Monthly Archives: April 2009

Microsoft SYNC

Ford Sync(TM) LogoI just bought a new car yesterday and it came with Microsoft SYNC. SYNC, which apparently comes standard on pretty much every Ford vehicle these days, syncs your mobile device to your car and provides full voice control over that device. Besides the fact that it’s pretty sweet, there are a few other reasons I wanted to blog about it.

Microsoft Rocks

I know, it isn’t a phrase people say very often but frankly, they should. Microsoft takes a lot of bashing from a lot of fronts, but the reality is that they are successful not due to luck, stupid consumers, or momentum – rather, they continue to succeed because they actually do quite a lot of stuff really well.

Take SYNC –  I got in the car, it detected my iPhone, and within about a minute it was up, running, and had integrated by entire contact list. In addition, it gave me full voice control over the device. Every time I get in the car now, it automatically Syncs up and is ready to roll – no extra steps.

Same with the “dumbphone” my wife carries. Boom. Synched. Running. Done. What is more, the voice recognition is almost flawless (mumbling out a command while drinking a cup of coffee won’t work, however – I can attest to that).

All in all it’s a fantastic piece of software and I think it’s a good indicator of what the future holds for Microsoft Mobile products.

A Sign of the Times (And of Good Things to Come)

This is the even bigger thing to me.

Ashtrays are no longer standard on Ford vehicles.

SYNC is.

If this isn’t a clear indicator of how completely we’ve integrated phones into our lives, I don’t know what is. And with the success of the iPhone (and WinMo 6.5/7 I hope!), I believe that the “phones” in that phrase are going to very quickly become “SmartPhones.” For a mobile software developer, that’s a beautiful thing to hear.

Mac eWallet

mac_logo147That get your attention? Thought so! Well, Mac eWallet isn’t out yet but it is being worked on. After the latest in a long line of challenges getting this project finished, I’ve pulled the project back in-house (it had been assigned to contractors). We now have one of our in-house developers assigned to the project full-time.

I still can’t tell you too much about it BUT I will offer a few tidbits. First, it looks every bit as good as the iPhone version of the software does. Second, it has a distinctly “Mac” interface – we didn’t just port over a copy of desktop eWallet – we know full well that you Mac folks have certain expectations and we’re doing what we can to meet those expectations. At the same time, the end result is something you’ll still recognize – one look and you’ll say “Hey! It’s eWallet!” Getting it that way was tricky but I think you’ll be please.

Of course not as pleased as actually GETTING it I imagine. I’m still hoping for a release mid-year, but that’s as close as I can get at the moment. We’ll keep you updated, though!

No joke: we have a winner

april-fools-day-contestWell, the contest is now officially over – the secret text on the secret page has been changed back to normal, and I have a winner to announce!

I got a lot of great entries – thanks to everyone for playing! There were only three correct guesses, so it’s interesting to find out that some of you took other “serious” text on our site as a joke!

I put the three correct guessers’ (is that a word?) names into my magic contest hat, and the winner is: Greg. Congrats, Greg! I’m going to reply to your entry email now to get the details I need to send your prize out.

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Ilium Software to give away millions in cash and prizes!

april-fools-dayAs you may already know, the first day of the month is when we pick a winner from our ongoing blog comment contest. And as the headline of this post suggests, boy do we have a great contest today for one lucky winner! That’s right – cash and prizes totaling more than one million…more than two million…could it be more than three million? Read on after the jump to find out all the details about what may possibly be the coolest contest ever!

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