UK Hutchison 3 Blogger Event

three.gifI have just come back from an evening UK Hutchison 3 blogger event in London. 3 have decided to move their social media efforts in-house with the help of Brando. Expect to see new twitter channels for 3 news and support in the near future.

From a developer viewpoint, I learnt about a new ‘3’ tab that will be appearing on Hutchison 3 Android phones. The idea is that this tab will provide app recommendations, for example, UK specific apps or apps provided by 3. More specifically, it was hinted that an app version of the ‘My 3’ web interface might become available. I hadn’t previously known about operator specific tabs in the Android Market but it seems it’s common in the US (even if the end users question why it’s there).

I got to handle a production-ready Samung P1 (Galaxy Tab), running Android 2.2 (Froyo) for the first time. It seemed heavy for its size but worked well and felt a solid bit of kit. A limited experiment playing some flash from the Adobe site worked well. It also worked ok with the 3 MiFi access points used to provide Internet access for the event. We were given the opportunity to trial a MiFi so I have brought one home. I’ll report on my findings after I have used it with a variety of devices in different situations. Back to the Samsung Galaxy Tab, the screen (7") isn’t large enough to cause current 3rd party applications to look out of place, unlike new (some larger) Android 3.0 Tablets coming next year that will need app re-writes to make best use of the extra screen area.

Personally, I am still not sure where Android 7" tablets sit. They are too large to be used as phones and won’t fit in the pocket. They also aren’t as compelling (but will probably be a similar price) as the iPad. I am more hopeful for the larger tablets that will be as good as, if not better (due to flash) than, the iPad.

Speaking to the people from 3, I learnt that things have moved on since earlier this year when 3 UK’s network data capacity was suffering due to the use of 3G dongles. Since then, there has been a significant investment in network upgrades and I was told these problems have been overcome.

If you follow this blog you will know I have almost written off Windows Phone 7 (WP7). Hence, I was surprised to hear that 3, based on their initial analysis of manufacturer phones, are more upbeat about the prospects for WP7. So, look out for WP7, it might surprise us all.