Agent Android

Tech and ambient information

WHEN are you due? I asked a PR professional last week, two months after she gave birth. In my defense, I was seated when she approached me and I looked up at her face, not at her tummy. She said it was obvious we haven’t seen each other for some time, while, involuntarily I think, patting her tummy.

A colleague looked horrified at the faux pas. Technology, I said to explain myself, failed me. I had emailed her just a few days earlier and got a vacation auto-reply about her being on maternity leave.

Had I been on Facebook, I would have known about her giving birth. But I have been mostly off the social network and didn’t know this. Continue reading →

Google Play Books

Better on mobile

More than just a device by which we make calls, today’s phones are portable computers that we carry around with us wherever we go. And what a portable computer it is. The processing power of devices by which we hurl Angry Birds to space is more than that of the system that brought man to the moon.

Yes, we still use phones to make calls but this is the least of the things we do with the device. The IBM Mobile First blog, for example, listed earlier this year 99 devices and services that have been replaced by mobile phones, running the gamut from landlines, to cameras, flashlights, to business productivity tools. US consumers, for example, now spend more time on mobile devices than watching TV, according to Yahoo-owned mobile analytics company Flurry. That’s also the case in the Philippines, according to the “Ad Reaction 2014: Marketing in a multiscreen world” study by Millward Brown.

For many people, phones have become the primary computing device. Certain tasks lend themselves well to the phone. The smaller screen is more than made up for by the device’s portability, accessibility and increased functionality brought by things like location data. Here are tasks that are better done on mobile: Continue reading →

Starmobile vida

Starmobile Vida: entry-level phone packs a punch

WITH all eyes on the latest and greatest flagship devices of the different phone manufacturers, it’s easy to lose sight of the bottom end of the lineup — the entry-level phones that will connect the next billion to the Internet.

Starmobile’s Vida is such a phone. Its technical specs are good for an entry-level device: 1GHz dual core ARM Cortex-A7 processor with a 512MB RAM and a 4GB built-in memory with provisions for up to 32GB expansion via a micro SD card. It comes with Android Kitkat.

Continue reading →

FUTURE IN YOUR HANDS. “There is no point in drawing a distinction between the future of technology and the future of mobile,” said Benedict Evans of Andreessen Horowitz, “they are the same.”

‘Mobile is eating the world’

IT won’t be long, tweeted Andreessen Horowitz partner Benedict Evans, “before people who use Facebook’s desktop site at all will be a minority of users.” The tweet came with a graph of Facebook’s monthly active users (MAU) with mobile-only already millions above a declining desktop-only MAU and closing in on the number of users who use both mobile and desktop.

Evans gave a presentation last week to the Wall Street Journal’s WSJD conference and the a16z Tech Summit by Andreesen Horowitz. If you’re interested in tech and the future, his talk makes for informative viewing and reading.

Evan’s session, at least as listed in the tech summit, was about “The Triumph of Mobile.” Continue reading →

Inbox By Gmail

Re-imagining for mobile

A FEW days back, Google released a new email product called Inbox By Gmail. It is a re-imagining of the email, an “inbox that works for you.”

Google said the product, currently available only by invitation, was built on things they learned from their pioneering email service, GMail. It is, according to the service’s website, a “fresh start that goes beyond email to help you get back to what matters.”

I got into the service and found it visually refreshing. It incorporates Google’s Material Design style guide for consistent look and interaction across all devices. It is much more visually appealing than current email clients, including the existing GMail application. Continue reading →

Kindle on an Android phone

News, reading on mobile

FOURTY-four percent of executives are “most focused on news” immediately upon waking up, according to a global survey of 940 executives by Quartz, the business news website of the Atlantic Media Company.

The Global Executives Study by Quartz Insights polled 940 business leaders in 61 countries, including the Philippines, and 36 industries in an effort to “better understand how the world’s smartest, busiest people consume news every day, source and share industry intelligence, and respond to advertising.” Continue reading →

PH Mobile Internet Users

PH mobile Internet users growing fast: study

Mobile Internet users in the Philippines are a “small but fast growing group of people,” according to a study by On Device Research conducted in June and released last week.

The research company surveyed 900 mobile Internet users in June for the report. All the respondents were Android users, according to a footnote in the report. That demographic likely had an impact on the findings. On Device uses mobile devices to conduct surveys.

Citing data from Tigercub Digital and Oxford Business Group, On Device Research said the Philippines has the lowest smartphone penetration in Southeast Asia at 15 percent. In contrast, Malaysia is at 80 percent, Thailand at 49 percent, Indonesia at 23 percent and Singapore at 87 percent.

Rapid growth

But the Philippines is expected to reach 50 percent smartphone penetration in 2015. The growth is rapid, with the Philippines increasing faster than Indonesia and Vietnam combined, the company said, citing the International Data Corp. Continue reading →

FACEBOOK PAPER. The social networking giant has more than a billion active mobile users monthly, according to its founder and CEO. (Photo from Facebook newsroom)

Think mobile

In announcing his company’s purchase of Oculus VR, Facebook founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg said the social networking giant now has more than a billion active mobile users a month.

“Mobile is the platform of today, and now we’re also getting ready for the platforms of tomorrow,” Zuckerberg said to explain the purchase of the virtual reality company.

That’s stunning numbers from a company excoriated in the past for not getting mobile. After their initial debacle with taking a hybrid HTML5 approach to mobile, Zuckerberg turned things around and had the company release native apps for the major mobile platforms.

Continue reading →

TOURISM GUIDE ON THE PHONE. There are a lot of things that you can do better and differently on mobile. Among them is guiding tourists. Photo above shows Sinulog Guide on a Windows Phone. The guide is part of the Digital Tourism program of InnoPub Media, a startup I co-founded.

Mobile now

MOBILE isn’t the future; it’s the present. That’s the gist of recently released Internet usage reports.

Last month, more Americans used smartphones and tablets than desktops or laptops to access the Internet, according to a study by analytics company comScore.

Also last month, Nielsen released its Digital Consumer Report that found, among many other things, that Americans in 2013 spent an average of 34 hours every month using apps or mobile web browsers on their phones as opposed to 27 hours using the Internet on personal computers. Continue reading →

LG GPad

Mobile shift

There is a big chance you’re reading this on your phone. A bigger chance this year than in 2012, anyway.

A common pathway to this article would be from social networks like Facebook and Twitter, services that people are increasingly logging into through apps on their phones.

This year, an article in the BBC announced, is the year “we all went mobile.”

And it isn’t just about using small screen and portable devices, it’s about a state of mind, said the article written by business reporter Matthew Wall. Continue reading →