Sprint and T-Mobile may be forced to bid independently in next year’s spectrum incentive auction only to find themselves part of the same combined carrier shortly thereafter. A bidding joint venture might solve that problem. Read more »
Samsung’s newest headphone line is meant to go up against Beats in the growing premium audio market. Read more »
Wilocity has dominated the still tiny WiGig chip market so far, but Nitero is bringing its first radio silicon to market, and it’s targeted directly at the smartphone. Read more »
BlackBerry hasn’t given up any chance of a mobile device comeback: It will soon offer the square-screened Passport phone along with a BlackBerry Assistant app similar to other voice-activated digital assistant apps on competing platforms. Read more »
Google Play accounted for 60% more app downloads last quarter than iOS, according to a new report. Read more »
Apple devices are flooding the enterprise anyway. Now businesses — IBM accounts anyway — can get help making sure they work well with others once inside. Read more »
That Dell Chromebook 11 for education is pretty popular, and not just in schools. That sounds good, right? But there’s a problem for you (and Microsoft) if you want this Chromebook, which is one of my current favorites. Read more »
Are the U.S. handset price wars about to start now that subsidies and contracts are on the way out? Take the Luma 635, for example: AT&T will start selling it to customers on August 8 for $139.99 or $29 less than T-Mobile’s full retail price. Read more »
Deutsche Telekom has its own German cloud storage service, TelekomCloud, so it’s no surprise to see its big Dropbox partnership exclude the carrier’s home turf. Read more »
FiftyThree, the U.S. startup that produces the designer-friendly drawing app Paper, has now brought out the accompanying Pencil stylus in Europe, 8 months after it was released in North America. Pencil connects with the user’s iPad via Bluetooth to enable features like palm rejection, finger blending and switching to the erase function without needing to change tools in the app. Variable surface pressure will be added with the upcoming release of iOS 8. In the U.K., the graphite version of Pencil is priced at £49.99 ($85.64) and the walnut version at £64.99 ($111.34).
Samsung is in talks to buy smart home hub startup SmartThings in a deal valued at $200 million. If so, this is a win for both companies. Read more »
As expected, Verizon added LTE service for its Allset prepaid plans on Tuesday. Previously, Verizon’s prepaid customers were stuck with sluggish data from its CDMA network. Prices are staying the same as before: the base plan, which includes unlimited calls, texts, and 500MB of mobile data, costs $45 and you get the option to add 1GB and 3GB blocks of rollover data. LTE speeds will require an LTE-capable device, and you can either bring your own or purchase one from Verizon. If you’ve got an XLTE-capable device, you can take advantage of the added speeds from Verizon’s new LTE network as well.
The CEO who turned around Ford can only help Google as it dives deeper into the automotive industry with its driverless vehicle and Android Automotive projects. Read more »
Data is the gold that’s luring businesses to the internet of things and connected home. Consumers benefit, but absent a conversation about rights and appropriate uses of data we may give up more than we realize. Read more »
Instead of buying a double-capacity battery for your Galaxy S5, why not make use of the existing battery by stacking another one on top of it? That’s exactly what the Unity Battery Case from Unu does. Read more »
Given the usual strategy for OTT communications apps is to grow big and then sell out to an internet giant, Line’s plan to go independent runs counter to the market. Read more »
Google’s Chromecast website is now listing more than 400 apps and counting that are capable of casting content to the TV screen. Read more »
Looking to get your hands on a Project Ara prototype? Google has opened up applications for its Ara developer’s program — but be warned, it won’t be easy to get one of the first modular phone prototypes available outside of Mountain View. According to an email sent on Monday to Ara developers informing them of the application page, Google will “prioritize requests based on technical experience and the strength of your module concept.” The first batch of dev boards, with three board options, will ship in late July. If you’d like to be in that group, you’ll need to get your application in by Wednesday. For non-developers, Google is aiming for a early 2015 commercial release.
Half of the world’s mobile carriers are exempting at least one app from data charges, according to Allot. More often than not, that app is Facebook. The subsidized mobile internet is becoming a key carrier draw. Read more »
The wait for Windows Phone 8.1 and all of its improvements is over now that Microsoft has started to roll the software out around the world. Also included is the Lumia Cyan update with Nokia-specific features. Read more »
Google will deactivate links on smartphone searches that go to flash-heavy websites. Read more »
Iron Man couldn’t save smartphone sales and he couldn’t save the jobs of two key HTC executives, either. The company’s CMO and Engineering head are both out of the picture, leaving the company with some big gaps to fill. Read more »
Hit an Apple Store in Japan and you can digitally purchase in-store credits for all things Apple. The new program, called iTunes Pass, could hint at Apples larger mobile payment ambitions. Read more »
Mediatek makes a lot of chips for inexpensive Android smartphones, but its latest system on a chip has features commonly associated with more cutting-edge mobile chips. Read more »
Kosta Grammatis, who believes broadband is a fundamental human right that should be available to everyone, has a new startup and business model. The startup, Oluvus, buys bandwidth from an undisclosed telco and then offers free mobile phone service to the U.S. The hope is that people will shell out for extra services and fund broadband services for other parts of the world. The model reminds me of Toms Shoes, where each purchased pair of shoes pays for a pair for a needy child. Whether or not Grammatis succeeds, the Wired article detailing his efforts and failures is worth a read.
The agreement will make it easier for companies using Thinfilm’s NFC barcodes and sensor-equipped labels on their products to manage the data flowing from those items, through Evrythng’s identity management platform. Read more »
This week we are all about internet of things standards and certifications as we welcome the head of the AllSeen Alliance to the show and discuss a new radio certification introduced by Samsung, Nest, ARM and others. Read more »
That didn’t take too long: Star Trek fans with Android Wear smartwatches can already download and install a free watchface based on the fictional LCARS computer interface of the U.S.S. Enterprise from Star Trek: The Next Generation. Daniele Bonaldo created and uploaded the “Starwatch” app to Google Play on Monday night, announcing the custom design on his Google+ page. The watch face displays the time, date and — just for kicks — the Unix Epoch, which is the total number of seconds (not counting leap seconds, of course!) since 0:00:00 Coordinated Universal Time on January 1, 1970.
A terrible Google+ experience keeps me from using Windows Phone handsets full time. This weekend, I tried gPlus — a Metro client for Google’s social service — and it (along with Windows Phone 8.1) is good enough for me to keep my SIM in a Lumia 930. Read more »
Startup BloomSky is making personal weather stations that link to a larger crowdsourced climate network. It hopes one day to tell you temperature and rainfall on a neighborhood-by-neighborhood level. Read more »
After its “Scroogled” ad campaign against Chromebooks, Microsoft is now reiterating it has “a great value proposition against” Google’s Chrome OS laptops. Look for $99 Windows tablets and sub-$200 Windows laptops later this year as Microsoft rallies the troops. Read more »
Launching third-party Android Wear apps by voice doesn’t always work and searching through menus to get at them isn’t ideal either. Enter Wear Mini Launcher, a touch-friendly app launcher for Google-powered smartwatches. Read more »
Apple has put a dedicated beacon device through FCC testing, but as it is outlined in the documents, the product seems clunky and odd. Read more »
One of the product leads behind both Google Glass and Google’s smart contact lenses is moving on to Amazon. What new project might Jeff Bezos be cooking up that might focus on giving vision to products? Read more »
Production challenges for a 5.5-inch handset could see Apple launch just a single new iPhone model this year says one analyst. That’s not necessarily a problem: Apple may not need to debut two larger iPhones for continued success. Read more »
Samsung has suspended business with a supplier called Dongguan Shinyang Electronics, after China Labor Watch (CLW) exposed the apparent use of child labor in Shinyang’s factory (along with other labor violations including a lack of necessary safety equipment) four days ago. On Monday, Samsung said it had regularly audited the factory and found no cases of child labor, but an investigation following the CLW report showed “evidences of illegal hiring practices.” If the investigation concludes child labor was used, Samsung said it will scrap its contract with Shinyang. Chinese authorities are also examining the allegations, the manufacturer added.
Coming soon from Amazon Web Services: ERP? CRM? E-mail ? I’m betting yes, well, because, why not? The week in cloud. Read more »
Got a Linux box at home or at work? Now you can access it remotely through the Chrome browser or from a Chrome OS device. On this week’s podcast, we discuss the new beta support for Linux in the Chrome Remote Desktop app. Read more »
When planning a trip with family and friends, keeping up with each member’s last minute schedule changes can be time consuming. Using the following iOS tips will help by keeping everyone well informed during the event. Read more »
A new Senate bill proposes a way for companies to fulfill 40-year old FCC device labeling requirements by showing certifications digitally, on a device’s screen. Read more »