Tuesday, August 09, 2005

Bluetooth integration for a Sony Ericsson phone !

I have complained in the past about poor implementation of Bluetooth utilities under Windows when compared to OSX.
Well, BluePhoneElite may well be the creme da la creme on OSX but on Windows it now has a serious competitor in the form of FMA (floAT's Mobile Agent) - a true example of how well Bluetooth can be implemented under Windows XP.

It features all the things that seem obvious, yet missing from the SE packages - ability to look up a contact and send them an SMS, archive old messages, perform actions based on proximity, manage your contacts and folders, provide information about battery status, signal strength and even the temperature of the phone, and... the best bit... it includes a very sophisticated sync capability with Outlook.

Sure, it's not perfect yet, but then again... many apps take a while to evolve. What FMA has that sets it apart from anything else I've seen for integrating my SE T610 with WinXP is the expandability - scripts, an API and a powerful underlying engine.

If every SE phone came with this on the installation CD their competitors would weep. At least, those smart enough to realise that these days a phone isn't just a fashion accessory !

Tuesday, August 02, 2005

Emerald isn't here yet, and people are worried about Diamond !

I don't get it. People are worrying about the next release of MCE - Diamond - when Emerald is what matters right now...

why ?

Because no matter what jam is promised tomorrow it's the bread and butter we have today which will generate WAF and help people consider an MCE solution (very much a niche like the MS Tablet PC platform) over a set-top-box and PVR combo.

At the moment I can do out and get a dual-tuner STB/PVR solution and plug it into a Plasma/LCD and 5.1 (or better) speakers and have an "instant-on", 100% reliable, easy to use solution (especially if I happed to live in a country with an EPG) that doesn't hang for random reasons or suffer all the other idiosyncrasies that sadly part of anything as sophisticated as a WinXP based solution (I wonder how much code there is in a typical MCE install that's totally redundant)

If Emerald can't tidy up the user experience for MCE (or at least go a long way to making it stable, slicker and smarter) then Diamond (no matter what bells'n'whistles and/or limitations it 'offers' in its new hardware hogging form) is going to have a much harder sell.

Here in Aus the problem certainly isn't all at the feet of Microsoft - a lack of an EPG coupled with the very cavalier attitude towards actually adhering to schedules is enough to alienate a lot of users - driving them into the arms of BitTorrent to actually get the shows they want to see, when they want to see them....