Well, July is already half way over (not to mention 2009), but hopefully this month you’ve noticed people have been a little more thoughtful while using their mobile handsets. We’ve been reminded this week that July is cell phone courtesy month. I’m not really sure who comes up with most of these things, but in this case it was the brainchild of author and etiquette expert Jacqueline Whitmore.
Honestly, I (probably like many people) have mixed feelings about advice offered by so-called etiquette experts. I’m sorry Miss Manners and the rest, but does some university actually offer a masters degree in behavior? Maybe I’m being rude for even asking, but Whitmore does have a point. Fortunately, most of the etiquette rules offered by Whitmore make sense (the list is available online from PR Leap), let’s just hope the courtesy doesn’t end when the calendar flips to August.
Samsung has introduced a new handset for T-Mobile users, and this one really does live up to the feature phone moniker. It offers a full touch-screen display for Web browsing, as well as a 3-megapixel digital camera. It can take advantage of T-Mobile’s 3G network, and includes options such as Yahoo! OneSearch and access to live news feeds via the web2go widget.
This handset is now available for $149.99 with a two-year service agreement and qualifying data plan. So if you’re not ready to step up to a true smartphone, this could be a smart alternative.
Key features to highlight about the Samsung Highlight:
- Support for SMS, MMS, instant messaging (IM) and e-mail IM support (AIM, Windows Live Messenger, Yahoo! Messenger)
- E-mail support: AOL, Yahoo!, additional POP3 accounts
- 3-megapixel camera with 3x digital zoom and video capture
- Stereo Bluetooth
- microSD slot for up to 16GB of optional removable memory
- ?Music player supports Mp3, WMA, AAC, AAC and eAAC
- ?Complete Web access through T-Mobile web2go
- ?A-GPS with TeleNav
- ?Quad-band GSM world phone (850/900/1800/1900 MHz)
Yahoo Opts Out
If you’re one of those people who find cookies annoying—and by that I mean the type used by Web sites to keep track of your movements, as opposed to the tasty snack food—you probably already know that the mobile phone offers the ability for you to be tracked. This is because mobile handsets are often much more of a personal item than a computer these days, and the devices can be used on the go. And unlike on the traditional Web, many sites and mobile apps don’t give you the option to opt out about your behavior being monitored.
All this has made it attractive for companies to track your movements. But there is hope. This week Yahoo! announced that it has introduced a new feature that will allow users to opt out of behavioral targeting on marketing devices. The company even issued a statement that essentially said that it believes that users should have the same privacy protection that they’d find on the PC.
Personally, I expect this to be an ongoing issue. Mobile ads are increasingly important as a form of revenue given that so much of the mobile Web will likely remain free, while many apps are also revenue based. Part of the behavioral monitoring is to send more “targeted” messaging to users. Of course, there is no easy answer and probably no easy fix. But it is good to know that the ability to opt out, and regain some privacy is now available.