Rhodes, for all your mobile app development needs

I’m really surprised and excited at the same time to see this mobile based open micro-framework for mobile phone development named Rhodes. Rhomobile has launched this open framework that claims to allow developers to write an app once and port it easily run on iPhone, Blackberry, Symbian, Windows mobile and even Android.

The platform allows users to write code in Ruby and is available here for download. I did’nt get much time to explore this but you can simply read the tutorial or can watch following video to get yourself oriented with this very promising tool. I’ll share my findings as soon as I find some time to work on it.

Last but not least. There’s a Rhodes app development contest going on on their site that can win you $10,000. I wish you luck. Happy coding !

This site will guess the song for you!!

Hum the song and you get it!

How often did it happen to you? I remember the tune, a few words out of a song but I don’t remember the song, who sung it, where can I find it? Come on, I’m even ready to buy a CD or download it from iTunes. Can somebody help me with that? You look odd humming at your coworkers for help and it gets worse when others cant recognize the song after your

Here comes the savior. I just came across this amazing service named midomi that allows you to hum the portion of a song and will possibly come up with the results. No doubt, the results are better than my expectations. Before I started typing this post, what I simply did was:

  1. I went to midomi.com
  2. Clicked on the button that says “Click and sing or hum”
  3. I hummed the song “Duur” by “Strings” for only 15 seconds or so
  4. What I see as result is as follows …

OMG!!! This is absolutely amazing. I couldn’t believe my eyes.

How does it work? Lets take a closer look. The voice you record for searching is broken into samples comprising higher and lower notes within that few seconds clip. This recording is searched against the samples stored in the database for similar patterns. As a result, some probable results are listed for review. You can simply play the clip and see if it is the one you were looking for.

It is more of a community effort as far as I can see, as most of the search results are not the real song but clips either played or sung by site users. In addition to the clip, you can upload more information about the song. This will make more sense when your uploaded clip shows up in the search result.

No doubt its an innovative service and has a lot of potential. And if you have an iPhone, you can carry it around with you. Midomi iPhone app is available for free.

Once you have found the song, you can play the clip, play all the clips that match, and if they do, you can even buy the song. When I clicked the “Buy” link, it gave me two options, i.e buy from amazon or download from iTunes.

Only one complaint. Why its not out on other phones? Why only iPhone? 🙂

Google Adsense for Mobile, I dont see it in my account

Google has launched adsense for Mobiles now. I was very keen and wanted to know the details. I quickly logged into my adsense account but to my surprise, I could’nt find any mobile options there. Adds for feeds, search, content and domains are the only for options.

Login page shows mobile adsense clearly :

Adsense blog also talks about the launch and states that the service is for the mobile optimized websites. Now you will soon start seeing Google ads on the mobile optimized sites powered by Adsense.

I was more interested in ads that can be displayed within mobile applications, like the ones offered by admob, but Adsense has not reached there yet.

In the end I would like to ask you guys to tell me about the availability of adsense mobile in your account. Honestly, my account still doesn’t have it.

Links: Google Adsense
Admob: www.admob.com

Youtube mobile, some serious improvements!

Just a few days ago I wrote about vtap. Here comes youtube to snatch limelight from it. I’m happy to see the new version of Youtube mobile application.

First of all, the reason of my happiness is the support for my Nokia N82. My handset was not recognized by Youtube earlier. I think it was too new for it :p . My N82 had no straight way of installing Youtube app. What I did earlier was, to download an app for N95 to my PC and installing it onto my N82.

Remember, I talked about some port blocking in my vtap post? Well, youtube had the same problem in the earlier version. Youtube could search and browse on my cellular network using GPRS/EDGE but when played a video, it used to fail. Same was the case with m.youtube.com. It used to launch the Real-Player which never played the video. Reason? The default media streaming on a mobile requires incoming data connections on a few ports. Many mobile networks block such ports (I dont know why, at least my network did).

I even tried running earlier version of youtube on wifi, and it failed due to the same incoming connection problem. But after a few tweaks to the router, I could get it running on wifi. All above sounds too complicated? Well, for most of us, it is.

New version of youtube application has fixed all these issues. Now I can play videos on my same old network without any problem. If you can surf the web, read the blogs or news and check your email on mobile, you can also enjoy mobile youtube. Search is simple, fast and results are displayed in a great scrolling manner that is readable enough. Recent searches are also stored and if typed in again, similar links drop down in a list, a real convenience!

Video qauality is good, its not as good as you see on the PC but the compression is reasonably lossless. Comparing to vtap, things are much better.

The application is very simple to use and has a great feature set. Simply press 7 and you’ll get the related videos searched for the selected one. Pressing 3 takes you to the home screen with the standard search box, top rated, most viewed and most recent link. All these links, search or related video result in a video list horizontally scrollable that caters to the small screen issue in a great manner.

Another great feature is the ability of changing the connection. In most applications, switching from wifi to EDGE/3G and back is not possible. Youtube has a menu option to select a different network if your currently selected network is not available anymore. No need to restart the app.

I believe a few features are missing at the price of the simplicity? Following are the features I was expecting in this release

  • A login option that allows me to view my private videos, rate them, add to favorite etc.
  • My customized searches (recommended by youtube) and videos that interest me mots, I love that on the web version
  • Capability of uploading my mobile videos
  • Sharing capability

vtap is a winner in the case of sharing. Youtube app is not letting me sms the url even. No email, no web and no text sharing of videos from the application. Its a big turn-off.

I was able to test it on a few series 60 nokias and it works like a charm. Moreover, it is not supported on my blackberry curve 8310. Do let me know what handset you are using and if the application is supported on your set or not. Simply go to http://m.google.com/youtube/download from your mobile browser. If you see a download link on the homepage, your handset is supported.
If you don’t see that link, your handset may still be supported but you will have to find it out the hard way. Please do share your experiences.

Start enjoying the mobile youtube today.

Download Link: http://m.google.com/youtube/download

vtap: Video for your mobile – Fast and easy

Finally, I think we have a great video solution for mobile phones without any major glitches. I know many mobiles can play Youtube right away in their native browsers, but this is a wee bit more than only youtube. The site is a mashup of several video content sites and streams videos directly to your phone.

vtap’s focus is on easy mobile usage and fast access to the media. For easy searching, they’re using an amazing idea of typing a first few letters of the words to search for a video. For example, to search for Javed Mianddad’s six that he hit on the last ball of the match in sharjah, I simply tapped in “jav six” and walla!!! here’s your video 🙂

To keep the streaming quick, you can go into the settings and can select either high, medium or low end video streaming option. If you have a really slow connection and you can live with audio only, you can select that option too. Though I dont find high quality videos to be that high quality but its a great feature to have.

Phones with the integrated real-player can simply use the browser to search and browse the videos and can click to play the video in the built-in player. If you don’t have a built in player, vtap provides application download too. All the phones I tried, vtap worked like a charm.

The only issue is the incoming data ports. If you are using a network that doesn’t allow incoming connections for streaming and the ports are blocked by your network, you are out of luck. You can search and browser but you cannot stream the video content. This is a similar issue to that of Youtube app on some devices.

This is great to see videos optimized for a low bandwidth streaming and a very smooth playback on edge as well ass wifi, but once I’m on wifi, I expect a much better video quality. When watched on a PC, same video may play a great quality, but vtap rips the quality down on phone, regardless of type of connection you are using and type of quality settings on your software. Even HIGH quality video settings result in a lower quality video. I hope someone at vtap may read this and try to work on bandwidth/quality optimization even further.

Sharing is another great aspect of vtap. Either you use your mobile’s browser or the vtap application, you can simply share the application with friends via SMS or Email. You also have another host of option for a video like adding it to favorites, video talkbacks, related video search and smart video tagging etc.

Exact features may vary depending on your phone. According to their website vtap works with iPhone and iPod touch, a number of Windows Mobile based phones and even a bigger number of other phones. I tried it on an N82, N95-8GB, Blackberry 8310, E51. Note, all these phones that I mentinoed are not listed on their website but the solution works just great. So it may work on your phone as well.

You want to try it? I’m sure you’ll get hooked and wont stop using it for hours.

From your PC visit http://www.vtap.com
From your Mobile visit http://m.vtap.com

Lewis driving McLaren using a Blackberry?

I couldn’t believe my eyes as well. This video is amazing. This guy designed a Blue-tooth remote control for a model McLaren and then it was taken right onto the circuit.

Stop reading and start watching the video:

Facebook Translations

Facebook has come up with another brave idea of translating the whole Facebook into local languages of the users. The list contains more than 60 languages from the world. The idea is to let the people translate the site themselves in their native languages.

The process is to add the “Translations” application. An invitation to this application popped up onto my home page when I logged in Facebook this morning.

Once you have added the application, you select your language and you are all set to start translation. You simply click “Go translate” and you can see phrases coming up on English. You click translate and type the appropriate translated phrases.

As Facebook is all about social interaction and community effort, all these translations will be verified and voted by the other users and eventually your Facebook localized version will be ready to be used.