Thursday, August 17, 2006

Quick, Write Press Release Tying Us To Popular Phone! Content/Accuracy Unimportant!

(This post takes a while to get to the point, sorry!)

Just back from a rather hectic week in Japan sorting out some iMode DoJa content - sadly my site-seeing rather curtailed by the realisation that whilst DoJa is pretty standardised and reliable compared to the morass of MIDP phones in the West, they do have bugs. In particular certain types of HTTP connections will work in vanilla HTTP, but fail subtly under SSL with byte injection - a nice recipe for 16 hour days until the bug was tracked down. Killed the blogging a bit too.

Since my return I've been investigating mobile gambling for a series we plan to do on the blog, because connected mobile games have yet to take off in a big way for all sorts of reasons and we view the gambling sector as a key enabler here (in Europe at least, where gambling online is broadly legal) - because they have the financial incentive and the leverage to find solutions to Java connectivity, both with the operators and despite them.

This brings me on to the point in the post, a rather masturbatury press release I just read from Slotland. Razrs are big right now and Slotland clearly want to leverage that for all they can, so they have written a load of cobblers saying it's a great development phone, etc - much more contemporary and enticing than a puff piece stating they have a product, some people have used it, they have made an awards shortlist, yawn.

"If they (J2ME developers) could choose one phone as the standard, it would be the Motorola Razr."

Oh really? I have yet to meet a developer who wouldn't standardise on an SE K750i because it's fast, slick and reliable, with more features that are better implemented. Whilst I've made it clear I hate the UI on the Moto, I would rank it as a so-so development phone - quite quick, relatively bug free (though the random networking exceptions thrown when working with a bad signal can be a bitch), not especially attractive (no alpha transparency, ugly font, ugly header bar) but equally nowhere near the bottom of the pile.

You can't really complain though, the entire piece is crammed with as many self-congratulatory claims as their PR bunny could squeeze in. Accuracy doesn't matter when you're acting the expert to an industry and public that don't understand the technology. Peer recognition doesn't matter for a product-based company - credibility like that is only really interesting if you're doing consulting.

They seem keen on their ME award shortlisting, but when I read that list I can't think of any other competent mobile gambling offerings out there. ME are lucky they didn't try to pick ten companies for the shortlist, they'd have run out.

Blatant idiocy or abuse of the facts always annoys me, but I think I've calmed down now. Coming up soon, reviews of the full user experience with those five shortlisted companies and any others we can find, to see how they are leading us into the brave new interactive world! Alongside a comparison of the Japanese and UK mobile markets, of course.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Had a try with slotland on several phones, and despite saying that they prefered the RAZR over, say the k750, they had more features and animations on the k750 than on the RAZR. Strange if that was their top dev handset....

6:16 pm


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