twoppy: Create your mobile event guide for free

Have you ever organize an event and wanted to keep your visitors up to date on the event information? Have you ever visited an event and wanted to stay up to date on the event information? Meet twoppy!

twoppy is a fully self-service platform where event organizers can create an event app for free. Suitable for all kind of events like conferences, exhibitions and festivals, but also zoos, theme parks and museums.

What does it do?

The functionality in twoppy is all centered around the questions ‘who, what, where and when’. It empowers the organizer with a tool to keep his visitors up to date on the event information. Most events have problems bringing program changes to their visitors in real time. The commonly used printed booklets are mostly outdated the moment they are printed. With a mobile guide event organizers can present the information to the visitor in real time, and in the palm of their hand. Besides the realtime information another huge benefit of a mobile event guide is direct interaction between participants. Visitors can explore who’s also at the event and can send instant messages through twoppy. Of course people can also share information through their social networks and watch the event’s twitter stream.

How does it work?

Assembling a mobile eventguide with twoppy is really easy. As an event organizer you create an account via twoppy.com (for your convenience you can use Twitter, Facebook or Linkedin). Now you can add your basic event information like date, venue, and description. As you continue you add performer details and schedule information. By adding maps and locations you create interactive maps for people to make it easy to navigate.

Once completed the mobile guide is published through a unique URL (m.twoppy.com/[yourevent]) so people can access it via their mobile browser.

All changes to the system are displayed in real time, so every change is updated immediately.

Free?

All the functionality is available for free. Premium features are available for organizers through different plans. Including app dashboard branding, partner list, csv upload, visitors stats, and pincode protection.

At this point twoppy is available as a webapp. In the near future there will be a iPhone app supporting native functionality like push messaging and offline browsing.

For more information visit twoppy.com

This is a guest post by Derrick Stomp of Twoppy. Thank you Derrick Stomp.

Head-to-head: iOS 5 vs Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich vs Windows Phone 7.5 Mango

So there we are, looking at three newly reformed OSes, two of which have already had some playing time while one of them is yet to enter the field. Its a battle between Apple, Google and Microsoft. Who’s is the best?

iOS 5

Apple launched the final version of iOS 5 earlier this month on October 12, packing a host of new features in it which further epitomizes the iPhone’s classiness. With over 200 new features, iOS 5 enables you to do more with your iGadget than you previously could have. And as Apple once said: iOS is the most advanced operating system available in the market and it, combined with the iPhone, was 5 years ahead of anything else available out there.

Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich

Yet to enter the field as of yet, Android 4.0 ICS, officially unveiled just last week, is quite an improvement over its predecessors. Previously criticized for not being user-friendly to match its exceptional features, the ICS overcomes this criticism in some style with a vastly improved UI (Google claims that design and UX was a primary focus during development). This takes it on par with Apple’s OS (Apple, of course, is known for the overwhelming user friendliness of its software).

Oh, and, just like iOS, ICS too is now compatible with both smartphones and tablets, unlike previously where smartphones used Android 2.3 Gingerbread and tablets ran on Android 3.0 Honeycomb. This gives the Android fanbois definitely something to cheer about.

Windows Phone 7.5 Mango

Launched only weeks ago, Windows Phone 7.5 Mango has already been touted the best mobile OS to come out from Redmond after Microsoft’s previous attempt (WP 7) was regarded as a big failure according to many. Mango, as sweet as it can get, has brought many new features that Windows Phone lovers were craving for, and add to it hardware as good as Nokia’s, one of the best in the industry, Windows Phone 7.5 is sure give a good fight to Apple and Google as far as mobile OS is concerned.

So now the question arises – Which of the three operating systems is the best?

Each OS has its own advantages and disadvantages and each individual has his/her own preferences with regards to OS used on his/her device. So picking a winner out of the three wouldn’t be fair in my opinion. But if you ask me, personally, i’d prefer iOS 5 to the other two simply because of the smooth and very friendly user interface Apple has made us accustomed to which i couldn’t find in Windows Phone or Android devices (though i must add that i’m yet to use ICS and Mango).

Related Entries:

Both the articles are guest posts written for Firstain by industry recognized authors having over 10 years of experience and a wealth of knowledge in their respective fields.

Image Credit: Redmond Pie

OS X 10.7.2 Lion arrives with iCloud support

After updating their mobile OS shortly ago, Apple has released an OS update for the Macs with OS X updated to 10.7.2, roping in iCloud features to the desktop. The update is 435.5MB heavy and brings several bug fixes and stability fixes to Lion. You can download it via Software Update (also includes Safari 5.1.1).

Release Notes

The 10.7.2 update is recommended for all OS X Lion users and includes general operating system fixes that improve the stability, compatibility, and security of your Mac. It also includes support for iCloud, a breakthrough set of free cloud services that automatically and wirelessly store your content on iCloud and push it to all of your devices. iCloud on OS X Lion includes the following features:

  • iCloud stores your email, calendars, contacts, Safari bookmarks, and Safari Reading List and automatically pushes them to all your devices.
  • Back to My Mac provides remote access to your Mac from another Mac anywhere on the Internet.
  • Find My Mac helps find a missing Mac by locating it on a map and allows you to remotely lock the Mac or wipe all its data.

Getting started with iCloud is easy. After installing the update, OS X will automatically present an iCloud setup panel. Simply enter an existing Apple ID or create a new one and then follow the on screen instructions. To learn more about iCloud visit http://www.apple.com/icloud.

The 10.7.2 update also includes Safari 5.1.1 as well as fixes that:

  • Allow reordering of desktop spaces and full screen apps in Mission Control.
  • Enable dragging files between desktop spaces and full screen apps.
  • Address an issue that causes the menu bar to not appear in full screen apps.
  • Improve the compatibility of Google contact syncing in Address Book.
  • Address an issue that causes Keynote to become temporarily unresponsive.
  • Improve VoiceOver compatibility with Launchpad.
  • Address an issue that causes a delay in accessing the network after waking from sleep.
  • Enable booting in to Lion Recovery from a locally attached Time Machine backup drive.
  • Resolve an issue that causes screen zoom to stop working.
  • Improve Active Directory integration.

BREAKING: T-Mobile acquired by AT&T, won’t get iPhone yet

And now its down to just one! AT&T’s acquisition of T-Mobile comes as a big surprise to everyone as US users now have one less choice for mobile service operator.

The result of this move is AT&T-Mobile — a joint venture — which will now form a monopoly for GSM/EDGE/HSPA+ phones in America. It would also create the largest US carrier with 130 million subscribers blowing away new iPhone-r Verizon’s 90+ Million. The move leaves Americans with exactly 1 GSM carrier to choose from.

What’s interesting to see is that the deal, worth $39 billion, is still not good enough to get T-Mobile an iPhone. Apparently, T-Mobile will still remain “T-Mobile” and will be an independent company. Your billing will also remain exactly how it is today and T-Mobile will be your biller.

T-Mobile USA remains an independent company. The acquisition is expected to be completed in approximately 12 months. We do not offer the iPhone. We offer cutting edge devices like the Samsung Galaxy S 4G and coming soon our new Sidekick 4G.

To use an iPhone with T-Mobile, your only option is unlocking it.

Press Release

AT&T TO ACQUIRE T-MOBILE USA FROM DEUTSCHE TELEKOM

Provides fast, efficient and certain solution to impending spectrum exhaust challenges facing AT&T and T-Mobile USA in key markets due to explosive demand for mobile broadband

Enhances network capacity, output and quality in near term for both companies’ customers

AT&T commits to expand 4G LTE deployment to an additional 46.5 million Americans, including in rural, smaller communities, for a total of 294 million or 95% of the U.S. population

Provides 4G LTE service for T-Mobile USA’s 34 million subscribers

More than $8 billion in incremental infrastructure spend by a U.S. company over seven years, enabling nation’s high-tech industry, innovation and economic growth

Creates substantial value for AT&T shareholders through large, straightforward synergies

DALLAS, TEXAS AND BONN, GERMANY March 20, 2011— AT&T Inc. (NYSE: T) and Deutsche Telekom AG (FWB: DT) today announced that they have entered into a definitive agreement under which AT&T will acquire T-Mobile USA from Deutsche Telekom in a cash-and-stock transaction currently valued at approximately $39 billion. The agreement has been approved by the Boards of Directors of both companies.

AT&T’s acquisition of T-Mobile USA provides an optimal combination of network assets to add capacity sooner than any alternative, and it provides an opportunity to improve network quality in the near term for both companies’ customers. In addition, it provides a fast, efficient and certain solution to the impending exhaustion of wireless spectrum in some markets, which limits both companies’ ability to meet the ongoing explosive demand for mobile broadband.

With this transaction, AT&T commits to a significant expansion of robust 4G LTE (Long Term Evolution) deployment to 95 percent of the U.S. population to reach an additional 46.5 million Americans beyond current plans – including rural communities and small towns.  This helps achieve the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) and President Obama’s goals to connect “every part of America to the digital age.” T-Mobile USA does not have a clear path to delivering LTE.

“This transaction represents a major commitment to strengthen and expand critical infrastructure for our nation’s future,” said Randall Stephenson, AT&T Chairman and CEO. “It will improve network quality, and it will bring advanced LTE capabilities to more than 294 million people. Mobile broadband networks drive economic opportunity everywhere, and they enable the expanding high-tech ecosystem that includes device makers, cloud and content providers, app developers, customers, and more. During the past few years, America’s high-tech industry has delivered innovation at unprecedented speed, and this combination will accelerate its continued growth.”

Stephenson continued, “This transaction delivers significant customer, shareowner and public benefits that are available at this level only from the combination of these two companies with complementary network technologies, spectrum positions and operations. We are confident in our ability to execute a seamless integration, and with additional spectrum and network capabilities, we can better meet our customers’ current demands, build for the future and help achieve the President’s goals for a high-speed, wirelessly connected America.”

Deutsche Telekom Chairman and CEO René Obermann said, “After evaluating strategic options for T-Mobile USA, I am confident that AT&T is the best partner for our customers, shareholders and the mobile broadband ecosystem. Our common network technology makes this a logical combination and provides an efficient path to gaining the spectrum and network assets needed to provide T-Mobile customers with 4G LTE and the best devices. Also, the transaction returns significant value to Deutsche Telekom shareholders and allows us to retain exposure to the U.S. market.”

As part of the transaction, Deutsche Telekom will receive an equity stake in AT&T that, based on the terms of the agreement, would give Deutsche Telekom an ownership interest in AT&T of approximately 8 percent. A Deutsche Telekom representative will join the AT&T Board of Directors.

Competition and Pricing
The U.S. wireless industry is one of the most fiercely competitive markets in the world and will remain so after this deal. The U.S. is one of the few countries in the world where a large majority of consumers can choose from five or more wireless providers in their local market. For example, in 18 of the top 20 U.S. local markets, there are five or more providers. Local market competition is escalating among larger carriers, low-cost carriers and several regional wireless players with nationwide service plans. This intense competition is only increasing with the build-out of new 4G networks and the emergence of new market entrants.

The competitiveness of the market has directly benefited consumers. A 2010 report from the U.S. General Accounting Office (GAO) states the overall average price (adjusted for inflation) for wireless services declined 50 percent from 1999 to 2009, during a period which saw five major wireless mergers.

Addresses wireless spectrum challenges facing AT&T, T-Mobile USA, their customers, and U.S. policymakers
This transaction quickly provides the spectrum and network efficiencies necessary for AT&T to address impending spectrum exhaust in key markets driven by the exponential growth in mobile broadband traffic on its network. AT&T’s mobile data traffic grew 8,000 percent over the past four years and by 2015 it is expected to be eight to 10 times what it was in 2010. Put another way, all of the mobile traffic volume AT&T carried during 2010 is estimated to be carried in just the first six to seven weeks of 2015. Because AT&T has led the U.S. in smartphones, tablets and e-readers – and as a result, mobile broadband – it requires additional spectrum before new spectrum will become available.  In the long term, the entire industry will need additional spectrum to address the explosive growth in demand for mobile broadband.

Improves service quality for U.S. wireless customers
AT&T and T-Mobile USA customers will see service improvements – including improved voice quality – as a result of additional spectrum, increased cell tower density and broader network infrastructure. At closing, AT&T will immediately gain cell sites equivalent to what would have taken on average five years to build without the transaction, and double that in some markets.  The combination will increase AT&T’s network density by approximately 30 percent in some of its most populated areas, while avoiding the need to construct additional cell towers. This transaction will increase spectrum efficiency to increase capacity and output, which not only improves service, but is also the best way to ensure competitive prices and services in a market where demand is extremely high and spectrum is in short supply.

Expands 4G LTE deployment to 95 percent of U.S. population – urban and rural areas
This transaction will directly benefit an additional 46.5 million Americans – equivalent to the combined populations of the states of New York and Texas – who will, as a result of this combination, have access to AT&T’s latest 4G LTE technology. In terms of area covered, the transaction enables 4G LTE deployment to an additional 1.2 million square miles, equivalent to 4.5 times the size of the state of Texas.  Rural and smaller communities will substantially benefit from the expansion of 4G LTE deployment, increasing the competitiveness of the businesses and entrepreneurs in these areas.

Increases AT&T’s investment in the U.S.
The acquisition will increase AT&T’s infrastructure investment in the U.S. by more than $8 billion over seven years. Expansion of AT&T’s 4G LTE network is an important foundation for the next wave of innovation and growth in mobile broadband, ensuring the U.S. continues to lead the world in wireless technology and availability.  It makes T-Mobile USA, currently a German-owned U.S. telecom network, part of a U.S.-based company.

An impressive, combined workforce
Bringing AT&T and T-Mobile USA together will create an impressive workforce that is best positioned to compete in today’s global economy. Post-closing, AT&T intends to tap into the significant knowledge and expertise held by employees of both AT&T and T-Mobile USA to succeed. AT&T is the only major U.S. wireless company with a union workforce, offering leading wages, benefits, training and development for employees. The combined company will continue to have a strong employee and operations base in the Seattle area.

Consistent with AT&T’s track record of value-enhancing acquisitions
AT&T has a strong track record of executing value-enhancing acquisitions and expects to create substantial value for shareholders through large, straightforward synergies with a run rate of more than $3 billion, three years after closing onward (excluding integration costs). The value of the synergies is expected to exceed the purchase price of $39 billion. Revenue synergies come from opportunities to increase smartphone penetration and data average revenue per user, with cost savings coming from network efficiencies, subscriber and support savings, reduced churn and avoided capital and spectrum expenditures.

The transaction will enhance margin potential and improve the company’s long-term revenue growth potential as it benefits from a more robust mobile broadband platform for new services.

Additional financial information
The $39 billion purchase price will include a cash payment of $25 billion with the balance to be paid using AT&T common stock, subject to adjustment.  AT&T has the right to increase the cash portion of the purchase price by up to $4.2 billion with a corresponding reduction in the stock component, so long as Deutsche Telekom receives at least a 5 percent equity ownership interest in AT&T.

The number of AT&T shares issued will be based on the AT&T share price during the 30-day period prior to closing, subject to a 7.5 percent collar; there is a one-year lock-up period during which Deutsche Telekom cannot sell shares.

The cash portion of the purchase price will be financed with new debt and cash on AT&T’s balance sheet. AT&T has an 18-month commitment for a one-year unsecured bridge term facility underwritten by J.P. Morgan for $20 billion.  AT&T assumes no debt from T-Mobile USA or Deutsche Telekom and continues to have a strong balance sheet.

The transaction is expected to be earnings (excluding non-cash amortization and integration costs) accretive in the third year after closing. Pro-forma for 2010, this transaction increases AT&T’s total wireless revenues from $58.5 billion to nearly $80 billion, and increases the percentage of AT&T’s total revenues from wireless, wireline data and managed services to approximately 80 percent.

This transaction will allow for sufficient cash flow to support AT&T’s dividend. AT&T has increased its dividend for 27 consecutive years, a matter decided by AT&T’s Board of Directors.

Conditions
The acquisition is subject to regulatory approvals, a reverse breakup fee in certain circumstances, and other customary regulatory and other closing conditions. The transaction is expected to close in approximately 12 months.

Advisors
Greenhill & Co., J.P. Morgan and Evercore Partners acted as financial advisors and Sullivan & Cromwell LLP, Arnold & Porter, and Crowell & Moring provided legal advice to AT&T.

Conference Call/Webcast
On Monday, March 21, 2011, at 8 a.m. ET, AT&T Inc. will host a live video and audio webcast presentation regarding its announcement to acquire T-Mobile USA. Links to the webcast and accompanying documents will be available on AT&T’s Investor Relations website. Please log in 15 minutes ahead of time to test your browser and register for the call.

For dial-in access, please dial +1 (888) 517-2464 within the U.S. or +1 (630) 827-6816 outside the U.S. after 7:30 a.m. ET. Enter passcode 8442095# to join or ask the conference call operator for the AT&T Investor Relations event.

The webcast will be available for replay on AT&T’s Investor Relations website on March 21, 2011, starting at 12:30 p.m. ET through April 21, 2011. An archive of the conference call will also be available during this time period. To access the recording, please dial +1 (877) 870-5176 within the U.S. or +1 (858) 384-5517 outside the U.S. and enter reservation code 29362481#.

Transaction Website
For more information on the transaction, including background information and factsheets, visitwww.MobilizeEverything.com.

iPhone 4 awarded Best Mobile Device at MWC 2011 without even gracing the event

Apple’s iPhone 4 has come out on top in an Android dominated Mobile World Congress (MWC) 2011 here in Barcelona, Spain. Apple opted out of the event but the judges were there only to make justice and in the end we can rightly say justice was made as the iPhone 4 was crowned the king of smartphones. The judges were all praise for Apple’s product: “Great screen, sharp design, fantastic materials, and phenomenal ecosystem for app developers. In a tight race, the iPhone 4 built on the success of its predecessors to set the pace for smart phones.”

Via Mobile World Congress Awards

When Nokia was King…

Nokia and Microsoft are dominating the headlines since yesterday after they mutually agreed on working together to change the face of the smartphone industry. While Nokia was once the king of the mobile industry with a strong grip on the majority of the mobile phone market, it has seen a steady decline ever since Apple entered the competition with the launch of the iPhone in 2007.

As Nokia tries to reclaim its lost territory with the help of Microsoft, we look back and remember the days when Nokia was king: 1982-2006 (pre-iPhone). [Click to enlarge]

Nokia + Microsoft — explained in 3 images

As we broke the news earlier, Nokia and Microsoft have agreed to get into a partnership to change the look of the global mobile ecosystem and provide high-end smartphones at competitive prices. Here’s understanding the fundamental of this partnership with a couple of images:

Nokia+Microsoft=

Nokia and Microsoft’s global reach

And lastly, this tweet from Nokia CEO Stephen Elop sums the partnership up:

Do you think Nokia and Microsoft can together topple Apple and Android to rule the mobile phone market?

Mobile Number Portability (MNP): Everything you need to know!

Mobile Number Portability, a service that lets you change your mobile phone operator and keep the same number is now active all over India. The service, which went on the line all over India 24 hours ago, was first tested in Haryana in November last year, and after encouraging response, the service is now made available country-wide. So now if you own a, say, Vodafone sim card, and are not satisfied with it’s service, you can change your operator to any other available ones like Airtel, Aircel, Idea, Loop mobile, etc. and yet keep hold of your same mobile number. In short, MNP brings you the ability to maintain the same number you have and yet shift over to a new service provider, without the hassle of changing your number and distributing it to your close ones again. This comes as a major relief to all those who seem unsatisfied with their operators, and will also make the industry more competitive as users can now take advantage of the MNP. This means better service at cheap rates for the customers!

A ‘switch’ in time saves nine!

While the MNP has arrived, it is to be seen that you don’t change your operator just for the sake of it to try the MNP as the process involved is a cumbersome one. So go for it only if you’re not happy with your operator and need a change.

Guidelines to change

As mentioned, the process involved in switching your operator and keeping hold of your number through MNP is a cumbersome one. Following are the guidelines you have to follow to switch your operator:

  • The subscriber, who would like to avail this service, has to send an SMS to 1900 in following format: PORT number eg. PORT 9822123456
  • Once the customer sends the sms, he/she will receive a unique porting code from the current service provider
  • SMS this unique code to the preferred operator. This code is valid only for a few days and one must re-apply if it expires
  • Your existing operator will then check with new operator & if there are no dues then approval will be given for porting
  • After that, you will get an SMS on the time and date when the porting will take place. Rules mandate that the process be completed within 4 days of applying
  • After porting is complete, wait for an SMS from your new operator confirming the switch. Your phone may be dead for about 2 hours when the porting takes place
  • As a transformation charge for the new operator, the subscriber has to pay the amount of Rs 19

Alternative process

In some cases, the following 2 steps can ALSO take place:

  • The customer needs to fill in the application in a particular format and mention the new service provider he/she would like to subscribe for
  • The new service provider will then collect the information about the user from the current operator. A time period of seven days will be taken for the complete transfer of mobile number to the network of the new mobile operator

Exception: The time period of transferring the MNP in Jammu and Kashmir, Assam and North East service areas will be 15 days instead of 7 days.

Restrictions

  • The only restriction is that you can change your operator without changing your number only within your current service area. For example: A subscriber who is using a Mumbai number can not switch to an operator in Bangalore. The subscriber can only change his/her operator within Mumbai only.

How many of you are planning to use MNP to switch operators? Do share your views, opinions, and experience with us!

More than a rumor: T-Mobile to get Apple iPhone early next year

We’ve had endless rumors about a non-AT&T iPhone, with carriers such as T-Mobile, Verizon and Sprint among others tipped to get the elusive contract to provide Apple iPhone services to the Americans. While all the rumors gave the carriers an equal chance, T-Mobile somehow looked to be Apple’s preferred choice after AT&T. And today, the rumor just got another life.

T-Mobile have today announced an iPhone Sync Cable in the USA, a move which, logically, suggests that the iPhone is coming home to T-Mobile. And if you still have doubts, you better watch this.