A small group of New York City payphones will soon be getting a new lease on life through a pilot program that will transform the old phones into Wi-Fi hotspots, GigaOM reported. The hotspots, which will be ad-free and open to the public, will initially be available at 10 payphones throughout three of the city’s boroughs. The payphones feature “military grade” antennas that can provide service up to 300 feet away, and installation is being provided free-of-charge by Van Wagner Communications. New York is planning to eventually expand its hotspot program to more of the city’s 13,000 payphones, and the ongoing cost and maintenance will be provided by the payphone companies. It was previously reported that New York was planning to revive roughly 250 old phone booths with 32-inch Internet-ready “smart screens.” More →
The HTC One X may be one of the spiffiest new Android devices so far this year but some One X users are reporting that design flaws are impeding their ability to connect to Wi-Fi. As Dustin Karnes at Android Guys reports, an Xda-Developers member called bigoliver has found that the One X can potentially have several Wi-Fi related problems that will either adversely affect the device’s battery life or render it totally incapable of connecting to Wi-Fi networks. More →
The International Trade Commission on Tuesday ruled in favor of Motorola Mobility in its patent infringement claim against Apple. The Cupertino-based company’s iPhone and iPad were found to be in violation of Motorola’s Wi-Fi technology patent, however they did not infringe on three other patents that Motorola asserted against the iPhone-maker. “We are pleased that the ALJ’s initial determination finds Apple to be in violation of Motorola Mobility’s intellectual property, and look forward to the full commission’s ruling in August,” Motorola told CNET in a statement. The ruling is preliminary and still must be approved by the ITC’s six-member commission. More →
Apple’s new iPad has already seen massive success, selling over 3 million units in less than four days of availability. The tablet features an updated A5X chip, a beautiful Retina display and 4G LTE connectivity. Due to the blazing fast 4G speeds on Apple’s iPad Wi-Fi + 4G models, it is estimated that half of all new iPads sold will be LTE enabled. Analytics firm Localytics has countered previous reports, however, stating that only 6% of all iPad sessions using apps with its tracking software installed connect to the Internet through a cellular network. The firm found that 89.7% of all iPads are Wi-Fi only, while 8.8% were 3G-enabled and 1.5% included 4G. Users with iPads equipped with 3G use cellular data 45% of the time, while users with 4G devices only utilize LTE 36% of the time. Localytics compiled its connectivity report using data collected between March 16th and March 21st, and the company’s infographic can be found after the break. More →
In a recent report, an analyst for global financial firm UBS predicted that sales of Apple’s new iPad tablet will be split 50/50 between Wi-Fi-only and Wi-Fi + 4G models. “With an HD screen, faster processor and higher-resolution camera, we believe this device will drive demand for faster connectivity,” UBS senior analyst John Hodulik said in research note. Due to Verizon’s superior LTE coverage, Hodulik believes the carrier has a definite edge over AT&T when it comes to selling the device. GigaOm reported on Thursday that previous generations of the iPad were split 60/40 between Wi-Fi-only and 3G models, although it is unclear if users’ tablets were actively subscribed to a carrier’s network. More →
HTC has acknowledged that some the company’s handsets contain a security hole involving the handling of certain data requests while connected to a Wi-Fi network. Security researchers Chris Hessing and Bret Jordan discovered the vulnerability, which could use the android.permission.ACCESS_WIFI_STATE permission to create a command to view all Wi-Fi credentials while connected to the network. The researchers discovered the flaw in September, however over the past few months they have worked with HTC and Google to patch things up before going public. The hole could have been used to transmit information to a remote server using the Internet access permission. Read on for more. More →
Flying home for the holidays and navigating through crowded airports — or facing flight delays, as is often the case — may be a hair less dreadful this year. Skype announced recently that it is sponsoring free Wi-Fi in more than 60 U.S. airports from December 21st until December 27th. To activate the service, simply follow these directions:
- Sign in to Skype.
- Go to Tools > Options… > Skype WiFi Access.
- Tick Enable Skype WiFi Access.
- Connect to a WiFi public hotspot.
- In the Skype menu bar, click Tools > Skype WiFi Access.
- Follow the instructions on the screen to select and join a compatible public WiFi network.
Skype’s full press release, which includes a list of every airport where free Wi-Fi will be available, follows after the break. More →
During the Law Seminars International event in Seattle on Tuesday, Trilogy Partners chairman John Stanton said he spoke frequently with Steve Jobs about Jobs’s dream to create a wireless network owned and operated by Apple. “He wanted to replace carriers,” Stanton explained. “He and I spent a lot of time talking about whether synthetically you could create a carrier using Wi-Fi spectrum. That was part of his vision,” Stanton added, noting that he worked with Steve Jobs from 2005 through 2007. Jobs originally wanted to take advantage of unlicensed spectrum that Wi-Fi networks use, although it is unclear how advanced his plans or intentions for such a project were. Jobs reportedly nixed the idea in 2007 and, four years later, the iPhone is now available on three major U.S. wireless carriers and one regional carrier. IDG, which first reported the story, said Stanton was the former head of Voicestream before it became T-Mobile, and he also worked for McCaw Cellular, which later became AT&T. More →
Republic Wireless went live on Tuesday with its impossibly cheap $19 unlimited talk, text and data plan, presenting a service that could potentially save some users a tremendous amount of money each month. “Newsflash: anything a cell network can do, the Internet can do better and cheaper,” Republic Wireless touts on its website. “So we think a truly smart smartphone should make a habit of using Wi–Fi for everything. Surfing. Texting. Sharing. And, yes, even talking.” Read on for more. More →
A new wireless carrier named Republic Wireless, a part of Bandwidth.com, will begin to offer unlimited voice, text and data plans on November 8th for just $19 per month. How is that possible? Republic Wireless will route calls and text messages over Wi-Fi networks when available, and when you’re outside of one it will send the calls over a standard cell network. According to GigaOm, Republic Wireless will buy minutes in bulk from Sprint and then resell them to its customers. The carrier will offer special Android phones with support for voice calling over Wi-Fi networks using technology similar to UMA, a feature in several of T-Mobile’s Android and BlackBerry devices. Reportedly, Republic Wireless will also offer unlimited 3G without any data caps. More →
China Mobile has yet to convince Apple to partner on an iPhone that supports its proprietary TD-SCDMA 3G network, but that hasn’t stopped the carrier from attracting customers to the device. In fact, China Mobile added 5 million new iPhone users in just four months, and it now serves a total of 9.5 million iPhone users, Bloomberg said. Each of those customers can use text, voice and 2G data, and all of the iPhone models it sells are unsubsidized. That may sound like a turnoff, but China Mobile has increased its iPhone user base by building out a nationwide Wi-Fi network to make up for its 3G shortcomings, and the carrier is also offering rebates worth as much as $440. The carrier plans to add an additional 1 million hotspots throughout China during the next three years, too. China Unicom has been an exclusive iPhone partner in China since 2005 and while it has less 3G subscribers than China Mobile, it is able to offer a 3G-capable iPhone because it operates a WCDMA 3G network. More →
After teasing a new tablet under the parody brand “TabCo” for the past several months, Fusion Garage took the wraps off of the Grid 10 tablet and a new Grid 4 smartphone on Monday. The Grid 10 offers a custom “GridOS” operating system, is equipped with a 10.1-inch 1366 x 768-pixel display and is powered by a dual-core NVIDIA Tegra 2 chipset presumably clocked at 1GHz. The GridOS supports Android applications as well, and users can purchase and download new apps from the “Grid Shop” or from Amazon’s App Store. In addition, GridOS has a unique home screen that allows users to create “clusters” of applications that span over an infinite amount of space. Fusion Garage also announced a GridOS-powered smartphone — the $399 Grid 4, which will ship in the fourth quarter — that will be powered by a 1GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon processor. The Grid 10 Wi-Fi tablet will launch on September 15th for $499, and a 3G-capable version will follow for $599. Amazon will carry the tablet and pre-orders are open now. Also of note, all existing JooJoo owners will receive a free Grid 10 in the coming months.
OfficeMax announced on Thursday that it will stock Amazon’s popular Kindle eReader in its nationwide stores beginning on August 7th. The company mentions 3G in its press release so we assume it will only carry the 3G/Wi-Fi version of the eReader and not the ad-supported “Kindle with Special Offers” model. The Kindle provides access to more than 950,000 books and offers a 6-inch E Ink display. OfficeMax did not specify the device’s price, but Amazon currently sells its 3G/Wi-Fi model for $189. Read on for the full press release. More →