iPhone, SchmiPhone…

httpv://www.youtube.com/watch?v=357k_8t0QMw

Yeah, the iPhone is all that and a bag of chips as we say in Wisconsin, but what if you don’t use AT&T and don’t want to switch carriers? Or worse yet! You can get AT&T but they won’t sell you an iPhone because they don’t have coverage there [happened to a friend of mine]? Well, all is not lost.

Tech buddy Steve Gallimore pointed out to me that the iPod touch — which I previously thought was worthless because of the small storage space — actually has wifi [duh! How did I miss that?] which makes it the most valuable of personal digital assistants [pdas] in many ways. In my hands on testing the iPod touch does have a lot of “WOW! Factor”. My only major complaint? It’s very hard to type on and there is no stylus option. Can’t type on it with any kind of speed at all! So for most of my needs, I’m still married to my trusty BlackBerry Curve, but I can understand why the iPhone is gaining ground. Now if we could only fix the dysfunctional way that phones are distributed through certain carriers, I’d be a happy camper…

In the next few weeks I’ll be talking a lot about cloud computing, Google Apps, smartphones, pdas, etc. and how they all work together for the busy executive. Stay tuned…

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Jott for BlackBerry

“We have a lot of happy Blackberry customers at Jott, and Jott for BlackBerry is the ultimate BlackBerry download. It is a simple, but very powerful tool that will let you reply to emails on your BlackBerry just using your voice – either speaking directly into your BlackBerry, or while wearing a Bluetooth headset. It is seamlessly integrated into the email application you already use, and is a huge leap forward for BlackBerry lovers in three ways: first, it is 3-5 times faster than ‘thumbing’ text; two, you won’t be known for sending just terse replies because you don’t want to thumb type out a normal email message; and three, you will be safer because you won’t have to take your eyes off the road.*” What?! Not a Jott user? It’s one of the best productivity tools for road warriors and now it’s available as a Blackberry app…

Update 10/22/09: Don’t forget about reQall, either! It doesn’t have the ability to bridge to other apps in the way that Jott does, but it accomplishes much more as a free app than Jott. Also, Jott and reQall have great BlackBerry and iPhone apps as well…

If you’re concerned about accomplishing a lot while you travel, make a comment or contact me. I’ve got answers!

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40% of All Tweets Come From Mobile

Image representing iPhone as depicted in Crunc...
Image via CrunchBase

At CES, Twitter CEO Dick Costolo revealed that 40% of all tweets come from mobile devices, demonstrating mobile’s increasing importance to the social media company.

On stage at the AllThingsD event at CES, Costolo bantered with Kara Swisher about why Twitter is at CES, its plans to become simpler and more consistent across platforms, and the impact of its celebrity users.

During the course of the conversation, Swisher asked Costolo which devices and operating systems are the most important to Twitter’s future and its health. Costolo responded by saying that 40% of all tweets are now composed on mobile devices, up from around 20% to 25% a year ago.

Twitter mobile usage exploded with the release of the company’s official iPhone, iPad, Android () and BlackBerry apps. The mobile web site, SMS, Twitter for iPhone and Twitter for BlackBerry are the most popular Twitter apps after the company’s website.

Costolo also revealed that Twitter () now has 350 employees, 100 of whom were hired just recently in Q4 2010.

$38.67 that will change your year

If it’s true that the first hour is the ‘rudder of the day’ than the next few weeks are the ‘rudder of the year’. If you lead an organization like I do, here are 4.5 books that will give you all the insight you need to chart a course for the year…

http://ws.amazon.com/widgets/q?ServiceVersion=20070822&MarketPlace=US&ID=V20070822%2FUS%2Fmakrai-20%2F8003%2F974832f3-cfc8-4f4e-a456-7f7a36b9a700&Operation=GetDisplayTemplate null

Here they are in their recommended order of reading:

  1. 7 Habits of Highly Effective People. There’s a reason why this book is one of the most popular of all time. Read or reread it!
  2. Getting Things Done. Another book that has become so popular that people have forgotten why.
  3. Awesomely Simple. This one is new, but powerful enough to be a ‘must read’ recommendation for me. John Spence defines what a ‘book’ should be in the new millennium by hosting a website with bonus materials for readers. He’s also active in social media and eagerly engages readers…
  4. Your Best Year Yet! Enough said.
  5. The Autobiography of Benjamin Franklin. What? Yes, read it. Franklin’s systematic approach to building new habits is outlined here.

Now for the how. Yes, I’m even going to tell you how to read them. Read them via Kindle. “What”, you say? “I’m not going to buy a Kindle just to read these books!” “Well”, I say, “you don’t have to”. Kindle software runs on Windows, Mac, iPhone, iPad, iPod Touch, Android, Windows Phone 7, BlackBerry and via web browser. It synchronizes wirelessly between devices creating a virtual library of all the books you download allowing you to access them anywhere at any time. So, if I’m reading a book on my Sprint Evo and highlight a section that I want to go back to later, when I get to my computer and synchronize my books, the same selection will be highlighted, along with any notes I’ve made, on my PC. Did I mention that most Kindle books are around $10 as well? The total in the title is the sum of all the Kindle books I recommended and you can click on any title in the slider to order it immediately…

This video will help you get the picture…
httpv://www.youtube.com/watch?v=r9aeH99g-vM

Now as much as I love all things Google, Kindle content is cheaper than the new Google Books by about 50% in my informal testing and although the Android reader for Google Books is more full featured, imho, Kindle software is a more compelling offering at the moment. btw, if you’d prefer to listen, there’s always Audible — another service from Amazon.com! Again, no special device is required because there’s Audible software available for Windows, Mac, iPhone, iPad, iPod Touch, Android, Windows Phone 7, BlackBerry and web browser. Instead of listening to talk radio, now you can get smart while you’re driving around!

According to Einstein, doing the same things and expecting different results is the very definition of insanity. These books, combined with new ways of consuming their wisdom, will help you get from where you’re at to where you want to be as a business leader in 2011. Really!

All the best to you in 2011!

How to choose the Twitter client that’s right for you

Good, better, best

More than a third of all tweets are sent by people visiting Twitter’s default Web client. Which is too bad, because Twitter, as a website, is by far the least effective way to use Twitter as a network.

But even though just about any third-party client will provide you with a better way to use Twitter, picking the client that’s right for you can be daunting. Should you install a client or use one that runs in your browser? Which features are really necessary? Should you pay for any of these services?

I typically prefer browser-based clients because I think its easier to move between browser windows than separate programs, but I wouldn’t turn my nose up at an installed client with a really great feature set just for that. The best client for you is the one that fits your workflow — if you really need to be able to schedule tweets to be effective and a client doesn’t give you that option, then it’s the wrong service for you, even if everyone else loves it.

Agreed — browser based is the way to go. Platform independent and always available. Me? I’m a HootSuite guy — I love everything they do from the web to their Android app. How about you? btw, you can follow the ‘via’ link if you’d like to go to the source…

10 Ways to Get the Most Out of Technology

!
Image by ismh_ via Flickr

“Your gadgets and computers, your software and sites — they are not working as well as they should. You need to make some tweaks. But the tech industry has given you the impression that making adjustments is difficult and time-consuming. It is not. And so below are 10 things to do to improve your technological life. They are easy and (mostly) free. Altogether, they should take about two hours; one involves calling your cable or phone company, so that figure is elastic. If you do them, those two hours will pay off handsomely in both increased free time and diminished anxiety and frustration. You can do it.” Source: 10 Ways to Get the Most Out of Technology – NYTimes.com.

You’ll have to go to the source if you want to hear the Times perspective on the 10 ways you can more effectively manage your technology in the new year — most of the suggestions are sound. You might also want to read this post for some things you can do to get a ‘new’ computer for the new year…

49% of Small Business Owners use a Smartphone

“Over the past few years, it seems that a few mobile devices — laptops, Bluetooth headsets, and increasingly, smartphones — have become ubiquitous among business people. The days of the pager are gone. Small business owners seem to be outpacing the rest of America in smartphone adoption, according to a recent survey of nearly 10,000 small business owners. While only 17% of Americans own smartphones, according to a recent Forrester study, a whopping 49% of small business owners are reported to own smartphones. Of those smartphone owners, 35% own BlackBerrys, 33% own iPhones, 25% own Androids and 7% own Windows Mobile devices. While the study didn’t include a comprehensive look at how small business owners are using their smartphones, we suspect that merchants are turning to mobile devices to stay on top of everyday business needs through e-mail, scheduling and calls. We’ve heard success stories from business owners who also tweet on the go, see the importance of location-based services, and are investing in mobile advertising.

If you’re a small business owner looking for a smartphone, don’t fall victim to the hype — know why you’re doing what you’re doing and make a smart decision. Here’s my perspective on selecting a smartphone…

#1. In many ways, the cellular provider you pick is more important than the phone you use in many cases. If you live in a large metropolitan area, this is kind of a non-issue but most Americans live in non-metropolitan or rural areas. An iPhone is worthless where I live because AT&T is worthless where I live. Before you select a smartphone, review the coverage areas of the network you intend to use and make sure coverage is good in all the areas where you do business and live…

#2. Having selected a network, the services you use should dictate the phone operating system you select. imho, all small business owners should select Google Apps for their business. Period. The Android phone operating system is developed by Google and optimized for Google Apps. BlackBerrys, iPhones, and Windows Mobile devices can all benefit from Google Apps but Android works best. My advice is that small business owners use Google Apps with the most powerful Android phone available from their carrier. Get the best phone you can afford…

#3. Having selected a carrier and a phone, find a rep at your cellular provider who has a clue. You may laugh, but finding a good rep can be a bit like Diogenes searching for an honest man. For me, my carrier is Sprint, my phone is an HTC Evo, and my rep is Cindy Otley at the Oneida Street store in Green Bay. For me, Cindy IS Sprint and she is a primary factor in my decision to stay with that carrier. She’s smart; she knows her company, their policies and the options they offer and she’ll work hard to help you select the plan and phone that will work best for you. I don’t make a move with Sprint these days without talking with Cindy. YOU need a rep like her, especially if you’re not sure about #1 and #2…

There was one more juicy tidbit in the post…

While only 12% of respondents said that they currently market their businesses through mobile — via mobile ads and apps, for example — other reports point towards an upward trend in mobile advertising budgets. In fact, spending on mobile advertising is set to grow nearly 50% to top $1 billion in 2011, according to eMarketer.” Source: 49% of Small Business Owners Use Smartphones [STATS]

More about that later…