May 25, 2012

Mobile Phones Now and Then – a Little History Lesson

Posted in Just for fun, mobile news by Lisa Leitner

The mobile phone has accompanied us for about 30 years now. Within the last decades it has evolved from a means of simple communication to a personal assistant who facilitates our everyday life. Today, we can’t imagine a world without our beloved cell phones, let alone mobile internet, apps, built-in cameras and mp3-players.

Just a couple of days ago my 7-year-old nephew asked me: “What did you do with your iPhone before there was internet?” That’s when I decided to go back in time and tell a little history about the evolution of mobile phones. So read along, whether you are 7 and want to know where the iPhone comes from or you are 25+ and can still remember a time without apps and all the bells and whistles.

Evolution of mobile phones

Mobile phones now and then

1980s –the first generation of mobile phones

The early 1980s brought us the first generation of mobile phones. Believe it or not, back then the only purpose of the mobile phone was to make phone calls. This is how a cell phone looked some 30 years ago:


Motorola DynaTAC 8000X

Motorola DynaTAC 8000X

Here are some key facts of the Motorola DynaTAC 8000x:
Talk time: 1 hour
Standby time: 8 hours
Display: red LED
Memory: you were able to save 30 phone numbers
Weight: 790 g (28 oz)
Size: 250 mm long (10 in)
Input: 21 keys

Not very surprising, this phone was also called “The Brick”. Nowadays it may seem as if Motorola didn’t have any appreciation for design, however, the brick was considered revolutionary back then.

1990s –the rise of Nokia

In the 1990s mobile phones started to look very differently to their predecessors, following a trend to build tiny 100 – 200 g (3.5 – 7 oz) devices. There’s one handset many of you will remember from that time: the Nokia 3210.

Nokia 3210

Nokia 3210

Key facts of the Nokia 3210:
Talk time: 3 – 4.5 hours
Standby time: 55 – 260 hours
Display: backlit monochrome
Memory: 250 names in phonebook
Weight: 153 g (5.4 oz)
Size: 123.8 mm x 50.5 mm x 16.7 – 22.5 mm (4.9 in x 2 in x 0.6 – 0.9 in)
Input: 15 keys

Some changes are pretty obvious –size and weight shrunk enormously, it got a real display, fewer keys and battery lives improved. Also, mobile phones got some cutting-edge features, like an internal antenna, mobile games (Snake!) and SMS messaging. With its killer features the Nokia 3210 became one of the most popular mobile phones in history.

2000s – the smartphone revolution

The trend of making cell phones tinier and tinier lasted until the mid 2000s. Holding a teeny Sony Ericsson Z525a in 2006 I was making fun of huge phones, not knowing trend was about to teach me a lesson. A major event in the history of mobile phones lead to a fundamental change in size and look of devices: the launch of the first iPhone in 2007.


iPhone 2G

iPhone 2G

Key facts of the iPhone 2G:
Talk time: 8 hours
Standby time: 250 hours (that’s what Apple says)
Display: 3.5 in (88.9 mm) screen, 320 x 480 pixel resolution, multi-touch display, 18-bit LCD
Memory: 128 MB eDRAM
Storage capacity: 8 or 16 GB flash memory
Weight: 135 g (4.8 oz)
Size: 115 mm x 61 mm x 11.6 mm (4.5 in x 2.4 in x 0.5 in)
Input: 1 key, touchscreen
Connectivity: WiFi, Bluetooth
Rear camera: 2 megapixel

The release of the iPhone 2G was the start of the smartphone revolution. Apart from making phone calls and sending text messages, smartphones seemed to have nothing in common with mobile phones from the 1990s. The mobile phone of the late 2000s was a mini-computer, with which you could surf the internet and make use of apps. Furthermore it replaced your camera, your calendar, your mp3-player and your remote control. Suddenly all the other handset manufacturers started to build smartphones and the devices got bigger and bigger.

Mobile phones today

Today it gets harder and harder to tell cell phones and tablet computers apart. The newest member of the smartphone family is the Samsung Galaxy S III, announced on May 3rd in London.

Samsung Galaxy S III

Samsung Galaxy S III

Key facts of the Samsung Galaxy S III:
Talk time: 6 – 10 hours
Standby time: 24 – 50 hours (way more realistic than Apple’s 250 hours)
Display: 4.8 in (120 mm) screen, Super AMOLED, 1280×720 pixles, multi-touch, proximity sensor, scratch resistant glass
Memory: 1 GB RAM
Storage capacity: 16/32/64 GB flash memory
Weight: 133 g (4.7 oz)
Size: 136.6 mm x 70.6 mm x 8.6 mm (5.4 in x 2.8 in x 0.34 in)
Input: 1 key, touchscreen, voice recognition
Connectivity: WiFi, Bluetooth, 4G, NFC
Rear camera: 8 megapixel
Front camera: 1.9 megapixel

Obviously, over the years design and usability have become very important to the mobile industry. Technical improvements are impressive. Pictures you take with your new Samsung Galaxy S III are of a higher quality than those you took with your Canon Ixus a few years ago. Also, the performance of today’s mobile phones is stronger than those of computers we used a decade ago. The only real disadvantage that’s involved is the poor battery life. So there’s still room for improvement.


Anyway, it’s for sure that the evolution of mobile phones has turned out pretty great so far. Our smartphones are great assistants, who we can even talk to now. So all that’s left to say is: A world without a mobile phone is possible, but pointless 😉

May 3, 2012

Wanna test our new mysms Messenger for iOS?

Posted in mysms news by mysms

Maybe you’ve already heard the rumours about us developing a new mysms app for iPhone. Well, now the beta version of our mysms Messenger for iOS is here. And it rocks!

Together with the German tech blog BestBoyZ we’re organizing a closed beta-test for you. Have a look at the features of mysms Messenger and sign up for a beta version at BestBoyZ latest blogpost. But watch out: only the first 50 will get access to our closed beta-test! So, hurry up 🙂


mysms Messenger beta version

mysms Messenger for iOS (beta)

April 18, 2012

Solution to the Contact Sync Issue

Posted in mysms news by mysms

Lately we’ve got several requests from our users claiming that some of their contacts are not synchronized to the mysms web app. You might have already recognized this problem. In some cases numbers are shown instead of contact names in your mysms web app. Or you might not be able to find your contact when you’re sending a new message from the web.

The source of this issue lies outside of mysms, in your contact app on your Android. In order to guard against confusion we’d like to give you a step by step solution on how to get all your contacts to all your mysms apps.

mysms sync Android web app


It’s important to know that we only sync those contacts to your mysms Facebook, tablet, desktop and web app that are visible in the contact list of your mysms Android app.

  • So first of all, please check if a certain contact (you think is missing in the web app) is in your mysms contact list.
  • You can do this by clicking on the “New Text” icon in your mysms Android app,
  • and entering your contact’s name. If you can’t find it, it is not in your contact list.

contacts sync mysms

check your contacts on mysms

If this is the case, your contact is probably not visible in your contact app either. Please do the following:

  • Open the contact app on your Android
  • Go to “Settings”, “Contacts to display” and activate the contacts that you would like to display (e.g. Google, phone and sim).
  • After activating the missing contacts, they will be visible in your mysms Android app.
  • Perform a manual sync and your contacts will be synchronized to your mysms Facebook, tablet, desktop and web app.


choose contacts to display

choose contacts to display


We hope this guide helps you solve your contact sync issue. If there’s anything else that bugs you or you’ve got a question or idea for us, please let us know on our mysms GetSatisfaction Feedback Page. We appreciate your feedback a lot and are happy to integrate your ideas into future product developments!

April 12, 2012

New Style – mysms gets an Ice Cream Sandwich Look

Posted in mysms news by mysms

Earlier this year Google issued an Ice Cream Sandwich style guide and all Android developers all over the world breathed a sigh of relief! Finally the days of adapting apps for every existing end device are over. I can tell you we put lots of effort and nerves in adjusting mysms to all the different screen sizes and color schemes out there.

Ice Cream Sandwich Style Guide Android mysms

Google’s guide aims to be a place where developers can “learn about principles, building blocks, and patterns for creating world-class Android user interfaces.” Android is spread across many device manufacturers, who sell dozens of different devices, each with another hardware, display and size. Also, there are thousands of developers who used to create apps in a way they viewed as the best one. You can imagine what a design chaos existed without a style guide.


We’re happy about Google’s new style guide and are pleased to let you know, what changes we made in the mysms Ice Cream Sandwich version:


1) Discover the Action Bar

mysms action bar

mysms action bar

As you can see in the screenshots, you can now find an action bar on the very top. Also, we moved some items of the menu to the action bar. To see your possible actions, tab and hold a single or multiple conversations and they appear in the new Android style.


2) Know what to expect from an Icon

mysms android icons

mysms icons - ICS style

Throughout mysms for Android we use exclusively original Android icons, because we believe that design elements like icons have a grand recognition value. As a user you will instinctively know what to expect from a certain icon, as it will have the same function in all your apps.


3) Check out fresh Colors, Patterns & Buttons

mysms colors, patterns, buttons

colors, patterns and buttons in a new look

We also adjusted the colors, buttons and patterns in your mysms app. Again, we stuck to Google’s color schemes and standard ICS shapes. Buttons, windows and checkboxes are more angular now. Furthermore, the settings got a complete redesign. Its look is more coherent and stylish now, don’t you think?


4) Enjoy stylish Dialog Windows

mysms dialog windows

windows - ICS style

Similar to the rest of the styles defined by Google, our dialog windows got a little more angular. Additionally we gave them a new header style, of course, according to Google’s guide. You can see it for example in your pop-up or the attachment window.


All in all, these are the most significant changes we made when we adjusted mysms to Google’s new style guide for Ice Cream Sandwich. If you use Android 4.0 or higher, please get the updated version of mysms for Android on Google Play and let us know how you like it in the comments.


April 6, 2012

Google’s Top 8 Easter Eggs, Tricks and Hoaxes

Posted in Just for fun by afeiner

What’s your favorite thing about Easter? Is it the first bite of your chocolate bunny (I’d take the ears of course), or maybe going to an egg hunt? I think the best Easter eggs can’t be found in a basket. They are unexpected, hidden gifts that Google surprises us with every now and then. New Easter eggs do not pop up often, so we decided to show you some classics we love.

Easter egg hunt... on Google

Easter egg hunt... on Google

8. Hexadecimal and Binary

What you need to do: Go to Google and enter “Hexadecimal”.

What you get: The number of results is shown in that format. Hexidecimal is a number system that uses the numbers 0 to 9 and the letters from A to F. If the number of results shows 0x16b28c0 that means 23,800,000 web pages have been found for your query.

If you’ve liked this one, also try “Binary”.


7. Once in a blue moon

What you need to do: Search for “once in a blue moon”

What you get: Google reveals the mathematical value. Similar to this one is “number of horns on a unicorn”, and “the loneliest number”. And of course, if you are a fan of Douglas Adam’s novel The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, type in “the answer to life, the universe, and everything” which equals 42.


More than just words - Google reveals the "real" value of certain phrases

More than words - Google reveals the "real" value of certain phrases


6. Pacman

What you need to do: Go to and start playing!

What you get: It’s not really an Easter egg, but still deserves to be mentioned here. Go back in time and enjoy. Btw, Google showed this page to honor the 30th birthday of the game.


5. Recursion

What you need to do: Go to Google and enter “recursion”

What you get: The spelling check “Did you mean” will show the exact same word “recursion”. If you click on it again and again, Google will keep on displaying it.

MathWorld describes a recursive process as one in which an object is defined in terms of other object of the same type.


Google helps us understand recursion

Google helps us understand recursion

4. Google Sphere

What you need to do: Search for “Google Sphere” and click on “I’m Feeling Lucky”.

What you get: Google Sphere transforms the whole web page to a ball or sphere. If you move your cursor, the whole interface moves too. What I find really cool is that you can still search for images. However it gets a bit harder to find the search button. 😉


3. Do a Barrel Roll

What you need to do: Enter “do a barrel roll” in Google

What you get: Simply go for it and try it yourself! The barrel roll is named after an aircraft maneuver in which the airplane carries out a complete rotation.


A barrel roll is sometimes descricbed to as "a combination of a loop and a roll"

A barrel roll is sometimes descricbed to as "a combination of a loop and a roll"


2. Tilt or Askew

What you need to do: Type in “tilt” or “askew” and hit enter.

What you get: See the screen tilt to the right.


1. Google Gravity

What you need to do: Search for “Google Gravity” and click on “I’m Feeling Lucky”.

What you get: You see Google really has Gravity. But still, all functions are working.


Gravity is everywhere

Gravity is everywhere


What are your personal favorite Easter eggs? Did we miss out on a great one? Let us know in the comments!


PS: Some tricks might only work on If you get redirected automatically enter for no country redirection.