Sunday, December 13, 2009

Why Im waiting til 2010 to buy a new cell phone: Part 1

As exciting and interesting as the devices that are being released these days are, I plan on waiting until mid-2010 to buy my next device. Here's why:

Android is still in its infancy and very fragmented due to the release of several different devices running mutiple versions of the OS.  Android needs a requirement that manufacturers must develop using the latest variation of the OS, or at least leave enough compatibility to enable Android OS upgrades to be pushed to the device as soon as they are available.  The manufacturer's lengthy development and re-skinning of the UI for each new iteration of Android, slows down the overall development of the platform and the speed to market of the OS.
It is abysmal that Android 2.1 is already free range at Google and many manufactures are still building devices with OS 1.5 at its core, and many of these devices may not be compatible with the future releases of Android. I understand bigG's strategy of keeping the OS free and open market and all that but developers are beginning to scream murder, because they desire to develop their apps once and have it work on all the devices out. Google seems to be saying to manufacturers that if you want to use the free stuff its going to be behind our newest version.  In that case, maybe bigG can build cross compatibility between all of its OS variations.
The software aside for a second, the other major issue, I have with Android, is that most Android devices today are just not quite powerful enough to make the most out of the Android OS.  In my mind I see Android becoming a full fledged OS that can be ran on a multifuntioninteldevice MID (I am dropping the moniker smartphone since it no longer applies to todays tech products, until I come up with a better name) a tablet and even a desktop or laptop device, enabling the user to keep all their information integrated on one OS. I think Windows Mobile and Windows may have been closest to this universality but we all know how that story ends.  Android's hardware in its current state cannot get us to that utopic vision, and so I will hold my breath and my wallet until 1ghz processor, 512 MB of RAM, and 16GB of internal storage are the standard. (Nexus One) I have a lot more to say on Android but for the sake of length, let's move on.

I like Palm, A LOT, and I want them to succeed and do well, I really do, but the Palm Pre and the Pixi just don't do enough out of the gate to make me a converter. I've spent significant time with WebOS and granted it is still an infant, it has a lot of potential. WebOS is currently being straddled with 3 major issues.
One, the hardware of the Pre and the Pixi are neither breathtaking nor revolutionary, although cute, they do not inspire consumer lust like a umm iPhone or even a Droid for that matter. The build quality of these devices is average at best but they house an above average OS and thus they needed to be above average as well. Suggestion: a 3.2 inch screen, wifi, world radio, 800mhz, 512 MB RAM, removable memory, 4gb internal.  This would be expensive to manufacture but would make a huge impact on the market and create instant respect for Palm. I would pay $249 for such a device, because of the OS underneath the hardware.
Two, although I can understand being loyal to your supporters is a strategic business move, but the rapid decline in Palm mindshare and stock price is partly due to its sales record, which is intrinsicly tied to its carrier pushing their devices. I've heard it argued that Palm may have went with Sprint to avoid the possible embarrassment of launching the device on a larger network and having it fail. If this is what happened then I can understand the reasoning but in todays market consumers are becoming accustomed to rushed OS's with incomplete functions because they expect the company to roll out updates within a month, early adopters have became the industries product testers, and I'm sure the manufacturers have access to the same blogs we all do. Hopefully by 2010 Palm will be serving more carriers with more devices and gaining more users.
Third, this is the age of apps, apps and more apps. Apps that can do anything the consumer can imagine, from keeping track of their favorite teams, to tracking the movement of their children or loved one, today apps are God, and Palm needs more disciples following it. I realy like the underground WebOS community, those guys have come up with a lot of cool tweeks and useful apps for the device that really make using WebOS enjoyable. To take advantage of their hard work, you will have to gain root access to your device and install some programs on your desktop, but the process can be done in an evening.  There in lies the problem, most consumers don't give a damn about an underground WebOS community and woud not be confident enough to go through with rooting their device. I know Palm is working dilligently in this area and will be releasing more of its SDK to developers to tinker with, fortuately for them the market is still open since Android market has yet to be a profitable market for developers, but the clock is tick tick ticking Palm.

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Whatchamacallit: finding a name for those devices in your pocket

Multipurposesmartdevice (MSD), multifuntionportabledevice (MPD), personaloperatingdevice (POD),... What is in a name you might ask, well to me the name is everything. The name conveys an idea of function, a name conjours up memories and stereotypes and once it reaches our mind it begins its journey through the process of cross referencing and cataloging until it is converted into an impression and then we draw a conclusion about the name we just heard. We then form an emotional reaction to that name based on our brains computations. So when you hear the word smartphone, what thoughts come to mind, what images pop into your head, what is the emotional reaction you feel?
As mobile tech advances, pulling us along in its wake, I have pondering the accuracy of the term smartphone as the moniker for the next generation of personaldatadevices (PDD).  To me these devices do more than just take and receive calls, they are multifunctioningintelligentdevices (MID), they are multipurposesmartdevices (MSD) and they are intelligentpersonalassistants (IPA).  My poor examples should not belittle the challenge in deciding what to call these products which have moved far beyond the realm of cellular phones and more into the world of minimobilecomputers (MMC), or pocketmobilecomputers (PMC)/mobilepocketcomputers (MPC).
The challenge with coming up with a name is that it has to not only convey funtion and purpose but it also has to sound good.  Just as the names we use today have become adjectives instead of just titles, the name of these personalcommunicationdevices (PCD),  has to sound, taste and feel true.  The final name has to invoke a simple image, cause an emotional reaction, and elicit an organic response, in order to be the one.  So... What do you suggest, by the way all the ones mentioned above have been copyrighted, jk.  Some other ideas worth mentioning are: Smart Device (SD), PocketPC is old but usable, mobileoperatingsystemdevice (MOD), minicomputingdevice (MCD), personaldatacommunicator (PDC). I'll admit that last one was trash, you can do better?, what  would you call it?

Monday, December 7, 2009

LG Expo demoed: its a projector and a cell phone

So maybe you've wanted to be able to use your phone to project unto a wall or some other surface and have even tried duct taping a mini projector unto the back of your phone and found the Frankenstein product too ugly to bear.  Well thanks to LG, you can save your duct tape for your next brilliant invention.  The LG Expo features a built in fingerprint sensor, a 3.2-inch touchscreen, a 1GHz processor, a 5 megapixel camera, and runs Windows mobile 6.5.  Also as you can see in the video it has a qwerty slider keyboard and features LG's new S class UI. 
The phone is expected to be released by AT&T on December 7th for $199 after mail in rebate and 2 year contract, expect the project to cost an additional $179 on top of phone price.

Verizon facing some heat from the FCC over ETF charges

Remember a while back when I posted an article about Verizon raising their ETF fees.  Well I guess I wasn't the only one that thought that this was a questionable move, it looks like the FCC is now asking questions of their own.  Specifically "do customers still have to pay the $120 left on their contract after the 2 year contract" and "how visible is the details of this ETF on customers contracts".  Here is a copy of the letter.
Verizon has argued that they raised the ETF to make up the cost for advanced devices they sell to customers at a subsidized price.  In other words, the reason you are able to get the Motorola Droid for $199 subsidized, retail $560, is that Verizon pays the remaining $360 of the phone price and locks you into a contract for 2 years to make up that cost.  The FCC doesn't seem to care.
The FCC has been taking a more proactive role as a consumer watchdog lately.  In fact, four U.S. senators recently proposed a legislation that would limit the amount that carriers can charge for an ETF, and also make the fees more accessible to consumers.  Could this spell the end of the ETF? maybe, but not likely, hopefully Verizon will wise up and fall back in line, so I can finally get that BOGO offer for two Storm 2's and sell them on Ebay for a small profit, hahaha.

Source:  InformationWeek

Crackberry news: all the goods from the world of Blackberry

 Trapster is a Blackberry app that warns you of upcoming speed traps and speed cameras so that you can hopefully slow down in time to avoid a ticket.  God knows I need this app.  The app has just been updated to version 3.5 so if you haven't tried it out yet it might be worth taking a look at.  This combined with your in dash radar detector should help you avoid a trip to the courthouse, or losing half your paycheck over a traffic fine, but if you're a baller and can afford a 109mph traffic ticket like Adrian Peterson then ignore this. More info about Trapster is available here, Trapster is also available on all other devices.
Source: Crackberry

BOLT is a free browser that is possibly one of the fastest options for mobile browsing.  The app is built on Bitstream's Thunderhawk browsing technology, meaning it is the product of over 5 years of mobile browser development and has been optimized for speed, usability, and performance. 1.6 offers improved performance, the ability to make BOLT your default browser, a password manager, and more, get it from, oh and you're welcome. Source: Blackberry Rocks

One thing that has been missing from the Blackberry App world is the inclusion guessed it THEMES.  Well wait no more, now you can purchase and download themes directly from App World's catalog of 151 themes in 9 categories.  Unless you like getting your themes for free, if thats the case then I suggest you visit: ,, or just do a Google search for free Blackberry themes. 

Speaking of free stuff.  Check out SMS Contact and Forward, Reply, and Edit.  SMS Contact enables you to sent contact infomation via SMS and you can also define what contact information you would like to send.  FRE does exactly what the name implies, go to your message hit menu, choose Reply & Edit or Forward & Edit and well, you can figure out the rest.  You can find them here.  Source: Blackberry Rocks

Motorola Opus: makes a sound arguement for switching to Boost

Typically I avoid posting rumors because I dont do well with disappointment but this one is almost too good to ignore.  You know that company called Boost? yea the one with the $50 unlimited everything plan, and the crappy phones, ok what if I told you that they could be getting a full featured Android phone.  Yea I know, I know.  Sounds too good to  be true to me too.  According to the Blogsphere (the world of bloggers) there is a strong possibility that the shiny device you see above might end up on Boost Mobile, so if you've been holding off on getting Boost because the phones suck, well....
There is no release date yet and this is still in the rumor stage, but if it is true, then I guess I'm out of excuses, now to figure out how to get out of this damn contract.

Source: BGR

Google's got Goggles everywhere, visual search now possible

Thank you Google for continuing to push the limits of technology and showing others that a company can offer great products that make consumers lives easier without charging an arm and a leg.  The good folks at the mighty G have done it again, their latest product, called Goggles (love that word) brings visual search to Android devices running OS 1.6 or higher.  Heres how it works:
If you see a book, a picture, or are outdoors and want to know more about the store you are standing in front of holding your camera; fire up Goggles.  The app has an augmented reality feature that can instantly tell you the name and other pertinent information about the building in your viewfinder. (see the video above).  Another feature of Goggles is being able to take a picture of an object you would like to know more about and Goggles will give you detailed information about that product, it can identify books, pictures, landmarks, logos and even grab the content off a business card and add it instantly to your address book. 3 geeks up for this one, keep em coming G.  If you've got Android 1.6 what are you waiting for, of course its free.

Motorola DROID update 2.0.1 get yours now

Dear Droid owner,
I envy you soo much, besides having one of the coolest devices on the planet you also are receiving the very first update to the OS today.  Congratulations, its not OS 2.1 so you wont see a lot of major changes but I've heard that the update comes with several tweaks.  The reported improvements include; improved battery life, a more stabilized OS, camera auto focus improvements, three way calling enhancements, incoming call audio improvements, elimination of background echo when using bluetooth, instantaneous arrival of visual voice mail notices, and blah blah blah.
If you haven't done so yet, go ahead and update your device and enjoy all the added functionality.  You deserve it, and I'm not jealous, my Sony Erricsson W810 can still run laps around your stupid Droid.  If you've upgraded please list some of the new functions you discovered in the comment box below.

Instructions for OS Update

Source: Andronica

Friday, December 4, 2009

AT&T offering 50% off all Blackberry devices

AT&T has announced that they will be cutting the cost on all their Blackberry devices starting today.  I visited their website earlier today and saw that in fact, the Blackberry Bold 9700 has been reduced by $100 after mail in rebate.  This special applies to all other Blackberry models as well, so if you are in the market for a new Blackberry hop on over to AT&T online, or in store and see what they can do for you.
**I've also heard rumors that AT&T is still offering $50 worth of free accessories for customers who activate a new line of service on a Blackberry.  Contact them yourselves and leave a comment.

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Verizon Droid BOGO clarified starts Dec 4th ends Dec 7th

Verizon is offering a BOGO promotion starting this Friday and ending Monday. The offer is good on new activations and also for those who bought a Droid on the launch date back in November.  If you buy a Droid or a Droid Eris, you are eligible to receive a Droid Eris for free after a mail in rebate. Verizon has also extended the BOGO promotion to cover the LG enV Touch and the enV3, that offer is good from Dec 4th to Dec 25th.  Happy shopping.

Source: BoyGeniusReport

Verizon and AT&T: kiss and make up

Just announced this week, Verizon and AT&T have decided to drop the charges against each other.  Oh pooh, I for one am very disappointed with this development, I wanted the battle to drag out and watch both providers drag each others network through the mud while highlighting each others weaknesses, as the old adage goes, when businesses compete, consumers win.  If the battle had stretched out, both carriers would have pointed to weaknesses in each others network that would then force them to shore up their services.  In the end the consumer would reap the benefits, that is whats known as a win win.  Plus Luke Wilson as a spokesperson, classic, the force is strong with you Luke.
Verizon's argument that AT&T's network is too weak to adequately support the iPhone is well documented and accurate, and so is AT&T's somewhat weaker assertion that Verizon's network does not allow simultaneous voice and data use.  Lets just hope that now that they are not focused on dragging each other down, they will spend their money on investing into their network and lowering their damn prices.  $90/month for a Droid or an iPhone is too rich for my blood, but as you know where there's a will there's a way. 
Read: How to lower your iPhone bill to $55

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Fring brings 1 way video calling to iPhone

The video above is a demo of the newest feature of Fring for the iPhone, the app now allows you to receive video calls on your iPhone device.  Since the iPhone does not have a front facing camera the app is limited to 1-way video calling at this time, but the company plans of upgrading the app to enable 2-way video calling once the hardware is compatible.  To use the app for now, the caller would have to use a Nokia handset or their computer to initiate the video call, from either Skype or Fring.  Make sure you are on a WIFI network when using this feature since Video calling over 3G is not yet available on these devices.

Ill be testing this out myself, in the meantime visit (iTunes link) for your copy.

Update:  Here are screenshots from my test call.  So, go for it, video calling works.

Square: accept payments using your smartphone

With Square companies can easily accept physical credit card payments from their mobile phone.  This works by way of a small device that attaches to the headset/microphone jack.  Customer's credit cards can then be swiped through the Square attachment and it will register the sale (I'm guessing this will link to the business owners Paypal or bank account) customers will then be prompted to sign for the purchase and a receipt can be emailed or text messaged to them.  The device currently works with the iPhone, iPod Touch and Motorola Droid devices.  Go to for more info.

Monday, November 30, 2009

Dolphin Browser to replace stock Android browser

Before reading I want you to first take a look at the video above, then go back and look at it again a second time because they go kind of fast.  WOW.

To recap:
#1 the browser integrates with Delicious, Twitter and your text messaging app so that you can instantly send links to pages you are viewing without have to copy and paste and without switching apps, only thing missing is facebook but im sure they're working on that.
#2 you can comment on stories and articles you are reading without having to scroll all the way down to the bottom of the page, below all the rest of the user comments.
#3 it compiles a list of all the popular pages being viewed that day so that you can see what others have found interesting enough to read.
#4 i didn't know what Google Bookmarks was but I found out that its an online bookmark service through Google that you can use to store all your favorite bookmarks, may not be for all but still very cool.
#5 rss detection and subscription would have to be one of my favorite features, the browser is able to recognize the page has an rss feed then it allows you to subscribe to it and add it to google reader, awesome.
#6 read it later is embedded into the browser as well, as the name implies, if you would like to come back and finish reading a page you are currently on, you can save it for later.
#7 the all in one start page features a link to all of big G's other services as well as your history, your favorites, read it later articles, delicious posts and more, way schway.
#8 it supports multitouch functionality for those of you lucky enough to own a Droid.

This browser looks revolutionary, smart, and intuitive and has some functionality that I wish I had on my laptop browser.  If you are on an Android device I would encourage you to give it a try and tell me all about it, maybe its time I go back to Android myself.

Saturday, November 28, 2009

Slacker killed my radio, and i aint mad about it

I'm a music lover, from the Temptations to The Fugees, from Staind to Michael Jackson, from Tupac Shakur to the Red Hot Chilli Peppers, I listen to some form of music almost everyday, by way of a podcast, a music video, an old album, or something I pick up from a friend, that much hasn't changed, but what has changed is how I listen.  I find it easier and more enjoyable to listen to music through a streaming audio app such as Slacker,, or Pandora than traditional radio.  I'm guessing the reader knows what I'm talking about and if you don't, where the hell have you been.
I love the old radio, the music is always fresh, the DJ's are insightful, and there are rarely ads interrupting my musical enjoyment.  The problems with radio are: if I listen for an hour straight I can guarantee that at some point the same song will play again and I can't skip it, they don't always play the music I want to hear for example; my local DJ wont play that one song from 1992 that I cant remember the name of but it goes something like......
Here comes streaming radio, with customizable stations, no ads and no repetition, I can choose an artist and listen to just that artists music or choose songs from a genre and listen to similar songs from that same genre.  If I feel like listening to Red Foxx's old stand-up, I can just type in his name.  I get to skip songs that I don't like, and can even tell my radio to never, ever play that again.  I can listen to streams from across the nation or across the world.  If I'm feeling that song, I can buy it right from my device and transfer it to my home collection.  Best of all my music goes everywhere I go.
Of course streaming radio has its limitations, but they are minimal compared to the old radio.  I don't blame the local DJ for the demise of radio, in fact I kind of feel sorry for them, they probably don't like the music they're forced to play.  I put the blame on the music execs who pay program managers millions to get their artist on the hourly rotation.  I also blame myself for allowing my radio, once the medium for educated thought and discussion, to become a whore for advertisers.  Advertisers who in trying to monetize the airwaves destroyed the very essence that made people tune in.
Radio is dead to me but music lives on. The stories of artists like Soldier Boy (though I'm not a fan), Wale, and others rejuvenates my faith in music.  With streaming radio independent musicians worldwide can get mainstream exposure without losing their soul, and the soul is what makes music what it is.  I love music's ability to pass through any barrier (wood, metal, air, water, electricity, political), I love how music is always evolving, I love the fact that a song can be your mother, your doctor, your psychiatrist, and your voice all at the same time.  I'm not sorry to see the old radio go, because its lost its soul.  So as long as I have a data connection and 5% battery left, I'm a stream til the last song fades out.

Some of my favorite streaming radio apps:  Slacker,, iheartradio.

Thursday, November 26, 2009

UStream mobile, live entertainment in your back pocket

USTREAM mobile allows you to broadcast live from your mobile phone, or if you like to watch instead you can also view broadcasts available on Ustream's main site right on your phone.  If you have an Android device go to your App Market, if you have a relatively new Nokia handset you should visit for more information and a link to download the software for your device.
Go ahead the world is waiting.

Swype a new way to input text on touchscreens

Above is a video demonstration of the latest improvement on text entry, the technology is called Swype.  It was invented by the maker of the T9 text input method used in most phones today.  Swype allows you to drag your finger from letter to letter while composing a message, hypothetically making typing on touchscreens faster, easier, and less painful.
This new technology will be available for Android and Windows Mobile based touchscreen devices soon but it is expected to be available for all brands before long.  Swype will make its debut on December 2 on the Samsung Omnia II through Verizon.  Looks like we're stuck poking at our screens until then.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Droid for $120, Curve 8900 for a cent, Droid Eris for $30, Sprint Tour $50

 Verizon's version of the HTC Hero, dubbed the Droid Eris is on sale for an insanely low $30.  The phone is available on an instant discount through LetsTalk and Wal-Mart, fore details, click here

The Blackberry 8900 is really a top of the line phone, and it comes with all the features that you would expect from a top of the line handset, specs here. The T-mobile and AT&T version of the phone are being offered for free with a new agreement from third party retailers.  You can visit Amazon, Wal-Mart, LetsTalk, and others for this great deal.

Remember that huge phone that just launched a couple of weeks ago, for like $200.  The one that was supposed to do everything the iPhone cant and wont do?  The phone that offered free turn by turn navigation standard?  Are you getting warm?  Ok, the Droid is now just $119, on a 2-year contract through Dell Mobility.

Amazon seems to have some really incredible deals on their site, one of their best offers is the Blackberry Tour for $50.  As a reminder the tour is a world edition device that offers GSM 850/900/1800/1900, half VGA 480x360 display, full QWERTY keyboard, 3.2 megapixel camera with auto-focus, Bluetooth 2.0, A-GPS, Blackberry OS, 256MB memory, microSD expansion up to 8GB, and 3.5mm jack.  Check out Amazon's other great Sprint deals here.

Apple to Verizon: Look what our Network can do

After seeing AT&T/Luke Wilson's pitiful attempt to counter Verizon's attack, Apple has stepped up and made a commercial of their own.  Although the ad is a bit washed, it highlights Apple's ability to market it's product simply and effectively as they've done all along.  The ads are self explanatory, even if they don't address Verizon's claim that AT&T's network is unreliable and is plagued with spotty 3G coverage.
Apple has a vested interest in the well being of AT&T since their profits are directly tied to whether or not customers keep walking in the door to buy iPhones.  It makes sense for Apple to defend their partnership with AT&T, but they've managed to do so tactfully by not mentioning the V word.  Say what you want about Apple but there are some smart people in those offices.  This makes for interesting television and all, but what about taking that advertising dollar and using it to improve your network?

Verizon to Sprint: You cant say youre the most dependable network

After dismantling AT&T, Verizon now has its sights on Sprint.

Verizon filed a complaint to the National Advertising Division of the Council of Better Business Bureaus (say that 3 times fast), that Sprint's claim of having "America's most dependable 3G network" was false.  Verizon cited the results of a Nielsen Co. test that showed Verizon's network had fewer dropped/blocked calls than Sprint.  The Bureau obliged Verizon's request and advised Sprint to stop airing commercials with this claim. 
Sprint wont be taking this lying down though, they have stated that they believe more than one set of test results should be examined to rule out various factors and they plan on filing an appeal with the National Advertising Review Board in this matter.  Hand it to Verizon though, they know how to cripple their competition, lets just hope this doesn't go to their heads.

The best Blackberry ever, for a really low price

UPDATE: LetsTalk has one-upped both Amazon and Wirefly by offering the 9700 for $9.99, the same 2 year obligation is required but this offer comes with no activation fee and no mail-in rebates.
The new Blackberry Bold 9700 has been reputed to be the best Blackberry ever made. I have the T-mobile version of the device and I am hard pressed to find any weaknesses of the device. While T-Mobile is asking $149.99, AT&T is practically giving away the device through its third-party retailers.
Amazon and Wirefly are both offering the new Blackberry for $50. Amazon's offer seems to be a bit better since it doesn't require a mail-in rebate and they are waiving the activation fee, but you do have to be opening a new line of service. It is possible to get this offer from AT&T directly, but you will have to visit an AT&T store to get this offer.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Blackberry Media Sync for all your media needs

If you're a Blackberry user, congratulations. You might or might not have a lot of pictures and music on your device. To be honest, I listen to Slacker, Pandora, or some other streaming app on my phone for my music needs, but for those times when data services are unavailable, you might want to carry your own collection with you.
Blackberry Media Sync allows you to sync your Blackberry device with the iTunes and Windows Media Player. The process is pretty simple, once you launch the app it connects to your Blackberry and asks you to choose between iTunes and WMP, next you select the Playlist you want to sync and then hit the green button. The same rules apply for syncing your pictures. Remarkably simple, and efficient, thanks RIM.

*FYI, you might want to create a Playlist of the songs you want synced before you start, and it might not be a bad idea to create a folder with just those precious pictures you want on your phone as well. Download Blackberry Media Sync 3.0 here

Fring rolls out Skype video calling to your Nokia S60 device

Finally, if you have a Nokia X6, N97, mini, N97, 5800, N95 or basically any Nokia device with a front facing camera, guess what?
Fring, the company that brought VOIP calling to the US through their Apple iPhone and Android app has added a new feature. Skype video calling is now available through Fring on Nokia s60 devices. For this to work, your friend will need to have the Fring app on their Nokia device or they can use the desktop version of Skype. The demonstration above features a glitchy test call, but the idea is compelling and I'm sure they are working hard to enable this feature for other devices as well.
But there's another hurdle, how will I use this on my Blackberry if the camera is on the back of the phone? Umm, wheres Macgyver when you need him.

Monday, November 23, 2009

Google Turn by Turn Nav now on Android 1.6

Google has released its infamous turn by turn navigation system first introduced in Android 2.0 and the Motorola Droid for the rest of the masses. If you have a Android device running 1.6 OS you can go to the Android Market and download the application right now, and of course as with anything Google its free. What are you waiting for, get lost.

Some new phones that you might have missed

The stylish handset you see above is the Sanyo Incognito SCP 6760. This beauty will be available through Sprint online on November 30th, and in stores Dec. 6th. Surprisingly, the phone will cost $50 after mail in rebate. Here's what you'll get:
A really cool OLED external display with light-accented buttons that provides haptic feedback when touched. A full QWERTY keyboard with a 2.6-inch QVGA display. A 2.0 megapixel camera, social networks like Facebook, MySpace, Twitter, and your IM applications are included as well as some of Sprints standards such as Sprint TV, Sprint Navigation, and Sprint Radio. Click on the picture above for a brief hands on video.


The Motorola I410 is a clamshell phone for Boost Mobile customers. Check out the pics/specs Here. A price/launch date have not been announced but Motorola and Boost promise to have this device out before the end of the year. The phone is pretty basic, I mean it doesn't even have a camera, but hey its got Walkie Talkie functionality built in, seriously, Boost.

Check out these cellular deals for you on Black Friday

Black Friday is here and so are the savings. A lot of carriers and retailers are offering phenomenal deals before the holiday's even arrive. Here's a few of the special's out there now.

Walmart is leading the way with great deals all over the place, they're practically giving stuff away. For example:
Online now at you can get the AT&T Tilt 2 Touchscreen Smartphone Value Bundle, which comes with Screen Protector, Car Charger, and Bluetooth Headset for $o.o1, on a 2-year contract of course. Click on the pic for a review of the device (Mobiletechreview).

Looks like the folks at Apple are also in a charitable mood this holiday season. They recommend you check back in after the Thanksgiving feast for some really incredible deals on everything in their stores. According to Boy Genius Report buyers can expect iMacs starting at $1098, iPod nanos starting at &138, iPod touch starting at $178, MacBook Pros starting at $1098, Apple TVs starting at $208 and much more. It's too bad you have to wait til Friday, isn't it. Click on the Pic above to go to Apple's store.

Not to be outdone, T-mobile seems to also be in the gift giving mood. In fact they encourage you to buy a phone for a friend. Starting now, anybody on a T-mobile Even More plan can purchase a phone at full-retail ($300+) as a gift for a friend. If you don't have all $300 you can spread the payments out over the life of your own contract. So if you have a buddy that is just dying to get a T-mobile account, and they are ready to switch, why not hook them up, after all they'd do the same for you right?
On top of that come Friday, T-mobile is shaving off $50 from some of their top-tier phones. That means you can get the Motorola CLIQ for $149, Blackberry Bold 9700 $149, and the Samsung Highlight for $50, w/ 2-year contract of course.

If you are looking to upgrade your plan to a new two-year deal or shopping for a new carrier, check out Best Buy from 11/26 to 11/28. They will be offering the Palm Pre for a low low price of $79.99. For more info go Here

Have fun shopping this week and don't forget to pick something up for me as well.

Samsung and T-mobile giving away phones and TV's

Samsung is giving away a new Behold II every hour and an LCD TV every day. No kidding, check out the details. Here

Just about anyone can enter the sweepstakes, as long as you are 14 prior to entering the competition. There will be a total of 840 Behold II's given away during the course of the promotion and the daily drawing for a TV will take place every day for a total of 35 days, Nov 18, 2009 - Dec 23, 2009.

Even if you didn't win within the hour you registered, you can go back every hour and register to win again and again, until you do.

Good luck

Friday, November 20, 2009

Blackberry 8530 from Verizon is here and available for free

What's better than free? Getting a Blackberry with WIFI, EDVO Rev 0, OS 5.0, 3G Data, 2-Megapixel camera, and that beautiful QWERTY keyboard RIM is infamous for.  The price is better than I was expecting at launch but its good to be pleasantly surprised. Verizon has the phone for $99 but if you go through a retailer you can get it for free.
Now of course Free is after a 2-year commitment. Without contract the phones is $399.99.

Reviewed here: Crackberry , click image above for details about the special offer.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Verizon wants their money, so dont play

If you were planning on going to Verizon, picking up the new Droid and then cancelling your account, paying the termination fee, and then selling the phone for a profit, think again. (who would do that right?)

Verizon has raised its ETF (Early Termination Fee) for all "Advanced Devices" to $350.  Here

If you cancel a line of Service, or if we cancel it for good cause, during its contract term, you'll have to pay an early termination fee. If your contract term results from your purchase of an advanced device after November 14, 2009, your early termination fee will be $350 minus $10 for each full month of your contract term that you complete. (For a complete list of advanced devices, check Otherwise, your early termination fee will be $175 minus $5 for each full month of your contract term that you complete.

The funny thing is, with a $10 a month decrease on a $350 ETF, you will still have $120 at the end of your two-years. I wonder if they'll want that as a check, or money order?

Android welcomes Fring to the App Store

Fring is a social communication app that works with just about every social networking tool out there.  They have just released their fring app for android which will allow you to make free VOIP calls to your contacts without using your cell phone minutes.  The application integrates with your phones contact book, so while in your Fring app, simply find the person you want to contact and select call.

The only limitation is that the other person must also be using Fring for the free calling to work.  But you can purchase credit to enable Fring to call any landline or mobile phone.  Check out for more info.

Sprint News:because when youre #3 you need all the attention you can get

I'm going for a four-fer on this one:

The Palm Pixi is now $25 on Amazon, Wal-Mart, and Wirefly, on a new 2-year contract of course.  You know you care.

The Palm Pre is now $79.99 on Amazon, they are also throwing in free activation on a 2-year agreement.

OTA (Over the Air) updates for the Sprint HTC Hero went out last night, no you're not getting Android 2.0 sit down.  The fixes include, the notorious SMS issue, mute and speakerphone button on screen when you make a call or receive them, and something about Daylight Saving Time.  Your phone should prompt you to ugrade if it hasn't already.

Sprint has done something that no other carrier has done before them: they have eliminated their previous 20 cents per minute charge for conditional call forwarding.  Big deal right, well if you use a Visual voicemail application that is not native to your device you'd know why this matters.  For example: I use Google Voice as my phone's voicemail service, so when callers call me they here a custom greeting, just for them, plus I get an email transcription whenever a caller leaves me a voicemail. Ill be writing a guide for those interested in setting this up for themselves, and if you have Sprint service you wont have to worry about incurring additional  charges on your bill.

AT&T to Verizon: Your company's name starts with a V

Oh, Luke Wilson, you're such a puppet, but thats alright, I'd do an ad for AT&T too if they paid me, id even take an unlocked iPhone, why an unlocked iPhone you ask, to use on T-mobile of course.

Remember that war of words thing I told you about a couple of days ago.  The beef between AT&T and Verizon went before a federal judge in Atlanta to be settled and the winner is...well there is no clear winner yet but this battle goes to Verizon.  The judge ruled that although the ads may be "sneaky" they were not misleading and he could not justify taking them off the air.

To save face AT&T has is airing the commercial above in an attempt to set the record straight.  Their contention in the ad seems to be that they have the fastest 3G coverage, the iPhone, and Verizon starts with a V.  While sidestepping the real argument, namely, what is the point of having the fastest 3G network if users cant access it?  Don't worry this story is far from over, a follow-up hearing is set for Dec. 16, hopefully AT&T will come up with a winning argument by then or they may just accept their faults and do something about them, but we all know some people don't take criticism well.

Wanna make your own theme? Blackberry Theme Studio can help

If you're like me, you download a lot of Blackberry themes trying to find the perfect balance between style and function then end up deleting all of them in frustration, then download them all again a week later, yeah I know.  Usually one theme has the right color scheme but the fonts suck, the right combination of today screen items but not enough icons, you get my point.  What to do, what to do, well you could create your own theme but who wants to go through the hassle of learning how to code.

In comes Blackberry with Blackberry Theme Studio, the first full feature theme building software from the manufacturer.  As the name implies, this software allows you to build custom themes to use on your Blackberry, so finally you can make that really awesome Scooby Doo theme you've been conjuring in your mind.  Assuming you have a Blackberry device with OS4.2 or higher and a couple hours to spare you can start by downloading Blackberry Theme Studio Here.  Then I would suggest reading Part 1 and Part 2 of RIM's theme building tutorial.

After that the world is yours, chico and everything in it.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Verizon to AT&T: "The truth hurts, so stop crying"

The war of words started by Verizon several weeks ago continues.  This all started around the time the Droid was announced and Verizon started airing it's "Droid Does" and "Theres a map for that" commercials.  AT&T sued Verizon claiming that its "There's a map for that" advertisements are misleading to consumers, AT&T's response.  Verizon's response was to create additional ads, including this one labeling the Apple iPhone as a "misfit toy" hobbled by its AT&T coverage or rather lack of. Ouch.
The round is not even over and Verizon is throwing another shot at AT&T.  In a rebuttal filed on Monday in a Georgia court, Verizon stated, and I quote:
"AT&T did not file this lawsuit because Verizon's "There's A Map for That" advertisements are untrue; AT&T sued because Verizon's ad's are true and the truth hurts."
Damn, son, I love a good cat-fight. Oh theres more:
"AT&T seeks emergency relief because Verizon's side-by-side, apples-to-apples comparison of its own 3G coverage with AT&T's confirms what the marketplace has been saying for month:  AT&T failed to invest adequately in the necessary infrastructure to expand its 3G coverage to support its growth in smartphone business, and the usefulness of its service to smartphone users has suffered accordingly, AT&T may not like the message that the ads send, but this Court should reject its efforts to silence the messenger."
Thats the gist of it, more to come later.  What do you think?  Who's side are you on?

T-mobile: the Sidekicks are back, no no no, they're cool now

The Sidekicks are back, the sidekicks are back.

T-mobile had an embarrasing month last month.  What had happened was: Danger (the company that takes care of the Sidekick data) was bought by Microsoft and Microsoft went and hired a third party company to come in and upgrade Danger's systems.  So while they were doing their thing, something went wrong and a whole bunch of Sidekick users started losing their s&%/stuff.
When T-mobile caught on they stopped selling Sidekicks and told current Sidekick owners to keep their phones from shutting off until they figure out a way to restore their data.  Needless to say a lot of people were pissed, and some probably dropped T-mobile and their Sidekicks into a gutter.  T-mobile said it was sorry and offered unhappy customers, a $100 credit, but the damage is done.  As if that wasn't bad enough California and Washington may be suing poor T-mobile over the data loss.
T-mobile seems to be ready to move on, the carrier has resumed sales of the Sidekick line of devices once again, with a slight ($25) drop in price of course.  So if you've been waiting, go grab your favorite Sidekick device, go ahead, good luck, and do a backup every once in a while, you know just in case.
Check out: T-mobile.

Droid Camera issue, noted and explained, fix coming soon

For those of you fortunate enough to own a Droid, if you weren't too busy showing off, you may have noticed your devices inability to auto-focus when taking stills.  In an Engadget posting earlier today Google's Dan Morrill explains:

"Yes, this is exactly what is happening.

There's a rounding-error bug in the camera driver's autofocus routine (which uses a timestamp) that causes autofocus to behave poorly on a 24.5-day cycle. That is, it'll work for 24.5 days, then have poor performance for 24.5 days, then work again.

The 17th is the start of a new "works correctly" cycle, so the devices will be fine for a while. A permanent fix is in the works."

So I guess what that means is that you have another 24.5 days of proper auto-focus on your Droid, so snap away, hopefully a permanent fix appears soon.  Seems like an honest mistake on Google's part, this is the kind of thing that goes unnoticed until it actually becomes an issue, big ups to Google for getting to the bottom of this.

Blackberry BIS down, all over the US, please be patient

FYI, Blackberry BIS seems to be having some problems right now. The issues started late last night and has continued on to this morning. Carriers are said to be working on the fixes for the issue so consumers are encouraged to be patient while they work the kinks out.
Are you having problems with your Blackberry?
**UPDATE:  As I was posting this my phone Data services lit up, if yours haven't you might need to manually reset your provisioning. I recommend you do a quick battery pull, once your phone comes back online, if its still not receiving data go to Menu, Options, Mobile Network, Click Menu and Select Start Provisioning.  You should be fine from there, comment below if you have any further issues.

24 hrs w/Palm Pixi: Im going back to Blackberry

I wont say I completely hate the device but I will say that its not all good.
I went by my local Sprint store to pick up the Pixi, 3 hours later I walk out and the phone is still not activated. The guy tells me that they are having some provisioning problems and to just take the phone home and it should be activated by the time I get there. I guess that was my first clue.
Okay so the phone finally gets activated and its up and running, I sync my Palm profile to it, (Palm takes all your apps, notes, tasks, contacts, etc and backs it up for you in the background, so if you switch to a new WebOS phone, lose your current phone, or whatever all that information can be resynced back to your device, very cool) takes about 30 minutes. Then I sync Google to it, another 15 minutes, all the while the phone's network connection is jumping from Ev to 1x to R like crazy. I rush home to plug it into the charger before it dies on me. Got a message saying an update was available and downloaded the 1.3.1 OS upgrade.
Play time, the phone is exactly like the Palm Pre so I was already familiar with the UI. Swiping stuff, pulling and dragging cards all felt pretty natural except, the significant lag time it took for things to open. If I'm running 6 cards with all 6 playing some kind of media content then I would understand, but if I am just text messaging and emailing, and trying to open the browser then wtf. As I wrote earlierthe Pixi is a little underpowered, compared to its big cousin the Pre, but from what I could gather; Pre owners that upgraded to OS 1.3.1 were doing fine. So my conclusion is that it must be some hardware issue at fault here.
The lag is enough to drive me crazy, seriously, I have to wait 10 seconds for you to open up the card so I can make a call? The frustrating thing is that its not like this all the time, there are moments when the Pixi feels up to the job. When it is being responsive, the phone's appeal goes way up. The screen is small but not so small that its unbearable, the keyboard is solid and almost as easy to use as a Blackberry's (almost). The back cover is made out of a 1-piece soft rubber material that feels good in the hand, and gives the phone a durable look to it, and WebOS is its usual sexy self.
Most people will be happy with the Pixi, and Palm says its a device aimed at teenagers and women, but I'm a heavy user, I need my emails push right away, I want my Google Voice up 1 second after I ask for it, I want to be able to use Slacker. So with that said, I'm going going, back to back to Blackberry. I know, I know some might say I didn't really give the device a chance, but in all honesty I just wanted to test it out for a day to see what it was made of. If you're eyeing the Pixi as your next device, Id say give it a week, Palm and Sprint will hear about all the issues people are having with it and make some changes and the phone will be great(ahem) within a month, but for the meantime, Im sticking with what I know.
Thanks for reading, share your thoughts below.

Monday, November 16, 2009

Next up, Blackberry updates are popping up all over the place. First, Blackberry IM clients (all of them) were updated to 2.5.30, from whatever version they used to be, so if you haven't already done so, go to on your phone and download the update to your IM client of choice.
In other Blackberry news; it seems that their is a leak problem over at Blackberry/RIM headquarters, several sources have unofficial and official versions of the OS available to download.

Sprint: OS for Blackberry Pearl, OS for the 8830 WE, OS for the Tour 9630, OS for the Curve 8330 or 8330m
AT&T: OS for Blackberry Bold 9000, New**OS for Blackberry Bold 9700
Nextel: OS for the Curve 8350
Verizon: OS for the Storm2 9550, OS for the Storm 9530

On second thought I am not going to post Unofficial OS's here but if you are feeling froggish and want to take the leap.  Check out: Blackberry Rocks OS List

How to:
Backup And Restore Your BlackBerry
Upgrade your BlackBerry Operating System (OS)
*I strongly recommend you make a backup before upgrading your phone in case anything goes wrong.

New this Week; Cell phones being released from Carriers

There are very few things I enjoy more than cracking open the box on a brand new handset, and I don't think I'm alone.  That is probably why there are unboxing videos of every major device released since the first iPhone.  So if you didn't know what new gear your local wireless provider will be unveiling this week, here is the low-down, feel free to post your unboxing on Youtube so that we can all marvel at your ability to open a box.

Blackberry Curve 8530   Date: 11/20/09  Price: $99 after MIR  Read: Crackberry Review
Blackberry Bold 9700  Date: 11/16/09  Price: $199 after MIR  Read: PhoneArena Review
Samsung Behold II  Date: 11/18/09  Price: $229.99 after MIR  Read: SlashGear Review
Palm Pixi  Date: 11/15/09  Price: $30 - $99 after MIR  Read: IntoGadget, Engadget Review
Blackberry Bold 9700  Date: 11/22/09  Price: $199 after MIR (expected)

*Keep in mind Wal-Mart is offering a free $100 gift card when you activate a Blackberry device.  Details Here.

Want More:
Watch: Salomondrin Over Review of Bold 9700 
Watch: PhoneDog Unboxing and HandsOn Samsung Behold II