Archive of ‘Mobile’ category

HP retires webOS

290502-hp-webos-logoEverybody knew this was coming and most people didn’t even buy into webOS at the beginning. But the final word is out. HP is retiring its webOS for HP mobile devices on the 15th of January 2015. The app store will still be open until November 1st and updates can be submitted until the 10th. HP promises the device will still work after the 15th of January 2015, but you can no longer retrieve a lost password. Which might be tricky.

Anyway, the end of an ill fated era. Lots of people didn’t really believe the Palm phone series would work, and as a self fulfilling prophesy they sure didn’t. HP says it is now 3 years after they sold their last device and it is time to end the whole thing. Interestingly, webOS now has been openSourced and is apparently sponsored by LG that uses it in their smart TV’s. So, there might be an opening there for that handful of Palm owners. They might still be able to watch some TV on their devices.

Three months in, how about that Nokia?

Yes, I grabbed the shot from the Nokia site to hide my own homescreen. ;-)

Yes, I grabbed the shot from the Nokia site to hide my own homescreen. 😉

It is only fair to get back to you all. Exactly three months ago, I asked the question whether I could switch to the Nokia Lumia 920 and Windows Phone 8, or not. And you might not believe it, but I do have an answer. In fact, the past three months with the Lumia have been a very interesting ride.

Did you think I was an Apple man? Many did. Yes, I own a Macbook Pro, an iPad, an iPhone and I enjoyed them. But I have always looked beyond them. I have had an Android phone for quite a while. I rooted it, played with it and enjoyed it. Only recently a Samsung Galaxy Tab 2 10.1 was given to us to enlarge our collection of technical gadgets. And then there is the Nokia Lumia 920. To be honest, I just love tinkering with this stuff. I like trying it out and finding its boundaries. I have found those on all of my products. There are things they do well, there are things they don’t do at all, or do terribly bad. That is something that you need to learn and accept more than linger on.

One of the things I love about the Nokia is that it brings people to me. Wherever I am on the Nokia, people come up to me and ask “Hey, is that that Windows Phone?” or “Hey, is that a new Nokia?” and they all continue to ask how I like it and whether they can hold it. Invariably they are impressed with the screen, invariably they think it is big, and invariably they think it is heavy. And so did I if I have to be honest. I felt like that when I first held it. But the weight and size disappear on you as you put it in daily use. And to answer that question, yes, it has become my daily phone and I love it. It has its shortcomings, but I enjoy it. I enjoy the color, the shape, the way it feels in my hand. And I love the camera. Man, I love that camera. It is just a joy to shoot pictures and video with it. The only thing I need now is a mount for my motorbike so I can use the Nokia as my GPS and my GoPro alternative.

Downsides? Yes, like I said, the Nokia has its shortcomings. To be honest, I don’t think they lie with Nokia. They are part of how Windows Phone 8 works. So I still have trouble with my social media mentions. I still cannot tag people in the Facebook app for WP8. I am still looking for a better app to sort out my notifications and there are few apps that actually get released for WP8. Which is a shame. Because the phone feels fast and responsive. It is easy to use and it is better at predicting my typing than my paid Swiftkey keyboards on both the Android phone as well as on the Tab 2. And those two beat the iPad and iPhone keyboards for me…

My conclusion? Over the past three monts I get asked the question “so, should I buy it?” more often than “how are you today?”. And this is my answer. There are different phones for different people. If you like straightforward, you are not into tech and just want a phone you can use with minimal fuss, get the iPhone. If you want a phone to tinker with, if you want something you can mold to your own perception of what a phone should be, get an Android. And if you do anything with images and video, if you want something different, if you use html5 sites more than apps or if you want to have an easy connection to Windows, get the Lumia 920. (And yes, I generalize. Thank you for reminding me.) Can I switch over to Windows Phone 8? Yes, I can. Could you? That is up to you. But if you ask me, you can too.

Trying out the new Lumia 920, could I switch over?

Lumia-920-arrivalHaving played with the Nokia Lumia 920 with Marko Ahtisaari at LeWeb in Paris in December, it triggered me to consider switching back to Nokia. Yes, I am one of those that has had a long list of Nokia phones up until the time the iPhone was launched, then I was sold. It was a great phone and a very good successor to my Nokia N95 of the time. Mind you, it is still lying on my desk as a reminder of how far smartphones have come in the past six years.

As many, my mobile device is one of the most important tools I have in my pocket. It helps me do whatever I need to do. From keeping appointments to calling and interacting with friends. It supplies me with the background tracks to my life and it accompanies me everywhere I go. So, my phone just needs to work. Period. I love a phone that facilitates me and does not bother me with the details. That is the reason why I first fell for the iPhone and why I have also added Android phones to my mobile experience. Even in the past seven days I have switched back and forth between Android 4.1.2 and iOS6. And now I have officially switched to the Nokia Lumia 920.

The arrival of the phone offered a deja vu. The box is very similar to the box of the Lumia 800 that I got a year ago. However, the phone is a lot better. I am glad they got rid of the -in my opinion- hideous bulge the glass had. The Lumia 920 is nice and flat all around. It is a big phone though, especially if you come from the 4″ phone screens. Luckily Nokia sent me a Lumia in vibrant red, because I love the fact that they don’t have to be subdued colors anymore. You want to lay it on the table screen down just to see the red back. Obviously it comes with red in-ear earplugs that I have not tried out yet. Maybe tomorrow.

Now we get to the part where I set up a phone. I have already had a Windows Phone, but connecting it to my Microsoft account did not do much for my settings. Unline an Android phone that starts syncing everything right away, the WP8 phone just thanks you and syncs your mail, contacts and calendar from your Microsoft account. And as I am mainly on Google, that doesn’t do anything for me. So, the quest for apps and syncs was on again. Luckily, connecting the phone to Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn was easy. But there is no way to work with Google+. That is a shame. Also, you notice Google’s complete neglect of WP8 as you find out there is no Gmail app for WP8 nor do they have Chrome for it. And those are my two most used apps on my Android, iPhone and iPad. That is annoying.

Last time around I started ranting about the notifications. Nokia’s brand manager ensured me that it has improved a lot. So, I am looking forward to testing it out. Whatsapp seems to be working nicely with notifications that can be read -partly- at the top of your screen. Now I need to do the same for Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn mentions. I see those on the so-called me-tile, but that doesn’t trigger me much. Yet. And I am now trying to find alternatives for my most used apps on my other phones through an app searching service. We will see how that works out.

I would love to hear what your favorite apps are and what you would want to see me try with the Lumia 920.

Does the Chrome still need to be polished?

To be honest, after my last post, I really wanted to like Google Chrome for iOS. I really, really did. Yes, I rely heavily on Google’s products. I use gmail and have three apps accounts with all the assorted documents. I use both Chrome and Chrome Canary on my Mac and Chrome on my Nexus S. So, when Google announced Chrome for iOS, that sounded great.

Some of Chrome’s functions sounded like someone finally got it. Especially sharing open tabs across devices. I have that often. I have been browsing the web in the evening on the couch, then come across something I really want to continue on the Mac the next day. And all there was to do with Safari, was copy the link and send it. Or type it on the Mac the next morning. All very annoying.

And yes, that feature works. I can now see the tabs from my Mac on my iPad, on my Phone and all the other ways around. However, Chrome has one major problem for me. And it is something that always happens with Google. I don’t know why, but it always does. Google Chrome does not play well with its own products. And I mean gmail specifically. To be honest, there are only two tabs that remain open on my iPad at all times. One is Gmail. And it works fine on the Safari browser on the iPad where it will show the mobile version. However, on Chrome, it tries to load the desktop version and fails miserably. When I leave it to load the page completely, it crashes. When I want to select messages before it finishes loading, it opens them, then crashes. In all honesty, whatever I do, in the end, when the page finishes loading, it crashes.

I know. It is probably just me. Who in their right minds still possesses the Original iPad, right? And still uses it. I mean, Apple has more or less stated that when they decided not to bring iOS6 to the iPad one, though the technology can still take it. Maybe that is the trouble with Chrome as well. I don’t know.

But in reality, there might be something that is flawed in the basics of Google Chrome. Sharing the tabs is great. However, some of the sites just need to be viewed in mobile instead of the full version you use on your computer. And there seems to be no intelligence filtering that out. That, even though I love Gmail’s desktop interface, it is unusable on the iPad where fingers are bigger than mouse pointers. So, that needs the mobile interface. However, others like Facebook, I want to use in their desktop guise. Oh, and there is the minor issue that I don’t like to have the browser I use crash every five minutes.

Get that sorted though, and Chrome might be worth using for me.

Socialbakers; be socially devoted

The most important two words by Jan Rezab for his presentation were “socially devoted”. In all honesty, social media marketing so far has been mostly broadcasting. Companies are sending out their messages proactively, but they are still just sending out their messages. The interaction also needs to be social reactive. A conversation has two sides that means that both speak and listen. That part has been missing in many cases. Right now Emarketer says 80 or 90% of the companies are active in social media. But only a very small percentage of them is doing it well. At LeWeb Socialbakers presents a study that they have done for Facebook, but they intend to gather similar figures for other networks as well. From the figures they have gathered, they have deducted three main points that you can use as guidelines to becoming more socially devoted as a company.
They have put those three points into a very basic manifest:
1. Opening yourselves. Do not close your Facebook wall, or close your profile be open.
2. Responding to fan questions. At least 75% of questions needs to be answered
3. Communicating in a timely fashion. The industry standard is 28 hours to give an answer, which is much too long. You will not wait in a store for an answer for 28 hours.

Then Jan Rezab shows a couple of examples. Claro answers 90% of its question within 19 minutes. They are doing well. But If we look at car companies, that are effectively social companies, they answer just 17% of their customers’ questions.
Shockingly, Disney, American Express, Xbox, Skype, British Airways, McDonalds all have their walls on Facebook closed. What are they afraid of? Why do they not dare to answer the questions of their customers?
Through quick response and being socially devoted, Vodafone UK didn’t just cut the amount of questions through the regular channels, but they made 1 million Pounds in upsales. That can be completely assigned to being socially devoted to their customers.
Having a personal touch in social media is important. There are companies that are trying to automate the process like they have automated the phone services but really, do not automate it. You cannot automate real human interaction and the result comes from real human interaction.
Interestingly enough, with gains at close reach, we still see that 70% of all fan questions are not responded to. Which is strange if we factor in the efforts we make in marketing. We spend a lot of money to get people interested. But once we have them interested or once they have become a client, they are socially ignored. In 70% of the cases they do not receive answers to their questions. And that is a great challenge for companies.

If you want to read up on Socialbakers manifest, read up on it on http://www.socially-devoted.com. And if you want to, you can help to extend the manifest.

Disappointed in Windows Phone so far. Send me your tips! (Nokia Lumia test)

Last Friday afternoon I got my Nokia Lumia 800 in. First impressions were of a great looking phone with a solid feel to it. The packaging was nice as well, so it all built up pretty nicely. After getting myself a micro sim, the test period was on. I had set myself the challenge to really use it as my only phone over the coming weeks, to see how it would stack up to the iPhone and my Nexus S. Due to something missing on my Lumia, Nokia is going to exchange my phone for another one. Nothing to alarming, but to be honest, I loved the sound of my Nexus S turning on again.

I have written about Windows Phone before. But I had never tried to live with it. And that changed over the course of these last three days. I installed lots of apps, I made calls, took pictures, did video, texted and used social networking sites. Just like I do on my other phones. But it did feel different this time. Let me get this clear. I really do love the feel of the phone. I love the pictures it takes. I like how it integrates things into its user interface. And I definitely, definitely love the looks that Microsoft has given Windows Phone. The tiles are nice and mostly functional. Even though I don’t understand why some are animated and some aren’t.

But in a way, the phone leaves me feeling oddly detached. I am used to the notifications on Android 4.0 and iOS 5. Notifications that tell me when people want to interact with me across all networks. Yes, there is the “Me” tile that I can tap and then go to notifications to see Facebook, Twitter, Windows Live and LinkedIn, but that needs action from me. And as soon as I power up my Nexus S or iPhone, I get flooded with updates that I never saw on the Lumia. And that annoys me. My phone is not about calling. It is about interaction.

And about making a call. That is a completely different problem. When logged on to Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, Windows Live and four of my Google accounts, the address book becomes a total nightmare. Lots of people are in several of my networks, which puts them in my address book several times. But not all of them have phone numbers. So, I keep on choosing the wrong contact. And trying to call home, I didn’t even find the number. I am sure there are great ways of streamlining this. I do that on the Nexus S and iPhone as well. But I have not found out how to do it on this one.

I think Nokia made a nice phone, but I am not enjoying it because Windows Phone doesn’t work the way I would want it to. And I might be able to solve a lot of this by choosing the right apps. So, tell me, what are the apps you enjoy most on Windows Phone and why? And how did you sort out your address book? Looking forward to hearing from you so I can give the Lumia a second chance!

A marketing campaign will not make Windows Phone succeed

At the end of March, Nokia will launch their new Nokia Ace in the US. And rumor has it that the launch will be accompanied by a great marketing campaign that will run in the neighborhood of $100 million. I just read this on BetaNews. An interesting article that goes on to state that Microsoft needs a hero in the Windows Phone stakes. However, the statement leaves me wondering what their campaign will be on.

I am a firm believer that people want to buy a mobile device that is easy to use and gives them the features they want, for the price they want it at. Almost every day I have people ask me what phone they should buy and how their phone can help them do what they want. And unanimously they ask whether to buy Android or iPhone. I never get asked the question for Windows Phone. Nobody asks me the same about Blackberry either, because you either want one for Blackberry messenger or you are stuck with one as your company phone.

Will a $100 million marketing campaign solve this problem? Hardly. Few people choose their phones on the commercials they have seen or the billboards they drove past. They do choose their phones on what their friends are using and the ease it seems to give them. I agree with Robert Scoble when he responds to Charlie Kindle’s post on why WP7 has not taken off. Through its users, Android and iOS both show they are safe choices. People around you use them. Of all the people I have met over the past three weeks, I have only met one with a Nokia Lumia. One. Hardly a match for the people that have told me about their new iPhone 4S or Android phone.

I am afraid the $100 million might just vaporize on the way to selling a phone. Back in 2007 the launch of the iPhone changed the mobile phone landscape. Back in 2009, carriers were still longing for a good iPhone competitor to offer their customers. Now, in 2012 we have it all. Back in 2007, developers were eager to jump the bandwagon to build their coolest ideas into iOS apps. Now, few startups even see Windows Phone or Blackberry as a viable market. So they develop for iOS and Android only.
I am assuming Microsoft is launching a ‘regular’ marketing campaign with Nokia and AT&T in which they will be targeting consumers to buy the Nokia Ace. What happens is that we get into a circle of people waiting for each other and no phones being sold. Because the consumers will only change to Windows Phone when their favorite apps are running on WP and developers will not be eager to do WP development unless WP reaches enough critical mass to make it worth their while.

Solution? Take a good chunk of that budget and target developers, startups and innovators. To port their existing apps to WP, but also to develop cool new apps that will be exclusive to WP for now. I firmly believe there is a market for WP. However, you need to know where it is to be able to benefit from it. For now, WP phones will mainly be bought by companies to replace their older Windows Mobile devices. A device management issue. But startups can make the most of this by launching themselves specifically geared to business development. There is enough to do in that market still and there is money to sell your apps. And making that work will show other developers that WP might be a financial goldmine waiting for them.

In essence? Spending $100 million on marketing is not going to cut it. It needs to be spent on the eco system that will allow your customer to do what they want with your product. Only then will you be making progress.

Microsoft helps you jailbreak your WP7 phone

Apple’s iOS is as closed an operating system as they come. Before anything can be installed on the iPhone, it has to be checked by Apple. Android has gone the other way. You can install almost everything you want to by changing a setting on your phone. This allows you to download packages from anywhere and install them on your phone. The difference between these approaches also determines the safety of the system. But we all want to do exactly those things that we are not allowed to. And that is how jailbreaks came along. To secretly activate panorama mode on your iPhone 4 with iOS5 for instance.

Microsoft has taken another approach. Just like Apple and Google, Microsoft asks you $99 to become an official developer. Like the others, Microsoft only allows official developers to offer apps in the market. However, unlike the others, Microsoft also offers a way around it. For $9 you can get ChevronWP7 labs. That will allow you to unlock your Windows Phone to run your own code on it, or to run the code of others. You can write code and you can share it. You cannot sell it through the market. But it will allow you to move forward and test the waters.

Find out more at http://www.chevronwp7.com/
(Image pulled from the ChevronWP7 homepage)

Google launches the new Android, why did you get the 4S?

Last night Google launched their new version of Android and the new Android flagship phone, the Galaxy Nexus. Naturally the phone is all you would expect of a new smartphone with dual core processors, great screen etcetera. However, last night was all about Android and just a little about the phone.

Ice Cream Sandwich, as Google has named their new Android 4.0, is full of great new developments making it smarter and easier to use. Just a quick run of all the new features:

Multitasking has been improved with a new screen that allows you to flip through your running and last used programs. Just a simple drag will get you straight back into them.
Resizable widgets allow you to adjust the size of a widget to show more or less information depending on your needs. A great addition as it will allow you to arrange your stuff better.
Lock screen actions allow you to see your notifications without unlocking your phone and it also allows you to quickly take a picture as we have already seen the iPhone do. You can also quickly respond to a caller by sending them a standard text message when you are not available. Great if you want to tell someone you would love to talk to them, but the timing is just off.
The new notification screen allows you to do more with your notifications and work with them more intuitively. It has just improved on its own standard again.
The new spellchecker and soft keyboard allow you to input text even faster with better error correction. Naturally we have to see how this is going to work in practice, but with new word suggestion technology it might just kill those autocorrect failures.
Obviously Androind comes with a new voice input engine. It has an always open microphone and it will allow you to dictate large texts including punctuation on your phone. Sure, it might not tell you whether you need an umbrella, but with its technology supporting many languages and quick correction for dictation errors, this might just be the ticket to be more productive on the road. I have to say that the voice input engine on 2.3 has been my most used feature on the Nexus S, so I am looking forward to this. And besides, the versatility of Android allowed programmers to put together Iris in eight hours during a hackathon. I bet a competitor for Siri will not be long.
For people with metered subscriptions, the new Android version allows you actively limit your data usage with great graphical overviews of your data usage that you can set your own limits on.
Android also has new accessibility options that will allow you to use your smartphone without even seeing the screen. These features are great for the visually impaired with audible feedback on what you are doing.
The new people and profiles brings more information together about your contacts and creates a new “me” profile that can be easily shared with others.
There are also changes to the calendars making them more unified and a new visual voicemail app that allows other apps to add messages for a complete overview.
And then we got to the toys. Google has been playing with the camera as well. The new camera app has face detection, a continuous focus setting, but also a tap to focus option that we have been missing for a while now. To take a better shot at that scenic location, the new camera app allows you to do a single-motion panoramic shot, saving a lot of stitching. The gallery has been improved and now features a photo editor as well. And the video camera allows you to do live effects for transforming whatever you are filming. Not sure why you would want to do that, but hey, it can be fun. More useful is the new feature to film yourself against a background that you have set yourself.
Finally Android will allow you to easily make a screenshot of your phone and share that. Now that is a feature that I have been waiting for.
Google didn’t do anything to make its phone cloud connected, but they did take the time to explain that they didn’t need to do that, as they have always been completely in the clouds.
Google will also bring more of the Chrome experience to Android. It will sync bookmarks with your computer and has dramatically improved rendering performance. Looking forward to seeing that.
The email experience has also been improved with better auto-completion of recipients, new quick response options, nested subfolders and new security options for enterprises.
And here is where it becomes geeky. And I love it. Android has been fitted out with Beam. Beam can share whatever you are doing with another Android phone through NFC (Near Field Communications). Whether that is a website, contact information or even a game you are playing, just put the two devices together and you see the same thing.
To keep your phone from being used by people you don’t really like, you can now use face recognition. Hold the camera in front of your face and it will unlock if it recognizes your face. During the demo something did go wrong there, but it will probably be ironed out soon enough.
Oh, and for sharing your stuff, you can easily set up a direct wifi connection between two devices as well, having your own private network. Not necessarily with an internet connection.

Seriously, I am looking forward to this update. For me, this has countless updates that I will be using every day. Last week I was doubting whether I was going to get the iPhone 4S. Now, the only difference with the 4S for me would be Siri. And I am not going to spend that kind of money to talk to my phone. I would rather talk to the people around me. Besides, someone is going to build an alternative anyway. So, I am looking forward to Google rolling out the Galaxy Nexus in November as I am sure my Nexus S will receive the Android Ice Cream Sandwich update as well. Too bad they did not specify a launch date for that just yet. Read up on everything on Android.com.

So how intelligent is that Siri anyway?

“Siri, is it going to rain?”

“Yes, it is going to rain in three days, that is why I have taken the liberty to order you a new umbrella from Amazon in black. They have promised me it will be here before the rain starts. Until then it is better that you stay indoors.”

“Euhm, Siri…”

“No worries, I haggled for a 5% discount with EC2. We know each other.”

“Yes, nice, but Siri…”

“And you know you need a new umbrella, because the last black one you had was destroyed in that storm last week. I did order that very sturdy Dutch on that can withstand a typhoon.”

“Yes, but Siri…”

“No John, stop whining. You know you need an umbrella. If you don’t you are only going to get wet and catch a cold. And we don’t want that, do we?”

See, I see a host of new problems…

😉

Apple launches new iPhone 4S, voice assistant and iCloud (Prices updated)

Today Apple launched their new iPhone 4S. The iPhone 4S still has a glass back, a square outlook and a 3.5″ retina display. But beyond that, it is all different. It has the new A5 processor for more speed. It has increased WIFI speeds, so it will be faster. It has a new 8 mega pixel camera with a new backlit sensor with better software to take better pictures and shoot 1080p video. And with it’s new dual core graphics processor, it can compete with game consoles. Not in the least because the new iPhone 4S will come with mirroring through AirPlay, enabling you to show the screen on your TV. Oh, and they have learned and included two antenna that switch intelligently to ensure you are connected. The iPhone 4S also has a new battery that will make sure it lasts longer than any iPhone before. Personally I would be interested to see whether it will last a full day. I have been waiting for a phone that can do that for years. All in all, it is a great new phone, but what makes it nicer is iOS 5.

iOS 5 comes with a truckload of new features that will make the iPhone just nicer to use. And the good thing is that it is compatible with most iPhones and iPads. That means that I can still run it on my iPad 1 and you could still run it on your 3GS. Notifications have taken a leaf out of the Android book. It is a pull down now and you can immediately go to wherever the notification came from. Naturally Apple gave iCloud a good part of the stage today. Mainly because so much in iOS 5 will be moving towards the cloud. To sync with your other idevices mainly. Sharing your photos all over your iOS devices, sharing your music with iTunes Match, storing things you want to read later etc.

And so the technobabble goes on. But what really got me going, is the new SIRI voice assistant. Yes, I know, it will be English mainly first, but they claim it will be there in other languages as well. So who knows, it might learn to pronounce our Dutch names at some point. But the intelligence is really cool. Asking whether you need an umbrella gets Siri going to find out what the weather will be like in your area and then telling you whether you need an umbrella based on the forecasts in your area. It can track where you are and notify you of things you need to do when you get close to a specific place. And it can combine your information and your question to set appointments for you or reschedule them with simple human questions. Yes, it all looks awesome, but I am still skeptical. Having first used voice recognition in 1999 for a project, I am always expecting it to fail somewhere. And my Android speech recognition does that as well. 85% of the time it spells out the tweets I dictate quite well, but that other 15% often make it an annoying application.

Yes, I am looking forward to the new iPhone 4S. It seems to be a nice phone. Will I pre order it? I am not sure yet. Apparently the iPhone 4S goes on pre-order on the 7th of October with the first countries getting it on the 14th. The Netherlands will have to wait for the 28th of October with 20 other countries. Prices are set to $199 for the 16Gb, $299 for the 32Gb and $399 for the 64Gb version in the USA. Prices for other countries have not been released yet.

UPDATE: The French Apple store currently shows that the iPhone 4S will be available without a contract starting at € 629. No other prices are mentioned, but with Apple logic that might mean that the €629 is for the 16Gb, €729 will be for the 32Gb and it might be as much as €829 for the 64Gb. Pretty pricy phones.

UPDATE 2: The French Apple store currently shows that my estimation of the iPhone 4S prices was slightly off. The prices rise €110 per doubling of the storage. So, the price for the 16 Gb is €629, the 32Gb is €739 and the 64Gb will be a hefty €849. If you are planning a trip to the US in November, you will be able to get an unlocked iPhone 4S 16Gb for $649, 32Gb for $749 and the 64Gb will cost $849. Not enough to cover the cost of your ticket, but if you are bringing 10… 😉

Flickr launches android app

The original. Click it to go to the full set with 10 filters.

The original. Click it to go to the full set with 10 filters.

Great news for a boring Friday afternoon. The Flickr app has finally come to Android. So, you now need to download it and go outside to take pictures of everything you see. The app takes the whole Flickr experience along to your phone. You can browse your photostream and the streams of your contacts. You can comment and share pictures on Flickr, Twitter, Facebook, Tumblr, your WordPress blog or via email. Nice.

Obviously, no Flickr app would be complete without the option to take a picture and uploading it to Flickr straight from your phone. And this app does that. Or so I have heard from others, as it crashes on my Nexus S every time I take a picture. Luckily for me, you can also pull a picture out of your phones’ gallery and use that.

The new Flickr app has got 10 filters that can be applied to your pictures for that Instagramesque feeling. Does it cut it? Well, it comes close. The filters are nice and consistent, but without a picture that matches the filter, it won’t be nice to look at. I have taken a standard photo with some nice colors, sun and shade and you can see the filters at work.

Will I use it? Well, I am doubtful. Why? Well, first off, because it crashed on me. I tend to dislike that. Besides, I share most of my pictures through Mobypicture and use the Camera Effects app if I want filters. Is it a bad app? No, it is actually quite a nice app. Great controls and easy to locate what you need.

As an extra, Flickr has launched Photo Sessions. A way to share your slideshow with your friends regardless of the device they are on. And they can comment on your photos etc. Nice. But I miss the audio channel of being able to talk to your friends to hear them as you share the pictures. Just a thought.