Can the iPhone do that yet?

By on   4 comments 1,300 words, read ~271 times.
Screenshot of the iPhone homescreen.

While farting around online, I stumbled across this 2008 Time Capsule from Stephen Fry. In it, he discusses the state of mobile phones - diving into the problems with BlackBerry's and Apple's latest offerings. BlackBerry had released the Storm1 and Apple's 2nd iPhone was now 3G capable. It's quite the glimpse into what we thought […]

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All phones are foldable. But some are foldable only once.

By on   6 comments 650 words, read ~151 times.
An old Blackberry phone with a smashed screen.

I want a new phone! I went to a wedding and everyone1 had one of those new folding phones. Social marketing has done a number on me and inveigled its way into my brain. Hey, I make decent money, perhaps I'll buy one. How much could they possibly cost? About £1,700 for a Pixel Fold […]

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Should your phone be a webserver?

By on   7 comments 500 words, read ~281 times.
Screenshot of a Symbian mobile phone asking "Opening a secure connection. Yes or No?"

I really like this article from Rohan D "Every Phone Should Be Able to Run Personal Website". In it, they make the convincing case that phones are perfectly capable of hosting websites and - if we want more people to escape the walled-gardens - this could be a good way to get people back into […]

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Your phone is probably a CDO

By on   6 comments 500 words, read ~318 times.
Doctor holding Jackie's phone.

I'm not sure how many people know this, but I thought I'd share something I learned a few years ago when I worked for a mobile phone seller. Most modern smartphones are too expensive for people to purchase outright. At the most extreme end, the iPhone 14 Pro Max costs £1,2001. So a typical customer […]

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Designing for non-rectangular browser windows

By on   8 comments 500 words, read ~5,012 times.
A smartphone in the shape of a triangle.

How I miss the days when phone manufacturers were innovative. Nowadays everything is just a boring black rectangle. How to end a frontend developer's career — Tawanda Nyahuye👨‍💻 (@towernter) May 6, 2022 I imagine that this (concept) device would probably just put the browser only on one row / column. Probably sensible, but utterly […]

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Using SipGate to set up a BANANAPHONE!

By on   3 comments 300 words, read ~184 times.
A developer console.

Like many of you, I'm inundated with spam calls. I've suffered endless car accidents, my National Insurance Number has been suspended multiple times, and my broadband will be cut off imminently. Wouldn't be nice to screen out all the fraudsters? So I've set up a Bananaphone. When people ring me, they get 30 seconds of […]

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The 74,000 numbers of Barclays Bank

By on   12 comments 300 words, read ~10,139 times.
Long list of phone numbers in JSON format.

The UK faces an epidemic of telephone scams. Fraudsters are constantly calling people up pretending to be their bank. But how can you be sure the number displayed on your screen in genuine? You can't. The telecom system is hopelessly insecure and shouldn't be trusted for anything more complicated than dialling the speaking clock. Barclays […]

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Why didn't Phonewords take off in the UK?

By on   10 comments 550 words, read ~456 times.
A black and white photo of an old rotary dial phone.

The first thing I did when getting to the USA as a kid, was to find a payphone where I dutifully called 1-800-STARWARS. I'd grown up with American media. Phonewords - where your phone's dialpad spells out words - were ingrained in my psyche. But the UK never had anything like that. In 2003, a […]

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Giving up on phone contracts

By on   2 comments 350 words, read ~339 times.
Table showing my mobile usage. 5 minutes, 4 texts, 1 MB.

Another weird economic casualty of COVID19. I'm not wearing out my socks and shoes. I cancelled my train season ticket. And now, I'm giving up my mobile contract. For a decade, I worked in the mobile industry - and always had an unlimited SIM card. Rejoining the real world, some years ago, was a bit […]

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Add "Pause" and "Wait" to your conference call details.

By on   4 comments 550 words, read ~6,612 times.

How often have you seen a meeting request which says... To join the conference call, please dial 0306 999 0348, then type in your access number (07700 900 951) followed by the hash or pound key. What a faff! If you're reading the message on your phone you have to flip back and forth as […]

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