Apr 05 2012

Interesting Skype Ads

Category: InternetTeknovis @ 10:23 pm

I came across some interesting Skype ads in Skype slams Facebook and Twitter in ad campaign tonight.

It is interesting that the ads are so focused on Facebook and Twitter!

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Dec 30 2011

Skype on Motorola Xoom

Category: Android,ReviewsTeknovis @ 5:18 pm

When I wrote Motorola Xoom – First Impressions I noted that I was disappointed that Skype did not support video calling. During the Christmas holidays I installed the latest version, and I am delighted to report that it works perfectly!

I am delighted with this, and I have already used it for several hours during the holidays! I now have one less reason for turning on a computer :)

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Dec 01 2011

Skype Usage

Category: Infographic,Internet,SoftwareTeknovis @ 3:08 pm

A nice infographic showing how Skype is used (click image to see larger version):

Look Who's Talking (Copyright Skype)

Look Who's Talking (Copyright Skype)

I think that the image originally came from Tony Bates Weighs in on Microsoft’s Acquisition of Skype.

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Aug 01 2011

Motorola Xoom – First Impressions

Category: Android,ReviewsTeknovis @ 7:56 pm

I recently bought a Motorola Xoom for myself, so this post describes my first impressions. Overall these have been extremely positive, and so far the device is exceeding my expectations!

Motorola Xoom

Motorola Xoom

I had decided that I wanted an Android powered table, and the only other contender was the Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1. Both devices are extremely similar, so the ultimate decision was made on the form. The Xoom felt heavier, thicker, and solid. Whereas the Galaxy felt lighter, thinner, and it had a very plastic feel to it.

When I got the Xoom I initially played with it to learn about it, and I downloaded many applications for evaluation purposes. I then factory reset it, and configured it the way that I wanted.

Hardware

There is not a huge amount to write here, because there are already many good reviews of the hardware online. So here are a few comments:

  • The power button is located on the back surface in the upper right hand corner. I read several reviewers questioning that location, but I find it very convenient. I can comfortable switch it on and off using one of my fingers that is already there in order to hold the device.
  • Battery life seems great to me, although this is not something that I have measured. My biggest concern here would be the battery longevity in terms of recharge/discharge cycles. So far I am using the device until it fully discharges before charging it again.
  • The charge lead plugs into the bottom of the device (when it is in landscape mode). This makes using it while charging slightly difficult, because you cannot rest the device on our stomach.
  • The screen quality is really impressing me, especially when looking at photos. I also find it perfectly responsive.

Overall, I am finding the device very ergonomic, although my hands might be considered slightly larger than average.

Operating System and Bundled Applications

The device came with Android Version 3.2. So far I think that it is great, and I have no major issues. My comments are:

  • I am not a Gmail user, and I was concerned that every feature would need to be deeply integrated into a Gmail account. Luckily this is not the case, although I did create a trashy account to keep the device happy :)
  • I hate having to physically connect devices to a single computer. This is not required – sweet :)
  • The email client supports multiple IMAP accounts, although I am having difficulty deleting email. (They appear to delete, but when I check my email using another IMAP client the emails are still in my Inbox, but marked as read. I think the issue is that deleted emails should be moved into the Inbox.Trash folder.)
  • I wanted to create my own wallpaper, but I found it very difficult to find the exact required dimensions online. The best discussion on the issue is in Improved Wallpaper template, now with native resolution., but I am just using one of my own images that is a much higher resolution. The wallpaper tool is good in the way it allows you to crop the background wallpaper. If you want to use somebody else’s wallpaper then take a look at WallpaperCASA or xoom-wallpapers.com.
  • There is a bundled application for viewing common office file types. (See What is Quickoffice and why can’t I edit documents?.) I do not see myself needing to edit such files, but certainly viewing is extremely useful.
  • I have read that many people install task manager applications. For the moment I am happy to let Android look after this.
  • The browser seems great so far, and I absolutely love the Quick Controls feature (see Quick Browser Controls)!
  • I am starting to love widgets :)

There are many additional bundled applications such as calendars and contact lists. However, I have not used these because I am not interested in that functionality.

Additional Applications

I am more of a browser person than an application person, so an application must have real value or functionality for me to consider using it. Therefore, the additional aplications that I have downloaded have been limited to the following (in no particular order):

  • Flash Player: Whether you like it or not, many websites use Flash technology. My main motivation for getting this was to view some video-on-demand websites that I frequently visit.
  • ES File Explorer: It is interesting that the operating system does not come with a built-in file explorer. Perhaps this is because most users will never need one! However, I do, and his one seems perfect. Perhaps its best feature is that it enables me to directly connect to my file server (using SMB). This is fabulous for downloading my MP3s, photos, and other documents. The only small annoyance I have found with it is that you need to specify whether it should operate in landscape or portrait mode. It should detect this automatically!
  • Jota Text Editor: I wanted an application for taking notes, and subsequently sharing those notes between multiple devices. The initial note applications that I looked at all contained proprietary file formats. So I decided that a text editor was the way to proceed!
  • Skype: I use Skype a lot, so this was a necessity. It works fine, but I am disappointed that it does not support video calling. Hopefully this will change soon!
  • Pulse: This has probably been the application that has impressed me the most! To be honest, it is the first time that I have ever used an RSS reader on any platform, and it is so convenient!
  • Twitter: I tweet using multiple accounts, and this makes it so easy! The notifications and widgets are also very useful.

Some of these applications are not specifically designed for the large screen of the tablets, but they are perfectly acceptable as long as the zoom mode is not used.

So these are my first impressions! I expect many more posts on my Xoom :)

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Jun 30 2011

Skype on Android

Category: AndroidTeknovis @ 6:41 pm

I just read that Skype video calling is now available on Android in Skype video calling comes to Android smartphones.

Actually, I am surprised that has not been available before now!

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May 10 2011

Microsoft Buys Skype

Category: Internet,TelecomsTeknovis @ 6:06 pm

All afternoon I have been hearing about Microsoft‘s acquisition of Skype! See Done Deal! Big Deal. Smart Deal? Microsoft Buys Skype For $8.5 Billion In Cash.

I am really surprised by this! Not so much that Skype has been sold, but more by the fact that Microsoft is the buyer!

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Jan 15 2011

Skype Growth

Category: Internet,Mobile Computing,Software,TelecomsTeknovis @ 9:10 am

I read during the week that Skype has become the world’s largest international call provider! That is amazing, and it certainly must be concerning the traditional telcos! For more information see CES 2011: Skype Steals International Scene.

I am aware that Skype had a serious outage before Christmas, but luckily it did not affect me. The $1 credit was a nice apology!

During Christmas I had the opportunity to use Skype for video calls on the latest version of the iPod Touch, and I was extremely impressed with both the quality and the ease of use. It was a much better experience than I imagined, and I could easily get used to doing all my calls like that!

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Mar 11 2010

Skype 3.0 for Windows Mobile

Category: Windows MobileTeknovis @ 2:35 pm

Last week I installed the latest version of Skype on my Windows mobile PDA. The effect of this was that I upgraded from version 2.x to 3.0. My main motivation for doing this was that version 3.0 supports file transfers. I thought that this could be useful for when I am travelling and I take photos with my PDA that I want to share immediately with friends. Sending files via Skype has the advantage that everything is fully encrypted end-to-end, so it does not matter if the WiFi connection is not encrypted.

I had some difficulty obtaining the latest CAB files. Unfortunately, Skype has decided to stop supporting Windows Mobile according to Why can’t I download Skype Lite or Skype for Windows phones?. That is a real pity :(

The currently supported mobile devices are listed in Skype on your mobile. However, many of these versions are crippled so that they do not allow you to make voice calls using the telephone network. I guess that it would be too much of a loss to the network operators :o

Luckily, you can still download the CAB file directly from Skype’s website using the following URL: http://www.skype.com/go/getskype-winmobile-cab

If any readers of this blog are unable to obtain a copy of the CAB file, then let me know and I will share my copy ;)

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Oct 25 2009

Net Neutrality Supporters

Category: TelecomsTeknovis @ 6:22 pm

I read an article during the week about a letter of support for Net Neutrality from some of the biggest, and most well-known, Internet based companies in the world. The article is Big names support net neutrality, and it lists the following supporters:

The letter, signed by the chief executives of Google, Ebay, Skype, Facebook, Amazon and Sony Electronics among others, says that maintaining data neutrality helps businesses to compete on the basis of content alone.

And…

Other signatories included community websites Digg, Flickr, LinkedIn and Craigslist.

This list of companies does not really surprise me, as they probably have the most to gain from Net Neutrality. Conversely, it is probably the telcos who have the most to loose!

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Aug 30 2009

RTX DUALphone 3088

Category: Hardware,ReviewsTeknovis @ 5:30 pm

I just finished a conversation with a relation who lives abroad. I used Skype on my computer, and the she used her new RTX DUALphone 3088. I bought this phone for her, and it is actually the third RTX DUALphone 3088 that I have bought in the last few weeks for relations abroad :o

RTX DUALphone 3088

RTX DUALphone 3088

The relations that I bought these phones for are all competent Internet users. For example, they would know how to find, download, install, and use Skype, but they would not know how to configure a home broadband router. All three of them with able to use their new phones within a few minutes of opening the boxes!

All three relations are absolutely delighted with the phones to date, and two of them are now using Skype for calls to landlines also!

Perhaps the biggest advantage of these phones is that they plug straight into a broadband router, and that they do not require either a computer or a WiFi connection.

My only complaint with the phone is that it does not support Skype chats. However, the phone automatically updates its firmware, so hopefully this functionality will appear soon!

I found the RTX Skype Dualphone 3088 review – part I review very useful when I was deciding to purchase this phone.

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