Only the most passionate cell phone geeks know that the Federal Communications Commission holds a treasure trove of information on upcoming handsets. Because the FCC has to certify every phone sold in the United States, not to mention test its SAR rating, the agency's online database offers a lot of sneak peeks to those who dig. And to save you the trouble, Crave has combed through the database for you. Here are a selection of filings from the past week on new and upcoming cell phones. Click through to read the full report.
If you've ever messed around with the e-mail signature settings on your iPhone, iPod, or iPad, you know that the best you can hope for is to replace the stock "sent from my iPhone" message with another boring block of text.
Welcome to "Extreme Makeover: iPhone Signature Edition." With the free iPhone Signature Creator, you can whip up a sexy, HTML-based sig complete with colored text, a company logo, your Facebook and Twitter info, and more.
To get started, just fill out Signature Creator's Web-based form with as much information as you want to … Read more
Joining Best Buy and RadioShack, T-Mobile is now taking preorders for its first HSPA+ smartphone, the T-Mobile G2. Preorders are limited to current T-Mobile customers, though. You must reserve your phone by October 4 in order to receive it on October 6, which is when the G2 will be available in stores nationwide. T-Mobile did not disclose the price of the handset, but we suspect it will be around $199.99 with contract. Best Buy is selling the smartphone at that price point but so far RadioShack has the best deal at $149.99.
Sony Ericsson used its official product blog to let fans know that it is delaying the release of Android OS 2.1 for their Xperia line of handsets. Originally listed for a September rollout, the company is now looking at late October and beyond.
Sadly, the Xperia X10 will still be nearly a year behind the competition when it finally does see Eclair. While other phones like the Motorola Droid have gone from 2.0 to 2.2 in the same span of time, Sony Ericsson has been behind the curve since day one.
I was a huge fan of … Read more
The economic downturn and high monthly bills are causing consumers to hold on to their mobile phones for the longest period of time in recorded history, a new survey from J.D. Power and Associates suggests.
According to the firm, which surveyed 11,803 mobile phone users and 6,821 smartphone owners between January and June, the amount of time customers are holding on to their mobile phones has increased by 17 percent since 2009. Currently, the average wireless customer is hanging on to his or her phone for 20.5 months. J.D. Power and Associates said that that … Read more
Facebook is working with mobile phone maker INQ Mobile to create two smartphones that will highlight core features of the social-networking giant, according to a Bloomberg report.
The devices, which may have a network tie-up with carrier AT&T, are expected to be released in Europe in the first half of 2011 and in the U.S. in the second half, according to the report, which cited three unidentified sources familiar with the matter. INQ, which bills itself as the world's first social mobile handset maker, in 2008 unveiled its INQ1, which featured built-in integration with Facebook, Skype, … Read more
You may remember us lamenting the lack of 4G coverage here in San Francisco (and even inconsistent 3G coverage in some pockets), but all that changed when Nicole noticed the 4G WiMax indicator pop up on her Sprint Overdrive device. MetroPCS had its share of 4G news, too, this week, when it opened an LTE network in Las Vegas. This is a pretty bold move for the second-tier carrier.
In other news, the Droid X got Android 2.2 and Adobe's Flash Player; Nicole outlines a plan for better Android customer service; and we discuss rumors of the BlackBerry … Read more
Despite being an excellent location for bachelor parties, Canada is apparently a laggard when it comes to country-wide tech proficiency. Case in point: it just got Netflix. Our northern neighbors can now sign up for Netflix's streaming service for as little as $7.99 per month, which includes feature films from major film studios like MGM, Paramount, Universal, Sony, and more.
We applaud Canada for joining the streaming game, but the news has a catch: although they can access the content online through a computer, a Blu-ray player, and the Sony PlayStation 3 and Nintendo Wii, Canadians still can't sign up for Netflix movie deliveries--it's just streaming, for now. However, they can get the first month free if they sign up now.
Two strange announcements from the world of video games: first, Christopher Nolan revealed that a video game based on "Inception" is in the works. That's all we know for now, but we're looking forward to zero gravity fight sequences...as long as game play isn't as difficult to follow as the film!
Next, the King of Pop is getting his own online game called Planet Michael. The game will be a massively multiplayer online role-playing game like WAR or Guild Wars 2 and will take players through multiple realms, each based on one of Jackson's famous albums.
Even better, Los Angeles-based SEE Virtual Worlds is offering the 3D game for free when it comes out in late 2011.
Yes, all you have to do is hit that "Retweet" button OR become a fan of The 404 Facebook Fan Page and you'll be automatically entered to twin. If you're a fan of us on Facebook already, you're already grandfathered in, so good luck!Episode 671 Subscribe in iTunes audio | Suscribe to iTunes (video) | Subscribe in RSS Audio | Subscribe in RSS Video… Read more
Apps don't appear to be helping companies sell more smartphones, a study from international accounting and consulting firm Deloitte suggests.
According to the study, which surveyed 1,960 people between the ages of 14 and 75 in June and July, 58 percent of consumers say a smartphone's size, quality, keyboard style, and price factor into their smartphone buying decisions. Just 18 percent of respondents said that mobile applications influence which smartphone they eventually decide to buy.
Deloitte also found that when consumers finally get a smartphone, just 65 percent of them download and use mobile applications.
However, those … Read more
Adobe's Flash Player 10.1 makes its way today onto Motorola Droid X phones (Verizon Wireless), in tandem with the rollout of Android 2.2 we've been expecting for this device. Flash Player 10.1 is bundled with the Android 2.2 update and makes it possible, when enabled, to visit Flash-compatible Web sites from the browser of any Android phone running OS 2.2 (Froyo).
We took some time to play with Flash Player 10.1 on a Droid X demo unit, and found performance to be hit and miss. Video playback, Flash graphics and menus, and Flash games ranged from faithfully rendered to choppy to static. CNET TV, for instance, played audio perfectly, but video playback wasn't always up to speed. Still, it was watchable on the whole, and it beats having that content blocked.
Before launching an attack on Adobe, keep in mind that touch-and-go performance of the Flash Player isn't entirely on Adobe's shoulders. Just as mobile-optimized Web sites are significantly easier on the eye, the Flash Player will have better luck with Web sites made with mobile Flash in mind.
"We don't expect Flash content to work exactly the same way on the mobile phone as they would for the desktop," an Adobe spokesperson told CNET during an interview. Even higher-end phones lack many of the hardware capabilities necessary to silkily handle HD streaming TV or games that perform at peak on a PC that's been outfitted with an able graphics chip.
That said, it's certainly in Adobe's best interests to smooth out the process and bring more players on board. Adobe has already gotten a start with its m.flash.com site, which aggregates sites like Kongregate (Flash games), The Sims 3, Sky Sports, and BBC News that play nicer with the Flash app than other unoptimized sites might. … Read more