Competitor networks 3, Vodafone and Tesco all offer the iPhone 4 with a flat-rate 1GB data allowance, while O2 and T-Mobile both range between 500MB and 1GB, depending on the price and length of the contract. T-Mobile offers 3GB a month with Android phones.
Orange is also offering the iPhone 4 on pay-as-you-go (PAYG) with an upfront cost of £480, plus a £10 top-up. A monthly £10 top-up will net PAYG customers 250MB data allowance and 300 free texts.
The project, led by researcher George MacKerron of LSE’s Department of Geography and Envirnoment, is designed to help the team understand the impact of a person’s surrounding environment. The team believes that features such as pollution, noise, weather conditions and green space all play a part a person’s overall happiness.
The app beeps users at random times of the day to find out how ‘happy’, ‘relaxed’ and how ‘awake’ they are feeling – as well as their activity, companionship and location.
The application even tracks a users’ location via GPS in addition to monitoring noise levels using the iPhone’s in-built microphone. The data is sent back to a central data store securely and anonymously.
MacKerron said: ‘Tracking happiness through time alone is an idea with history: in the 19th century economists imagined a “hedonimeter”, a perfect happiness gauge, and psychologists have more recently run small-scale “experience sampling” studies to see how mood varies with activity, time of day, and so on.
‘We hope to find better answers to questions about the impacts of natural beauty, environmental problems – maybe even aspects of climate – on individual and national wellbeing.’
Users will be able to observe real-time national happiness levels on the website, http://www.mappiness.org.uk/, alongside maps and timelines drawn out from the response data.
Mappiness is free to download from Apple’s online App Store.
Apple has confirmed that Steve Jobs himself will be hosting the keynote talk at this year’s Apple Worldwide Developers Conference 2010 – raising chances that the gathering will be used to unveil the upcoming iPhone 4.
Though there’s no direct evidence to confirm this, if nothing else we know that a new iPhone is both in development and nearing release.
Early builds of the gadget have in recent weeks been spotted (or ‘acquired’)by both Gizmodo and Vietnamese site Taoviet.
Kicking off on June 7th, WWDC is designed to provide advanced advice for skilled developers across five key technology tracks.
The 5000 attendees will be able to attend sessions in the following tracks: Application Frameworks; Internet & Web; Graphics & Media; Developer Tools; and Core OS.
The cell phone, ranked eighth in the list, is ahead of both space travel and the combustion engine.
After its launch in 2007, more than 42 million of the gadgets have been sold.
The computer came fifth and Graham Bell’s telephone came sixth just ahead of Sir Alexander Flemming’s discovery of Penicillin.
A total of 4,000 consumers voted to rank some of the major inventions of the last 200 years, in the survey conducted by Tesco Mobile.
“All of the inventions included in this list have changed the world forever,” the Sun quoted Lance Batchelor, chief executive of Tesco Mobile, as saying.
He added: “Whether it be something as small as a paper clip, to something which changed the face of the universe like the combustion engine, these amazing feats have all been recognised as truly great.
“It’s amazing to see how much the iPhone is valued, sitting alongside inventions such as Penicillin in people’s perceptions and being declared a more important invention than miracle gadgets of their own time, such as the compass.”
Spell check made it to 86th, while power steering was placed at 50th and the TV remote control landed in 43rd.
All the major parties have talked the talk about learning from Obama’s celebrated success at using technology to build a grassroots campaign which engaged voters and all the major parties have released iPhone apps. I got to wondering – have they blended what they’ve learnt from Obama with the power of the iPhone to engage its users?
In this post, I’ll look at each of the party’s election apps considering where they’ve done well and where they’ve got it all wrong. As a reasonable baseline, I’ll suggest that an app should at least have party news, party relevant tweets and policy information. The thing I’m most interested in is whether the apps provide a platform for interested people to get engaged in party activities. Do the apps allow Joe Public to get involved at a grassroots level?
The Labour Party – iCampaign
The Labour party’s app is very comprehensive. Over and above the campaign news section, there is an Inside the Campaign section which reads a bit like a campaign blog. Good reading for both the party faithful and just the politically interested.
The app also features local election events and info on Labour representatives relevant to your location. This is brilliant use of the iPhone’s geo-location features and offers an immediate route into Labour party activities for potential volunteers, including a form to sign up as a volunteer.
Localisation and the use of the app to engage would-be-volunteers in local events mean this one’s a winner. One thing I wonder about – why does the word “Labour” not appear in the app’s title?
The Tories – Conservative
At the risk of sounding like a real newspaper rather than a tech blog, the Tories’ app is all gloss and no substance. Having to endure the naff title sequence every time I run the app put me off before I even got started. Policies are accessible through a clunky interface. News is presented in a reasonably straightforward fashion.
The only feature which encourages any sort of engagement with the party is “Call a friend” where the app encourages you to call friends in your addressbook and, in doing so, provide their details to the Tories for local campaigning.
A dynamic infographic, the Swingometer, allows the user to tilt the device to demonstrate how percentage swing translates into Conservative seats gained nationally. As someone who does not have a mental picture of the constituency map its not clear how tilting the phone numerically affects which specific constituencies so it came across as someone’s funky visual idea with very little meaning.
The app provides web links to the Tories’ Facebook, Twitter and YouTube pages which, annoyingly, take you out of the app and into the browser.
A few flashy graphics neither entices nor facilitates users easily engaging with the party.
The Liberal Democrats – Lib Dems
The Lib Dems app puts Nick Clegg into your pocket, quite literally. By selecting three topics from six available,the app strings together a series of videos which are narrated by Nick Clegg. A few links allow you to join the mailing list, share the app with a friend and make donations. And that’s about it really.
The Lib Dems fail on my baseline of presenting, at a minimum, news, policy and twitter. There’s also no way to meaningfully engage as a potential volunteer.
UK Independence Party – UKIP
Promisingly, the UKIP app is powered by Purple Forge, the team behind My Politics. Although it doesn’t look flashy, it doesn’t disappoint. In terms of the baseline, the app provides access to UKIP news, the UKIP manifesto and, amazingly, tweets sourced from a series of UKIP relevant Twitter accounts as well as on the search terms #UKIP, #ukelection, #uk, #election2010, #notaxes and #jobs. That’s pretty brave because it seems to show both positive and negative sentiment. It’s also inspired, it shows UKIP being open to hearing from all commentators and seemingly really engaged with social media.
The main app screen provides links to UKIP’s YouTube and flickr pages as well as a short shpiel on the party’s history and a place to donate. There’s an events section which apparently allows you to export events into your calendar but on the evening I looked there were no events showing on the schedule.
The app allows you to share news, events, tweets, pics and videos to your own Facebook and/or Twitter accounts. The Engage area of the app polls users on political issues and provides results of the polls to users in real time.
A real immersive app which allows you engage with party policy, party events and share party information with your own social networks. All functionality is embedded within the app. Functionally it’s a winner although it’s a pity the UI is a bit unpolished.
The Greens – Green Party Policy Matchmaker
The Greens have taken a totally different path with their Policy Matchmaker app. The app takes the user through a series of 10 questions designed to assess how the user’s views match Green Party policies, particularly those which are not driven by their environmental principles. After answering all questions, the user is given a score and some explanatory notes on the relevant policy points. If you close the app and want to read the policies again, you have to answer all the questions again – a bit of a usability disaster.
The only other feature allows you to share the app with friends via Facebook, text message or email.
The policy matchmaker is a great idea which is let down by it being the only idea expressed in the app. The baseline (news, policy and Twitter) is not achieved.
In summary, only Labour and UKIP have delivered apps which encourage and facilitate real engagement with the party. Astonishingly, UKIP’s app stands alone as the only app which encourages sharing on social networks. The Tories ply an unsual middle ground with a few basic features and an attempt at some innovation which is poorly executed. The Lib Dems seem to have built an unusual front-end to some You Tube content and little more. The Green Party app is built on an interesting idea but requires some basic features as well.
The exam question was “Have the parties blended what they’ve learnt from Obama with the power of the iPhone to engage its users?” and it seems that, in most cases, the parties came up woefully short.
Apple have recently acquired Intinsity (a small Texan company), the manufacturers for the speedy A4 chip inside the guts of the iPad. This means that Apple will be able to strive for even faster hardware inside of their mobile devices.
Full article on this, see here.