TruPhone to Launch VoIP for iPhone

Truphone Logo

Oliver Starr rocking some sweet news via Blognation!!

To say the application isn’t yet ready for prime time would be a pretty major understatement as it currently requires the use of terminal on the iPhone to tell the iPhone to use its on-board SIP stack to place the call over WiFi instead of via the SIM card. To use the terminal application, in turn requires that you first Jailbreak the phone using an application like iBrickr or iFuntastic.

This is not an application for the inexperienced or the faint of heart.That will all change however as the company tells me that it intends to finish development on the application which will include simplifying the activation and adding seamless switching back and forth between VoIP when open WiFi is available and the use of the SIM card when out of WiFi range. It is important to note that it is NOT NECESSARY to break the SIM lock to use TruPhone’s iPhone VoIP application. [blognation USA]

I have confidence (yes without seeing it in action) that this will be a very solid solution when it arrives and I welcome the opportunity to test it out. My previous experience with TruPhone on the Nokia N-Series has been excellent. Their software auto-switches easily between networks (not with an active call) but makes sure you can make the lowest cost call wherever you are. International travelers and people with limited cell coverage will rejoice at this. TruPhone just needs to wait out the pending iPhone software update to make sure they can still get apps installed without breaking things.

Andy Abramson has a video of this! Wish I cold figure out how to embed hipcast, but you can just click over to see it in action.

A quick sidenote… If you have a Grandcentral account, you can share that number linked to your Truphone and cell (and others) and be sure to receive a call wherever you happen to be on whatever network your devices happen to know about…

I’ll see you in LA, Nokia!

Nokia is hosting a special event Thursday night in Los Angeles and I am excited to have been invited and to be heading out for the show! I say show, because no one has any official idea of what to expect. I have airline tickets booked and a hotel room for Thursday night but have no idea what to expect. I know we’ll be at a to be disclosed location but I don’t even know what time things start. For that matter I don’t know whether that’s even the only thing happening…

Wired Living Home

That’s the Wired Living Home which also happens to be in LA…

The only confirmed device at this time is the N95-3 which is the HSPDA (YES!!) ready for US domination edition with a whopping 160MB of RAM, ~80MB ready for the owner and their apps. (full specs)

So aside from the US N95, there’s the 8GB version as well as the N81 and it’s 8GB sibling pending release, but those are EMEA ready, not US – at least with regard to 3G, or 3.5G in this case! I’m thinking there’s a logical entertainment connection given the LA venue and Ovi and N-Gage are the obvious chips for Nokia to lay on the table, but I’m up for a surprise or two… In case you are keeping score, directly after this private event will be a much more public one back on the right coast at Digital Life.

I’m getting gear organized now… have to choose between still and video with my larger gear in order to make this a carry-on adventure with the airlines and I’m going for video. I’ll snap plenty of pics on the N95 as well as whatever else I might happen to have access to…

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Gmail Mobile Updated!

There’s a very nice update to Gmail’s Mobile web version today which I just noticed on the iPhone.

New gmail mobile

As you can see there’s FINALLY a check-box next to each message so you can select a bunch of messages and then act upon them at once. For some reason this was only available in the full or HTML version’s of Gmail and is not something you can even do in the java version. Seems to work the same on my Nokia N800 and N95.

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All Hail the US HSDPA Nokia N95!

iPhone or not, I want this phone!! No memory issues AND 3G which I’ve just noticed is finally available where I live!

This new Nokia N95 offers North American 3G/HSDPA/UMTS compatibility while retaining all the award-winning functionality of the existing Nokia N95. In addition, a number of new product upgrades have been added including: assisted GPS (A-GPS) for faster navigational fixes, 124MB of RAM to complement the included 1GB microSD memory card and the 160MB internal memory, and a higher capacity battery for extended operating time.

The Nokia N95 is expected to start shipping in September to a growing number of independent retailers in major markets including New York, Los Angeles, Miami and San Francisco, as well as the Nokia Flagship Stores in New York and Chicago.

The Nokia N95 will also be available from Nokia’s online store ( and multiple online retailers with an estimated retail price of $699. []

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Nokia responds to new iPhone pricing… with MOSH? Apple sticks it right back… to the early adopter?!

Techcrunch reports on an interesting adwords response by Nokia to the latest iPhone news and pricing. Of all the things Nokia could have offered, MOSH seems an odd choice. Their pitch is that you can salvage your lost $200 with the free content offered by the MOSH social sharing network. Sorry to say I’m not feeling that …

When I actually did a search for the same terms I found an ad from Apple which was even more frustrating!

iphone price drop - Google Search

That might be a bit hard to read, but it says – Congrats, Late Adopters iPhone drops $200. Now you get all the iPhone for 2/3 the price and links to This is like salt in the wound for the early adopter while I was initially bummed by the price cut news, this makes it infuriating! I’m a big boy and made the choice to stand in line and have fun with the rest of the faithful on iPhone day. I can handle a price change or even a new product, but for the price to be cut so drastically so quickly and then to have it rubbed in my face like this by Apple is just wrong.

I’ve tried a few more searches (refresh) since capturing that screenshot, but neither Nokia nor Apple’s ads are showing for me which says they’ve either reached their threshold for cost or someone noticed and had things removed immediately.

UpdateSearchengineland snagged a shot with both ads running head to head.

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Nokia to integrate Twango into S60

This is great news from Nokia on how they will use the Twango assets and technology, though I wonder what this means for Mosh

“‘We are going to integrate it with our S60 platform,’ Stephen Johnston, senior business development manager at Nokia, said in a speech to a trade fair in Helsinki.

When asked about social networking and the role of communities in Nokia’s future he said: ‘It’s really going to be the underlying layer, across everything.'” [CNET]

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Video Search…Results are still being tabulated

I saw that Truveo re-launched today…

“Last night, Truveo relaunched as a consumer video search destination. Emphasizing branded content (including branded channels), it may be the most comprehensive video search site on the Internet. The site also has a host of personalization and social media features (user favorites, what’s hot, etc.). Truveo CEO Tim Tuttle contrasts the site with YouTube (which is also indexed on Truveo) as a place where branded content is presented in an environment that is favorable and friendly to professional content producers.

Tuttle also says that the organization and presentation of content on Truveo avoids the ‘noise’ that one finds on many video sites and thus enables people to get to the videos they may want faster. For example, a search for ‘Harry Potter’ on YouTube might yield scores of videos and montages put together by fans mixed with content from professional producers. Truveo calls out the professional content, while also presenting the fan content. Compare YouTube and Truveo search results for ‘Harry Potter.’ Many people will watch and enjoy the fan videos, while others just want to see the professional clip or interview.” [Search Engine Land ]

Sounds good to me … I searched for Nokia N95:

Videos that match your query: nokia n95 - Truveo Video Search

I don’t see one professional video in the bunch. I see two from me (orange cat) taken with a Nokia N95 a few video blogs by Phil Campbell and Ricky Cadden and some “other.” If you look closely you can see the tab we are on by default is Top Ranked. I call this to your attention because when I last checked my own videos, the cat outside stuff was viewed less than 1000 times (by Blip’s count) without a rank. When I look at my YouTube videos I see my N95 Walkthrough has over 33,000 views and 100 rankings (3 stars). My Viddler Browser video has over 83,000 views, Google Maps over 49,000 and the N95 Jaiku beta video over 33,000 views. Get the picture? Viddler seems absent from the results all together actually but I don’t understand why a much more viewed (and relevant) video from YouTube would not show up, while my test samples from the N95 camera (the cat outside) makes it twice as a top ranked result.

I did the same search on Blinkx:

nokia n95: Blinkx Video Results

Interestingly Steve Garfield’s iPhone unboxing (with size comparison to N95) is listed first and I saw that was actually posted today. Blinkx, it seems is leading with the most recent as an indicator of relevance which is the default search sort.

These two video search sites work totally differently and lead you to completely different results. If you are searching for something specific it seems you might be better with “the google” or simply making the rounds on the video sites you know and love to use. Search is still working…

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Product Advisory: Nokia BL-5C battery

In case you have not yet heard the news, there’s a product replacement advisory for Nokia Nokia BL-5C batteries. I checked my stash here and found I have two – in the N70 and N91. The N91’s battery matched the lot to be potentially replaced and I’ve submitted my info to Nokia.

Nokia has identified that in very rare cases the affected batteries could potentially experience over heating initiated by a short circuit while charging, causing the battery to dislodge. Nokia is working closely with relevant local authorities to investigate this situation.

Nokia has several suppliers for BL-5C batteries that have collectively produced more than 300 million BL-5C batteries. This advisory applies only to the 46 million batteries manufactured by Matsushita between December 2005 and November 2006. There have been approximately 100 incidents of over heating reported globally. No serious injuries or property damage have been reported.

Consumers with a BL-5C battery subject to this advisory should note that all of the approximately 100 incidents have occurred while charging the battery. According to Nokia’s knowledge this issue does not affect any other use of the mobile device. Concerned consumers may want to monitor a mobile device while charging that contains a BL-5C battery subject to this product advisory.

While the occurrence in the BL-5C batteries produced by Matsushita in the time-period specified is very rare, for consumers wishing to do so, Nokia and Matsushita offer to replace any BL-5C battery subject to this product advisory. [Nokia]

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Nokia N95 with US 3G Support – Coming Soon!!

Om Teases us today with a taste from a recent meeting with Blake Krikorian, CEO of Sling Media and his proto Nokia N95 with US 3G! I’ve heard this was coming and actually thought it might be here this month, but this is the first proof it’s out there and getting ready for this market. An 8GB US 3G N95 is a VERY compelling product and one that even with the more complex S60 UI can take it to the iPhone.

I would have a hard time wanting to use my iPhone over the N95 on 3G. Let’s hope it also comes with more RAM to push this into a no contest launch!

“The conversation was lively, but what was most interesting was that Blake walked in with a Nokia N95 and started showing off the streams off his cable box. I was surprised because my N95 can barely stream audio on the herky-jerky EDGE. And here I was watching smooth video with perfect audio.

It was an early trial unit with the ability to support the U.S. flavor of 3G (HSPDA-High-Speed Downlink Packet Access), according to Blake. A few calls to well-placed sources after the taping confirmed that Nokia (NOK) has plans to release the U.S.-optimized N95 this September. That would be a good catalyst for U.S. sales for N95, because this is a device that shines on 3G networks. I took it along on a trip recently and found it quite useful.” [GigaOM ]

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Nokia Multimedia Transfer 1.1

Nokia Media Transfer, now Nokia Multimedia Transfer has been updated… I’ve yet to install, but the list of changes looks good. No Aperture support yet unfortunately.

  • “Name changed from ‘Nokia Media Transfer’ to ‘Nokia Multimedia Transfer’
  • Added support for Nokia Eseries devices
  • Features related to camera disabled if device has no camera
  • Improved support for iTunes Plus
  • Metadata preserved in mp4 transcode
  • Plus various bug fixes”

[Nokia Europe – Nokia Multimedia Transfer]

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F.C.C. enabling 700Mhz

While this does not fill all of Google’s requirements for participation, it does make the future look good on this pending bandwidth.

“The F.C.C. did not approve a provision that would have required the winner of the auction to sell access to its network on a wholesale basis to other companies. Google favored the rule as a way to hasten competition and innovation in the cellphone industry, a market it is considering.

While the language of the ruling has not been made public, it appears that any company that buys the new spectrum will have to leave it open to devices it does not approve or control. If, for instance, Verizon were to buy spectrum, consumers would have to pay Verizon for access to its network but they could use devices of their own choosing on it.

At present, the carriers decide what devices are used on their networks and therefore control many of the services and software available to consumers. The carriers contend this lets them control the quality of the customer’s experience.” [New York Times]

Whether Google bids or not in the end, the network will be available for the consumer which is excellent. Google wanted the option to bid and lose which would let them win either way with access to the network at a reduced price (not 4 Billion) and offer their services even if there was a toll to get there.

The way things are leaning now, you the consumer will be able to buy any compatible device and use it as you like which is quite different from today. Subsidized devices are going to have to get more interesting or go away with this new model. If I can get more on an open system than I can with a subsidized and (usually) limited device I’ll choose the more open system any day.

This is great news for Nokia who sells unlocked higher end devices and should open the door to greater opportunities for marketing. Whether they walk through that door of course is an entirely different question.

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Sprint, Google in pact for WiMax mobile Web

An interest bit of news from Sprint and Google…We already know that Sprint and Nokia are working on a device for the WiMax network and now a Google Powered mobile portal is in the mix as well.

: “Sprint Nextel said on Thursday it would develop with Google a new mobile Internet portal using WiMax wireless technology to offer Web search and social networking.

Sprint’s WiMax for high-speed wireless and its services for detecting location will be combined with Google tools including e-mail, chat and other applications.”


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Why did Nokia acquire Twango?

I read another piece this am on the Twango acquisition and it’s got me wondering what the hell Nokia is really thinking here. Between Mosh and Twango, they will now own two separate social sites. Actually, if you count the Loudeye acquisition and Music Recommenders, there are three – though MR is not really that social.

According to the Mashable post:

The plan is to provide a seamless integration of Twango on both the Internet and on your cell phone. This will make room for a new way for people to share content and stay connected. With the ability to share photos, videos, Twango’s availability in an integrated, cross-platform existence will offer access to friends and their content, as well as a way to organize and manage your own content. [Mashable]

If you think about this for a moment, there are already a few building blocks in place. Nokia has a web upload capability that can send content to Flickr and Vox, though not yet to Twango. They have Lifeblog which captures everything you do (pictures, video, sms and mms) and can sync with both your desktop (on Windows) or send to TypePad.

For $90 Million – hell let’s say $20 Million – you’d think Nokia would want to develop a service or symbian application to send amd sync content from your device to ANY service you might want to use. It’s easier to maintain contact and activity on a social network than it is to move — especially when you’ve got content and a conversation with an audience. As of this moment, there is little to no incentive to use Twango over Flickr for images, YouTube/Viddler/Blip for video and I did not see how it would make for a good place to blog.

If Nokia’s tag line is Connecting People, why are they going out of their way to develop new stand-alone services, rather than working with what’s already present and being used by communities globally. They could really just focus enabling the experience from Mobile to web and back. From a user perspective, I would much rather have an application or service that could talk with everything else I use to make it simple for content to go back and forth. This would make it easy for me and easy for my friends to stay in touch. We already know Facebook is working on the connection with the desktop and Jaiku, Facebook and even Plaxo offer ways to have content from other syndicate-able sources appear in your profile, but no one has come up with way to link with your mobile.

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iPhone vs…

Seems today’s meme is iPhone vs. Blackberry.

Dave Winer looks at ease of use for things we all consider on a daily basis – advantage BlackBerry.

For example, I brought only the iPhone with me to a meeting in Palo Alto last week. As I was driving to the meeting I could see that I would be a few minutes late, so I wanted to call the person I was meeting and alert them. With the Blackberry I would have been able to do this while stopped at a red light. Just search for the person’s name in my inbox, open the first message, highlight the phone number, click the scroll wheel twice (once to dial the number, the second time to confirm that I want to do it).

In comparison, the iPhone only keeps the most recent 25 messages in memory, and this person’s email was not in that group. No search command. And it doesn’t have a scroll wheel or a clipboard. The light turned green long before I found the email that contained the phone number. [Dave Winer]

Mark Hendrickson at Techcrunch compares mainly email – and it’s only due to Exchange sync that the Blackberry wins. With better email / PIM sync the iPhone would have come out on top.

Despite all of these criticisms of the iPhone, our venture capitalist admits that he would switch over to the iPhone if only it supported push email, calendar and contacts synchronization, and GPS. For him, the prospect of ridding his pockets of a separate device for music (an iPod nano), as well as enjoying all of the iPhone’s slick features (such as full-featured web browsing, stocks and weather apps, and its YouTube program), makes the iPhone very tempting. However, until Apple resolves these shortcomings (and perhaps Google makes its applications, especially Gmail, work as seamlessly with the iPhone as Microsoft makes Exchange work with the BlackBerry), others are going to have to pry his BlackBerry from his cold, dead hands (his words, mind you, not ours). [Techcrunch]

In my own usage, I am finding the email experience to be more than a bit anemic. The Gmail integration (or lack thereof) is horrendous. Gmail uses it’s own system which completely messes up the way you’d normally do POP mail – something I really don’t like to begin with… While the 15 min sync interval is fine for most people, in my experience it seems the iPhone is constantly in a state of connection – trying but not downloading messages. When viewing my FastMail IMAP account or Yahoo IMAP account things are more efficient and seem to connect properly and as expected.

I’ve been working with Gmail for quite a while now and while I was accustomed to some limitations on Nokia devices (not respecting my preferred email identity and no sending of attachments) things are amplified on the iPhone. As Dave mentioned, there’s no search, but there’s also no ability to view by tag / folder. Another critical ommision is there’s only one setting for checking mail on all accounts. I’ve been leaving three accounts active, but essentially live in Gmail. As a result I get multiple notifications for all my mail – first in FastMail which then forwards to Gmail. I need Fastmail on the iPhone for when I don’t want to send as Gmail, but Gmail is my main inbox where I want to get quite a bit of other stuff.

As much as I enjoy using the iPhone for all that it does – particularly the web and iPod functions, email is seriously annoying me. We need a dedicated app to manage Gmail – not POP and that will certainly require some changes (an actual application) on the iPhone. I don’t in anyway miss using a blackberry, but thinking about how nice the J2ME Gmail is on my Nokia N-Series devices does give me some pause over which device has my long term usage in its future. Why make compromises when there a choices of devices that can do it all?

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Nokia acquires Twango… a few quick thoughts

Twango Logo

Nokia has announced they’ve acquired Twango for around $90 millon! Twango is a social media site that lets you share photos and video from your mobile or computer. I just signed up and have a few observations.

  • I’ve got no idea how long this was in the works, but where’s the Web Upload configuration for N-Series devices??? Email works from every device, but is a more a pain than anything as it tends to hog the device when you send massive files. I like how you can download vcards for each of the folders you set-up. That’s a nice touch and something most sites that use email as the method do not use. I had them emailed opened and synced to my iPhone in a few minutes.
  • Contacts, the key to all social networks… Where’s the upload my address book feature to search against existing registrants and to enable me to invite my friends who’ve yet to sign up?
  • Limits on uploads suck. Sorry it just does. I previously mentioned how much I enjoyed Vimeo, but found the limits, well limiting for my needs and moved on without looking back. Twango allows the same 250MB per week… If you’ve used the later model N-Series devices, you know it’s easy to get 70-90MB files with a quick video. Do that a few times a few along with your photos and you’ve reached your limit. Choose to share other media from your desktop, and you are over.
  • The site looks good and is certainly easy to use, though a way to play videos on their existing page would be nice. It’s a fresh start here unless you’ve got some way to do a bulk upload (without bumping into the file allowance) and could be a slow transition.

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