Teaming up with Nuance, U.S. Cellular just unveiled a voice-mail-to-text solution that unfortunately is not free.
In the Chicago-based carrier's defense, the big boys like Verizon, AT&T, Sprint, and T-Mobile all charge for the privilege of using their visual voice mail software, typically $2 to $3 a month. U.S. Cellular's product is right in line with the market, and expects to tack on an extra $2.99 to monthly phone bills if customers subscribe.
Don't get me wrong, visual voice mail is a technical achievement right up there with sliced bread in terms of convenience. I personally don't feel, however, that I should have to pay for a carrier-branded service when Google offers its Google Voice application for free. In fact, besides not having to cough up a red cent for it, Google Voice is much more capable. Not only does it list calls in an e-mail-style inbox, it transcribes spoken messages to text--or tries to, at least. … Read more
U.S. Cellular is getting into the 4G LTE network game, launching a tablet and a smartphone as its first LTE devices in March.
The nation's sixth-largest wireless provider will inaugurate its LTE network with the Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1 4G LTE tablet, followed by the Samsung Galaxy S Aviator smartphone.
Samsung's Galaxy S Aviator features a 4.3-inch WVGA Super AMOLED Plus touch screen, an 8-megapixel rear-facing camera, and a front-facing camera for video chats. It runs Android 2.3.6 Gingerbread. For its part, the Galaxy Tab 10.1 (reviewed) runs off the Android 3.… Read more
LAS VEGAS--I wish I had one of these while covering this show.
Verizon announced today at CES 2012 not one, but two, new 4G mobile hot spots: the Jetpack EuFi890 and the Jetpack MiFi 4620L. The carrier said both offer 4G cellular speed up to 12Mbps down and 5Mbps up, and are global-ready, which allows customers to use wireless data services in more than 205 countries (more than 125 with 3G speeds).
Other than that, the common features of the two also include:Supports up to 10 Wi-Fi-enabled devices Supports virtually all Wi-Fi clients regardless of their platform.Backward-compatible with … Read more
Apple's iTunes Match service is running up cell-data charges for some unsuspecting iPad users.
For $25 a year, iTunes Match stores your iTunes library on Apple's iCloud servers and makes them available on any PC, Mac, iPad, iPhone, iPod Touch, and other iOS devices. CNET blogger Lance Whitney describes the iTunes Match service in a December 28, 2011, post; Apple provides an iTunes Match FAQ.
When I signed up for the iTunes Match service, it took several hours to upload via a cable-modem connection about 5,500 MP3s that were stored in the iTunes Library on a Windows … Read more
CES, shmee-ee-es. Why wait for the country's largest consumer electronics show to announce new products and services when you can break the news yourself over Twitter?
That must have been the logic behind U.S. Cellular's tweet this afternoon promising a 4G LTE smartphone and tablet by March and April, respectively.
Although the nation's sixth-largest carrier hasn't shared much more about its product plans, U.S. Cellular does advertise on its Web site that its forthcoming 4G LTE network will launch in Iowa, Maine, North Carolina, Oklahoma, Texas, and Wisconsin in early 2012, keeping on-track with … Read more
U.S. Cellular is stuffing its pockets with more Gingerbread.
Next week it starts stocking the Huawei Ascend II, an Android 2.3 smartphone that first debuted for Cricket. The rather modest touch-screen phone has a 3.5-inch display, a 5GB camera, and Swype preloaded on the virtual keyboard.
The carrier will offer it for free--after a $100 mail-in rebate--on its Web site next week. Alternatively, you can swoop by a store beginning in early January to pick it up in the flesh.… Read more
More than a day after it surfaced in San Francisco, AT&T's 4G LTE network now seems to be available in the Los Angeles area, as well.
CNET editor Jessica Dolcourt noticed the 4G LTE icon on her phone in the City of Angels just about an hour ago. A quick speed test with the Speedtest.net app showed that she got download speeds of around 15Mbps and upload speeds of some 7Mbps.… Read more
Cellular carriers are evil.
Or dumb. Because what but an evil or dumb company would punish its best customers for underestimating the amount of their product that they want? Cellular overage charges are insultingly high. That's why people over-buy the service plans they need: to "save" by making sure they don't get into the carriers' punishing overuse charges.
Can you run a mobile carrier with a more transparent, customer-friendly service model? While charging less for the same service? Tucows will be trying to do so when it rolls out Ting, an MVNO on the Sprint network, … Read more
The HTC Wildfire S for U.S. Cellular certainly packs a punch for such a small device. But it's not for everyone.
The Wildfire S has a 3.2-inch touch screen, a 5-megapixel camera, and it runs Android 2.3 Gingerbread with HTC's Sense interface. As with other entry-level smartphones, it doesn't break any new ground, and its specs are far from top of the line. Still, if you're looking for a bargain and your hands aren't too big, this phone (free after a rebate) holds some appeal. The phone is ideal for first-time users … Read more