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An Easier Interface for Cell Phones

Techstination feature for Thursday, January 18, 2007

An easier interface for cell phones. Bloomberg Boot Camp, a report on today's technology. From ringtones to games to TV clips….all kinds of services are available on your cell phone. But most people don't use them. They've simply been too complicated for many….according to Scott Moody, director of multimedia content at Alltel. With 12 million customers in 36 states…Alltel is the fifth largest wireless carrier in the U.S.. And what the company has come up with is a new software interface for its phones….called CellTop….

"CellTop is a collection of cells where each cell would be its own vignette of information. So we've got a weather cell that will show you the weather in your area currently and allow you to switch between areas. We've got a call log cell that'll show you your last five incoming or outgoing or missed calls and allow you to respond to those. We have sports cells, we have news cells. The point of CellTop is that it surfaces all this information up to kind of the highest level on your phone and makes it easy for you to see."

And the plan is to open up the interface to third parties to create content cells for phones….

"Alltel believes that the developer community will be infinitely more creative about the development of cells than we have been with our first collection of ten."

The menus are easier to use than what's been out there so far. Alltel will benefit if customers start using more data…and sign up for data plans in addition to voice service. Bloomberg Boot Camp, I'm Fred Fishkin.