Posts tagged “mobility”

ChittahChattah Quickies

  • Skirting the Glut of iPhone Apps [] – The average iPhone or iPod Touch owner uses 5 to 10 apps regularly. This despite the surfeit of available apps: some 140,000 and counting. [The iPad] doesn’t mean that people will change their habits. Actually, it may just make them feel a tad more overwhelmed. The next generation of gadget users might prove different, but for now it is clear that people prefer fewer choices, and that they gravitate consistently toward the same small number of things that they like. For every zealous owner whose iPhone is loaded with little-known programs that predict asteroid fly-bys, there are many more who seldom venture outside the predictable. Most say they’re too busy, too lazy or just plain flummoxed by the choices. “I think I’m supposed to want more of them than I have,” said Julie Graham, a psychotherapist in San Francisco. “There’s this sense that I’m missing out on something I didn’t know I needed.”

Hot Wings

My dad received the following offer in the mail: a chance to win a free cremation. If he enters, he’ll have a chance to win each month!


They don’t specify, but I guess that must be each month until you die?

What’s especially fascinating is their connection between cremation and mobility:

“With everyone moving around these days,
placing a loved one in a ‘local’ cemetery
may not be as functional as it used to be.”

Portigal Consulting has been doing some projects recently on mobile devices, but I never thought to include cremation urns in that category.

The best part of the letter is the disclaimer at the end of the second page:

“Please accept our apologies if this letter
has reached you at a time of serious illness
or death in your family.”

How compassionate.

Telecommunication and etiquette norms

Like the digital equivalent of an IZOD gator, email programs insert small branded tags in the “.signature” portion of the message.

Free webmail services like hotmail, yahoo, and MSN have their ads

Express yourself with MSN Messenger 6.0 — download now!


Don’t pick lemons.
See all the new 2007 cars at Yahoo! Autos.

While in recent years we’ve got the device specific sigs. The first one I really noticed was

Sent from my Blackberry

and of course the superest of coolest

Sent from my iPhone

These little tags (and think of the tags on Levi’s jeans or skin tags, more than folksonomies) advertise the product (as with the Yahoo et. al examples) but they also tell you something about the person. I’ve got one of these. Beyond that, the message might be I’m cool enough to have an iPhone, or I’m lucky enough to work someplace where they buy me a Blackberry.


But they also tell you something else. I wrote this message in some situation you can’t possibly (and probably shouldn’t) imagine, when I had a few seconds to kill er um spend responding to you, away from a full keyboard where I could hit my expansive wpm and correct the embarrassing typos. Just like when we call someone on their cell phone, we may not know where we’re reaching them and therefore how the interaction will proceed, when we get an email from a mobile device, we can’t assume the normal context of use (computer, full screen, full keyboard, some time committed to the act).

And so I was tickled to get an email over the weekend that included this customized .signature

Apologies for brevity and any blunders in spelling; this was sent from my iPhone.

Nicely done. I don’t know how to change the iPhone signature, and I realized upon seeing this version that I’d just always assumed that my correspondents would know how to interpret the default. But I’m probably expecting way more empathy that anyone has time for.

Context is everything

Designing Sustainable Mobility is an event recently held at Art Center in Southern California. In Northern California (i.e., Silicon Valley) an design-y event about mobility (sustainable or otherwise), is going to be about wireless communications (i.e. cell phone stuff). In Southern California, it’s about cars.

Although, now that I think of it, a conference about sustainability and wireless mobility would be interesting, since I don’t ever hear of the two things put together.


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