Category Archives: Handheld and Mobile World

MacWorld Bound!

MacWorld is just a couple weeks away and both Ellen and I are planning to attend. If you’re going to MacWorld, or live in the area, let us know, or just look for us in the main hall. We’ll be wearing our Ilium Software apparel so we should be easy to spot!

We’re even bringing some presents, so if you catch us before our bag is empty, we might have something cool for you! The Expo runs January 5th to 9th and we’ll be around for the whole thing. See you there!

Blogs, mobile devices, and….talking cats???

Yep, you read the title right. After the BlackBerry eWallet release and all the technical problems we had last week, I wasn’t up to posting anything too deep today, so I figured this was a good time to mention a couple of fun things. This first post is really a bit of self-promotion, but it actually does have a mobile device slant to it.

As some of you might know, I live a secret life. In the dark of night, when the office is closed and my family is asleep, I sneak down to my basement and become…a writer! That’s right, I’m secretly a writer. I’ve published a number of short stories and with luck I just might have a novel out within the next year or two (depending on approvals and publishing schedules.)

My latest work is a story about a newsstand cat who makes the horrifying discovery that people don’t need newspapers and magazines to get their news anymore. It’s all due to a frightening invention called – the internet! Besides talking cats, the story features blogs, iPhones, and a cameo by Smartphone and Pocket PC Magazine.

The story is in an anthology from DAW called Catopolis, and you can find it up at your local brick-and-mortar store. Of course you can also grab it from Amazon (here). Amazon also has a Kindle version, and it’s out for various other eBook readers as well.

And if you want to see the other stuff I’ve done, check out my site!

Enough self-promotion! :) Back to your regularly scheduled blog!

eWallet for Mac Update

Just a quick update on eWallet for Mac. Contrary to what I’ve seen posted in some of the blog comments, we are in fact making eWallet for Mac. As a matter of fact, we’ve ALWAYS planned to make eWallet for Mac at some point. This is something we’ve had in the works for a few years – pre-iPhone even. If you want to know more about eWallet for Mac, check out the rest of the post after the jump!

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Windows vs iPhone vs BlackBerry vs Palm vs …

Which mobile platform is the best? It’s a war that rages on and on. Vocal supporters of every desktop and mobile platform mount vigorous assaults in defense of their favored system. And yet, I think that’s not the right approach.

Read on after the jump for my take on the debate about “Which Device is the Best?”

This is the first of a series of posts designed to answer a long list of questions folks asked in my last blog post. I started to write it as one post but the thing got so dang long it was getting silly. If I don’t answer your question or address your favored topic today, don’t worry…I’ll get to it over the next couple of days!

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The Last Quiet Week

While we’re all eagerly waiting for Julie’s fun contest next week, and of course for the U.S. election after that, I’ll take this chance share a few mobile-related links:

GoodShop.com – Here’s a great way to support schools and causes you believe in, with no direct cost to you. Click on a link on this page before you buy something on many major sites, including iTunes, Amazon, and eBay, and your kids’ school, or your favorite charity, gets a kickback. With no extra cost to you, some worthy cause can benefit from your purchases.

MediaBistro: Mobile Apps Today – This is one of the most interesting and useful sites I read. It’s got new info every day, and a lot of it is news I don’t find on other sites. For people who want mobile news about apps and platforms, this is a great resource.

Contact Hero – Here’s a new site that lets you manage your contacts online – optimized for mobile devices. Now that mobile’s (finally) so hot, I’m sure this is going to be a big category for popular web apps. This site does a great job of it.

And, finally, for people curious about some of the development issues we mobile developers face, there’s an interesting conversation going on at 4WinMobile.com, about Why Windows Mobile Apps are Falling Behind iPhone Ones. Check it out.

Android – Dream or Nightmare?

With the Android G1 officially announced, and a plethora of videos of it sprouting up around the web, I thought I’d take a second to throw in my two cents. I’d also like to hear what your thoughts are as well!

Now naturally, we’re watching Android very close. Any new entry into the mobile market is extremely important to us. Will Android be a major player? Or just another neat idea that never takes off? Will they change the mobile marketplace? Or simply offer more of the same with a new UI?

If you’re interested in my take on this, or would like to throw in your own opinion, read on after the jump!

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Goodbye, Smartphone and Pocket PC Magazine

It’s a sad day for Windows Mobile: Smartphone and Pocket PC Magazine have announced that they’re suspending publication as of the last issue in 2008.

The magazine – first called Handheld PC Magazine, then Pocket PC, then Smartphone and Pocket PC, has been around 11 years – just as long as we have. The first issue (Volume 1, Number 0) is dated “Fall 1997″, and if I knew how to work the scanner, I’d show our first ad and give everyone a laugh.

It’s no surprise that the magazine is suspending their Windows Mobile publication. Hal and his staff did an amazing job with it. I saw it in every major bookstore, and every airport magazine counter (I always checked). The articles and art were professional, the content interesting, and the information useful.
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The Trouble With the No Reboot Challenge

Let me start by saying I think it’s great that Mike at Mobile Jaw and Chris from GearDiary are doing this. It’s a neat idea and I’m looking forward to the results. At the same time, while I think this idea is interesting, it also has some inherent flaws. Again, I’m not saying their idea is a bad one or that the results won’t be interesting. I just feel that since our app is one of the ones being used in the experiment, and could thus be blamed if the device still crashes, that I need to say a thing or two about this idea.

So if you want to hear my take on device stability and the “No Reboot Challenge”, read on!

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We’re Not Being Cagey

We’re not trying to be cagey with iPhone info about our apps – there still are a lot of unknowns. We hope we’ll have eWallet in the iPhone App store Friday, but we haven’t yet seen confirmation of that. We want to send reviewers copies as soon as we can, but we’re not quite sure when the mechanisms will be in place. We’re not sure if we’ll have a way to give existing users a discount on the iPhone purchases, but we do have a plan in place to be sure they’re taken care of.

Sorry! We wish we had more definite info as much as anyone does! It all looks very exciting from the previews (here’s one), but we’re still a little in the dark.

And, on a non-iPhone topic, today’s funniest mobile-related headine was: Former Virgin And NBC Exec Turns VC. MocoNews is my favorite source for info, Tricia Duryee’s articles are great, and I know what the headline meant, but maybe “Former NBC and Virgin Exec” would have been a better choice.

The Revolutionary iPhone App Store

More and more of the analysts and commentators are starting to realize predict that the coming iPhone Application Store will be as revolutionary for third-party software sales as the iPhone has been for smartphones.

Despite the analysts’ bad track record for mobile market predictions in general, I think they’re right about this one. There will be a huge advantage to having the App Store on the device, supported by the maker of the device and the OS.

Microsoft and Palm have been missing this for years. They’ve relied completely on third-party stores. There’s been no major advertising of the availability of software for Palm or Windows Mobile phones. There’s been very little promotional activity, and not much effort to raise users’ awareness of the fact that they can buy software.

Apple’s already changed this, and the store’s still 3 weeks away. Continue reading