Tag - Text messaging
WhatsApp is like Apple's Messages, but for everybody -- pretty much regardless of what type of phone they have. So it looks like text messaging, but it's got Messages's ability to send just about anything from typing to audio, and it doesn't rack up those ancient MMS (Multimedia Messaging Service) charges. Now what you've had on your phone, you've now got on your Mac with WhatsApp 0.2.684 for OS X.
For the first time in years, US text messaging was down in the third quarter of 2012, largely due to services such as iMessage. According to mobile analyst Chetan Sharma, users sent an average of 678 texts per month, down from 696 the previous quarter. While only a small change, the move reflects a shift primarily among smartphone users to services such as iMessage and Facebook Messenger as alternatives to traditional carrier-based SMS. Though many modern cell phone plans feature unlimited messaging, SMS is still a major profit driver for most carriers.
The Federal Communication Commission has moved to tighten regulations that restrict telemarketers from contacting individuals through unwanted calls or text messages. The FCC's telemarketing rules (PDF) now require companies to obtain written consent from consumers before placing calls, while text messaging and voice calls are now covered under the same regulations.
Sprint appears to have resolved a network problem that had prevented many of the carrier's subscribers from sending text messages. The official Sprint Care Twitter feed was briefly filled with responses to inquiries from affected customers, though it remains unclear if the outages were widespread or limited to select regions.
Apple has been granted a patent that extends the company's existing Parental Controls for iOS devices into the various text messaging and email apps that ship with those devices, allowing certain content to be filtered based on pre-defined criteria. Interestingly, the patent also covers the possibility of requiring, rather than blocking, certain words.
The Justice Department has finally completed its investigation over text messaging fees charged by carriers such as Verizon, AT&T, Sprint Nextel and T-Mobile, according to the Wall Street Journal. Industry and government officials familiar with the matter claim the Department's antitrust division has decided not to intervene, effectively leaving the carriers to continue business as usual.
M:Metrics, a mobile metrics research group, has found the iPhone to be the great game-changer for the wireless industry, saying that it effectively lives up to the hype surrounding the device. Mark Donovan, senior analyst for M:Metrics, said that the iPhone is "compelling consumers to interact with the mobile web," citing "off-the-charts" usage for tasks including text messaging and mobile video. The firm's figures show that 85-percent of all iPhone users access news and other remote information during January.
T-Mobile USA is currently the target of a class action suit regarding customers that have no interest in text messaging but are still being charged for the service. According to RCRWireless News, the company requires that users have a text message plan, lest they be charged for even unsolicited text messages. Users that do not have any use for text messaging have formed a class action suit, citing that T-Mobile USA is engaging in a wrongful business scheme, supposedly designed to cheat a large number of users out of small sums of money.
Now AAPL Stock: 93.4 ( -2.7 )
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