Is it False Advertising if a Smartphone Manufacturer Rigs Benchmarks? – Pocketnow

Another pair of companies have been caught rigging benchmark performance. How does this affect fans? Should this be considered false advertising?

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T-Mobile Updates Network Coverage Map Based on Crowdsourced User Data

An interesting update from Lil Magenta in how they advertise and detail their network coverage.

We all skeptically check out network coverage maps from cell phone carriers. Asking people about real world usage in major cities, everyone has a story about each carrier where that network conked out on them. Instead of continuing to use predictive estimations of network coverage, from now on T-Mobile will show actual user data.

Crowdsourcing customer experience, combining that with verified third party speed testing, and updating their maps twice a month.

You can check out the new map here, and read T-Mo’s press release below. They also throw out entertaining PR…

(Thanks for the tip A.J.)

Continue reading “T-Mobile Updates Network Coverage Map Based on Crowdsourced User Data”

Informal Poll: Is HTC’s Rap Video So Bad It’s Good?

Now I LOVES me some schlock. The best “bad” media is made from passionate people, who really believed in their project, but lacked the resources to properly execute.

That’s maybe why I’m torn on HTC’s “funny” rap video here. I’d imagine that HTC has enough cash to compete with the budget of a single Digital Short from SNL, right? Trying to make something look “bad” or “low budget” is a tricky thing to pull off. It’s like asking a singer to purposely sing off key.  It’ll never be as funny as someone who knows they’re a terrible singer belting their favorite karaoke jam at the top of their lungs.

Or maybe I’m wrong, and HTC’s delivered a masterpiece. Your comments below will certainly be appreciated…

Samsung Targets iPhone Battery Life in “Wall Huggers” Commercial

samsung wallhuggers commercialI haven’t always loved Samsung’s snarkier spots, but this one is tickling my funny bone. If you’ve traveled recently, you’ve probably noticed this phenomenon of people crowding the outlets at airports.

As more and more phone manufacturers rush to enclose their device’s batteries in non-removable shells, I have a soft spot for Samsung continuing to provide us with removable back plates. Funny to think that the company working hardest on waterproofing and rugeddizing their phones, also continues to let consumers swap out their battery.

But I digress. Here’s Samsung’s latest assault on the iPhone. Enjoy.

You can do better than this commercial Samsung. Confusing “HD” with more MegaPixels? Really?

Dear Samsung,

I’m a fan of your work. I think you cracked the code on funny ads which skewer your competition (namely Apple). Those spots featuring people sitting in lines for the next iPhone? Priceless.

Samsung? Are you comparing the Galaxy S4 to an iPhone 4S? Seriously?
Samsung? Are you comparing the Galaxy S4 to an iPhone 4S? Seriously?

Of late however, it seems like you might be struggling. Depending on fiscal quarter, you’re often the number one in sales. It’s a little harder to beat up on your competition when you’re in the top spot without looking like a bully. We’re also reaching that point where it’s getting a bit more difficult to communicate to consumers why they should upgrade their phones, when it seems like all we’re getting are modest spec bumps.

Case in point, your most recent ad featuring the Galaxy S4’s camera is the worst combination of picking on Apple and throwing around meaningless buzz words and specs to try and impress us.

I honestly don’t mind a snarky tone, but it’s the absurd implications of what “Full HD” means which bothers me.

First of all, “Full HD” really only pertains to video and is a consumer shorthand for 1080p, which itself is an abbreviation of the actual video resolution of 1920×1080. Thirty times a second, a 1920×1080 resolution image is flashed on the screen which allows for fluid and highly detailed video. It has NOTHING to do with still photography. That’s where megapixels come into play. The iPhone’s 8MP camera shoots 1080p video, but each still is 3264×2448. That’s a whole lot more than “Full HD” isn’t it? You missed out on an opportunity to feature drama shot more fully, and to brag that pictures from your camera will have a resolution of 4128×3096.

Of course this is all inane as you can’t even win the resolution war. Nokia has you handily slapped with 20MP (4992×3744) and 40MP (7152×5368) resolution cameras. What’s worst, I’ve detailed on numerous occasions how resolution doesn’t mean you’ll get better images. Things like OIS and image processing can often provide more significant improvements to photos and videos than just having millions more dots. Congratulations, you’ve brought us back to the MEGAPIXEL WARS that consumer point and shoot cameras fought years ago.

Not to mention phones like your own Galaxy Note 3 or the LG G Flex are capable of delivering 4K video which is FOUR TIMES the resolution of the video on the GS4. Doesn’t little Jack deserve full motion video with that kind of clarity for his big life moment?

This is not your best work Samsung. We all know you can do better than this. As we’re closing in on the release of the Galaxy S5, which many are criticizing for not being enough of a departure or upgrade from the S4, hopefully your ad agency is able to bring a bit more nuance to the discussion.



Stay Classy Internet: Instagram announces in-app advertising, Users respond…

instagram advertising ads announcement commentsCommunities like Tumblr and Instagram are made up of passionate individuals, so it’s pretty much going to be a short-term losing proposition whenever you announce changes to the service. No matter how small a change there will be SOME crying and gnashing of teeth. However, if the change you’re announcing is building advertising into your free-to-use service, well, there will be MUCH crying and gnashing of teeth.

Announced today via a photo post, the official Instagram account announced the policy change:

Over the past three years we’ve watched with amazement as Instagram has grown to a global community of more than 150 million people capturing and sharing the world’s moments. Instagram is a place where people come to connect and be inspired, and our focus with every product we build is keeping it this way. We have big ideas for the future, and part of making them happen is building Instagram into a sustainable business. In the next couple months, you may begin seeing an occasional ad in your Instagram feed if you’re in the United States. Seeing photos and videos from brands you don’t follow will be new, so we’ll start slow. We’ll focus on delivering a small number of beautiful, high-quality photos and videos from a handful of brands that are already great members of the Instagram community. Our aim is to make any advertisements you see feel as natural to Instagram as the photos and videos many of you already enjoy from your favorite brands. After all, our team doesn’t just build Instagram, we use it each and every day. We want these ads to be enjoyable and creative in much the same way you see engaging, high-quality ads when you flip through your favorite magazine. We’ll also make sure you have control. If you see an ad you don’t like, you’ll be able to hide it and provide feedback about what didn’t feel right. We’re relying on your input to help us continually improve the Instagram experience. As always, you own your own photos and videos. The introduction of advertising won’t change this. Thanks for listening, and stay tuned for more details. We’re excited to continue building Instagram alongside this inspiring community.

Seems pretty honest and straight forward. At least they aren’t springing this on us Facebook style. Being one of the largest photo sharing sites on the web comes with certain responsibilities, costs, and expectations. Not the least of which is that mystery of how to monetize a formerly free service. Building ads into your network is the probably the most direct route. Personally I think they might be missing an opportunity to partner with their members in offering some kind of stock photography service or revenue share, but I digress.

Surprisingly, the post has well over 100,000 likes, which would initially indicate a “We Cool” response from the IG population, but the comments on the post read slightly differently. Crying? Check. Gnashing of teeth? You bet. Many laying the blame at the feet of Facebook, who bought up IG last year.

Growing pains are rough, so hopefully Instagram can weather theirs and deliver on their promises of expanding their service. Hit the photo below to read all the carnage…

American Society of Media Photographers warns of Facebook’s new Terms of Service and Privacy Policy

facebook camera iconWe keep dancing around this issue. Facebook needs to monetize somehow, and one avenue to explore is using the media being uploaded to Facebook and pairing it with advertisers. As of September 5th, Facebook’s new ToS has added the following passage:

You give us permission to use your name, and profile picture,content, and information in connection with commercial, sponsored, or related content (such as a brand you like) served or enhanced by us, subject to the limits you place. This means, for example, that you permit a business or other entity to pay us to display your name and/or profile picture with your content or information, without any compensation to you. If you have selected a specific audience for your content or information, we will respect your choice when we use it.

The strike-through is language being cut from the new ToS.

Which looks pretty damning. See those ads on the right hand side of the screen? See those sponsored posts? If you’ve got photos uploaded to Facebook, they can attach those pics to ads. You receive zero compensation for this ad enhancement. Regardless if Facebook actively pursues this kind of monetization or not, the fact that these ToS changes are always snuck in under our radars just makes the whole affair feel slimy and invasive.

And the bummer is FB is missing out on an opportunity to go semi-pro. If they were upfront with their users, and even offered some kind of partner or affiliate program, they’d probably have scores of people sign up. Facebook could single-handedly shut down all other stock photo and video sites on the web with the amount of photo and video traffic they receive.

Instead, now they look greedy and sneaky. A bad combo for the internet.

The ASMP site has an FAQ you can read if you’re concerned about Facebook’s new policy.