Seasonal Story Round-up

We tried our best to down tools for the holiday period, but we found it hard to resist bringing you a quick round-up of some of the stuff that’s been happening in the last few days. Well be back with a review of the year on New Years Eve, then back in earnest on Tuesday, 4 January…

Usablenet, which has built m-commerce sites for many leading retailers, revealed that recently-launched full m-commerce sites in the UK achieved traffic increases of between 50 and 100 per cent over the Christmas weekend. Top UK retailers launched by Usablenet in time for the holiday shopping period include, JD Sports, John Lewis, Marks & Spencer, Next Retail and Tesco, among others.

The top five device types used to access the mobile sites were iPhone, Android, Blackberry, Nokia, and iPod, and Sunday, 26 December was the busiest day for mobile activity, as shoppers turned to their smartphones to check store locations, compare prices, and complete purchases during the Boxing Day sales. 

Directed Electronics has updated its Viper SmartStart app that allows users to pinpoint exactly where they parked their car, with a feature called SmartPark, that notes a vehicle’s location every time the user presses the door lock button in the app. To return to the stored location, users the ‘Find My Car’ button in the app and retrieve the location, accessing any additional accompanying photo or note reminder that the user may have stored. SmartPark also displays a map with walking directions back to the car’s location.

Russian mobile operator MegaFon has selected SPB Software as a partner for its ‘Video Portal’ mobile TV solution. It offers fast channel launch and switching, an integrated TV guide, picture-in-picture mode, and the ability to set up program reminders in the phone’s calendar.

SPB has also unveiled SPB TV for Maemo, the first mobile TV solution for Maemo available on Ovi store. The app offers access to more than 150 channels from over 20 countries. The app is ad-funded, with no download or subscription fees. Ads appear during channel buffering and dont interrupt the TV viewing.  


2 per cent of mobile network connections worldwide were used for wireless machine-to-machine (M2M) communication at the end of 2010, according to a report from the analyst, Berg Insight. The number of M2M subscribers increased by 46 per cent year-on-year to an estimated 81.4m. In the next five years, the total number of wireless M2M connections is forecasted to grow at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 32 per cent to reach 294.1m connections in 2015, accounting for 4 per cent of the total number of cellular connections.    
Sony has launched ‘Music Unlimited powered by Qriocity’ a cloud-based, digital music service which gives music lovers access to millions of songs from major labels including Universal Music Group, Sony Music Entertainment, Warner Music Group and EMI Music, as well as leading independent labels and major publishers worldwide. The catalogue will initially offer around 6m songs, and will continue to expand over time.

Sony has developed the service in partnership with Omnifone, which provides cloud-based unlimited music services. Users can play music any time onto a wide variety of Internet-connected Sony devices, including TVs, Blu-ray players, PlayStation3, PCs, and Android-based mobiles. The service is initially available in the UK and Ireland, with service availability in other markets including the US, Canada, Germany, France, Italy, Spain, Australia and New Zealand to be announced during 2011. The service costs £3.99/€3.99 per month for a basic subscription, and £9.99/€9.99 per month for a Premium subscription.


BullGuard has released BullGuard Mobile Security 10  – a security solution for Android, Symbian, Windows and Blackberry smartphones, that the company says offers superior protection, more features and covers more platforms than any other product available today. BullGuard has worked with mobile security technologies since 2005, when the company was among the first to launch a mobile security product. 

BullGuard Mobile Security 10 protects smartphones by preventing viruses, spyware and hackers from accessing the phone, and keeping personal details safe, even if the phone is lost or stolen. It features Antivirus, Antispyware, Antitheft, Parental Control, Firewall, Spamfilter, Basic Backup and Support, and costs $29.95.


DK Eyewitness has launched five new travel guide apps for the iPhone and iPod touch, based on its popular Top 10 series. The first five DK Top 10 apps feature the cities of London, Paris, New York, Rome and Barcelona. The apps incorporate DKs in-depth content along with geo-tagged mapping and a location-based ‘Inspire Me’ feature, that presents recommendations based on your physical location. The DK Top 10 Apps cost £3.99/$6.99 each.

DK has also announced the release of the London: DK Eyewitness app for iPad, which joins the Paris: DK Eyewitness app currently available on iTunes. The apps cost £9.99/$16.99 each.