tempered this by saying the Yahoo brand will “take a step back” to “allow whoever controls the ecosystem to control the experience”. (Translation: if the operator has clout – or simply insists – Yahoo can be a lot like a white label provider.) This new rhetoric apparently tried the patience of JumpTap and Medio. With mobile search at the center of the mobile content experience Medio’s Tawakol questioned whether the operator can “afford to give this brand up to one of the online portal search brands”. He believes operators have too much too lose. Google is the obvious target of criticism (all the easier since Google didn’t attend the conference). But the other branded providers might also be Trojan horses, he contended. Yahoo and MSN are “grey label” providers because they are willing to put their brand second. “But their true colors will show over time”. One could say his comments are colored by the fact Medio is also a white label provider. But reading between the lines its clear the brand debate has taken on new importance now that the industry is so anxious to cash in on mobile advertising.

source: MoCoNews

Monday, April 23, 2007 

Carnival of Mobilists #70

Michael Mace has the bumper 70th edition of the Carnival of the Mobilists up at his Mobile Opportunity blog, so be sure and check it out to see the week’s best writing on mobile



Abiro Launched New Mobile Casino Services in the UK

Abiro While the web is crawling with online casino’s where you can waste your average wage away in a few minutes, mobile gambling games still has a lot of possibilities to expand. Abiro attempts to get hold of the market with high payouts.

Abiro is trying to position itself as a social mobile gambling service. To acquire this position, they payout 90% of the incoming revenues and give a winning chance of once every three times consumers place a bet. Also to avoid compulsive gambling, consumers can’t bet more then 15 pounds a day and admittance to the service is only at ages 18 and above.

source: Mobile Games e Gaming Blog

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Tuesday, April 17, 2007 

Carnival of Mobilists #69

This week’s Carnival is now online here at Mobile Marketing & Spam. The week’s best blogging about mobile phones — tech, biz, and more — awaits you there.

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Monday, April 16, 2007 

Dodgeball Founder Quits Google

MoCoNews has reported: The founder of SMS social networking company Dodgeball, Dennis Crowley, has quit Google complaining that the search giant didn’t put any resources into the network, notes GigaOM… Alex Rainert, “employee #2 for DodgeBall”, has also quit. This is surprising, since Dodgeball was big when Google bought it, and it was well-placed to ride the mobile growth wave. In a fairly novel announcement, on his Flickr site of Crowley he wrote “Google wasn’t supporting dodgeball the way we expected. The whole experience was incredibly frustrating for us - especially as we couldn’t convince them that dodgeball was worth engineering resources, leaving us to watch as other startups got to innovate in the mobile + social space”. Using Yahoo to announce his resignation from Google… Crowley is joining big game developer area/code
while Rainert has joined IconNicholson as a Creative Strategist focusing on mobile and emerging technologies.

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Friday, April 13, 2007 

Google, Symbian, AdMob set for Mobile 2.0-focused Forum Oxford conference

It’s called Forum Oxford: Future Technologies, and is being held on 13th April 2007, with speakers from Google, Vodafone, Three, Symbian, Ofcom and AdMob among others.

The idea is to “explore emerging technologies with an emphasis on Mobile / Web 2.0 innovations”, and Google’s Shannon Maher is the keynote speaker.

There’ll also be informal networking, a round-table session, and a Q&A at the event, and the whole shebang costs £95 including lunch and drinks. Oh, and free Wi-Fi – a blogger’s paradise!
Forum Oxford website

ps: This is our 100th post! Congratulations for me! :)

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Thursday, April 12, 2007 

Orange and Blyk announce MVNO deal

Orange and Blyk today announced an MVNO deal that will see Blyk customers using the Orange network to make calls, send messages and access the mobile internet. The two companies have entered into a wholesale agreement regarding the transportation of voice and data traffic across the Orange network.

Blyk is the first pan-European ad-funded mobile network. It will offer customers free mobile phone calls and texts in return for receiving advertising on their mobile handsets. For advertisers, Blyk is a superior medium for engaging young consumers in UK. Major brands, including Buena Vista, Coca-Cola, I-play Mobile Gaming, L’Oreal Paris, StepStone and mobile have confirmed that they will be among the first advertisers to use the Blyk network when it launches in the UK this summer.

Wednesday, April 11, 2007 

Yet Another Porting Tool

Similar to Enough Software, Mobile Distillery, Tira Wireless, Javaground, Neomades is now proving a framework for abstracting device and Java implementation differences, so that applications can be easily ported between phones.

I am not sure how useful are these kind of tool to the big and medium players in the marketing today. Players like Gameloft and Glu have develop its own porting tools and prefer to to this in-house to maintain the control and quality of the code and the product.

Most of medium and small companies have already developed its own tools in-house and probably will not spent money buying services and tools like that. New companies in this market... well, are there any company and VC crazy enough to enter in this market now? I would not...

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Monday, April 09, 2007 

Google Voice Search

Excellent. Just call 1-800-466-4411 (800-GOOG-411) and you can test out Google local voice search. They'll even connect you afterward for no fee. Voice search is the one of the key areas we'll see lots of investment in (remember that recent Microsoft purchase) in 07. Watch this space carefully. Much better to use this in the car than trying to fumble and read your cellphone screen.

How many time do we have to wait until this cool service be availiable in Brazil? Maybe forever...

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Compare Mobile Search

Great tool to compare mobile search. Go and check it.

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Thursday, April 05, 2007 

Is the network the (mobile) computer?

Great post from David "Cervezas" from Software Everywhere. Mobile apps needs to be usable and in this environment "more is less".


Wednesday, April 04, 2007 

Citi Mobile

Citibank has taken the wraps off Citi Mobile, a mobile banking app the financial institution claims is compatible with more than 100 mobile phones – including BlackBerry devices - across major U.S. mobile operators. The app will let users check their bank balance in real-time, pay bills, transfer funds and find a nearby ATM. Citi Mobile is scheduled to launch in California this week and a nationwide rollout is slated for mid-year. Later this year, a Spanish language version of Citi Mobile will also be released.

After users install the app on their phones they can select the Citi icon on their phone to access their accounts. Citibank employs 128-bit encryption and can also deactivate the banking service immediately when a mobile device is lost or stolen, preventing personal information stored on the phone from falling into the wrong hands.

Through the Citi Mobile interface, clients will have immediate and highly secure access to their everyday banking and can navigate through menus to:
  * View real-time balances
* See account activity
* Pay bills
* Set up future payments
* Transfer money
* Find a Financial Center or ATM
* Direct connect to customer service representatives

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Tuesday, April 03, 2007 

Carnival of Mobilists #67

Carnival of the Mobilists #67 is up over at WapReview



Microsoft announced recently that, like Yahoo and Google, it would be throwing itself into the mobile arena more fully with the release of its Deepfish service. The service aims to better replicate actual computing.

Although it is currently only available in private beta, it is expected to be available for WinMo users in the near future.


source: MobileCrunch

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Pedro "K2" Macêdo

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