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All posts tagged iPhone

Yo A New Mobile App Is Making Waves…

The app is elegant in its simplicity, you pick a person from the app and they receive a Yo.

The big news is that Yo apparently has received $1.2 million in investment for this and many of the newspapers, tech bloggers and public have unleashed a Snarknado online and in print against the app.

Yo - Snarknado

Why you no like this app?

This is just a small sample of the comments and reviews that Yo is getting online:

Yo - Comments

The app seems simple and has left people puzzled about the buzz behind a one-shot app; both about the absence of features and how they secured funding.

Perhaps the most favorable coverage comes from Techcrunch who seem to have a more open minded grasp of the potential behind Yo.

Many of the people I’ve been reading who have taken issue with Yo and its funding are serious Startup entrepreneurs who sweat blood and tears to secure investment for amazing products and seem quite fairly frustrated at an event that could have negative ramifications for future funding.

The Warptest POV

What does Yo really do? I pondered this over a double espresso this morning. Should I be taking this app at face value?

Yo screengrab from Google Play Store

Yo - screengrab

When all else fails I look at the psychology and at the people involved.

What does Yo really do? It provides a solution to the signal : noise ratio in our existing digital modes of communication. Just getting someone’s attention to begin one on one engagement via email, Twitter, Facebook, WhatsApp etc is a challenge of monumental proportion. Assuming that Yo is adopted by many more people then this might be the use case.

It’s worth considering that in a world where the buzzwords of Lean Startup and Agile Methodology are so popular, Yo has managed to out-Lean and out-Agile everyone else. With Facebook Messenger and Foursquare’s Swarm just two examples of the new trend of splitting features into standalone apps, has this app delivered a first iteration based on this model?

If you consider that and then look at the people, one of the investment players is allegedly the CEO of Mobli, a company whose product is a cross-device, social platform for photo and video sharing.

Is it going to somehow tie into Mobli and offer users the ability to send a Yo to a friend and then share or exchange photo or video from Mobli as another one of these “feature as a standalone apps”?

Only time will tell but whether you are an early adopter of Yo or not, I would be keeping a close eye on the app to see if it is a fad or an app with much greater potential.

Oh, and Yo if you are reading this where is the Windows Phone love? You certainly have the investment to make this happen now, right?

UPDATE

Since this post Yo moved rapidly to release the Windows Phone version of the app and apparently an API and a Hackathon.

21/07/2014: Earlier today I got a tweet from a good friend suggesting I add an update to this post regarding current events.

A couple of weeks ago as the rain of missiles out of Gaza intensified over the South of Israel and spread northwards to threaten and encompass almost 2/3rds of the country, a pair of talented developers, Ari Sprung and Kobi Snir built on Yo to provide smartphone users everywhere (and not just Israel) the chance to receive Red Alerts of missiles launched at their cities. This provided an early warning to allow the 15 to 90 seconds (depending on distance from the launch site) to get to a bomb shelter or other safe cover but also exposed the frequency and geography of the situation to those outside Israel who chose to use this.

The story was picked up by ABC.

On a personal note, my hat is off to the pair of developers for using their imagination and skill to leverage an app many dismissed as frivolous into a public safety application. Well played guys.

It seems that as the founders of Yo say, it is about the context. New use cases are about your context and imagination.

Welcome to the Test Lab of Horror

This is where once a year at Warptest you can hear the rattle of chains, the howl of a wolf in the distance, the slow, sinister creak of floorboards in the dark and more…

Let your imagination run rampant at the phrase Test Lab of Horror. What could be horrific in a Test Lab?

No! No! Anything But That…

Last year it occurred to me, one dark and stormy night (of course) how interesting it would be to perform an experiment in the Test Lab and in the real world too.

Something that would strike terror in the very core of my test subjects. So I decided to see what would happen if we took Smartphone users out of their comfort zones.

Majorly out of their comfort zones.

Let’s call our test lab subjects Tom, Dick, Harry and Sue.

Tom is an inveterate iPhone user, Dick an Android Phone user, Harry is a devout Blackberry user and Sue is devoted to her Windows Phone.

Imagine getting the test subjects to agree to go one day, unaided, uninstructed with an unfamiliar Smartphone… all the while hooked up to a diagnostic monitor to record brainwaves, heartbeat, pulse, blood pressure and breathing.

Imagine we now set the test subjects various tasks to complete throughout the day as a competition with these unfamiliar Smartphones.

What do you think the diagnostic monitors would show?

  1. Make and receive calls. At first with nothing else happening on the phone.
  2. Listen to music / Watch a video from the web.
  3. Receive a call or access voicemail from a missed call whilst listening to music or watching video.
  4. Save a new Contact and see if it is possible to link that information to other accounts (e.g. Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn for the same contact)
  5. Add the user’s accounts for Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn or their email.
  6. Tom would have to open a new Gmail account, Dick an Outlook.com account … and so on.
  7. Each would then have to access their new cloud storage connected to the new email.
  8. Sync the phone.
  9. Find the app store for the phone and add new apps.
  10. Find directions to travel to a specified location following the map/GPS application.
  11. Post content to social networks and include the fact to their friends that they were trying out said Smartphone.
  12. Update the OS on the phone.

The Warptest POV

The anxiety that using an unfamiliar Smartphone can cause, no matter how intuitive, is no small matter. Especially when the person in question is strongly attached or invested in a specific platform or OS. The true fanboi’s would almost certainly reject any better UX out of hand (probably as vociferously as this):

I suspect that some users are able to work through their initial fear and inability to cope with the unfamiliar.

At the end of the day some of us are so dependent on our Smartphones, even as productivity devices that we might suck it up and experiment enough to find the solution ourselves.

The question you are probably asking yourself, is how would you cope in our Test Lab?

No fanboi’s were harmed or traumatized in the experiments that led to this post (honest).

The Nokia Lumia 1020…

… Some disagree on it being innovative but for sure it’s making people think. My thanks to insightful, gentleman tweep @BrianSHall for stimulating my grey cells this morning while I was on the train. He posted a tweet about Apple needing to compete with the Nokia Lumia 1020 which led me to totally rewrite this post, thanks Brian.

My response was two words Retina Camera.

Don’t Make Me Repeat Myself

I’ve already written my opinion of the Nokia Lumia 1020 shortly after the launch event. This is more about market ramifications for all the other Smartphones out there but especially Apple.

Nokia Lumia 1020

What are HTC, Apple and all the others doing in response to the Lumia 1020 raising the bar?

Word of the day is once again, “opportunity”.

The Warptest POV

Tim Cook and Apple had a wake-up call last year with the Nokia 808 PureView. This was truly the shape of things to come.

Nokia Pureview 808

Anyone who didn’t realize this technology was being integrated into the Lumia Windows Phone was asleep at the wheel.

Is a year plus long enough for Apple to build the iPhone 5S/6 with a Retina Camera, associated Apps and an SDK like Nokia has?

That depends on a combination of ego and policy more than development and testing. The bottom line is, which is more important to Apple: seeing their product spec driven by competitors’ innovations and not their own or maintaining a competitive edge?

iphone

With thanks to Apple for the image.

(My hope is companies like HTC read the writing on the wall too but that’s a different kettle of fish).

After the “so-so” reception of the iPhone 5 can Apple afford not to deliver their next iPhone / iPad with a Retina Camera? The Smartphone wars may be flaring up again and the consumers are the ones who will benefit from this.

tim meh

Are you on the fence over which Smartphone will be your next and does the idea of having the best camera on your phone make the difference to your decision?