With BlackBerry World set to kick off early next month, you can expect BlackBerry-related leaks to keep rolling in hot and heavy for the next few weeks. We’ve already exclusively handled RIM’s upcoming flagship smartphones — the BlackBerry Bold Touch, the BlackBerry Torch 2 and the BlackBerry Touch (Monaco/Monza) — but there are plenty more goodies just waiting to be unearthed. Expected to launch alongside BlackBerry OS 6.1, screenshots of BlackBerry Messenger have been posted to a BlackBerry enthusiast forum. The images show a slightly redesigned look and minor UX enhancements, but the full feature list is still unknown so there may still be a few tidbits yet to be revealed. It might not be the version of BBM we’re all anxious to see RIM launch, but it’s never a bad thing when the company adds new features to its beloved BlackBerry Messenger. More →
Skype announced Thursday that it will acquire mobile video software and service provider Qik. Unconfirmed rumors suggest the deal will be worth approximately $100 million. Qik specializes in mobile video broadcasting and video calling services, the latter being an area that Skype has been particularly interested in lately. Qik emerged among a group of similar services but broke out in 2010 thanks to carrier and manufacturer deals that helped net the service 4.4 million new subscribers over the course of the year. Qik’s bread and butter is currently the Android OS, though it also offers clients for other platforms including iOS and Symbian. “The Qik team has delivered exceptional video experiences for its mobile partners and millions of end users across a range of devices,” said Skype CEO Tony Bates in a statement. “Qik’s deep engineering capabilities and strong mobile relationships will be an impressive complementary fit with Skype.” Hit the break for Skype’s full press release. More →
Our friends over at Facebook were nice enough to hook us up with an invite to the initial roll-out of the company’s new messaging service announced this week. We’ve been messing around with the system for a few hours and thought we would put together some initial impressions for those who are interested or curious. Hit the jump and let’s get to it. More →
It seems like every single Android user that’s moved from their iPhone or BlackBerry handset is saying the same thing: Google Talk is great, but our other Instant Messaging options are terrible. There’s also a good chance they’re actually asking for Beejive IM by name, and today, that will finally change. Set to debut in the Android Market later this afternoon, Beejive IM for Android will come out swinging at $9.99. I’ve been using it in beta form and now final form for weeks, and here are my impressions. More →
This morning, Yahoo! announced the release of Yahoo! Mail and Yahoo! Messenger app for Android. Available for download in the Market, the Yahoo! apps provide a tad more functionality to those Android users who aren’t “with Google” like their phone’s OS may be. Hit the jump for the full press release. More →
Some huge news this evening in the world of prepaid mobiles as Sprint has announced its new strategies for Boost Mobile and Virgin Mobile. With some 60 million Americans using prepaid mobiles, Sprint feels the time is right to make an all-out assault on the market. Said Sprint’s Dan Schulman: “This is the year that prepaid moves to the forefront of the wireless industry. In the first quarter of 2010, more than half of the mobile gross additions in the U.S. selected prepaid, and we predict that approximately 70% of the net adds in 2010 will choose plans without a contract,” adding that “the no-contract market has clearly moved beyond the credit-challenged and lower income segments.” Here’s what’s in the pipeline.
As of May 12th, Virgin Mobile will begin offering Beyond Talk plans. Ranging from $25 to $60 per month, each plan includes unlimited SMS/MMS, email, data and web. The $25 plan includes 300 minutes, the $40 plan 1,200 minutes and the $60 plan has unlimited minutes. Throw in an extra $10 per month and you’ll be able to hook a BlackBerry up to BIS. Yes, you read that right. $35 for a BlackBerry with unlimited data. If you’re a bit puzzled as to why Virgin is more focused on data and texts over voice minutes, the reason is simple: the amount of voice minutes used by young adults continues to plummet as email, IM and SMS grows at a rate of 150% during the years 2007 to 2009. Factor in 1800% growth in mobile data in this segment and it’s pretty obvious Virgin is one of the few companies that actually caters to the demands of its customers. This brings us to its new handsets. Virgin Mobile will be bringing the LG Rumor Touch and Rumor 2 ($149.99 and $89.99, both only available off contract), and Kyocera Loft ($69.99) into the fold with the BlackBerry Curve 8530 launching at the end of May with a retail price of $299.99.
As for Boost, not much is new in terms of plans (keep in mind it just announced that unlimited calls to 411, email and IM were recently added to its $50 unlimited plan which also includes all the talking, texting and web you wish), but now we know for sure that it will soon be carrying the Samsung Rant and Kyocera Incognito, Mirror and Juno.
Hit up the jump to check out the press release. More →
While Google isn’t the type to shake in its booties at the sight of a smaller competitor with a rival product, we’ve spent a bit of time playing with a service the Goog might be wise to keep its eye on: Virtual Phone Numbers by 3jam. The company just announced the public beta availability of this new service today and we have to be honest with you, it wipes the floor with Google Voice in a lot of ways. Of course it falls short in some areas as well, but since it’s a brand new beta we’re hoping to see progress come swiftly. Just like Google Voice, 3jam’s offering provides call forwarding with simultaneous ring, “visual voicemail” available online coupled with email notifications/transcriptions, etc. It also offers several key benefits over Google’s offering however, so GV lovers might want to hit the jump and check it out.
It’s not a T-Mobile myTouch 3G (aka the dumbest name in marketing history), but Samsung is going to take care of that feature-phone segment with a new 3G handset — or at least try to. The Samsung Highlight will be available this month if you’re interested. It’ll retail for $150 after rebates and here are the official specs:
- Large touch-screen display, thin-profile design
- Available in two colors options: fire and ice
- 3 megapixel camera with 3x digital zoom and video capture
- Stereo Bluetooth
- microSD slot for up to 16 GB of optional removable memory
- Music player supports MP3, WMA, AAC, AAC+ and eAAC+
- Support for SMS, MMS, instant messaging (IM) and e-mail
- IM support: AIM, Windows Live Messenger, Yahoo! Messenger
- E-mail support: AOL, Yahoo!, additional POP3 accounts
- Complete Web access through T-Mobile web2go
- A-GPS with Location Based Services by TeleNav
- Quad-band GSM world phone (850/900/1800/1900 MHz)
- UMTS/HSDPA-capable (1700/2100 – AWS Band IV)
- Display: 1.61 x 2.64 inches, 240 x 400 pixels, 262k TFT display
- 4.27 x 2.11 x 0.54 inches; 3.7 ounces
You heard that right, folks. People complaining that Apple’s very-much-delayed push notification service might be delayed again can all relax — Beejive 3.0, the fantastic new version with push support will be going live in about an hour or so from now.
We exclusively gave you a look at Beejive for iPhone almost a year ago, and you have to give us some credit — we called it the best IM application for the iPhone, and were we right? Now think about push notifications and a whole slew of other additions and tweaks and you’re looking at a desktop-class IM application. We’ve been using a version with push for a pretty long time and can safely say it doesn’t disappoint. Here’s a breakdown of the new goodies and let us know when you try the new version!
- Push notifications
- Meta contacts (link IM buddies to address book entries!)
- Various UI enhancements, updated layout and color schemes
- Performance enhancements
Oh yeah, two more things… the price is now $9.99 (down from $15.99), and we’re testing a version that allows videos to be sent over AIM. (You could always send photos) Look for this in the near future.
Today Verizon took the wraps off of three devices we feel like we already know all too well. Starting off with the successor to the Voyager, the evV TOUCH features a 3-inch touchscreen display on the exterior, a non-touch 3-inch display on the interior, full-QWERTY keypad, 3.2 megapixel camera with a Schneider Kreuznach lens and auto-focus, 3.5mm headphone jack and the ability to view Microsoft Office documents from a microSD card. The enV 3 features a full-QWERTY keypad as well, but it has a 2.6-inch external display coupled with a 1.56-incher on the inside and support for microSD cards up to 16GB. Moving on to the Glance, not much to see here other than the 1.3 megapixel camera, 2.5mm headphone jack and slim silhouette. All three devices feature GPS by way of VZ Navigator, mobile email, web and IM in addition to threaded SMS and MMS. The enV TOUCH will be available on June 5th for $149.99 after a $70 MIR with the Glance coming out the same day for $49.99 after a $50 MIR. The enV 3 will be available tomorrow for $129.99 after a $50 MIR.
We’ve just received this little nugget from one of our ninjas about an upcoming handset for T-Mobile, the Samsung T349. While the device itself is nothing too fancy, it is nonetheless a pretty interesting device in that T-Mobile has describes it internally as a “20-key messaging phone.” Despite the blurriness of the image above, we are able to see that the entry-level T349 indeed features a keypad much like the SureType keypads found on the BlackBerry Pearl and Pearl Flip. Specs are as follows:
- 20-key keypad
- 1.3 megapixel camera w/ video capture
- SMS, MMS, Email and IM
- Photo caller ID, alarm clock, calculator,
- Mobile backup
- GPRS connectivity
Look for the Samsung T349 to make its retail debut to both pre and post-paid subscribers on May 20th. Believe it or not, this little guy is the first new handset added to T-Mobile’s pre-paid line-up in the past year. Yay?
Palringo first launched its instant messaging app for the iPhone back in July and for six months it has been one of the best options available for IM on the iPhone. The app is sleek and functional, marrying text IM, picture messaging and PTT-like vocal messaging with a multi-platform solution that covers all of the major chat services. Oh, and it’s all free. Today, Palringo announced a new build that adds some great new functionality to its already-capable app revolving around Location Based Services (LBS). As is the trend these days, software developers are finding all sorts of different ways to integrate LBS into their offerings but sometimes things get a tad out of control. Do you think any of your Twitter friends really want you to broadcast your location every 10 minutes? In an IM app however, location adds a new and useful layer to contact presence and Palringo is working on some great features. Included in this update, users will now see location and distance (from the user) data alongside each Palringo contact in their list. In a forthcoming update due very soon, tapping a contact’s location will bring up a map displaying all contacts within a 6-mile radius. The user will also be able to bring up a map displaying his or her own location. We’re sure you can see where Palringo is going with all this, but suffice it say we can expect pretty great things in the near future from Palringo surrounding LBS. If you haven’t tried the app yet, definitely hit the app store and do so. Those of you with jailbroken iPhones, toss Backgrounder into the mix for best results.
Fringers, start your updating. The Israeli mobile comms company has just announced the release of a new version of its popular application that brings Last.fm streaming and friend-monitoring to the fring app. Users can now enjoy custom streaming radio stations while chatting with friends without ever having to leave the fring application. All of your favorite types of Last.fm stations are available and Love/Ban functions are supported as well. Sweet! For the time being, Last.fm via fring is not available on the platform that needs it most – the iPhone – but hopefully we’ll see an update soon. Since S60 allows third-party applications to be minimized, Mobbler can easily be used to stream Last.fm while a user is chatting in fring. With the iPhone on the other hand, where the Last.fm app cannot be sent to the background while the user is fringing (yes, we know Backgrounder can remedy this on jailbroken iPhones), the addition of of Last.fm streaming would certainly be welcome. Hit the jump for a very peculiar video that sums up the latest version of fring nicely.