The Fonecast produces regular podcasts for the UK mobile phone industry. Its news review runs for approximately 30 minutes and is free to download. Separate in-depth features are also created regularly throughout the year. A number of advertising and promotional opportunities are available on the podcasts and also on the website. Please download the media pack (pdf) or listen to one of our podcasts to learn more.

In addition, the team behind The Fonecast are professional podcasters who can research, script, produce and present online broadcasts for your company, your organisation or your products. They’ll handle everything… including all the messy technical stuff.

To get in touch, please email info@thefonecast.com

Iain Graham

Iain Graham is the voice of The Fonecast. He’s a veteran of the mobile industry, having held senior positions with One2One (now T-Mobile) and Vodafone since the 1980s. Iain left his role as Vodafone’s Head of Indirect Business in 2005 to become a consultant and professional toastmaster. His sense of humour and no-nonsense attitude makes him the perfect person to host each edition of The Fonecast… and to work with your company.

James Rosewell

James Rosewell is the technical wizard who built The Fonecast web site and created his own easy-to-use podcast software. He started his career at the sharp end of technology, as a key member of a small team in a high-growth software start-up. James then spent 10 years with Vodafone, where he established a technology account management function that brought control to a £25m programme. He led the team of 100 people that replaced Vodafone’s Retail IT platform and grew service provision IT systems in line with Vodafone’s exponential expansion during the late 1990s. James passionately believes in the benefits mobile applications provide and is currently bringing those benefits to web developers through the open source project 51Degrees.

Mark Bridge

Mark Bridge is writer and podcast producer for The Fonecast. The rest of the time he’s a freelance writer who’s focussed on the mobile phone and IT industries. Mark has over 15 years’ experience working with fixed-line and mobile communications, beginning his career as a telephone engineer before finding sanctuary within the warmth of an office. As well as copywriting and consulting, he also turns up occasionally as the ‘gadget expert’ or 'mobile phone expert' on radio and TV. He’s committed to making technology easier to understand – through his writing, in his broadcasting and through his contribution to The Fonecast.

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Friday, December 18, 2020

Whatever happened to all my tech?

Mark Bridge revisits his mobile technology reviews

Mark Bridge writes:

Over the past few years I’ve bought a fair amount of mobile technology. I’ve also been lucky enough to be given some. But times flies – nowhere faster than in the tech sector – and yesterday’s best-selling handset can quickly find itself at the bottom of the recycling bin.

I’ve been taking a look back at the devices I’ve written about during the past few years. Some are still faithful companions, others... well, let’s just say my faith was misplaced.

Kapture audio-recording wristband
Let’s start with the biggest disappointment: 2015’s Kapture wristband. Launched on Kickstarter in 2013, it arrived late with a trail of broken promises. It recorded sound into a ‘buffer’ that was constantly overwritten. If you heard something you wanted to keep, you pressed a button on the watch-like device and it saved the last 60 seconds of audio to your smartphone. Cool or what?

The reality was just-about-adequate recording quality, the need for watch-wearers to attach a device to both wrists, a patchy app and a reliance on Kapture’s cloud service. When Kapture quietly slipped off the internet a few years ago, my recording wristwatch stopped working.

Apple iPhone 6
“Would you like to borrow an iPhone 6 for a few days?” asked Three UK. I did. It was unremarkable. Not bad, just not as good for me as the Android-based HTC phone I was using at the time.

Nomad ChargeCard
Battery life may not be as glamorous or as headline-grabbing as other features but it’s an essential. So when Nomad asked me to try a couple of their robust ultra-portable charging cables, they received a very enthusiastic reply. I liked the idea of the ChargeKey cable on my keyring, although eventually the microUSB plug started wearing through my pockets, which isn’t so practical. However, the Carabiner version seems much better – so I bought one as a gift.

HTC One M7
Oh, I loved my HTC One. Great design, great functionality, great annoyance when the camera started playing up, great delight when they fixed it. I’m currently rocking a Huawei P20 Pro, which I’d like a whole lot more if it hadn’t just fallen off the company’s list of supported devices. There’s nothing wrong with my phone after two years – except a potential lack of security patches for the operating system.

Barclaycard bPay wristband
Another departed piece of tech, although this one’s largely evolved rather than died. bPay was effectively a tiny contactless debit card embedded in a wristband (or assorted other handy devices, such as key fobs). It worked in association with your phone for checking purchases and adding money to the account. When most payment cards weren’t NFC-enabled, bPay made contactless payment a simple add-on for anyone who wanted it. Today, with most debit and credit cards able to handle contactless payments – and contactless payment supported by all major mobile operating systems – bPay has very much become a victim of its own success.

Philips Voice Tracer DVT6000 recording machine
I love this. I was sent it to review by Philips and was allowed to keep it afterwards, which is something of a rarity. What an absolute delight. It’s designed as a voice recorder – some people would call it a ‘dictation machine’, although the sound quality is much better than that description suggests. I always use it for interviews, either as a main recorder or a backup, and I’ve even used the automatic timer function to record the Dawn Chorus. Still as good as new, six years on.






Mark Bridge is a freelance writer who continues to invest unwisely in new technology. You can find him on Twitter @markbridge.
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