Well, what a meeting this month. The City Hotel had a Schnitzel and Lager special for $15, and it seems everyone decided to weigh in on the offer. Apart from me of course, I went for the all singing, all dancing burger. Big mistake! Besides food envy, the orders got mixed up, so mine arrived 40 mins after ordering… Doh!!
Microsoft – Dave Glover
So instead of kicking off the meeting with our round-up of Mobile and Tech news, I handed over to Dave Glover, Microsoft Phone Evangelist, for a demo of an “in the flesh” WP7 device. That way I could scoff down my burger. He was expecting to go last but acquitted himself admirably.
Windows Phone 7 has come a long way since the prototype, and emulator builds that I’ve seen to-date. With the amount of interest from developers, and increasing interest from companies, I reckon it’ll launch pretty explosively.
Having said that, I’m not sure holding the funeral for competitors is timely just yet. Suffice to say, the shot has been fired across the bows, let battle commence.
WinMo v iPhone v WP7 Report Card – James McCutcheon
Next up was Mobile Developer Extraordinaire, and start-up incubator, James McCutcheon from Foundry38. James has long been a Windows Mobile MVP, and strayed to the world of iPhone and iPad development over the last year or so. I say “strayed,” but that’s probably a bit harsh. After all, he does have a business to run, and it makes sense to develop on the platforms that actually have paying customers 🙂
James gave a report card on his experience of developing for the 3 platforms, and it was a pretty close run thing. Well at least for iPhone and WP7. From a developers perspective, the language and development environment on the Windows Phone are far superior, but the marketplace and developer support on the iPhone is tried and tested (and works very well.) It was really refreshing to watch an objective presentation about the pragmatic constraints of developing for today’s mobile platforms, without any of the marketing or religious hype.
Scan2List – Kate Cass
Next up are old friends from MEGA, and mobile startup execs, Kate and Tim (and Roger Kermode), from Scan2List.
Scan2List is a smartphone app (currently in beta on the iPhone only) that allows you to scan products in your cupboard, and add them to a relevant shopping list. It does all sorts of other really helpful things too, like allow you to assign particular lists to individual shops, automatically arrange the aisles into the way you like to shop (goods are automatically sorted into the correct aisle), and best of all, share your list immediately with your significant other.
Kate did a great job of demoing the app for us, and talking frankly about the challenges of starting a Mobile Startup in Australia. Also the technical challenges of putting together an application that scans barcodes.
This is one company to watch!
Mobile Screenfest – Dr Avi Ratnanesan
This wasn’t Avi’s first presentation to the group. I think he first presented back in February, when Australia’s inaugural Film Festival for films shot entirely on a mobile device, was just a twinkle in his eye.
Things have come a long way since then. The festival had over 550 entries, has nine categories, with over $12,000 in prizes, some pretty major sponsors, and for a debut festival, has kicked major goals. And just on Tuesday were featured in the Sydney Morning Herald!
Avi shared openly the challenges they’ve faced along the way, e.g. with the iPhone 4 release, and HD capability now common in Phone videography, average entry file size went from 50MB to over 250MB!! Venues, sponsors, funding, and marketing….
When asked “Would you do it again?” he was unequivocal! There are 30 countries now with Mobile Film Festivals, and Australia’s first is bigger than most. Bigger than India, Belgium, Spain. With success like that, we can only grow from here.
You can get along to the Festival itself on Tuesday 21 September, that’s next Tuesday, for just $14.50. It’s going to be a great night (and I can do with all the friends I can get to vote for my movie in the people’s choice awards.)
Then, well people just chilled and networked. Exchanged business cards, and ideas. From connecting to a decent mobile developer, to setting up accounts in the cloud for small businesses.
[Pictures to Come]
Another one in the can!!