Ok, continuing our series of interviews, I’ve got Doug Smith the owner of TiltMobilty.com and FuzeMobility.com. I actually know Doug personally, as I write for his sites whenever I get some spare time, and I’ve come to find he’s an all around great guy with a passion for cell phones and all things mobility that borders on obsessive. That’s a good thing though, as he knows quite a bit about them and likes to share his information and knowledge with others.
So read on to meet Doug and learned more about his sites…
Q: First off, can you tell us a bit, in your own words, about Tilt Mobility and Fuze Mobility?
A: Tilt Mobility is a website completely dedicated to the AT&T Tilt & the HTC TyTN II, which is also known as the Kaiser. The idea behind this "niche" website was to build a community where people could come and get all of the information they needed about the device they actually owned, and not have to dig through hundreds of articles written about the iPhone and RIM devices (Blackberries). I also envisioned a forum where people of all knowledge levels could come and ask questions without fear of being "flamed" by people with more experience and greater knowledge levels. Fuze Mobility is just the next evolution from Tilt Mobility covering everything about the AT&T Fuze & HTC Touch Pro, which again is also known as the Raphael. Fuze Mobility offers all of the same features and benefits as Tilt Mobiliy, just with a different device.
Q: I know you used to write for TiltSite and other Mobility sites, but now you’ve got two of your own sites,is being a site owner all that you expected?
A: No! It is a lot more work! Seriously though, it is very gratifying to read all of the comments, emails, and forum posts where people are excited because they got the information they needed to maximize the performance of their device. This is what Tilt Mobility and Fuze Mobility are all about, sorting out all of the information available and presenting it in a easier and more organized way for people to enjoy their device.
Q: Do you have any big plans in the works for either site? Or are you going to continue doing what you’re doing?
A: No, Tilt Mobility & Fuze Mobility will continue to bring our readers all of the latest and greatest tips and tricks available for the AT&T Tilt/HTC TyTN II as well as the AT&T Fuze/HTC Touch Pro. Nothing will ever change there. Other websites may stop writing about the Tilt/TyTN II because it has been superceded by the Fuze/Touch Pro, but we feel it is still a powerful device that will maintain a strong following for quite some time to come. My team and I do have some Big Plans in the near future with a new website called PPC Mobility. PPC Mobility will have a broader reach in the Mobility Market but still maintain a focused look at Windows Mobile Professional Devices. There is so much overlap with the information we provide that pertains to the Tilt/TyTN II and the Fuze?Touch Pro that we feel widening the scope of this website and using the articles from both sites would be of value to a greater audience. Speaking for myself as a huge Mobility Enthusiast, I would love to write about the HTC Touch HD for example, but it does not lend itself to either website. This will give our writers as well as myself latitude to write about other devices as well.
Q: What’s an average day like for you?
A: Alarm on my Fuze goes off at 6:15am and again at 6:30am. I get up and check my emails from over night. Usually there are about 20 site related emails/alerts I look at.Get the kids and wife up and out the door to school. I then pack my laptop/devices and off to work. Once at work, I check all my websites and read through all of the comments that were posted. I Check the Websites stats and move on to forums. Read/Answer as many posts as I can and move on to replying to emails. From there it is on to my RSS Feeds. I usually skim through the 50-60 or so I try to keep up with. Highlight any of interest to come back and write about. From there I head over to XDA-Developers and check the Raphael and Kaiser forums to see what is new and interesting. I prioritize and start writing articles. Once that’s done I email our Team and let them know about what ever is going or get their feedback on a multitude of issues. I almost always get one or all of their input on important issues. I do this several times throughout the day as I am working at my day job. I leave work about 5:30pm to 6:00pm and spend the evening uninterrupted with my family. The kids are in bed about 9:00pm on weekdays and the wife falls asleep about 10-10:30pm. I get back online and repeat basically the same morning process until at least 1:00am and often times much later. 4-5 hours sleep, back at it again the next day. The only difference is on Tuesdays I now start preparing for our podcast on Thursday. I try to find guests and write up the topics for the podcast. We know are taking readers questions so I have to research and answer them too. Wednesday Night the Podcast Prep is emailed out and we try to record sometime Thrursday. Once completed I upload the raw podcast to our server and Patrick,who is one of our Admins, does all the engineering and editing. He does an excellent job! That is about as basic as it gets, but most days is flying by the seat of my pants!
Q: Which do you like better the Tilt or the Fuze since you’ve got a chance to play with both of them?
A: I like them both actually. The Tilt is very special to me because that is the device that kicked off my websites. It is also in my opinion the first "true" converged device. I love the Tilt Screen and the GPS! It has been and still is an impressive device. The Fuze is in it’s infancy. There will be so much done to it that will dramatically improve the Stock Performance. The VGA screen is very impressive and the Camera is absolutely wonderful. I will say it is taking some getting used to not having the buttons and D-Pad like on the Tilt. But the Fuze is a highly refined device that is as impressive to look at as it is performing. To prove my point, the Touch Pro has been picked up by almost all of the major carriers here in the US and Canada! No other high end device has had that kind Carrier Support before. I believe the Fuze/Touch Pro will outsell any other Windows Mobile Device here in the United States.
Q: There’s all kinds of mobile related sites out there, What do you feel makes your sites unique? Why should people visit your sites?
A: As far as I know Tilt Mobility and Fuze Mobility are the only websites available where someone can come and get all of the information they need to improve the performance of their specific device. With our Forums really starting to take off and now a weekly podcast dedicated to the two devices, we really have a lot to offer the Tilt/TyTN II & Fuze/Touch Pro device owner. All of the Tilt Mobility and Fuze Mobility Staff feel strongly that we need to evangelize Windows Mobile Devices to new and inexperienced audiences to try to grow the enthusiasm we have for the devices. This will only guarantee that the platform will not only continue, but flourish with new development from Manufacturers and Developers.
Q: Out of all the phones you’ve owned which is your favorite? and why, what makes it your favorite?
A: This is hard to decide, but it has to be the Fuze. Almost any Windows Mobile Device will function well as PDA. But our devices have evolved into so much more than just Personal Data Assistants. They are sought after to provide rich multimedia entertainment and stay connected with real time information be it emails or news. While it is no secret that web browsing remains the Achilles heel for Windows Mobile Devices, we are ready with the most powerful devices on the market to make use of new and innovative software to provide that rich multimedia experience that we want out of our devices. With applications like Skyfire that offer a full Desktop PC Browsing experience, Highly Sophisticated GPS capabilities, excellent camera and video capturing hardware on board, Slide Out Keyboards, and rich VGA Screens, these are the things that I want in my device. And at this moment, no other device can compete with the Fuze across the board here in the United States.That’s why the Fuze/Touch Pro is the Ultimate Converged Device in my opinion and my Favorite Device so far.
Q: Where do you see cellphones in a year? Five years? Ten years?
A: With 4G Networks around the corner, I would be surprised if anyone remained in an area without High Speed Data, no matter how rural they are. With that being said, I think Media Content will be like never before. Seamless video flowing to your device with up to the minute weather and news available with easy touch navigation. The power of Mobile Devices will continue to improve and battery life will hopefully not be the same issue it is today. I think you will see the business class carry only their Mobile Device and plug into a clone PC and Monitors in Hotels and be able to be 100% productive as though they were sitting in the Office. I believe we are already on the forefront of technology, but refinements to Network Carriers, and just the shear power of the Pocket PC will dramatically improve.
Q: What features do you see coming? and what features would you like to see in a cellphone, basically if you designed the perfect phone for you, what would it be like?
A: The perfect device for me would be the HTC Touch HD "Pro". It’s a rumored device with an edited photo we all published. That would be the Ultimate device. Add to it more Storage and Program memory and we got ourselves and iPhone killer!
Q: What tips can you offer readers when it comes to purchasing a phone?
A: I would first figure out what your needs are and then what device will suit those needs. Then read all there is to know about the device before making your purchase. Today’s Mobile Devices are not cheap. You need to make a well educated choice before you buy a 500-600 dollar device without a service agreement, or spend 300 dollars and the next 2 years of your life battling a phone that is way more complicated than you thought.
Q: Finally what do you think of sites like TestFreaks that aggregates and analyzes a large number of reviews?
A: I think that they offer readers a wide array of different reviews to help them determine if that device best suits their needs. I like the depth of the Test Freaks website and resources because every time I visit I find a new gadget I have got to buy!