Another new iPhone app has just launched from raaza: the Addicted to Ibiza Island Guide 2010. This is the app you need to discover the best parties, places, news and music on the island. The app features all of the following:

  • The Addicted to Ibiza Blog for all the latest island news.
  • The Addicted Island Map with all the hottest bars and clubs, and how to get there.
  • Addicted’s Recommended Places guide with the best clubs, bars, beaches and more all detailed for you.
  • The Addicted Events Guide, with the deets for literally hundreds of the island’s hottest parties, from Amnesia to Pacha and more.
  • A Shout Outs section
  • Solid full length DJ mixes from top DJs like Pete Gooding, DJ Melon, Sarcastic and Rich Hope.
  • We did this app in partnership with the Addicted to Ibiza blog. And had a lot of fun doing it. I feel like I know the island pretty much inside and out now. Could come in handy if I end up going there in September. :-) Pick up the app below.


    Written on July 27th, 2010 , All, Mobile, Social Software, Tech


Simon 3000 is a modern day take on the classic Simon game from the 1980s that lets you compete against your Facebook friends and other players nearby. It’s a contemporary Simon with social and location-based features.

It’s just launched into the iPhone App Store and you can check it out here.


Written on May 10th, 2010 , All, Mobile, Tech

I’ve been following events at the MWC over the past several days and it shaped up to be a fairly interesting conference. Here I’ve summarised my thoughts on some topics of interest:

  • Mobile broadband, as ever, is a hot topic. The promise of high-speed data over 3G has floundered a bit given that there can still be fairly high latency even if transfer speeds are reasonable (though I can’t say I’ve ever achieved even close to the 3.6MBit promised by Three anywhere in London on Three’s HSDPA network). The 4G networks due to roll out in 2012 that promise bit rates in the 1 GBit/sec (!) range certainly capture interest, particularly LTE Advanced, which seems to be the front-running contender for adoption by carriers.
  • Green issues are being talked up quite a lot. Apparently a year of average mobile phone use generates 25kg of greenhouse gases.
  • Mobile advertising is on everyone’s agenda, given that conversion rates are in the 7% – 12% range vs the pitiful rates offered by internet advertising.
  • Product announcements were a bit lackluster. We have a new touchscreen Android phone, the HTC Magic from Vodafone, a new 12MP shooter from Sony Ericsson (which will run Symbian, thankfully), Nokia’s first 8MP shooter, the N86, and two new handsets from HTC: the Touch Pro 2 and TouchDiamond 2
  • The INQ1 won best mobile handset, largely on the back of their deep integration with Facebook and other social software. It certainly wasn’t the mid-tier hardware.
  • Verizon was demo’ing it’s new Novarra content adaptation system. I’m a little disappointed to see that the biggest carrier in the US is now using Novarra transcoders because they do pose real difficulties for mobile development, as I’ve blogged about previously
  • Attendance numbers were down around 15%, from 55,000 in 2008 to 47,000 this year.

In July 2007 Vodafone rolled out its mobile internet service with much fanfare. One of its promises was to deliver mobile content formatted for mobile phones that conserves bandwidth and makes it more appropriate for the smaller screens of mobile devices relative to desktop computers. At that time Vodafone also began offering a reasonably priced flat rate data plan for this service.

Unfortunately the mechanism by which content is formatted for mobile devices presents challenges for mobile developers. Vodafone’s WTE (Web Translation Engine) uses a Novarra transcoder to reformat web pages, downsize & downgrade images, etc. The WTE system does this by intercepting HTTP requests from the mobile device, mangling the HTTP headers of the request and resubmitting the request. When it receives the response, it then performs several transformations on the data, including changing the HTTP headers of the HTTP response and then sends the response back to the mobile device.

Probably the most dire consequence for mobile developers is that the WTE system changes the “User-Agent” header of the request to dupe web servers into thinking that the request is not coming from a mobile device, but a desktop web browser (specifically the Mozilla desktop browser). Sites that have specially formatted their content for mobile devices often depend on the “User-Agent” header to determine whether they should return the mobile format or desktop format of their sites. The system has a few way to circumvent this, by hosting content at specifically formatted domain names or by setting a “Cache-Control: No-Transform” header on the request. These methods are discussed here.

This prevents HTTP responses from being transformed, but what it does not do is prevent HTTP requests from mobile devices being transformed. I’ve found that when I make HTTP requests from a mobile device with certain HTTP headers set for things like security, the WTE system strips these off and submits a request to my web servers without these headers. Naturally, this is frustrating. Vodafone UK are looking into this for me and hopefully I will get an answer soon. One thing they can do is put my domains on a white list so no requests or responses will be transformed at all, but Vodafone UK certainly aren’t the only company using Novarra transcoders and I don’t envy having to submit white list requests to all of them. I’m hoping there is another solution that is not yet publicly documented.

Issues relating to the WTE system are discussed on Betavine in this Betavine forum.

Written on January 16th, 2009 , Dev & Test, Mobile, Tech

I’ve been using my Nokia N95 for about 1.5 years now, and while there is much that I like about it, the camera is just not quite up to snuff. The camera is one of the features I use most in a mobile phone and so I’d decided that now my contract is up, I’d go far a serious camera phone at the cost of perhaps losing some of the smartphone features I’ve come to know and love.

The Sony Ericsson C905 fits the bill. With a brilliant Cybershot 8.1MP camera, it is almost as good quality as the ultracompact Cybershot that I own. The camera is good in low light but does have a propensity for red eye, I’ve found.

As for the rest of the phone, it’s been a bit of a let down. It’s not really a smartphone but more of a feature phone, and it shows. The screen is not huge and the RSS feeds I’ve set up on it take a huge amount of screen real estate. Furthermore, the processing power of the device is not great. J2ME apps take significantly longer to install and load on this device than my old N95. The menuing system is slightly convoluted, moreso than Symbian, with some features being nested deep within a huge number of clicks. And the phone book lookup and predictive text is not nearly as clever as Symbian’s implementation.

In light of all this I’m slightly regretting having picked up this phone, but every time I need to use the camera (i.e. often) it feels somewhat redeemed.

Written on December 2nd, 2008 , Gadgets, Mobile


I can’t express enough how underwhelmed I am by the recent announcement of the iPhone 3G. I honestly thought the second generation iPhone might be appealing enough for me to make it my regular phone, but with such glaring feature omissions I will be saving it for times of desperation.

For me what really kills it are the following:

  • Poor camera and no video. 2 megapixels just doesn’t cut it. With 8MP camera phones that are video-capable launching in Europe this summer it’s hard not to fault this.
  • Lack of Bluetooth support. Yes, the iPhone 3G supports Bluetooth, but only for certain devices and it lacks stereo Bluetooth and support for many hands-free in-car systems. Not to mention that the device doesn’t support Bluetooth file transfers. Ouch.
  • Still no support for multitasking. Argh.. Jobs claims this is to preserve battery life, but what a frustration. I often have many apps open at a time on my Nokia devices and find it hard to imagine that I could function otherwise.
  • Hopefully the next iPhone will hold more promise. Power smartphone users demand better than this.

    Written on May 7th, 2008 , Gadgets, Mobile is proudly powered by WordPress and the Theme Adventure by Eric Schwarz
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