A few weeks ago we talked about what what you can do to protect yourself in the event that your smartphone, tablet, or laptop gets lost or stolen. We even took a 24-hour #DigitallyDark challenge where we gave up our smartphones for 24 hours to see how it would feel. Well, August is Device Theft Awareness Month, and we wanna talk more about what you can do if you find that you're one of over 3.1 million Americans who'll likely fall victim to smartphone theft this year. A staggering 1.4 million people who lost their devices in 2013 never got them back--that is 4.5 million lost and stolen smartphones (and that doesn't include tablets or laptops,) and is enough to make us want to do something about it. This month, follow the hashtag #AbsoluteUncovered as we dive deep into this topic.
Back in June we introduced you to Absolute LoJack, a data protection software product that is tailored to help you keep your mobile data safe, track your devices in the event of loss or theft, and even an option for assistance with recovery so you can get them back. We are taking part in Device Theft Awareness Month by bringing you a series of articles in order to keep you more informed on the issue and how you can protect yourself from becoming another statistic.
I made another appearance on this weeks episode of GeekWire Radio here in Seattle, Washington, keeping my streak alive as the person with the most guest appearances in GeekWire Radio history! In this episode, which also features Eyewitness News reporter Essex Porter (pictured with me above, and a huge Windows Phone advocate), we talk about a couple of recent Gear Live stories, including:
- iPhone 6 4.7-inch design preview
- iPhone 6 5.5-inch design preview
- Exclusive: I used the Microsoft Surface watch
I brought in the two iPhone 6 mockups in both 4.7- and 5.5-inch varieties, which made for some good conversation. We also chat about the news of the week, which included the release of the Amazon Fire Phone, and we also had a discussion about what Microsoft needs to do to make Windows Phone more accepted by the general consumer. You can listen to the show now by grabbing the MP3 below, or hitting play in the widget.
Read More | GeekWire Radio (MP3)
As we have previously speculated, Re/Code is reporting that Apple is set to unveil the iPhone 6 on September 9th at a special event. The next iPhone design has already leaked, and we've already given you a look at both the 4.7-inch iPhone 6 design and the 5.5-inch iPhone 6 design as well. Of course, they lack the fit-and-finish that Apple will undoubtedly put on them (we hope those thick antenna breaks will be eliminated and streamlined!) September 9th is also a few days after Samsung is rumored to introduce the Galaxy Note 4 during IFA. A perfect time for Apple to jump into the phablet game with a 5.5-inch smartphone.
We also guessed that Apple will release iOS 8 on September 16th, and release the iPhone 6 itself on September 19th based on previous timetables. We'll see how our guesses hold up come September 9th.
Apple has just released iOS 8 beta 5, which can be found in the Developer Portal right now. iOS 8 beta 4 build 12A4345d 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. The update for the iPhone 5s comes in at 272MB in size. 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 5 today as well.
Apple has just released iOS 8 beta 4, which can be found in the Developer Portal right now. iOS 8 beta 4 build 12A4331d 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 4 today as well.
If you are a paid members of Apple's iOS developer program, here are the links for iOS 8 beta 4 downloads:
Laws on the books to stop texting or talking on a cell phone while driving are nothing new, in fact I know a guy who just got slammed with five points on his license for doing it. But laws regarding cell phone use while driving leave a gray area, GPS and map aids, programs not within the spirit of the laws when they were made and an uncertainty for courts.
The government is looking to change that.
The Transportation Department has asked congress to give them the ability to regulate map aids and devices as part of their ongoing battle with 'distracted driving.' The measure is part of the GROW AMERICA proposed transportation bill, and would give the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration free reign to set restriction and limits on apps and down the line demand changed to any it deems dangerous.
What does this mean in a practical sense? Apps for maps might start to look like the built in GPS system in your car, where some models make you press a button acknowledging that you will not set the device while the car is moving. It might mean that telling the court you were just checking your map won't get you off.
The measure has support from automakers who have already built those safeguards into their GPS devices. Regulatory agencies maintain that they already have the authority to regulate these apps as vehicle equipment, and only want it written into law.
That means they don't have the authority or they would not be demanding it from congress.
Apple has just released iOS 8 beta 3, which can be found in the Developer Portal right now. iOS 8 beta 3 build 12A4318c 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 3 downloads:
- iPad Air (Model A1474)
- iPad Air (Model A1475)
- iPad Air (Model A1476)
- iPad mini (Model A1489)
- iPad mini (Model A1490)
- iPad mini (Model A1491)
- 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 (Rev A)
- iPad 2 Wi-Fi
- 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
As we reported a few days ago, T-Mobile has introduced Test Drive, which allows both current T-Mobile customers and those in other carriers (or who have no cell provider at all) to borrow an iPhone 5s from the company for 7 days. That includes unlimited talk, text, and data with the only current T-Mobile device that supports all the wireless band's used by the company. It's an effort to show, not just tell, the US population that it's greatly improved its wireless network and tuned it for massive data use.
After the T-Mobile Uncarrier 5.0 event we were able to get our hands on one of the iPhone 5s Test Drive units, and we've included some images here. Inside the box is what we assume is a refurbished black iPhone 5s, along with a sealed Lightning cable, Earpods, and AC adapter. It's definitely not the Apple unboxing experience, but that isn't the point. As far as storage capacity, our iPhone 5s is a 32GB model, so there is room to try downloading apps, videos, and images.
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.