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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!



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 🙂

QR code spotting #2 – First Great Western and BBC Food

Continuing my hunt for interesting uses of QR codes I came across First Great Western using them in Reading Station to allow you to get pocket timetables for your mobile phone. Very nice 🙂


I also noticed a QR code on a food programme on BBC1 which takes you to the ingredients for the recipe that had just been cooked up.


QR codes are clearly beginning to creep into our world slowly.

The search continues…

QR code spotting #1 – Betfair

QR codes are a great idea and they appear to be growing in popularity in the UK. You can scan a QR code using your mobile and this will take you to a webpage chosen by the creator of the code.

Wikipedia defines a QR code as:

A QR code (abbreviated from Quick Response code) is a specific matrix barcode (or two-dimensional code) that is readable by dedicated QR readers, smartphones, and to a less common extent, computers with webcams. The code consists of black modules arranged in a square pattern on a white background. The information encoded may be text, URL, or other data.

I have been QR code spotting and yesterday I noticed that Betfair are placing QR codes on two beach volleyball players at the Olympic Test event. The QR code below takes the user to a registration page to join Betfair, offering consumers a free bet.

Betfair: online betting exchange prints QR codes on volleyball players' bikini bottoms  

Related to this I found this great doodle 🙂

Cartoon: Not What We Meant by ‘Mobile’ 

rob cartoon qr driving.png


6 reasons why you need a mobile strategy


The Facts

Let’s face it. Mobile devices have drastically shifted the online landscape to the point that in 2010 more than 50 percent of all Internet access was being done via handhelds of some sort. About 45 percent of mobile owners are using their devices to download social networking apps. In fact, 35 percent of Android and iPhone owners in the U.S. use apps such as Facebook before getting out of bed, according to a recent survey conducted by telecommunications equipment vendor Ericsson.

The reasons stated by this article are clear and obvious but mobile strategy appears to be hard to get right. I think the challenge for everyone is how you effectively put these reasons into your own mobile offereing and:

  1. successfully make it an extension of your online or physical brand
  2. ensure that you do not lose your customer base with an excess of advertisments or deals
  3. keep your customer engaged and make sure they have a reason to come back to your mobile site and or application


BBC News – BinCam makes students recycle through Facebook photos

A BinCam takes a photograph of any rubbish deposited into the bin and uploads this to Facebook where people are named and Psychology researchers can see how this may affect their behaviour.

Facebook’s global domination is now helping academic departments.

Where to use contactless payment in the UK

I wrote a brief post based on a BBC News article on the recently announced tie-up between Orange and Barclaycard who together are bringing mobile contactless payments to the UK

There are claims that 50,000 shops now support this technology in the UK according to the Sunday Times InGear magazine.


Here are some of the businesses accepting contactless payment:

Boots – 21 stores

Caffe Nero – Over 400 branches

Crussh – 24 London branches

Eat – 100 branches

Krispy Kreme – 50 branches

Little Chef – 162 restaurants

McDonald’s – 1200 branches

National Trust – 350 locations

Pret A Manger – 220 branches

Subway – over 1400 branches

There are also selected IKEA stores and Yo! Sushi restaurants and many more independent businesses.

Source: InGear magazine.

Social networks and their mobile user base #infographic

This great infographic has been recently updated and shows the numbers of mobile users as a proportion of their overall userbase. Of particular interest is Skype who have recently been acquired by Microsoft. An estimated 663m Skype users have mobile access higher than any other service including Facebook. There is definitely a valuable user base there for Microsoft especially as we know that there will be a Windows Phone 7 version coming when the Mango update is released.


Some other points of interest:

  • 5.3bn mobile devices worldwide
  • Over half of these are in the Asia & Pacific region where Nokia are strong
  • Microsoft properties Skype and Hotmail have access to over 1bn mobile devices
  • Where would BlackBerry’s BBM be on this map?

Source: @jess3


Sleepless? Then Stop Taking Your iPhone To Bed #infographic

Great infographic and article from @gigaom about how we just cannot bear to be without our mobile phones so much so it can affect our sleep!

The study found that mobile workers have a hard time being physically separated from their smartphones, even when it’s ostensibly time to sleep. More than half at 61 percent of those surveyed keep the phone in the bedroom, and 41 percent have it within arm’s reach of where they sleep. Those figures jump to 77 and 60 percent respectively when you’re talking about the younger crowd (respondents between the ages of 22 and 34). Just over a third at 35 percent of mobile workers check their email before doing anything else when they wake up in the morning, and another 38 percent admit to checking their email at various times during the night.


BBC News – Mobile wallet offered to UK shoppers

Mobile wallet offered to UK shoppers

I mentioned NFC on a recent post and came across a new service launched in the UK with Orange and Barclaycard called “Quick Tap” and featured on BBC news.

Does this mean mobile wallets are on the way? This service requries the NFC enabled Samsung Tocco Lite, clearly more handsets need to released and many more NFC readers installed in retailers / merchants.

I think that this is a good start in terms of adoption as you have a large mobile operator and a well known credit card working together. If the NFC rumours about the iPhone 5 are true and more handsets are released (no doubt on the Android platform) you too could save space in your wallets and purses 🙂

Paying with your phone
Continue reading the main story

The first service that allows users to pay for purchases via their mobile phone has been launched in the UK.

Among shops signed up to the system are McDonalds, EAT, Pret-a-Manger and some Boots stores.

Users wishing to use the system – dubbed Quick Tap – will need Orange and Barclaycard accounts as well as a handset set up for contactless payments.

The idea of the mobile wallet is gaining popularity around Europe.

Motorway toll

The service is made possible by Near Field Communication (NFC), the short-range wireless technology that underpins many wireless payment systems.

Quick Tap is a collaboration between Orange and Barclaycard. It will require a NFC-enabled Samsung Tocco Lite handset, which also goes on sale on Friday.

Mobile money looks like a useful addition to the way we handle our finances, rather than a necessity”

  Rory Cellan-Jones Technology Correspondent

Only purchases up to a value of £15 can be made using the service but users can preload their mobile with up to £100.

“Having a wallet on my phone has made it much more convenient to make purchases on the move and I like that it allows me to keep track of what I’m spending as I go,” said David Chan, chief executive of Barclaycard Consumer.

“It is going to start a revolution in the way we pay for things on the high street,” added Pippa Dunn, vice president of Orange.

Other stores signed up the service include Subway, Little Chef, Wilkinson and the National Trust.

Later this summer, users will also be able to use the service to pay the toll on the M6 motorway.

Olympic vision

Giles Ubaghs, an analyst with Datamonitor, thinks take-up may be sluggish.

“It is an important first step but I think there could be a lack of incentive. Early adopters may like it for the novelty value but the majority just won’t see the point,” he said.

Mobile wallet services have been available in Japan for some years and operator DoCoMo NTT spent a good deal of cash getting them up and running.

“They even had to buy a convenience store chain to get the readers in there but all the evidence is that people don’t use it that often. Only around 10% seem to use the NFC functionality on their phones,” said Mr Ubaghs.

Mobile couponing, where people can swipe their handsets in order to get discounts on goods, could kickstart NFC technology, he thinks.

Or it could find popularity in the future as an alternative to Bluetooth.

“It may be used for swapping data from phone to phone or for, say, taking pictures from a phone and putting them on a TV,” he said.

Nokia is believed to be bringing out an NFC-enabled version of the popular game Angry Birds later this year.

In 2009 O2 trialled contactless payments, using mobiles in place of the popular Oyster card which allows commuters to pay for their tube journeys.

It has said it will launch its mobile wallet service later this year.

By the time of the Olympics it is expected that transactions, transport and tickets will all be available via contactless technology.

Currently there are 50,000 stores with NFC-enabled readers in the UK.

Some 12.9 million credit and debit cards are already in circulation.