The Highs and Lows of 2008.

What an interesting year!
Since I joined the formerly SMS Text News/MIR team in July of this year, a lot has happened. But there has also been so much more too… And here are some of my highlights, or should I say, more notable occurrences!

The iPhone 3G! This was bound to appear somewhere, and so I thought it’s best to get it out of the way sooner, rather than later. Personally, I’m not a fan; and from what I’ve read, seen and heard accounts of, it hasn’t been all too great for Apple too. However, as much as I insist that it’s a pile of rubbish (feel free to beg to differ); it sold once again in its thousands.

Apple has conquered another market, and whether it’s because they found monopolising the MP3 market too easy, they’ve certainly made a statement. And even though the 3G came out way back in June/July the device still makes a regular appearance here on MIR. I do not doubt for a second that Apple have something lurking up their well-tailored sleeves, and if the rumours of an iPhone Nano are anything to go by… Then 2009 will be dominated with more Apples than your doctor can prescribe!

Secondly, Blyk! Hmm, well, me and Ricky between have more than enough to say on Blyk. For me, I was so hopeful that Blyk could be that turning point, especially here in the UK – where we ever so often fall behind in the world of technology and thought – and I was so disheartened with what eventually happened with them, it still annoys me now.

It can’t all be bad, and as much as I say I don’t like them and that their bound to fail… They haven’t yet. In fact, Blyk is over one year old now, and it still seems to be maintaining momentum. I think in 2009 we’ll either start to see how incredibly flawed Blyk’s aims and business model is; or dare I say it, it still surviving and the European expansion working out for the better for the company.

For me also, as I’ve begun to really take note and interest in the world of the Mobile Phone, I’ve seen certainly more usability on the rise, and a better use of SMS and mobile communications from businesses and services.

The “Knife Crime” Crime Stoppers text in service has to be, for me one of the single best things I have come across. It’s been implemented correctly in schools (well, at least in my school), without making itself appear too formal, and scary to use. And it’s using basic innovation, which as I know I have repeated many-a-time over the past few months; is severely lacking.

Slowly though, I’m beginning to see more and more use of mobile communications, for example my local hospital texting me when I have an upcoming appointment so I can’t forget; or my School using a system to ensure parents know if you’re not in school – when say you’re meant to be.

Hopefully over the next twelve months more of this good thinking and logic will be applied to other aspects of our general lives; and maybe with that, we might even get some more innovation out of that… And surely, that can only be a good thing?

Finally, my favourite mobile application… Well this has to go to MusicStation, which is available to Vodafone users. When I was first introduced to it by Ewan, I’ll admit I was majorly sceptical; I’m a music lover in every sense of the word. I don’t like the idea of being sold half-hearted 96kps versions of a song, or only having a minute and pointless library of music to download from; and this is all I expected to get.

I was wrong, and I loved the service. I haven’t yet seen it used by anyone I know on Vodafone, in fact, I’m not even sure if any of my friends are even aware of what they can get on their mobiles for a small fee per month; but if they did, then I do not doubt that it would be highly used by all of them.

Nokia I suppose are heading out in a similar direction, although I can’t comment on how the “Comes with Music” service works; I don’t doubt for a second that music services like the ones Vodafone and Nokia are offering are going to stop or end here.

I look forward to the next year, and I look forward to the new technologies developing, and being released, and being pleasantly surprised as I have been this year. I also see that as much optimism that I have, one cannot forget the looming “recession” and what impact will that have? I dare not speculate, but for more than one reason I’m pretty sure next year will be interesting and something to look forward to!

Anyway, I wish you all a Happy New Year!


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