The BlackBerry PlayBook is my favorite tablet

By on July 7, 2011 at 10:25 AM.

The BlackBerry PlayBook is my favorite tablet

Research In Motion launched its first tablet, the BlackBerry PlayBook, on April 19th of this year. Since that point in time — and even before, courtesy of reviews — the slender slate has been lambasted. A vocal minority belts praises for the tablet on Internet forums and in the comments sections of news sites and blogs, but the clear consensus is not favorable. Most see potential in QNX, but the lack of core PIM and email functionality coupled with RIM’s current situation makes it hard for many to take the tablet seriously. And yes, it’s a BlackBerry that doesn’t support email out of the box. While I agree with much of the criticism surrounding RIM’s first tablet, my overall feelings stray greatly from those shared by most who discuss the PlayBook. Read on to find out why. More →

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Shazam gives Android users unlimited tagging in 2011, Shazam Friends

By on April 28, 2011 at 9:57 PM.

Shazam gives Android users unlimited tagging in 2011, Shazam Friends

Shazam and eBay have teamed up to offer Android users a nice freebie. From now until January 1, 2012, Android Shazam users can enjoy unlimited song tagging without having to buy Shazam Encore. “This is the first exclusive App sponsorship deal agreed by eBay anywhere in the world, and the first time Shazam has selected a partner to provide free services to their customers,” reads the press release. The company’s self-titled, free application gives users the ability to tag up to five songs each month, after which Shazam Encore must be purchased. “In addition, we’re pleased to offer Android Shazamers access to the Shazam Friends social feature, allowing them to share their music discoveries with their Facebook friends and family while discovering exciting new music and content themselves in a continuously updating feed.” The full press release is after the break.

More →

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Apple exonerated in Cover Flow patent case

By on April 5, 2011 at 11:40 AM.

Apple exonerated in Cover Flow patent case

A federal judge ruled on Monday that Apple, Inc. did not infringe upon the patents of company Mirror Worlds in the creation of its Cover Flow interface. Mirror Worlds filed its initial lawsuit in 2008, claiming that Apple copied technologies protected by its “document stream operating system” filing from 2004. Back in 2010, a U.S. District Court ruled in the plaintiffs favor and awarded Mirror Worlds $625.5 million in damages. Apple appealed, and the ruling was overturned by a federal judge citing a “lack of foundational support” for the charges. “In this case, Mirror Worlds may have painted an appealing picture for the jury, but it failed to lay a solid foundation sufficient to support important elements it was required to establish under the law,” reads the ruling. “Accordingly, the Court rejects Mirror Worlds’ case as to infringement and damages, while affirming it as to validity and inequitable conduct.” More →

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AT&T to support mobile hotspot feature for iPhone in iOS 4.3

By on March 3, 2011 at 9:13 AM.

AT&T to support mobile hotspot feature for iPhone in iOS 4.3

While speaking with blog Phone Scoop, AT&T spokesperson Seth Bloom acknowledged his company’s plans to support the mobile hotspot feature available in iOS 4.3. “To utilize this feature, customers will need to subscribe to the DataPro 4GB, $45 tethering data plan,” said Bloom. The $45, DataPro plan is currently required by iPhone customers looking to tether their device via USB or Bluetooth. Apple will make iOS 4.3 available to the public on March 11th. Bloom did not indicate whether the feature would be supported then, on day-one, but we can’t imagine too much lag time (especially since some iOS 4.3 beta users have it working now). How many of you AT&T users are going to shell out an extra $20 a month for some Wi-Fi hotspot action? More →

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Hotmail begins offering email aliases to curb spam

By on February 4, 2011 at 11:32 PM.

Hotmail begins offering email aliases to curb spam

In a recent blog post, Microsoft announced a new feature aimed at keeping spam away from the inboxes of its Hotmail user-base. Currently, Hotmail users are allowed to modify their email addresses with a plus-sign (+) to facilitate easier mail management. John-doe@hotmail.com can modify his email address to john.doe+blogcomments@hotmail.com to help make mail organization and identification easier. The problem with that system, as Microsoft points out, is that it is “very easy to determine your actual email address” pointing out “there are times when you simply don’t want to give out any part of your real email address.” To solve this problem, the company is now allowing users to create email aliases; addresses that are not required to have any portion of the senders actual email address included in them. Not a bad feature addition considering how some companies like to, on occasion, share your information with each other. Hit the read link to check out the full article. More →

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Facebook creates native app for feature phones

By on January 20, 2011 at 7:25 AM.

Facebook creates native app for feature phones

It’s hard for us to fathom, but it is true: not everyone needs a smartphone. But not owning a smartphone should not prevent you from getting your digital-stalking on while on the go, no? Facebook has announced a new, feature-phone ready mobile client, created in conjunction with Snaptu. As Facebook explains, “The app provides a better Facebook experience for our most popular features, including an easier-to-navigate home screen, contact synchronization, and fast scrolling of photos and friend updates.” The application will work on over 2,500 devices and the social network as partnered with 14 international mobile carriers (none from the U.S.) that will allow you to use the app without incurring data charges for the first 90 days. Those interested can grab the new bits from m.fb.snaptu.com/f. “During the next few months, we plan to make the app available through more carriers in other countries so you can have a great mobile Facebook experience no matter what device you use,” writes Facebook. Any BGR readers out there still rocking a trusty feature phone? More →

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Verizon introduces Mobile Email 4.0, brings Exchange to feature phones

By on December 21, 2010 at 4:59 AM.

Verizon introduces Mobile Email 4.0, brings Exchange to feature phones

Think you can avoid having corporate email on your mobile device by buying a feature phone? Think again, as today Verizon Wireless announced an update to its feature phone email solution, Mobile Email 4.0. The downloadable application will allow users to connect their non-smartphone devices to Microsoft’s Exchange environment, leverage push email, and utilize an integrated contact list. The service will retail for $5 per month and is available to those with a data plan of at least $15 per month. The software is currently compatible with eight VZW phones, including the Samsung Zeal, LG Cosmos Touch, and Pantech Crux. Hit the read link for the full PR. More →

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Most popular this week

By on December 19, 2010 at 7:49 PM.

Most popular this week

December 13th – 19th

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Google rolls out ‘restore contacts’ feature to Gmail users

By on December 15, 2010 at 2:22 AM.

Google rolls out ‘restore contacts’ feature to Gmail users

If you’ve ever accidentally deleted a contact from your Gmail address book, you know what pain is. The action has been, since the inception of the contacts feature, irreversible. But that all changes today. Google has announced a new “restore contacts” feature that will grant those whom have accidentally deleted a contact 30-days of clemency. As the press release reads:

We’ve added a new feature to Google Contacts that allows you to revert your contact list and undo any mistakes made up to 30 days in the past. Let’s say you accidentally deleted a bunch of contacts or wiped the contact data from your Gmail account by mistake while syncing to another device. Visit Gmail’s Contacts section, select “Restore contacts” in the “More actions” menu, and choose the time you would like to revert to.

The feature is rolling out to Gmail users as we type. More →

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AT&T's Pantech P9050 outed by FCC, to be called Sparrow?

By on September 22, 2010 at 1:01 PM.

AT&T's Pantech P9050 outed by FCC, to be called Sparrow?

The FCC has graciously put up several images of AT&T’s Pantech P9050, also to be known as the Sparrow. The Sparrow is a dual-band GSM/WCDMA device with a 3.1-inch display, 480 x 800 resolution, full-QWERTY horizontal sliding keyboard, Bluetooth, GPS, and a 3 megapixel camera. No operating system was specified by the FCC, however – judging by the lack of Android keys and the look of the device — we’d guess that the OS is going to be something proprietary from Pantec. We’re sure AT&T will be incorporating this little guy into its feature phone lineup soon… we know you can’t wait.

[Via PhoneScoop] More →

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Verizon to cease data package requirement on new 3G feature phones

By on September 17, 2010 at 6:01 PM.

Verizon to cease data package requirement on new 3G feature phones

We’re not sure why the Verizon Wireless news always seems to appear on Friday afternoon… but it does. One of our VZW ninjas sent us in a memo (pictured above) that was distributed to select Verizon Wireless employees today. The communication details that beginning in Q4, Verizon will start to phase out the “3G Multimedia device” category and discontinue requiring a $9.99 monthly data plan on the new 3G feature phones being released to replace said devices. 3G multimedia phones that have already launched, like the LG EnV 3, will still require said plan until they are phased out. Good news for those who want a 3G feature phone with a full QWERTY keypad but not a monthly data plan. Aside from the feature phone news, the memo also reiterates that Verizon will be launching 4G, LTE data cards in Q4 (which we already knew). There you have it. Thoughts?

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Sprint adds Sanyo Innuendo to feature phone lineup

By on September 13, 2010 at 10:42 AM.

Sprint adds Sanyo Innuendo to feature phone lineup

It looks like Sprint is adding the Sanyo Innuendo to its feature phone lineup. The Innuendo, like the Incognito, is a horizontal-flip, full-QWERTY keyboard device with a “concealed external dial pad that glows through the phone’s luxurious mirrored finish and then disappears when not in use.” The device has a 2.8-inch internal display, 1.3-inch OLED external display, 3.2 megapixel camera that can also take video, GPS navigation, proximity sensor, and micro-SD card slot. The device is $49.99 with a 2-year contract or $249.99 at full retail. More →

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Google makes Gmail calling official

By on August 25, 2010 at 1:05 PM.

Google makes Gmail calling official

Well that didn’t take long. This morning we told you about a rumor that Google was working on a feature that would allow Gmail users to call residential and mobile phones right from within the web-based email client. Now, five hours later, that feature has become official. As Google explains:

Starting today, you can call any phone right from Gmail.

Calls to the U.S. and Canada will be free for at least the rest of the year and calls to other countries will be billed at our very low rates. We worked hard to make these rates really cheap (see comparison table) with calls to the U.K., France, Germany, China, Japan—and many more countries—for as little as $0.02 per minute.

Dialing a phone number works just like a normal phone. Just click “Call phone” at the top of your chat list and dial a number or enter a contact’s name.

We’ve been testing this feature internally and have found it to be useful in a lot of situations, ranging from making a quick call to a restaurant, to placing a call when you’re in an area with bad reception.

If you have a Google Voice phone number, calls made from Gmail will display this number as the outbound caller ID. And if you decide to, you can receive calls made to this number right inside Gmail (see instructions).

We’re rolling out this feature to U.S. based Gmail users over the next few days, so you’ll be ready to get started once “Call Phones” shows up in your chat list (you will need to install the voice and video plug-in if you haven’t already). If you’re not a U.S. based user—or if you’re using Google Apps for your school or business—then you won’t see it quite yet. We’re working on making this available more broadly—so stay tuned!

Hit the jump for a funky, promotional video explaining just how far phone technology has come. More →

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