Tag - Comcast
Amazon customers in the United States are now able to order cable service from the retailer's online store for the first time. The Amazon Cable Store is offering a number of Comcast products and services that customers can subscribe to, including ordering an Internet connection, setting up a pay-TV package, and even ordering a "triple play" bundle combining Internet and TV with a phone line, all without leaving the Amazon marketplace.
Comcast has started to slowly roll out its gigabit-speed Internet service in the United States, with the first connection live in Philadelphia last week. The connection, which is believed to be the first in the world using a DOCSIS 3.1 modem on a customer-facing network, brings Comcast in line with other similar high-speed services such as the already-live Google Fiber and AT&T's GigaPower connections.
The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) is looking into how telecommunications providers offer free allocations of data to their subscribers. AT&T, Comcast, and T-Mobile have all been sent requests by the FCC for more information about these programs operate, with the possibility that the carriers and cable companies providing them to customers may be doing so against net neutrality principles.
Comcast subscribers may find their service will extend away from their home network, with a report claiming the cable company is looking to move into providing cellular services to its users. It is alleged Comcast has advised Verizon it will be reselling part of the carrier's wireless service to its customers under a 2012 spectrum deal, with the supposed new service potentially being offered to Comcast customers by this time next year.
Comcast is testing out an extra fee that will help Internet customers avoid paying out excess bandwidth-related charges on their monthly bill, in areas where a cap is enforced. The cable company is allowing customers in areas of Florida to pay $30 extra per month for unlimited data through the fiber network, letting subscribers go above their monthly usage allowance without worrying about receiving a higher than expected bill the following month.
Comcast is planning to bring its gigabit-speed Internet service to its entire fiber network within a few years, according to an executive. Robert Howald, vice president of network architecture for the cable company, explained in an interview that Comcast will be aiming to roll out the technology to get the high-speed connections across its US network footprint within the next two to three years, with the target being two years.
Comcast is extending access to an app that allows users to stream from their mobile devices to an X1 DVR-ready set-top box to all subscribers. The app, Xfinity Share for iOS and Android, can be used to broadcast photographs, recorded videos, and live video streams from a smartphone to a suitable cable box, and it is also possible to share the stream with another subscriber's TV. Slashgear reports the app was originally available to just Triple Play package customers, but now it can be used by any Comcast voice, video, home, and Internet subscriber.
Comcast is planning to beat its major competition in the broadband speed arms race, by testing a technology that could offer 10Gbps connections later this year. Faster than the gigabit speeds of Google Fiber and even its own 2Gbps Gigabit Pro service in some areas, Comcast CEO Neil Smit advised that the cable company is going to be performing a market trial in the fourth quarter for DOCSIS 3.1 running at far higher speeds.
Just a few days after launching a streaming TV service, Comcast revealed it is working with EA on a game streaming service for its Internet customers, using their existing set-top box. Running through Comcast's X1 TV platform, Xfinity Games will stream game footage to customer cable boxes, allowing them to play a selection of games on their television, without needing to acquire a dedicated game console.
Comcast is finally joining the ranks of PlayStation Vue and Sling TV, in providing an Internet television subscription independent of a main cable subscription. Titled Stream, the service will offer customers live TV broadcasts to watch on their choice of device, including desktops, notebooks, tablets, and smartphones, though unlike its main competitors, there appear to be a few snags that may cause some potential customers to look elsewhere.
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Cirrus creates Lightning-headphone dev kit
Apple supplier Cirrus Logic has introduced a MFi-compliant new development kit for companies interested in using Cirrus' chips to create Lightning-based headphones, which -- regardless of whether rumors about Apple dropping the analog headphone jack in its iPhone this fall -- can offer advantages to music-loving iOS device users. The kit mentions some of the advantages of an all-digital headset or headphone connector, including higher-bitrate support, a more customizable experience, and support for power and data transfer into headphone hardware. Several companies already make Lightning headphones, and Apple has supported the concept since June 2014. http://bit.ly/29giiZj
Apple Store app offers Procreate Pocket
The Apple Store app for iPhone, which periodically rewards users with free app gifts, is now offering the iPhone "Pocket" version of drawing app Procreate for those who have the free Apple Store app until July 28. Users who have redeemed the offer by navigating to the "Stores" tab of the app and swiping past the "iPhone Upgrade Program" banner to the "Procreate" banner have noted that only the limited Pocket (iPhone) version of the app is available free, even if the Apple Store app is installed and the offer redeemed on an iPad. The Pocket version currently sells for $3 on the iOS App Store. [32.4MB]
Porsche adds CarPlay to 2017 Panamera
Porsche has added a fifth model of vehicle to its CarPlay-supported lineup, announcing that the 2017 Panamera -- which will arrive in the US in January -- will include Apple's infotainment technology, and be seen on a giant 12.3-inch touchscreen as part of an all-new Porsche Communication Management system. The luxury sedan starts at $99,900 for the 4S model, and scales up to the Panamera Turbo, which sells for $146,900. Other vehicles that currently support CarPlay include the 2016 911 and the 2017 models of Macan, 718 Boxster, and 718 Cayman. The company did not mention support for Google's corresponding Android Auto in its announcement. http://bit.ly/295ZQ94
Apple employees testing wheelchair features
New features included in the forthcoming watchOS 3 are being tested by Apple retail store employees, including a new activity-tracking feature that has been designed with wheelchair users in mind. The move is slightly unusual in that, while retail employees have previously been used to test pre-release versions of OS X and iOS, this marks the first time they've been included in the otherwise developer-only watchOS betas. The company is said to have gone to great lengths to modify the activity tracker for wheelchair users, including changing the "time to stand" notification to "time to roll" and including two wheelchair-centric workout apps. http://bit.ly/2955JDa
SanDisk reveals two 256GB microSDXC cards
SanDisk has introduced two 256GB microSDXC cards. Arriving in August for $150, the Ultra microSDXC UHS-I Premium Edition card offers transfer speeds of up to 95MB/s for reading data. The Extreme microSDXC UHS-I card can read at a fast 100MB/s and write at up to 90MB/s, and will be shipping sometime in the fourth quarter for $200. http://bit.ly/294Q1If
Apple's third-quarter results due July 26
Apple has advised it will be issuing its third-quarter results on July 26, with a conference call to answer investor and analyst queries about the earnings set to take place later that day. The stream of the call will go live at 2pm PT (5pm ET) via Apple's investor site, with the results themselves expected to be released roughly 30 minutes before the call commences. Apple's guidance for the quarter put revenue at between $41 billion and $43 billion. http://apple.co/1oi1Pbm
Twitter stickers slowly roll out to users
Twitter has introduced "stickers," allowing users to add extra graphical elements to their photos before uploading them to the micro-blogging service. A library of hundreds of accessories, props, and emoji will be available to use as stickers, which can be resized, rotated, and placed anywhere on the photograph. Images with stickers will also become searchable with viewers able to select a sticker to see how others use the same graphic in their own posts. Twitter advises stickers will be rolling out to users over the next few weeks, and will work on both the mobile apps and through the browser. http://bit.ly/29bbwUE