The Mobile Christmas Challenge
Sat quietly in a living room a man rubs his hands together.
With heating which rarely dares to rise above zero, doors which so badly fit their frame that near gale force gusts of freezing air blow through and clothes so tattered and torn that their heat-insulating qualities are negligible, you’d be forgiven for thinking this person lives on the bread line, with little funds in a creaking, near-dilapidated house.
But no, this man is one of the many worried about the recession just gone and the much talked about downturn ahead.
Worst of all for this sorry soul, Christmas beckons and in his wallet he finds nothing but dust and coppers.
But, at his most desperate moment, his phone vibrates. With shaking, reddened hands, he picks up his device and reads;
‘FROM: REALLY NICE NETWORK. Congratulations! For your loyalty we’ve decided to reward you with as many Christmas themed apps as your heart desires!’
Upon receipt of this out-of-the-blue message a thought bolts through this unfortunate man’s head. What if Christmas can be done not with trees, decorations, presents, cards, nativities and all the other trappings – what if it can be done entirely electronically?
With that thought his heart warms and his fingers begin tapping feverously.
Tapping into Really Nice Networks Mobile store our once-disheartened hero finds many apps to satiate his festive desires.
Who needs a costly tree sitting in a rarely used room when you can have a free live wallpaper application which you can take with you wherever you want to go?
With snow settings (ability to change quantity and speed), light settings (ability to change the colour, shape and number), tree type (standard, happy and frozen), sparkle settings (type and frequency) and sound settings (for that important Christmas atmosphere) our man chooses.
Christmas Tree Live Wallpaper by 1473labs.
On a high from his free Christmas tree purchase he searches the store for other decorations and finds many an application. With a tagline which claims to ‘enthral your pets, captivate your audience and cheer up your holidays’ he can’t wait to install Christmas Lights Live Wallpaper by Apple Turnover.
But he’s disappointed to see that the wallpaper replaces the one purchased earlier. Making the tough decision he sticks with his tree and turns off his animal enthralling lights. With a creeping despondency he wishes Father Christmas could bring him an augmented reality application which gives a live wallpaper of his room (taken from the camera) and fills in with his purchases so he could wander round his cold wasteland of a house but through his phone see a warm, fire lit Christmas winter wonderland.
Before self-doubt can set in once more he hears a knock on his door. After touching its freezing handle and opening it wide he immediately regrets his decision to answer.
In front of him stand ten or so well-to-do carol singers who, upon his arrival, erupt into song. Knowing they will ask for money or a donation to a good cause he quickly grabs his mobile and searches for a reason to move them on.
Finding the Christmas Carols and Songs app by GSMDEV he quickly switches it on, at full volume and states ‘Sorry, I’ve already got some carol singers, thanks,’ and closes the door.
Hearing murmurings from outside, he smiles. But his job is far from done. He has presents to purchase, a nativity to organise, food to prepare and much, much more.
But first he finally thinks of others and wonders how to get all his friends their Christmas cards.
After a quick search he finds the Christmas Postcards app by Wooza!
With facebook connectivity, photo upload, festive frames, editable messages, ability to save drafts and Wi-Fi connectivity (to save on data costs) the application provides him with all he needs to send his friends and family their Christmas greetings.
Christmas Advent Calendar
Finally, feeling tired from the cold and the work done so far, the man decides to look for only one more app today.
Remembering childhood chocolate eating fun he feels somewhat saddened that he can’t eat electrons and that binary numbers are tasteless in their efficiency – but still, he downloads the Christmas Calendar 2011 app by GoPal Appmaker.
Through each date-locked door he finds Christmas cheer which adds much needed happiness to the run up of his yuletide festivities.
On Thursday we’ll continue following our character on his electronic Christmas journey. Can he complete every Christmas essential using only his phone?