Sunday, December 16, 2007

Pocket Informant and Handango "Free App Friday"

I discovered this last week that handango has this "Free App Friday". Put simply, every friday (considered in Central Standard Time), they will offer for free a mobile application from their (huge) catalog.

This last Friday the chosen app was Pocket Informant 2007, a very good time management application for Windows Mobile. I downloaded it, now it's running on my mobile, and I'm really happy with it.

Some time ago I bought Agenda Fusion 8, so I can try a comparison between the two.

And after my first two days of Pocket Informant, I can say that PI2007 is faster than AF8, both in terms of first load and using it (for example I can access my long contact list in a fraction of time, and this is really a good thing).

Maybe AF8 wins in terms of graphical details and rendering, but PI2007 views are effective and clear. There are a couple of functionalities that are present only in AF8 (the project view is not present in PI2007, or at least until now I did not find anything of the like), but what is needed is there, and works.

AF8 is a good product, don't take me wrong; but on my device (not a cutting edge one, WM5 with a lot of installed software) PI2007 works better... and I'm happy with it!

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Squace beta - mobile content in a new, squared, way


Squace. Beta. (what else?!?!?)

It's a new way to collect contents, coming from different sources, on your mobile (java-enabled) device.

I'm trying it on my WM5 pocket pc (an "old" i-mate k-jam), and I have to say that it works without any problem.

The idea here is that you have a grid of little squares, each representing a link to a site, an rss feed, a post, whatever. You will collect all your contents in a page named "My Stuff"; in the following screenshot you can see my initial page, on it I clicked on a particular square:


That particular square represents a link to a "site" I created. This site is simply a container to a couple of blogs I write; obviously you can reach a very big array of content already present, searching in it thru keywords or navigating tags that other squace users gave to content pages.


Here below I'm clicking on a square representing a post in the blog you're reading:


And here is the post:


I have mixed feelings on this app. I like the idea, I think it is actually new and from a mobile user perspective it's also easy to use; I have still to make an opinion on its future, but I think I still need to use it for some time before I understand this... :-)

Monday, December 10, 2007 - private beta, but... where do I live?

Ok, I've been invited in the new private beta. I'm really interested in this new ways to deliver contents to the (web) public, so on my pc I have both joost and babelgum clients, and also Miro.

Enter Hulu: in this case I don't need any new client, everything is delivered thru the standard browser. The layout and dynamics of the interface is quite cool, I like this site.

Ok then, let's go and try to access some content. I see an episode from "The Simpsons" highlighted in the first page, I click on it.

Uhm... the player returns a message stating that: "Unfortunately this video is not currently available in your country or region".

Ok, I'll try with some other clip. House? ok, let's give it a try.

...same message. And also the same message pops up with every single choice I try.

Now I'm asking: is it caused by the fact that I live in Italy? and probably they cannot "broadcast" those content due to a DRM problem or something of the like? The support pages tell me that "For now, Hulu is a U.S. service only."

Ok, fine. But in this precise moment I could be anywhere in the world, I'm in the "internet" country... or I could be a US citizen, living temporarily in Italy, or again I could be an italian citizen, temporarily living in Iceland, or Morocco, or even USA.

So please explain this to me: I know I could simply go on YouTube and look for that Simpsons episode, and probably I'll find it; and there are many other way to access that video, but... but yes, I liked the Hulu idea, site, and contents, and I was excited to use it.


p.s.: no, I cannot modify my profile, the site doesn't permit this at the moment... I already checked ;-)


Sunday, December 02, 2007

GMaps for Windows Mobile

It's amazing: the new version of Google Maps for Mobile is able to determine your position based not on GPS signal, but using the relative position of GSM cells around you.

And it works!

Here is a screenshot of "me" in my office, in Milan:


It's a really good program, until now I found only a minor problem: during setup, even if you ask to install GMaps on your memory card, the setup will install the app on the main memory; so that you then have to move everything by hand and recreate the shortcuts... then it works.