During last nights T-Mobile Uncarrier 5.0 event here in Seattle, the company announced its Uncarrier 5.0 T-Mobile Test Drive, the next phase in its battle to separate itself from the typical pack of mobile wireless carriers. The Test Drive starts on June 23rd, and will see T-Mobile lending anyone in the US an iPhone 5s at no cost for a full seven days. What's the point? Well, T-Mobile CEO John Legere says that the company has been rapidly building its network coverage, and wants to prove it to anyone who wants to give it a try by providing the "latest and greatest" iPhone and unlimited voice, text, and data for the duration of the Test Drive.
The other item that the Test Drive aims to accomplish is increasing awareness that T-Mobile offers the iPhone as an option on its network. Apparently, since it took them so long to get the iPhone originally, the mind share just isn't there. This could change that. Apparently, Apple is on board with the strategy, as its the one that is providing the iPhone 5s units to T-Mobile for the Test Drive program, free of charge as part of a "growing partnership" between the two. Of course, it would stand to reason that Apple would want consumers to be aware that its devices are available on the nation's fastest growing network.
After your Test Drive, if you want to join T-Mobile, you won't be able to keep the same iPhone that you used during the trial, as that device will be wiped and returned to the pool of Test Drive devices. If you decide to keep it, T-Mobile will charge you $700 for the iPhone, and if you significantly damage it, the price will be $100 to repair it.
What do you think? Will you give the T-Mobile Test Drive a chance?
At the event, T-Mobile also announced unlimited, free music streaming on its network.
Read More | T-Mobile Test Drive
You know how Amazon's Fire Phone includes the perk of unlimited photo storage in your Amazon Cloud Drive account? Well, it turns out there are a couple of caveats. Here's how it works:
- The free storage is applied to the account that the Fire Phone is registered under
- The phone will upload your pictures and videos, but only the pictures get unlimited free space. Videos uploaded will use your Amazon Cloud Drive storage allotment.
- Photos uploaded are in their original, full-resolution format
- The unlimited free storage only applies to photos taken and uploaded with the Fire Phone. If you sync over photos to the phone that weren't taken with it, those will count against your allotment. Similarly, if you upload photos taken with the Fire Phone from another device, they'll also count against your storage space.
- If you give away or sell your Fire Phone, all of your photos will remain in your Amazon Cloud Drive. If you then get a new Fire Phone in the future, the unlimited photo storage benefit will return to your account.
Some have been comparing Amazon's offering to what Apple will be including in iOS 8, and later, OS X Yosemite, where it will also allow you to store all of your photos and videos in iCloud. The difference is that Apple will allow you to automatically upload your entire photo library, regardless of where the images were taken, but there will be a fee if you go over 5GB. There's no unlimited option for images, and certainly not for video.
You can pre-order the Amazon Fire Phone now.
Amazon just announced its new Fire Phone, and one of the big value-adds is that owners will get unlimited photo storage on Amazon Cloud Drive. This comes just two weeks after Apple announced the new iCloud Photo Library option during its WWDC 2014 keynote, which allows you to store all of the photos and videos that you have, with the difference being that Apple only gives you the first 5GB of storage for free, and then you have to pay for additional tiers, which starts at $0.99 per month for 20GB. Amazon is providing unlimited photo storage (although they didn't specifically say that videos were included) right off the bat, a key differentiator. This means you can snap away without fear of using up all your local storage space, and it's one less backup you need to worry about as well.
The Amazon Fire Phone will sell for $199.99 on-contract, and is exclusive to AT&T. You can pre-order today, and it'll be released on July 25th. For a limited time, buyers will also receive a free year of Amazon Prime with purchase!
Amazon unveiled the new Fire Phone this morning in Seattle, and we've since discovered that the new smartphone will sell for $199 with two-year contract as an AT&T exclusive for the 32GB model. If you'd rather get the 64GB version, that'll run you $299 on contract for the device that tracks you with its array of front-facing cameras. No word on how long the AT&T exclusive will last, but hopefully folks on Verizon, T-Mobile, and Sprint will be able to get in on the action soon enough.
The Fire Phone will be released on July 25th, and pre-orders start today. For a limited time, buyers will also get 12 months of Amazon Prime with purchase, which itself is a $99 value.
Read More | Amazon Fire Phone
Amazon has announced its first smartphone, and it's called the Fire Phone. Jeff Bezos is still on stage giving us a rundown of the long-awaited device, but here's what we know about it so far:
- The Fire Phone sports a 4.7-inch display
- It's powered by a quad-core 2.2GHz processor, 2GB RAM, and an Adreno 330 graphics chip
- It sports a 13-megapixel rear camera with optical image stabilization and an f/2.0 five element lens
- The Fire Phone uses a multi-camera array that powers its 3D user interface
- Dual stereo speakers which are aligned for landscape mode for watching media
- It ships with flat-cabled, tangle-free magnetic earbuds
- Owners of the Fire Phone get unlimited cloud storage of all the photos they take with the device in Amazon Cloud Drive (huge!)
- The Amazon Firefly feature allows you to use the phone to recognize over 100 million items, plus any text around you. You can then interact with it immediately, in a matter of seconds.
- Obviously, all Amazon services will be built in--Prime Video, Prime Music, Kindle, WhisperSync, and even the MayDay button for customer service
- The 32GB Fire Phone will cost $199 with two-year contract, and is exclusive to AT&T. You can get the 64GB version for $299.
- You can pre-order the Fire Phone now--it ships on July 25th and includes one-year of Amazon Prime
Apple has just released iOS 8 beta 2, which can be found in the Developer Portal right now. iOS 8 beta 2 build 12A4297e works with supported iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch models, and is available as an over-the-air update to users already running a previous iOS 8 beta on their devices. If you're already running iOS 8, you can update over-the-air by going into Settings > General > Software Update. Or you can go and grab the necessary download at http://developer.apple.com. Apple originally showed off iOS 8, and released its first beta, at WWDC 2014. The full release will come in the fall. Apple also released OS X Yosemite Developer Preview 2 today as well.
If you are a paid members of Apple's iOS developer program, here are the links for iOS 8 beta 2 downloads:
- iPad Air (Model A1474)
- iPad Air (Model A1475)
- iPad mini (Model A1489)
- iPad mini (Model A1490)
- iPad (4th generation Model A1458)
- iPad (4th generation Model A1459)
- iPad (4th generation Model A1460)
- iPad mini (Model A1432)
- iPad mini (Model A1454)
- iPad mini (Model A1455)
- iPad Wi-Fi 3rd generation
- iPad Wi-Fi + Cellular (model for ATT)
- iPad Wi-Fi + Cellular (model for Verizon)
- iPad 2 Wi-Fi
- iPad 2 Wi-Fi (Rev A)
- iPad 2 Wi-Fi + 3G (GSM)
- iPad 2 Wi-Fi + 3G (CDMA)
- iPhone 5s (Model A1453, A1533)
- iPhone 5s (Model A1457, A1518, A1528, A1530)
- iPhone 5c (Model A1456, A1532)
- iPhone 5c (Model A1507, A1516, A1526, A1529)
- iPhone 5 (Model A1428)
- iPhone 5 (Model A1429)
- iPhone 4s
- iPhone 4 (GSM)
- iPhone 4 (GSM Rev A)
- iPhone 4 (CDMA)
Chris Weber is the CVP of Mobile Devices Sales at Microsoft, re-joining the company through it's purchase of Nokia, where he was in charge of global sales. He knows his way around every Lumia device, and is now aiming to make sure that Windows Phone first-party hardware is an even player at the devices table. We were able to sit down with Chris to talk about Nokia, Lumia, Windows Phone, and what changes need to be made in order to realize the success he is seeking. Check out the full interview below:
When is Windows Phone 8.1 coming out?
The answer varies by device and operator. The Lumia 630 and 635 are the first 8.1 products, launched internationally. We’re also working with our current products, and any Windows 8 phone is upgradeable to 8.1. There is currently a developer preview, but the operator version requires further testing. 8.1 is a completely different experience. Things like the background wallpaper, increased customization, and especially Cortana, which is one of the best features.
There are key differences between Cortana and similar services on other devices. It proactively learns. The other day I was flying to Moscow. The week before, it asked if it wanted me to track my flight to Moscow. There is a link that says "Do you want to know how I knew that?" Cortana looked at my calendar and started looking up flight numbers. It also has geo-fencing. You can say "Remind me that Ignacio owes me $100." I can say remind me when I send an email, when I arrive home, etc. Or "Remind me to pick up my dry cleaning" and when you get in the area, the message pops up. "Remind me to pick up milk at the grocery store” and you get the choice of having it remind you when you are near any grocery store, not just one specific one.
Back to being on the plane, I said "Remind me to download the music for guitar when I get home." It's really, really good. Flow writing, which is similar to Swype, means I can do emails faster on my phone than on the keyboard now. I got a new phone and it wasn't running 8.1 and the hunt and peck was tough!
Microsoft has an ambitious new idea to set themselves apart from Android and iOS. They want to install their video game motion sensor technology in an upcoming Windows Phone. Tom Warren of The Verge says that Microsoft insiders have slipped him some elusive information on the new phone.
The goal is to eliminate as many buttons and screen swipes as possible from the new phone. It should be able to answer a call simply by holding it up to your ear and end a call when it is dropped into a pocket. Place it on the table to put it on speaker, wave a hand in front of the screen to dismiss alerts, and push buttons without touching the phone, these are the feats that Warren says the phone will be capable of.
The 3D features, as they are being called, are not unique to Microsoft. Amazon is purportedly going to reveal a similar device June 18th. Eliminating screen smudges is cool, but I am not certain if I would be willing to buy a whole new phone to do it though. Given that the Kinect didn't sell consoles on its own merit, I am skeptical if it will do so in the even more competitive smartphone market.
Still, if the 3D sensor allows me a full size keyboard without taking up any real space, it might just be worth a glance.
The unlimited leaks surrounding the LG G3 left little to the imagination. We got a very in depth look at the massive smartphone, with a quad-core processor boasting 3GB RAM, 32GB storage, and 5.5-inch 2K display. Very impressive numbers. Those are the kind of systems that consume a lot of power.
Power has always been the greatest limitation of electronic devices, but the G3 is certainly pushing those limits. It boasts the kind of battery life you'd expect from a tablet, weighing in at 8 hours and fifty minutes. This beats out the 8 hours and 20 minutes of the Samsung Galaxy S5 and the Sony Xperia's 8 hours and 10 quite handily. My iPhone gives me about five.
It also takes the lead in charge time. From empty to full the G3 finished its tests in 120 minutes, two faster than the next fastest (the S5 again). The Xperia took close to four hours.
LG has not revealed all their secrets regarding the G3, but they say they have replaced a lot of metal on the insides with graphite, as well as implemented adaptive frame rate based on the phone's usage.
Amazon has released a new video that teases what we expect to be its new Kindle smartphone. You can see people in the video interacting with...something...whatever it is, it has been masterfully cut from the footage. The users are all impressed, saying things like "It moved with me!" and "How does it do that?" while swaying back and forth. Of course, the rumored Amazon smartphone was said to include six cameras near the display that would track the movement of your head in order to provide an interactive, glasses-free 3D user interface.
While the video, which we've embedded below, doesn't give away much of anything, what we are expecting is a smartphone with a 4.7-inch display, a Qualcomm Snapdragon 801 processor, 13-megapixel camera, and 2GB RAM. And that crazy software UI. As you can see in Amazon's teaser image above, the device is black, and has a beveled rear edge. The company has planned a big launch event in Seattle on June 18th, where we'll bring you all of the news as it's announced. For now, check out the video after the break.