Questions for me from Nick Ris of MX Telecom

Thank you Nick at MX for rising to the challenge and sending me some questions.   I was just sat staring at my empty mailbox thinking… ‘right…er.. I’ll need to phone someone and beg for some interaction‘ when your questions arrived.

Nick writes:

Hi Ewan,

Right – question/s for you!!

What is your favourite third party application/service which is primarily based around each of the following technologies:

A) SMS (Premium, and Non Premium)
C) Voice
D) Video
E) Downloadable application
F) Wap/mobile internet (inc I-mode)


Ohhh my!  Good ones!  Spent a lot of time thinking on this one…. 

Ok, my favourite third party applications/services based around:

There is always a place in my heart for text to screen.  Ever since we began working with Teletext to provide the moderation and content control for their Chat-a-Box service (which also powereed the text to screen for Big Brother 2, I think it was).  I was secretly amazed and delighted at the technology — ‘LOOK!!! It went from my phone… my PHONE!! To the screen! LOOK it’s on TV!!’ — although, of course, I kept a straight face as much as possible in meetings.  I thought it was a wickedly good way of encouraging people to interact with a TV show.  Also: one of my proudest moments has been standing in a capacity club  and being jostled out the way by people trying to see the screen (our Impulse service) so they could text their message to it.   As for direct premium services, I still think that in terms of immediacy and value, rocks.

I’ve been thoroughly disappointed with the way the medium has been implemented.  Absolutely ridiculous.  I am SEETHING with annoyance.  The moment MMS hit the market, I had big plans for it.  Huge plans.  We already had a huge audience of people texting our screens in nightclubs — and I was blown away when we received our first picture message.  It came through as a text message saying ‘please visit to pick this up’ … however I thought it would be brilliant to extend texting and offer pictures-to-screen.  However, the implementation by the networks has been nothing short of appalling.  I’m pleased that prices are much cheaper — I’ve also begun to use the medium myself a lot more and, crucially, have my friends reply WITH picture messages.   A lot of the time, over the past years, I’ve felt a bit of a plum being the only one sending picture messages — with my friends replying saying ‘cool’ by text — or calling and saying ‘er, it didn’t work’.   I think one of the best MMS applications I’ve seen has been the iTAGG service — or, the Vodafone Live Postcard service — I used that to send picture postcards to my gran quite a lot! 

Gosh?  A voice application.  Hmm.  Oh, I know: GenieOne.  I absolutely loved GenieOne.  Did a blog on it yesterday actually.  It was an integrated multimedia voice and email service, way ahead of its time.  I used it for a good 30-40 minutes a day when I was travelling regularly.  My favourite feature was this:

  • I’m sat driving and I need to get a message to someone.  Perhaps someone in the office, to ask them to do something — when I don’t need to speak to them real-time or if they are in meetings.
  • I call GenieOne from the mobile.
  • I create a new message by typing in HETT on my phone.  It says ‘Do you mean HETTY BROWNE’ and I press 1 to confirm.
  • I then record a voicemail message for Hetty.
  • GenieOne then sends the audio message, ‘from’ my email and attaches the audio as an easy to play wav file.

Absolutely wicked.  It would also read your email to you as well.  Not brilliant, but you know, it worked.

Now I think Video is a challenge.  I don’t use many mobile video services at all.  I am forever recording mobile video.  I thought the ability to dial into a video shortcode and view movie trailers was rather neat — an MX service if I recall!    I have, for the purposes of research only, spent a little while looking at some of the videos on the Three SeeMeTV service.  Very enlightening indeed.  I am a fan of the Sky News 8pm show that allows you to call in on your 3g phone and make your comment via video.  I think that’s very, very cool indeed.

Downloadable Application

Gosh that’s far too difficult to pick just one.  I use ShoZu at least 10 times a day.  Just a quick look down the recently used ‘My applications’ list on the N90 reads: – lifeblog, opera mini, buddyping, hotxt, reporo, shopqwik, crickee, mobileglu, ROK, Sky by Mobile, tex2me.

Wap/mobile internet (inc I-mode)
I found the i-mode email very efficient indeed — just, alas, it’s not built for the amount of spam and mail I get.  I think it’s a wicked application for someone who uses email now and again though.

Ok so WAP and/or mobile.  Well the BBC mobile services are just phenomenal.  I read them a lot on the train via the Blackberry — they’ve just started doing video on the mobile too.  For a while there, I used my Sony Ericsson W550i to check and reply to email via Google Mobile Mail.  It was a very cool service.  I eventually swapped back to using the Blackberry though. 

I once used Amazon to order a book via WAP.  Just to say I’d done it.   I have, since the beginning of time, used to check cinema listings — way back when I was using a Sony Z5 mobile and using WAP — the same time that British Telecom was spending millions trying to get everyone to ‘surf the mobile internet’ with WAP.  Heh. 

By Ewan

Ewan is Founder and Editor of Mobile Industry Review. He writes about a wide variety of industry issues and is usually active on Twitter most days. You can read more about him or reach him with these details.

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