All posts tagged ‘BlackBerry’

by CalebJuly 27, 2010

Truth in Advertising: What You Do On BlackBerry Messenger

BlackBerry's latest television ads place its instant messaging service (BBM) front and center. They take a look at its role in a variety of users' everyday lives and ride perfectly on the company's recent How Do You BBM? contest.

For those who haven't "BBMed", it is one of BlackBerry's most praised and valued features, a successful take on mobile instant messaging. With it, dedicated chat rooms are set up for group messaging and sharing using text, photos, and emoticons. Users swap contacts using a pin number or personalized QR code. It's not unusual to see people sharing these via sites like BBMNation or on BlackBerry's Facebook page.

The company's recent advertising features BlackBerry users in everyday situations, everywhere from the barber shop to the road. It demonstrates how BBM can be used for capturing and sharing of photos. One man talks about using it for group coordination, helping friends spontaneously meet in real life. Others use it for presenting and selling art.

One interesting feature that is pointed out is the ability to determine whether or not a message was received. This is something that isn't possible with regular SMS. Urban Dictionary presents a possible resulting scenario well.

Alissa: Hey I bbmed you yesterday and you never answered!
Me: Oh, I never got your bbms.
Alissa: Yes you did! Dont lie, I saw on our conversation that you received them.
Me: crap, I wish i didnt open that damn bbm

How do BBM users blow off dates? Blaming poor reception or dropped text messages aren't legitimate answers. See the new BlackBerry television ads here.

Truth in Advertising is a running series of advertisements that portray consumers using mobile technology in their everyday life. They take a look at how brands are demonstrating our want and need for mobility. Click here to view previous entries.

by CalebMay 27, 2010

The Hulu of Mobile: Bitbop Is Anywhere Accessible Television

Bitbop is a new service from Fox Mobile Group that lets users stream full-length television shows anywhere, on demand. It won't just be Fox shows; content partners NBC Universal, CBS, MTV, TLC and more.

You can think of the new offering as a Hulu on-the-go. Bitbop users will be able to both stream and download movies or other video content on-demand from their mobile devices over Wi-Fi or 3G alike.

Fox Mobile says the Bitbop service will work on “most advanced technology handsets” with “nearly every major telecommunication carrier”.

For starters, the service is being rolled out across Blackberry devices with iPhone and Android to follow (an interesting choice... we wonder about the logic behind that). The Bitbop app is currently free, with a $9.99 monthly fee for access to premium content. With its influential backing, it may become a direct competitor to Hulu and Netflix, both looking to grow a mobile presence.

[via techcrunch]

by AllisonFebruary 10, 2010

New York Times Announces Foursquare Deal, Mobile Efforts for Olympics


On the heels of several big announcements from new Foursquare partners, the New York Times says they are launching our first integration with Foursquare this Friday for the Winter Games. According to Jenna Wortham on their Bits Blog:

In conjunction with the Winter Olympics, The Times will be offering recommendations to Foursquare users on restaurants, attractions, shopping and nightlife in Vancouver, Whistler and the nearby town of Squamish. The tips will be pulled from The Times’s travel and entertainment coverage.

Foursquare users who check in at one of the suggested venues will earn a New York Times Olympics badge, said Stacy Green, public relations manager for The New York Times Company.

“Going forward,” Ms. Green said, ”we are looking into other ways we can work with Foursquare in New York and other markets to integrate our strong travel and entertainment content.”

Ms. Green tells us the Times believes this partnership "will be a great way to bring useful Times content about Vancouver and Whistler venues to Foursquare users."

There are several other mobile components to this effort. Times mobile users can sign up for text alerts for medal count per country and medals awarded per sport, according to Ms. Green.

To sign up for all medals awarded for countries of choice:
Text MEDALALERTS [country] to 698698. E.g. MEDALALERTS USA

To sign up for text alerts to receive a message when medals are awarded to the sport of choice:
Text OLYSPORTS [sport] to 698698. E.g. OLYSPORTS Figure Skating to 698698

Alternatively, users can go to with a mobile phone to signup, though they will need to login with their New York Times ID.

If you just want a single update without signing up continual alerts, they are adding a one-time request option: Text OLY to 698698 to request the latest 3 Olympics headlines from The New York Times.

There is also a BlackBerry shortcut for the Olympics (pictured at top) available for download from The shortcut will live on the user's homescreen (like an app) and take them directly to the sports sections of the Times' mobile site.

by MBOctober 2, 2009

Staff Picks: Monopoly City Streets, Xobni, Pattern Recognition, Fever RSS, and More



Xobni brings Twitter to your inbox

Twitter, email, IM, meeting requests, RSS feeds, information overload.  There’s always a discussion going on somewhere that you’d really like to be a part of, but maybe you don’t have the time to launch TweetDeck or visit Twitter’s homepage or even read the popups within your browser.  Xobni is here to help you.

Xobni has an Outlook plug-in that shows your Twitter stream inside your email.  But it does it in an intelligent way.  It shows you only the most recent Tweets of the person whose email you’re currently viewing.  The idea is to help you learn more about the person you’re corresponding with.  The plugin also brings up info from that person’s Facebook, LinkedIn, or Skype profile.  Too much information?  Or a handy way to make conversation with people you’re emailing?

Matthew L


Sporcle, while not new (it has been around since 2007) is still the most addictive and entertaining way to procrastinate. This online trivia hub allows users to race a clock and fill in blank slates, trying to name all the US States (the site’s most popular game), members of the 500 homerun clubPop Tart flavors, and over 2,000 other games. Games include topics in sports, music, movies, TV, history, geography, language, religion, and more. So why am I writing about this now, if it’s been around for 2 years? Last month the ability to create quizzes was opened to all users! Enjoy…but don’t blame me if you get fired for not completing a stitch of work all day.



Jan Chipchase Presentations

I'm a big fan of Jan Chipchase, Nokia's resident "mobile anthropologist." Chipchase is essentially an ethnographer with a keen eye for observation and opportunity. He travels around the world observing human behaviors--such as "carrying" and "commuting" behaviors, or mobile phone hacker culture--and reports findings back to Nokia's designers and developers. I was able to see him present at PSFK's Good Ideas Salon last night and, lucky for the rest of you, he's put some of his presentations on slideshare. I highly recommend checking them out, as well as his blog, Future Perfect.

Matthew R


ZipCar for iPhone

My staff pick for this week is the highly anticipated ZipCar App for iPhone. It allows users to find cars around their area and the times that they're available. The coolest part to me is actually interacting with the car, because you can honk the horn of your car to find it in a crowded lot, and unlock the door as well, all through your iPhone.


monopoly city streets

Monopoly City Streets Design Contest

Check out the biggest monopoly game ever with Monopoly City Streets--a new, real-world monopoly game using Google Maps!  A "Design Your Own Building" contest was just announced that will allow users to create your own 3D building.  The winner's building will show up in the game.  For all the rules, click here!


blackberry mac

BlackBerry Desktop Software for Mac

BlackBerry launched desktop software for (drum roll)...Macs? We know other third-party software that already made it possible to sync your iTunes, address book, iCal. But this is no third-party folks. These are two main players at the party (3rd parties are running valet outside). The players spotted each other across the room, gave each other a quick nod, and diverted back to their separate conversations. Sounds to me like someone's getting soft.



Dvorak vs. Qwerty vs. ?

Just a few short years ago, the biggest decision that most people had to make when it came to cell phone design was candy bar (i.e.,rectangular and non-flip, like the once ubiquitous Nokia 3-series of phones) or flip? No matter which form or brand one chose, everyone had basically the same, old-fashioned numerical keypad and was forced to triple text (a phrase that described the number of times one may have had to hit a key for the desired letter, number or symbol).

However, with the proliferation of smart phones, we interchangeably use qwerty and full keyboard to describe the computer keyboard-like array of keys on these mobile devices. Thus, I found this recent article in The Wall Street Journal about the push for the Dvorak keyboard configuration on smart phones really interesting.  It got me to thinking that perhaps the argument should not be about Qwerty vs. Dvorak.  Instead it should be about allowing the end user greater flexibility to customize more of their experience, to make the form followhow they function.


fever rss

Fever RSS Reader

The web is a big place and there is an endless amount of information being added to it on a daily basis. This can be both good and bad, as we don't want to be overwhelmed but we do want to find content that is relevant to us. In comes Fever, a paid RSS reader that packs on a few features that Google Reader does not. The most powerful is its ability to scrape your feeds and generate a "Hot" list, where related posts are bundled together and rated in Fahrenheit or Celsius (your choice). There are a lot of other very minor improvements like an iPhone web app, cached favicons, slick interface, search, and loads of hot keys. While the need for your own domain and hosting to setup is bothersome, if you're at all serious about getting through those feeds fast its worth it.

by MBSeptember 16, 2009

News to Us: Aardvark, iTwinge, Android Donut, and More TC50

android donut iphone sleeve blackberry aardvark

Yesterday we covered some of the latest startups at TechCrunch 50 conference that build upon human behaviors, here are a couple more worth a highlight:

by CalebSeptember 15, 2009

@TC50: Mobile Startups That Build Upon Human Behaviors


Over the past couple days, we've been following this year's TechCrunch 50 conference for the latest in web startups and mobile technology. One trend we've noticed is that developers are releasing applications that support, extend, or build upon behaviors that we already demonstrate in a physical world.

Whether it's a parent talking to their child remotely via ToyBot or simply moving a magic trick from playing cards to the iPhone platform, these ideas from TC50 give a glimpse of the future.

Here are a few of our top picks:

city sourced techcrunch tc50

CitySourced aims to keep cities up to date on the latest potholes and graffiti. Using a mobile app, available for BlackBerry, iPhone, and Android, good citizens can snap a photo of a littering culprit on location, where it is then tagged with GPS coordinates and uploaded to a server. On the back-end, city officials will be able to view a map displaying where the most reported incidents are located. Using this data, trends may become more obvious and proper measures can be taken to prevent future problems.

imo techcrunch tc50

Ever wish that you could use a Wii-like motion controller to play games on your PC? iMo plans to make it possible with an affordable application for the iPhone. Depending on the game, either an on-screen controller or the accelerometer will be used. The entire concept pushes convergence to the next level, if done right it could hurt controller sales just a tad.

penn&teller techcrunch tc50

Magicians Penn & Teller performed a trick using a new deck of cards, one that's on the iPhone. Using their app, the trickster tells a friend that Penn & Teller knows a chosen card remotely.  Once a card is named, the trickster pulls out his or her phone and "texts" the magicians, who then respond with the right answer. For those that are curious the spoiler is here.

affective interface techcrunch tc50

Not long ago, we covered the growing field of sentiment analysis and mobile's contribution to it.  Affective Interfaces presented yet another step for the scene, an app that reads an individual's physical emotions via webcam and churns out data accordingly. The technology could be used in focus group-type scenarios in order to test and compare reactions and engagement with websites.

toybots techcrunch tc50

This one falls right into the internet of things. ToyBots aspires to be the platform of the future for any toy maker with a desire to connect their products to the Internet. The startup demonstrated their idea using Woozee, a cute stuffed toy that can playback recordings sent over the web. It is but one of many possibilities for the technology, and the company is proposing to be the standard and reliable infrastructure (like Kindle's) for the internet of toys.

by MBAugust 24, 2009

News to Us: FanFeedr, PhonyPhone, Nokia's Tablet, Slow Defense and More

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