I’ve been meaning to do an Application of the Week section for quite a while. Here we are. Every week I’m aiming to look at and try out a mobile application that I reckon is either worth a look or definitely worth adding to your handset.
First off, this week, is ShoZu. Before ShoZu, well, the mobile picture industry was broken. For years I laboured arsing about with sending picture messages, or — worse — bluetoothing pictures from my handset to my computer. (There is nothing more depressing than using your shiny new 500 pound handset to take a brilliant picture and then waiting until I got home to send it via bluetooth to my computer. Ridiculous. Another critical issue was data cost. It was possible to email a photo to Flickr from your handset, but not only did it take a good amount of arsing around, unstable connections and prohibitively expensive data plans prevented that.
But then, in a crescendo of joy, T-Mobile (and later 3UK) announced flat rate unlimited data packages… and I discovered ShoZu. The principal attraction for me? The one-click upload and fault tolerant data upload features.
It works like this:
1. Take a photo
2. ShoZu, running in the background, pops up and asks if you’d like to send the photo to Flickr (or your favourite image gallery)
3. Simply click OK. You’re done. ShoZu connects in the background and uploads the photo to Flickr. If your signal is interrupted, no biggie. ShoZu will try again and upload the remaining portions. No panicking.
If you’re adventurous, you can even have ShoZu automatically upload every picture you take. It’s brilliant. Literally fire and forget. I used this for quite a while until I realised my Flickr was filling up with quite a lot of crap shots (as well as the good ones) so I switched to manual approval mode. It’s pretty cool taking a photo on the tube or somewhere without a signal and knowing that at some point, when you enter a mobile signal area, ShoZu will automatically take care of the upload.
It’s not just photos. You can upload video too – to whatever service takes your choice. If you find yourself in the middle of a David Beckham v Victoria Beckham shouting match, you can take a video on your handset and, via ShoZu, send it straight to the likes of Scoopt or the BBC and go on to reap millions in license rights.
I actually have four or five ShoZu accounts. One for each N95, E65, E61i and so on, all configured to send my media to the right places.
But what’s next for ShoZu? Well, I don’t quite know. I’ve seen their Zucasts service which delivers audio, video and more directly to your handset. I’d like to know more. I’d like to get a better idea as to their business model and future plans too. I, for example, would be absolutely delighted to pay for a hosted ShoZu service without file upload limits and with a few other smart innovations — for example the ability to stream my music, photostreams, videos and the like…
I’m off to meet Mark Bole, CEO and Jennifer Grenz, Senior Marketing Director for Shozu, sometime soon and I shall thus report.
If you’ve got some suggestions for next week’s application, knock me over an email (firstname.lastname@example.org) and I’ll add it to the list.