phone Stories May 28, 2015

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Google just wrapped up the opening keynote for its I/O developer conference taking place this week, and not surprisingly many of the announced products and services are direct competitors to Apple’s. Android Pay gets an official coming out party to compete with Apple Pay, Project Brillo is Google’s answer to HomeKit, and the new Android M gets a focus on quality, much like what Apple has in store for iOS 9 at WWDC in June. The company also announced a new Photos app with unlimited photo and video syncing and iOS support, as well as a number of other iOS app announcements.

Head below for a roundup of everything Google announced today from 9to5Google: expand full story

phone Stories April 15, 2015

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Update: Apple just uploaded the four new guided tours to its YouTube channel, as well. They are embedded below.

Apple has now updated its Apple Watch Guided Tour page with four more videos, featuring Phone Calls, Siri interactions, Maps navigation and the Music app. Apple began this series earlier in the month.

The videos demonstrate different Apple Watch features, such as taking a phone call, asking Siri for directions, getting navigation turn-by-turn directions in Maps or controlling music playback in the Music app.

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phone Stories June 12, 2014

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iOS 8 adds several important enhancements to the iPhone and iPad, such as improved notifications, health-tracking, and a more advanced camera application, but the new operating system’s most significant feature may be the groundwork technologies for a future Apple wearable device that integrates deeply with the iPhone.

No matter if it is called the “iWatch,” “iBand,” “iPod,” or something else entirely, a wrist-worn Apple wearable device will likely be announced in October, and the software it will run will set the scope of its capabilities. Besides the new functionality for the iPhone and iPad, iOS 8 includes many new wireless protocols, applications, and features that open the door to several capabilities for a wearable device.

Let’s take a look at how each major iOS 8 feature plays directly into Apple’s ambitions for a wearable computer, below.

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phone Stories June 2, 2014

In addition to announcing new integration between iOS and Mac OS X with AirDrop support and its new Handoff feature, Apple announced today that it’s bringing SMS and phone calls to the Mac. That means that you can now have your SMS text messages and phone calls from your iPhone arrive as notifications on your Mac. Users will be able to respond to messages and even use the Mac as a speaker phone in order to complete a phone call. Previously iOS users only had access to iMessage messages and FaceTime on the Mac. expand full story

phone Stories December 9, 2013

VoIP app Viber announces Viber Out, allowing cheap outgoing calls to any number worldwide

Viber, the popular cross-platform VoIP app, released Viber 4.1 for iOS today. The new app introduces a new calling feature called Viber Out. This service allows users on any supported Viber platform to place outgoing calls to any landline or mobile number in the world at rates lower than many other similar offerings.

Viber Out also allows users to use their real phone number as their caller ID, meaning the party on the other end will see your number as if the call was coming from the users phone, so there’s no need for your contacts to save a new VoIP number in order to recognize you.

Viber 4.1 is rolling out for iPhone now on the iOS App Store.

phone Stories September 19, 2013

Before iOS 7 it was rather inconvenient to block a phone number, and there was nothing built into iOS that would allow you do so. If you got phone calls from Telemarketers you can always register your number for free on the National Do Not Call Registry. If you wanted to block specific people, you had to contact your carrier to do so. For example, with AT&T, you can pay $4.99 per month per line to block up to 30 numbers with their Smart Limits. With Verizon Wireless, you are able to block up to five phone numbers per line with no charge. With Sprint you fill out a form on their website and it appears there is no additional fee.

Dealing with your carrier can be a rather tedious, and with the new iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch operating system, you no longer have to…

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phone Stories July 15, 2013

Similar to T-Mobile’s new plans, Verizon to launch ‘Edge’ upgrade service Aug. 25

In a move that follow’s T-Mobile’s recently launched “un-carrier” initiatives, Verizon Wireless plans to debut a new “VZ Edge” program aimed at retaining its customer base, according to a leaked presentation slide posted by Droid-Life.

Specific details on the new approach are currently slim, but, based on the slide, it seems that the essence of Verizon’s plan is to merge T-Mobile’s new JUMP and pay-for-a-device-overtime programs. T-Mobile’s JUMP program, with a $10 monthly fee, allows users to upgrade to a new handset twice a year.

Marketed as a plan to “stay on the leaning edge of technology,” this new Edge program seems to be similar. T-Mobile also allows customers to put a down payment on a phone and then pay the cost overtime, and Edge seems to provide a similar solution.

Edge will also allow customers to upgrade to a new phone once the device if 50% paid off, and this seems to be similar to T-Mobile requiring users of the JUMP plan to have already paid 6 months of service for their current device.

AT&T, tonight, has launched a similar program called Next.

Cross posted on 9to5Google.com

phone Stories April 13, 2013

Verizon announced a few notable changes this week, possibly in response to T-Mobile’s new ‘Uncarrier’ pricing structure.

The first change enforces 24-month contracts and restricts subsidized upgrades during that period. Customers will no longer enjoy ‘early upgrades’ after 20-months, as was previously the policy.

While the change may disappoint customers who enjoyed upgrading their devices more frequently, Verizon told The Verge that a new “Device Payment Plan” will be accompany the policy changes.

The new payment plan allows customers to upgrade their smartphone annually by paying the upgrade fee at the register and dividing the rest of the full-retail price over 12 months. This payment plan will include a $2/month finance charge through the duration of the year.

For people like us who update annually, this option is a more pragmatic approach, especially when vendors like Gazelle (as well as others) typically pay more than the subsidized cost of a new smartphone for last year’s smartphone.

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phone Stories April 10, 2013

‘Burner – Disposable Phone Numbers’ iPhone app goes free, gets referral program, improved call history, custom voicemail, more

We’ve told you about the Burner iOS app from Ad Hoc Labs in the past, an iOS app that received a lot of attention for its ability to provide temporary numbers for receiving SMS and calls on the iPhone. Today the developers are announcing a major update to the app that introduces a number of new features such a referral program and custom voicemail messages. While temporary Burner numbers aren’t free, Ad Hoc Labs is also dropping the $1.99 price tag and making Burner available as a free download starting today.

Not only can you download the app now for free, Burner is also providing a “Sample Burner” to get you started:

Once a user downloads the free iOS or Android app, he or she can create a “Sample Burner” for free. Additional numbers can be purchased via credit packages starting at $1.99. There are also extension options available for purchase.

Among the major new features for the app is a referral program that will allow users to earn credits by recommending other users to the app, the ability to reactive disabled numbers, improved notifications, and much more:

What’s New in Version 1.6.5

Burner 1.6.5 includes additional features and polishes on 1.6. Enjoy!

1.6 is a significant update with major new features and enhancements including:

★ REFERRAL PROGRAM to award credits to you and your friends for sharing Burner

★ NO PREMATURE BURNING. If you run out of minutes/messages, your number will be disabled but can be reloaded to reactivate (until the expiration date)

★ BETTER NOTIFICATIONS that deep link to texts, missed calls, and voicemails, and include the name of your caller if you’ve edited the number to include a name

★ CALL HISTORY MANAGEMENT. Star, rename, or archive conversations.

★ CUSTOM VOICEMAIL GREETINGS

And much more!

phone Stories April 9, 2013

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New data from tech analysts Canalys (via TechCrunch) shows Google leading downloads, with Google Play accounting for 51 percent of the market against Apple’s 40 percent, but Apple well ahead in monetisation, taking 74 percent against “close to 20 percent” for Google. expand full story

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