Apple’s MobileMe service will shut its doors forever on June 30th, 2012, and the Cupertino-based company is encouraging existing users to migrate to its iCloud service instead. To make the transition easier, MobileMe subscribers will be offered 20GB of free iCloud storage until September 30th. Apple plans to also offer MobileMe customers who purchased additional storage 50GB of extra iCloud space until September as well. “MobileMe members with 20GB of purchased storage receive a complimentary iCloud storage upgrade of 20GB, and accounts with additional purchased storage (40GB to 60GB) receive a complimentary upgrade of 50GB after moving to iCloud,” Apple posted on its website. “These free upgrades are good through September 30th, 2012. After that date, you can continue the upgrade at the regular price or let it expire and use the free 5GB plan.” –
LG on Monday announced the beta release of its own iCloud competitor, dubbed LG Cloud. The service allows users to manage and consume all types of content across Android smartphones, PCs and smart TVs. “Most companies today only see the cloud as a storage device or in the case of YouTube or Flickr, only for one type of content,” LG’s Home Entertainment President and CEO Havis Kwon said. “LG makes the devices that millions of people watch content on so we can set a new yardstick for ease of use by setting up our own cloud service. Tomorrow’s consumers don’t want to go to one cloud for music, another cloud for video, another location for photos and yet another cloud for their office files. In the end, our solution is about making life more convenient.” LG Smart TV or smartphone owners may be eligible to receive 50GB of free LG Cloud storage for six months. The company’s cloud service will be offered in both free and paid versions, with each member allotted 5GB of free storage. Read on for LG’s press release. More →
Microsoft on Monday announced that a SkyDrive Metro app will be available for Windows 8. Windows users were previously able to save files to the SkyDrive website and then had the ability to access and/or share them throughout the Web. The next release of SkyDrive, however, will combine the company’s Live Mesh synchronization service into the file storing and Web service. Microsoft’s Building Windows 8 blog states that the new SkyDrive Metro app will have “files integrated into Windows Explorer on the desktop, and have the ability to fetch remote files through SkyDrive.com.” The desktop file sync will support files up to 2GB in size, and will provide “easy drag and drop upload and download access to your data, offline access and the power of Windows Explorer to manage files and folders.” The Windows 8 SkyDrive app looks to compete directly with services like DropBox as well as Apple’s iCloud. More →
HTC has fallen from Android grace due to heavy competition from Motorola and Samsung, and the Taiwanese company promised to change by soon offering devices with thinner form factors and better battery life. Now, HTC and Jimmy Iovine of Beats Audio are rumored to be developing a streaming music service exclusively for HTC phones and tablets, according to GigaOM. The music service could launch at this month’s Mobile World Congress in Barcelona and it may help make HTC devices more appealing to consumers. The company is still working on pricing plans, however, and other details for the new service. BGR exclusively reported this past November that HTC will unveil the Ville at MWC along side the company’s quad-core flagship HTC Endeavor. More →
During a memorial service for Steve Jobs that took place on October 16th, his sister Mona Simpson delivered a touching eulogy that was published in today’s New York Times. Follow the link below to read it in its entirety. More →
BlackBerry users have filed a class-action lawsuit against Research In Motion after the company’s massive service outage earlier this month, the Financial Post reported on Wednesday. The suit was officially filed by the Consumer Law Group in the Quebec Superior Court “on behalf of individuals who have BlackBerry smartphones and who pay for a monthly data plan but were unable to access their email, BlackBerry Messenger service (BBM), and/or Internet for the period of October 11 to 14, 2011.” It specifically focuses on “RIM’s failure to take action to either directly compensate BlackBerry users or to indirectly compensate BlackBerry users by arranging for wireless service providers to refunds their customers and to take full responsibility for these damages.” RIM’s BlackBerry outage lasted several days and spanned around the globe. The company’s co-CEO Mike Lazaridis offered a public apology and RIM has offered limited free tech support in addition to a number of free “premium apps” as compensation, however, RIM currently has no plans to reimburse customers for the downtime. More →
Research In Motion co-CEO Mike Lazaridis confirmed on a conference call Thursday morning that all BlackBerry services have been restored globally. The co-chief had issued a video apology to customers earlier on Thursday, offering reassurances that the company was doing everything in its power to resolve service interruptions that had extended into their fourth day. A switch failure followed by a large backlog of emails is being blamed for the service outage, which affected millions of BlackBerry users across Europe, the Middle East, Africa, India, North America and South America. RIM said it is putting fixes in place to prevent a recurrence of this issue in the future, and it is currently considering how it might reimburse carriers and BlackBerry users for the disruption caused by this week’s outages.
T-Mobile intends to offer cellular signal boosters to customers looking to switch carriers due to poor reception at home, according to T-Mobile watcher TmoNews. The move appears to be part of a new program intended to slow service quality-related cancellations, which are apparently a significant problem for the nation’s No. 4 carrier. Beginning on September 7th, T-Mobile will seemingly begin offering in-home signal boosters “when a customer triggers for cancellation of service due to poor in-home coverage,” according to a purported leaked internal memo to T-Mobile staff. The memo also warns that signal boosters should never be offered to customers as an incentive when closing a sale. In order to take the signal booster, which will be free of charge, customers will need to sign a new 2-year service contract and it is unclear if they will be permitted to test the level of improvement afforded by the booster before signing. More →
Apple’s official iCloud.com website is now live for developers as part of a new beta phase of the service. The website is complete with web applications for Calendar, Contacts, Mail, iCloud for Pages, iWork and Find My iPhone. It also currently has a look and feel very reminiscent of iOS, which we like. We already know that Apple will offer iOS users 5GB of free iCloud storage, but the Cupertino-based company also revealed the official pricing for those who want a bit more storage. Users can sign up for an additional 10GB of storage (15GB total) for $20 per year, 20GB of additional storage for $40 per year, or 50GB of added storage for $100 per year.
Amazon announced on Thursday that it has inked an agreement with NBCUniversal to provide its subscription customers with access to 1,000 Universal Pictures movies. The deal is in addition to the online retailer’s recent agreement with CBS to offer shows such as Star Trek and Cheers to its customers. The new content includes films such as Being John Malkovich, Jetsons, Flipper, Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas and Billy Elliott. Amazon is largely expected to release at least one tablet in the coming months, which will provide its customers with near instant access to its Amazon Unbox, Amazon Mp3, Kindle, Cloud Music and Cloud Drive services. Comcast owns 51% of NBCUniversal while General Electric owns the remaining 49%. Terms of the deal were not disclosed. Read on for the full press release. More →
Skype confirmed early Thursday morning that some users may experience connection issues signing into the service or making Skype calls. The company says it has identified the problem and has posted instructions for fixing the issue. The good news is it doesn’t look like the outage will be as massive as the one last December, which was later blamed on an overloaded cluster of support servers. If you’re experiencing issues now, hit the jump for some quick fix instructions from Skype. Just don’t blame it on Microsoft, alright?
Update: Skype says Windows users should update their client to the newest version for an immediate and easier fix. A Max OS X update is also on the way. More →
Apple has completed a cloud-music streaming deal with record label EMI, according to a report filed by CNET. Citing multiple industry sources, the publication notes that Apple, Sony Music Entertainment and the Universal Music Group are working on agreements as well; a previous report claims that Warner Music Group and Apple already signed a cloud service agreement sometime last month. “Apple will finish behind Google and Amazon in the race to the cloud, but Apple now has the freedom to offer a range of features that rivals are prevented from rolling out because of the licensing restrictions,” continues the article. Rumors state that Apple will use a technology acquired from Lala called “scan and match.” Instead of uploading a subscribers music library to Apple’s cloud-music service, the company would scan a music collection and provide access to the master track it has a license to. Apple and the music labels in question declined to comment on the report when contacted by CNET. More →
On Tuesday Slacker introduced a new subscription service called “Slacker Premium Radio.” Slacker Premium allows you to search for artists and play songs, or even full albums, on demand. Similar to Rhapsody, you can also cache songs for offline playback on your phone where a 3G or Wi-Fi signal isn’t available. The streaming radio service said that it offers 6 times the amount of music that Pandora offers, although it remains unclear how its library stacks up against Rhapsody or Microsoft’s Zune service. Slacker Premium Radio is available for the web, Android, iOS, and BlackBerry now for $10 per month. More →