Almost everything out there for Nokia N and E series phones, as well as the new dual mode Windows Mobile 6.0 handsets seems to be geared for either the 3G world or slower, or are nothing more than rewrites of apps for the personal computers.
The few apps I've seen have been mostly geared for switching or detecting WiFi (ala Birdstep) or whatever has come on the devices.
When I was at the Symbian Show in London in October nothing really was being shown that answered Dean's question. Thus the answer falls squarely on the Symbian Series 60 Developers Program and the Windows Mobile Developers to take the lead. The same with Jave Dev teams and even the Brew gang.
I've now had the time to sit back and evaluate my three 3G experiences here in the USA and two in the UK.
In a nutshell, AT&T's HSDPA whoops butt over Verizon, not so much in speed but in network transport, and is better than Sprint for many of the same reasons.
In speed tests I've run, Sprint comes out way ahead and for the casual user may be a better deal than the other two, and while Verizon has the best footprint, for the most part, having a combination of Sprint and AT&T pretty much gives me all I need when I need it.
In the UK I've used both T-Mobile and 3. I tend to like 3's pricing better, five pounds a month vs. a pound a day for T-Mo's web n' walk, but both provide tons of coverage. The 3G, HSDPA coverage around London is fail even, but its the value of the service that makes it a real winner.
Ever wonder just who reads my blog? Microsoft obviously is. Here's a reply from one of their Program Managers and some additional details that shows why they've actually thought about the issue..
In our Office Communications Server product we use two technologies to protect all of our voice calls: TLS to protect the call signaling and SRTP to protect the voice (media) itself. We have a server we call the A/V Edge Server that allows this secure voice communications to extend beyond the enterprise’s firewall to people who may be working from home, from the road, or from a different company entirely. That server uses something called ICE to make this work through NATs and firewalls. All of these technologies (TLS, SRTP, and ICE) come from IETF standards that are available today. You can find more details in our Security Guide at: http://www.microsoft.com/downloads/details.aspx?familyid=2D1EA693-25E0-43D9-8C5C-0822EF83955A&displaylang=en
Here is a picture that might help explain (from the Security Guide on pg. 26):
There’s a ton of detail in there that might seem like an acronym soup at first.
Now a news account out of the UK says that Skype could have saved the numbers if they were willing to pony up a few more pounds per month around the very valuable 207 exchange in London. That's akin to a 212 in New York City these days.
So what does this mean? Well for starters Skype sold something they did not own, but simply are leasing or renting. At the time of sale I don't recall seeing any warning that the numbers could be changed at any time, and all that I'm paying for is really Skype In service from "SOME" number, ANY number.-- FAUX PAS #1-ALWAYS TELL YOU CUSTOMER THE RISKS.
As a matter of fact I was able to renew my number today, which is a 207 number, without any warning of the impending loss. FAUX PAS #2-Always communicate transparently at the time of sale.
My view is if the number is subscribed to Skype should go the extra mile and look out for their customers just like GrandCentral did, by taking every effort to save and salvage as many numbers as possible by either moving them to a friendly carrier using LNP (if this exists in the UK) or by sucking up the loss, which they haven't done. FAUX PAS #3. -ALWAYS LOOK OUT FOR YOU CUSTOMER, ESPECIALLY THOSE WHO HAVE PAID YOU.
Now what does this tell me reading between the lines.
1) Skype In is not a big deal to Skype. The revenues are not that big and they would rather incur a few upset users than pay higher rates.
2) Skype's view of this is not very customer oriented. Unlike a real phone number where you can refer to the new number, that doesn't happen with Skype In numbers. This helps support their argument to avoid E911 issues that they are not a real phone company. I say BULLOCKS. Those who promoted their Skype In numbers now have to tell everyone, and in some cases print new business cards.
3) It happened during a holiday week here in the USA. This means many USA based users of UK Skype In numbers will not learn of this until next week. Timing is everything.
Do I see both sides of the issue. Certainly. Is it fair to the user...NOPE! Does it point to the need for new leadership at Skype from the outside, where customers and technology are clearly known. YUP!
UPDATE---> Skype Journal guest poster Simon Perry weighed ' with his thoughts with a great comment calling all of this "BIZZARE"
If true this will give IT managers fits, and if not addressed by the SIP standards folks at the IETF very soon, will have a chilling affect on the growth of IP based telephony world, first and foremost in the enterprise space that Microsoft is chasing with its SIP based Live Communications and Unified Communications efforts.
Given how much news gets generated around bugs and exploits in MSFT Windows OS' this will give the market audiences a field day with their voice products.
It also means that networks like Vonage, that don't currently have a very aggressive security operations compared to AT&T's CallVantage group, and other small operators (i.e. Broadvoice, Earthlink, VoicePulse, Lingo, SipPhone, etc.) may have to beef up their security and begin to look seriously at this issue.
Nothing would be worse than having the wrong person here the wrong thing....
I continue to find that the idea of room based video conferencing systems like Telepresence from Cisco and Halo from HP are only for the rich and famous and doesn't meet the criteria yet for working anywhere.
This review of Halo continues to support that belief. Until the portability factor is part of the equation, and the home based user can access the same sessions the solution is corporate excess in my book.
While I remain convinced that apps not minutes are what matters, we have to realize that the market that adopts early are largely the online, non talkative crowd. They IM, chat and email. They are more comfortable not talking which provides a nice lead in to a series of posts by Jim Courtney and Jon Arnold.
So the real issue with all these new plug-ins is they keep trying to get the users out of their safe zone and into a new dimension. Those of us who grew up talking, before IM are more an audience than those that did not. As such the app developers like client Thomas Howe have it right. Build apps for those that need them. Not those that don't.