Tag - Unlocking
This Pointers tip actually works on most other smartphones as well, we should mention, but our experience in this regard is with the iPhone, so we use that as our example. Most people confuse "unlocking" an iPhone with "jailbreaking" or "rooting" it, and these two concepts could not be more different, in fact. This week, we will explain the chief advantages of unlocking your iPhone, or other smartphone, if its not already, and why you should do it as soon as possible -- even if you never plan to leave your home country.
T-Mobile is now allowing customers to unlock their smartphones, though in a limited number of cases. Using a rumored app called Device Unlock, owners of the recently-launched Samsung Galaxy Avant are able to unlock their devices relatively simply and at no charge, though it appears only one smartphone model has been enabled to use the app at present.
The US Senate has passed a controversial bill allowing customers to unlock off-contract cell phones. With a unanimous vote, the Senate's passage of the bill directs the Librarian of Congress, the authority for rulemaking for such matters, to "consider whether other wireless devices, like tablets, should [also] be eligible for unlocking." The bill has a ways to go before it reaches the President's desk, however. A similar bill, passed by the House of Representatives, needs to be reconciled with this version of the bill -- the House's version of the bill does not contain language allowing bulk unlocking by companies.
Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Senator Patrick Leahy (D-VT) and Ranking Member Chuck Grassley (R-IA) announced on Monday an agreement on bipartisan legislation that would restore the ability of consumers to more easily transfer their cell phones to other wireless carriers, by making mass cellphone unlocking for resellers legal. The revision to existing legislation will be listed on the Judiciary Committee's agenda for this week's executive business meeting.
A smartphone heading to T-Mobile could have an app for carrier unlocking pre-installed as part of a new T-Mobile initiative, according to a report. The Samsung Galaxy Avant, an Android device believed to be heading to the carrier in the near future, will apparently unlock itself after following a number of prompts in the app, resulting in a completely unlocked smartphone which can be used on other carrier networks.
WhatsApp has hit a milestone of half a billion active users, the messaging service has announced. The 500 million-user figure is 50 million more than it reported in February, when it also announced it was being acquired by Facebook for a total of $19 billion in cash and shares, with the service now seeing 700 million photographs and 100 million videos being shared between users every day.
The US House of Representatives has approved a bill legalizing cellphone unlocking, against the will of the groups who originally sponsored the bill in the first place. The bill is now headed for the Senate, with what opposition has called a "poison pill" attached, preventing companies from bulk-unlocking devices for resale. If approved, the proposed bill extends an exemption currently in place for two years that legally allows cellphone unlocking, instead of the originally-proposed permanent solution.
The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) is close to completing a list of rules for cellphone unlocking with US carriers, according to a report. The new rules would govern how a carrier advises a consumer about unlocking and the timing of the unlocking process itself, with the deal between the mobile phone networks and FCC expected to be agreed upon in the near future.
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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