Problem could get worse as it pushes 4G to existing subscribers
UK mobile operator, EE (which owns the T-Mobile and Orange brands) is at risk of confusing its existing clientelle as it seeks to encourage them to take up its highly successful 4G offering. Earlier, EE had revealed that almost a million (900,000) subscribers had signed up to its 4G offering in Q1 2014. EE said that this was the strongest quarterly take-up for 4G that it had experinced to date. It means that almost three million (2.9m) customers now enjoy its 4G service. However, some of the tactics the UK mobile network operator [MNO] is employing have very definitely perplexed existing customers. Its all thanks to a deal EE has done with Glasgow, Scotland based 1Call Direct.
The problem stems from the telephone number – 01414130234, which most Brits would recognise as coming from Glasgow. Especially when their smartphone tells them the rough location of incoming calls.
Most people wouldn’t know where EE/Orange’s offices or callcentres were based and if asked to guess would probably say Bristol. So a call from Scotland is unexpected.
One GoMo News reader explained that during the call he had become suspicious that the firm he was talking to might not really be Orange.
Google the number and you come to this page on WhoCallsMe.com. As one contibutor quite sensibly observed that the number “Didn’t start with 07 so I didn’t answer it.”
However, a little bit a research into call centre jobs took GoMo News to this page on 1Call Direct where the company openly stated that it was, “in partnership with the EE are looking for candidates to work at our call centre in the heart of Glasgow.”
Interestingly the job ad pointed out that “EE’S 3G network is the biggest in the UK and by the end of 2014 it will cover 99.2 per cent of the population.”
Could we respectfully suggest, therefore, that Orange/EE allows 1Call Direct to spoof an obvious Orange number – starting with 07973, so that potential customers would be more trusting of the offer they receive?
Incidentally, the ‘Orange Helpers’ page on Facebook which led GoMo News to the reality didn’t look genuine either!
Tony is currently Editor of GoMobile News. He’s a veteran telecoms journalist who has previously worked for major printed and online titles. Follow him on Twitter @GoMoTweet.
Mobile and social game company Gameloft has announced its earnings for Q1 2014, seeing first quarter growth of 4 percent year over year. For Q1 2014, Gameloft achieved sales of €56.2 million ($ 77.9 million), up from €54.2 million ($ 75.1 million) in Q1 2013.
The company attributes this growth to game updates released for existing Gameloft titles, which gives these apps longer lifespans. Revenue from older games such as World at Arms, Order & Chaos Online, Ice Age Village and UNO & Friends increased by over 30 percent quarter over quarter.
In the past 30 days, 160 million users played Gameloft titles on their smartphones or tablets. Growth is expected to continue in sales, profits and net cash through the end of 2014, thanks to the launch of many new titles.
In addition to the recently released The Amazing Spider-Man 2, Gameloft has announced Dungeon Gems, Modern Combat 5: Blackout, Rival Knights, Ice Age Adventures, Cars and Asphalt Overdrive for release in the coming months. Asphalt Overdrive is a spin-off of the company’s existing Asphalt franchise, and joins “several other potential blockbuster titles” in the company’s 2014 pipeline.
Check back soon for more, and to follow Gameloft’s mobile catalog on AppData, our tracking platform for mobile and social apps and developers.
ProShot is one of our favourite Windows Phone camera applications and so a major update is always newsworthy – in this case a bunch of filter improvements, plus the HDR mode is now available in the free ‘trial’ version. See below for more…
fixed URI scheme (see http://riseupgames.com/ProShot/uriScheme.html)
HDR now free for all!
Fixed live tile bug, may need to re-pin it
Added edit mode to add or remove filters after image capture (filters can now be applied to any photo as well)
Added random filter to edit mode
Improved focus dial when in portrait mode
HDR now more memory efficient
Disabled HDR Portrait feature on Lumia 520 because there is no flash
Fixed HDR Portrait issue on other devices
Samsung bug fixes
You may also want to note that I reviewed ProShot already, albeit back at v3.2, here, giving it a rave score of 81% and pronouncing “Overall, ProShot is an excellent addition to the Lumia 1020 (or 1520) owner’s arsenal, opening up higher resolution (i.e. up to 12MP) ‘standard’ photos with zero messing around and also providing control over contrast and saturation which is plainly absent from Nokia Camera.“
ProShot 3.6.1’s HDR interface:
Note that on the Lumia 1020, the logistics of taking a shot take a couple of seconds, so you really WILL need a tripod or similar if you’re to get good results!
As before, ProShot offers some unique functions and it should remain part of any Windows Phone photographer’s toolkit. The developer is teasing a ‘big update’ coming and I’m guessing this is building on the extra functions made possible by the use of Nokia’s new version of its Imaging SDK. Watch this space.
HTC’s One M8 starred in leak after leak before the handset officially launched, rendering many of its secrets an open book. While rumors have suggested that HTC’s nearly ready to follow that model up with a One M8 Mini, we’ve had far less hard evidence to refer to. With claims that the phone could launch as early as May, are we ever going to get clued-in to its details before the handset gets a formal unveiling? Today may bring us one big step closer to understanding the One M8 Mini, with the release of the alleged render you see up top.
One big question has been what HTC is planning for the One M8 Mini’s camera. An early leak claimed it would get a 13MP main shooter, but that was before we had a solid understanding of the One M8′s Duo Camera depth-analyzing setup. Since then, we’ve wondered if that 13MP assessment was off, but that spec is repeated alongside the publication of this image, which clearly depicts a single-sensor traditional rear camera.
Other specs arriving with this render, including a Snapdragon 400 SoC and 4.5-inch 720p display, match those from that previous leak.
But is this really the One M8 Mini, or just a fan render in response to that list of specs? That’s tricky to say, because this really does look a lot like the full-sized M8. If we’re being really suspicious, the coloring gradient where the second rear camera should be looks a tad odd, as if someone just edited the lens out of existence. As such, we’re not placing a ton of faith in this find. But even if it’s not a legit render, could this still be how the phone ultimately looks? Hopefully we’ll get some more evidence soon that will allow us to really make sense of things.
Founded by former employees of Blizzard Entertainment and Digital Chocolate, Barcelona-based FrozenShard has announced the launch of its historical card battle game on iOS devices. The game, World War II: TCG, was inspired by historical events throughout World War II, and was successfully funded via Kickstarter to a total of $ 18,000.
In the game, players are challenged to secure victory without the luxury of planning ahead. They can build their own decks, filling them with infantry units, tanks and aircrafts, as well as support items, but players are forced to play random cards on each turn of each battle. That is, instead of being able to ‘save’ a card for when it’s most useful later on, players have to play random cards on each turn, forcing them to adapt their strategy each time.
During battle, units can be deployed onto either the Front Line of the board, or the Support Line. ‘Privates’ can be promoted to Majors and Generals, which increases their battle stats and abilities, and players will have access to units, vehicles, weapons and more from four major factions: Americans, Germans, Russians and Japanese.
World War II: TCG offers 10 single-player campaigns (100 missions in total) inspired by famous encounters in the real world, and contains over 200 unique cards for collection. Outside of the game’s single-player mode, gamers can take the battle to other real players in one-on-one battles.
FrozenShard plans to update World War II: TCG each month, adding new cards and even new campaigns to the free-to-play experience over time. The game is now available on iOS, and is expected to be on Android, Facebook and Steam before the end of 2014. The game’s engine will support cross-platform player-vs-player battles
Check back soon to follow World War II: TCG on AppData, our tracking platform for mobile and social apps and developers.
Transporter Sync Review Reviewed by Dan Bartram on Apr 3. Rating: 5
As bandwidth availability increases, more focus is being placed on cloud services, with the likes of Dropbox and Google Drive gaining in popularity for users to store their documents, pictures, and music in the cloud. However, whilst a lot of focus is placed on the functionality of these cloud services, how they sync, and how much storage you get, very little focus is placed on the actual privacy of storing such files in the cloud. As convenient as it may be having your files available wherever you go, you still are trusting a 3rd party hosting your data, and in many cases hidden away in the fine-print, actually laying claim of ownership of that file since it resides on their server.
But what about if you had all the convenience and benefits that a cloud service offered, that you controlled? That’s why anyone who appreciates privacy will love the Transporter Sync, and we got one to review.
The team over at Transporter sent us a Transporter Sync device to review which allows you to plug your own storage into and hook your hard drive into their services.
If you’ve read my previous reviews, you’ll know I love unique looking hardware and something that stands out. Well the Transporter Sync does just that, and couple that with a sleek light panel that circles the device, and I was in love with this right out of the box. The ports on the Transporter Sync are located at the rear of the device and you have a power, Ethernet, and USB connection, and that’s it. There’s really nothing more to the device, and that’s what makes it incredibly light.
– Height: 2.0 in (50 mm) – Width: 3.9 in (100 mm) – Depth: 3.9 in (100 mm) – Weight: 0.5 lb (0.23 kg)
As for the front of the device, there is nothing to see except a pulsating light which indicates the status of the Transporter Sync. Seeing Blue means everything is up and working, but you’ll be notified instantly if anything is wrong by different colours. Plus it looks pretty cool and futuristic sitting on my TV entertainment unit – again, a device I simply did not want to hide up, and wanted it on show for all to see.
The USB 2.0 connection plugs into your existing storage options, and since it’s your own hard drive, it’ll accept any external drive. There’s also Gigabit Ethernet for your network connection.
Turning the focus onto what the Transport Sync actually does, and that’s where this little device really begins to impress. The Transporter Sync takes any external drive that you connect in and turns it into your own personal cloud. That means you enjoy all the benefits of having your files anywhere you go, but on a service that is hosted and controlled by you, meaning your privacy is retained.
The Transporter Sync is managed via a web front end that will report the status of your device as well as available storage and gives you the ability to set up shared folders.
The Transporter Sync comes with a client that you install on the devices you want to be able to access your personal cloud. There is a Mac and PC client that just looks like a standard folder within Explorer or Finder, as well as Android and iOS App.
The Transporter Sync has two distinct folder types which control how the files are shared, and ultimately are differnetiated between given how often you access that file. For example, I have “My Documents” synced which means a copy gets locally copied to each device I have the Transporter Client installed on, whereas “My Pics” are in the Library which means my various devices can still access them whenever they want, but they are stored at home on that external drive and downloaded when called upon, so don’t take up valuable space on my client.
The whole experience is pretty seamless,especially when you get your head around the two different folder types and how they are used for different purposes. A big thank you to the Transporter team and especially Jim who stuck with me when I was asking some probably obvious questions – the support was amazing.
The only way I could see the Transporter Sync being improved would be to allow the files stored on the external drive to be viewed via the web browser, of which the Transporter team said they’re working on. Also, the Android App could do with updating to allow more functionality; when viewing a file it has to be downloaded first as opposed to just being able to edit an “online” version, and it would be nice to see picture files displayed in a gallery view, as opposed to a standard file list, but again the Transporter team said they are working on delivering an enhanced Android app too.
The Transporter Sync isn’t the only option available for those wanting their own private cloud service. Transporter offer additional products with integrated storage options, offering the same cloud and sync experience at various price points.
The Transporter Sync is a great product with a lot of potential, which the team have assured me they are working on the limited shortcomings I found when using the product, like the Android app and the web GUI. With that said, the device looks great, functions fantastically, and keeps all my files protected under my control with no recurring monthly fees or storage limits.
Despite elation amongst the financial markets that Microsoft had finally acquired Nokia’s Devices and Services division, Noka actually managed to post a year-on-year decline in handset sales by 30 per cent. Nokia also revealed an operating loss of $ 452 million. In Nokia’s defence, one observer suggested that Nokia’s patent licensing business pulled in roughly $ 119 million in profit over the last three monthsand that HERE maps brought in $ 13.8 million. However, Nokia admitted that “Our Smart Devices net sales were affected by competitive industry dynamics including the strong momentum of competing smartphone platforms.” According to Vasileios Tziokas, marketing manager with Upstream, “Emerging markets consumers’ desire for smartphones is increasingly being met by an onslaught of cheap handsets from all corners.”
Furthermore, Tziokas argues that, “The feature phones that built Nokia’s brand in developing markets are falling out of favour, and despite releasing an Android phone in emerging markets such as India, this was not enough to stem the losses.”
Nokia itself conceded that, “Our mobile phones net sales were affected by competitive industry dynamics, including intense smartphone competition at increasingly lower price points and intense competition at the low end of our product portfolio.”
Tziokas beleives that, “Whilst the Nokia X shows that the company is aware of the change in customer demands, it highlights that cracking emerging markets requires in depth local knowledge.”
The combination of Android OS, Microsoft services and Nokia’s brand power should have been a run-away hit, but so far its success has been limited to China – where inital stocks sold out immediately.
“An alternative route for Nokia, which could prove fruitful in the year ahead, is to partner with local mobile operators who understand their customer base and have the capabilities to create culturally relevant and localised content,” Tziokas suggested.
Tony is currently Editor of GoMobile News. He’s a veteran telecoms journalist who has previously worked for major printed and online titles. Follow him on Twitter @GoMoTweet.
Mobile publisher Yodo1 has announced a partnership with Cut the Rope developer ZeptoLab to co-develop a new game for the KakaoTalk mobile messaging and social platform. The pair will bring a new version of Cut the Rope 2 to players, designed specifically for KakaoTalk.
This announcement coincides with the news that Yodo1 is opening new offices in Tokyo and Seoul, with the goal of meeting the growing demand from Western developers to enter Asian markets.
In addition to a new version of Cut the Rope 2, Yodo1 will bring all of ZeptoLab’s other games to the Chinese market, including the other games in the Cut the Rope franchise.
“We’re very proud to partner with ZeptoLab as we both expand our operations into Asia,” said Yodo1 CEO Henry Fong. “We co-developed new editions of Cut the Rope: Time Travel and Cut the Rope 2 to become hits in China, and we’ll apply the same culturalization strategy when we launch Cut the Rope 2 on KakaoTalk. Now that we have a large presence in China, the US, and the top English-speaking markets, our next goal is to capture the top monetizing markets of Korea and Japan.”
KakaoTalk first launched in South Korea, and has also found popularity in other Asian markets, including Japan. The platform has over 135 million registered users worldwide, and has been embraced by many social game developers. As examples, King announced Candy Crush Saga for KakaoTalk in September 2013, while Game Insight announced the development of 2020: My Country for the platform last October.
“Our co-development of a game for KakaoTalk with Yodo1 will support our goals of reaching new markets,” added ZeptoLab CEO Misha Lyalin. “We want to ensure that players across the world can enjoy our games, and we’re confident Yodo1 will help us bring our unique game experience to new fans in China and Korea.”
Heavy duty Indian connexion for both Nokia & Microsoft
suri – class of 1989 @ mit
Having completed the sell-off of its Devices & Services division to Microsoft, Nokia has named Nokia Rajeev Suri as its new CEO. Its a predictable move since Suri had been heading up the solutions & networking division – formerly Nokia Siemens Networks [NSN]. It is reported that Nokia currently acquires around 90 per cent of its remaining revenues from the networking division. But there’s a strong connexion between Suri and current Microsoft chief Satya Nadella both were MIT student -just a year apart. Not at the Massachusetts Instute of Technology as you might have thought but at the Manipal Institute of Technology near Mangalore in Karnataka.
It’s a massive feather in the cap for the Indian university as not only are Microsoft and Nokia high profile tech companies they are also both in the Fortune 500.
Suri, of course, doesn’t have an easy task ahead of him since in the mobile networking infrastructure business, Nokia faces formidable opposition.
First off, there’s the veteran infrastructure supplier – Ericsson which has survived fierce competition in the past.
Then there are the two Chinese giants – Huawei and ZTE who both enjoy success in their home market – China.
China is the main user of TD-SCDMA technology but it is often over looked that Siemens was a major backer of the original standard.
Perhaps Suri connexion with MIT will help him win business in the important Indian sub-continent?
Rajveer Singh Rathore is a Microsoft consultant working with who worked in enterprise IT services and solutions provider. He is a blogger, a reader and a social media enthusiast who loves to observe and share insights about Microsoft technologies. To know more about him, follow him on Twitter @hearthackersss.
Find&Save developer Wanderful Media has announced it has received an additional $ 14.5 million in funding from existing media company investors. This new round of funding takes the company to a total of $ 50.5 million in funding since September 2012. This funding will be used to expand and grow the Find&Save platform, which helps mobile shoppers find deals on nearby products.
The Find&Save app was released first on iOS, and has now been officially released on Android. The app features local and national offers and weekly ads from over 400 retailers and 150,000 individual store locations across the US.
As users flips through the pages of their available deals, they can tap on items for product detail pages, and can add items to their own shopping lists for future reference. The app also encourages users to share deals with friends.
“It has been an exceptional year for Wanderful Media, highlighted by positive reviews for Find&Save and tremendous growth of our mobile and tablet apps,” said Ben T. Smith, IV, CEO of Wanderful Media. “We have effectively reimagined circulars for the digital, mobile and social age, and as a result Find&Save has quickly become a strategic partner for retailers to retain and grow in-store sales, and an attractive option over Amazon and other e-commerce sites. We’ve come a long way in the last year alone, but we’re just getting started.”
In addition to its mobile offerings, Find&Save is available on newspaper websites. Over the past year, Wanderful Media has secured partnerships with major retailers to develop mobile offers, targeted at local shoppers based on their locations.
Find&Save is available to download for free on iOS and Google Play. Check back soon to follow the app on AppData, our tracking platform for mobile and social apps and developers.