Not 8 hours after I’d posted the MIR 3.0 update, I had a note in from Mr Operator. You remember him, right? The uber-senior executive at one of the world’s largest mobile operators who used to drop by MIR with a semi regular dose of reality for the industry?
Well he’s back. He was watching the Mobile Developer TV video of Touchnote Mobile that we featured last week. And while he is seriously impressed with the Touchnote concept, he felt he had to put pen to paper. Or fingers to keyboard.
In the video demo we published, Touchnote were showing off their Symbian application. Symbian, of course, isn’t quite the sharpest tool in the box when it comes to beautiful 2009-style user interfaces, particularly when it keeps on demanding to ask you what access point to select and so on. Which really gets on Mr Operator’s nerves….
Over to the man himself:
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I just had to laugh. 3 years on, 3 SODDING YEARS – and Nokia phones still have the bollocks “Do you want to connect / select access point” crap. Talk about making the experience as bad as possible.
Do you see that on an iPhone? no. ’nuff said.
Touchnote – my £0.02: Nice idea. I’ll try it. But…
Why can’t you chose multiple recipients the first time round? Seems crazy to have to do it all again, unless that demo missed something. As she says, [Razia, interviewed in the video] Touchnote is squarely aimed at the party crowd. Therefore send-to-many should be as easy as possible (and will be good for their revenue, though at £1.99/pop it could be a veeeerrrry expensive example of mobile coolness if you were drunk at the time you snapped 19 mates on a partybus….
Why didn’t it auto-fill her email address at the end? I’m assuming the app has a login, which must be able to get that from somewhere. I can’t believe this was the first time sending from that phone.
Was the location mash an option? i.e. “Do you want to share the location of this photo?” – if it’s not there it needs to be for privacy reasons.
I’d say 7/10 overall, but 5/10 for attention to detail. Little things like the above matter way more in mobile than on a PC, but y’all knew that. Quick fixes please, Touchnote team.
Bottom line: it will remain niche – in the way an industry with circa 4 billion users can have niches. Your geek brother-in-law won’t have heard of it, let alone your technophobe mother-in-law, but they will have 100,000 active users in 6 months. That is, until they get pre-installed and integrated into the camera/gallery menu, and carriers/handset vendors get a slice of the revenue. This has to be their long-term plan, in the same fashion that Flickr got into Nokias (Didn’t know you can post automatically to Flickr from your Nokia? No? I’m not surprised).
Maybe Moo will start offering postage. It’s not an 800lb Gorilla in the phone-to-paper-image room, it’s a 1400lb cow.
In a distant, halcyon “Touchnote/Moo Inside” world the wee envelope icon will actually mean a real postal service. Nokia will spend 18 months agonising over changing the menu to have an @ sign to mean email. No, wait – it will mean ‘Tweet this photo’. Ah crap. Nokia will NEVER sort it out, who am I kidding?
Maybe Royal Mail / USPS should buy Touchnote – it wouldn’t surprise me if they are an investor. They have arguably the most to gain here, bringing physical communication gratification back into vogue for the mobile party generation.
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Just wait until Mr Operator’s children/spouse/6ft Norwegian model girlfriend receives a Touchnote… then I think his 7/10 will hit 10/10.
Thank you Mr Operator, it’s good to hear from you and I trust you are well.
Note: Catch up on all of Mr Operator at www.mroperator.com.