Google Android fans can now buy the new T-Mobile MyTouch 3G at 4,000 Radio Shack stores nationwide. The price will remain the same ($199), but you'll be able to purchase the phone, sign a contract, pay your upgrade fee, and pick up that plug adapter that you've been meaning to get. Radio Shack, that now annoyingly calls itself "The Shack," has long carried smartphones from most major carriers, but this is the first time it will offer an Android handset.
As the T-Mobile G1 restricts users from storing apps on a memory card, many owners have complained about low memory warnings after they install 40 to 50 apps. And now we're seeing developer complaints about the lack of space for the Android operating system itself.
Android software engineer Jean-Baptiste Queru recently wrote on the Google mailing list, "Where the situation is really tricky is that the system partition on the U.S. G1 was already filled to the brim with cupcake, and we were routinely flirting with build sizes that were a few dozen KB under the limit (… Read more
After my rant last week on T-Mobile's upgrade fee, I check with the other major carriers to see if they subjected their long-time customers to the same thing. Though T-Mobile isn't alone in charging $18, other carriers may apply it under different circumstances.
Sprint: As some readers pointed out on my previous blog, Sprint also charges customers off contract to upgrade from … Read more
After inking a deal with Samsung last month to deliver movies directly to your home, Blockbuster announced on Tuesday that its OnDemand service is also coming to your mobile phone.
Blockbuster OnDemand, to be available on "select" Motorola mobile phones, will provide users with access to "thousands" of films, the company said in a statement. Users of the upcoming application, whose release date is yet to be announced, will also be able to choose films for home delivery or reserve titles for in-store pickup.
According to Blockbuster, the Motorola deal is yet another element in its strategy of providing consumers with options to get its movies anywhere, at any time.
For its part, Motorola believes that offering Blockbuster movies on its handsets will help it regain some of its appeal. The company once sat atop the mobile-phone industry. Today, it's a shadow of its former self. And it's trying desperately to regain some market share.
That might be coming through Android-based devices. Motorola has already signed on to deliver Android phones. Blockbuster's app might become a component in that strategy. But by competing with the iPhone and its many multimedia capabilities, Motorola and Blockbuster will be facing an uphill battle.… Read more
Microsoft's efforts to regain lost ground in the mobile phone business will see the company offering two different versions of its operating system next year.
The company will continue to broadly sell Windows Mobile 6.5 to a large variety of handset makers, while working more closely with several handset makers to sell phones built on a new version of Windows Mobile that has been several years in the making, according to a source familiar with the company's plans.
While Windows Mobile 6.5 is a fairly interim update to the mobile operating system that Microsoft has been selling, Microsoft has also been working on more radical efforts to overhaul the operating system. Both its plans for Windows Mobile 7 and its long-running "Pink" project aim to match the kinds of experiences seen on the iPhone and Android, using more advanced voice and touch interfaces and higher-end hardware.
A Digitimes report this week called the effort a "dual-platform" strategy, although I'm not sure I'd use that term to describe two versions of Windows Mobile being sold at the same time.
What is clear is that Microsoft needs to do something serious if it hopes to live up to its mobile ambitions. For years now, the company has made rather modest updates to the Windows Mobile operating system, which dates back to the days of code powered PDAs and other organizers that were neither phones nor, in some cases, even connected to the Internet.
In that same time, Palm has gone back to the drawing board and reinvented itself with the WebOS-based Pre, while the iPhone and Android have entered the market and even Research In Motion has arguably done more to capture consumer interest than has Microsoft.
Internally, Redmond has shifted a number of its people into the mobile unit. In addition to former server executive Andy Lees, who now runs the phone business, former Mac Business unit chief Roz Ho has been leading a top secret "premium mobile experiences" team responsible for some of the "Pink" work. The company purchased Danger, known for creating the teen-centered T-Mobile Sidekick, and Ho heads that unit as well.
The software maker has also tapped folks from its Tellme unit to help bring improved voice recognition capability into Windows Mobile.
Call waiting Microsoft has been working on Windows Mobile 7 for what now seems like an eternity, especially in the mobile world. The product was supposed to be in phone makers' hands by early this year, but has suffered a number of delays. … Read more
It has a much thinner design and revamped navigation controls, and features a few notable improvements: 3G connectivity, A-GPS with TeleNav, and a 2-megapixel camera. Aside from that, it still rocks a microSD card slot, a music player with MP3 and AAC support, Bluetooth, and e-mail support.
The Gravity 2 will be available for $29.99 with a two-year service agreement in two colors: metallic pumpkin and berry mauve.
For the past few weeks we've received several e-mails inquiring about Zer01, a new company that it touting a VoIP cell phone service. From what we can tell, CNET readers are intrigued at the prospect, but they're also skeptical about what Zer01 is promising. Though CNET has written about the company only marginally, we've been more than skeptical too.
After debuting in April at the CTIA show, Zer01 quickly garnered analyst praise and several awards. But in the last two months, the company has been dogged by negative press questioning its business relationships and practices, the feasibility of its technology and the veracity of its claims. Citing "ethical questions" Laptop Magazine even rescinded its award from CTIA on August 4.
Indeed, valid questions about Zer01 have been raised. We won't repeat them all here--a simple News search will reveal many results--but we can offer a Q&A covering current developments. … Read more
Meraki, a known mesh network provider, released Tuesday its first Wireless Census for North America and the results, though dramatic, seem nothing of a surprise. Basically, there has been a huge increase in the number of wireless-capable devices, among which Apple's handheld devices had the biggest jump.
The Meraki Wireless Census surveyed 10,000 randomly selected Meraki access points deployed in North America for two 24-hour periods: June 2, 2008, and June 1, 2009. The study measured the number of distinct client devices that sent probe requests in each 24-hour period. The purpose of the survey was to identify … Read more
China Mobile introduced a new mobile platform Monday, and one of the presenting partners on hand has raised a few eyebrows.
Details of a Dell phone, reportedly called the Mini 3i, began to circulate on the Web almost immediately after being presented at the event, but Dell says it has not yet announced any smartphone for the China market.
"Dell was there supporting China Mobile as a development partner. We did not confirm or announce anything," said Dell spokesman Matt Parretta.
There was, however, a "proof of concept mobile device prototype" shown off at the event, … Read more
As news broke this week that Microsoft and Nokia would be partnering to (brace yourself!) port Office to Nokia phones, followed by the equally momentous (or not) news that (sit down for this one!) Microsoft will replace Entourage with Outlook for Mac OS X, I couldn't help but agree with Larry Dignan's assessment of the Nokia deal:
Simply put, Nokia and Microsoft are the equivalent of two St. Bernards that are forced to run in 90 degree heat and high humidity. They're big. They're winded. And they could knock you over--if they could only catch you.… Read more