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Virgin America is upgrading its in-flight Wi-Fi service, claiming it will be powerful enough to stream video. Partnering with ViaSat to use its high-capacity 140-gigabit Ka-band satellite connection, it is said that Virgin America's in-flight Wi-Fi will be between eight and ten times faster than similar services on other aircraft, and close to connections available at home. Ten A320 planes will be the first to get the connection in September, with passengers on routes to Hawaii likely to benefit from the connections first.
New reports indicate that Sprint has dropped a previous requirement that resellers of its network -- FreedomPop, Straight Talk, Boost Mobile, Virgin, and some others -- wait more than a year before offering support for the latest models of Android and iOS devices. The change allows the mobile virtual network operators (MVNOs) to immediately begin offering the current iPhone 6 line from Apple, the top-selling smartphone worldwide.
Google could be looking to expand its space-based acquisitions, such as the recent purchase of Skybox Imaging, with a report claiming the search company is planning an investment in Virgin Galactic. It is claimed the company is attempting to acquire access to Virgin Galactic's technology relating to launching vehicles into space, as well as a stake of equity in the space tourism business.
Boost and Virgin Mobile USA have announced the availability of the new Spark-enabled LG Volt smartphone with unlimited service options plans. The tri-band supported smartphone comes with new, pre-loaded apps that focus on entertainment and productivity, including radio, remote, memo-taking and guest functions. Running Android 4.4 KitKat, the LG Volt features a 4.7-inch IPS display, 1.2 GHz quad-core processor, and an eight-megapixel rear camera. Boost Mobile's Unlimited Select plan start at $40, and Virgin's Mobile Beyond Talk No-Contract plans begin at $35.
Mobile messaging app WhatsApp has experienced issues with its servers today, days after being purchase by Facebook for $19 billion in a cash-and-stock deal. Users began to report experiencing outages around 11AM PT. WhatsApp acknowledged on Twitter that server issues are to blame, and that attempts were being made to recover service.
British cable service Virgin Media has updated its Virgin TV Anywhere service, by introducing an Android app to compliment its existing iOS offering. At the same time, the company is adding nine more live channels to the service for both platforms, as it continues to compete against dominant broadcaster Sky and its similar Sky Go service.
Very soon after Cisco sued TiVo to challenge TiVo's claims to patents used in DVRs, TiVo has gone ahead and sued Cisco back. According to a Tuesday report, there are four patents in contention and TiVo is involved in several lawsuits against a number of companies that bought the allegedly offending DVRs from Cisco. Cisco's Scientific Atlanta arm sells boxes to cable providers that include AT&T, Time Warner Cable, and Verizon Communications.
As promised late last month, Sprint's WiMAX 4G network will soon come to Virgin and Boost Mobile, with the two providers releasing more details on Tuesday. The initial 4G-capable devices were announced, with the ship dates and live date for them being May 31. Virgin will get data devices: the Broadband2Go-branded Sierra Wireless Overdrive Pro hotspot and the Franklin U600 USB modem.
Chinese handset manufacturer ZTE and Virgin Media are teaming up to launch the ZTE Tania in the United Kingdom. The Tania, set for a May UK launch, is ZTE's first Windows Phone 7 device. At launch, the Tania will be available for £199 on pay as you go with Virgin, or customers can pick it up for £17.99 a month on a 24 month contract.
Apple is a candidate for replacing the Virgin Megastore at the Champs-Élysées in Paris, according to Le Figaro. The French newspaper claims that Apple "will be in the running" for the location, which Virgin is reportedly trying to sell. The latter company is in the process of closing down some outlets; president Jean-Louis Reynard has said that the chain is switching to a "new model of store, smaller, with a more segmented offer."
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Apple want ads hint at future Watch faces
An Apple job listing for a dedicated clock face team may suggest future fashion-brand partnerships, possibly in time for the updated watchOS updates that are likely to be revealed at this spring's Worldwide Developer Conference. Since the introduction of watchOS 2, there has only been four new watch faces, but three of them were left over from the first release, with only one truly new one -- the co-branded HermÃ©s face exclusive to that edition. There is a rumored March 15 event, but if that takes place it will likely focus on new band options as regards the Apple Watch. http://apple.co/1O1TbTI