It looks as though Google may be testing a voice search feature for its desktop search homepage. According to blog Search Engine Roundtable, several users have begun seeing the oh-so-familiar microphone icon in the search box on google.com — we can confirm that we have seen it on our Google home page as well. The icon will look extremely familiar to those Android users out there, as voice search has been an operating system staple for nearly a year now. No word on when/if this feature will roll out to the masses. More →
Motorola has announced that there is a new software update available for the Verizon Wireless DROID Pro. Unfortunately the patch will not update your DROID Pro to Android 2.3 (Gingerbread), but it should reduce the frequency of UI lockups, offer improved audio during calls, and the following fixes:
- Improved audio on voice calls.
- Improved stability and performance.
- User interface display now refreshes when user switches from GSM/UMTS communication to Global Mode.
- Device now prepends 011 to Country Code to send SMS messages.
- Global Mode no longer resets when connecting to a USB charger.
- Visual Voice Mail now detects airplane mode while Wi-Fi is active.
- Prompt return to full screen brightness after wake-up.
- Upgraded Bluetooth firmware.
- Improved interoperability with Microsoft Internet Application Gateway (IAG) configurations.
- Device string format for Exchange changed to include device name and version number.
- Upgrade to Google applications Release 7
Intel gathered by blog Android Central indicates that Sprint and Google will make their Google Voice partnership ready for prime time on April 26th. The venture, which was announced last month, will allow Sprint customers to seamlessly integrate their current wireless number with Google’s Voice service. Calls and texts sent from your mobile device will be logged by Google Voice’s online system, and calls can be made from the browser using the service’s VoIP feature. International calls made from linked mobile devices will automatically route through Google Voice — which offers deep discounting on international voice traffic. The feature has been available in beta for the last few weeks, but it looks like the two companies are finally ready to let everyone in on the fun. More →
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 →
The tension continues to mount. If you’ve had some trouble with the voice call quality on your ATRIX 4G, you’re not alone. A Motorola forum discussing the topic has over 16,000 views and most users are complaining that other callers are unable to hear them clearly, even after tweaking noise suppression settings. The good news is, one Motorola forum manager has confirmed that Motorola is aware of voice quality issues on the AT&T ATRIX 4G and the company is working on fixing the problem. Hopefully it’s just a quick software update, but the forum manager did say that there’s no clear indication as to the cause of the problem.
UPDATE: Motorola has issued the following statement:
Motorola Mobility is aware of a very small number of ATRIX 4G users who have reported low audio issues when placing voice calls. Motorola ATRIX 4G is designed and tested to meet our high standards for audio quality. As part of our longstanding commitment to delivering high quality products that our customers love, we believe in reacting even when identified issues impact only a handful of users. Motorola is evaluating further optimization of audio levels in a future maintenance release. Any consumer who experiences this issue should contact a Motorola customer support center.
Motorola takes great care to ensure devices are developed with quality in mind. We appreciate consumer feedback and will continue working to refine our product experience.
4G. It’s everywhere. It’s on the tech sites you read. It’s on the televisions you watch. It’s plastered in advertisements all over the city streets you walk. It was probably in the sandwich you ate for lunch. Cellular carriers around the world are betting the bank on 4G — be it LTE, WiMAX or the newly knighted HSPA+ — and 4G-enabled gear is already starting to flood the market despite the lack of nationwide coverage. More →
Let the rumors be put to rest. Wirefly just lit up our inbox with the news that the HTC ThunderBolt — Verizon’s first LTE handset — will begin shipping on March 17th with pre-orders beginning at 3:00 a.m. EST tomorrow morning. The company also confirmed that the handset will not ship with Verizon’s version of Skype Mobile, but will have the ability to handle simultaneous voice and data. We’ve reached out to both Verizon and HTC for confirmation. The full text of the email is after the break. More →
Intel gathered by blog TmoNews suggests that the nation’s fourth largest wireless carrier, T-Mobile, will be revamping its webConnect data plans. The new monthly offerings will offer users 200MB, 5GB, and 10GB of data, and retail for $29.99, $49.99 and $79.99 respectively. The new webConnect plans, which will take affect March 13th, will also allow users to bundle existing voice line plans with webConnect plans for additional savings. When bundled, the prices drop to $23.99 for the 200MB plan, $39.99 for 5GB plan, and $63.99 for 10GB plan. Currently, T-Mobile only offers a 200MB plan for $24.99 and a 5GB plan for $39.99. More →
According to the recent findings of Web app performance watcher Compuware Gomez, the addition of the iPhone 4 to Verizon Wireless’ network has had no noticeable affect on network performance. This could mean sales of the highly anticipated Apple smartphone aren’t quite as impressive as many thought they would be. It could also mean that Verizon’s network is so beastly that it’s gobbling up all that new traffic and laughing at the competition — namely AT&T, whose network has been the target of countless iPhone-related complaints over the past few years. Finally, it could mean that Apple’s move to dump Infineon’s chipset and baseband in favor of a Qualcomm offering was a wise, albeit late decision. Granted, Compuware Gomez is only using four days worth of data in its assessment, so it could mean none of these things. For the time being, however, Verizon Wireless subscribers can rest assured that their network is handling the added stress of Apple’s iPhone 4 in stride. More →
Verizon has confirmed to CNN that it will utilize Voice Over LTE (VoLTE) for its next generation voice network. The company is expected to make a public announcement, and host demonstrations, at next week’s Mobile World Congress. In the future, Verizon hopes to route all voice and video calls, text messages, and data packets over its LTE network.
“Calls between VoLTE-equipped smart phones will sound better,” notes Verizon. “The ‘high-definition’ audio fidelity will be a major selling point.”
The report also notes that VoLTE will allow simultaneous voice and data usage — a capability currently unavailable to most CDMA handsets. Verizon declined to comment on how it plans to price and roll-out VoLTE, but we’re sure it will be a slow transition. Hit the read link to check out the full report. More →
Planning to get yourself an HTC ThunderBolt from Verizon Wireless? Good news: a Verizon branded training document, bearing today’s date, indicates that the LTE handset will ship with hotspot-creation capabilities and the ability to simultaneously use voice and data while on Verizon’s 3G network. The memo does have a rather ominous statement that reads:
There is functionality in the Thunderbolt that allows simultaneous voice and data while on the VZW 3G network, however, we cannot promise the experience will be one that is consistent with our brand. As a result, do not reference this functionality as a benefit during your conversations with customers.
Not sure what that means, but we’ll take our chances. A similar training document surfaced last week and stated that the device would not be shipping with the popular hotspot feature. It is unclear whether the prior document was erroneous or if a technical hurdle was overcome in the past few days.
There you have it, simultaneous voice and data and the ability to create your very own mobile hotspot. Did this just seal the ThunderBolt-deal for anyone? More →
Now that Google has finally brought incoming number portability to its Google Voice service, we wanted to ask: how many of you have taken advantage of the new feature? It’s a difficult call to make and many people have reached out to us to ask us what our thoughts on it. Since you’re porting your existing number, you’ll need a new number for your actual cell phone and that’s where things can get tricky for some people. Also, many people have early termination fees to consider, so that adds another roadblock. So, what’s the verdict? How many of you taken the plunge, and if so, are you happy that your number is now able to be used on a variety of phones on practically any carrier and that you can control who calls you and where?
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 →