We drive the Volvo S60 T6, get features in Sync that Ford promised years ago, look forward to GM cars driving themselves, announce the EPA numbers for the Fisker Karma, and advise you not to pay more for a used car than a new one!Subscribe with iTunes (audio) Subscribe with iTunes (video) Subscribe with RSS (audio) Subscribe with RSS (video) EPISODE 238 SHOW NOTES
If you were among those who bet your office mates that Apple wouldn't come out with an iPhone 5 today, congratulations, give yourself a high five, you win. But if you were on the losing side of that bet and were sure Apple would unveil a truly new iPhone with a new chassis and a number 5 in the name somewhere, you're probably shaking your head a little.
That's it? The iPhone 4S? We waited these extra months for that?
Related stories Apple unveils iPhone 4S iPhone 4S First Take Apple's iPod lineup (2011) Full coverage: Apple's iPhone event
There is some good news. If you own an iPhone 4, you may be less tempted to upgrade and more willing to hold out for the true iPhone 5.
We know that for some Apple fans anything new is hard to resist, and a lot of you will probably want the iPhone 4S anyway. But maybe this quick roundup of what we missed will change your mind.… Read more
A U.S. District Court judge has ruled that Facebook's new Timeline feature should not be subject to a temporary restraining order after claims were brought against it last week by Chicago-based Timelines.com.
The ruling, which came down on Friday in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois, also included a request that both sides argue their cases in court tomorrow. In addition, according to PaidContent, which obtained a copy of the ruling, Facebook has agreed to not launch the Timeline feature publicly for now and will provide a daily update on how many … Read more
The mobile world moves at a breakneck pace, and it's difficult to keep up--even without the technical jargon most industry insiders throw around. And they do love to toss those terms about.
This week, I explain what a geo-fence is, why a feature phone is really just a dumb phone with a niftier marketing title, and why companies love rebates.
So for some light reading, here are a few terms (and definitions) commonly used by telecommunications experts who assume everyone understands them.
Alignment: Look, it's another code word for layoffs. While not exactly the best example of telecom jargon, it's a relevant term given Nokia's decision to "align" its workforce, which means shedding 3,500 jobs on top of a prior plan to cut thousands of other jobs. It's in the same vein as synergy and redundancy, fancy words that mask the ugly truth that a lot of people are getting canned.
Feature phone: This is the industry's term for any phone that isn't a smartphone, which runs on a more complex operating system that can run applications. You have to admire the marketing spin on what is essentially a dumb phone.
I, for one, hate using the term, and have largely stuck to calling them basic phones.
Feature phones are in a phase of gradual decline as people jump to smartphones, which are getting more affordable. Leap Wireless CEO Doug Hutcheson said he expects smartphones to cost $100 or less without a contract by the holidays, just slightly more expensive than a feature phone.
HTC's global marketing chief, Jason MacKenzie, boldly said he sees his Rhyme smartphone as a better upgrade for feature phone users than the iPhone.
Geo-fence: It's a virtual perimeter you can set up anywhere to ensure your child or pet stays in a certain zone. If they leave the designated area, an alert is sent to your phone. … Read more
Often at big product launches, the devil's in the details, and companies sometimes conveniently forget to mention some features that may be perceived as negatives.
In launching the Kindle Fire, the big headline for Amazon was the tablet's impressively affordable $199 price tag. As Jeff Bezos said multiple times, "We are building premium products and offering them at nonpremium prices," and it's hard to argue with him when it comes to both the Kindle Fire and the new e-ink Kindles. But now that some of the euphoria over the launch has ebbed, folks are starting to look more closely at some of the potential shortcomings of the device.
Big on my list is the limited 8GB of storage, with only 6GB usable (and no expansion slot) and the apparent lack of Bluetooth (Amazon does not list it in the specs).
Others have mentioned the fact that there's no camera or GPS. Those feature may be important to some, but you just wouldn't expect them to be there in a product at this price point. After all, the $249 Nook Color also left off the camera and Bluetooth. Interestingly, that device apparently has a Bluetooth chip, but Barnes & Noble has chosen not to activate it, so who knows, maybe Amazon is hiding one, too. … Read more
Just a day after announcing sweeping changes to friends lists, Facebook has announced another new feature, called the subscribe button.
Facebook users will soon see a new "Subscribe" option on some other people's profiles. When clicking the button on a friend's profile, users will have the option of subscribing to all, most, or only important updates the other person posts to the site. Those updates will show up in the user's news feed.
To make things a bit more interesting, Facebook is also letting people subscribe to news feeds of users they're not friends … Read more
Verizon Wireless is offering some incentives to convince basic feature phone owners to upgrade to a smartphone.
Verizon spokeswoman Brenda Raney told CNET that customers with basic phones who are eligible to upgrade between now and the end of the year can currently upgrade to a smartphone. Such customers have until September 30 to make the switch.
In return for trading in their current feature phone, subscribers will receive a $100 gift card from the carrier via its Wireless Trade-In Program. The gift card can then be used for any type of purchase at Verizon, including paying off a bill. … Read more
The risk of stepping on a rusty nail and contracting tetanus is nothing like the horror of spending a full week without an iPhone.
That's the sentiment of more than 40 percent of iPhone users queried in a national TeleNav survey who say they'd prefer to go shoeless for a week than give up their beloved smartphone. To be fair, the survey respondents were not informed that there is no known app for treating tetanus.
The online survey asked 514 American owners of both smartphones and feature phones a number of probing questions about their relationship with their treasured device.
iPhone owners seemed to have the strongest connection, with 40 percent preferring to give up their toothbrush over their phone, as opposed to only 22 percent of Android owners valuing their phone more than oral hygiene.
Chronic halitosis shouldn't deter an iPhone owner in the romance department though, so long as the target of his or her affection is another iPhone fan. The survey found that 83 percent of iPhone users thought other iPhone users would make the best romantic partners.
To keep that relationship healthy, it's apparently important not to force your partner to choose between you and a phone. … Read more
Though still fourth among the top five mobile-phone players, Apple outshone its global rivals in the second quarter with skyrocketing shipment growth and a surge in market share, according to a new IDC report.
Released yesterday, IDC's report found that Apple shipped 20.3 million iPhones in the quarter, a leap of 142 percent from the 8.4 million shipped in the prior year's quarter. Among the top five vendors, Apple also saw the biggest jump in market share, capturing 5.6 percent of global mobile-phone shipments, compared with 2.6 percent a year ago.
Apple's growth rate rose despite the age of its iPhone 4, now more than a year old. The company is expected to release an update to its flagship phone sometime this fall, with many sources pointing to a September launch date. Despite its global success, some of Apple's future smartphone growth will depend on its ability to generate more business in developing markets, IDC noted.
Industry leader Nokia held onto its No. 1 slot, but its market share continued to plummet, sinking to 24.2 percent in the second quarter from 33.8 percent a year ago. Excess inventory in regions like China and Europe apparently triggered a drop in shipments. Stung by the iPhone and Android phones, Nokia recently reported a huge loss for the second quarter.
Over the long haul, Nokia's ability to bounce back will depend on its recent partnership with Microsoft and its ability to successfully move from Symbian to Windows Phone as its core mobile OS. The company's first smartphones running Windows Phone 7 are expected to reach consumers later this year.… Read more
And you thought your iPhone was so cool. Tag Heuer, known for making lux watches, has released one of the cooler-looking smartphones we've ever seen. But don't get too excited--one Tag Heuer Link Android smartphone will set you back $6,750.
What's with the price? The Link Android, which runs on the old-generation Android 2.2 (Froyo), comes with a steel, 18-carat rose gold- or titanium-finished case. (It kind of looks like it belongs to a Jedi knight, right?) Trims come in calfskin, alligator, lizard, or carbon leather. (Fancy!)
It features a Gorilla Glass screen, a high-strength thin sheet of glass used as a protective cover with scratch resistance and durability, and offers up 256MB of RAM and 8GB on a memory card to save the pics you take with its 5-megapixel auto-focus HD camera. It can also house 11 hours of music playback. The phone goes on sale this month TAG Heuer retailers.
So OK, you're paying for the look and feel of this gadget, not the tech specs. Is it worth the price? You tell us!… Read more