Sony Ericsson announced today that it has started its own channel in the Android Market. Designed specifically to work on Sony Ericsson products, the channel replaces the "My Apps" link found on the landing page of the market. According to Sony Ericsson's blog, this spot will be used to offer exclusive content in the form of games and apps that best enhance the experience for the company's devices.
Starting off, Sony Ericsson is offering plug-ins for itsTimescape and camera application, but the eventual plan is to provide other developers a platform to promote their efforts. Users … Read more
Wouldn't you know it, when our two high-tech methods for patching Bonnie in from New York failed, she had to turn to an old-fashioned desk phone to co-host Dialed In. Way to show your team spirit, Bonnie. Meanwhile, Kent breaks down the unusual, dual-screened Kyocera Echo, Bonnie lauds the HTC Sensation, Nicole picks apart RIM's chances for survival, and we all chime in to help two chat room regulars find the perfect phone across state and country lines.
Android users on Sprint's network won't have to pay for Angry Birds Rio and other Android Market purchases on their Visa cards much longer.
Today, Google announced a partnership with Sprint that lets you add your Android app buys to your monthly voice and data bill.
Carrier billing, as it's called, opens Android to one more payment method, in addition to the prevailing system of credit card billing.
Deferring app payments has its benefits. First, it lets phone owners decide how they want to settle a bill, and second, it allows customers without credit cards to purchase premium apps.
Owners of prepaid phones are one demographic that typically tends to pay bills with cash or other methods instead of with a credit card. The same goes for subscribers in emerging global markets. More basic Android phones are becoming increasingly prevalent in these sectors.
Google stated in a blog post that it will continue to partner with global carriers to bring the carrier billing option to more subscribers worldwide.
A Google spokesperson confirmed that for now, at least, Android Market carrier billing won't extend to Sprint's prepaid brands, like Virgin Mobile USA or Boost Mobile.
Update, 1:15 p.m. PT with information about Sprint's prepaid brands.… Read more
T-Mobile USA is taking on its wireless competitors with its new "unlimited" everything cell phone plan for only $79.99 a month, proving that it's still looking to compete as regulators consider AT&T's bid to buy it.
Though cell phone carriers like to boast that their devices are "one of a kind" and "industry firsts," the claims are usually nothing more than marketing speak. With the Kyocera Echo, however, Sprint wasn't just feeding us a line.
It's almost been two months since Sprint launched the Echo at a very over-the-top unveiling in New York City. Journalists like us usually have an aversion to such events, so it wasn't surprising that most attendees came away a little confused. And it didn't help that the Echo was such an unusual device. Though it looks pretty boring at first, the Echo actually has two touch screens that join together to form one large display. The Echo is nothing we've ever seen before and it offers some unique enhancements that are cool if not exactly mind-blowing.
Of course, the dual-screen design comes with some tradeoffs, and the Echo's design won't build confidence if you subject your gadgets to regular abuse. Even worse, a lackluster feature set makes the Echo's design its only real draw. It won't be for mass consumption, but the right user will appreciate its quirky character.
The first is a $5 International Connect plan that will let Boost customers make unlimited calls to landlines in more than 150 cities in Mexico, unlimited calls to Canada, and unlimited international texts from the U.S., Puerto Rico, and the U.S. Virgin Islands. IDEN customers get some extras, too, like unlimited walkie-talkie capabilities from the U.S., Canada, and Baja California to Argentina, Brazil, Mexico, Peru, and Chile.
Partnering with RealNetworks, the free Android application lets users manage their existing music library, as well as purchase new music and ringtones. Individual tracks range from 69 cents to $1.29 each, and you can also purchase full albums and ringback tones and ringtones.
In an effort to attract more spending, Sprint will offer bundles of songs with their respective tones should a subscriber opt to pick up all three at once. Any purchases made will be automatically deferred to the monthly service bill where customers will see itemized charges.
I've spent a few hours with the Music Plus application today and find it to be only average as a media player. Compared with the HTC music player that comes with the Evo 4G, it looks partially finished and lacking. What I do like, however, is the ability to create custom ringback tones for my contacts based on individuals, groups, and special occasions. It was very easy to set up a special ringback for select friends, so that they hear a specific song at certain times of the day.
As handy as it is for users to buy tracks and ringtones, I cannot help but feel bad for novice Android users. Paying $2.50 for a ringtone seems silly when Sprint will sell the full song for $1.29 at the most. There are also other applications in the Android Market that allow for cropping tracks into bite-size tones.
However, as an all-in-one app, it's hard to complain much when things are free. Sprint customers can find Music Plus as a free download in the Sprint Zone application today. … Read more
RIM's official Twitter for BlackBerry app will be getting a visual refresh and some new features with version 1.1. For starters, the app will push "@" mentions to your username and will autocomplete hashtag options (#).
The app will also tag locations after you enable the feature in the Options, then tap the icon of a compass for tweets you want to geolocate. You'll also be able to view the locations of people you follow on a map within the application.
When you retweet, Twitter for BlackBerry will indicate that the message was retweeted by you, a nod toward user feedback from the beta testing group. In addition, the app supports simplified and traditional Chinese, Polish, Czech, and Thai languages.
The Twitter for BlackBerry 1.1 app sheds its beta and will be fully available, for free, in the BlackBerry App World within the next 24 hours.… Read more
No one likes signing their life away to cell phone contracts, but fortunately, most service providers offer some kind of prepaid solution, and they're slowly starting to diversify their phone offerings to include smartphones.
Case in point, today AT&T introduced the LG Thrive, the first smartphone to be available on its GoPhone prepaid service. The Android 2.2 device will start shipping on April 17 and will cost $179.99 and require a GoPhone smartphone data package, which comes in three flavors: $25 for 500MB; $15 for 100MB; or $5 for 10MB.
With a pair of new smartphones, Nokia is showing no immediate signs of letting up on its Symbian operating system.
The E6 and the X7, both announced today, will be the first smartphones to ship with Symbian Anna, the latest update to the mobile operating system, which is used primarily by Nokia. Earlier this year, however, Nokia signed a deal with Microsoft that will make Windows Phone 7 the principal operating system on its smartphones, with the shift the Microsoft OS starting as early as next year.
The Nokia E6 is designed with business customers in mind. It boasts a … Read more