My Docomo Gets a Big Update

Docomo iPhone customers got a big update today, My Docomo v2 with a completely new design and iPad support. It’s now easier to see monthly data usage and buy more (naturally) if necessary, access plan options and d Points, finally there is much better integration of multiple device accounts. It used to be that Docomo branded Android phones had all the bells and whistles but those days are waning fast.

Unfortunately changing plan options still kicks you over to the My Docomo browser page forcing you do make changes there. I’d rather keep all my business in the app but I think Docomo will get there eventually.

via AtaDistance.

This will be news, maybe good news, to my Japanese friends. I still use Google Project Fi service here because of the global coverage and relatively fixed costs.

Kit Tweak for iPad as 2nd Display

I use Duet to leverage my iPad (latest generation) as a second, very laggy, display. My employer-issued MacBook Air is hoisted on a Roost laptop stand.

I need something similar for said iPad to get it to an adjustable eye level.

Enter the Spider Monkey! <- Great movie title, by the way.

I’m about to pull the trigger on this based on reviews and direct feedback. Here is the Amazon US link and the Amazon JP link. I will let you know how this works for me.

By the way, I pan to soon update my overall kit post for in the office, on the road, and at the home. Stay Tuned!

[TokyoGringo] Fun Japan Fact – all cell phones’ cameras have a shutter sound

I tried to get service for my US iPhone 6S+ here in Tokyo. The delightful woman helping me warned me, “You know, if you swap this out you will get a Japan phone with the shutter sound. Are you sure?”

Oh. No. Not sure, and not by a long shot.

I recalled my first US trip with my JP colleagues where their shutter sound constantly disrupted slide presentation after slide presentation. I volunteered my phone for hundreds of silent slide pictures of decks later offered for download.

When I returned to Japan I found the sound ever present. I assumed the shutter sound a cultural choice, what with the Japanese camera stereotype and all. I filled it away as an annoyance like on-line banking and moved on.

I embrace my education. As I stated regularly on the PVC Security podcast, there is a certain freedom in knowing you will screw up at least ten times per day.

It also means I will try to get all my future mobile phones in the US (assuming the shutter sound is my major concern).

Also on:

Motorola Provides an Argument for Apple as a Corporate Mobile Standard

I’m unlikely to recommend Android devices until Google and the hardware providers get the upgrade situation under control. I might make an exception for the Nexus and Samsung devices, but as I write this I have no faith in the rest of the Android ecosystem.

As I often do, let me tell you a story to illustrate this opinion:

When I started with IBM I chose the Motorola Droid Maxx over other Android phones and Apple iPhones.

My choice wasn’t arbitrary. I did my research.

The decision of iOS versus Android wasn’t a fair fight. KitKat made it easier to be effective. Sharing data between apps was not just easier, it was POSSIBLE on Android. iOS could copy and paste, but not much else.

The Maxx offered excellent battery life (I easily get through a full day on a single charge), a decent screen, an adequate amount of storage, and a rugged build according to my research. Two other major reasons I went with it was that Motorola was a part of Google (at the time) and they listed it as on the upgrade path to Android Lollipop.

14 months later and the only thing still true is the battery life. The screen cracked easily and repeatedly with regular use, the 16GB storage barely keeps up with my minimal workload, and it quickly becomes sluggish unless I close apps and/or reboot.

As for the upgrade to Lollipop, Motorola changed tack yesterday:

We apologize that we will not be upgrading DROID Ultra/Mini/Maxx to Android Lollipop, as we had hoped. We know how important software upgrades are to our customers, and we’re very sorry that we are unable to provide the upgrade.

The Maxx is still on 4.4.2 while Marshmallow (version 6) is the release du jour on Nexus. Verizon released few updates (and they’re complicit in the upgrade mess) but not at the cadence required. I’m sure my Maxx is vulnerable to many issues long since fixed on other platforms. Corporate mandates and enforces robust mobile security, yet I only use my corporate issued phone for email, calendar, tasks, and internal instant messaging. I don’t trust the phone to do much more. I’ve removed almost all non-stock applications.

My personal phone, the older OnePlus One with the Cyanogen Android flavor at 5.1.1, sees vastly more attention than the Motorola. On the 1+1 I do my social media and podcasts and RSS feeds and whatnot, much of which is work related or adjacent.

The funny thing: I used to carry a second phone to protect me from my benevolent corporate overlords. Now my personal phone protects my clients.

iPhones receive regular updates – some better than others, but Apple updates viable phones for a long time (the iPhone 4S, anyone?). Apps have to keep up, for better or worse. Newer iOS versions addressed the data sharing issue, making Apple  devices more useful to me as productivity tools.

The moral of my story is that I’m going through the process to replace the Maxx with an iPhone, but it’s a bureaucratic mess that takes time. Now that Motorola came clean, the upgrade path theoretically eases.

What about you? What are your experiences in this space? Have you standardized on iOS or Android or Windows? Or do you struggle with the mercurial nature of the vendors and your users? What about when vendors pull the rug out from under you? Are you considering alternate platforms like Microsoft Windows Mobile and Ubuntu?

Full Disclosure: I work for IBM. IBM and Apple are partners (who would have thought that in the 80’s?). My opinions are mine alone.

Also on:

Is mobile privacy a bigger concern than a phone’s brand?

A new Harris Interactive study provides a valuable barometer on current consumer perceptions and mobile privacy trends by examining issues, such as data collection, geo-location tracking, mobile advertising and privacy management responsibility.

Among the top findings: many smartphone users are more concerned about mobile privacy than a phone’s brand, screen size, camera resolution or weight; more than three-quarters of smartphone users won’t download an app they don’t trust; and although the majority of those surveyed don’t like the concept of tracking, nearly half (46%) of smartphone users are still unaware it even happens.

via Is mobile privacy a bigger concern than a phone’s brand?.

Style over utility? No.

I really like this theme from mono-lab that I’m using. The drawback is that the “body” section can only have one of three fixed sizes.

On my PCs and laptops there is no issue with the largest setting. But my netbook doesn’t display the whole thing even when I remove all of the window manager chrome.

Folks, live with it. You can use the mobile view of this site, RSS, or else run it though something like Readability. I don’t track stats or do any advertising, so I’m not too concerns how you get here.