"Detecting Enhanced Devices" according to Cingular

I was reading an old email from devCentral and found a link that was supposed to described how to detect enhanced devices. It seemed quite interesting.

The passage (seemed more like an FAQ) was pretty disappointing.

I think that parsing the accept headers is not enough, unless you think that a device that supports XHTML is an enhanced device. To me, an enhanced device is a device that supports images, colors and has a big screen. A stylus is a big plus, of course.

WURFL is certainly a much better starting point than simply HTTP headers.

What does it take to write a FAQ entry?

Writing a FAQ entry is not hard at all. Well, first of all you need to have a question, of course and then you need to search for an answer.

It’s not that hard and you certainly know a lot of answers that other people doesn’t know. I think this is the basic principle on which is based Google Answers.

In this case, anyway, I’m thinking about The Wireless FAQ. We brought back the site to life, but if we want it to shine as it used to, we need to collect questions and answers.
I am sure that you know a lot of things about mobile, all you have to do is think to something that sounds interesting or particular, and write a question and its answer.
You know all about downloads? Then maybe you can write something about download methods (OMA DD, Openwave’s DownloadFun, direct downloads, OMA DRM, more), maybe you know all about images, so you might write something about wallpapers and screensavers or about iamge resizing both for downloads and for browsing.
Maybe you know a lot about messaging, we have a section for SMS and another one for MMS.
Are you CSS expert? Well, we need to feed a lot of contents about XHTML, XHTML-MP, WCSS and CSS in general!

First of all you will need to create an account, I’ll give you write access and then you can write everything.
If you’re lazy and don’t want credit for writing, don’t worry, send me the text and I’ll publish it.

Seriously, there is no reason why you should not contribute!

RSS feeds a-go-go

RSS feeds have been available for quite a while now.
As an old timer Opera user, I have always believed that setting a number (5-7) of homepages would bring me to the sites I visit most often. Then I would browse from there.

Lately RSS feeds are more and more common so I eventually decided to give it a try. I downloaded NetNewsWire (for Mac, of course!) and this was the beginning of the end. The software (unfortunately) includes a HIGH number of feeds. Of course I subscribed to a bunch of them PLUS all the pages I regularly visit. Now I have about 100 news to read every day and if I don’t read them regularly they GROW UP!
Now I’m addicted.

I have to say it’s pretty cool. Some sites offer the full news through the RSS, some other will give you a short description and then you may read the full news on their site. Both solution are cool to me.

It looks like many people likes this new way of staying informed… And probably I’m one of the last geeks to discover this “new technology”.
Anyway, going back to the wireless business, a couple of people already started to port this “new technology” to the people on the move.
Here are the links:
pixs.jp
www.ifeedyou.com

In my previous post I talked about Marcus. He’s the author of pics.jp.
Jérôme Chevillat is the author of Ifeedyou and uses wurfl for the multimarkup rendering.

Both services let you read the news title and the short descriptions, the problem arises when you need to read the full article. Maybe while you’re on the move you don’t need to read the entire article. Too lengthy texts might not be so comfortable to read on a normal device like my V3.

MobileResearch in the news

It looks like MobileResearch (a startup company?) has gotten quite some good friends on the net. They are presented as

“the first commercially available solution that provides mobile developers and content publishers the data they need to address the problems associated with mobile device fragmentation”

on their site, here, here and probably on many other sites.
They certainly have a great marketing team and I’m happy to see that more and more people realize that knowing what a device can do is really important.
I am not saying that WURFL is better (or worse) than their product, I haven’t seen it. The good thing and probably their advantage over WURFL is that it’s specifically targeted for the US market (but it looks like they will deliver something for the European market later this year) and WURFL hasn’t had that many contributions from the US market. We have recently (the last 2-3 months) started receiving contributions from the US, this means that they are eventually understanding and feeling the need for such database.
I am sure the guys at MobileResearch have worked and ARE working hard on their project, but you will all agree with me that it’s a great marketing-ONLY statment the fact they are the first… It’s true that WURFL is NOT a commercial product, IT IS FREE! On the other side it is also true that there are other really valuable and EXPERIENCED companies offering similar products. The question is:”Are they as well trained and are they targeted to the US market?” Maybe they have worked hard on the GSM/European market and don’t have much information about US devices. Audiovox devices are not being sold in Europe. There are many devices from Sharp and Sanyo being sold in USA only. Danger is another one, and I could list more.

I just wonder how much marketing is behind this software and how much “substance” is behind the product.

Knowing that more people is working on something like WURFL just confirms the value of the project and seeing that they ask you almost 30.000,00 USD makes me understand the monetary value of WURFL.

I wonder were WURFL could go if people donated some money or time or resources.

PS: while writing this post I noticed they are also putting banners on Google.