News

Thursday, 17 September 2009

Introducing Buzz Deck!

Mippin's Android Competition entry (ADC2) makes it's first appearance.


At your fingertips
Flick through your favourite topics and stories with ease.

May we recommend?
Buzz Deck learns quickly and adds recommended content to your experience.

Stay social
Get Twitter and Facebook updates alongside your daily hit of news content.

No fluff
Simple, elegant and fast. No Waiting. Buzz Deck just works.

More info at http://mippin.com/buzzdeck

Wednesday, 16 September 2009

CelebriTweets: Your Newest Guilty Pleasure


Do you want to know what MC Hammer ate for breakfast this morning?

Do you want to see first-hand who Lily Allen is antagonizing today?

Do you want to read about Jessica Simpson's dog being eaten by a coyote?

Well, I sure do. (And I bet you do, too -- even if you won't admit it.)

With Mippin's newest channel, CelebriTweets, you can keep up to date with all of your favorite celebrity Twitter accounts. We've got everyone from Snoop Dogg and Kim Kardashian to Paris Hilton and Arnold Schwarzenegger, so all of the bases are covered when it comes to your guilty pleasures. You can catch up with the whole group (there's over 100 and counting) just by checking out the latest stories stream, or subscribe to your favorite celebs individually and get their Twitter feeds right on your homepage.


Both TwitPics and TweetPhotos show up in the story itself (without having to click on any additonal links) and all of the @usernames are clickable as well. (Which is always helpful when trying to find out how Sam Ronson replied to Lindsay Lohan's desperate tweets -- or, how she didn't reply, as has been the case recently. Oh the drama!)

So go on, check out what the celebs are celebritweeting... (You know you want to.)


Running rings around donut - Android 1.6 SDK Screen Sizes

Over the past couple of weeks Motorola, SonyEricsson, INQ, LG, GeekPhone ONE, Samsung, Archos and HTC have all make Android related announcements. For an Android fan like myself that is big. Now to top it all off the announcement of the Android 1.6 SDK makes it a pretty good week.

After a few hours hands on, here is what it means to us.

There are new screen sizes supported. In addtion to the regular 320x480px HVGA screen resolution there are now QVGA (240x320), WVGA800 (800x480) and WVGA854 (854x480). But what does that mean for applications? will developers have to update their apps to support the new sizes? Well I've tested all of our Android applications out and the news is good, here are the results:

News Buzz Widget WVGA_856px on left, QVGA on right:






Somehow Google/Android have managed to get the scaling algorithms to work like magic, they maintain aspect ratios where necessary and scale to fill as much of the screen as they can whenever possible. This knocks a big worry on the head for me, I was concerned about the fragmentation problems of different screen sizes. Of course there are still issues, but they are minimal and most importantly the apps are still perfectly useable and 100% functional.

Good job, well done.

Monday, 7 September 2009

Extra! Extra!


Mippin has been selected as one of the Tech Media Invest Top 100 companies in the UK, which was published in today's Guardian (sponsored by Pricewaterhouse Coopers and Kemp Little). According to the website, the 100 companies were "picked for their innovation and creativity over the past year in areas as diverse as mobile applications, racing games and music recognition." We're blushing!


It's such an honor to be on the list with other companies whose products we use/enjoy/admire (Getjar, Spotify, AudioBoo, etc). And, of course, it's always nice to be rewarded for hard work!

So pick up a copy of today's Guardian while you still can and check it out for yourself! (Personally, I might laminate a copy and send it to my parents. Just an idea.)

Thursday, 3 September 2009

May We Recommend...

Mippin's not just about accessing the content you already know you like -- it's also about discovering the content you didn't even know you'd like. For example, without Mippin I'd never have found gems like Lifehacker (and Hollywood Backwash, I admit). If only she had the time, Mippin's own Teri would be happy to recommend excellent new sites to each and every Mippin user personally. But fortunately the machinery at Mippin comes through with tips of its own: on your My Sites page, notice that "Sites you might also like" section?

Using the same bag of tricks that Amazon uses to recommend books or DVDs based on past purchases, known in the biz as "collaborative filtering", Mippin can likewise guess at sites you will like to read, based on past visits. Sometimes they're like the sites you already read -- sometimes it gets daring and recommends a couple sites you might not normally consider reading. Try it. The more you read, the more Mippin can help, and the more quality articles will live in your Mippin homepage.

How's it done? Mippin uses software from Apache's open-source "Mahout" machine learning project (http://lucene.apache.org/mahout) to figure out what you might be interested in. I am in the fortunate position of being a part of both Mahout and Mippin, and have guided some big updates to the recommender system. Expect better and more frequent suggestions from Mippin shortly as we roll this out.

Machine learning techniques, once the territory of rocket scientists and PhDs, have become quite accessible these days through projects like Mahout. These techniques are essential to building competitive, intelligent services. Watch for recommendations to figure prominently in some next-generation projects in the works over here at Mippin.


Sean

Wednesday, 2 September 2009

And on to the main event - Nokia World '09

As the dust settles this afternoon (after Mippin's big win in Stuttgart), we thought it might be nice to mention a few of the blogs / sites who are now reporting from Nokia World and / or have been supporting Mippin in the last few days.

First up is Forum Nokia's own blog, newly launched at http://blogs.nokia.com/mydailyapp. It's going to be providing some great reviews of upcoming Ovi Store apps from now on and is definitely worth checking out for its first article alone (about Mippin Buzz Widget actually - we'll stop milking the win tomorrow!) You can also find the Forum Nokia My Daily App blog on Mippin too, click here

Second up we have Mobile Entertainment, also available on Mippin. For their PC site review click here or head over to their mobilized version on Mippin by clicking here. They're in and around Nokia World with all the latest goings on so definitely worth a look.

Lastly we'd like to point you to Symbian Guru, who with a love of all things Symbian will be providing their insight on Nokia World, as well as the obligatory write up of the Awards. You can catch their mobile site on Mippin too, here.

Tech Buzz Homescreen Widget FTW

Drumroll please...

...And the winner of the Forum Nokia Calling All Innovators Award is...

MIPPIN!


Last night at the Porsche Museum in Stuttgart, Germany, Nokia announced Mippin as the first place winner in the internet innovation category. The competition was fierce, and we have to give kudos to both Dianping and Pixelpipe (the second and third place winners, respectively) for making us sweat over the past few weeks. The anticipation was agony!

We are all beeming with pride at the Mippin offices today, and we are sure the same goes for Richard, Flashy and Robin -- who accepted the award -- over in Germany. We haven't gotten all the juicy details yet but we hope there was a teary acceptance speech and a raging after party.

It feels awesome to be honored for something we all worked so hard on and were all so proud of. Our blood, sweat and tears went into the Tech Buzz Homescreen widget (fortunately for you we don't mean literally!) so it is great to be recognized for it. And we have to give an extra shoutout to our innovations team who came up with the inspired idea -- brilliance, guys. We (obviously) wouldn't have gotten here witout you!

Our thanks to the Mippin team, Nokia, Dianping, Pixelpipe, and everyone who voted for us!

Tuesday, 1 September 2009

And the Forum Nokia Calling All Innovators Award goes to...

The excitement is palpable in the office today! Richard (CTO), Flashy (Head of Creative) and Robin (Co-Founder) are in Stuttgart as I write, waiting to attend the ‘star-studded’ Forum Nokia Calling All Innovators Award. It’s sort of a mobile equivalent to the Baftas - not quite the Oscars of mobile like CTIA, Techcrunch, GSMA or Webby Awards for instance but hopefully a big pointer to who’ll be winning what in the next few months.



The awards are taking place at the Porsche Museum which is a symbolic choice because Mippin is striving to achieve something similar to Porsche - our logo synonymous with high quality mobile apps, services and usability in years to come. If we’re still around in 20 years perhaps we can even open our own Mippin Museum to show off all the old mobile phones we’ve got lying around in the office…

But back to tonight, whether we win first, second or third place, its good to see the development & innovations team enjoying some Bafta style recognition. In the mobile world, it doesn't get more glamorous (or emotional) than this. Good luck guys, try not to cry too much if you make an acceptance speech :)