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A look at the T-Mobile Test Drive iPhone package [Hands-on]

Posted by Andru Edwards Categories: Cell Phones, Features, Handhelds

T-Mobile Test Drive

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.

Click to continue reading A look at the T-Mobile Test Drive iPhone package [Hands-on]

Gallery: A look at the T-Mobile Test Drive iPhone package [Hands-on]


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Uncarrier 6.0: T-Mobile now gives all customers free, unlimited streaming music

t-mobile free music streaming

At yesterday's T-Mobile Uncarrier 5.0 event, the company surprised everyone by also announced Uncarrier 6.0: absolutely free unlimited streaming music. Dubbed "Music Freedom," T-Mobile CEO John Legere revealed that any T-Mobile customer can stream music from Pandora, iHeartRadio, iTunes Radio, Spotify, Slacker, Rhapsody, Milk, and Beatport without having to worry about data caps. To make it clear, Legere stated "Every single note of music will come free, not against your bucket. Even when you exhaust your data bucket, you can still stream unlimited music at high speed." The services mentioned account for 85% of music streamed on T-Mobile, but the company isn't stopping there. For example, services like Rdio and Google Play All Access Music will be part of an online voting area that T-Mobile is providing to allow customers to choose which other music services they'd like to see added. The goal is to add a few new services each month.

If you already have an unlimited T-Mobile account, you aren't left in the cold. The company also announced a partnership with Rhapsody unRadio, an app that is available to anyone on any carrier, and T-Mobile unlimited customers get free access, while limited T-Mobile customers get a 20% off discount and pay $4 per month. If you aren't on T-Mobile, you pay $5 for unRadio.

Uncarrier 5.0 was the T-Mobile Test Drive, which sees the company giving anyone in the US an iPhone 5s for free for a week to try out the T-Mobile network.


Fire Phone unlimited free photo storage only applies to smartphone images, doesn’t include videos

Posted by Andru Edwards Categories: Cell Phones, Handhelds, Storage

Fire Phone unlimited photo storage

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 Fire Phone owners get unlimited, free photo storage

unlimited fire phone photo storage

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 Fire Phone will cost $199.99 with two-year contract, AT&T exclusive launches July 25

Amazon Fire Phone order

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 announces the Fire Phone, available July 25th

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 releases iOS 8 beta 2 build 12A4297e to developers, download here!

Posted by Andru Edwards Categories: Apple, Cell Phones, Handhelds, Software

iOS 8 beta 2 download

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:

iPhone:

iPod touch:

Click to continue reading Apple releases iOS 8 beta 2 build 12A4297e to developers, download here!


Chris Weber interview: The future of device branding for Windows Phone

Chris Weber Microsoft Nokia

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!

Click to continue reading Chris Weber interview: The future of device branding for Windows Phone


LG G3 sports best-in-class smartphone battery life

Posted by Ariel Levin-Waldman Categories: Cell Phones, Handhelds

LG G3 battery life

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 seemingly set to reveal Kindle smartphone in Seattle on June 18

Posted by Andru Edwards Categories: Cell Phones, Handhelds, Rumors, Videos

Amazon Kindle Smartphone

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.

Click to continue reading Amazon seemingly set to reveal Kindle smartphone in Seattle on June 18


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