biNu Developer Blog


biNu Shortlisted for 2012 Global Mobile Award, Most Innovative Mobile App

Posted by tim.wightman, February 7th, 2012

Sydney, Australia, February 7th 2012: (PRWEB) biNu, suppliers of a virtual smartphone app that dramatically improves the usability, performance and social connectivity of mobile phones,today announced they had been shortlisted in the Most Innovative Mobile App category for the GSMA 2012 Global Mobile Awards.

The GSMA represents the interests of mobile operators worldwide. Spanning more than 220 countries, the GSMA unites nearly 800 of the world’s mobile operators, as well as more than 200 companies in the broader mobile ecosystem, including handset makers, software companies, equipment providers, Internet companies, and media and entertainment organisations. The Global Mobile Awards are part of the annual GSMA Mobile World Congress.


“Reflecting the intensity of competition and innovation across the mobile ecosystem, we saw a record 600 entries and an exceptionally high quality field of contenders vying for this year’s Global Mobile Awards,” said Michael O’Hara, Chief Marketing Officer, GSMA. “It is a significant achievement to have made the shortlist, and our warmest congratulations go to all the nominees announced today. We look forward to the unveiling of the winners at the Mobile World Congress next month.”

With the biNu virtual smartphone app, feature phones take on the characteristics of a smartphone, while smartphones run faster on congested networks. By executing in the cloud, biNu is not constrained by the processing capability of a handset and allows feature phones and low end smartphones to run apps normally associated with high-end smartphones – such as social networking, social media and news services. Optimization and compression techniques are deployed giving both feature phone and smartphone users blisteringly fast access to the Internet.


“Being nominated for this prestigious award is a real achievement for biNu,” said Gour Lentell, co-founder and CEO at biNu. “Whilst there has been a lot of innovation in high-end smartphone technology, the market for low-cost smartphones and feature phones is huge and continues to grow significantly. Bringing innovation to these users – as biNu does – presents the company with an exciting opportunity.”

Today there are 5 billion mobile phone users, most of whom do not have high-end smartphones and who use their mobile as their primary internet access device. biNu connects them all to a super-fast, low cost, mobile, optimized social network of communication tools and instant application services.


Smartphones only 27%. Feature phones 73% of global phone market

Posted by tim.wightman, December 7th, 2011

A recent article in TechCrunch titled “It’s Still A Feature Phone World: Global Smartphone Penetration At 27%” by Sarah Perez has highlighted the fact that mass-market feature phones are still and will remain the dominant mobile device across the globe for some time to come. (Note these figures are for new phone shipments. Existing install base of smartphones is actually only 18%). This is especially true in the emerging markets of Asia, Latin America, and Asia. The article was based on a report from Vision Mobile.

Image courtesy of Vision Mobile

The article prompted many comments questioning this fact. And to counter these comments it is clear we view the world differently. In the developed world we need to increase our field of understanding and put ourselves in a different place. A place that is not surrounded by computers and high tech gadgets but a place where Maslow’s hierarchy of needs plays a greater influence, a place that just doesn’t care about Android, Apple, RIM or Symbian. It is about communicating. It is arguable that Maslow’s hierarchy can be adapted to include this overall human need to communicate. It is the same in the emerging markets as it has been in the developed market – a phone has become an essential item for talking, sending SMS and browsing the internet.

People in the emerging markets want to communicate with family and friends, they want to access the Internet and they do – in the millions. Many access it everyday, but not like developed economies on a computer but using their phone. Perhaps on a “crappy old” Nokia or a no-name brand in Africa. In India a person has a choice of one of 150 phone manufacturers.

Price is a major factor in the lack of smartphones for sure. But there are also other critical requirements.

  • The standby life of a phone is a very important consideration. The “crappy old phone” can run for days between charges. When was the last time your Smartphone was attached to a power socket?
  • The phones need to be robust to cope with the environment where humidity and dust can spell the end for an electrical device.
  • Lastly, a major factor outside of major economic centres (and in some cases inside them too) the network infrastructure is just not there.

Here are some other statistics from other leading analyst companies:

  • Ovum say Feature phones will still have 63% of mobile market share by 2016.
  • In recent Gartner report – India accounts for 12% of device sales globally with smartphone sales making up only 6% in the first 3 quarters of 2011. This is expected to increase to 8% by the end of 2012.
  • According to the GSMA – Africa has overtaken Latin America to become the second largest mobile market after Asia. By 2015, the total number of connections is estimated to reach 84% of the total African population.
  • According to CISCO – GSM mobile data traffic is set to grow at 26 fold between 2010 and 2015 with the mobile-only Internet growing to 788 million by end of 2015.

To address the emerging markets, phones need to address the above considerations. Nokia is being bashed in the press for its smartphone initiatives however when it comes to mass-market feature phones they have invested significant resources in the design and manufacture of their devices to ensure they meet the toughest conditions. There is a reason why Nokia is still the number one choice in emerging markets. They make bloody good phones that last.

The bottom line is mass market feature phones are here to stay for the significant future, they will be re-cycled, reused and refurbished just like those Toyotas that run for ever across the Sahara.

biNu’s new Smart look for non-Smart phones

Posted by tim.wightman, October 7th, 2011

biNu has always had a large catalog of apps that are accessible from every installed app – but for some of our users it hasn’t been obvious how to find them.

biNu v3.2.1 changes all that with a new icon-based home screen that will be familiar to smart phone users. Not only does this provide instant access to our most popular apps, it also allows users to
(i) easily search through our entire app catalog
(ii) customize their home screen by adding, deleting or removing app icons

To enjoy this genuine smart phone experience on your feature phone (or to speed up your smart phone!) get biNu v3.2.1 now! Download from m.binu.com

Nokia Publisher Successes – biNu: Offering the smartphone experience on any phone

Posted by tim.wightman, October 7th, 2011

Nokia published a success story on biNu last week:

“Analysts at Gartner predict that by 2015, more people will access the Internet via feature phones rather than from their personal computers. So why are internet users still relying on the slow, clumsy and expensive browser-based connection of their feature phone to access all their favorite content?

Seeing this as both a problem and an opportunity, two serial internet entrepreneurs based in Australia decided to create a solution. In 2008, Gour Lentell and Dave Turner developed biNu, a software platform that enables mobile phones to access Internet applications and services with near instant response times—even on slow or congested networks. For developers, the biNu platform enables mobile Internet applications to be developed quickly and easily using existing development tools and methods. For consumers, the free mobile biNu platform provides quick and easy access to a world of biNu performance-optimized apps.

If they are using biNu’s mobile platform, any of the five billion individuals across the globe with access to a mobile phone can now get immediate access to the economic, educational and social benefit of the Internet without owning a computer….”

Introducing biNu Credits

Posted by tim.wightman, August 8th, 2011

From today, biNu users can buy Credits from our new website at https://credits.binu.com. This means that registered biNu Messenger users can purchase additional credits to send more SMS in addition to their free daily quota. The binu Credits system also allows users to transfer credits to other users, from within the biNu application. This opens up biNu Credits to entrepreneurs who wish to buy Credits in bulk at a discount and resell them to people in their communities.

biNu client version 3.0 released

Posted by tim.wightman, June 27th, 2011

Last week we released version 3.0 of the biNu client for Java, Android and a new platform Blackberry. The new version is even faster and more stable than its predecessor. Try it today by downloading at m.binu.com!

biNu service returns!

Posted by tim.wightman, April 22nd, 2011

We’re back! Thanks to some hard work by some of the biNu staff overnight, most biNu services have been restored at a new data centre. We thank all our biNu users for their patience and apologise for the loss of service over the past few hours.

Amazon EC2 Outage continues

Posted by tim.wightman, April 22nd, 2011

Amazon’s data centre at North Virginia continues to have connectivity problems meaning that the biNu service is still experiencing problems. We hope to be up again as soon as possible.


Amazon updates:


Android Client released

Posted by tim.wightman, February 24th, 2011

An Android client has now been released to allow biNu applications to run on any Android device! This raises the “write once, run anywhere” capability of biNu to another level, covering the vast majority of devices currently in use worldwide. We are also working on a Blackberry client which will then give us almost complete coverage of the global mobile device landscape.

Youtube app?

Posted by tim.wightman, November 23rd, 2010

There have been many requests for youtube and other video content on biNu.  A biNu app could access the search API for these services and offer a list of links to video content.