Tag - HotSpot@Home
T-Mobile is considering the possibility of dropping part of its special HotSpot@Home calling service, a source said today. The carrier is supposedly disappointed with its fixed service, which uses two SIM cards to create a local network for phones, and may drop the feature "soon." T-Mobile's reversal is said by the BGR contact to be the result of T-Mobile's new chief operational officer determining that the plan isn't profitable.
T-Mobile has allegedly confirmed its plans to launch RIM's BlackBerry Bold 9700, known as the Onyx, sometime before the end of the year. The smartphone will support the carrier's UMA Wi-Fi calling service, available using HotSpot@Home, according to CIO. Press photos appear to confirm that RIM has omitted a trackball in favor of an optical pad.
T-Mobile today became the first American carrier to pick up the BlackBerry Curve 8900. The full-QWERTY smartphone is the same as the stock version already reviewed here but switches to supporting T-Mobile's HotSpot Calling service for its UMA feature, which lets it make calls on its built-in Wi-Fi and bridge these seamlessly to the GSM phone network and back. It also adds hooks for the company's myFaves calling service and comes bundled with a 256MB microSD card.
The previously leaked HTC Shadow II slider handset is that much closer to being available for purchase as it has just undergone testing at the FCC. The Shadow successor introduces the Windows Mobile 6.1 operating system along with a faster CPU and a softened up, more rounded design. The FCC papers reveal the quad-band handset has a separate battery rating for GSM and UMA, the latter of which is GSM-to-WiFi call bridging made possible via T-Mobile's HotSpot@Home service.
Rogers today became the second North American carrier to pick up the BlackBerry Pearl Flip. The clamshell carries the same updated BlackBerry OS, two-megapixel camera and EDGE data of the stock Flip but takes advantage of its built-in Wi-Fi for Rogers' TalkSpot calling service, which like T-Mobile's HotSpot@Home bridges calls between GSM and Wi-Fi to save on calling time or to improve reception indoors. As always, the short-range wireless also serves as a faster alternative to EDGE for data.
T-Mobile's Shadow II is on the verge of launch, a leak of final launch details at BGR would indicate. The carrier's second custom-designed Windows Mobile phone from HTC is now said to be launching in less than two weeks, shipping with the American provider on October 15th. Pricing would increase sharply from the discounted current Shadow and result in a $150 price after signing a two-year agreement.
T-Mobile USA's version of the Pearl Flip 8220 will only cost slightly less than the Curve when it goes on sale, a T-Mobile rep claims in a forum post at TmoNews. The BlackBerry clamshell will purportedly sell for $150 for new users agreeing to a two-year contract and should climb to $200 for one-year plans. Existing subscribers who qualify for a full upgrade will pay $18 more to trade up, while a full retail price will cost $350.
RIM has given the Kickstart a more definitive name and could launch it well ahead of its Javelin, a pair of leaks suggest today. A Rogers product sheet obtained by BlackBerry Cool now appears to confirm the use of Kickstart as only a codename and that the final phone will ship as the Pearl 8220, positioning it as a replacement for the Pearl 8100 series. The tip also confirms support for Rogers' Talkspot Wi-Fi calling and also hints at a lower price of $50 with a three-year plan when the device ships in September for the Canadian carrier.
T-Mobile on Monday gave the BlackBerry Curve its final send-off with the launch of the Sunset model. The QWERTY keyboard smartphone now comes in a unique, namesake reddish hue along with black accents. T-Mobile's version also keeps to the Wi-Fi support of the 8320 reference design and lets HotSpot@Home subscribers make unlimited calls on Wi-Fi that automatically bridge to the cellular network when the user wanders out of range.
Sprint today made official word that it will offer the AIRAVE across the whole of the US. The femtocell boosts indoors coverage for Sprint's cellphones by receiving the CDMA phone link and using the subscriber's existing high-speed Internet connection at home to relay the calls, eliminating the need to locate the femtocell in a part of the home that can already get coverage. Unlike T-Mobile's HotSpot@Home and other Wi-Fi based options, the licensed frequency isn't as likely to face interference, Sprint argues.
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Fiat Chrysler adding Siri Eyes Free
On Friday, automaker Fiat Chrysler issued a software update for selected 2013-2015 model cars to allow Siri Eyes Free, the precursor to the more fully-featured CarPlay, to be compatible with the vehicles' infotainment systems, including steering wheel control. The 2013 through 2015 model Ram 1500/2500/3500, the 2013-2015 Dodge Viper, the 2014-2015 Dodge Durango, the 2014-2015 Jeep Cherokee and Grand Cherokee, and the 2015 models of Dodge Challenger and Charger, Jeep Renegade, and Chrysler 200 and 300 can be upgraded through the Unconnect touchscreen, visiting the Uconnect site and entering their 17-digit Vehicle ID, then downloading the update to a USB drive. Installation can take up to 45 minutes, and can only be done while the vehicle is in park. http://bit.ly/23f0sby
Tor Myhren starts as VP of Communications
After an initial announcement in December, Apple on Friday added former Grey Group chief creative officer Tor Myhren to its leadership roster as VP of Marketing Communications, placing the well-known ad exec in charge of Apple's advertising and Internet marketing efforts, as well as having a hand in packaging design. He will report directly to CEO Tim Cook, and is replacing the retired Hiroki Asai, who left Apple after 18 years with the company. Myhren is expected to continue Apple recent push into more "lifestyle" marketing rather than product-centric ads, such as the well-remembered "I'm a Mac" campaign from last decade. http://apple.co/1Wwf0Dd
Marseilles Apple Store to open May 14
Apple has officially announced its newest retail store in France, which is to open in the southern port city of Marseilles in the Les Terrasses du Port shopping center on May 14 at 10AM local time. It will be the 19th full retail store Apple has opened in the country, or 20th if one includes the Apple Watch-only boutique at Galeries Lafayette in Paris. Apple is said to be planning a new showcase Paris store to be located on the Champs-Élysées. http://apple.co/1pP77vO
Maps adds Flyover, Suggestions locations
Apple has updated Maps to include Spotlight Suggestions for Denmark, Norway, and Sweden, allowing users to search both internally and across the web on both Mac and iOS devices for data in Spotlight. In addition, the company has added Puerto Vallarta, Mexico and Akron, Ohio to the 3D Flyover feature, offering computer-enhanced aerial views of the two areas -- and has activated real-time traffic information for Thailand, which will augment services like reminders to incorporate estimated travel times for appointments, as an example. The company recently added Nearby searches to five countries, and rolled out transit directions for Montreal in Canada and Portland, Oregon. http://apple.co/1Lh1Zel
Verizon gives last offer, issues workers ultimatum
Verizon has offered striking workers its "last, best and final offer" following 10 months of protracted negotiations with union leaders. The latest offer comes on the back of 36,000 Verizon employees taking strike action two weeks ago. The proposal includes a 7.5 percent wage rise, better benefits and voluntary retirement incentive offers. The striking workers, mainly on from its fixed line operations, have claimed that Verizon has outsourced 5,000 jobs to workers overseas and that it has been deliberately hiring low-wage, non-union contractors. Verizon recently posted revenue of $32.2 billion for the March quarter. http://cnnmon.ie/26AmwSv
CarPlay comes to Porsche 718 Cayman
Porsche has revealed that its new 718 Cayman series will be the latest vehicles in its range equipped with support for Apple CarPlay. The new Porsche models joins the recently announced 718 Boxster, the 2017 Macans and the 2016 model of the 911 in offering support for Apple's iOS in the car interface. Both are fitted standard with an eight speaker sound system and the Porsche Communications Management (PCM) system. The entry-level Cayman starts at $53,9000, while the faster S variant starts from $66,300. Although already on sale, the won't reach US dealers until late November. http://prn.to/1Tj1EW7
Macphun offers free Photos filters
Image editing software maker Macphun are offering a free set of up to 30 photo filter effects to extend the range of filter options available to users of Apple's Photos app for OS X, which replaced the previous iPhoto program. The first 15 filters are available after installing the software, and includes filters such as "Ancient Canvas" and "Twilight," while users who sign up for the Macphun newsletter will unlock the other 15 effects. The extension integrates directly into Photos, and include sliders for finer control of the effects and a masking brush. http://bit.ly/1VEgQD6