BLOG: 4 cool things learnt when I had to wipe my @windowsphone inc. remote app install

I had an issue with my HTC Trophy and the SMS messaging. My phone receives an SMS message but I cannot read it even though I see the text in the notification area at the top of the screen. It also did not appear in the thread in the Messaging hub.

Having played with soft resets and deleting (reluctantly) message threads with family members and friends I had to do a hard reset which did resolve the issue although I lost all my messages 😦

Some points of interest:

1) The integration with Windows Live meant that all my contacts were all available having signed in during the welcome screen. I expected this to be pretty straightforward due to the integration of services like Windows Live. This included all the pictures I assigned to contacts too.

2) SkyDrive – I auto-upload all my camera pictures to my SkyDrive account and pulling my pictures back was automatic. I re-added my picture of MS Dhoni (Indian Cricket Captain) to my wallpaper 😛

3) LinkedIn and Twitter integration – With the Mango 7.5 release – LinkedIn integration was added and I saw this on my phone Settings > email+accounts > add an account


I think I may prefer Twitter integration using the People hub for reading tweets than having to go into an app like Birdsong – it is far quicker.

4) Remote install of apps – This is the coolest thing I found by a long way. I logged on to Windows Live and looked at my phone details.


I noticed when clicking on Account – a list of all my installed apps including and whether they were Trial or Purchased.


I then noticed a “Reinstall” option and when selecting this you are able to remotely send a request to your phone to install your chosen app. My Windows Phone then just started to install the app by itself. This is a really neat feature which could be further improved if you could select a batch to be installed.

After my intial displeasure of having to wipe everything (hard reset) from my Windows Phone, the experience to get everything back was much smoother than I expected and although I know about Windows Live and contacts I also learnt about some new features too.

The fact that I lost all my text messages is still not great but I think a feature to back these up in the cloud would distinguish Microsoft from other players.

Roll on Windows Phone 8!




Social Networking at Work #infographic


Interesting snippets in this infographic including 64% of employees use their mobile device to access Social Networks and 62% access Social Networks 1-2 times a day.

23 of the coolest QR codes

A really great set of QR codes from the US – these are a far sight nicer than the ones I have mentioned recently.

I have not seen any QR codes as creative over here in the UK.

Twitter hashtag on FIFA12 TV Advert #FIFA12

I noticed that on the new FIFA12 Advert instead of the usual

  1. URL
  2. Search for FIFA12
  3. Look for us on Facebook

there was the #FIFA12 hashtag displayed on the final screen of the adverts.

EA appear to be promoting the hashtag to help spread the message of the release of the new game on the 30th September. Twitter clearly is a great means to allow gamers to talk about the game and will compliment EA’s marketing strategy.


5 reasons you???re probably wasting time with QR codes


An interesting negative view on using QR codes. The 5 reasons being

  1. Not everybody has a smartphone
  2. The process can be confusing
  3. They lack cross-media functionality
  4. They may be too much trouble for the consumer
  5. A bad experience could be prohibitive

I think the challenge may be a QR code reader that works outside of the iPhone, Android, BlackBerry and Windows Phone platforms (Point 4). This article is specific to the US and UK adoption rates for smartphones are high.

Point 3 has some strength but I have seen some very effective and creative uses of QR codes which I have written blog posts on including First Great Western allowing you to download timetables. This article states the obvious when it says QR codes cannot be used on radio.

QR codes in the UK appear to be still gathering momentum.

25 most popular men’s fragrances #infographic

One of the more interesting infographics I have come across. If you are a guy this shows the 25 most popular fragrances, their component scents, price and the associated parent company.


Source: Live Magazine

INFOGRAPHIC: How big is the world of cloud computing?

I love infographics and saw this a while back.

It shows

  • how large cloud data centres are 
  • how they make sense from a cost perspective compared with a “traditional” data centre
  • how huge Amazon’s infrastructure is



Learn to code using codecademy it’s FREE


I was reading the following article on TechCrunch

I have been looking at tools to assess the quality of potential new employees so this caught my eye although not suitable for me I think it is a great idea. It has foursquare type achievement badges so you can get “social” and learn with your friends.

It clearly is getting popular with TechCrunch reporting 2.1 million lessons completed in 72 hours and with a recent investment of $4 million. 

I am intrigued to see what their business model going forward will be, it looks like they are going for the freemium model with the current offering being free and maybe charging for specific lessons. If they want to do more advanced assessments to screen more experienced developers that would be great. 


Uploading pictures to the web with your Windows Phone 7


A great example of the great services support available on Windows Phone 7 instead of emailing pictures to myself I can upload to SkyDrive 🙂

I also found a neat feature that automatically uploads your pictures to SkyDrive. I will now have all my pictures backed up to the web in case I lose my phone and can easily share them.

I can’t wait for Mango and the next generation of Windows Phones 🙂

London Paddington to Reading trains are the worst for overcrowding

I have grown up in Reading and whilst the close proximity to London and journey time of 30 mins is great I am well aware of the peak time chaos on the journeys to and from London. I remember how often I have been standing in the vestibule en route to Paddington but luckily I have so far not had to make this journey daily.
This peak time chaos has been the topic of an article in the Guardian and Daily Mirror which stated that London Paddington is the worst station for overcrowded trains in the London and South East.
Of the ten most crowded trains 3 involved the Reading to Paddington route and to make matters worse the trains are also holding double their load capacity.

Figures yesterday revealed the worst service for overcrowding is the 6.37am Reading to London Paddington where 610 standard class passengers squeeze into three carriages meant to hold 304.

And on the evening return trip at 6.45pm, 588 commuters cram into the train.

I do not yet see improvements to these services despite the risk to passengers’ safety and rising ticket prices.

How about:

  • more trains at peak times and longer platforms
  • the Reading to Waterloo line becoming “high speed”
  • there is no penalty for the train companies for overcrowding, how about free tickets if the train is full and you are standing?
  • In First Great Western’s case we have older trains too when is their rolling stock going to be changed- in the summer it is also very uncomfortable with no or poorly performing AC.

UPDATE: We also have the recent annoucement that train fares are going to rise by 8% too 😦

    Ten most crowded trains in London and the south-east

    06.37 Reading-Paddington

    18.45 Paddington-Reading

    18.15 Paddington-Oxford

    06.30 Bristol Temple Meads- Paddington

    07.40 Reading-Paddington

    06.07 Oxford-Paddington

    16.57 Paddington-Reading

    07.09 Oxford-Paddington

    07.28 Bourne End-Paddington

    17.18 Paddington-Oxford