Tag - MiFi
Sprint has announced it will be shipping its first tri-band 4G LTE devices later this week. The Netgear Zing Mobile Hotspot, the Netgear 341U USB Modem, and the the Novatel MiFi 500 will be shipping on the carrier from July 19th, with all three able to use the 1.9GHz and 2.5GHz spectrum bands, as well as the 800MHz range due to be repurposed from the now-ceased Nextel network later this year.
Microsoft has enabled two-factor authentication for Microsoft Accounts. Leaked earlier this month, users will see the option to add the extra security measure through the account management menu over the next few days, and can download an authenticator app from the Windows Phone store or use third-party apps on other platforms, according to a company blog post. Apps and devices that will not work with the new security measure directly can have application-specific passwords created in order to function.
Kickstarter-funded smartwatch Pebble has received an update to fix a showstopping bug. The new 1.9.1 firmware came into being following reports received by Engadget of users finding their timepieces stopped working after shutting down, and is said to fix the issue. Customers with watches on older firmware that do not switch back on can request for a replacement through e-mail or the companion Pebble app.
UK mobile network O2 has brought out its Pocket Hotspot. The MiFi device, like many others, enables up to five devices to go online simultaneously, connecting to the hotspot over 802.11b/g Wi-Fi. The carrier claims maximum download speed can reach up to 21.6Mbps, while upload speeds peak at 5.76Mbps.
Verizon Wireless has added new tiers to its phone and data prepaid offerings starting on May 1. A new $80 smartphone plan includes unlimited talk and text messaging while allotting 1GB of data use per month. At the same time, the carrier will ship the Jetpack 4G LTE Mobile Hotspot MiFi 4510L with prepaid mobile packages.
Verizon ended a two-month wait since CES by pricing and dating one of its second-generation LTE hotspots. The Novatel MiFi 4620L, badged as a Verizon Jetpack, should be in stores April 12 for $50 for those signing up for a two-year data plan of at least $50 a month, albeit after a $50 rebate. The hotspot is its first real hotspot with world 3G and can switch to HSPA on international carriers when outside of the US. Like newer-generation Novatel hotspots, it has its own OLED display to provide basic access to settings and status without turning to another device.
Verizon may be on the edge of replacing a large swath of its device line if a rumor floated on New Year's Day is an indicator. Among other withdrawals, a lone source for The Verge had Verizon stopping shipments of the Motorola Droid 3 in January. The exit would likely be in prep for the delayed Droid 4 launch the following month.
An escaped memo from Gannett newspaper head Bob Dickey has revealed that the company is making a massive investment in Apple technology for its newsroom. The USA Today publisher has bought "thousands" of iPhone 4S and iPad 2 units that reporters and journalists will use to hopefully report more effectively in the field. The iOS hardware will be joined by MiFi hotspots to get iPads online as well as microphones and other accessories to let them record in the field.
Novatel Wireless has announced that it has shipped more than 3 million MiFi routers throughout the globe. The milestone was reached less than three years since the first MiFi devices arrived on the market. As part of an announcement celebrating the achievement, the company notes that it now holds 35 patents and 37 patent applications related to its line of portable routers.
Virgin Mobile USA has added a new service tier to its no-contract Broadband2Go mobile broadband offerings. The $20 plan gives users 500MB of data for use anytime that expires after one month even if not used. This tier splits the $10, 100MB offering and the $50, 'unlimited' access offering that provides 3G speeds up to 2.5GB in a month before throttling speeds.
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WhatsApp now handles over 100M calls daily
WhatsApp is celebrating that it is being used for over 100 million calls every day. In a brief notice, the Facebook-owned messaging platform advises the voice-calling feature it rolled out to its users last year now deals with an average of over 1,100 calls initiated per second. Earlier this year, it increased the security of its calls and other messages, by introducing end-to-end encryption on all platforms. http://bit.ly/292HqCX
Adele's '25' album now streaming
Recording artist Adele has "pulled a Kanye" after saying that her current album "25" would not be available for streaming. The seven-month-old record, which has yielded a number of hit singles, is now available for streaming on all the major streaming services, such as Apple Music and Spotify, as of today in most major markets, with worldwide distribution to come. Reportedly, the singer had demanded streaming be limited to paid subscribers -- a condition that has hurt some streamers with artists, who aren't paid royalties for free or trial listens . Apple pays performers its normal royalty rates during its free trial, avoiding the issue -- and having repeated success in both signing up exclusives and placing those exclusives into the top of the charts. http://ti.me/28U7NOu
SanDisk iXpand case has battery, storage
A new iPhone 6 and iPhone 6s case from SanDisk appears to be the "holy grail" of accessories: a stylish and protective case that offers both extra storage as well as the option of extra battery power as well. The iXpand Memory case offers either 32GB, 64GB, or 128GB of additional storage incorporated into the case, and an optional add-on battery pack (sold separately) adds up to an extra day or more of charge. Through the associated iXpand app, camera photos and videos can be automatically stored on the extra storage, optionally password-protected, The cost for the case is (in order of storage capacity) $60, $100, and $130. The battery pack's release data has not yet been announced, but the add-on should retail for an additional $30. http://bit.ly/291epHu
Fifth Hong Kong store to open June 30
The 46th official Apple store in what the company calls the "Greater China" region will open at 10AM local time in Hong Kong's New Town Plaza in the Sha Tin district on Thursday, June 30, according to a new page on Apple's retail website. Despite slowing growth due to economic turmoil in China, the country is still Apple's fastest-growing market. The new story will be the fifth for Hong Kong, a lucrative market for Apple thanks to the high concentration of wealth there and a thriving "gray" market. Normal store hours for the new store will be 10AM to 10PM every day. http://apple.co/291diaT
Apple Music bug bites very short songs
There appears to be a reproducible bug in the current version of iTunes -- version 12.4.1, running on OS X 10.11.5, both the current non-beta versions of the respective software -- that causes a streamed song to become "stuck" in endless buffering if the streamed item just before this happened was 60 seconds or less in length. The problem appears to stem from code in iTunes that signals the next track to start downloading one minute before the currently-playing track is done, and thus songs shorter than one minute don't trigger the download. Locally-stored music is unaffected by the bug, and the problem does not appear to exist in either the macOS Sierra developer beta or versions of iTunes earlier than 12.4, and does not affect the iOS Music app at all. http://bit.ly/291cN0l
Walmart Pay expands to 15 states
Walmart, one of the key progenitors of the failed CurrentC mobile payment system that was distinguished from Apple Pay by its ability to collect and share customer financial and buying data among its participants, has expanded the soft rollout of its alternative solution "Walmart Pay" to an additional 15 US states following a pilot program in Arkansas and Texas last month. Walmart continues to resist adding Apple Pay. The system, built into the Walmart app for iOS and Android, works with a complicated system of the camera scanning a purchase code at the register, then generating a QR code which is then scanned by the register. The system is available now in Alabama, Georgia, Indiana, Iowa, Kentucky, Louisiana, Michigan, Mississippi, Missouri, Nebraska, North Carolina, North Dakota, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Virginia, and Washington, DC. http://apple.co/28SqZfu
Amazon refreshes entry-level Kindle
Amazon has added a new Kindle to its ebook reader range, one that is thinner and lighter than the previous entry-level model. Offering a six-inch 167-dpi touchscreen display, a doubled 4GB of storage, and an option for a white casing, the new model also adds in the ability to export highlights and notes to an email account as a PDF. Two versions of the all-new Kindle are available, priced at $80 including "Special Offers" and $100 without. http://amzn.to/28Q4c3R