Ok..Ok…the big ole hubbub across the mobile communication spectrum is all about 4G and 4G LTE. It is all about speed and the network. Yes, Verizon is leading the way with their LTE rollout across the country. AT&T and other groups are playing catch-up, well from a technology standpoint. AT&T is surely leading the pack in a clear concise message with their “Rethink Possible” campaign.
But what does this really mean for consumers, well I am still trying to figure this out. Seriously, why do I need 4G LTE speed on a mobile device. Why do I need to be able to upload and download at speeds twice or three times 3G speed on my iPhone or Android device. I can already watch video on the device, I can do video chat with my device, I can check email, download a document, etc at the 3G speeds.
What advantage do acquire when I buy the new iPad or iPhone with access to a 4G LTE data transfer rate? Now, look at the MiFi devices (the mobile hotspots) and this makes sense. I am a video guy and I need to be able to upload Gigabytes of video content and access to these speeds will trump most business and in-home data speeds.
At my house, I currently have my Charter data plan for Internet access that provides 25 Mb/s download and 3 Mb/s upload speeds. That is pretty fast…the 4G LTE mobile devices will be able to provide close, if not better upload speeds and similar to less download speeds. This is great for uploading large files from my edit bay and home workstation. So why does the average consumer need access from a smart phone to these speeds?
Verizon just released a press release today announcing that the Galaxy Tablet will be 4G LTE enabled. Jeff Dietel, vice president of marketing for Verizon Wireless stated in the press release, “The tablet market is exploding as customers are discovering new uses for the technology that features a large screen, powerful processing speeds and access to Android Market™’s 200,000 applications. The Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1 is perfect for customers who want to take advantage of Google™’s new movie rental option and view their favorite film on-the-go.”
Well, we are becoming a more connected community of technology enthusiasts. Everywhere you look, someone is looking at their smart device. They are texting, tweeting, looking at Facebook, checking email, watching video, chatting, uploading pictures. The days of the laptops and home workstations are slowly drifting away for the consumer. I bought my wife an 11 inch MacBook Air and it is close to the same size as my iPad. Those big ole bulky home computers are almost extinct. And with Cloud Computing…people are able to acces and store files virtually.
Look at the new release of iCloud by Apple. Yes, the ability to store and access all of your music in the “Cloud” and not have to worry if your home computer crashes, loosing all your music files. I can list numerous friends that have experienced this “life changing” trauma. My sister-in-law cried for days as she tried to recover a small percentage of her thousands of songs. I can still hear her saying…”There goes Bonnaroo…their goes Death Cab….GONE!”
So what does iCloud have to do with all this…we are becoming more dependent on the virtual community, connectivity, and off-site storage. Bigger server farms are providing access to storage and information. This also means that all of our devices, not just home computers, need to be able to access and alter these files from any device. I can now, shoot, edit, publish, and distribute video from my iPhone4 on YouTube and Vimeo using 3G, all in 1280×720 resolution. If I was still in the news world, I would be killing my competition…maybe?
Bottomline…our mobile devices are going to be moving more and more from content access devices to content creation devices. These devices will fit in our back pocket and we will be able to do more on the go, not restricted to our home/business/office computers. Access to servers and mainframes can be done anywhere…and their needs to be more bandwidth across the platform for more and more people to access and create content on the go. Also…files sizes are growing from HD video and larger picture quality.
One concept that I have not even touched is Healthcare IT. Yes…with the emergence of EMR’s and Cloud computing, more and more healthcare professionals will need to access large healthcare records in a mobile setting. Whether it is in the “field” like an ambulance or even rural healthcare networks. This type of speed and infrastructure will provide this access.
So, right now I am not sure if the consumer needs access to these speeds, but soon yes. Because all of their traditional computing will be done in devices that are the evolution of our iPhones, iPads, Laptops, Desktops…combined. Speed and access is key for tomorrow’s connectivity.
What does this video have to do with this post? Well, the exchange of information across the “Cloud” in a secure fashion. We are in a new world when it comes to patient information…especially with new devices like iPad2 and Motorola Xoom. So, let’s shift gears…let’s think about the possibilities with these new devices and this growing network.
So the iPad2 is out…and the buzz is HIGH! What is so cool, it has a two cameras with the ability to connect with 3G access. But it is not the only device/tablet out there with the same specifications. There is the Motorola Xoom and the Samsung Galaxy Tab…also carrying two cameras on the front and back and 3G access. So what does this mean for the healthcare industry…A LOT.
Imagine you are having a heart attack and the ambulance drive is 20 minutes. The EMT’s that show-up put you in the ambulance and start screaming down the road. The EMT pulls out one of these devices, connects via 3G and has a video conference call with the cardiac physician at the hospital. The physician can look at the patient, talk with the EMT, see the EKG, and communicate. Imagine the vital information that is exchanged via video conference while taking notes via an EMR on one device…wirelessly communicating with the physician…in real time. Life saving communication.
OK…hold your horses before you get too excited. We have to figure out how to protect the patient’s information. We have to decide, where is this data going to live? Seriously, will these tablets be able to access the EMR’s as a host or actually download the data to the device? Well, if it is downloaded to the device…what if it is stolen or the EMT decides to take it home to play? There are some talks about maximizing the GPS capabilities within tablet, and when it gets so far away from the ambulance or mobile care unit, it wipes the internal drive. Yep…you try to run away and poof, the data is gone.
Another concern…should the EMT need to access the full EMR? Do they need to know all the patient’s history for critical care situations or just recent history, current medications, and DNR requests.
Lot’s of logistics and IT infrastructure issues to think through. But with the upcoming release with the 4G LTE network from Verizon along with AT&T possibly purchasing T-Mobile…the infrastructure is going to be in place to support this transfer of data. Combine that with the scalability of “Cloud” computing…even a bigger WOW!
I think the biggest perk of these devices, the ability to combine the front and back cameras with access to EMR’s simultaneously, in a mobile situation. Being able to review a chart and consult with a physician via video streaming…all in one device. Video is going to become ever more present in the charting experience for providers. Not only sitting down to write in notes, but to record physician thoughts via video. How about the physician being able to video interview the patient with a mobile device and upload it to the EMR. Powerful information that cuts through the textual notes from the physician. No offense to you physicians that input great information and do great dictations.
These devices are going to transform mobile healthcare especially for critically ill patients. The ability to video conference via a wireless 3G device (4G on the way) and take notes on the EMR…this will help streamline critical decision making so when the patient crosses the doors of the ER/ED, assessment time has been cut dramatically.
It is my belief that we will see more mini-documentaries this year than in years past. Why, because the “Social Space” has provided a bigger platform to distribute content and a focus on the community voice is ever so prevalent.
In 2010, AT&T launched a campaign to educate consumers about the dangers of texting while driving. This video was shot as a short documentary, capturing the stories of those most effected by this social concern. What better way to bring the consumer to a place to see right into the heart of the issue than a documentary style video.
With YouTube being one of the Top Three search engines along with the platform to deliver high quality content, this video has been viewed over 570K times. That is an amazing touch point to so many consumers of information, people are embedding this video in Facebook, their blogs, and numerous other places.
Documentary style storytelling is a way to provide a journalistic approach to content delivery, providing a view-point directly from those whom are most effected by the mission of the video. Many traditional ad firms shy away from this approach, becuase it is harder to control the message…supposedly. You can’t script responses, you can’t shot-sheet and storyboard real life action and reaction. The ethical approach to telling this type of story has a whole new approach. Most documentary style storytellers shy away from script writing, not using “voice over” to connect the micro messages of the soundbites. Most try to take a more extreme position allowing the people in the documentary to completely tell the story. The only way to guide the message is do a good job of asking the appropriate questions to find the best responses, weaving them together to tell the story.
Look at ESPN’s 30 for 30 Series. It has empowered 30 storytellers to bring a passion to the screen by telling 30 stories. As stated by ESPN, “An unprecedented documentary series featuring thirty films from some of today’s finest storytellers. Each filmmaker will bring their passion and personal point of view to their film detailing the issues, trends, athletes, teams, rivalries, games and events that transformed the sports landscape from 1979 to 2009.”
This series can be seen on ESPN, but also online not only at the 30 for 30 website. Consumers can share the videos by links and embed codes, empowering consumers to take part in the storytelling process. A community of messages sharing by a community of consumer advocates. But what is even greater, each one is produced by a different documentary storyteller with complete creative enterprise…empowering the documentary approach to the collective story. Each one has a different style, a different approach, a different story…communities telling rich stories.
Think back to 2002 when Michael Moore released Bowling for Columbine attacking one issue that is near and dear to the hearts of Americans…guns. This documentary not only inspired many Americans to think about the horrible tragedy of Columbine but attribute a national conversation wrapped around the influence of gun laws in the American fabric. But the other thing this documentary inspired, that anyone with a camera, a vision, and a passion to tell a story can achieve the national spotlight with a powerful message.
By the way, Bowling for Columbine won the 55th Anniversary Prize at the Cannes Film Festival in 2002 and an Oscar at the Academy Awards for Best Documentary in 2003. Talk about taking a message to a national spot light. It not only influenced millions of viewers/consumers but also the critics at large. You can see all the other awards that Bowling for Columbine won here on IMDb’s website.
So why will 2011 be a year of documentaries, well more and more cameras and technology have become affordable, compound that with the distribution platofrms like YouTube, Vimeo, Facebook, blogs, Twitter, and the list goes on. The critical point of content creation and content delivery is coming to it’s true apex providing the means and opportunity to touch more hearts and minds than CBS’s 60 Minutes. BTW, that is one of my all time favorite storytelling, magazine shows still in existence!
We are seeing more and more content created with the iPhone4, Flip Cameras, Canon EOS Cameras…quality content that is being integrated into bigger productions. If you look at the video below, this was shot with a Canon EOS 7D DSLR…yes, a camera for photos!
But what makes this even more a reason why we will see more documentaries this coming year, we as a community of advocates have truely found and understood the social space. This social space has began to break down traditional means to tell stories, providing more community voices to tell big brand messages. This is the heart of the documentary approach, many voices in one story told conhesively for the consumers at large to watch and derive, project, and discuss their own point of view.
OK…after many requests…here are my initial thoughts of the DroidX! I do have to give a shout out to Robin Blackwood at JDPR for letting me play with this toy!
Well…watch the video first of all. This video covers the apps I use, the Mobile Hot Spot feature and a few other details.
One of the big questions from a lot of developers is whether the DroidX can be rooted. Basically to get to the core of the code. If this is your cup of tea…here is the link to the Engadget Post –> CLICK HERE or watch the video below!
I have a new video coming comparing the video playback of the DroidX and the iPhone4. Good stuff and I am using the cameras from the phones to show the difference in the video quality.
One of my close friends (Brian Lindenmeyer) recently purchased the DroidX and has been working on a document with his review of the phone (Below). I think he has some great thoughts and even slams my beloved Apple iPhone4, but I like his points overall.
Awaiting the update to fix some Wi-Fi signal issues, corporate sync issues, and battery meter issues. Overall, this device is more than I could have ever imagined. Lots of this love for the Droid is based on the simple, but robust, integration to Google services. We’ll cover this under applications.
UPDATE 7/20/2010 (9am) – I got the update from Verizon – so far things are definitely improved.
Couple other things: I think the built-in launcher is fine, but did like Launcher Pro (may try it again). I also didn’t find that any enhancement to the SMS messaging was needed. Lastly, I do set up Twitter and Facebook as I like the contact integration, but the Twitter app that is built-in only supports one account, so grab another one if you have two…I’m still looking.
Not that I need to given the RAM, but I am looking forward to ROOTING this device to removes some bloatware (Amazon MP3, Blockbuster, CityID, etc.). Otherwise, the first thing any Blackberry converts like myself need to realize is:
1. Android manages memory much better
2. Instead of folders to remove or arrange icons on the main screen, you have desktops to do this. Your “cabinet” or folder of applications is more like an iPhone.
Aside from the bloat (and l lack of rooting/custom ROMs – we’ll skip that at the moment) – this phone simply rocks. If you aren’t a Google Fan, you better be if you use this. The integration to Google services is without a doubt the best integration of any device – and I’m including the MobileMe Apple garbage. REMEMBER – Apple charges for that – Google doesn’t.
Must have – The Google Additions:
I’ll start with the Google Apps (or tightly integrated to Google services):
Google Voice: If you don’t have a google voice number – get one. The ability to use this phone as a secondary number is fantastic, along with the ability to call international at low rates. But what is the best part is free visual/transcribed voicemails. Yes, you can even text from your Google Voice number (although I’ve never done this, since I only text my friends who have my cell phone number – no need to confuse the less-technically savvy. Fantastic launcher replacement with tons of options to tweak and lots of great features. I still like LauncherPro Beta better (see below), but this one is a very close 2nd.
GTasks: This app/widget allows you to enter tasks into your Google Task list and syncs with the server. This task list is integrated into the Google calendar online. Only issue is that Google Tasks doesn’t support reoccurring tasks, so for that I suggest you make reoccurring events on your google calendar.
Google Listen: I thought the worse thing leaving my Blackberry behind would be losing PodTrapper – which I used to automatically get podcasts delivered to my device OTA so I could listen on planes or when driving. Enter Google Listen. This app is integrated to Google Reader (the RSS application Google has) and allows you to subscribe to RSS podcast feeds. The only issue is that it doesn’t queue the podcasts automatically, but I have found that it downloads them quickly and allows for offline listening. PERFECT.
Google Maps/Navigation: Built-in, better grab the update that’s available from what was loaded just to be sure. By the way, I gave my wife my Garmin Nuvi…this GPS is better. Only issue is that the ETA is a bit off, even after calibration. I guess Google is trying to be green and tell me to slow down.
Google Shopper: Simple app that allows image, voice, or type searches on products to give you local and web pricing on the item. This is just like going to shopper.google.com, only it’s built for the phone and has the voice and image search. I took a picture of a RedBull Sugar Free…and instantly found the lowest price locally near me (KMart) and of course some online vendors
Google Talk (GTalk): Since I lost BBM (Blackberry Messenger), I’ve had to get back on GTalk. Well, the beauty I forgot about is that GTalk can save chat history in your GMail so that you can search for it later. Great when sharing links with friends, etc. or you just want to refer back to the thread. Use “is:chat” in the GMail search…and yes, you can also do this from the GMail phone app!
SMS Backup: OKAY – I know this isn’t a GOOGLE app, but folks, this may be the best FREE app there is. Simple and does what the title says – backs up your text messages to your gmail account. This is a must have since this makes it easy to search texts (They get automatically labeled as SMS). SIMPLY AWESOME. I will pay for this app if/when needed.
Market Apps I use:
Quick Settings: Quick access to all the essential settings (ringer, brightness, wifi, bluetooth, etc.) with an easy to use UI. You can select from many different settings to display on the main dialog, and can even add a shortcut to it in your notification bar.
Pandora: Great app as usual
Slacker Radio: I have this in addition to Pandora as I don’t have a ton of custom channels on Pandora – and if I want to just listen to 80’s, Slacker has all the channels pre-configured. While Pandora is my bread-n-butter, this is a close 2nd in terms of streaming radio/media.
Amazon App: Look, I’m a prime member, and I basically order everything from Amazon. Great app, just as good as it was on the Blackberry, only now I have a huge screen to look at the stuff!
Kindle App: Again, I had this on the Blackberry, but now I have a much better screen. Who needs a Kindle when you have a Droid X that can read just fine!
ShopSavvy: Great for comparing prices by scanning UPC codes. It will search online as well as nearby stores (if you let it use GPS). This also is a built-in QR Code reader as well. Worth keeping just for that.
TempMonitor: Keep an eye on your battery or cpu temps by sticking it in the notification bar. Since I have the cardock, the device can get hot running GPS up near the window. Good to monitor this.
Facebook for Android: Syncs pictures (not flawless, but works), and is a decent app. The widget is the main thing, but the fact is that I use the web / touch web interface. I do use the social network app/ widget built-in that gives you a feed of twitter and facebook in on view.
Twitter for Android: Yes, this is on my device because all other apps over this past weekend (7/18-7/19) didn’t work due to API issues. I will go to Touiteur or Tweetcaster. I like Tweetcaster since it is Free and supports 2 accounts (it does have ads on the bottom). But I may drop the money on Touiteur since my buddy on a Droid swears by it.
Adobe Reader: While OpenOffice is built-in for viewing, I like the Adobe Reader app as it has more functionality and I get a ton of pdf attachments via email. Enough said.
HomePipe: Access files on your home PC directly from your phone. You can also stream your mp3s to the built-in media player. Great app for basically connecting all PC’s you have that are on and running the PC-based app. Not completely cloud, but still cool
QuickDesk Beta: Lets you access your most used programs from anywhere, without having to minimize anything you’re working on.
SyncMyPix: This app actually stores the Facebook photos in your Google Contacts, whereas Facebook for Android only matches the photos up so they display in your Contacts on your phone. If you don’t want people’s Facebook profile pics stored in your Google Contacts, don’t use this.
Bubble: Simple bubble app and leveler. While the bottom of the device isn’t completely flat, still cool in case the wife asks you to hang some pictures! Works on all sides.
DirecTV Scheduler: Great app for those with DirecTV and DVR’s. Search, browse, and schedule recordings from your phone for any of your DVR’s. Supports single or season recording. Was using it when it came out for Blackberry, glad to see it’s here on Android.
FitDeck Mobile (Bodyweight): I travel and this is a great app for bodyweight exercises I can do in the hotel room. The also have a Pilates, Office, and Stairs program. I own Pilates, and will be buying the other two soon.
iHeartRadio: Yes, in case Pandora and Slacker aren’t getting it done, I can switch to iHeartRadio (Clear Channel). Not great, but still worth checking out.
NotePad: Since Google Docs, and the integration in general, doesn’t have a replacement for Outlook notes, I use this. Doesn’t sync, but still a nice app. If need be, I just create a task (with no reminder) on GTasks, or I go to Google Docs via the browser.
ScoreMobile: Great score app (alternatively I’m trying out SportsTap as well…both are equal, but I like ScoreMobile since I’m used to it from Blackberry days)
USAToday: I read it when in the hotels, now I get it on my device. The news feed widgets are preconfigured for USA Today feeds so this may be a bit redundant.
Other Apps recommended (but I haven’t tried), compliments of Rbb Christie (@ronx):
TripIt: If you use TripIt online, this is a must-have. Gives you quick access to your travel itineraries in an easy-to-read format. The TripIt service is pretty cool. You can email confirmations you receive from airlines/travel services/hotels to the tripit email address and it will automatically add all the info to your account.
IMDb: App for looking up movies, showtimes, trailers, etc. I use the website all the time on my PC, so this should come in handy. Just recently released, so I haven’t had many chances to use it yet. Good chance this will move into my must have list once I start using it.
So once I had both my iPhone4 and iPad set-up and ready to go…it was time to get ready for the road. Since I burn up the road…I had to find tools necessary to make travels fun, practical, and safe. With this said, I had just dumped XM Radio because their in-ability to correctly bill the right amount, on the right terms, and never fixed the problem. Let’s just say after a few months of unnecessary billing and no reasonable resolution, I had American Express handle this situation and cancel my account. Now with this said, I needed a decent alternative.
I only listen to some local radio, mainly sports talk radio for Clemson Sports. Other than that…it was music from my iPhone. So once I bought the iPad 3G it was time to take advantage of Internet service while mobile. Especially with the recent multi-tasking upgrade for the iPhone…it was Pandora time.
So installed the iSimple iPod, iPhone, and iPad Direct Connect Kit. This basically installed the ability to plug directly into the docking area of the iPhone4 and iPad to play music and sound into the stereo system. It also charges the iPhone4 but not the iPad. Now, I can open up Pandora, ride down the road, and listen to music…using the 3G and Edge service from AT&T. I sometimes even prop the iPad right under the radio to see the Google Maps app for directions. I have also downloaded the Sports Radio app for local, regional, and national sports talk radio.
I have also bought a bluetooth headset for the road. Now, I do not like all those peeps that have these weird ear pieces in their ear as they walk around stores, restaurants, etc…”Beam Me Up Scotty.” But, I was tired of the ear buds getting tangled up while driving and talking. So I bought the Motorola MOTOROKR S9-HD Bluetooth headphones. A colleague of mine swears by them and they also had good reviews. So I am trying them out…so far, LOVE THEM!
Just a few solutions for me to make my traveling time a lot easier, fun, and hassle free!
Watch the video but big thanks to JDPR and the folks at Verizon Wireless for making this happen! I am not getting paid for this little deal, other than forking out $200 buck for my new iPhone4. But, when the folks at JDPR heard about my new iPhone4, they wanted me to test drive the HTC Incredible on the Android platform!
Did you ever think what it takes to turn on a light in your house? You walk into a room, flip the light switch and magically the light in the center of the room comes on…WOW. Think about the centuries of innovation and the many miles of connectivity from the house to the grid. How does this happen? How long did it take for us to trust the fact that flipping a switch in a wall will turn a light on about the room.
This morning, I woke up and walked to the front porch where the wife was on the phone with her sister in Charleston. I noticed she was irritated and as soon as I open the front glass door…I learned every quickly. Her cell phone conversation had stopped, and started over and over because of some dropped calls.
It was time to get on the phone with AT&T. So I went to get my iPhone and noticed that my visual voicemail was not working. I dialed the phone number for AT&T and after navigating thru the menu system, I am speaking with a very nice lady. I was actually thinking, this lady has a nice pleasant voice…then halfway thru explaining my issue, the phone call dropped. BLAH
Now it is time to go grab the land line to call AT&T. Note…we just added this land line a month ago after being completely dependent on mobile service for three years. So I call the 1800 number and reached another nice, pleasant voice with AT&T. Pleasant helpful voices are nice. After explaining my issue…I was off to be transferred to a technical support representative.
****I realize this is a timeline of events…I will get to the point of this post****
My new technical support friend told me of some Voice Network Issues in SC & NC. He also told me that they (AT&T) are in the process of upgrading the 3G service in Clemson and Anderson, to expand the service beyond the Clemson area. He also explained that the voice service works off of a completely different tower than the data service. WOW. It take multiple towers to provide one phone multiple services in just one location, we have not even began to talk about moving from one location to the next.
As my AT&T technical friend was sifting thru my account, where our phones are connected, and diagnosing our tower issues…he made a statement that made me think. He told me that we really TRUST technology to do what it is supposed to do, that when we flip the light switch we TRUST that it will turn on. We do not think about the technology necessary to turn that light on to brighten a room. Think about the amount of TRUST we have when we dial a phone call while driving down the road on a cell phone. The technology to connect that one phone, in a car, while driving down the road at 65 mph to someone in a completely different zip-code. We really TRUST technology.
Has our TRUST continuum for technology shortened each time we accept a new technology? Or do we even realize that we might not trust a technology…we merely do not recognize a technology is not working and check later when it is back up and running again. How long did it take for us as a society to trust that electricity is going to provide the energy necessary to luminate a room. How long did it take for us as a society to trust cell phone calling as a technology as motorola made the first successful call in the late 60’s. How long did it take for us to trust that we could connect to the Internet via a mobile device? Is there really a situation that makes us distrust a service provider like AT&T, that makes us switch providers to experience the same issues with the next provider because the technology is just technology.
HMM…well, I know this: I may pay a lot of money each month to AT&T to provide a service, but I am still amazed that I can talk to my mom while driving down the road at 85 mph in SC and she is driving down the road at 85 mph in another state. Technology is kind of cool.