Unlike streaming video, which is a hot trend in online dating sites, users are limited to standard telephone communication like voice calls, SMS, and voice mail. Both sites are using a version of JaJah that's focused specifically on privacy permissions. Users can't just call someone without the person on the other authorizing it first. The same goes for both voice and text messages. Also, neither party gets … Read more
Try as I might, I can't get that worked up about carrier exclusivity. If a cell phone carrier and a manufacturer want to pair up and offer a handset for a certain period, I'm not going to oppose it purely on principle. Granted, such deals may not be fair to absolutely everyone, but I'd argue that there are much bigger problems with how the U.S. wireless industry operates.
Yet, a few U.S. Senators don't appear to agree. On July 7, a few weeks after a Senate committee grilled national carrier reps on device exclusivity, Sen. Herb Kohl (D-Wis.) wrote letters to both the federal Communications Commission and the Justice Department's antitrust division asking the agencies to investigate the issue and suggest possible regulatory proposals.
"The practice of large cell phone companies gaining exclusive deals to the most in-demand cell phones is a serious barrier to competition," Kohl wrote. "Consumers are unlikely to obtain cell phone service from companies if they cannot obtain desired handsets."
I'm no carrier lackey, but I find it fascinating that Congress is just now noticing that carrier exclusivity exists. The practice, which is hardly unique to the United States, has been around for a long time. So from where is the sudden interest coming?
Fonolo, the Web service that helps you reach the inner depths of even the largest company telephone directories, has put out a big update that adds new tools for users and companies alike.
The biggest new feature of the bunch is call recording, something I pined for in previous looks at the service. You're now able to record the entire call for playback later, something that can be helpful when citing good or bad customer service experiences. It's honestly one of the most fantastic features I've used in a long time.
The best part is that call … Read more
After Skype's previous offering took it a step back on the feature set, it's a relief to see version 4.1 reinstate some of those missing baubles--like accessibility provisions, birthday alerts, and the ability to send a contact to other Skype users. Version 4.0 saw Skype reworked, stripped down to its core competency (and most formidable challenge) of delivering high-quality audio and video calls over the Internet. The improved sound and video quality, were notable in our tests, the result of Skype 4.0's sound engine and bandwidth manager.
Public chats have also been temporarily omitted … Read more
A: The extra $100 for theVoice control: This is a welcome and nifty feature that performs well. Not only can you make calls using only your voice, but also you can use the iPod player. It's particularly useful if you'll be using the iPhone while driving. Video recording: Another feature that was long overdue. The video quality is quite good and the editing tool is unique and very easy to use. Accessibility options: The 3GS is the first iPhone to offer a broad range of accessibility feature, like Voice Over, which will read a description of the onscreen controls. Other options will further assist visually impaired users. Compass: The compass and its integration with the Google Maps feature are neat, but I don't see myself using them that much, though you might feel differently. Better battery life: The iPhone 3GS promises double the battery life of the iPhone 3G. We're still testing our iPhone 3GS, but it did seem to last longer than its predecessor did during preliminary use. I'm hoping that it lives up to expectations, as short battery life is one of the drawbacks of both the original iPhone and the iPhone 3G. Faster performance: We have found the the 3GS is faster than the iPhone 3G. It opens applications more quickly and turns on in half the time. If price is your main issue, then I think you'll get a great iPhone experience with the $99 iPhone 3G. But, if money is third our fourth on your criteria list, I'd say that you'll enjoy the added features from the iPhone 3GS.
I cringe every time I hear the phrase "iPhone killer." And in a month like this, when we've reviewed the Palm Pre, the iPhone 3G S, and the next Google Android phone that is expected to land at T-Mobile, I've heard it way too many times.
My biggest issue with the phrase is not that's it's overused--though that's part of it--it's that it implies that the iPhone needs to be killed. Calling the latest touch-screen phone an "iPhone killer" automatically elevates the iPhone to a place that it doesn't … Read more
There's a new Jitterbug in town, and it's called the Jitterbug J. Made by Samsung, the Jitterbug J is the successor to the original Jitterbug Dial, which if you'll recall was the phone we dubbed as friendly to seniors thanks to its easy-to-use controls and large backlit buttons.
Now it seems GreatCall, the company behind the Jitterbug, wants to expand its market to include everyone, not just the elderly. If you want a phone that looks and feels like a plain old telephone, no matter your age, then GreatCall is hoping the Jitterbug J will fit your … Read more
If American school children have to resort to some special mosquito ringtone to use cell phones at school, a university in Japan is doing the opposite: giving cell phones to students. And not just any cell phone--the iPhone 3G.
According to Asiajin, about 550 students and staff members in the School of Social Informatics at Tokyo-based university Aoyama Gakuin received the iPhone 3G for free earlier this month as part of their study materials.
This is the result of a deal that Aoyama Gakuin signed with SoftBank, the exclusive vendor of the iPhone in Japan. The number of students using … Read more
Just when we were ready to accept the stuttery nature of our Netbook HD video playback, along come Nvidia and Lenovo at long last to change our expectations. The IdeaPad S12, arriving in August, will be the first Netbook sporting discrete graphics from the Nvidia Ion processor. With power similar to the 9400M chipset already in Apple's 13-inch MacBooks, IonNetbooks promise full-HD video output and actual gaming performance--not that we'd want to try Crysis on it anytime soon. However, according to Nvidia, Spore, Call of Duty 4, Portal, and World of Warcraft will all be very playable indeed. … Read more
Though summer is always a busy time for new cell phones releases, so far the summer of 2009 is shaping up to be a doozy. We expect a full load of new handsets over the next three months with June being an especially hectic time for high-profile models. To help you keep track of the news, here's a handy list.
Palm Pre After months of waiting (and plenty of rumors), we finally learned today that the Palm Pre will go on sale Saturday, June 6 for $200. Palm pushed its "first half of the year" deadline to the very end, but it appears they'll make it.
We're hoping to have a review unit by the time it hits stores so that we can give you the full scoop on this much-anticipated device. Indeed, we're very excited to finally be able to touch it. June 6 was a bit unexpected since Sprint typically releases new devices on a Sunday. But the date does give Palm a two-day jump on what should be the next incarnation of the iPhone. … Read more