Mobile diary: mobile in Arlington

I’m still very happy with my Nexus 7 tablet, which I bought several months ago. When I’m not using it to play Candy Crush, I can use it for most of my browsing and media consumption needs. It’s also a great companion on my music gigs.

This morning, I had an opportunity to try out the Nexus in more of an enterprise mode, when I had to dial in to our daily developer call from the auto dealership, where I was waiting for my car. I connected to the Android GoToMeeting app from the tablet and was able to participate in the call from the comfort of the waiting area. Very smooth!




Mobile Diary: the keyboards are back!

The new Blackberry CEO, John Chen, plans to focus on devices with physical keyboards in the future. This from an article in Bloomberg BusinessWeek, reporting on an interview with Chen at CES.

Chen said “I personally love the keyboards,” and will be more aggressive in promoting that now-unique feature of Blackberry smartphones, starting with a patent infringement suit against the Blackberry-like Typo Keyboard, which was announced at CES.

Happy to see that Mr. Chen is taking my advice

Mobile diary: Good luck Jolla!

The new smartphone from Jolla launches today in Finland. Jolla was founded by a bunch of ex-Nokians with a plan to execute on the MeeGo vision that Nokia abandoned in favor of Windows Phone. Their new device runs SailfishOS, the community-driven successor to MeeGo.

jolla_026_dOne thing I find particularly appealing about the Jolla proposition is their proud embrace of their Finnish roots and Finnish designs with the “Design from Finland” mark granted by the Suomalaisen Työn Liitto, the Association for Finnish Work. I always thought that Nokia could have made more noise about its Finnish (or generally Nordic) design when it was trying to compete with the other smartphone players.

Another extremely smart move was to add support for Android apps to the OS, and partner with the Russian Yandex app store to provide Jolla users with access to 85,000 apps from the Android ecosystem.

Good luck Jolla!

Mobile Diary: Not enough keyboard love?

BlackBerry announced very disappointing results today, including a loss of almost $1 billion on sales of $1.6 billion in the most recent quarter. Most of the bleeding appears to have come from poor sales of the new Z10 smartphone.

Here’s a thought: could BB have done better by focusing on its QWERTY Q10 device first, instead of trying to play touch-screen catchup with the rest of the industry? With all of the nearly-identical black rectangles in the market, the physical keyboard was BlackBerry’s best differentiator, and perhaps one they should have done more to promote.

Mobile diary: “lower cost” vs. lower cost

The new iPhone 5c is certainly colorful, but it’s far from low cost, or even “lower cost“. Sure, it’s $99 with a contract, but the full, unsubsidized, price of the device is a far-from-cheap $549 (and even more expensive in China).

Here’s a truly low cost smartphone: (unsubsidized price $149.99)

Lumia 521

Mobile diary: Don’t try this at home

From The Register, video evidence of the surprising resilience of smartphones to being dunked or dropped. It should be comforting for iPhone users to know that “the iPhone’s screen remained intact right up to a 39-foot (11.9m) plummet.” That is, unless you really want to be one of those cool kids with a cracked screen.

These tests didn’t include any Windows phones, and I’m not taking any chances. When I bought my new Lumia 521 (after replacing the screen on my Lumia 800 twice), I bought a cover as well to protect it from those accidental drops.