The new shape of mobile

For the last few years we’ve all been jumping on the mobile ban-wagon. The days of the clunky, brick shape mobile phone is gone and thin is in. Our IPhones, Androids and yeah BlackBerry’s are the new face of mobile and come in all shapes and sizes, but mobile technology wont stop there. Designers and engineers are always working on something new and what they have come up with at Google is indeed something new.
 Google Glass, the wearable mobile device of the future. Glass is said to be equivalent to viewing a 25-inch HD display from eight feet with a 5 megapixel camera which takes stills and 720p video, 16GB of flash memory, Wi-Fi and Bluetooth (check out the full specs here). Glass has been in the labs of Google for some time now and is only recently ready to ship to a few lucky people. Google has recently announce that Glass is running a slim down version of android and so (in my books) puts it firmly in the mobile phone market space. Glass as you would imagine is voice activated and augments the world by adding information to what you see. Glass runs one app strait out the box but being an Android device allows for developers to create apps for the platform. Well that’s the idea Google has for it. This is very interesting and the point of this article, developers around the world will be able to augment their environments.
What this means for the Caribbean is that information about our wonderful sights and scenes could one day be made available for Glass. No more brochures, looking at large paper-base maps with cartoonish drawings. Just a seamless and natural experience everywhere you go. Well that’s the thought anyway. Glass has presented us in the region with an opportunity to express and showcase our countries in better way. Experiences can be captured without pulling out the video-cam, landmarks, buildings, can be augmented with our history, and maybe even a language translator for our slang (sorry dialect).
In time we will see how this new technology plays out and how successful it really is, but this is something for you guys to think about. We should always lookout for new ways of showcasing our countries, cultures and lives.

What’s up with WhatsApp

WhatsApp, the  little app that could. When I came across WhatsApp for my android phone over a year ago there were only 3 people in my contact list that I could speak to. Back then BlackBerry was the supreme leader (and to some still is). But now 90% of my contact list is using the service, wow. Even my BlackBerry friends are using it, but in the era of Facebook, Twitter, Google+, etc, people are using just about any and every service that is available.
Watching Jan Koum, CEO of WhatsApp on All Things D conference – Dive into mobile, the tech community have learned some interesting stuff about the little company. Jan has pointed out some interesting statistics on users and messaging traffic, 8 billion inbound, 12 billion outbound messages and over 200 million monthly users. To make a comparison to bring this to light, they have more monthly users than Twitter, and more messages on mobile than Facebook. Jan didn’t want to go into more details but with claims like that no wonder there are rumors of Facebook and now Google trying to buy the company.
With this success being reported I feel vindicated for all the claims i’ve made about this app earlier on. I’ve always had the view that no application, service or technology should be locked into any one platform or provider. The famous BBM is one such service that is locked into a platform known as BlackBerry  provided by RIM (now know as simply BlackBerry). By pinning the messaging service to BlackBerry phones people are forced to buy such phones, to some marketing people, that’s grate, but to users on different mobile phones that just won’t cut it, introducing WhatsApp.
The question I have to put to you all. Do you want to be locked into one type of phone to use a service or have the freedom to move around? Companies like Digicel, Lime have capitalized on the BlackBerry craze and have milked users that simply want to chat with their friends. BlackBerry in the smart phone market does not cut it anymore and is left in the dust of competitors like IPhone, Android. The once lure of the popular app has faded and gets competition from other services making headway into the mobile ecosystem.
Needless to say I am very happy that WhatsApp and other communication apps are now providing users with alternative ways of communicating and sharing their lives. Take that BlackBerry.