As Sprint tinkers with its family plans to encourage prepaid customers to go postpaid, T-Mobile is tweaking its entry-level prepaid plan. The barebones $40 Simple Starter plan is a good deal for light data users, but its 500MB cap means it wasn’t an option for many. On Monday, T-Mobile announced a $5 add-on which brings the LTE data cap up to a more reasonable 2GB. After that’s used up, your data gets shut off unless you buy a one-day 500MB bucket for $5 or a seven-day 1GB plan for $10. T-Mobile warns the plan is subject to change, and it will be available starting on September 3.
Mozilla is ready to tackle the phone market in India with its newest Firefox OS handset launching this week. The specs are meager for the $33 price and web-based software making it a tough sell against competing Androids that run native apps. Read more »
As much as we like to think of the internet of things as something linked by standards, it will be a hodgepodge of trapped sensor data for quite some time. Read more »
As QHD-resolution displays become more common, the question becomes when the increased resolution becomes indistinguishable. An LG engineer said it designs its displays to be used at 8-10 inches, which is closer than the 12-inch distance previously commonly used to define a “retina” display. Read more »
Huawei has taken over the no. 3 smartphone sales spot in the world and has no plans to changes its strategy of using Google Android. Windows Phone hasn’t been profitable for the company which also sees Samsung’s Tizen play a lost cause. Read more »
Next week you’ll have not one but two round Android Wear smartwatches to choose from. LG has a fully-circular G Watch model that one-ups the Moto 360 and looks far more appealing that the company’s currently available wearable device. Read more »
Mobile device companies want you using as many of their products and services as they can get away with forcing you to use. But if you want to live a cross-platform life, here are a few tips. Read more »
Only have $300 to spend on an off-contract phone? If you don’t mind a large handset, Huawei’s Ascend Mate2 is worth the look. It has some advanced features, a solid camera and a massive battery along with LTE support. Read more »
Samsung was among the first key hardware partners to produce both Chromebooks and the chips that run them. These days the maturing Chromebook market has turned to more vendors and different chips to power the Chrome OS laptops. Read more »
While the world looks towards Cupertino in September for signs of a new iPhone, developers will have an eye on Europe as Google stops listing apps that offer in-app purchases as “Free”. Read more »
Might a new version of Android bring a new Nexus tablet? It’s looking more likely that HTC is building the reported Nexus 9 for Android L. More Moto X+1 images leaked this week and Asus is ready to enter the Android Wear market. Read more »
The idea of a payment card with a programmable magnetic strip sounded great when Coin debuted it last year. Unfortunately, those who pre-ordered won’t be getting their Coin this summer; the device launch is pushed back to Spring 2015. Read more »
Picking the perfect sneakers for your particular stride isn’t as easy as it sounds but runScribe can help. The small sensor attaches to your shoes and measures 13 different datapoints about the way you run, which can help prevent injuries. Read more »
A judge ordered Typo to stop selling a keyboard for iPhone because the product appeared to violate BlackBerry’s patents. Ryan Seacrest’s company kept selling them anyways, a court order shows. Read more »
Nearly 2 out of 3 U.S. smartphone owners don’t download a single app in a given month. Isn’t this the age of the mobile app economy? It is, but most of the growth is long over at this point in the cycle. Read more »
Vodafone’s share price rose Friday on rumors of a takeover bid by AT&T. We’ve so been here before — AT&T promised back in January that it wouldn’t launch a bid for the subsequent 6 months. China Mobile is also reportedly interested in buying a stake in Vodafone. On top of that, AT&T is also reportedly considering buying Ireland’s Eircom as a way into Europe, and Vodafone itself was rumored to be considering a bid for T-Mobile US, so y’know, it’s probably worth seeing what actually happens before getting too excited. One thing that has happened, though, is that Vodafone just stumped up $96 million to take over Greek fixed-line provider Hellas Online.
As a farewell gift on his trip to retirement, noted tipster @evleaks has one more leak left to share: The Moto X+1 for Verizon. The images match up with earlier rumors and whispers of a larger Motorola handset, very likely with a higher resolution screen than the 720p display found on last year’s Moto X. Aside from the overall size bump, the speaker grilles are larger and there appear to be two of them, suggesting the possibility of stereo front-facing speakers. In keeping with what helped make the Moto X a popular phone, the successor model looks to be running a mainly stock, skin-less version of Android.
With so many little moving parts to the machine that makes iPhones, a supply issue can easily affect production schedules. Reuters says a display challenge could impact early availability of the iPhone 6. Read more »
iOS users with Brazilian accounts can no longer download the anonymous messaging app, but Google and Microsoft are reportedly not yet complying with the interim injunction. Read more »
Need a portable phone battery that isn’t bigger than your phone? Check out Charge Ninja, a low-cost credit-card sized battery with keychain cable that’s enough to get you through the rest of the day when your handset battery dies. Read more »
Two-thirds of the employees at Chapters Health System opted to pick an HP Chromebook 14 over a Windows laptop or iPad, which has made the IT department happy. There are cheaper Windows laptops coming to compete but they don’t address reasons people pick a Chromebook. Read more »
Beacon provider Estimote is getting deeper into the context business with Bluetooth-enabled stickers called Nearables that will let your smartphone know more about it’s environment and enable developers to build powerful new experiences. Read more »
According to a new report from OpenSignal, 21 percent of Android devices are running 4.4 KitKat, but those users are mostly clustered in the United States and Western Europe. Read more »
The iPhone 6 is expected to debut next month and we already know that it will support Wi-Fi calling. Voice over LTE might not be far behind as Apple is seeking experience engineers to help add VoLTE support. It could be a software update away. Read more »
Watch for the Samsung Galaxy Note 4 to debut next month. While waiting, take a peek at these reported benchmarks for Samsung’s new 64-bit Exynos chip expected to power the large-screened phone. Read more »
The Norwegian firm’s browser will be the default on Microsoft’s low-end Asha, Series 30+ and Series 40 phones, almost all of which will be phased out by the end of 2015. Read more »
Thanks to the HTC One M8, available in both a Windows Phone and Android edition, we can see which mobile platform is better optimized for longer battery life. Microsoft wins round one but Project Volta could change round two. Read more »
Details are sketchy but it appears Verizon is looking to band carriers together for a new global mobile app store. We’ve been down this road before with alternative app stores and it always ends the same: At a dead end. Read more »
The Android Security Modules (ASM) framework, proposed by U.S. and German researchers, would make it easier to install security modules on Android devices without the need for rooting or firmware updates. Read more »
This is not your dad’s walkie-talkie. OnBeep wants to produce beautiful wearable devices that will let consumers communicate with select colleagues without staring down at their phones Read more »
The largest retail bookseller in the United States is now in the business of selling Samsung tablets. As was announced earlier this summer, Barnes & Noble will discontinue its own line of skinned Android tablets and instead will partner with Samsung to sell a Nook-branded version of the Galaxy Tab 4, which will be called, rather uncreatively, the Galaxy Tab 4 Nook. This version of the seven-inch tablet will have several Nook book and music marketplaces preinstalled and it will be sold for $180 at Barnes & Noble as well as online. Barnes & Noble locations will also offer customer support for customers struggling with the jump from paper books to a fully-fledged Android tablet.
China’s massive population is an attractive target for smartphone makers but that doesn’t mean the U.S. should be ignored. ZTE’s latest effort is an unlocked $279 Android phone with beefy cameras and support for LTE networks. Read more »
Fitting in with early pics of reported dummy cases for the iPhone 6, a schematic drawing suggests the iPhone 6 camera ring could slightly protrude outward: It’s not easy to make a thin camera sensor with improved quality and lenses. Read more »
Windows laptops can surely run more apps than a Chromebook so if the devices are priced the same, people will simply choose the Microsoft option, right? Not necessarily because the experience of the two devices is surely going to be different. Read more »
The injunction orders Apple, Google and Microsoft to not only remove Secret (or a Secret client, in Microsoft’s case) from their app stores, but also to remotely wipe it from citizens’ handsets. Read more »
Michael Halbherr has stepped down as CEO of Nokia Here, the Finnish firm’s mapping and location-based services division, after just a few months in the role. He had been with Nokia for eight years and on its leadership team for three, but he only took the Here CEO spot on 1 May this year. The team is now looking for a new chief, under the temporary leadership of Core Map Group SVP Cliff Fox. The division is currently unprofitable, but is betting on success in the connected car market in particular. According to a Wednesday statement, Halbherr quit in order to “focus once again on entrepreneurial activities.”
Many media outlets have figured out that they need to focus on mobile, but for the most part their apps fail to take advantage of the smartphone’s potential, and if they aren’t careful Google will get there before they do Read more »
The Sharp Aquos smartphone with those oh-so-skinny bezels announced earlier this week in Japan is officially coming to the United States, and no surprise, it’s headed exclusively to Sprint and its prepaid subsidiaries, Virgin Mobile and Boost Mobile. But what is a bit of a surprise is how attractively priced it is: At $240 without a contract, it represents a strong challenge to the Moto G LTE for the mid-range Android crown. It’s even cheaper on Boost Mobile and Virgin Mobile, checking in at $150 when purchased locked from Sprint’s prepaid MVNOs. There isn’t an official release date yet, but it should be available later this fall.
Google Maps have become the default, “go to” mapping solution for mobile and web developers. But there are alternatives to Google Maps that can often deliver a mapping experience tailored to the application to provide a more engaging user experience. Read more »
An effective resolution of 414 x 736 was discovered in a file describing the home screen in the latest iOS 8 SDK beta. This implies that the iPhone 6 could be packing a screen with a 828 x 1472 or even a 1242 x 2208 resolution. Read more »