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Summary:

SoonR is one of the companies I wrote about today in The Wireless Report on the Business 2.0 website. SoonR Desktop Agent is a tiny piece of software, aka one of the Google Sidebars that lets you Google your desktop from a mobile phone. You can […]

soonr SoonR is one of the companies I wrote about today in The Wireless Report on the Business 2.0 website. SoonR Desktop Agent is a tiny piece of software, aka one of the Google Sidebars that lets you Google your desktop from a mobile phone. You can view or share any of the results that you discover right from your phone.

With nearly 100 million potential customers on the horizon, startups like SoonR, a firm based in Menlo Park, Calif., are developing software applications for smartphone users. SoonR’s technology allows users to access their Windows PCs and run Google’s desktop search tool wirelessly. They can read documents, reply to Microsoft Outlook e-mail, look at photographs, and even share them with others. All that’s required is a phone with a built-in browser. While SoonR’s software also works on the slower 2G and 2.5G networks, it only becomes truly useful over faster 3G connections.


soonrThe company was started by CEO Martin Frid-Nielsen and other Silicon Valley veterans, some of them who trace their roots back to Borland Software. That’s old school! SoonR fit the place shifting theme I have been writing about for months now including companies like Orb, Avenu and Sling Media which all could be potential competitors. But these guys are pretty focused on the mobile handsets, especially those with higher speed connections. It would be cool to see this technology extended to other PC platforms like OS-X and Linux. I am sure in time that will come. It better!

The company currently offers a basic plan for free (limited to 20 SMS messages), and will offer a premium version of their service once they go out of beta. The premium service will include features like caching of predetermined folders/or files you are working on in the cloud. Just in case your connection crashes, or your home machine goes kaput. (How it works!)

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  1. Nice job, SoonR guys!

    I was up and running in no time and it all worked as promised. I am sure it will look a lot slicker once out of beta or as the company has the time to beef up the UI (especially on the mobile), but it works.

    Although the ‘save’ option is not provided by SoonR on the mobile, it’s possible to save images or audio files, depending on your carrier (if in U.S.) and device type.

    If interested, put me in your contact list on SoonR … my handle is, naturally, ‘kaveh’ :)

  2. This requires gprs or does it work without that? If it works with gprs, why is SMS mentioned?

  3. it works with gprs but it is so slow. SMS is mostly for notifications and starting sessions etc. it is SMS based navigation, which is pretty cool.

  4. Martin Frid-Nielsen Tuesday, October 25, 2005

    SoonR will use whatever open communications standards are available on the device – such as the browser, instant messaging, sms, mms etc. Currently sms is primarily used for alerts or group communication, across carriers worldwide, SoonR currently supports about 130 different devices.

  5. Om, I’ve gotta call you out on this one. Please show me the value which you so grandly hype. Tell me you used this and it worked.

    Accessing your desktop over a WAP/phone browser connection? Sharing photos, files with friends? Via a WAP connection? OM, have you really tried this application?

    Maybe it will work better when 3G is here, and fully deployed, so you can get that vaunted 128 connection to your phones–and that will be in a few months, right?

  6. Stu, as far as I am concerned, and if you read the article, i clearly state this is a value proposition for people who have 3g connections. On an EVDO phone it works well. I used a Sprint phone, and it worked fine for me. the value is basically getting files off your desktop, when you are not at home and remotely.

  7. Disclaimer: I am affiliated with SoonR. I wanted to post a comment regarding non 3G phones. SoonR was designed to perform very well on “older” generation phones. The sharing of photos works very well and SoonR will adapt to lower bandwidth devices. We have spent a lot of time making sure you can use SoonR with Blackberry, RazR, and any other phone with a web browser.

    When working with large files SoonR utilizes strategies to make the performance acceptable. If you want to transfer a large file, SoonR remote controls the host PC and leverages its wider pipe. Most of the SoonR users are in fact NOT using 3G phones.

  8. Nik Cubrilovic Tuesday, October 25, 2005

    Song I noticed your name on the little demo animation on the Soonr front page, but I assume you are not the pretty stock-photography lady?

  9. I have got to chime back in here because I have been testing/reviewing similar mobile apps, and I am here to tell you that (1) you do NOT need a 3G device, and (2) the services uses SMS and GPRS appropriately to present the data in one’s desktop or shared content.

    Many companies, large and small, are trying to blur the line between the user’s experience, including access to media assets, on his/her desktop and mobile. SoonR has a very good start towards helping achieve that vision. The sharing part is, at this point, nice to have, but it’s also becoming a parity feature for new companies in this space, so it’s hard to leave out even if the value cannot be appreciated, yet.

    BTW, I am in no way associated w. SoonR.

  10. Nik, I am not the woman in the animation. LOL!
    I created all the screen shots used in the animation and forwarded it to our creative folks. That’s why my name is on the picstures. They put it all together with the picture of the woman.

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