Noteback: Updates from the week

Here's a quick update of some of the topics I've written about this week.

First, I have to say I've been astounded at the feedback I've received. I wrote about Nokia's tools, and got an email from someone in the tools area at Nokia. I praised TiVo and got an email from a VP at TiVo. I wrote about Real Media and got an email from someone there as well. That doesn't happen every day believe me. Thanks to everyone who reads this site and is willing to send me feedback like that.

Okay, about the Motorola i730: It's a really cool phone, but... you can't put your own apps on the phone even with a cable unless you get a special application approved by NEXTEL! Dammit! Moto has this program called the Java Application Loader (JAL) but only "JAL Lite" is readily downloadable and it won't load any application that uses the network classes. So even though I bought the cable and ran that app, I still couldn't test our map-based J2ME client here at work on the phone (which was the whole reason to get the phone in the first place!). I've submitted an application to NEXTEL to get the full-featured JAL and I've been Googling for workarounds. Stay tuned on this subject.

If you do want to play with the location stuff on the i730, make sure to check out Sue Spielman's great article on the topic over at I wrote her to thank her for saving me so much time figuring out how it works and she responded with something close to "Damn straight! We worked our butts off getting that code working for that article." :-) Thanks again Sue! We all appreciate your and Tom's hard work!

Okay, about Real - it's amusing to see comments that were pretty much in line with my original thoughts about the company. They've really created some bad blood out there, but the fact that I got an email from someone there (even after I called some of them some nasty names) shows you a lot about the company's new direction I think. And check this out: not only does Real now play 3GP and AMR files, it also plays iTunes-purchased files too! Now *that* is great, as iTunes is the surest way to make my 2Ghz Celeron seem like a P3 200Mhz. God what a pig that app is. Being able to play my iTunes albums in the Real player just makes my whole computer more responsive. The interface for organizing my music isn't bad either - it's not iTunes - but it's not bad. If only the Real player would minimize to my task-bar like WinAmp it'd be close to perfect.

About Nokia? Well, they just got hammered. If you compare any Series 40 phone to gorgeous and cool-ass devices like SonyEricsson's T610 it makes sense. Nokia is innovating, but they're not paying attention to the competition enough. I'm still way bullish on the company, obviously, because they have a real strategy and a real OS waiting in the wings. Nokia is taking the lead in the whole market and I think we'll see good things to come. I believe in the Series 60 platform - it's just *so* powerful - when that tipping point comes when consumers aren't satisified with the toys that other manufacturers pass off as cell phones, Nokia's going to be in the right place to take advantage of it. But man, right now they need to do some catch up before they lose momentum. My suggestion: move up the schedule for S60 phone rollout, even if it means a short-term hit on profits because of material costs. Force the market into making that leap six months earlier than planned and it'll be Nokia in the position to take advantage of it. And hey, if Panasonic can make a phone that weighs around 95g then it's obviously possible to fit the S60 in a cute little consumer package. My other suggestion? Stop trying to guess market segments and all that. Nokia needs to create The Mega Mobile. One that doesn't make you scratch your head and think "why didn't they include x?" Throw it *all* in there: consumers will go nuts for it and Nokia will be the standard bearer again.

What else? Oh, my TiVo continues to be God's Machine. It's started recording suggestions now and everything. I had no idea how many great shows I was missing out on. TiVo's just cool.


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