Tag Archives: android

Taking brand partnerships to a whole new level: Android KitKat

How about this for a joined up campaign.

Originally called Key Lime Pie, employees at Google soon realised that a) people don’t really know what Key Lime Pie tastes like and b) it didn’t resonate with a global, mass audience. So the jury was out, what to call the new 4.4 Android OS. Then they struck gold.

Let’s call it Android KitKat, and we’ll partner with KitKat themselves to make it happen. (I’m evidently massively oversimplifying this.)

2013-09-03kitkatintl_verge_super_wide

No money is changing hands, the ideas was to do something “fun and unexpected”. But this isn’t something that Google just came up with overnight and went ahead. They’ve been talking with Nestle about the idea since November 2012, with some 11 months of planning having gone in to it. It only got finalised in February 2013 when Nestle executive vice president of marketing Patrice Bula, decided within an hour to go ahead.

It used to be Apple that would announce a new product without anyone previously knowing about it, shrouded under secrecy and mystery. Now even they get leaked sometimes months in advance. So this partnership will have come as a surprise to even most Googlers i’d imagine.

Here’s where you can start to understand the scale of the partnership: 50 million KitKat bars in 19 countries will have Android branding and consumers will have the opportunity to win a Nexus 7 tablet and Google Play gift cards. That’s incredible scale, Google have just tapped in to creating awareness about 1) Android 2) Nexus 7 and 3) Google Play.

Production of the wrappers started 2 months ago – it’s just amazing that it hasn’t come out until now.

KitKat-Android-edition-001

Nestle is also producing a small run of 500 limited edition KitKats in the shape of the Android logo and have been sending them out to influencers. Here’s The Verge proudly showing theirs off. Clever influencer tactic too, getting the big hitters creating even more interest and demand.

Screen Shot 2013-09-04 at 12.01.37

All of this talk is making me hungry for a Kit Kat now…

The evolution of mobile

Kyle Bean - MobilesKudos to Kyle Bean for this.

Pretty interesting really, seeing the evolution and the miniaturisation from 1985 to the present day and how the rapid innovation, technology has allowed for size to no longer be a prohibitive issue when it comes to ‘real’ portability. Size is no longer the major challenge, nor is it about packing the phone with more hardware features, such as bigger and better cameras, or music, or screens. It’s more now about how the features are being used. I’ve noticed a shift over the last year or two where it’s now all about the software and the tight, seamless application of it as proved by Apple and the App Store, Google and Android. If it was a hardware race, no one would be buying the iPhone. 2MP these days is unbelievably poor (yes I don’t have a 3GS because I’m still locked in with my ‘old’ iPhone 3G for the duration of the contract.) My even older Nokia N95 had a better camera than that at 5MP. Clearly, my purchasing decision wasn’t based on the power of the camera. I was mesmerised by the potential of the App Store. The software then.

A present day example of this for me is the Nokia N97. Hardware wise, I think it’s actually highly impressive. The fold out keyboard really feels good to use on a regular and prolonged basis which is one thing that annoys and frustrates me about the iPhone. It’s quicker for me to write something down that it is to load up the ‘Notes’ application and hammer out the letters on the on screen keyboard. What lets down the N97 is the software. It’s simply nowhere near as intuitive, logical or easy to use than what has to be the benchmark for everyone now, the iPhone. The amount of times i’ve seen new handsets come out and the term ‘iPhone Killer’ being banded about is amazing.

Talking of iPhone Killers, the HTC Hero is one to watch which I’m keeping a keen eye on..

The models which Kyle selected to highlight above are:
1985 – motorola dynaTAC
1988 – nokia mobira cityman 1320
1991 – AEG teleport
1993 – ericsson GH198
1996 – motorola micro TAC 650
1998 – siemens C10
2001 – nokia 3210
2005 – motorola razr V3
2009 – samsung tocco

Borrowing a quote from the legendary Nigel Powers in the film Goldmember, perhaps better known as Michael Caine when he said:

“It’s not the size mate, it’s how you use it.”

You could say the same for the current state of mobile.

8 reasons why an iPhone Gmail app would rock.

via CNET

Tuesday’s release of a much-improved Web client for Gmail on the iPhone and Android handsets was nice, but it’s still got me salivating at the idea of a native application for the iPhone. Over the last year we’ve hounded the Gmail team on whether one was on the way, and the answer is–in typical Google fashion, that there will be no discussion of products that have not been announced.

But that doesn’t mean one isn’t in the works.

So let’s take a look at what a native Gmail application could give us over what Apple is currently offering and is set to release in the upcoming 3.0 firmware.

1. Push delivery/Push notifications
Gmail for Android does something no other client of Gmail does: push notifications. This means that the second you get a message it lets you know with a pop-up. The fastest you can set the iPhone’s Mail application to refresh Gmail is every 15 minutes. So could a native iPhone application do the same thing as Gmail for Android? Probably.

An official Google spokesperson told us that no other platform has this push service (including desktop clients), and the other official Gmail native apps simply auto-refresh every few minutes. With the upcoming firmware 3.0, Google could offer the push notifications of new messages through Apple’s push data stream either in the form of a badge that updates on the app’s icon, or with a small preview that pops up with the first line or two of the message.

2. Offline/Gears
The new version of Gmail for Android has offline reading and composing, meaning you can go through your mail and get work done even when you don’t have a connection. While the iPhone’s Mail app lets you read, save, and compose messages, it doesn’t download a big chunk of your in-box or all of the attachments that come with it, which means you can be out of luck if you can’t get online to view a work document or spreadsheet. Which brings us to…

3. Attachment handling
The attachment viewing of Gmail on the desktop can be an absolute joy. PDFs, PowerPoint presentations and PDFs can be viewed in an HTML viewer that cuts down on the start-up time and the requirement for any special software. While the iPhone can natively view these, it doesn’t include search or the option to save the file locally. A local app could offer both.

Likewise, when composing an e-mail in the native Mail app, adding attachments is limited to photos, which with the upcoming firmware is much simpler with systemwide copy and paste. However, if you’re using the Web client, it’s incapable of accessing your local files, which means you’re stuck using the native app if you want to add or take a quick photo as an attachment.

4. Smarter archiving
Not all Gmail users archive their messages, probably because they don’t understand what it does. Archiving takes a message out of your in-box while keeping it in your account, letting you search for it later. It’s a handy feature, yet the iPhone native mail client gives the impression that we’re deleting messages we don’t want to see in our in-box, something which goes against the very principle of having 7GB of mail storage.

If you’ve set up Gmail using the iPhone’s Gmail setup wizard you can in fact archive messages by selecting them and moving them to your “All Mail” folder. Alternately, for native app users who have set up Gmail using the special IMAP instructions the delete function does not actually delete the message but archives it. Confused? A native Gmail app might make a better differentiation between the two, and let you control what you want deleted and archived from the get-go.

Gmail’s task list

5. A standalone task list
Gmail’s task list is not the most full-featured to-do list app out there, but it’s simple and handy. Having it as part of a native app would let you access it and make edits when offline. Google could even give users the option to create hard due dates for each item, which could be synced up to your phone’s calendar and give you a buzz when they had to be done.

6. Combined contact look-up
Here’s a problem: I have one contact list on my phone and another on Gmail. Sure Google has an official solution that will sync up both and combine them into one massive contact list, but what if I want to keep the two separated to keep my iPhone’s phonebook a little smaller?

A native application would help sort that out by making use of the contacts I have on my phone and giving quick auto-complete-as-you-type suggestions for people on my Gmail contact list. Right now, typing addresses from the native iPhone will only bring up auto-complete suggestions if that person is on my contact list, or if I’ve recently sent them a message.

7. Built-in chat
Chat has become a big part of Gmail’s desktop version, yet on the iPhone it’s relegated to a finger-friendly browser version that will sign you off when you close your browser or switch tabs. That’s not a good solution. Why not build it into a native version of Gmail on the phone like there is on Android?

8. GPS and location awareness
Location is becoming an increasingly important part of mobile apps, and Gmail is no different. When Google puts advertising into the mobile version of Gmail you can bet there’s going to be a play on location. Contextual information from inside of your e-mails is one facet, but if Google can figure out where you are and offer something more targeted, you can bet it will.

More importantly, it will open things up for some fun extras, like being able to announce your location in your signature. This is a feature that’s available in the desktop version, but would be a whole lot more useful when your messages are coming from a mobile phone.

These are just a few reasons the iPhone is long overdue for its own native Gmail app. If you’ve got any of your own, feel free to leave them in the comments.