Thursday June 17, 2004 9:53 am
Verizon Wireless Get It Now Review
ON THE GO ENTERTAINMENT
In an attempt to provide more than just phone service to their customers, Verizon now offers an intuitive interface within most of their phones allowing users to get more out of their phones. Verizon's Get It Now service provides options for text messaging, games, ringtones, web browsing, and picture/video messaging. All of these services are accessible from the main menu of any Get It Now enabled phone.
There are a multitude of content providers offering games, ringtones, and other information services at your disposal. Let's take a look at each part of Get It Now.
With getTXT, getE-mail, and getIM, you have a full set of tools in hand to communicate with almost anyone from any location.
getTXT is a fancy term used by Verizon when referring to Text Messaging. With getTXT, you can send a text message to any 10 digit wireless phone number that can receive it, even on different networks. Using blah! Chat, you can get connected to people with similar interests through text messaging from your phone. You can also join a community (say, NFL Chat Room), and contribute from your mobile phone.
getE-mail sounded exciting at first, but I soon realized it was limited. With this service, you are able to read and send e-mail from an AOL, Yahoo!, or Hotmail account. If you don't use any of those, then this service won't do anything for you. If you do, it is nice convenience to be able to check your e-mail on the go right from your mobile phone. You also have access to your address book housed in your e-mail account.
Using getIM, you can use your cell phone as an instant messaging device. getIM allows you to connect to your AOL, Yahoo!, or MSN buddy lists to chat with your friends on the go. Careful though, you will be charged for each message.
FUN AND GAMES
Using getGAMES, getGOING, and getTONES, you have access to applications to kill time while on the go. This is also where you can personalize your cell phone with one of thousands of ringtones available.
Verizon has hundreds of games available for download on their getGAMES service. Many of these games allow you to "try before you buy", but usually only for a couple of minutes. After that, you will choose either a monthly subscription to the game, or unlimited usage. The price for a monthly subscription is usually more than half the cost of the unlimited purchase, so that seems to be the way to go. Downloading demo's can take a minute or two, depending on your connection. If you try a game and decide you don't want it, be sure to uninstall it from the phone, as it will take up space if left.
getGOING can actually be a very useful tool. It acts as your point of reference when on the go. Need to find the nearest Thai restaurant? Lost and need directions or a phone number? Your answers are in getGOING. It will even give you the weather, and your horoscope.
Everyone likes to personalize things to better fit their personalities. In the cell phone world, we see custom case designs as one of the main areas of customization. The other is ringtones. getTONES allows you to connect about thirty different ringtone providers. From there you can purchase ringtones ranging from Top 40 hits, to a cat meowing. Once downloaded, a tone goes into your list of rings. Unfortunately, some tones are purchased on a "per use" basis. This means that once the ring is used a certain number of times, you need to purchase it again.
getALERTS is simple a service that sends you text messages relating to specific interests. You can sign up for sports scores, stock quotes, horoscopes, and more. Think of it as Verizon sending you text messages.
Now things are starting to get a bit blurry. getBROWSING gives you access to many of the same services that I spoke about above, except you have to go search them out, sort of like surfing on the Internet. My question is, why would I want to surf for sport scores when I can just have them sent to me with getALERTS? Answer...this is meant for those unexpected, spur of the moment things. If I am on vacation and forgot about the game, I can use getBROWSING to find the score.
FLIX AND PIX
With getFLIX, you have access to live video feeds right from your cell phone. You can hook up with traffic feeds, weather cams, and even connect to a Logitech webcam! I must admit, getFLIX is pretty cool.
First things first - getPIX is only available on camera phones, as far as taking and sending your pictures. However, if you have a Get It Now enabled phone, you may be able to receive pictures from those that can send them. This is just a simple picture messaging service that lets you snap photos on your phone and upload them to the Internet, or send them to the phones of your friends.
Ok, so we have gone over the entire Get It Now service. As you can see, there are a lot of different choices here - but some of them seem redundant. I think Verizon has realized this, and that is why they have packaged a few of them together. Here is the rundown:
For the price of $4.99 USD, you have access to getE-MAIL, getBROWSING, and getIM. This is the Mobile Web package.
getALERTS and getTXT are included in the Text Messaging rates, which you can see on their website. Basically, you can pay per use or buy blocks of text messages per month. Same with getPIX.
The rest of the services are pay per use.
Get It Now is a great set of tools that will help pass the time when on the go. It can also come in handy when you are in a jam, offering you directions to your destination. Verizon has put together a nice package of feature here.
The downside is that it isn't immediately apparent which services you should get. Do you really need both text messaging and instant messaging? Also, it is great that you can communicate with others using text on your phone - but typing can be very cumbersome on a cell phone keypad.
Luckily, you can give Get It Now a try with any of it's a la carte services without a long term monetary commitment. Try getGAMES or getTONES to get a feel for the service.
Personally, I am enjoying the fact that my phone plays the latest 50 Cent hit every time I get a call.
Visit the Verizon Wireless Get It Now Site
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