back to article MWC: The good, the bad ... and the Galaxy S5

Well, we're back from Barcelona - in various states of disrepair. Here's my highlights of MWC 2014 ahead of our web chat later this week. 1. Innovation is alive and well. You only have to look beyond the shiny Youtube Video It's a shame that some pundits who declared MWC a low-"innovation" event couldn't see past the phones …


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  1. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Very good

    In that I completely agree that all this monitoring stuff is going to be just as big a gimmick as 3D was/is for tellies. As always, the industry is looking for an idea to pinch, unfortunately companies such as Samsung have never had an original idea and are therefore utterly dependent on Apple/Google to come up with something.

    The same thing goes for those so called-smart watches. When all they do is tell me my phone is trying to tell me something, what exactly is the point? The problem is that the physical dimensions are too small to allow for anything useful: you can't fit a proper display there, speakers are a problem, battery life will be horrible, never mind about having a device emitting all kinds of signals and radiation on your wrist every day...

    If anyone can make it work it will be like the iPod Shuffle all over again. No display (or very rudimentary) but with a novel way of communicating. Maybe the watch will tap on your wrist to inform you of something.

    For those of you who haven't yet seen it I recommend watching "Her". It's the only film which realistically portrays what a next-gen interface could look (sound) like.

    1. NumptyScrub

      Re: Very good

      quote: "...unfortunately companies such as Samsung have never had an original idea and are therefore utterly dependent on Apple/Google to come up with something.

      The same thing goes for those so called-smart watches."

      So remind me again which companies have actually created and released smart watches, and which companies are only rumoured to have one in the works and have not yet actually released a product?

      FYI Apple have always been late to every party they show up at: Apple generally make their splash by being incrementally (in some cases exponentially) "better" than the existing products in whatever market they have aimed at, but what they don't do is get there first. There were PCs before Apple, mobile phones (including smart phones with touch screens, we used to call them PDAs) before Apple, and tablet computers before Apple. There were smart watches before the current crop from Sony and Samsung, and they have managed to predate Apple by several months and counting...

      If/when the iWatch appears I expect it to be a polished product, but it will also be indicative of Apple's SOP; let others do the risky leading, then follow once the market has matured enough, and make sure your marketing language implies you were there all along. It works too, as I've lost count of the times I've seen people claim that Apple were the first for "X" when a quick check on the internet will show several predecessors (never mind the fact that I often personally remember someone else releasing an X product prior to Apple's offering). Pretty much every "copying" or "idea stealing" criticism I see levelled at Samsung (normally quite fairly) can as equally be levelled at Apple by judicious use of :%s/Samsung/Apple/

      I look forward to seeing what the iWatch is capable of when it gets released, and how well it interfaces with the iPhone and iPad :)

  2. Anonymous Coward

    For some reason...

    ...I'm completely bored with all the phone and mobile offerings these days.

    iPhones & iPads - annoy me with all the idiot crap they won't do. Can't have my choice of keyboards? No Micro-SD after all these years? Just plain annoying.

    Android - the apps all suck. iPhone apps too. I haven't seen a useful app except memory managers and ad-blockers for ages. Facebook? Twitter? WhatsApp? (I already have cheap unlimited texting, email, phone). Moronic games? Readers for crappy blogs I don't really want to read? Meh.

    Seems like these devices have awesome specs, but there's no worthwhile content to use it on.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: For some reason...

      Android applications all suck?

      You may as well be wart covered and living under a bridge.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: For some reason...

      "Seems like these devices have awesome specs, but there's no worthwhile content to use it on."

      Considering you think that the only useful apps are ad-blockers and memory managers I'm going to put you in the "niche customer" box...

      Want to buy a smartwatch?

    3. cambsukguy

      Re: For some reason...

      texting, unlimited or otherwise is for use in your home area, for text (or pictures if you are rich and/or stupid).

      OTT services such as Skype, WhatsApp etc. work for free even if the other party is in another country or roaming area.

      They also varyingly have the ability to make calls, including Video calls for free and send pictures, for free.

      This is why they are popular and useful, there are lots and lots of people in the world who want to talk/chat/see people in another country.

      Personally, I use WhatsApp because others do but it doesn't have a laptop or tablet app whereas Skype does. Skype also lets you call real phones, which can be useful indeed.

      1. M Gale

        Re: For some reason...

        WhatsApp can fuck off. The first time I heard about it was when it ninja-installed itself alongside something else. It has nothing I want, I never use it, it got uninstalled as soon as I found out I'd installed it. It can go die in the same fire as browser toolbars.

    4. DaLo

      Re: For some reason...

      "I haven't seen a useful app except memory managers..."

      Memory managers? Seriously?

  3. Piloti

    About the Jolla......

    I havge to say, on this occasion, the author is just about as far from the mark as it is possible to get. I have had my Jolla now since the turn of the year abnd, apart from a little learning curve at the beginning [isn't that always the case with something new ?] I have to say it is an excellent device and superb UI.

    It is slick, easy to use, fast, smooth and the "eye candy" of being able to see three things through each other is fr more than eye candy; it is a genuinely useful tool to make the most of the screen resolution and size.

    The N9, my previous device, was very good and I still have this, but my Jolla is, well, excellent.

    1. This post has been deleted by a moderator

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: About the Jolla......

      Agreed. Sailfish is based on Meego, but the Swipe UI ( present on the N9 is property of Nokia, so obviously they can't use it.

    3. Andrew Orlowski (Written by Reg staff)

      Re: About the Jolla......

      It looks slick, but it isn't easy to use. You're reflecting life from inside the fanbois bubble. It looks very different from the outside.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: About the Jolla......

        You've fallen into the classic reviewer's trap - it really doesn't matter how easy it is to use a phone for the first hour or two. a smartphone is a device that is with you 24/7 so what really matters is how easy it is to use one you're used to it. This is where sailfish really comes into its own but I find Android in particular to be a real pain.

  4. 's water music Silver badge


    It may be human to avoid monitoring yourself but it is also human to use displacement activities to further of that avoidance. Look at gyms, exercise equipment and diet clubs. They don't care that that (almost) nobody will use their product. As long as they pony up some upfront cash and (even better) perhaps get soaked for some ongoing tax by inertia. Wearables could clearly tap into that market without violating your thesis.

  5. Sander van der Wal
    Thumb Up

    It's very human to monitor yourself and count your calories or footsteps," he told me.

    "That's bollocks," I replied. "It's actually very human to avoid monitoring yourself. Unless you're in training or on a diet, or an eco-nutter measuring your carbon footprint, you don't. And it's more fun not to."

    "It is," he said.

    "It isn't," I replied.

    That's brilliant. Best example of tech disconnect in the last decade.

    1. Decade

      It has to be unobtrusive

      For health monitoring to go mainstream, it has to be effortless. Any little difficulty means an exponential drop-off in the number of people doing it. I think having to wear an ugly watch is a substantial barrier to successful monitoring.

      But I just got the first exercise report from the Moto X that I bought a couple weeks ago. I didn't install it, and I certainly wouldn't activate it if I had to do so every day. Now that I have a report estimating how far I've walked and how far I've biked, I certainly think it's interesting.

      1. James 51 Silver badge

        Re: It has to be unobtrusive

        It has also got to be accurate, not suck the life out of the battery and be private. (When it can adjust its figures for the weight of my backpack I'll be impressed).

    2. PaulR79

      Well that's a big surprise, isn't it? A company trying to sell something by telling you what people like. I truly hope the author did actually say, "That's bollocks." I can almost picture the shock at someone telling him the truth instead of cooing and nodding.

  6. Version 1.0 Silver badge


    For some reason I thought MWC was "Married With Children" - I must be spending too much time on Craig's List.

  7. MonkeyScrabble

    ""That's bollocks," I replied."

    Wearables are a marketing gimmick looking for a sucker.

    As for phones I agree with Andy Prough. New phone releases are pointless these days. Increased specs\cost for little return.

    All I want in a smart phone is:

    -the size of a Sony Ericsson Ray

    -OS not made by google\apple

    -doesn't spy on me

    -has a good, clear screen.

    People are looking towards Linux distrosbecause they're sick of the android, ios tat\spyware.

    I personally wouldn't trust Ubuntu not to follow the google model though.

  8. gratou

    Lacking new ideas? Features I want

    Gimmicks like video pause on eye movement is not one of them.

    Waterproofness is (thanks sony).

    Screen usable in daylight (no useless 4K thank you very much)

    Theft/loss prevention that works.

    For car use, GPS navigation that works and dashcam feature would be great too,

    A bluetooth standard that is standard (can't ne used in a VW system)

    Better camera image stabilisation and low light performance.

    Dual Xenon flash.

    I love apple's "save the entire phone" backup.

    Built-in DLNA for streaming

    The self healing rubber of the Nokias

    And the usual like better battery life ( I like the b&w screen on low battery) and of course keep removable battery and SD slot

    1. gratou

      Re: Lacking new ideas? Features I want

      And dual sim. And keep the plastic body, it doesn't mind being dropped unlike fashionable shiny metal that will crack the screen without fail.

  9. MrT

    Teesside Police Armed Response Unit... manual, page 42: "Acceptable phrases to use as instructions in dealing with Section 5 and 7 public order offenses, Middlesbrough and surrounding areas"

    "Just put the parmo down, and go for a walk."

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