Ok, I am obsessed with Smartphones and connectivity, but probably so are you.

My announced day without Blackberry produced an undesirable outcome. I did not abandoned Blackberry but ended up trading back from the Torch(ure) to the BB 9700.  My BB9700 is a liberated T Mobile USA model so I can use it both in Europe and in USA (few phones work like that cause T Mobile has their own 3G flavor). But I still carry my iPhone 4 and HTC HD.

I could not drop the BB for one main reason, INPUT.  I can’t  type super fast on the iPhone no matter how hard I try.  And I have tried since 2008.  I envy people who say they can. I find the symbols in a second screen and the globe to change languages a real impediment. Android is better.  I can type faster on the HTC HD with Swiftkey (amazing app) but not as fast as in a BB with a vertical raised keyboard made for thumbs and a trackpad.  My daughters agree, they say typing on glass with long nails is too difficult.  The Blackberry Bold is my main communication, messaging, email and blogging machine. The Bold BB is my “lean forward” device.  The Android and iPhone are my “lean back” alternatives.  My spectator smartphones.  In the BB I create, in the Android or especially the iPhone, I enjoy what others have created. Many times I end up paying for it as well.  The Bold BB is crucial in my life because my wife, my 3 older kids all use Blackberries and I BBM with them. Many think Blackberries are for old people but at Columbia University, NYU and Spanish high schools, Blackberries are still very big.  Blackberry is also the only service that gives me global roaming via Movistar for only an extra 20 euros a month.  With the Android and iPhone if I don’t find Fon or other WiFi I am roaming toast.

So I continue to walk around with 3 smartphones. I know it’s crazy.

I use the iPhone and Android for different collections of apps because as we know, apps suck on the BB.

I use both because neither phone has enough juice to get me through the day so I use the Android and iPhone at different times. I think that people in California don’t have that problem because they live in their cars, so workers at Apple and Google never notice how much battery their software/cpu and other chips need.   They charge their smartphones stuck in traffic jams. In the rest of the world either smartphones will get better batteries or buses and subways will have plugs.

Now I don’t just use smartphones, I abuse them. I make use of all of them intensely. I mountain bike practically every day using sports apps like Endomondo, music apps like Spotify, I use RadioMe in Android, Twitter, Facebook, G+ on Android and iPhone (I want it in BB). I also use Seesmic to multipost. Dropbox to send files to myself and others.

I frequently give the iPhone to my 4 year old who abuses it even more.  He plays up to 20 different games, watches videos, pictures. If what people mean that iPhones are for young people is that they are for 4 year olds then I am with them.  Little kids find iPhones their device of choice.  Before language acquisition they are unbeatable.  I also sometimes play games such as Chopper, Angry Birds with him or alone and the iPhone is the king of gaming.

When I am in grown up mode,  I use Navionics when I sail (amazing app), I use photo apps like Instagram  (iPhone) or Picplz (Android).  I also turn my Android and iPhone into hotspots for my MacBook Air or iPad.  I use BBM a lot, PINs, Google Maps, Latitude, Whatsapp, Rebtel on BB (amazing integration to save money on international calls), Skype on iPhone and Android, Gmail everywhere of course, WordPress apps to blog in all three platforms but best in BB cause of input same with Tumblr. Sonos controller is available for Android and iPhone not BB.  I love AirPlay in my iPhone and through Airport Express I can play Spotify or iTunes on my stereo.  I use Fon apps to connect automatically to Fon WiFi on Android.  I also enjoy other music apps like Rdio, Grooveshark, for me music apps are like radio stations, none is good for everything.  And of course, I use cameras and video and for that the iPhone is the best. And then there is the issue of back ups. Because apps fail, like sports apps, I sometimes go cycling with two different smartphones collecting data, say Endomondo in the Android and Runkeeper in the iPhone, so I have back up. The ultimate back up tool?  Dropbox, works everywhere :)

Now what I almost never do, with any of these smartphones is to send a txt and I very rarely make a phone call.

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Hotspot Map

The BT FON WiFi network has grown to 1.6 million hotspots in the UK alone. That is a incredible amount of WiFi in one place compared to other networks, like T-Mobile’s WiFi network, that has only 10 thousand in the US.  And now, there is another reason to make your friends in the States jealous, the BT FON autoconnection app for iPhone and Android.

The new BT FON app lets BT Total Broadband customers choose to be automatically logged in to WiFi whenever they are near a BT Fon or Openzone hotspot. Sure, there are a lot of third-party apps already available that detect WiFi. But, they often lead to locked or paid hotspots. This new app is much better. It avoids all that, autoconnects, and it’s free.

Another great feature is the WiFi map that shows all the hotspots nearby, so you’ll always know where to find one. But of course the real advantage here is being able to connect to WiFi easily away from home, and this is why the BT FON partnership works so well. We all want the same thing. WiFi everywhere. The BT FON app brings us one step closer to that reality.

Download the free mobile app for iPhone. (Must be in the UK to download.)

Download the free mobile app for Android. (Must be in the UK to download.)

Your download of the BT FON mobile app also contributes to BBC Children in Need.

To learn more, please read the BT press release, or visit BT.com


Image representing iPhone as depicted in Crunc...

According to a recent report from Admob, a company bravely and so far successfully competing with Google on mobile advertising, today about 8% of requests to their servers come from WiFi networks, while the same was 3% in August. Use of WiFi from mobile devices is increasing thanks to devices like the iPhone, T-Mobile’s G1, and WiFi-enabled Blackberry phones spreading really fast.

Interestingly on iPhones 42% of requests come from WiFi, while for other WiFi phones the average is between 10-20%. According to Om Malik this is due to AT&T’s spotty 3G coverage and to the company’s efforts to offload traffic to WiFi. I believe what also plays a big role is the great job Apple did integrating WiFi on the device and the fact the OS on the iPhone forces bandwidth hungry applications to use WiFi whenever it’s available, saving huge costs to the network operators and giving users better speed and service. This proves that 3G and WiFi are more complementary than competitive and grow in tandem.

FON has a great web application called FON Maps that lets you search for bars, restaurants and other FON Spots in your neighborhood or in the city you are visiting. FON Maps on the web are great when you can plan your trips, but many Foneros asked us about ways to access FON Maps from their mobile phones, to find the nearest FON Spot when they really need it.

Today I’m happy to announce FON Maps is now an iPhone application that lets you see on a map all the Fon Spots near you, so anytime you can quickly know where to go to enjoy free WiFi. You can get it on the AppStore.

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Steve Jobs holding a MacBook Air
Image via Wikipedia

Thank you Steve Jobs. Thank you for the iPhone. Thank you for making laptops like the MacBook Air that only work with WiFi. Thank you because since we met and you told me how interested you were in WiFi us at Fon we keep getting calls from 3G operators who are selling your iPhone and find that it is a bandwidth hog. At a meeting with Steve Nicholson of The Cloud last Friday for example I heard that the iPhone consumes 30 times more data than the average mobile handset and is alerting operators on how important it is to off load traffic to WiFi networks. The iPhone is now the best selling mobile handset in USA. AT&T reacted quickly and bought Wayport for $275 million or 27 times EBITDA, not bad for a world experiencing a global financial crisis. My sources tell me that the iPhone was the main catalyst for the purchase. It is estimated that it costs 85% less to send traffic through WiFi than through 3G. And now Boingo just bought OptiFi. At Fon we are also noticing more and more iPhone traffic. We call it iFon traffic. And it´s great for Fon.

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Apple iPhone 4Image by tychay via Flickr If you work for a mobile carrier anywhere in the world read this article please. The news is that the introduction of the iPhone is bringing AT&T network´s down. In the article you can see that AT&T had to stop the launch of the Blackberry Bold, an amazing new product by Blackberry because iPhone users are bandwidth hogs. Indeed in a desperate measure AT&T is promoting 3G but sending its customers who already paid for 3G to WiFi. Indeed they are forcing them to use WiFi to do such integral parts of the iPhone experience as buying music and videos from iTunes something that must be getting Apple quite pissed as without a WiFi network AT&T simply slows iTunes sales.

Even though Fon cannot disclose who we are in conversations with but I can say that this are 2 of the largest 3G carriers in the world who find themselves with this problem. Selling iPhones and having to deal with radically new data habits of the iPhone customers that require a great deal of investment in their network. The solution is to do what BT did with us at BT Fon and install the Fon functionality on millions of their DSL boxes and offer their DSL customers WiFi roaming while giving them extra bandwidth (so they are never bandwidth deprived at home) to help create WiFi coverage everywhere they can build a national WiFi network for 99% less than a national 3G network. Moreover DSL operators who work with Fon are finding that by building a network with us they can launch their own dual 3G WiFi handsets including UMA, they have customers who churn less cause they pay at home and get free roaming everywhere, and they do better than the competitors who do not work with us because with their competitors customers pay at home and get WiFi at home but with us they pay at home and get WiFi in tons of places.

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Nokia CorporationImage via WikipediaWhat is best to be Nokia or Apple? When you look at Apple´s financials and compare them to Nokia financials you clearly see that Nokia is doing much better than Apple except on one item: Market cap. This is the same with Microsoft and Google except that Microsoft´s market cap is still higher than Google´s. But the concept is the same. Investors give the Silicon Valley companies a much higher P/E. They believe that Apple and Google are on the rise, and Microsoft and Nokia on the decline. Looking at this and knowing about all the common ties including common board members that exist between Google and Apple I wonder why Nokia and Microsoft don´t have closer collaborations, especially now that Apple has gone after Nokia´s lunch, high end phones. But Nokia still sells in only one week as many phones as the iPhone has ever sold. Investors lose track of this. And Nokia´s CEO Olli-Pekka Kallasvuo seems to have a clear view of who his competitors are.

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In this short video recorded at Seesmic I do something that I never do and that is recommend to buy Apple shares as they fall to $134. Of course you should make your own decisions and Apple shares could fall much further and I could be totally wrong. Still I think that 2008 will be the tipping point year for the Mac, and the iPhone just got started. Much better iPhones will come and with Apple in the unique position of making more $ from AT&T than from selling iPhones well, that is like having bought a chunk of AT&T for nothing.

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