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4 years ago

Verizon testing a $99 unlimited wireless plan

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It appears Verizon Wireless is testing another unlimited wireless plan.

According to the research firm Current Analysis, Verizon will test a $99 unlimited talking, texting and date plan in Los Angeles and San Diego markets. If the plan eventually rolls out nationwide, it will compete directly with Sprint's $99 Simply Everything plan and T-Mobile's comparable $99 unlimited plan.

The $99 plan represents a $20 per month savings from what Verizon currently charges for these unlimited features. The test package is being described by Verizon as a limited time promotion available for single line accounts. It is not available for family plans and does not include domestic long distance.

If you're in the Los Angeles or San Diego markets, check your local retail outlet for availability or contact Verizon's customer service at 1-800-922-0204.

Verizon is also testing a Unlimited Any Mobile plans in parts of Texas and Louisiana which offers unlimited calling to any mobile number. This latest test plan may be an indication we're about to see an overhaul of Verizon's wireless plan structure.

via: Engadget.com

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4 years ago

Review: BlueAnt S4 Bluetooth Speaker

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Review: BlueAnt S4 Bluetooth Speaker

BlueAnt has released its latest Bluetooth Speakerphone, the S4. The S4's main features center around the use of voice commands to enhance the "hands free" experience. While you can still control the speakerphone with buttons, with the S4 you can say "answer" or "ignore" to manage incoming calls.

In addition to offering hands free calling, the S4 also puts BING information at your disposal through BING 411 and allows access to audible text messages by being Vlingo compatible. All in all, the S4 hopes to keep your hands more on the wheel and less on your phone.

We had the opportunity to take the S4 out for a test drive and found it to offer some "cool" features. We also found some features still needed a little work. Follow the break to what type of impression the S4 left.

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4 years ago

Review: SPB Spanish Cards

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4 years ago

Microsoft: We're partnering really closely with Qualcomm

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Over at Gamasutra, they had an nice interview with Kevin Unangst, Microsoft's senior director of PC and mobile gaming, and Brian Seitz, senior marketing manager for Windows Phone 7.

The topic was gaming and there were a few interesting bits of information, the first found in this blog's headline:

We're partnering really closely with Qualcomm so they're going to be the chip of choice... It will be a good experience with developers," says Brian Seitz, senior marketing manager for Windows Phone 7.

Some much for nVidia's Tegra2 or ARM Cortex A8 /"Hummingbird", eh?

Other things which we're sort of already knew:

  • Two tiers for games: more professional Xbox Live Arcade and regular Marketplace games; the former is exceptional quality with high standards, the latter anyone can develop on. This also means you won't need an XBLA account to play all games on WP7
  • Microsoft helps set the prices for games; trying to avoid 'race to the bottom' for pricing to protect developer's interests
  • Tiered pricing for games, like the Xbox console
  • ...it's just the beginning of what we're going to do with multiplayer."
  • "...this can be a great alternative to the DS and PSP, as much as we think [it can be to] the iPhone and the Droid"

Interesting stuff, though we're a little uneasy with the Qualcomm thing as..well, lets not bring up the past. We're curious to see if any hardware vendor will use non-Qualcomm chipsets, guess we'll have to wait and see.

Read more here.

 

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4 years ago

Microsoft Backstage event this Thursday: Gaming on WP7

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For those who want even more information on Microsoft's plans for Windows Phone 7 and Xbox integration, clear your calendar for this Thursday August 19, 2010, at 2:00 p.m. PST (4:00 p.m. CST).

Microsoft will be hosting yet-another "Backstage" video chat even, this time with none other than Major Nelson (Xbox folks know him pretty well). There you can

...get answers on Xbox LIVE titles available at launch, see more Games hub features, and get the total recap of our announcements at Gamescom.

Sounds cool.  It may just be a rehash of what we've seen so far, but maybe we'll catch a glimpse of something new. To access, you'll need to sign up, which is easy enough with a Live mail account or not. You can do that here and get the event details.

We'll of course try to do a recap for you, 'cause that's how we roll.

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4 years ago

Should Microsoft re-name Windows Phone 7?

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Funny thing reading social networking sites after the Microsoft Gamescom announcement: Windows Phone 7 suddenly went from potentially good to potentially killer status. Basically, the XBox integration has really impressed people--heck, in our unscientific poll, most of you are going with "better than expected" as your reaction.

All of this begs the question: why call it Windows Phone 7?

It was bad enough with the word 'Series' after it but three words to name the OS is still a mouthful these days, especially compared to 'WebOS', "Android', 'iPhone'/'iOS' or 'Blackberry'--all of which have a simple, identifiable and unique name.

Chris Pirillo, who's always an interesting read. of course agrees with this and even more so after the Gamescom announcement. His take?

They should call it the 'XBox Compass' and he gives seven reasons why going with the Xbox brand makes more sense than going with Windows.

Our thoughts? It's a heck of a lot better than 'Windows Phone 7' and 'XBox Compass' has a nice ring to it. Lets face it, calling Windows Phone 7 is just too geek, too tech, too long and too bland. Microsoft should really consider going with something different. Your thoughts? Take the poll or shout in comments.

 

Should Microsoft rename Windows Phone 7?survey software
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4 years ago

Halo Waypoint app shown off

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Halo Waypoint app shown off

Though many of us were hoping for some type of 'Halo' mobile offshoot game for the Windows Phone 7 launch, 'Halo' fans will have to settle for Waypoint, which is basically a media/news aggregator for the 'Halo' universe.

The app was written in only 3 months on Silverlight and will be a free download from the Marketplace. Hard for us to get excited over, but we suppose if you're a 'Halo' fan you might enjoy.

See the rest of our WP7 gaming titles coverage here.

[via WMPU]

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4 years ago

Microsoft announces Xbox LIVE titles coming to Windows Phone 7!

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As we mentioned just a few days ago, we were expecting Microsoft to have a few announcements at Gamescom conference in Germany this week and sure enough, they delivered. And in our opinion, big time.

In an exciting move, Microsoft has announced a whole hodge podge of game titles that will be released during the launch phase of Windows Phone 7 and there are some biggies.  The are so many in fact, you'll have click the link to see the whole list, but we'll tease you with a few:

  • Halo: Waypoint
  • Bejeweled LIVE
  • Castlevania
  • Guitar Hero 5
  • Max and the Magic Marker
  • Star Wars: Battle for Hoth
  • Assassins Creed
  • Asphalt 5

In all, there will be 50 titles launching this year (all listed after the break), from studios such as Gameloft, Konami, Namco Bandai, PopCap, THQ and of course, the newly formed Mobile Gaming Studios from Microsoft.

Sound exciting? Read on for some screen shots, videos, the official commercial, a poll and much more details!

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4 years ago

HTC Behind the Tan Lines Swimsuit Contest

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No, HTC isn't looking for swimsuit models to show off their new Windows Phone 7.

But they are giving you (and a friend) a chance go behind the scenes at the 2011 Sports Illustrated Swimsuit photo shoot. Winning the "Behind the Tan Lines" contest won't be all fun and games though. The lucky winner will have to use their HTC smartphones to document and share the experience via social networks.

All you need to do to enter is submit a three minute video or photo (shot with your smartphone) highlighting what unique perspective you can bring to covering the swimsuit shoot. Then "tweet" HTC with a short message on why they should look at your video/photo.

The Grand Prize winner will receive a trip for two to the photo shoot, access to the 2011 Swimsuit launch parties in New York and Las Vegas, an HTC Smartphone of your choice (and for your travel partner), and $10,000 cash.

Four Primary (second place) Prize winners will receive an HTC smartphone of their choice and $400 cash while twenty-five Secondary (third place) Prize winners will win an HTC smartphone of their choice and a SI Swimsuit prize pack.

Full details on this contest can be found here.  Our fingers are crossed that a Windows Phone user walks away with the Grand Prize!

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4 years ago

LG: We'll be first with Windows Phone 7; more details on launch

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LG had some interesting things to say, at least according to 'What Hi-Fi?'

First, we get more confirmation of a Europe-first launch, where LG says they'll have their 3.8" device based on the Optimus-line (previously seen to be running Android, looky here) ready to go, ahead of Samsung and HTC. This device will presumably be lacking a hard-keyboard.

The next bit is that in the U.S., we'll be getting the version with the keyboard, like above (Panther/GW910), in November. We're guessing AT&T for that one, but wouldn't mind a Sprint model to kick around.

Finally, LG is either trying to make Microsoft look good or they really believe in Windows Phone 7, as they supposedly told Korean reporters that

 ... it expects WP7 to outperform the two rival smartphone operating systems

The rivals being of course Android and the iPhone (don't you love how Blackberry is not even mentioned anymore?). Sounds good to us.

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4 years ago

Bing overtakes Yahoo! in the search market

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Microsoft's Bing search engine continues to do well, passing Yahoo! in July for the first time to be #2. Not bad for a market that really no one thought would change much, though we should point out Google is in no real trouble yet. Results are based on Chitika's web-ad network, similar to Google's AdSense.

Bing will also power Yahoo!'s search engine by the end of August, gaining them even more power, albeit hidden. Combined with their powering of Facebook's search, the upcoming Windows Phone 7 and maybe even Mozilla/Firefox (once their contract with Google expires), Bing could see some real growth in the next 24 months.

[via WebProNews]

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4 years ago

Marketplace Spotlight: Mobile Translator

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4 years ago

Monday A.M fun: Portal (GLaDOS) Ringtones

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We're huge fans of 'Portal', that mind-bending game featured on Xbox from uber-geeks Valve.

So when we heard that someone went all super-nerd and made a ringer, text message notification and voice mail announcement in .mp3format , well, our little geek hearts exploded.

Not only can you grab them free, you can read the tutorial on how to make your own simulated GLaDOS voice using some software trickery.

We have to say, the ringer here is especially sweet--nothing like hearing the mechanical GLaDOS mocking you as your phone rings. Read about 'em here, the downloads are on the right of that page.

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4 years ago

'What I learned about Windows Phone 7 from Android'

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Last week, I wrote about my thoughts on Android compared to Windows Phone 7 and why I thought Android, though extremely popular, ultimately has some fundamental architecture issues.

Today, Shawn Wildermuth, who has written six books on .NET and is heavily involved with the Microsoft ecosystem (so yeah, bias), discusses his thoughts on Android. He's uses a Motorola Droid on Verizon as his daily driver and just updated to OS 2.2 aka 'Froyo'.

One of his choice quotes would be 

...But there is an intrinsic problem here. I had to use some spelunking to find out what background processes were killing my performance. This is a big bucket of FAIL.

Phones aren't for geeks, they are for regular people like my mother and my sister. The fact that most Android users learn to use a task management app means there is something wrong.

We couldn't agree more and while we hope Windows Phone 7 v1.0 moves beyond the current feature-incomplete status sooner than later, we're quite happy with this new direction and focus on consumers.

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