Strange Rain is pretty hard to describe without actually playing with it, but we'll give it a shot. The primary function of the app is to give you a break from your hectic life by displaying a mesmerizing scene of rain falling from the sky. The iPhone screen acts as a skylight, so you're looking straight up as rain drops fall and hit the screen. You can slightly affect the raindrops as they fall by touching the screen and moving your iPhone, and tinkly music from a haunting melody plays amid soothing storm sounds, every time you touch … Read more
The Federal Communications Commission adopted this week new rules intended to protect consumers from nefarious broadband providers who in the future may monkey with rivals' network traffic to boost usage of their own services.
But what do these so-called Net neutrality rules mean for consumers? In this week's Ask Maggie column, I try to answer a reader's question about what protections the new rules provide for certain applications, such as Skype and Netflix.
I also break the bad news to another reader that he will not be able to use a Verizon iPhone, when it's eventually released, … Read more
The world's largest mobile phone network operators today revealed an effort to expand the GSM wireless communications technology to navigation devices, cameras, handheld gaming systems, music players, and more starting in 2012.
The GSM Association, the consortium overseeing the widely used mobile phone network technology, said a task force of members including AT&T, Verizon, Vodafone, China Mobile, and Deutsche Telekom has begun working on adapting SIM cards so they can be embedded in many more devices than phones. SIM cards are small, removable chips that provide phones an identity on GSM wireless networks, but the embedded SIM will be more an intrinsic part of devices and will be able to be activated remotely, the GSMA said.
GSM technology began its life as a technology for phone calls, but with today's 3G and just-arriving LTE incarnations, it's used for data transfer as well. The embedded SIM effort signals a further growth of the GSM lineage beyond just voice needs.
So far, SIM cards haven't made it far beyond mobile phones, though some tablets such as the iPad and Samsung Galaxy Tab and some laptops include them. But it's easy to see why mobile phone network operators would be interested: mobile connectivity is ever more important, Wi-Fi networks are an incomplete patchwork, WiMax at least thus far hasn't lived up to its promise of bathing large areas with network access, and there's abundant subscription money to be made in connecting new devices to the Net.
"As our industry moves from connecting phones to connecting a wide range of devices, it is apparent that the embedded SIM could deliver even greater flexibility," GSMA Chief Executive Rob Conway said in a statement.
One trick will be to get new devices onto wireless networks without overtaxing the networks even more.… Read more
Apple started a new trend when it introduced the micro-SIM card found in the Apple iPhone 4 and the iPad 3G. Like a regular SIM, the micro-SIM holds the necessary subscriber information while losing some of the plastic border. Apple says that the smaller cards make more room for a larger battery, but they also come with a couple of trade-offs. For example, the smaller size means that the micro-SIM won't fit into a standard card slot an vice versa.
A tech consumer's worst nightmare is buying a hot new device today only to find that it's obsolete or outdated within a few months or a year.
With the quick pace of innovation in wireless technology these days, it's a dilemma that is hard to avoid. This week I break the hard news to a reader that 3G phones of today won't be compatible with the ultra fast 4G networks of tomorrow.
I also try to help a Canadian reader, who travels to the U.S., figure out the best option for buying prepaid voice and … Read more
When it comes to wireless services, sometimes unlimited doesn't really mean unlimited.
Wireless is a competitive business, and sometimes operators say almost anything to get consumers to sign up for their service. Over the last few years, outraged customers have forced wireless carriers to stop throwing around the "unlimited" term so freely. As a result, a lot of mobile broadband services note in fine print that they are not, in fact, "unlimited."
But what if you truly want to pay for an unlimited data service? Do any even exist? I have answered this very question … Read more
Savvy iPod Touch users already know how to make phone calls on their devices: plug in a headset, find a Wi-Fi hot spot, and fire up a VoIP app like Skype or Fring. I can find at least two hassles in that process.
Wouldn't it be cool--no, awesome--if you could pop a SIM card into your Touch and use it as a proper phone? That's the tantalizing promise of the Yosion Technology Apple Peel 520, a purported new gadget that's making the rumor-mill rounds.
Judging from the accompanying photos and video, the Apple Peel is a combination … Read more
One of the most popular iPhone 4 topics is the reception issue many people have mentioned that seem to be exacerbated by how you hold the smartphone. While Apple currently suggests avoiding certain hand positions or using a case, there is a new report that suggests a possible fix for the issue.… Read more
Want to score some top-rated games on the cheap? Now's your chance: Electronic Arts Mobile is having a pretty big sale on 14 popular, high-profile titles.
Games that originally sold for as much as $9.99 are now available for just 99 cents. Here's the complete list of sale titles.FIFA 10 Tiger Woods PGA Tour Madden NFL 10 NBA Live 2010 Need for Speed Shift Need for Speed Undercover Command and Conquer Red Alert SimCity Deluxe The Game of Life Clue Connect 4 Yahtzee Adventures Trivial Pursuit Battleship
Obviously there's some terrific stuff here. Command and … Read more
Jasmine's (mostly) back from vacation, and already hates the iPhone 4. To balance out her blind rage for the as-yet unreleased device, Eric and Donald tackle Crave stories ranging from monkey-controlled robots, laser drug injection, and a Lego printer that drives ladies wild (or not). Stick around for the end, and you may just see Darth Vader's cleavage.Subscribe in iTunes SD Video | Subscribe in RSS SD Video… Read more