My Ideas

If you’re reading this page then you’ve probably noticed that I’m both passionate about and have an intuitive knowledge of mobile devices. If you’re not reading this page then I can say whatever I want about you because you’ll never find out and your mother said “Hi” last night as she licked at that camel’s rectum. Anyway, back to the post. Undoubtedly you’ve noticed that I push mobile technology further than most people, and also know that I’ve got a very definite picture in my head about the future of mobile devices and software. When I get passionate about a phone you know it’s got something worth being passionate about, and the fact that even the latest phones don’t fully meet my needs shows you that my view of the future is born of necessity and innovation rather than copying ideas from other companies.

Wouldn’t it be great if my ideas could somehow be brought to the attention of the CEO of a company that creates a leading mobile phone operating system? Can you imagine the fast forward the technology would have if my ideas were taken on board and integrated into a new operating system? That’s the reason I recently signed up for an account on Symbian Ideas, where I can submit my ideas and get them rated by others, and eventually have them brought to the attention of the Symbian CEO. Well, that and the fact that my last source in the Symbian team recently left the business meaning that if I’m going to post about the future here I’m going to have to create that future myself. Unfortunately the site is full of people who’re going the “copying ideas from other companies” route that I mentioned earlier, with hardly any innovation in their ideas at all so I don’t know how long the initiative will last.

My first idea that I posted there is as follows, and includes links to more detailed posts that I’ve made here.

I suggest scrapping third and first party downloadable applications having new icons and instead integrating them into the existing applications already on the phone.

Okay the basic idea is that the phones have a more powerful core application package (PIM functionality, gallery, image editing, web browser, etc), achieved by combining some features, that deals with most situations and that can have the core applications functionalitys improved via plugins to add new features and browser window shaping widgets rather than having an entirely new application added to the menu. These plugins would use the core user interface as standard, only adding new functions to the existing applications. For example, rather than downloading a new application to add funny stickers to my images I’d add a plugin to my image editor that does that. Rather than downloading a new Twitter client I’d add a widget to my Twitter bookmark that shapes how the site is presented when I open the bookmark.

This would result in both a cleaner user interface with less icons needed, making it easier for newcomers to find their way around the phone and for themers to create themes, and a more personal device containing only the extra functions you actually need. As user interface wouldn’t be a concern for most developers, they could release smaller function packages quickly for smaller development costs, luring bedroom coders towards Symbian as they design things for their own use.

I’ve written about this in a bit more detail before now and there are more examples and a more advanced way of looking at this at that link. I’ll try to copy it over at some point, but the main points are all present.

So, here’s what I need from my readers, all you other mobile junkies who come here for your fix of mobile news and views amongst other things. I need you to visit the site I linked earlier in the post and make your own account, then vote for my idea and any others that you like so that they can be brought to the attention of the people who can actually make that happen. Remember, my view of the mobile future is a glorious one that just needs a chance.
πŸ˜€

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49 thoughts on “My Ideas

  1. Who surreptitiously snuck links in there to his own blog? ;)No … you should, though. Because then people can follow back and find out that you know what you're on about.(Yes, ladies and gentlemen, he got a PC user to sign up to a mobile user site just to vote for his mobile idea … :whistle: πŸ˜‰ ).

  2. Just put my vote there for your idea. One day, when you become a CEO of some mobile device company, I will come to take my share πŸ˜›

  3. The thing is that it's mostly PC users who have access to and knowledge of that site (I had to use three browsers to post that idea myself) so my readership has problems because they're mainly mobile. One of the things I've been doing while not posting so much this past couple of weeks is compiling and checking IPs to see how many repeat visitors I get and 97 of the 163 people who come here every single day are on phones (it was a lot more before Widsets shut :irked: ), with the other half of my readers getting here through searches, and one guy from Westbury who searches for "kittens" every single day so falls into both categories.As for links, most other people that put links into their requests were something along the lines of "Mak it betta lyk this" with this being the word that links to a photo of a rival smartphone. I figured I should use mine to save just copying my post into a new idea thread there.I'll cross post any ideas I put up there with posts on this page for those that are interested and link to them for voting purposes. I may also link to other people's ideas that I think are absolutely brilliant.

  4. Why do mobile users have such trouble using that site? Who designed it? You figure mobile users would be the ones most interested in going there, yet it's difficult for them to get into? Odd … :confused:Hello 'guy from Westbury who searches for "kittens" every single day'. Yes … behold, the power of HitsLink! πŸ˜†

  5. It's long been thought that smartphone users should have access to a PC in order to use their phones properly, a thought that I and others are slowly eradicating. Most of the sites are designed without taking mobile browsers into account, with the flashiest looking but least friendly site design used. Firmware updates used to assume that you'd backed up your details to a PC. Feedback forms used to report problems were Flash based in the days when mobile browsers couldn't use Flash, with no other way of contacting the team in charge of those sites. Some phones built by fruit companies still can't even be used until they've been connected to a computer containing their music system software/viral spyware solution.

  6. I have just one wish I need a hand held desktop pc in the form of a mobile phone: 1Gb RAM, 1Ghz processor, support for flash and all audio/video formats, Ubantu OS, Opera desktop browser running on it. πŸ˜† And yeah, more advanced mobile networks: 3g, 4g, 7g etc.Price= $300 to $400.

  7. Kiran you're not going to get that because you're being unrealistic and have no idea of how the business works. It'll be a good five years after 4G networks are out before the cheapest phones on them are that affordable and even then you've still got to wait for fourth generation networks to make it to your country. Ubunto as a mobile OS is a nightmare and would require more processing power and RAM than you'd get for the price you asked for. 1Ghz processors are only just in the most expensive phones and, while they'll be old news by the time your price and network standards are met, your standards will no doubt rise in that amount of time. Support for Flash is out for all decent phones but getting all audio and video formats on one device is impossible because they keep creating new ones. And the Opera desktop browser doesn't run on any mobile devices, although Firefox has a version.The closest you'll get in today's market is the absolutely gorgeous N900 powerhouse, although you'll probably be disappointed in that too.

  8. I saw its videos using Skyfire browser on my phone. With N900, I think they getting closer to my dream phone. πŸ˜€ http://www.nokian900.com/From your post, I think your ideal mobile OS is basically a browser with applications in the form of bookmarks and plugins in it, right?

  9. Nope. The idea I put forward is for all applications to be extensible via plugins rather than extra applications that duplicate functionality. Have a look at the "combining some features" link in the idea to see how I forsee something as simple as the phone book application evolving over time to become a full personal information manager, with some cloud based functionality included to pull web details down from social sites.What I want from the browser is the ability to add scripting files to bookmarks. For example, I decide to use Twitter and can download or code a file that shapes the site perfectly for my screen and needs. I apply that widget file to the bookmark and whenever I click that bookmark the widget designates the CSS used and how data is displayed for me, as well as what specific data is downloaded. The same with other bookmarks for other sites. It's about displaying information in a friendly manner and getting at it quickly without the need for mobile specific sites or third party applications.For core applications I see their functionality being upped via plugins rather than having to download new applications and swap between them when doing complex work. The example there is an image editor that can gain new frames, brush styles and whatever the user desires so it can become a fully fledged art program or just a way to add funky speech bubbles to your photos, depending on the users needs. Everything would be handled from within the core application itself rather than the 7 image manipulation programs I currently use on my phones plus the three I use on the PC for making themes occasionally.Imagine you didn't have to do a software update to get new phone features and instead just clicked inside an application that you use to see what new abilities it can have. The manufacturer has released a few new tools to use with it for free and there are larger packages that offer more esoteric abilities for a small price. You check your map/navigation application and find that someone's created a plugin that lets you play an online multiplayer nuclear war game using it (this would also appear in the game player catalog if you checked there). Your media player has a funky new DJ game to play with your music as well as some new visualizations created by people and costing a small amount of money, but the manufacturer has also released a free plugin that adds some new audio and video codecs to the player. On the contacts front several sites have released plugins that add the ability to get specific details from their sites direct to your phone, and the manufacturer has added a new set of business card formats for printing out contact details all of which are free. On the camera front someone has created a few templates for you to slot faces into, someone else has added new colour modes and the manufacturer has released a new update that improves photo taking. You see how I envisage it now?

  10. http://www.e71fanatics.com/2009/06/e71-weather-application-psiloc-traveler.htmlThis is Pisilco World Traveler app, it offers additional functionality in the form of plugins. I don't know why they removed it from the Ovi store. But what about competing companies? They will create plugins for a core app instead of creating separate apps? For example, If there is a core app for weather information on my phone, the Pisilco World Traveler and its competion the Worldmate will provide plugins for it instead of creating two different apps? If there's a game core app it will show various games as a list instead of displaying various icons and making the phone littered with icons? And in case of browser, we need to download the scripting files from the sites we use and add them to the bookmarks and when the bookmarks are clicked the sites will be opened acting as widgets? I got it right this time? Yes, this will make the phones less littered with icons.

  11. That's the one. Less icons, same user interface throughout the device, less coding needed for developers to learn. And, as developers wouldn't be able to duplicate functionality and rely on a slick user interface to get them ahead, they'd be forced to be more innovative in order to stand out.

  12. Well, Ubuntu is Linux so maybe Kiran really just want's an open source operating system. as for the powerhouse hardware, it's tough to cram power into a small package since you need a certain minimum number of transistors to do it with. I don't think that Ubuntu is practicle for a mobile. Even Ubuntu Mobile, that's aimed at Mobile Internet Devices or MID's is kinda bloated. Android is still having teething problems and hasn't quite lived up to it's promise. BTW, a MID or Mobile Internet Device is basically a very expensive netbook with a touch-screen instead of a keyboard. It would be kinda hard to put that in your pocket. Although you can run Moblin on one which will give you a User Interface that will be very familiar to Mobile phone users. At some point, no matter how powerfull a phone is, it's tiny screen real-estate limits what it can do. So untill there is a simple way to give you a larger screen image when you need it, that will still be a limiting factor. An open api for the next generation of Symbian phones is a brilliant idea. By improving the way apps integrate and providing the ability to add pluggins to increase the number of weekend warriors that can program good stuff in their spare time. I have a computer, (sort of) and I still can't write Symbian apps because the Symbian SDK is tightly bound to Window$ and hence to Mickey$oft.OK, Enough talk from me now, I've got some votin' to do! :p.

  13. And with that vote I'm through to the expert refinement stage with a 100% approval rating. :yes: And some people with different views from the mobile hardcore joined up who may well bring much different views to the attention of developers. Win win in my book.

  14. Well you'd try out the ones you like and only pay for what you want, though a world clock wouldn't be available as that is already core functionality in the phone and no-one would make one as it wouldn't sell.As for Opera and Skyfire, they're currently applications that bring the web to you via their own servers, and with their own menu systems. Once you remove the User Interface all they are is a couple of applications that use data to pull webpages to you. As the browser does that anyway, a browser plugin can easily add their "flavour" of the web to your regular browser. The plugin allows you to turn Opera on or off and when it's on it sends website requests through the Opera server, allows you to read and save OBML files (which is the format Opera pages are sent to you as). A second browser plugin could provide Opera Link functionality to keep your bookmarks with you wherever you go. Simple.

  15. But what about the browser app? How the Opera, Bolt, and Skyfire etc. will approach to improve it? And for the core weather app if the Worldmate and the World Traveler provided their own versions of world clock as plugins, then we'll have to keep the one we like and delete the one we don't like to avoid the cluttering?

  16. Just thought I'd keep you all up to date on this and let you know what your votes mean in the long run.So far we're past the community voting stage and the idea has been brought to the attention of the Symbian Foundation team which is a good thing. Now Scott Weiss, the UI Technology Director for the Symbian Foundation, and author of Handheld Usability (a book from 2002 about how mobile handsets could be a lot more user friendly) has applied to join the team on this idea so I'm definitely looking forward to what he has to say about this.However this goes, thanks to everyone who voted. It'll be nice to see if I can make a difference to how future mobiles end up. :up:

  17. Originally posted by Furie:

    However this goes, thanks to everyone who voted.

    Never mind that, just hurry up and send that money like you promised … πŸ˜‰

  18. Yeah, I finished it last year but Apple wont approve it because it takes away their control of devices that people have paid Β£900 for and how dare I try to do that.

  19. P.S: just in case anyone's still confused, I'm refering to themes on my phone, not on this (or any other) web page. :up:.

  20. No, I mean the theme from symbian foundation. The text box is hard to read what you're typing when that theme's selected. I've gone back to the default 'dots' theme again. :left:.It's a pity 'cos I liked that theme. :awww:.

  21. Hmmm, the text is black on my phone with the silver background behind it. Perhaps it's not optimised for E-series models?

  22. The text is a very thin black! :left:. barely visible.and the line drawings of the background are dark grey, so it adds to the difficulty of reading what you're typing. It's only when you're typing something that it's hard to see. :left:.It could also be that the South African region code is still a few years behind, with no firmware updates in sight! :cry:.

  23. 'display settings' doesn't have any settings for font on my phone. :left:.The three sub menu's under display settings are; Light sensor, Power saver time-out and Light time-out. :left:.Light sensor appears to be a 'brightness' control, not a contrast control. :awww:.It probably doesn't help that this is a 'South African' phone with a South African region code. The firmware version is dated 2007 and no newer firmware is available for this region code :irked:.There is a way to hack the region code, but it requires a firmware update to be available for the existing region code. (you alter the region code on the firmware image before using it to update the firmware) so that doesn't help me. :irked:.The next time I buy a phone I'm having it smuggled in from Furtopia! :whistle:.

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