Monthly Archives: September 2008

Dial2Do: new commands, new layout, and roll-your-own voice services

Some new features and a new layout rolled out in Dial2Do late last week. It would be fair to say we’re pretty excited – and we hope you are too 🙂 Among the new bits and pieces are:

  • Some cool new commands – you can now post *and* listen to your email, your calendar, twitter, friendfeed, blogs, and more
  • Some fun, simple content to listen to: Huffington Post, TechCrunch, New York Times, Yahoo Finance, etc. And if you really must, Perez Hilton!
  • Roll-your-own commands: if you don’t like what we’ve provided – make your own! You can now make your own commands in Dial2Do and have something happen – post to a URL, send an email or read you some RSS content
  • An improved layout to assist your navigation around the site
As ever – we’re keen to hear your feedback. So let us know what you think. Here’s a peek at some of the new commands and layout.

The commands you can use have now been tabbed for your ease of navigation. We’ve put our fave stuff up front under a “Recommended” tab.
Recommended Services

Recommended Services

There’s now much much more to listen to ! Aside from the ability to listen to your email, tweets, jaikus and more, we’ve made some neato commands to let you listen to your favorite sites. Listen while you drive and call up Yahoo, The Huffington Post, or TechCrunch for your web-fix as you head to work.

More content to listen to!

More content to listen to!

Get organized! Put stuff in your calendar, add tasks to Remember The Milk, and more! Dial your way to greater personal efficiency and Get Things Done 🙂
Commands to Get Organized!

Commands to Get Organized!

Official release:

Dial2Do Does More… Adds voice support for Email, Calendering and Custom Applications

Hands-free phone service now offers Voice Activation for GMail, AOL, Yahoo and User Defined Voice Commands.

Dublin, Ireland – Dial2Do the hands-free phone service that lets drivers send Text Messages, Emails, Reminders and more by just dialling a number and speaking, today announced a number of significant new add-ons.

Email – Drivers can now Send and Listen to Email just by dialling a number and saying “Email” to send an email, or “Listen to Email” to check for new emails. Dial2Do integrates tightly with Gmail, AOL, Yahoo and any IMAP/POP compliant email service.

Calendar – Dial2Do integrates with Google Calendar to let drivers quickly add a calendar event by just saying “Calendar” and speaking the event details. Users can also review their calendar with the “Listen to Calendar” command.

User Defined Commands – Innovative Users can now add to the list of over 20 voice Commands supported by Dial2Do. Using a simple web interface, users can now make their own voice commands to trigger specific actions – they can post to a web URL, integrate to a 3rd party service via email or read the user some RSS content.

Contacts In the Cloud – Dial2Do now integrates with a number of 3rd party contact sources including Gmail, Yahoo, AOL, Microsoft Live, Jajah and Microsoft Outlook, so users can use those contacts with the range of voice activated services Dial2Do provides.

About Dial2Do:

Dial2Do, a global leader in hands-free technology innovation, is the creator of the hands-free phone service enabling consumers in 19 countries worldwide to do simple tasks just by dialing a local number and speaking commands. Users use verbal commands to email, text message, blog, update calendars, schedule appointments, set up reminders, and more. Dial2Do is works with partners to voice-activate many new online, content and contact services.


Shaken or stirred: Developing for convergence

I’m helping run a session at the Mobile Jam Session at CTIA Wireless San Francisco next week with the above title. So I said I’d write a few words as input for the session. 

From a mobile developer’s perspective, the last few years have been wonderfully frustrating. It’s a classic case of “on the one hand….but on the other hand”. I think we should use the session to flesh out both sides of today’s current position for a mobile developer, and then present a summary at the end of the day. And we shouldn’t take ourselves too seriously. So without further ado, here’s a straw set of input on what’s better, what’s worse, for mobile developers, today…

Life is better as a mobile developer today because

  • The toolset these days is composed of more than just vi
  • There’s evidence that some people do actually buy mobile apps these days
  • The handset guys are finally starting to let us at the cool stuff (address book, GPS, SMS…)
  • The carrier will now let me keep more than 2 cents on the dollar 🙂 In fact, Mobile advertising finally allowed the independent developer to make money although only pennies compared to going premium on-deck  (for most apps)
  • I don’t have to mortgage my house anymore to have an application certified for a network
  • The PalmOS has died a death so I can just forget about developing for it. Phew!
  • Things are not bad If you focus on the mid-development-tier :  i.e. not native apps – but create great web applications and just bet on better browsers across all phones
  • Carriers now treat me like their friend
  • I can use images larger than a postage stamp
  • Analytics for everything has improved – so we don’t have to go to court to figure out my app was downloaded a million times
  • Social networks have created a whole new pull for rich, connected mobile applications; connecting the online world with my mobile world is a truly rich new vein for cool apps
  • Apple are dragging the whole ecosystem in to the 21st century
Life is worse as a mobile developer today because
  • Turned out Java wasn’t the answer!
  • They said life was going to get simpler; Android, iPhone, LiMo, WinMobile, J2ME – they lied! Apple has just added more fragmentation – the target platforms are going through a shift but there is still a ton of platforms – porting is as hard as it has ever been, if not worse (aside: as the platfroms become richer, with GPS, 3D graphics, this porting problem becomes worse not better)
  • The carriers man, the carriers – don’t talk to me.  Apple’s App store has been executed well – but it has only shifted the walled-garden (i.e. Apple will not list local music playing apps or even a competing browser like Skyfire, ha!)
  • The Widget ecosystem is a mess – too many proprietary runtimes although a chick of light appears with regard to standardisation on web runtimes for widgets finally starting to happen
  • Browsers are different; APIS are different; busness models are different; permissions are different – gimme a break!
  • “Allow this application to access the internet” – excuse me?
  • Seamless convergence is not really in the interest of the carrier – so I have a hard sell for my “converged app”
  • I’d need a Cray just to run all the toolsets I need 
  • They still need a note from my parents before they’ll deploy my application (well, that’s how it feels)
  • Thanks Mr Carrier, your API is waaaay cool. It’s just a leeeetle different to to every other carrier’s API….. but thanks anyway

More suggestions? Send them to sos “at” dial2do with the subject “Jamtastic”