Google Voice, formerly GrandCentral before Google acquired it, has been around for a few years, but the company is really just now starting to push the product hard. They’ve put together a great channel on YouTube that describes each major feature (like voicemail transcription, personalized greetings, SMS to email, the mobile app, and more) individually, but we figured we’d throw the Google Voice overview up there so give you a taste of what we mean. Hit up the Google Voice YouTube channel to check out the rest of the video series, and to request an invite to the service.
We are loving how mobile wireless carriers in the US seem to be opening up their previously locked down networks. First, AT&T allows 3G access to SlingPlayer Mobile, and now Verizon Wireless has just announced that they will allow unlimited Skype calling over 3G from their smartphones, starting next month. All you need is a smartphone with data plan, and you can both make and receive Skype-to-Skype voice calls right on your phone over 3G. You’ll also be able to use Skype Out, instant messaging, and remain online in the background to stay connected to the service. At launch, unlimited Skype services will be available on nine Verizon handsets, and you can take a look at the full list after the break.
Okay, so we’ve hit you with the Windows Phone 7 Series keynote video, which introduced the product. We also gave you the shorter Windows Phone 7 Series demo video, which just gives you a glance at the new hotness from Microsoft. We’ve got one more for you though, as Joe Belfiore, the VP of Windows Phone, as he chats with Microsoft’s Laura Foy on Channel 9. They have a conversation about the new operating system, and it’s a deep 22-minute look at what Microsoft has been cooking up to try and reclaim their mobile crown.
Read More | Channel 9
So, aside from that Windows Phone 7 Series keynote video, we thought you might want a condensed version that will allow you to just take a look at what all this Windows Phone 7 fuss is all about. Microsoft took the liberty of putting together this much shorter demo video to explain. Here you can get a look at all of the design elements and decisions that have gone into Windows Phone 7, which fundamentally set it apart from other mobile operating systems on the market. Here’s a quick rundown:
- Every Windows Phone 7 device will have three physical buttons on the front: Start, Search, and Back.
- There’s a focus on productivity, simplicity, music, and gaming. Both Xbox Live and Zune are deeply integrated into Windows Phone 7.
- People hub: Pulls in live data feeds, bringing you social networking status updates and photos from services like Facebook, Twitter, and Windows Live.
- Pictures hub: Brings together picture and video assets from your phone, web, and PC, allowing you to view your entire collection.
- Games hub: Check out your Xbox Live messages, achievements, avatar, and even play some games. Achievements can be earned on the phone.
- Office hub: Access to Microsoft Office suite, including OneNote and SharePoint Workspace. Also includes new version of Outlook Mobile for email.
This is definitely the biggest step that Microsoft has taken in the mobile phone space, and they do it over three years after Apple announced the original iPhone. The competition is heating up, and we are super-excited about it.
The big news today is the announcements of Windows Phone 7 Series over at the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, and Microsoft has released video of the announcement and reveal of their new mobile OS. Let it be said right now, Microsoft has essentially killed what we all know as Windows Mobile, and has replaced it with what may, in fact, be the slickest interface we’ve seen on a mobile phone. They borrowed heavily from the Zune HD navigation scheme, but made it highly polished and optimized for a device that is constantly connected to a cellular data connection. Also, it looks like that whole Xbox Live Anywhere demo that we saw at E3 a few years ago is finally coming to fruition, as Windows Phone 7 Series includes Xbox Live gaming built right in. Hit the play button on the videoafter the jump for a look at everything, but color us impressed.
Hey, Apple, the ball is in your court.
You can expect to find Windows Phone 7 Series devices in stores this holiday season.
We’ve gotta say, what Powermat has going on with their wireless charging technology is very cool. At CES 2010 we spoke to Powermat President, Ron Ferber, about the products that the company currently has on the market for wirelessly charging device like the iPhone, BlackBerry, iPod, and Nintendo DS. He also gave us a look at some products that will be available in the future.
If you are tired of having to constantly plug your mobile devices into a wall outlet or USB port in order to charge them, you’ll wanna take a look at what Powermat can do. If you wanna get your own, here you go:
- Powermat Home and Office Mat
- Powermat Receiver Case for iPhone 3G and 3GS
- Powermat Battery Door for BlackBerry Bold
- Powermat Battery Door for BlackBerry Curve
A big thank you to Bing for sponsoring Gear Live’s CES 2010 coverage.
- Improving accuracy of reported battery level on iPhone 3GS
- Resolves issues where third-party apps would not launch
- Fixes bug that may cause an app to crash when using Japanese Kana keyboard
Doesn’t seem like a huge deal, but for those of you who like your iPhone to be fresh, there you have it.
Gotta love those analysts, as they’re always good for stirring the rumor mill - this time it’s BusinessWeek reporting claims that Apple will likely be ending it’s exclusive relationship with AT&T in order to bring the iPhone to all major US carriers. According to Tim Horan, telecommunications analyst at Oppenheimer & Co., T-Mobile USA should have the iPhone available this summer (whatever the follow-up to the iPhone 3GS turns out to be,) with Verizon and Sprint getting the goods this fall. Even Clearwire will be able to get in on the action, as they are expected to get the iPhone sometime in 2011. Of course, AT&T has been the exclusive carrier of the iPhone since it launched in June 2007.
Of course, Apple has the perfect opportunity to announce changes like this if they’d like, as they’ve got what many are predicting to be a colossal Apple event on January 27th, just two days from now. We’ll keep you posted.
Read More | BusinessWeek
If you’re a Nexus One owner, you may be well aware of the 3G issue that the device has, where it won’t connect to (or stay connected to) 3G, constantly falling back to EDGE. We know not all have experienced this oddity, but it’s enough of a problem that we’ve been getting emails about it, asking if there was a fix. Luckily, Kevin Tofel over at jkOnTheRun seems to have figured out a fix, and it’s simple to do:
- Go into Settings
- Select “Wireless & Networks”
- Choose the “Mobile Networks” option near the bottom
- Go into the “Network Operators” section. The Nexus One will do a search for GSM networks around you.
- When the search is complete, tap the “Select Automatically” option. The phone should respond with “Registered on network.”
That should do it! According to Kevin, he hasn’t been able to get 3G access from his home in the 10 days that he’s had the device. After doing the above, he’s been speeding along on 3G non-stop, even after reboots. If you’re experiencing similar issues, give it a try, and let us know how it works for you!
Read More | jkOnTheRun
Our pals over at Boy Genius Report are saying they’ve received some inside information about the iPhone OS 4.0, which is heavily rumored to debut, and possibly even be released, at the Apple event on January 27th. Here’s what they are saying about iPhone OS 4.0:
- There will be multi-touch gestures OS-wide. (Would make sense for that as the rumored OS for the iTablet is close if not the same as the iPhone)
- “A few new ways” to run applications in the background—multitasking.
- Many graphical and UI changes to make navigating through the OS easier and more efficient. We haven’t had this broken down, but we can only hope for improved notifications, a refreshed homescreen, etc.
- The update will supposedly be available for only the iPhone 3G and 3GS, but will “put them ahead in the smartphone market because it will make them more like full-fledged computers” more than any other phone to date. Everyone is “really excited.”
- The last piece of information is the most vague, but apparently there will be some brand new syncing ability for the contacts and calendar applications.
As far as we’re concerned, we think that a graphical and UI interface refresh is definitely needed for the iPhone, which hasn’t really seen any major interface changes since it launched. Of course, we will be bringing you all the new on January 27th as it happens.