Category Archives: mobile

What is your J-Score?

One of the apps that I installed on my new phone is Carat

Carat is a research project that aims to detect energy bugs—app behavior that is consuming energy unnecessarily—using data collected from a community of mobile devices. After running Carat for about a week, you will start to receive personalized recommendations for improving your battery life. We are based out of the AMP Lab in the EECS Department at UC Berkeley, collaborating with the University of Helsinki











If you are running Carat or decide to install it leave a comment with your device, OS and J-score I am interested to see how different devices stack up.

Carat for iOS

Carat for Android


Am I Blue?

After upgrading to Traveler 8.5.3 UP1 the answer is mostly







I like the new icons, and glad to finally have High Availability in my Traveler environment, my dev system is upgraded from beta to gold, and now working on the plan to migrate a rather large Traveler production environment in to a High Availability cluster.

Just have to wait for an updated Sametime Client icon now to match the others.

Updated IBM Connections Mobile App with Multiple Account Support

If you use IBM Connections you should be running the mobile app on your phone or tablet.  Today an update shipped adding lots of new features including support for multiple accounts, useful if you have a need to connect to more than one instance of IBM Connections.  I received the update on my Android tablet, and am guessing that it is working it’s way through the Apple approval process and will be in the App Store soon







IBM Connections on Google Play

IBM Connections on Apple App Store

My Review of the HTC Jetstream Android Tablet

The kind folks at HTC who I met at Lotusphere were kind enough to provide me with an HTC Jetstream Android tablet to kick the tires on.  Those who follow me know that I am a huge fan of Android, prefer it over iOS, and have been in search of the right Android tablet for some time now with no luck.  I am not going to bore you with the Jetstream’s specs you can read them yourself, but the hardware is nice. My main point of comparison is against my Droid X (running Gingerbread), and my original iPad (running iOS5), the Jetstream shipped with Honeycomb (3.1) with HTC Sense 1.1 on top of it.


The 10.1 inch 1280 x 800 display is nice, I am finding though that I notice fingerprints more on the screen than I do on the ipad, not sure why, maybe different types of glass, or how I have the screen brightness set, but that is only a minor annoyance.  The volume control is on the left side, I think the button is a too large, I find myself hitting the volume control when holding the tablet, regardless of the volume control the speakers are excellent, great sound quality.

The 8 megapixel rear camera appears to be decent quality, though I still can’t get used to holding up a table to take a picture or video, the from facing camera is 1.3 megapixels and not great quality.

The power connector is on the bottom of the tablet when held in landscape mode (bottom as defined by the front facing camera being on top), a very inconvenient place, I prefer the side location on the iPad, much better for charging while using.  In addition the Jetstream does not use a MicroUSB but rather a proprietary cable to charge.  I don’t understand the fascination with manufacturers avoiding standards for charging/syncing devices (yes I mean you to Apple), do they make that much additional revenue on these cables that it is worth it? Can we please just have a standard and stick to it.

With 32 GB of data built in, and an microSD slot that supports up to 32 GB the device has plenty of storage. Battery life has been excellent, comparable or better than the iPad.

HTC also included the HTC Scribe stylus, some interesting functionality, but I haven’t played with it much and doubt I will carry a stylus around.


This is my first experience with Honeycomb, and it definitely takes some getting used to.  Android is moving away from the 4 physical keys on early phone model, to virtual keys on screen, good idea, just takes some getting used to.  The nice thing is that which ever way you orient the device the Home, Back, and Application switcher keys are always in the same place on the screen.

Best I can tell the Jetstream is only sold by AT&T, my first complaint is the same I have against every Android device manufacturer and carrier, the tablet is full of bloatware that can not be removed with out rooting the tablet.  I have no need for NFS Shift, Lets Golf, and a variety of other apps pre-installed on the device.  The Jetstream is a 4G capable device, but since I did not purchase it from AT&T I have no data plan, right now it is WiFi only same as my iPad.  I would like to find a pay as you go sim card with a data plan for occasional use, though right now it does not seem that AT&T offers that option (suggestions welcome).

Most apps I have used scale fine on the tablet screen, there are a few that don’t work properly on the tablet, I also notice that some of the apps are not yet updated to place the menu options in the new UI style so there is a bit of inconsistency between apps, this is obviously and Android issue.

The one big problem I have found is syncing Videos, I installed HTC Sync, and it does a good job syncing music (though I don’t really keep music on my tablet), a couple of months ago I finally figured out how to convert videos properly for the iPad, grouping TV shows and properly tagging them.  While HTC Sync connects to Windows media player, they don’t appear to sync in logically grouped order like they do on the iPad.  A real shame since the Jetstream has more space than my iPad and the expandable memory slot.  Suggestions welcome, will play with this a bit more when I have time.

Overall, the Jetstream is nice hardware, decent Android experience (hoping for Ice Cream Sandwich), and for apps it has replaced my iPad, if I can solve the video issue it would completely replace my iPad.

On the flip side, I don’t see a lot of these tablets being sold at $600.00 plus a 2 year AT&T Contract, HTC might be well served to come out with a WiFi model at a more competitive price.

Mobile App are Like a Box of Chocolate

Everyone knows the famous line from Forrest Gump

Life was like a box of chocolates. You never know what you’re gonna get

The same can be said for App Updates on your Mobile Device, except for the most popular apps (i.e. Facebook, some of the Twitter clients) there is very little documentation about what is changed in a new version.  Once you upgrade there is no going back.

The most common item listed in the What’s New section for any app “bug fixes”, no details.   Sometimes when I upgrade my mobile apps I am pleasantly surprised to find something fixed or a great new feature, just as often a feature I relied on changed or was removed.

How do you handle Mobile App upgrades? Do you check your devices App Store regularly for upgrades or do you wait and see?

I guess the same could be said for Gmail, Facebook, you name it………

Using WhatsApp Messenger with a Google Voice Number


whatsapp I am a big fan of WhatsApp messenger , a BBM like messengers application, which works on Android, iPhone, Blackberry, and Nokia.

WhatsApp uses your phone number as your identity, although aside from an SMS message during initial setup, no messages are actually sent via SMS. One of the only complaints I had with WhatsApp was I could not complete the setup using my Google Voice number, you know the only phone number I actually use or give out. This dramatically limited the usefulness of WhatsApp as no one could find me, and if I started a conversation I first had to identify myself.

I contacted WhatsApp support recently, and while they state that using a Google Voice number is not officially supported there is an easy way to make it work.

I successfully configured WhatsApp for Android to work with my Google Voice number, I suspect it should work the same on iOS and Blackberry.

Here are the steps

1. Install WhatsApp
2. When prompted for a phone number enter your Google Voice number
3. Allow the automatic confirmation process to fail (5 minutes on Android), while that is happening you will receive a text with a 3 digit code in your Google Voice account hang on to that
4. On the manual confirmation screen use the code received in your Google Voice account (if that does not work use the "call me" option to receive a call on your Google Voice number with a code.

That’s it, you should now have WhatsApp configured to use with your Google Voice number.

If you are already using WhatsApp here are their instructions for changing your phone number


If you are using WhatsApp feel free to chat with me there.

IBM Connections Clients now available for Android, Blackberry & iOS

Last week the Android client for IBM Connections was released in to the Android Market, over the last 24 hours the Blackberry and iOS apps found their way in to their respective app stores as well.

Remember you need to install the Mobile Fix on your IBM Connections 3.0.1 Servers before you can use the clients.

The IBM clients limit you to connecting to one Connections instance which should cover most people, if you need to connect to multiple Connections instances you can always check out iWildFire which supports multiple instances.

Direct Links to Clients




IBM Connections 3.0.1 Update Installer and Mobile Fix available

The Mobile Update to enable the Android Mobile App (iOS and Blackberry apps still waiting approval in their app stores)  is now available from Fix Central.


For more information on the Mobile Apps for IBM Connections see this post on The Connections Blog. Chris Whisonant has already updated BleedYellow if you want to test them out

Direct Links to Fixes

IBM Connections Update Installer (July 2011 Mobile Update)

Best Foursquare Check-in


Placing Google Voice Calls From any Phone

I have been using Google Voice since way back in 2007 before the Google acquisition when it was known as GrandCentral.  One of the many things I like about Android is it’s complete integration with Google Voice, I simply click on my contacts or use the phones dialer normally, and the calls route through Google Voice.

You can also initiate Google Voice calls from your PC using Chat in Gmail, or simply using the Google Voice web interface to initiate a call, telling it which phone to call you on, and after connecting you it dials your call for you.

Most of the time these methods work well to place phone calls, but once in a while I find myself using a plain old cell phone (yes they still exist) or regular phone and might not have access to initiate the call from a browser.  Here are the steps to initiate a Google Voice call from any phone

  1. Dial your Google Voice number
  2. Enter your Pin (see below for instructions to skip pin)
  3. Press * followed by 2
  4. Enter the Phone Number to dial followed by #

If you want to automate this process you can store a phone number like this, referencing the list above to explain each section.  The “P” represents a 2 second pause something most phones support.

(000)000-0000 P 0000 P * P 2 P (000)000-0000#

If you are using a phone registered with Google Voice you can optionally skip entering a pin when you call your number from that phone.  While you trade off a little security, you also avoid the need to store your pin as part of a phone number.