Friday, 31 July 2009

Meet the Mipps: Part 4

Name: David Mannl AKA Flashy

Official Title: Head of Creative

Phone of choice: Nokia N95 8GB (...and he doesn't like to admit it, but he also fancies the office iPhone quite a bit...)

Non-geek interests: lederhosen, schnitzel, and basketball

Known around the office for: being German (if the image of him wearing lederhosen while devouring schnitzel didn't already give it away), mocking the iPhone while simultaneously never letting it leave his side, saying things are "pants man", obsessing over The Sound of Music and making the office suffer because of it, thinking Leonard Cohen is ten out of ten, etc.

Favourite Fulham lunch spot: all-you-can-eat curry at Kishmish

How many twitter followers @Flashy1980 has at this very second? "421...not that I know" (He did know.)

Three blogs he can’t go a day (err, hour?) without checking? mocoNews, IntoMobile, and mobile zeitgeist (it's all about diversity!)

When did he cross over from average citizen to geek extraordinaire and what cinched it for him? Flashy converted to the dark side during his second year at Uni, while working on mobile handset design concepts at Siemens. He never even saw it coming...

What sort of advancements he expects in mobile tech in the next few years? He notices a huge trend of people using their mobiles not just while on the go, but also while at home on the couch (in lieue of a computer), so he expects more progress in designing services that not only deliver content quickly but also have enough depth to provide entertainment for hours.

Why he thinks Mippin is absolutely AWESOME? "I can use it as a tool to keep up-to-date, which is important in the mobile industry. And if I'm bored, it keeps me entertained." Sounds great to us!


Wednesday, 22 July 2009

The Battle of the App Stores - who is the fastest to publish your content?

App Stores are the talk of the industry these days. We here @mippin love App Stores as a means of free distribution of our services, Also, it helps our publishers generate more traffic to their mobile sites and get a branded icon onto the users handset (which actually makes a huge difference compared to a browser bookmark).

So we wanted to share some of our learnings with the community.

How long does it actually take from the time you hit the 'submit' button until your app is actually available for download at the specific App Store?

As I said the times experienced may very from app to app. But see below the time it took the Mippin App to go through these App Stores approval processes.

Here are the contenders - let the battle begin:

- iPhone App Store

- Android Market

- Nokia Ovi Store

- BlackBerry App World

- GetJar

The results:

And the winner is:

Hope you guys enjoyed our little episode of
the battle of the App Stores. Tune in a couple of weeks when we can tell you which App Store drives the most repeat usage (not downloads, that's not a relevant figure if you don't charge for your app like us)

Best regards

David Mannl aka Flashy

Friday, 17 July 2009

Meet the Mipps: Part 3

Name: Richard Hyndman

Official title: Chief Technology Officer

Phone of choice: T-Mobile G1 in black (or anything Android)

Non-geek interests: cars, a plethora of TV series (The Wire, House, and frakin' Battlestar Galactica), children (specifically, his children)

Known around the office for: excessive monitors on his desk and being the guy who says "shall we get some lunch then?" every day (ergo, we all forget to eat when he's on holiday)

Favourite Fulham lunch spot: The Slug @ Fulham (2 for £6.95 meals and, if we're lucky, extreme sports accidents playing on the telly)

How many twitter followers @geekyouup has at this very second? 1686.

Three blogs he can’t go a day (err, hour?) without checking? "It's all about content, not the blog." (His discovery tools are mainly Twitter links, podcasts like TWiT, and of course the Mippin Tech & News Buzz Widgets.)

When did he cross over from average citizen to geek extraordinaire and what cinched it for him? Rich was born a geek. He literally came out of the womb wearing glasses, asking if his crib had wi-fi.

What sort of advancements he wants in mobile tech in the next few years? "A super amazing awesome battery" and -- not surprisingly -- "more Android!"

Why he thinks Mippin is absolutely AWESOME? "The innovative driving force of the team...and the sociable lunches." ("Sociable" -- i.e. all of us sitting at a table looking at our own phones, talking about what we're looking at on our own phones, occasionally making comments about what other people are looking at on their own phones, and sometimes eating.)

Friday, 10 July 2009

Meet the Mipps: Part 2 (Intern Edition)

Name: Sean

Originally from: Austin, Texas

Official title: Intern

Phone of choice: HTC G1 in white

Non-geek interests: playing bass, most notably in the MIF Blues Band -- MIF for Masters in Finance, if you can believe it

Known around the office for:
blazer-wearing, Starbucks-drinking, and easily eating extremely spicy things in large portions (he is Texan, after all)

Favorite Fulham lunch spot: Hell Pizza

How many Twitter followers he has at this very second: None! But he doesn't classify himself as a Twitter-hater, more like a Twitter-agnostic.

Three blogs he can't go a day -- err, hour? --without checking: Time Suck, The War Nerd, and Slashdot (But there was talk of a 4th addition -- An absolute classic.)

When did he cross over from average citizen to geek extraordinaire and what cinched it for him: At the ripe age of 5, his parents bought him a TI-99/4A and that was that. (I definitely had to Wiki this -- "before my time," as Sean put it. It's quite a trip.)

What sort of advancements he wants/expects to see in mobile tech within the next few years: He both wants and expects to see progress in the realm of augmented reality. He envisions folks everywhere will just walking around, phones in hand, further merging virtual reality and real reality with their fingertips -- very cool.

Why he thinks Mippin is absolutely
awesome: Because it is a simple and fast rss reader that works with all phones -- simple concept, simple answer. Also, there was a shout out to Mippin's Tech Buzz android widget, which is, of course, totally awesome as well.

Friday, 3 July 2009

Meet the Mipps: Part 1

This is my first post on the blog, which is way overdue as I've been managing content on Mippin for almost a year now! But that's going to change now because today I'm introducing a new series to the blog. I'll be doing a little write-up of a different member of the team each week -- a little insight to some of the greatest minds in the world! The world of mobile tech, at least. First up...

Name: Simon

Originally from: Sydney, Australia

Official title: Test Analyst

Phone of choice: T-Mobile G1 Android Phone in white

Non-geek interests: Sports of all varieties (including touch rugby, indoor football, and lunchtime basketball) and, of course, the occasional cinema outing

Known around the office for: creating origami animals (
without even looking!), eating lots and lots of fruit (thankfully he always shares), and picking up the mail even when it's not his turn

Favorite Fulham lunch spot: Hell Pizza, where you can get an unlimited topping pizza plus a drink for only £4 -- who knew Hell was helping to fight the credit crunch?

How many Twitter followers @simondavinci has at this very second: "100 or so" (actual count: 81)

Three blogs he can't go a day -- err, hour? --without checking: OK! Magazine, Tennis Planet, and the Android category on the Tech Buzz widget

When did he cross over from average citizen to geek extraordinaire and what cinched it for him: It all started with the Palm 5 back in 1998, was kicked up a notch when he joined T-Mobile in 2001, and geekdom was fully embraced (my words, not his) after the launch of the first camera phone from Nokia in the same year

What sort of advancements he wants to see in mobile tech within the next few years: Better battery life and "a better phone than the iPhone" -- he thinks the HTC Hero is on its way

Why he thinks Mippin is absolutely
awesome: The people! (Aww, thanks Simon!)

Thursday, 2 July 2009

Nokia Homescreen widgets for N97 now Live!

An exciting further development for Mippin Widgets to report today!

If you'd read our last post about Mippin Widgets Going Crazy you'd know we've been working on bringing content on to the idle / home screens of mobile devices running the Android operating system from Google. The first Widget we developed was called the Tech Buzz Widget and it’s gone on to become a popular download among the Android Market community. Its success prompted us to pay more attention to the emerging area of home screen content and services on phones, with a deeper look at how the Android operating system can improve user experience, product design and choice for mobile internet users. In addition we were also keen to identify which other operating systems might be similarly capable of powering a Buzz Widget.

So today we’re pleased to make two new announcements: firstly that a new range of Buzz Widgets is now available for Android handsets, which means potentially up to 19 new handsets by the end of the year, all capable of running four or more Buzz Widgets simultaneously. Secondly, we are also pleased to announce the launch of Buzz Widgets for the Nokia platform.

Launching on Nokia as well as Android is a significant step. It is partly a testament to Nokia that their latest operating systems are sophisticated enough to run a Mippin Buzz Widget, but also because Mippin is once again fulfilling its goal to connect mobile internet users with the content they’re interested in. With mobile consumers increasingly keen on a simpler mobile user experience, there’s more and more interest by developers like us in the phone’s home & idle screen real estate. As users access more of their content and services via this area of the phone’s UI, the development of a selection of home screen capable widgets gives our Android and Nokia users a huge range of content choice, while importantly the cross platform availability of Buzz Widgets reflects the trends in mobile consumer behaviour. As consumers choose different ways to interact with their favourite web content on their mobile, Mippin is in a great place to distribute publisher’s content in a format optimized for the content, the user’s phone and now the user’s needs.


Four Buzz Widgets will be live from today on all Android phones and also on the Nokia N97. These are:
  • News Buzz Widget - the very latest up-to-date news
  • Gossip Buzz Widget - the latest celebrity news
  • Gaming Buzz Widget - the latest gaming news
  • Tech Buzz Widget - the latest technology news

Each Buzz Widget gives you a choice of different categories
  • The News Buzz Widget enables users can select different categories of news, from All News, UK, USA or World News.
  • The Gossip Buzz Widget brings you the top stories from the world of Entertainment, Fashion & Beauty, Gossip, TV & Film, Music & Bollywood.
  • The Gaming Buzz Widget gives you Nintendo, Playstation, XBox, Gadgets, Tech News or a mix of all categories.
  • With the Tech Buzz Widget, you’ll get Tech News, Mobile News, Gadgets, Gaming, Tech Video plus Android or Symbian depending on your handset.
All widgets allows users to select their choice of refresh rate, so if you can't live without knowing what's going on in your favourite category, you can get the latest stories automatically on your phone every 5 minutes, 24/7!

The picture below shows all four widgets on a Nokia N97.


Once downloaded, the widget enables easy customisation with the settings button, to choose your preferred type of content and refresh rate. Then as the stories are downloaded and updated to both Android and Nokia devices, the home screen displays each story headline as it happens - if you then click on the headline it opens the full story, including pictures and video capability. Once a story has been opened, you can either read the whole story by scrolling your finger up or down the story window, or you can browse other stories using the navigation buttons located at the bottom of the story.

Hopefully you'll find it a doddle to use. Other things we should also mention are battery consumption and content downloading. We've been very wary about battery consumption because these widgets are highly addictive. To prevent high battery consumption by default the widget only goes online every 30 mins to get the latest content and it keeps this content in memory and then saves the stories' text to disk. Because the text is saved to disk, you can use the app even when you don't have a network connection, which means it's the perfect solution when you can't get online or if you're on a fast moving train, or even faster moving plane (even if the phone has been switched to flight mode!)

Where to get them

To download all the widgets, head over to the Android Market if you’ve got an Android / Google phone, or if you’re the lucky owner of a N97 (or also a Nokia 5800 / 5530 if you’re prepared to forego the home screen support – home screen functionality not supported on that device) then go to Nokia Ovi Store for the News Buzz Widget. The News Buzz Widget is currently the only Buzz Widget that’s live on Nokia Ovi Store but you can download all of them from these links until they’re all officially live.

That's it for now. As you can tell we're buzzing too :) so time instead for you to try them out! Please let us know what you think in comments on this blog or via

Downloads for Nokia N97, 5800 / 5530