After spending 5 days in the Colorado Rockies, and driving across western Kansas I can tell you that cell phone coverage pretty much sucks in rural America. I know that some of the issues are geographical. Cell signals can’t travel through mountains, and if cell towers are a hundred miles apart you might drop service. None the less almost every cell provider in the lower 48 will tell you that you will have uninterrupted service as you drive west on I-70.
OpenSignal in the UK (winner of the UK’s most innovative mobile company 2013) realized this problem is universal on both sides of the Atlantic and the startup has introduced an app that allows cell users to report their coverage in real-time. This means that cell users can cut through clutter to find honest, crowd-sourced information about signal strength and reliability. App users can track signal coverage across maps, that also display nearby wi-fi networks.
“The most innovative aspect of our project is that every app user shares signal information with us, meaning that we have built up the most complete database on carrier performance in the world, much of which is viewable in-app or on our website opensignal.com. We’re trying to build a community to help dispel some of the mystery associated with how carrier’s networks perform.” Samuel Johnston, brand strategist, OpenSignal.
Oh and it works here in the United States as well as Europe.
If you have any doubts about how social media has impacted everything from the greeting card industry, to the postal service look no further than WhatsApp. The mobile messaging service processed a record shattering 18 billion messages on New Year’s Eve. That’s right, 18 billion messages featuring emoticons, text effects, pictures, etc. in 24 hours. That’s 75 million direct messages an hour, worldwide.
The 18 billion breaks down to 11 billion outbound and 7 billion inbound messages. The outbound figure is dramatically higher because outbound messages sent to a group reflect the total number of people. Inbound messages count as one.
If you are unfamiliar with WhatsApp, it is a cross-platform mobile messaging application that allows you to exchange messages without having to pay for SMS. WhatsApp uses the same internet data plan that you use for email and web browsing, there is no cost to message and stay in touch with your friends.
If I were in the business of helping people communicate in any form, I think I’d be taking a very hard look at this app and how I could do something similar, or better.
Here is an interesting infographic that breaks down smartphone usage amongst college age individuals. Some interesting take-aways. Gaming only accounts for about 33 percent of smartphone users, and Facebook didn’t make the most popular list.
In one week the new iPhone 5 will be announced with the same Apple fanfare we have all come to know and love. With that launch will come the love/hate fest for Apple products. At this point you’d think people would get a life and move beyond hating a brand because of it’s popularity and success, but that won’t be the case. In a new survey conducted by Techbargains.com, they found that Six per cent of people won’t buy an iPhone because they hate Apple.
At the same time, 20 percent of Android users want the new Apple iPhone when it drops later this month.
It turns out that thirty percent say they don’t want the new iPhone, with 20 percent of this group stating they will never buy an iPhone because they hate Apple with a passion greater than the heat of one thousand suns. Another 35 percent won’t go with the iPhone because of they feel it is cost prohibitive.
In the survey Techbargains found 45 percent of the respondents want to get the iPhone 5, with five percent planning to camp out in line on the release day( I just don’t get this practice).
Now here is something interesting and very telling for one company. Of those who took the survey, 20 percent of Android users want the new iPhone; and one in three, (30 percent) of BlackBerry and non-smartphone users want to make to jump on the Apple band wagon.
There are more facts and figures in the infographic below, and the complete survey results can be read here.