Industry News

Topics of interest to the mobile device industry.


Android Customization: How to Customize Your Android Phone

Posted on April 25, 2011

If you're like most people, the first thing you want to do with your mobile phone is customize it. Android customization is easy and more robust than almost any phone operating system to date. It allows the same kind of customization as other phones, with a few more options available. Here's how to make your Android phone reflect you.

Wallpaper

Just like PC's, one of the first and easiest item to customize on a mobile phone with a screen is the wallpaper. Android customization is no exception. Simply long-press on the home screen until the home screen menu appears. Tap "wallpaper," select your source, browse for an image, and tap "set wallpaper."

If you can't find an image you want, you can go to the Android Market and download an image. Or, if you really want to be unique, use a picture you have taken yourself. You have the option of cropping a picture before using it as wallpaper. When taking the picture, you may want to think about whether it works best as portrait or landscape.

One interesting feature of Android 2.0 phones and higher is the ability to have live wallpaper. This is animated wallpaper. For instance, a picture of a pond may ripple when you touch it.

Sounds

Of course, no phone is truly customized until the ringtone is selected. The Android marketplace is a good source of ringtones. If you've downloaded music . . .continue reading →


BlackBerry Business Solutions: A Worthy Sales Force Automation Solution?

Posted on April 18, 2011

The most mobile part of your enterprise, your sales force, can also risk being the least connected. In the field, they lack connectivity with your Customer Relationship Management (CRM) database as well as Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) software. Unless they can find a wireless hotspot, they may have to wait until they return to the office or at least the hotel before delivering and receiving critical information.

BlackBerry Business Solutions offers a sales force automation solution to connect all the key parts of your enterprise. Sales, inventory, and production stay in contact, boosting efficiency and your bottom line.

BlackBerry can integrate a variety of CSM software to provide access to your sales force using their BlackBerry. Information can flow both ways. Your sales force . . . continue reading →


How to Use a Marketing Survey to Help Close Corporate Accounts

Posted on April 11, 2011

When closing a deal, you want all the help you can get. One of the best aides you can have is data to back-up your argument. And one of the most convincing forms of data is a marketing survey. Done properly, a marketing survey can seal the deal for you; done wrong it can do you in. How do you get it right?

First, make sure you conduct the marketing survey right to begin with. When constructing the survey, have a clear objective. Without a clear objective, your questions may be irrelevant to the information you need. You may also end up with too many questions, annoying those taking the survey and making analysis of the results difficult. Testing your questions on a small focus group first ensures your target population understands what you are asking and that you are asking the right questions.

Choosing the right instrument for conducting the marketing survey is also important. Mail and phone surveys are traditional methods, as are in-person surveys. More and more surveys are conducted through websites and social networking. These can be particularly useful for surveying existing customers and getting quick responses.

Second, present the results effectively. You are conducting the marketing survey to convince decision makers. Don't bury . . . continue reading →


4G Smartphone Comparison: Comparing the HTC Evo 4G, Motorola Atrix 4G and Samsung Epic 4G

Posted on April 7, 2011

The current line of 4G smartphones constitutes the cutting-edge of mobile phone technology. With the Android operating system rapidly gaining market-share, it makes sense to look at top-of-the-line 4G smartphones using Android. Each of the phones below (the HTC Evo 4G, the Motorola Atrix 4G and the Samsung Epic 4G) offers 4G service and the Android operating system. Which is the best? . . . continue reading →


Mobile Testing: Expanding Profits through Mobile Demo Programs

Posted on April 1, 2011

The mobile testing market is competitive and fast moving, with new technology and products coming on the scene at an amazing rate. Companies looking to outpace their competitors are looking for ways to stay ahead of the game. Major manufactures get that competitive edge use demo programs as one way to reach the heavy hitters in the corporate world. Here are four reasons to start using mobile testing programs today.

  1. End user data is invaluable.
    Through end of demo surveys, information is compiled that is worth thousands of dollars for your company.
  2. Knowledge can effect change.
    If there are fixes or changes that need to be made, the demo run can provide information to that effect, and save your company money in the long run, by avoiding those errors in a full roll out.
  3. Buzz is power.
    The excitement created for your products through a demo program can boost your sales exponentially if the demo is done correctly. . . . continue reading →


Mobile Marketing Growth

Posted on March 24, 2011

Very interesting info-graphic on mobile marketing! . . . continue reading →


Mobile Apps for Business: 20 Apps You Need to Download Today

Posted on March 22, 2011

There is no end to the need for useful mobile apps for business and that is now being answered with a wealth of programs that allow consumers to move beyond playing games and social networking. 2011 is panning out to be an exciting year for the development of business apps, with companies racing to tap the business market ahead of their competitors. Here are a few of our favorite applications, designed to increase your business's productivity, connectivity, and overall efficiency:

Wireless from your Smartphone.

Joikuspot and WMWiFirouter are programs that allow you to turn your wi-fi enabled phone into a wireless hotspot using its 3G connection.

Remote control of your office.

Alarm.com allows you to monitor . . . continue reading →


Ford Sync: MyFord Mobile Advanced Integrating Automotive and Wireless Industry

Posted on March 14, 2011

Ford might be a year or two late to the game with electric vehicles, but it has been changing the industry with the Ford Focus Electric and Ford Sync technology.

The car is a cute, sharp-looking version of the Focus compact, with a full slate of interior features, a range of 100 miles and an MPGe rating that compares favorably with the Chevy Volt and Nissan Leaf. And there's one feature that's definitely aimed at keeping up with the Chevy Volt and Nissan Leaf…that's the MyFord smartphone integration.

The car already features an 8-inch touch screen on the center of the dashboard to keep the driver apprised of various information and statuses. Not satisfied with that, though, Ford offers an interface with your smartphone that gives you a handle on the car's charging status, climate settings and other information. It also provides "feedback" on your driving habits – the more you light-foot the throttle, the more bunnies and butterflies there are frolicking through a field on your phone's screen. No word on what happens to the bunnies and butterflies if you hot-rod the car.

Here are a few more Ford Sync connectivity features: . . . continue reading →


Best Cell Phone Operating System: Android? Apple? Windows?

Posted on March 8, 2011

When considering what are the best cell phone operating systems, Android, iPhone and Windows are the industry leaders in the U.S. but each one does have its strengths and weaknesses:

  • Android's Application Framework enables users to reuse and replace components to suit their own needs. The optimized graphics for the application support 2D or 3D visuals; Android also comes with such bells-and-whistles as debugging tools, accelerometer, SQLite, GSM telephony features and others. It's tougher to do these upgrades and customizations on a Windows 7 phone. A weakness of Androids, however, is multitasking – while it has the capability, multitasking tends to kill the phone's battery pretty quickly.

  • Windows 7 phones still have some catching-up to do. While Android phones do just fine with a processor speed of below 500 MHz, Windows 7 devices require a minimum of 1 GHz to perform well. That, of course, means that the front-end price of getting a phone with that sort of capability . . .continue reading →

Developing an Application for Android

Posted on February 25, 2011

The Android platform from Google is the new darling of the mobile application world. In fact, a survey from Appcelerator and IDC indicates that 87 percent of developers are "very interested" in creating an application for Android.

If your interest is piqued, it's not as hard as you think to make an Android app. You'll need to start by downloading the Android SDK starter package and the ADT Plugin for Eclipse. Once Eclipse is installed, the steps are as follows.

  • Open Eclipse and select File/New/Project. Under the New Project dialog, you'll see Android Project. Click Next.
  • From here, you can start setting up the project. Give your project a name in the name box, then select the Android version you'd like to use. You'll also need to figure out the API version needed for your Android and enter that in the Min SDK Version box. Give your app a name (deleting all the white spaces in the name) and a package name (i.e. com.test.myprojectapp).
  • Next, you'll want to create a configuration . . . continue reading →

How to Erase Cell Phone Data

Posted on February 14, 2011

Chances are once you get a phone back from mobile testing, it's going to have some numbers, contacts, PINs, passwords and other data on it that you don't anyone else to have. Deleting cell phone data is a little harder than popping out an older phone's SIM card (or bulk-erasing a magnetic tape), but it's not something that requires an engineer, either.

  • iPhone: Go to Settings, scroll down to bottom of screen and select Reset All Settings (you will be asked for a security code). Go to Mail, Contacts, Calendars on the Settings menu and select Delete Account. Next, go to Settings/General/Reset and select Erase All Content and Settings (or Erase iPhone). You will, of course, see a confirmation message on each of these steps, but after this process, you will have erased all cell phone data from your iPhone.
  • BlackBerry: Various generations of BB's will have various procedures for deleting information. For all software versions, though, the Desktop Manager can be used to clear data. Open the Desktop Manager . . . continue reading →

What is 4G? History of 4G and 4 G phones

Posted on February 9, 2011

Right about the time that we all familiarized ourselves with 3G technologies for smart phones, along came 4G and 4 G phones to supersede it. So what's the big deal about 4G, anyway? Let's have a quick overview:

  • 1G, circa way-back-when. 1G (or first-generation) was when cell phone technology was still analog, with poor reception, no encryption, big batteries and poor range. Of all these drawbacks, lack of encryption was the worst; your signal could be listened in on or, worse yet, your number could be hacked.
  • 2G, circa 1991. The first generation of digital phones took less bandwidth and less power to operate (meaning smaller batteries and phones), and also saw the advent of text messages and email over mobile phones. The improvement in bandwidth, of course, meant that phone carriers could put more conversations into the same amount of signal.
  • 3G, circa 2001. 3G's further improvements in bandwidth meant that it was now possible to use voice and data transmission simultaneously, as well as much better upload/download capacity for images, videos, and surfing the internet. For a few years, 3G meant Nextel-style walkie-talkie phones and other fairly clunky devices, until the iPhone changed the playing field in 2007.
So that leaves 4G. What's the big deal about it?

4G will mean that all data and voice will be exchanged on all-Internet Protocol, which should explode bandwidth. That will translate to huge improvements . . . continue reading →


Four Reasons to Choose Vienna Channels

Posted on January 31, 2011

For mobile phone providers, phone testing and demo programs are important parts of their overall marketing plan. Most manufacturers that oversee their own mobile demo programs, see a return rate per cycle of around 30% and often spend unnecessary budget replenishing product for their demo programs. Vienna Channels has a proven mobile demo program solution that sees return rates near 95% per cycle. Here are a few more reasons that manufacturers choose to let Vienna Channels oversee their mobile demo programs.

  • 100% Trackable: For marketing and sales departments, it's vital to know the ROI on product trials when it comes to testing wireless phones. With Vienna Channels, ROI is always 100% clear and easily tracked from start to finish. Practically every unit is returned, ensuring a full accounting of units that were lost or damaged.
  • Detailed reporting, shipments and returns: With Vienna Channels' mobile testing program, every step of the process is documented; sales teams can maximize their potential with complete reporting and analysis. That means that inventory, customer information, purchase projections and trends are tightly tracked. It also means a consistent, reliable flow of professional branded communication through the demo cycle.
  • Valuable end user survey data: End users that participate in demo programs overseen by Vienna Channels will receive a series of surveys that will be sent back to participating clients. This extremely valuable information would normally cost thousands of dollars . . . continue reading →