Category - Mobile-phones
UK carrier Three has launched a new contract-free plan, which provides customers with 200MB of data per month. The Pay-As-You-Go Data Reward SIM costs £10 ($15) and is preloaded with 1GB of data usable for 30 days. After registering, users will receive 200MB of LTE data per month, even if they do not top up regularly, though the SIM will be deactivated if it isn't used for six months.
A recent drawing that resembled a schematic for an alleged iPad Air 3 has now served as the basis of new cases for the allegedly forthcoming device, though it may well be a case of Chinese manufacturers taking a risk that the drawing represents genuine changes planned for the next iteration of Apple's flagship 9.7-inch tablet. Among the changes posited by the drawing are feature changes drawn mostly from the iPad Pro, including the quad speakers of the larger device, as well as a Smart Connector.
Samsung has teased the reveal of its next flagship smartphones later this month, timed to coincide with the annual Mobile World Congress trade show in Barcelona, Spain. The major competition to Apple in the smartphone market will be using its usual "Unpacked" event to show "The Next Galaxy," with the tease suggesting there may be more to come from the electronics producer in terms of virtual reality hardware, at the same event.
T-Mobile has added more services to its Binge On feature of its price plans, increasing the number of supported apps and services to more than 40. The carrier's service, which allows users of video streaming services to view content without it affecting their data allowance, has added support for Amazon Video, Fox News, Univision NOW, and WWE Network, with T-Mobile also making it easier for its customers to turn off the service completely.
This week on The MacNN Podcast, our regular co-host -- Managing Editor Mike -- was out single-handedly fighting Snowzilla in northern Virginia, so he only appears on this week's episode through the magic of prescient pre-recording. For episode 47, we recorded a discussion about the flood of betas that Apple unleashed on January 11, updating all four of its OS platforms with the first beta of the new cycle on the same day. They did it again this week, so that previously-cut segment gets used after all!
A bill presented in California is seeking to force smartphone manufacturers to add backdoors to their devices, if they are to be sold in the state. Introduced by Democrat assembly member Jim Cooper, bill 1681 echoes a similar bill proposed in New York, aiming to make it easier for law enforcement officials to gain access to data on mobile devices, though simultaneously making it potentially easier for others to access the same encrypted data.
Joining AT&T and T-Mobile, wireless provider Verizon has launched its own sponsored streaming data exception program. FreeBee Data 360, one of the pair of programs launched today, allows providers to sign up to provide consumers some or all of their mobile content -- whether in an app or mobile website -- without using consumers' data plans, with the sponsor being billed on a per-GB pricing model.
Smartphone manufacturers must provide a way to easily unlock or decrypt their devices for law enforcement purposes, a bill going through the New York state assembly has demanded. Introduced last summer, the bill has been referred to a committee in the last week, with vendors facing a potential fine of $2,500 for every smartphone or mobile device produced this year or sold in New York that fails to comply, if the bill passes.
With a large portion of the US dealing with nasty weather today and tonight, stay home! Take advantage of your Amazon Prime subscription, or just your itch for new stuff with MacNN's Daily Deals column. Today, like every day, the MacNN crew scours the online tech deals to see what we can find so you, our faithful reader, can save a bit of money. Today's highlights include a Samsung 850 EVO 1TB SSD for $290, a Brother color laser all-in-one wireless printer for $260, and a UE Boom speaker for $100.
Sprintis becoming the latest carrier in the United States to end two-year contracts for new accounts, according to a leaked internal document. The carrier will allegedly only offer subsidized agreements for smartphones to customers on a "reactive basis to select customers," forcing subscribers on new accounts to either pay for a device outright or to take up a leasing agreement for the hardware, instead of getting their mobile device paid for as part of a contract.
Now AAPL Stock: 94.02 ( -2.58 )
Apple brings iTunes Movie Trailers app to Canada
After five years, Apple has expanded its iTunes Movie Trailers app for iOS to Canada. As of Saturday, the free app allows movie buffs to see HD movie trailers for new studio and independent features, and explore some other movie-related extras such as photos, behind-the-scenes footage, or clips from upcoming films. Users can save trailers for quick access, read reviews from RottenTomatoes.com within the app, use AirPlay to send them to an Apple TV, share trailers, and peruse the top movie charts. http://apple.co/1UUKtwr
Apple expands CloudKit API, provides web interface
On Friday, Apple notified developers that it was expanding a feature of CloudKit to allow for server-to-server web service requests. "In addition to providing a web interface for users to access the same data as your app, you can now easily read and write to the CloudKit public database from a server-side process or script with a server-to-server key," Apple said in its announcement. Previously, interaction with the CloudKit public database was limited to apps and web only. http://apple.co/20h1RwP
Remote S for Tesla Apple Watch app drives car out
Developer Allen Wong has created the Remote S for Tesla app, which can be used to remotely activate the Model S electric car via an Apple Watch, and drive it a short distance. Aside from providing data about the car and some basic function controls, the unofficial app uses the manufacturer's Summon command to allow the car to turn on, exit the garage, and park near to the user's location. The app is available to purchase from the App Store for $10. http://apple.co/1PprF4t
Seagate 3TB unreliability suit expands
The Seagate 3TB class-action hard drive lawsuit has been expanded to more devices. The expanded suit, filed today, now includes Seagate's Barracuda 3TB Hard Disk Drive, Desktop HDD 3TB, Backup Plus 3TB External Hard Disk Drive, GoFlex 3TB External Hard Disk Drive, or any other Seagate hard drive with model number ST3000DM001. The law firm, Hagens Berman, is seeking information from consumers such as time in service, purchase price, and the nature of any drive received in return from Seagate as a replacement for a failed unit. http://bit.ly/1Pc34Cq
BlackBerry Canada, Florida hit with layoffs
The BlackBerry campus has reportedly been wracked with layoffs. Sources familiar with the company's Waterloo office staffing claim that close to 35 percent of the local workforce has been laid off, with the deepest cuts being made in the BlackBerry 10 OS and hardware teams. Additionally, the state of Florida has been officially notified that the company's Sunrise facility will see 75 people fired. Enthusiast site Mobilesyrup puts the layoffs at around 1000 total. http://bit.ly/1Pc1Rep
Instagram tests multiple account support for iOS
Instagram is trialling support for multiple accounts in its iPhone app with a small number of users. The Facebook-owned photo sharing service confirmed the reports of the tests to TechCrunch, which will allow a single user to manage more than a single account within the app, transferring between two or three accounts with a few taps. It is unclear when the feature will roll out to the public, but it has previously tested it with the Android version of the app since November. http://tcrn.ch/1SPKEKh
Foxconn CEO declares Sharp deal near done
The Foxconn bid for Sharp is allegedly only waiting on specific details of the deal. Foxconn CEO Terry Gou has declared that his company has privileged negotiation rights for the Apple iPhone screen supplier, saying that "we have a consensus, the rest is a process ... I don't see a problem completing this process." Gou hopes the deal, worth up to $5.6 billion, will be formalized by the end of February. http://reut.rs/1SPEQjN