When I talk about niches of the "new Internet" that are pretty much totally saturated, usually I mention social networking sites or online video portals. Here's another one: Photo sharing! I'm inherently going to be pretty skeptical of any start-up that comes around and decides to take on the Flickrs and Photobuckets of the world. In order for me to be optimistic about a new photo-sharing site, it's going to have to offer something really new. The subject of this post, Radar, thankfully does. It's designed specifically for swapping camera-phone photos around with your … Read more
Skype is set to launch a new version of its VoIP phone service for international customers in 24 countries. The new service, named Skype Pro, won't charge by the minute for its SkypeOut service, which lets computers call landlines. Instead, it will charge users a €2-per-month subscription fee and €3.9 cents-per-call connection fee.
There are some benefits to the new system over the old one: specifically, free Skype voicemail (which used to cost about $20 a year) and a large discount on a SkypeIn number at which regular phones can call you. All in all, it's a … Read more
CallWave is about the coolest free cell-phone utility I have ever seen, and it goes a long way toward making me not care so much about the "visual voice mail" that Steve Jobs touted for the upcoming iPhone. The CallWave service, which is live now, replaces your standard carrier-provided voice mail with a much better system, and it lets you pick up incoming cell-phone calls on any other phone or even your PC.
Logging into Facebook to check up on my old college roommate yesterday, I noticed there was a giant message telling me to use Facebook Mobile. Technically, Facebook has had basic mobile features for quite some time (looking at your profile, reading messages), but my friends and I never bothered to use them, specifically because of their lack of support for my carrier T-Mobile. What is new is their mobile tab, which gives you live previews of what different parts of the site will look like on your device. There's also a Fire feature that lets you "set fire&… Read more
A new Web site that helps people get out of their cell phone service contracts early has publicly launched. Cellswapper.com is billed as a social network in which members can exchange cell phone plans and phones.
For example, someone who wants to get out of a cell phone contract before it expires and not have to pay an early termination fee can transfer the remainder of the contract to someone looking for a free, short-term contract who doesn't want to pay an activation fee. It costs $14.95 to sell a plan on consignment, with no charge unless … Read more
The group SMS service Twitter launched last year. Essentially it's a message board you can update from your phone via SMS, or from the Web or your IM account (the IM function is new). Twitter updates are limited to 151 characters each, which makes sense for an SMS service, but it does put a limit on depth, to say the least. Twitter's Web entry window even says "What are you doing?" which also encourages short and content-light updates, such as "I'm putting on my hat."
This raises the obvious question: Who cares? But … Read more
As fellow Webwarer Josh Lowensohn reported a couple of days ago, Nokia and Vox have teamed up to bring mobile blogging to a new level. The N93i comes preloaded with the blogging service, so you can use the phone's 3.2-megapixel camera to capture photos and video and instantly upload them to Vox to share with all your friends and family. It's a wonderful idea, but if you're anything like me, you're not going to bother if the process is too labor intensive or kludgey. Well, good news, folks: Nokia gave me a working demo of … Read more
It's pretty obvious: Everyone's talking about Apple's iPhone, from its touch-screen interface to the "close to the ear" sensor to the fact that it's actually called the iPhone (since Linksys did get there first.) But from our perspective, one of the most fascinating and least-talked-about aspects of the just-announced iPhone is Apple's collaboration with Web giants Google and Yahoo on some of the new device's features.
More specifically, Apple has teamed up with Google to bring two of its most popular Web applications to the iPhone: Google Search and Maps. Google's … Read more
At the Silicon Valley New Tech Meetup tonight I got a demo of Pinger, a cool little voice messaging service that works on your cell phone. You dial the Pinger number, speak your message to the service, say the name of person you want to get it, and it sends an SMS to your recipient. The recipient gets a text message with a phone number attached to it. The recipient selects and dials that number to hear the message immediately and can respond immediately by voice, too.
It sounds an awful lot like voice mail, doesn't it? It is, … Read more
Pinch yourself, Apple freaks. It's not a dream. The wide-screen, touch-enabled, media-playing iPod smart phone from Apple is here, and yes, it's called the iPhone. Read our play-by-play here.
Specs time:Cingular, quad-band GSM/EDGE phone Wi-Fi and Bluetooth, but no 3G 11.6mm thick: that's thinner than all those other anorexic smart phones 2-megapixel camera iPod connector, mic input, and speaker jack Proximity sensor: when it's close to your ear, the touch screen and display shut down "Smart" screen knows which way to orient images depending on how you hold it; widescreen playback … Read more