Mailbox for iPhone didn’t impress me much!

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Today morning, I was lucky to get access to the MailBox app. There’s so much that a queue to get something and good reviews for the same, can do to you!

Mailbox is a nice email app, but nothing revolutionary, as I expected. After having used it for a day, I realise that it’s better marketed than built or conceived as a product! Early access to a ‘few’ folks, brilliant idea of reserving the app in advance and all that topped with the icing that allows you to download and keep looking at the ticker! This game looked very interesting, in a good sense.

However, while there was so much noise about this app ‘changing’ the way we’ll handle email, I realised that it is for a certain ‘kind’ of users. They’re definitely not the ones who have considerably high volume of emails coming in.

Not just that, it tries to mix the task app and the email app, which for me, serve very different purposes. I would instead wish for an excellent integration between the two. Not a replacement of either.

Reminds me of John Gruber, who rightly said that this app has a different target audience, those who are very gmail centric and have one email address.

I would agree with John on the fact that this won’t replace the Mail.app on iPhone for me. I love labels, folders and the ability to ‘manage’ email.

Bryan on Pandodaily correctly calls it a ‘feature’, not a product!

If you love giving away the control of your email and hide behind the curtain of procrastination fabricated within a good UI, you must try this app. 🙂

Here’s an interesting conversation I had with Tim Van Damme (@maxvoltar) of Instagram and Chris Herbert (@hrbrt) from MacWorld, on what they feel about Mailbox. Turns out that Tim is liking it for his personal email!

Twitter conversation - Mailboxapp

 

The Windows Phone 7 – How good?

I’ve always been inclined towards gadgets. That includes mobile phones. More importantly, I am keen on observing what does a mobile phone OS offer and how are hardware manufacturers riding on it.

Not to my surprise, there are only few good examples of a perfect marriage between hardware and software when it comes to smart phones. The problem can be battery life, support and OS upgrades across manufacturers, price point, … you get the idea.

I have had a chance to play with *most* of the android phones available in India. Also, the iPhones, iPod touch and now the iPad 2 running iOS. Did I forget Symbian? 😉 I have had a HTC Touch phone running Windows Mobile 6, a few years ago. I remember that was my first smartphone. At that age and time, it was really a different feeling to own a *smartphone*. I still have memories of using the stylus (and losing one only to find that the product was shipped with a spare stylus in the box. wow!)

Do you love your windows phone 7 device?

Do you love Windows Phone 7?

However, I never really got a chance to play with a Windows Phone 7 device ever since its launch. The whole idea of Microsoft considering consumers ahead of enterprises makes a good sense to me. Building devices for people and not walls. I have heard about it from a few friends and read a lot of good online. However, I am still unsure of how is Windows Phone 7 creating an ecosystem of developers that put some hard work and build kick ass apps, on the lines of iOS and Android (though android is far from good when it comes to my experience with apps). In a smart move by Windows Phone 7, where it partnered with AppMakr to increase apps in the marketplace, I am keen to discover the resulting apps. In case there are a handful of good ones, I might have to arrange a device to test them! But that’s for the novice. How about serious developers plug-in on to the Windows Phone 7 SDK? In case you’re interested, you may head to the APP HUB, now!

By the way, there is some action happening at the APP HUB forum. From what I assume, they’re the developers who have already rolled up their sleeves. Before starting to write this, I was going through an interesting trajectory of Windows Phone 7 OS – from naming to the handset tie-ups.

While I begin to look out for a solution to quench my thirst of getting a Windows Phone 7 review device, I shall leave you with an interesting resource for Windows Phone 7 development. Pretty much to get you started, in case you’re a developer (or a budding one!)

This one is by @MarkKirby.

Not just that, there are a couple of interesting blogs dedicated to Windows Phone 7. One such is being run by Abhishek Baxi. It’s called I Love Windows Phone!

Today, I use a Blackberry and have previously used an iPhone 3GS amongst a dozen other mobile phones. I would love to try a Windows Phone 7. Have you tried using a Windows Phone 7 device? How has been your experience? How do you compare it with other smartphone OS in the market? If there’s a good note/ review/ video you have, please feel free to share that in the comments.

Ciao!

Image credits: yum9me

 

Mobile Advertising & VAS in India

Yesterday, I attended the Mobile Advertising and VAS Conference – Mobile Conclave 2010 at Amity University, NOIDA. Thank you, Vishal, for inviting me over.

The conference was an outliner to where we as consumers stand for the VAS players and telecos. India has always had high usage trends when it comes to infotainment on a media. Be it television, the internet or mobile. Inherently, VAS services like games, jokes, astrology, flowers on demand, etc. have been there since the inception of VAS in India.

But that by no means Indicate that we as Indians are satisfied by the operators or the VAS services, for that matter. There is a huge different between a commodity being an accessory and that being a necessity.  How many services actually target the later?

Checking PNR status is one good service I would say. There might be a handful of others. But do we ever see a – doctor on call, lawyer on call or a mentor on call service? I would want a provider to incorporate these. Is there a VAS player who would possible build a service which can lead me to the closest physician while I am travelling in an area that’s 1000 miles from my residence, without having an access to the internet? This is a need, not an accessory.

At the conferences, there were talks on social networks being accessed over mobiles and then facebook adding 45million people to their mobile users within first 8 months of the launch. How many Indians are willing to afford a Rs 500 worth of an EDGE data plan on their carrier beyond the usual monthly rental and that of the resident internet connection, say broadband. How many Indians do have a phone that has a WiFi? Leave all that, India still has just over 8% of broadband penetration. Still the users of Orkut, Facebook and Twitter are very high in India as compared to rest of the world. That doesn’t mean we, the Indians are heavy users of social networks on mobile.

If this small a market is good enough to advertise and get a good ROI, I would love to be directed to a few case studies on mobile internet based marketing case studies in India.

I liked the thoughts of Milind Pathak, Vice President, Comviva. Crystal gazing through the year 2010, he said, “Netting the un-netted is a big area which shall need to be looked upon. Also, there exists a payments asymmetry in mobile commerce in India.” According to him, there is still a wait for 12-18 months to see 3G as a service which we as a consumer can benefit with.

While all of us are eager for the spectrum to roll out and 3G to arrive, using mobiles for many is still limited to voice and sms. SMSgupshup comes in handy as an API to use and build products around social networks. SMSTweet is one good example.

Looking forward to the year 2010, as in what we get to see and how accurate is the crystal gazing we did yesterday at the conclave.