AT&T drops unlimited SMS requirement for messaging phones

By on April 11, 2011 at 6:04 PM.

AT&T drops unlimited SMS requirement for messaging phones

AT&T has dropped its requirement that all customers purchasing “quick messaging devices” — or QMDs for short –  subscribe to an unlimited texting plan. According to Fierce Wireless, AT&T implemented the rule in January 2010 before quietly discontinuing it sometime in February of this year. The unlimited texting plan was priced at $20 per month, and while it’s no longer mandatory, AT&T does recommend that customers purchasing a messaging feature phone continue to sign up for an unlimited plan. AT&T’s portfolio of QMDs includes the Samsung Strive, LG VU Plus, Pantech Impact, and Samsung Solstice II, among others. AT&T subscribers can also opt for a cheaper $10 monthly plan that provides just 1,000 text messages per month. More →

16 Comments

T-Mobile and Verizon Wireless to intro new unlimited plans

By on April 11, 2011 at 1:26 PM.

T-Mobile and Verizon Wireless to intro new unlimited plans

According to leaked internal documents, T-Mobile and Verizon Wireless may soon offer new unlimited voice/text/web plans. One image, obtained by TmoNews, suggests that T-Mobile will quietly launch a new “Truly Unlimited Data + Talk + Text” option on April 13th that will retail for $79.99 per month. T-Mobile will supposedly not cap data for this plan, but will instead reduce data throughput speeds (throttle) after a user surpasses 2GB in a single billing cycle. Another image leaked by Droid-Life suggests that Verizon Wireless is also gearing up to release a new unlimited plan for just $50 per month. It will supposedly include unlimited mobile to mobile calling, text, and web for customers opting for service without a contract. We’re thinking this could be limited to feature phones only, given Verizon’s choice to call it “unlimited web” instead of “unlimited data” — “unlimited data” is terminology Verizon typically uses when referring to smartphones. Neither carrier has officially announced the new plans, however. Hit the jump for more images. More →

38 Comments

Viber for iPhone gets free text messaging

By on April 2, 2011 at 2:22 AM.

Viber for iPhone gets free text messaging

Viber, the popular iPhone application that allows for free calling to other Viber users, has been updated to version 2.0.1. After applying the update, Viber users will be able to send and receive free text messages to one another, complete with notifications. Viber has also been updated with a number of UI changes — the favorites have been moved, the calling mechanism has been improved and now shows the current state of any Viber call, and the application now has a deactivation feature. The update is available in iTunes now. More →

19 Comments

MetroPCS offering free calls and text messages to Japan

By on March 15, 2011 at 5:29 AM.

MetroPCS offering free calls and text messages to Japan

Following on the heels of AT&T and Verizon Wireless today, MetroPCS has announced that its customers can send free text messages and place free phone calls to landlines in Japan. MetroPCS says the offer extends throughout the next 30 days, and that it will “support free calls to mobile numbers in Japan for a timeframe to be determined.” It’s unclear if that means calls to mobile numbers in Japan will be free for more than, or less than, 30 days. More →

3 Comments

Verizon to provide free calls, texts from wireless and wireline phones to Japan

By on March 14, 2011 at 11:31 AM.

Verizon to provide free calls, texts from wireless and wireline phones to Japan

One of the nation’s largest telecommunications companies, Verizon Communications, has announced that it will be providing its customers free text messages, along free with wireless and wireline calls, from the United States to Japan. The company announce its intentions via a short tweet earlier today:

We’re about to announce free calls to Japan from wireless and residential landline phones. Free messaging to Japan too.

The move comes hours after AT&T announced that it was providing its customers with a similar courtesy. Verizon Wireless has provided instructions on how users can donate via text to the Japanese relief effort — both press releases are after the break. More →

3 Comments

AT&T: Calls and texts to Japan free through March

By on March 14, 2011 at 8:06 AM.

AT&T: Calls and texts to Japan free through March

In response to last week’s tsunami, AT&T has announced that its wireless customers, in the United States and Puerto Rico, can call or text Japan for free through March 31st. AT&T has also said it will not charge its wireless postpaid customers for international long distance calls or texts to Japan that were placed after March 11th.  Similarly, AT&T wireline customers can seek credit for up to 60 minutes of direct calls placed to Japan during the March 11th to March 31st time period. Anyone who wishes to donate $10 to the Red Cross can do so by texting “redcross” to 90999. More →

10 Comments

Next-gen Apple Peel adds voice and data to iPod touch, looks like iPhone 4 [video]

By on January 26, 2011 at 4:15 AM.

Next-gen Apple Peel adds voice and data to iPod touch, looks like iPhone 4 [video]

Like Sprint’s ZTE Peel iPod touch case, the Apple Peel 520 gives Apple’s iPod touch the ability to connect to a cellular data network. Unlike the ZTE Peel, the Apple Peel also allows users to send and receive voice calls and SMS from an iPod touch. In other works, the Apple Peel picks up where Sprint’s iPod case left off. It looks like Yoison, the company behind the Apple Peel, is already working on a next-generation Peel that brings several additions to the table. The most apparent change is a redesigned case that makes the iPod touch look like an iPhone 4. Other changes include added support for Apple’s fourth-generation iPod touch (the current Apple Peel 520 supports the third-generation model), and GPRS data support in addition to EDGE. Unfortunately, however, it looks like 3G is still off limits. Yoison has not yet made any announcements with regard to pricing or availability. Hit the break for a video of the new model in action. More →

11 Comments

AT&T prepping new text message plans to launch next week?

By on January 19, 2011 at 2:47 PM.

AT&T prepping new text message plans to launch next week?

According to a report filed by GearLive, AT&T is preparing to update its text messaging offerings with the changes taking effect next week. The changes themselves are pretty straight forward. In a two for one swap, Ma’ Bell will be discontinuing its $5 per month, 200 message and $15 per month, 1,500 message plans replacing them with a $10 per month 1,000 message offering. The $20 per month, unlimited messaging plan will be left untouched. Those who currently subscribe to one of plans being discontinued will be allowed to keep the feature until their next change of service. What do you think? Is this move going to save or cost you money? More →

57 Comments

Google acknowledges Android SMS bug, promises fix

By on January 5, 2011 at 6:10 PM.

Google acknowledges Android SMS bug, promises fix

Last week, we told you about a pesky SMS bug that has been plaguing some users of  Google’s Android operating system. The issue in question, which Google asserts is quite rare, causes text messages to be sent to unintended or random recipients. In the company’s bug-tracking system, a response has been posted to those users filing complaints in hopes of a solution. Google writes:

Thanks to everyone for your patience while we’ve been investigating these reports. As it turns out, we believe there are two distinct situations being discussed on this issue chain. Fortunately, we have fixes for both of them.

When some users tap to open a message in the Messaging application, they’re seeing a different message appear instead. We don’t believe this issue is affecting many users, but we’ve developed a fix that we’re preparing to deploy. Of course, double-checking the displayed message before hitting “Send” will prevent any messages from being sent to the wrong recipients. We’ve found in testing this issue, it is more likely to occur if you tap on a message before the Messaging app is fully loaded, so we recommend waiting for all the elements to load before clicking on the message you want to display.

Separately, some users have reported that their SMS messages are being delivered to the wrong people. It took us some time to reproduce this issue, as it appears that it’s only occurring very rarely. Even so, we’ve now managed to both reproduce it and develop a fix that we will deploy.

While we don’t anticipate any persistent problems, we’ll continue to investigate in case we come up with additional ways to trigger these bugs. Thanks again for helping us improve Android.

No word on exactly when the fixes will be pushed out to handsets, but if you’re mobile is affected… know that help is on the way. More →

17 Comments

Android bug that sends SMS messages to random recipients is being ignored by Google

By on December 31, 2010 at 9:48 AM.

Android bug that sends SMS messages to random recipients is being ignored by Google

According to a report from ZDNet blog Hardware 2.0, Google’s Android platform is being plagued by a bug that Google is, for the most part, ignoring. The bug causes SMS messages to be delivered to the wrong recipient and occurrences appear to be random. Relegated to “Priority-Medium” on the Android developer forums, the bug was first reported to Google over six months ago in June, 2010, and yet it has still not been addressed. Perhaps the simplest description of the issue comes from the developer who first reported it:

  • Send SMS message to RecipientA.
  • Message appears to be successfully sent to RecipientA.
  • RecipientX receives message.
  • ‘View Message Details’ in RecipientA thread, shows ‘To’ field as being RecipientX’s MSISDN (phone number).

Numerous subsequent posts on the thread confirm the bug. In an on-site poll, Hardware 2.0 also asks readers if they have been affected by this SMS bug. At the time this post was written, 30% of poll-takers indicated that the bug has affected their Android phones at some point. More →

121 Comments

U.S. Cellular debuts three new prepaid calling plans with unlimited texting

By on December 4, 2010 at 2:23 AM.

U.S. Cellular debuts three new prepaid calling plans with unlimited texting

Regional wireless provider U.S. Cellular has announced three new prepaid calling plans just in time for the holiday buying season. The new plans, which all include unlimited text messaging, will offer 200, 400, or 1000 talk minutes and retail for $29, $39, and $49 respectively; the 400 minute plan will also include 5GB of monthly data usage.

“With balancing the budget on the minds of many, prepaid plans can help customers stay on top of spending and don’t require a contractual agreement,” quips the press release. “U.S. Cellular’s new prepaid plans offer spending flexibility through unlimited messaging choices and graduated levels of included voice minutes.”

The prepaid offerings compliment the company’s Belief Project plans announced earlier this year. More →

6 Comments

Google Voice for iPhone hands-on!

By on November 16, 2010 at 3:17 PM.

Google Voice for iPhone hands-on!

Apple finally approved (or accepted) Google’s official Google Voice app for the iPhone just minutes ago, and while 3rd party versions of the software were allowed back in a couple months ago, sometimes there isn’t anything like the official version. We messed around with the app and here are some of our initial thoughts:

  • We love how straight forward the app is to use. You’d think this would be the case for any application, but Google really nails the usability angle here.
  • Dialing a number quickly and efficiently is the most important part of a phone calling app, and since you have to manually switch to another app and not the iPhone phone app, you don’t want to waste more time by jumping around tabs, and different screen views. On here, hit the dialer tab, and you’re ready to dial. Also of note: Google Voice for iPhone makes use of outbound dialing, so you never have to wait for an incoming call to ring your phone, you just “dial out”.
  • One major issue with Google Voice’s web apps and iPhone-optimized website, was that the experience was kind of lousy. You’d want to dial or shoot a quick text message off but couldn’t due to the fact the entire UI was in Safari, thus it scrolled around, sometimes would be a little delayed, etc. The app provides very quick access to SMS creation and sending, especially for conversations not yet started. This is important here, because the faster these tasks get, the more people will use Google Voice and centralize their calling/texting habits and behaviors.
  • The inbox view is great — you have all your voicemails, incoming calls, missed calls, text messages and recorded calls in one neat, and super clean-looking list. You can also manually view just a specific category like voicemails or text message if you’d like, however.
  • Push notifications on here are lightning fast, and are so, so necessary.

All in all, this is close enough to an integrated experience like Android offers to make iPhone-using Google Voice users extremely happy. Now if they could only work on their voicemail transcriptions… Check out our hands on photos in the gallery!

41 Comments

Google Voice suffering massive outage?

By on November 5, 2010 at 5:29 PM.

Google Voice suffering massive outage?

Our Inbox is flooded with complaints from frustrated Google Voice users who are unable to login to their accounts. Navigating to Google Voice via the browser simply yields a 502 error and trying to access GV from the ; the reports began to flow in about 30 minutes ago. Sound off Google Voice users. Is it working for you?

UPDATE: Google Voice seems to have just come back up. We’re not sure what caused the outage, but we’ve reached out to Google and will update this post with any response.

11 Comments