Platforms include iOS, Apple TV, Android, Windows
DirecTV has announced a partnership with Fox Networks, giving subscribers access to all the content in the Fox Now, FXNow, and Nat Geo TV apps on multiple platforms. This includes iOS, Apple TV, Android, and Windows devices. In effect the change means that the apps have simply added DirecTV as a service authentication option, joining other TV providers.
Refunds to T-Mobile customers affected by cramming charges incoming
T-Mobile has settled a lawsuit with the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) over complaints the carrier allowed third-party companies to place unauthorized charges to customer bills. As part of the "cramming" settlement, T-Mobile has agreed to pay out at least $90 million in fines and refunds, as well as altering its third-party billing practices.
Judge concerned about 'speculative nature of the damages'
US District Judge Beth L. Freeman ruled on Thursday that she requires the plaintiffs, Gary Feitelson and Daniel McKee, in a lawsuit against Google to submit more details. The two consumers allege that Android-based smartphone prices are being negatively impacted because manufacturers must agree to pre-load apps like the Google search app by default, instead of making deals with, for instance, Bing. The judge has said she would most likely dismiss the lawsuit as it stands, but is giving the plaintiffs a chance to revise it with additional evidence.
Lenovo smartphones using Intel processors, LTE radios said to be heading to China, emerging markets
Intel is rumored to be supplying processors for two Lenovo smartphones set to launch next year. A report Lenovo is aiming to announce two new smartphones in the first quarter, possibly at CES or Mobile World Congress, with Intel providing not only its 64-bit Atom processors for the mobile devices, but also LTE-Advanced cellular radios.
Investment pledge by UK carriers to avoid implementing national roaming proposal
A suggestion by the British government has prompted carriers to improve their mobile networks. EE, O2, Vodafone, and Three have all agreed to collectively invest at least £5 billion ($7.8 billion) into a program to improve their mobile networks across the United Kingdom, in order to avoid being forced to implement a proposed "National Roaming" scheme.
Version 5.1 expected to be available by February, sources say
The latest version of Android, 5.0 Lollipop, has been experiencing a bit of a rocky road since its release, with version 5.0.1 already having been pushed out to address some of the issues. Rumors are surfacing that Lollipop 5.1 will be released in early 2015 -- however, some users may not be able to update until July, if ever.
Potential fine of up to $105 million by FCC the latest in a crackdown on 'cramming'
Mobile phone service provider Sprint could be facing a fine of as high as $105 million or other disciplinary actions from the FCC after a study by the agency concluded that the carrier was willfully participating in a practice called "cramming," in which users are often tricked into signing up for "premium" services (such as ringtones or special messages) from a third-party, which then adds monthly charges to the user's bill. Like AT&T and T-Mobile before it, Sprint has run afoul of authorities for taking a cut of these scams, and thus having an incentive to allow them to continue, despite customer complaints.
Full keyboard, retro design main features of mid-range BlackBerry Classic
BlackBerry has formally launched a retro-styled smartphone it previously teased. Housed in a casing reminiscent of earlier models, the BlackBerry Classic has a few modern tricks up its sleeve to go with the familiar QWERTY keyboard, including an optical trackpad and a touch-enabled 3.5-inch 720x720-resolution square display.
Overall smartphone market shows growth, but top two leaders lose share
According to new quarterly figures from industry analysts Gartner, enormous growth by Apple's iPhone has eroded worldwide mobile phone share -- including both smartphones and feature phones -- from top seller Samsung and second-place Nokia, with Apple potentially taking the second spot from Nokia after this quarter's expected record-breaking iPhone sales are announced. For the most recent quarter, Apple was within one percentage point of matching Nokia in a market seeing strong overall growth.
Tech appears aimed directly at competing with Apple Pay
Samsung is in talks with a Massachusetts-based startup, LoopPay, with the hope of launching a mobile payment platform in 2015, sources say. Whether or not Samsung has reached a deal is uncertain, and indeed one source says that talks could still break down. A second source claims that a prototype version of the platform is already working on a Samsung phone.
Simple Choice plan customers have up to one year to use leftover data
T-Mobile will allow its customers to bank unused data allowances for future use, it has revealed. The Uncarrier 8.0 announcement of "Data Stash" allows data to rollover from month to month, with leftover data stored on the account for up to a year, allowing the customer to go over their normal monthly data allowance at a later time.
Huawei Honor 6 Plus uses dual 8MP rear camera sensors for 13MP photographs
Huawei has announced two mobile devices for the European and Chinese markets, extending its Honor range. The Honor T1 is a budget tablet with an eight-inch display packed into an aluminum unibody casing, while the Honor 6 Plus is a smartphone for China with two rear camera sensors capable of merging the two images into a single 13-megapixel photograph.
Improved LTE speeds on T-Mobile network in parts of New York City
T-Mobile has activated its Wideband LTE service in New York City, expanding the bandwidth and increasing the speed of its existing LTE network. The carrier has also advised that its latest Uncarrier event will be taking place tomorrow, though rather than inviting members of the media to a location, it will instead be held online.
Format promises better images, smaller file sizes on future mobile devices
Fabrice Bellard, coder for the well-known FFMPEG video library and the QEMU virtualization hypervisor has unveiled the "Better Portable Graphics" (BPG) format. The new format, based on the HEVC open video compression standard, is intended to replace JPEG for mobile devices, or other utilizations where file size may be an issue.
Stickers in group chat, timed-display message function, Lollipop support, more
BlackBerry has released a new version of Messenger BBM - BlackBerry Limited">for iOS, Android, Windows Phone, and BlackBerry, each with differing sets of new features the company says are some of its most-often requested additions. For iOS, the app has received a total makeover to bring it in line with the general iOS 8 design language. Android users get support for the latest major release, Lollipop (version 5), as well as a new landscape mode. BlackBerry OS 10 users can now share multiple attachments and images at the same time.
Kodak hybrid device links smartphone with full-size optics
Smartphone imagery still widely varies. Large Megapixel counts don't make for a good image, and the optics in some devices are lacking. Kodak thinks they have a solution in the Kodak PixPro SL10 Smart Lens camera. Kodak's clip-on camera is an independent all-in-one 16MP cylindrical-shaped digital camera that attaches to both Android and IOS smartphones. The concept is not exactly new to the market, as Sony has their similar versions. Does the PixPro SL10 stand out? Check our review to find out.
Un-jailbroken iOS devices safe from attack; Android, Windows smartphones at most risk
Beginning in Russia and spreading quickly to other countries, a new variation on the formerly-dormant Red October malware has been detected by security firms such as Blue Coat and Kaspersky this week. The new version -- which is notably targeting smartphones of diplomats, military leaders and business executives -- contains a level of sophistication in the function and code that suggests a rogue state, which would have the resources to assemble the talent, is backing the attack.
App replaced by 'Amazon Shopping' app with no links to app store
As a result of a revised developer's agreement, Google has made the original Amazon Android app undiscoverable in Google Play. Amazon has replaced the removed app with a new "Amazon Shopping" app, which notably removes access to the retailer's app store through a Google Play-sanctioned app, leaving users forced to "sideload" a separate app from another source in order to facilitate downloads and purchases from Amazon's app store.
Production halts on Nexus 5, only black variant available on Google Play
Production for the Google Nexus 5 has finally ceased, it has been confirmed. The smartphone, the predecessor to the Nexus 6, is no longer being manufactured by LG for the search company and, despite a few slight availability issues for some variants, Google is going to continue selling the device until it runs out of stock completely.
Developers for low-tech virtual reality device gains more support from Google
Google's low-tech virtual reality efforts have received a boost, with updates for users, developers, and those creating their own version of the Google Cardboard kit. Alongside a new Cardboard app making it easier to find and view VR experiences, Google Play now includes a collection page showing a number of made-for-Cardboard apps, including a performance by Paul McCartney and scenes from The Hobbit.
AT&T increases number of markets with HD Voice enabled
AT&T has expanded its Voice over LTE (VoLTE) and HD Voice service into more markets. The carrier's higher-quality voice calls are now available to use in parts of the District of Columbia, Georgia, Illinois, Indiana, Maryland, Michigan, Minnesota, Nevada, North Carolina, Ohio, Oregon, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Texas, Utah, Virginia, Washington, and Wisconsin, though customers will require a VoLTE-compatible smartphone.
Couples option offers unlimited everything, four-line plan splits 10GB data bucket
Starting December 10, T-Mobile will offer unlimited talk, text and data for two lines in a new $100 per month plan -- or 10 GB of total data with unlimited talk and text for four-line plans at the same price, Electronista has learned. The move comes backed up by a poll of cell phone subscribers which claims, among other things, that 81 percent of those polled said they found promotions offered by providers such as AT&T, Verizon, and Sprint to be confusing. T-Mobile President and CEO, John Legere, described the two new offerings as being "simple and saner" alternatives to the competition, although they're not without caveats.
US' leading carriers seeing increased competition from T-Mobile, Sprint
In the telecom industry, "churn" is the rate at which subscribers jump from one service to another, and it appears to be increasing with 4G cellphone subscribers during the present quarter. So much so that both AT&T and Verizon have indicated to investors that their margins may be "impacted" in Q4 by the loss of subscribers, and the promotional efforts it will take to lure them back from rivals such as T-Mobile and Sprint.
Follow-up to HTC Desire 610 packs 64-bit processor, 5-inch 720p display
HTC is continuing its support for the mid-range smartphone market, by extending its Desire line in the United Kingdom and parts of Europe. The Desire 620 is the successor to the Desire 610 launched at Mobile World Congress in February this year, and will be driven by a 64-bit quad-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 410 processor clocked at 1.2GHz, along with 1GB of RAM.
Blackphone PrivatOS Spaces update will help separate work, personal data
The security-minded smartphone from Geeksphone and Silent Circle will soon have its own privacy-focused app store. A future update for Blackphone has also been announced, with a change to the Android fork PrivatOS providing a way to separate the different types of data stored on the device, keeping them segregated for increased app security.
LG smartphone, smartwatch, stylus rumors surface before end of 2014
LG may be scaling back its smartphone launches for 2015, lowering the number of devices it will ship in the first half of the year, following similar moves by Sony and Samsung. At the same time, there is word that the South Korean electronics producer may be looking to include stylus input in a future device in a more meaningful way than before, as well as another addition to its smartwatch line.
'The iPad has been the gold standard in tablets since it was unveiled'
A top Android fan site, Android Police, has published its annual gift guide, with staff members recommending (and sometimes dissing) various top-flight models of Android phones and phablets. For straight-up tablets, however, the site picked the iPad Air 2 as its top pick over the expected Nexus 9 or Nvidia's Shield tablet. The surprise choice, said Senior Editor David Ruddock, was because "the Air 2 is reliable, predictable, and very fast," adding that the iPad "has been the gold standard in tablets since it was unveiled."
Successor to OnePlus One said to have Snapdragon 805 processor
Specifications for the follow-up to the OnePlus One may have leaked, via an online retailer. Coolicool is currently listing a smartphone called the OnePlus Two, which if genuine, is said to have a 5.5-inch display with an unknown resolution, with the device generally having slightly upgraded overall specifications compared to its predecessor.
Testing taking place in areas of Manhattan, Cleveland
Verizon has started the process of expanding the bandwidth of its LTE networks, at the expense of 3G, according to a report. The carrier is apparently testing out spectrum in the 1980-1990MHz range typically used by its CDMA and 3G EV-DO networks for LTE purposes, with parts of Cleveland and Manhattan allegedly being the main locations for Verizon's 4G experimentation.
Metal-clad Samsung smartphone shown with octa-core 64-bit Snapdragon processor
Samsung is preparing to launch another device in its Galaxy A-series, following the A5, A3, and the original Galaxy Alpha. A filing at the Chinese regulator TENAA shows the Galaxy A7 as a device which weighs 133 grams (4.7 ounces) and measures just 6.3 millimeters thin, just 0.4 millimeters thinner than the Galaxy A5, making it the thinnest mobile device the company has ever produced.
European launch of dual-screen Russian smartphone takes place in London
Yota Devices is bringing the YotaPhone 2 to market this month with a launch in Europe, starting with a pop-up shop in London tonight, before a wider release next year. The smartphone retains the same e-paper rear display concept as its predecessor, which can be used for various smartphone functions without using too much battery life, but houses it and other upgraded components inside a sleeker, curved casing.
Promotion from Sprint aims to pull AT&T, Verizon subscribers away with low-cost plans
Sprint is stepping up its efforts to pull customers away from other carriers after its double data promotion ended, by offering to halve their bills instead. The aggressive promotion offers to provide customers on AT&T and Verizon a subscription at half the cost of its competitors, while still providing unlimited voice minutes, unlimited texts, and an equivalent amount of data to their old plan.
Smartphone manufacturer lost money on Windows Phone devices
Huawei will not be making Windows Phone devices for the foreseeable future, an executive has revealed. In an interview, head of international media affairs Joe Kelly claimed the smartphone manufacturer failed to benefit from either of its two Windows Phone launches, and that competitors who also use the mobile operating system are facing similar issues.
Three interchangeable modules used to create Puzzlephone
Google's Project Ara may not be the only modular smartphone on the market, if a Finnish start-up has anything to do with it. The Puzzlephone from Circular Devices aims to offer end users the option to customize parts to create their ideal smartphone, but rather than go down the route of individual components, it will instead divide the phone up into three segments, simplifying the modular concept significantly.
Yahoo switch not mandatory
Mozilla has released Firefox 34, the latest version of its multi-platform web browser. As promised last month, the update makes Yahoo the default search engine. People upgrading from a previous version, however, are only being prompted to switch engines in a pop-up message; clicking "Later" leaves Google search in place.
Three offers same-day delivery of Galaxy S5, iPhone 6 in London
British carrier Three is starting to offer same-day delivery for smartphone orders, within central London, saving customers from going to a store. The trial will allow customers to order a Samsung Galaxy S5 or the iPhone 6 from the carrier from Monday to Friday between 7am and 3pm at "selected London postcodes," reports Engadget, with customers paying £15 ($23.50) for the privilege.
Regulatory symbols on devices can be removed, shown in software instead
The backs of smartphones will become slightly better looking, after a bill concerning the labeling of electronic devices has been signed into law by President Obama. The E-Label Act, created by Sen. Deb Fischer (R-Neb.), will allow manufacturers to leave off a large amount of the logos and other regulatory iconography from the device itself.
Fire Phone cut to less than a third of original launch price
Amazon has dramatically cut the price of its Fire Phone for a second time, and not as part of a holiday sale or other promotion. The retailer has brought the smartphone down in cost to $199 off-contract from an earlier $0.99 price on a two-year AT&T contract or $449 off-contract, itself a cut from the original launch price of $199 on-contract or $650 unlocked.
LG G3 rollout of Android Lollipop commences in South Korea
LG has continued its roll out the Android 5.0 update for the G3 smartphone, albeit just in South Korea. Following an initial rollout in Poland, the Lollipop firmware update in the company's home country is a good sign for the update's overall progress, though BGR notes that there has yet to be any confirmation of any other international updates, nor what other devices will be upgraded to Lollipop in the near future.
Amount ranges up to $550
Beginning on December 1, BlackBerry will be offering up to $550 for people willing to trade in an iPhone towards the purchase of a BlackBerry Passport. Shoppers will be able to trade anything from an iPhone 4S through to an iPhone 6, and receive a $150 " rel='nofollow'top-up" in addition to the phone's actual estimated value. Hitting the $550 mark requires a mint-condition iPhone 6, which is valued at $400.
Rumor claims Xperia Z4 to have 5.4-inch Quad HD-resolution display
Sony's next iteration of the Xperia mobile device line could be unveiled as early as January, according to a rumor. It is claimed the Xperia Z4 and a larger Xperia Z4 Ultra will be shown off during CES at the start of next year, barely four months after the company revealed the Xperia Z3 range, and almost two months before the first-year anniversary of the Xperia Z2's launch.
Carrier to modify text messages, disclosures to customers, report accurate speed tests
US carrier T-Mobile and the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) announced an agreement today that changes the way T-Mobile handles customers that go over their data caps in any given month. The FCC says T-Mobile will take steps to ensure customers are better informed about the reduced speeds, including providing accurate speed tests.
BlackBerry opens pre-orders for Red, White Passport
BlackBerry's previously-revealed limited edition versions of the Passport smartphone are available to pre-order today. The red version with black framing and highlights, along with a white model, can be pre-ordered now from BlackBerry directly ready for shipping on November 28th. The red model is priced at $699, while the white version is being sold at a lower $599.
Report claims BT could reacquire carrier it spun off in 2001
British Telecom (BT) may reacquire O2, a mobile phone network the company originally created, according to reports. BT is said to be in talks with two carriers about a possible acquisition, and while one is the Telefonica-owned O2, the other potential target is EE, the carrier offering services from both Orange and T-Mobile in the United Kingdom alongside its own LTE coverage.
CEO Lei believes Xiaomi can make the jump from third place, trades jabs with Apple
Last week, Xiaomi CEO Jun Lei said that he expects the smartphone manufacturer to take the number one sales spot in smartphones over the next decade. Lei had a chance to emphasize his belief at the World Internet Conference in Wuzhen China, taking to a panel to accentuate the company's growth in smart devices. To do so, the Chinese company will need to overtake the number one and two companies Samsung and Apple, something that Apple Senior Vice President of Legal and Government Affairs Bruce Sewell believes won't be so "easy."
Testing on Nexus 6 shows dramatic decrease in NAND read and write performance
While initial reviews of the anticipated Google Nexus 6 device were decent, a few reviewers pointed out some confusing performance metrics. Initial examiners of the device are reporting that implementation of Android 5.0 Lollipop's Full Disk Encryption (FDE) cuts NAND random read speeds dramatically, from over 16.6MB/s with encryption off, to 6.18MB/s with the feature active.
Google offers Chromebook users 1TB of cloud storage for two years
Google is giving potential Chromebook users an incentive to pick up the notebook before the end of the year. The search company is providing new Chromebook purchases worth $199 or more with 1TB of Google Drive storage for two years as a free bonus. The offer applies to purchases at retail and online stores, as well as Google Play, but must be redeemed before January 1st, 2015.
Starbucks adds Powermat wireless charging to 200 San Francisco stores
Starbucks is expanding its wireless charging efforts, by adding more Duracell Powermat charges to 200 locations in the San Francisco Bay Area, ahead of plans to offer it across the United States and possibly in Europe and Asia by next year. For customers without a compatible wireless charging device, Duracell Powermat "Rings" will be available to borrow and return for each visit, or can be bought for $10 each.
Which fashion-forward recipient will you gift with a smart watch?
Wearable devices have become an important part of the technology industry this year, with almost every manufacturer producing a smartwatch, fitness tracker, or some other form of technology designed to be worn, not carried. If you feel the need to buy a present for someone you know who wants a wearable item, here is Electronista and MacNN's first gift guide of the season, covering the newest expansion of mobile technology.
Patriot launches Fuel Ion magnetic portable battery
Patriot has launched the latest addition to its Fuel Ion ecosystem, the Fuel Ion Magnetic Portable Battery. The battery attaches to the back of any Fuel Ion phone case, offering a 2100mAh capacity that can charge any smartphone without need to connect with a power cord. Lightweight, the battery can charge itself and any enabled smartphone when the battery is connected via its base to a wall or car adapter power source. The Fuel Ion ecosystem includes cases and other accessories compatible with iPhone 5 and 5s, Samsung Galaxy 4 and 5, and Samsung Note 3. Priced at $50, the Fuel Ion Portable Battery will soon be available through Amazon and a variety of other retailers.