AT&T launched two global messaging plans today to attract international travelers who prefer to text while abroad.
Global Messaging 200 lets you send 200 messages for $30 per month, while Global Messaging 500 lets you send 500 text messages for $50 per month. Previously AT&T only offered a package of 50 text messages for $10. Don't let that fool you, though, as these prices are ridiculously expensive.
The new plans let you send text, photo, or video messages in more than 100 countries. Without a plan, AT&T charges $0.50 to send a text, $0.20 to receive a text, and $1.30 to send a message with a photo or video.
New reports from Nielsen show that teens are sending and/or receiving an average of 3,339 text messages every month, or 111 texts per day.
The statistic shows that girls are more prone to texting than males are, averaging 4,050 texts per month; while males averaged 2,539 texts a month. While text usage is rising, voice calls are declining rapidly. Teenagers spend 646 minutes per month talking on their cell phones on average. This is a 14% decrease from last year.
However, males take the lead when it comes to browsing the web, averaging 75 MB of mobile data per month. Females only averaged 53 MB in this category. Even so, both sexes have seen an extraordinary leap over last years stats of 11 MB and 17 MB of data per month.
Read More | TG Daily
IA Technologies is working to release their Zumba phone, supposedly the world’s first fully accurate voice recognition celllie. Attach an earpiece to the back of the handset and you can operate it mostly with your voice, although you need to push a button to get text messages read to you. Detach the keypad and screen and you can wear it over your ear. Promised to be low-cost, you say your contact’s name and Zumba connects you via a secure site. This phone has been in development for about 3 years and you can sign up to keep track of the progress made. We are not sure if this will come to pass in the near future, but we do know the company is looking for investors.
Read More | Zumba Lumba
The folks over at Google Labs have been hard at work, trying to tighten the grip of your virtual leash, and today introduced a new way to feed the desire for instant gratification: SMS text messaging for chat. How often have you tried to chat with somebody, but they don’t respond because they “just walked away from their computer?” Well, Gmail chat will now send those messages along to your intended recipient’s cell phone so it’ll be that much harder to ignore you; and if you’re in the middle of a conversation you want to continue, but they need to leave their computer, you can now do that seamlessly.
Just go to the Labs area in Preferences to turn it on - you can type any US phone number into the search box in the chat window on the left, then select “Send SMS.” You can also select the contact you want to SMS first and then add their phone number. You can send messages to US numbers from anywhere in the world. If you’re on the receiving end, when you get a text message from Gmail on your phone, messages from each contact will come from a unique number with a 406 area code (406 spells G0O…), reply like you would to any other text message and the reply will be routed through Gmail’s servers straight to your friend’s Gmail chat window.
If your recipient REALLY doesn’t want to talk to you, it’s easy enough to reply to the message with the word BLOCK and you’re just out of luck, no more SMS delivery to that contact! If you’re someone who doesn’t have a text messaging plan or are limited in the number of messages you can receive for free, you can simply reply with the word STOP and you won’t receive texts from anybody using Gmail. Another awesome innovation that makes it that much harder to hide…
Read More | Gmail Blog
You may have already heard of ChaCha. It’s like Ask for cell phones. We bring it up because it is a perfect tool for the holidays. You simply inquire about the best deal on a product and dial 242242 (ChaCha, of course) or 1-800-2ChaCha and they will send you back a text message in a few minutes. Although the service is free, your provider may not be. By the way, if you have a computer with 1GB RAM and win every night when you watch Jeopardy, you can apply to be a guide and actually get paid for it.
Read More | ChaCha
The Governator signed a bill in July that requires Californians to use hands free devices when driving and using a cell phone. He has now gone one step further by banning text messaging while driving. The SB28 makes drivers keep their “hands on the wheel and their eyes on the road,” Schwarzenegger said in a written statement. Other states have already adopted the law and considering the statistics about how dangerous the practice is, we hope they all do.
Read More | SF Gate
Simulscribe is a way to get your voicemail sent to your cell phone or e-mail addy by text. We are certain that it would be more convenient to do so if you are in a theatre or a business meeting and awaiting either good or bad news. There is now a 30-day free trial available and if you decide to subscribe, it is for 40 per month for $9.95, with $.25 for each additional or unlimited messages for $29.95 per month for a limited time. A good deal if you are constantly missing messages, not so good if you use it when you are driving.
Read More | Simulscribe
Gear Live has long been a fan of BluePhoneElite, and the new version 2.0. BluePhoneElite allows users to send and receive SMS messages via Bluetooth from the comfort of their computer, dial and receive calls, and generally provide solid integration between Apple’s iLife applications and a Bluetooth phone.
The new version fully supports Symbian and Windows Mobile devices, but sadly only supports the headset profile on the iPhone due to the closed nature of the platform. A new license BluePhoneElite 2 costs just under $25 and offers a 2 week trial so you can take it for a test spin. Current BluePhoneElite version 1 customers will get the new functionality as a free upgrade.
No need to invest in costly GPS if you are traveling to a major city. Dial Directions is a new free service that allows anyone to get anywhere with the use of voice commands. You simply dial “DIR-ECT-IONS” (347-328-4667) from your cell phone, giving your location and destination by address, building, intersection, or event. You then receive directions in text. If you are having your own party, you can post that on the service, too. Available in Chicago, Dallas, Denver, Sacramento, San Diego and Washington, D.C. now, more will become available very soon. We would love it if the service could help us find a parking spot on our next jaunt to a Big City.
Read More | Dial Directions