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.
My pal Matt Hickey from over at Crave has seemingly connected a few dots as it pertains to the battle between AT&T and Verizon, and this whole Fake Steve Jobs “Operation Chokehold” stunt aimed at taking down the AT&T Wireless data network this Friday afternoon. In case you are unfamiliar, Fake Steve proposed that AT&T customers load up bandwidth-intensive apps on Friday at noon, all at the same time, to saturate the AT&T network to a point of failure as a way of expressing they they are fed up with the horrible performance of the network. Thing is, one of my other pals, John Czwartacki, who just happens to be a contributor to the Verizon Policy Blog and a prolific Verizon personality on Twitter, linked to the movement via a tweet. Some are seeing this as a Verizon official condoning, or possibly even encouraging, the whole “Operation Chokehold” act.
Personally? We think that this is more of a finger pointing statement. It’s John saying “Haha - look at AT&T - their users are so fed up that they want to crush the service that they pay for! Tee hee! Verizon customers wouldn’t do that to us!” What do you think? Was John, and thusly Verizon, out of line here? Either way, we can stomach the rivalry that is happening in the television commercials…but let’s keep the battle outside of our Twitter streams, okay guys?
Edit: John Czwartacki just hit me with an email, pointing out that he certainly doesn’t condone this behavior at all, and even said as much in a few tweets that followed. He was simply linking to industry news, as he normally does. He thinks that if customers are fed up with AT&T, they should vote with their wallets. We agree.
Read More | Crave
We recently reported an issue regarding the Motorola DROID and it’s MMS problem, and it looks like we’ve tracked down the issue.
After some hefty research (read: lots of Googling and failed MMS messages,) we finally stumbled upon a post over on Howard Forums from a user who seemed to identify this issue. We have tested it successfully, both purposefully breaking and then fixing our ability to send MMS.
The culprit: parentheses around your contact’s area code. If your contacts have parentheses around them when they are synced to the phone, the Droid faithfully preserves that. However, when the address is used for an MMS transmission (and ONLY MMS, for some reason), it glitches out and fails. [Ed. note: What an absolutely ridiculous bug!]
Here’s how to fix the DROID MMS issue, if you are experiencing it:
- Delete any open threads containing the user you want to MMS, including any text message threads. Otherwise, it will pull the address form the thread instead of using the new one.
- Edit the contact, removing the phone number and retyping it in. Notice the Droid will type the hyphens in itself, but will not place parentheses. Make sure to do this on EACH form of data this may synchronize from (e.g. Corporate AND Google contacts, if this person is in both. Haven’t figured out if parentheses coming from Facebook can cause a problem.)
- Soft reset the phone.
- Attempt the MMS.
This worked for us. Drop us a comment and let us know if it worked for you. There have been some reports of the problems reoccurring, and so we’d like to know your circumstances.
Personal note: Make sure you edit the information that syncs to your phone so it has no parentheses. I know I exported my contacts from Outlook, and imported them into Google, and Outlook puts parentheses by default, so that is why none of my contacts worked in the first place, but we COULD send to the guy at Verizon Wireless (because we typed in his number directly.) I’m wondering if somehow the parentheses data is somehow being synced back to the phone.
We’ve reported the situation to Verizon’s Wireless Data Technical Support team, who thanked us for the information. (Direct quote: “Awesome.”)
Update: It looks like we’ve found the culprit - How to fix the Motorola DROID MMS bug.
It seems to be few and far between at this point, but stemming from an unfortunate first-hand series of events, we’ve investigated and found a few unhappy Verizon Wireless Motorola Droid customers out there who are experiencing an annoying problem: MMS’ are being sent and being rejected with the error message: “You have entered an invalid address.”
The problem seems to be intermittent and with no discernable pattern. Reports show customers who are inflicted with the problem are unable to send to certain numbers but are able to send to others. Our first-hand experience involved attempting to send pictures to a quarter of the address book before giving up and calling tech support. Oddly enough, the first successful picture message sent on this particular Droid went to the guy from Verizon’s Wireless Data Technical Support team who was helping us to fix the problem. We were able to receive MMS from the numbers we tried, but failed receiving from another of Verizon’s Customer Support reps.
Posts on Android’s and Motorola’s support forums found that there was no workaround yet, but some of those who swapped out for a new Droid had no problems with the new phone.
Is anyone else having this problem? Verizon, Motorola, and Google definitely have not spoken up yet, so we don’t know how many people are calling about the problem, but there are a few out there. For all we know, it could be a small glitch. Drop a comment and let us know.
Yes, we definitely hit you with our full Motorola DROID review, but many wanted to see a bit more video of the device. That being the case, we recorded this episode of Bleeding Edge TV to show off the different features of the Motorola DROID smartphone. We give you a look at the hardware, some of the Android 2.0 features, Google Maps Navigation, and more. All in all, it’s a twelve-minute walkthrough of the DROID, the smartphone that has grabbed the attention of the industry, giving Google, Motorola, and Verizon Wireless a lot of attention.
If you are at all curious, be sure to hit the video above.
The Motorola DROID is a symbol of change, for a bunch of different reasons. The fact is, the DROID is a Motorola phone, exclusive to Verizon Wireless, and runs Android 2.0. There is major significance for each of those three bullet points, and that’s not even getting into the actual device. In many ways, the DROID is something new for all three companies involved, which is likely why the three worked to closely together on getting the device just right. So the question is, did they succeed? We’ve had the device for about a week now, and we’ve been playing with it non-stop for the most part. We know what you’re probably wondering—how does the DROID stand up to the iPhone? Is Android 2.0 actually better than what we’ve seen from the platform on other devices? Does the Verizon network really make a difference?
We’ve got all the answers for you in our Motorola DROID review, so sit back, and read on for our take.
We were able to get our hands on the Motorola DROID a few days early, and we’ve got to say, this thing is a beauty. Android 2.0 is responsive and crisp, especially on the fantastic DROID display. We are going to be diving into the DROID a bit more in-depth in our full review, and we’ll have a few videos up as well, but in the meantime, please enjoy our Motorola DROID unboxing gallery. We’ve got a bunch of pictures up that’ll give you a nice look at the device.
Read More | Motorola DROID unboxing
Gallery: We open up Verizon’s Motorola DROID
The wait for the Motorola Droid to go official is finally over, as Verizon has announced all the details on the drool-worthy handset, highlighted by the fact that the Droid launches exclusively on Verizon Wireless on November 6th (yes, just over a week from now,) and will sell for $200 after mail-in rebate with two-year contract.
We know what many of you are thinking - $200 will get you an iPhone 3GS, so this thing better bring the pain. Well, my friends, it certainly does. The Droid is a top-notch phone, boasting a 3.7-inch 480x854 display, Cortex A8 processor, Bluetooth, GPS, 5-megapixel camera (with dual-LED flash,) slide-out QWERTY keyboard with d-pad. 3G, Wi-Fi, over-the-air Amazon MP3 downloads, and voice-activated search are also present. Included in the box is a 16GB SD card, as well as a dock for the phone. That’s just the hardware. Equally important is the software running on the device, and the Droid is the first handset to feature Android 2.0. That’s a big deal, as no other phone on the horizon seems to be shipping with 2.0. This also means that Droid picks up the new Google Maps Navigation feature, which essentially turns the phone into a fully-functional GPS, using Google Maps, at no extra cost.
We’ll obviously be bringing you more details as we get them, but expect to hear a lot, a lot about this phone over the coming weeks.
Read More | Verizon Wireless
Verizon has announced the Razzle, a mobile phone with an intriguing control interface. The Razzle has a lower half that twists. On one side, you’ve got a QWERTY keyboard, and on the other, stereo speakers with music controls. As for the other features, it has a 2.2-inch display, 1.3 megapixel camera, GPS, and microSD expansion card. You can order it now from Verizon’s web store.
Read More | CNET
It looks like the HTC Touch Pro2 is now available for purchase from Sprint. Head on over to a Sprint store, or the Sprint online store, and be ready to drop $350 on their newest smartphone. Yes, that $350 is after both the carrier subsidy and rebate, but no one ever said that living on the cutting edge of mobile tech would be inexpensive, right? The HTC Touch Pro2 has a 3.6 WVGA display and an EVDO-Rev A connection that can be supplemented by WiFi where available.
Oh, and if you wanna save some money on this one, Verizon Wireless will be selling it for $199 after mail-in rebate, in just 3 days.
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