Sam Davyson

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Salesforce Spring ’14 Pre-Release

20/12/13 - 00.40

Salesforce Spring ’14 Sandboxes are available now at this form.

Salesforce had a big release of Salesforce1 outside of its normal release schedule – so this release may be lighter on changes.

Features noticed so far:

  • New object – Orders, Order Products
  • New settings page – session management. Abort sessions
  • New settings page – file type download settings
  • Chatter – endorse people for topics – can not endorse yourself
  • Chatter – follow topics
  • Topics for Objects – a revamp of tags –> can use topics in list views…
  • Chatter – group settings – you can edit a page layout for a group – don’t know where this shows up. Also has related list – members and group files. No way to add fields.
  • Chatter – apply custom branding to Chatter emails.
December 20th, 2013 - 12.40 AM | 1 Comment »

Salesforce Summer ’13 Pre-Release

17/04/13 - 04.01

Salesforce Summer ’13 sandboxes are now available via filling in this form.

The release notes are still not available. Here’s a quick list of what I’ve noticed thats new so far:

  • New Login screen – see it here

New Login Screen Summer '13

  • New settings UI for personal settings – even admins see this from the Your Name > Settings link. Accessing setup has now moved to a “Setup” link next to your name.

New My Settings UI

  • Chatter Communities – this is not generally available. It can be enabled from Your Name > Customise > Chatter. Doing so is irreversible and adds the black bar at the top of all pages to switch between Chatter Communities and your internal org.
  • Setup menu has been reorganised  into Administer, Build and Monitor. Mostly the same subsections though.
  • Chatter Actions – enable you to create records (or it seems standard objects only) or to show a visualforce page (covering any other sort of action) right in the Chatter feed. I imagine this is going to be really useful for making doing things faster in Salesforce overall.

Chatter Actions

  • New Domain Management section in the setup.
  • New Developer Console – see this review - this is not working in the org I have.
  • Canvas App Previewer is generally available.
  • Reordering for app menu items.
  • New “Topics” in Chatter.
  • New Data Import Wizard which can load Accounts & Contacts together.

Data Import Wizard

That’s all I’ve spotted so far – obviously there will be many more new features that will become clear when the release notes come out.

April 17th, 2013 - 4.01 AM | 1 Comment »

Hope for Windows Phone + Nokia

15/04/12 - 18.37

I overheard a youngish Canadian couple on a flight the other day. They are browsing the International Herald Tribune and spotted a mention of David Pogue’s Lumina 900 review on the front cover. Flicking to the page the woman read aloud:

“It’s the Lumia 900. It’s beautiful, fast and powerful, and it’s only $100 (with a two-year AT&T contract). That’s half the price of an iPhone or a comparable Android phone — but you’re still getting a top-of-the-line machine.”

The woman went on to say:

“Maybe that’s what I should get – I’ve been wanting to get a smartphone soon – and only $100″

I think this sort of customer is exactly what Microsoft and Nokia are aiming at. In Europe Nokia still have a decent chunk of people who use Nokia non-smartphones who will soon be thinking about getting their first smartphone. This could be enough to get the user base required for application developers to not dismiss the platform.

What I don’t understand is why people are fooled by the upfront price of a smartphone. The vast majority of the cost of any of these smartphones is of course in the ongoing monthly cost. $100 vs $200 is no where near half of the overall price. Obviously though people are fooled by it – which makes it a great marketing strategy.

Although Pogue rightly mentions the contract immediately after he cites the price in parentheses the next sentence begins “That’s half the price of an iPhone…” which just reinforces the myth that smartphones cost in the region of a couple of hundred dollars.

April 15th, 2012 - 6.37 PM | No Comments »

Travel Art Film Music Food 29/02/12 - 00.36

A brand new Tumblr blog by Lizzie. Its looking really great.


Problems in the Android Market

14/02/11 - 00.38

You hear many people say that the Android Market isn’t nearly as good Apple’s App Store. People used to compete on numbers – but whilst Apple still wins that race – the numbers are so high in both stores that the number of apps has stopped being a good metric. Instead the issues with the Android Market come down to the quality of the experience using it and the quality of the apps. In this post I want to focus on the experience of using the Market itself. Recently the Market has been redesigned somewhat but for me there is still a lot of work to be done. For reference I had an iPhone 3G for a couple of years and have now been using a HTC Desire (Android 2.2) for about a year.

When I have tried to think exactly what it is about the experience that lags behind Apple it has been surprising that although Android is made by Google the area that they most struggle in seems to be search.

I have been aware of these issues for a while, but the difficulties there in taking screenshots on Android devices has made these things hard to catalog until the recent launch of the Android Market website. The search results are in my tests the same on my device as when I use the Market website – although I think it is possible that the search results would slightly differ when using your handset, so to exclude those apps that can’t be run on your phone.

Here is an example of how broken the search is:

Facebook Android Market Results

As you can see Facebook for Android is number 2 in the search results for Facebook. That’s fair enough, but look what it is second to. Radiant HD – which is a game. This is the game’s description:

Take your stand against the alien horde in a vibrant space shooter.

VALENTINE’S SALE – 50% OFF

Take your stand against the alien horde in a pure arcade/action space shooter.
Cut through hundreds of creeps to face giant monsters in unique bossfights. Collect special weapons and power-ups, upgrade your ship and save your homeworld!

Relive the classics revamped.

Later on in the description it does mention Facebook as some sort of shared high scores experience. It is not relevant though – and it is certainly not in the top 10 Facebook related apps in the market. I noticed a similar thing for Twitter – although the official app is number 1 on the first page of results (in the first 12 results):

1 Twitter
2 Plume Premium for Twitter
3 TWIDROYD PRO for Twitter
4 TweetCaster Pro for Twitter
5 The Moron Test
6 Skyfire Web Browser 3.0
7 ZENONIA® 2
8 TweetCaster for Twitter
9 Paper Toss
10 UNO
11 Radiant HD
12 Extended Controls

Seven of the 12 are not Twitter apps! And Tweekdeck – a popular Twitter client across many platforms is listed all the way down at position 61! What absolute nonsense!

I created a little tool so you can easily see how bad the Android Market search results are. It allows you to search for a string within the search results of a particular term. E.g. Searching for ‘Tweetdeck’ in the results for ‘Twitter’ shows you that it appears at number 61. Take a look here – Search within Android Market results.

What other crazy results can you find in search results from the world’s leading search engine?

February 14th, 2011 - 12.38 AM | No Comments »

The end of iTunes: Spotify is the next generation 27/04/10 - 12.12

Spotify launched a big updated to their desktop software today with a focus on social.

To kick it off we’ve added a number of social features, centered on a fully editable Spotify music profile, with the ability to publish playlists, top artists and top tracks for public view. Discovering these profiles is simple as we’ve connected with Facebook so that you can instantly add your friends’ profiles.

As well as introducing a variety of new social features, Spotify is evolving into a total music management platform. We’ve added a ‘Library’ folder in the left side bar, enabling you to combine your own music library with ours.

It is a shame that they have integrated with Facebook on this but I guess it is the done thing these days. Crucially you don’t have to have anything to do with Facebook to take advantage of the new features. You can add new friends by searching for them using the syntax:

spotify:user:username

You can now send friends songs, browse their playlists, and subscribe to them. Add to this you can now play local music within Spotify and it will be wirelessly synced to your mobile device!

iTunes: Game over.


Determine which political party best matches your ideas

12/04/10 - 01.49

There are numerous websites that present you with policies and allow you to answer a series to questions leading to them revealing who they think you should vote for in the UK 2010 General Election.

#1  How To Vote – link

#2  Who Should you Vote For – link

#3 Active History – link

#4 Vote Match – link

#5 Select Smart – link

#6 Vote For Policies – link

See what you get. You may be surprised.

April 12th, 2010 - 1.49 AM | No Comments »

T Mobile’s HTC Desire pricing: sensational

22/03/10 - 18.46

T-Mobile have released their pricing for the HTC Desire and it’s absolutely sensational. This is exactly what was needed. I can only hope that other networks will follow suit with similarly competitive deals.

T-Mobile allow you to specify how much you’d like to pay a month from £10-£40. And then it neatly gives you the plans that fit your budget. They are pushing a £35 / month x 24 months contract with a free handset but it’s really not their best deal. In fact it’s their overall most expensive deal.

All contracts include:

  • one flexible booster which you can use to get unlimited texts or unlimited landline calls or various other boosters. This is on top of the allowances listed in the table.
  • “Unlimited internet” – capped at 3 GB / month.

Here are all of the plans and their total costs calculated. Click the header of any column to sort it by that column.

Monthly Cost Upfront Cost Mins Texts Length Total Cost
£10 £164 100 100 24 months £404
£15 £164 100 100 18 months £434
£15 £129 300 300 24 months £489
£15 £95 100 100 24 months £455
£20 £129 300 300 18 months £489
£20 £129 600 500 24 months £609
£20 £95 100 100 18 months £455
£20 £95 300 300 24 months £575
£25 £129 600 500 18 months £579
£25 £95 900 500 24 months £695
£25 £95 300 300 18 months £545
£25 £60 600 500 24 months £660
£30 £95 900 500 18 months £635
£30 £60 900 500 24 months £780
£30 £60 600 500 18 months £600
£35 £60 900 500 18 months £690
£35 £0 1200 500 24 months £840
£40 £0 1200 500 18 months £720

Some of the pricing seems to me somewhat strange. E.g. Comparing all of the contracts where you get 600 minutes and 500 texts. There are two which last 18 months and one which lasts 24 months. The difference in overall costs between the 3 contracts is minimal: they cost £579 (18 x £25/month), £600 (18 x £30/month) and £609 (24 x £20/month). The first two are identical but there is a £21 difference depending on how you choose to pay for it. The final one gives you 6 months more of the contract for £9 extra.

How do these compare to buying the phone outright?

The phone is £439 on Amazon.co.uk. It is cheaper to buy the phone on either the £10 or £15 a month contracts (costing £404 and £434) and as a bonus you’ll get some minutes each month. You may not choose to use them – but you can pop another SIM card in and do pay as you go or whatever. You’ll have to pay out the entire contract but this cost is less than buying the phone outright.

How do these compare to iPhone tariffs?

Despite the outright buying price being very similar to the iPhone these contract tariffs are much cheaper than iPhone tariffs. A comparable deal on the iPhone (from O2) to one of those listed here is: 8 GB iPhone 3GS with 600 mins and unlimited texts. For 18 month contract you pay £40 / month and pay £89 upfront for the phone. That’s £809. The same deal on T Mobile with the HTC Desire is £579 (£25 / month x 18 months + £129 up front). Or for 24 month contracts O2 have the same deal (600 mins / unlimited texts) for £929. Which on T Mobile is £609. Obviously there are a lot of tariffs so you can compare all day. But like for like tariffs can be more than £300 cheaper over 24 months.

March 22nd, 2010 - 6.46 PM | No Comments »

New website for Will Barter 20/03/10 - 19.19

I’m not sure how long this has been up – not too long I don’t think – but a friend of mine has made himself an online home. I was proud to get a mention and I look forward to future postings.


HTC Desire early pricing: probably too high 15/03/10 - 11.38

T mobile have become the first network to announce their HTC Desire pricing which is due to launch on their network in the next coupe of weeks (and every other UK network several weeks after that). Multiple networks from the word go should help to drive down prices. T mobile’s lowest tariff with data is £30 / month x 24 months with 900 mins and 500 texts. Total cost: £720.

Buying the phone outright is £440. With a suitable sim only tariff from any of the main networks you can get unlimited internet and plenty of texts and minutes on a rolling contract for £20 / month. Over 24 months the total cost of ownership comes to £440 + (24 x £20) = £920. So you save £200 by taking the contract with T mobile. This is the price that you are paying to lose the freedom of a rolling contract.

Of course the contract price should be less than the price with a rolling contract: each network wants you to commit for a good length of time to their network. Hopefully tariffs from O2, Vodafone and Orange will lower prices a bit more. Ideally an 18 month contract for £30 / month with unlimited internet.

I can’t help but thinking these prices are a little too high to differentiate from the iPhone. There need to be cheaper and good smartphones.