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.
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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