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Archive for May 22nd, 2014

22
May
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T-Mobile rolls out next-gen voice calls, starting with Seattle


Even though your voice is magically being transported through the air, cellular phone calls actually work more or less the same as their land-line counterparts. T-Mobile is finally ditching the old-school circuit-switched method for Voice over LTE (VoLTE), which sends your sweet lyrical words via IP (Internet Protocol), just like Skype. The carrier will still be able to deliver its HD Voice feature, but it’ll do so over the same airwaves that it’s also pushing high speed data. That should eliminate any issues with using data while on a phone call and will actually mean your calls will connect faster. And calls should transition seamlessly if you lose LTE coverage, but still have access to T-Mobile’s HSPA.

Moving to VoLTE is an important step for T-Mobile as it continues to merge its network with Metro PCS, which debuted the technology back in 2012. Initially it will only be available in Seattle to customers carrying either the LG G Flex, Samsung Galaxy Note 3 or Galaxy Light. More cities will be lighting up soon, though. And T-Mobile has big plans for things like Wi-Fi calling which will see enhancements over the next few months.

Filed under: Wireless, T-Mobile

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Source: T-Mobile

22
May
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$20 FreedomPop ‘Unlimited Everything’ plan includes 1GB of Sprint LTE, limits


FreedomPop’s been signing up customers with the promise of free mobile phone service since last year, but once you’re hooked, you’ll need to shell out a bit of dough to keep things going. The basic plan, which does in fact come with a $0.00 monthly fee, gets you 200 minutes, 500 text messages and 500 megs of data. Once you reach those caps, you’ll pay one cent per minute or 2.5 cents per MB, or you can step up to the new “Unlimited Everything” plan, which will run you $20 monthly for all-you-can-eat voice, text messages and data, with a catch: You’ll only get 1GB of LTE, after which you’ll drop down to Sprint’s 3G network. Assuming you’ll consume that gig of data in far less than 30 days, FreedomPop’s four LTE smartphones, including three from Samsung and Apple’s iPhone 5, may not be the best fit. Still, $20 is a relative steal for unlimited smartphone service, and if you can live with 3G speeds after that first gig is up, FreedomPop’s ready to start saving you cash.

Filed under: Cellphones

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Via: CNET

Source: FreedomPop

22
May
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Philips is turning one of Germany’s biggest stadiums into a huge LED display


Germany’s Allianz Arena is already covered with color-changing plastic panels, but they can only currently display the red of Bayern Munich, the blue of TSV 1860 and the white of the national team. Philips is planning to swap out the old system in favor of 8,000 of its ColorGraze units, coating the stadium in 380,000 LEDs that can display 16 million colors. That way, the venue can play dynamic light shows and animations, keeping the fans entertained, and advertised-to, on their way in to watch the Bundesliga. We’re hoping that some canny engineer can hijack the wiring and get video playing, because we’d love to watch soccer games on the world’s biggest big-screen TV.

Filed under: Misc

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Source: Philips Germany

22
May
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Office for iPad Design Manager Talks About Design Process


Office for iPadMicrosoft’s design manager for Office for iPad has posted an interesting piece discussing the company’s design philosophy behind the software.

The software, released back in March, has been well received by both users and critics. It’s seen more than 27 million downloads and has already seen a significant update to add features that weren’t ready for launch.

Han-Yi Shaw writes about the scenarios that the team imagined Office for iPad users would find themselves in, as well as the user experience goals they had:

– Familiar Office experience, with no learning curve
– Unmistakably Office, optimized for iPad
– Immersive and removes distractions
– Document content, not UI, takes center stage
– Experience is always beautiful, fast, and fluid

The purpose of a familiar Office experience is simple: a low learning curve and high user confidence. However, it’s just as important to strike a balance between “unmistakably Office” and “platform optimization,” which means optimizing for iOS platform conventions and touch-first user expectations. The most important, yet challenging, goal was finding the sweet spot between the essence of Office and iOS. Fortunately, since the Office for iPad and Mac team (formally known as the Macintosh Business Unit) is made up of Apple platform specialists, we were able to apply our deep knowledge of Apple platforms to the task.

The piece talks about how Microsoft redesigned The Ribbon — the control strip at the top of all Office programs — to mesh with Apple’s design philosophies following the release of iOS 7. “That meant stripping out extraneous detail,” said Shaw. “If there was a visual treatment or text label that wasn’t absolutely necessary, we stripped it away.”

Old and New Office
The full piece is an interesting peek behind the curtain for designers and anyone interested in how software used by millions of people gets built.

Office for iPad is available from the App Store. [Direct Link: Word, Excel, PowerPoint]



22
May
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LG G3 specs all but official thanks to new leak


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With but a few days to go before its debut nearly every specification imaginable has been spilled for the LG G3. This week we get more confirmation of previously rumored hardware details via leaked presentation slides.

As you can make out from the accompanying image, the G3 figures to include a Qualcomm Snapdragon 801 processor, 3GB RAM, 32GB internal storage, and 3,000mAh battery. Powered by Android 4.4 KitKat, the phone also looks to offer a 13-megapixel rear camera with optical image stabilization, 2.1-megapixel front-facing camera, and support for LTE/LTE-A.

Let’s not forget that this will be the first handset from a major smartphone maker to employ a 5.5-inch QHD display. Yes, that’s 2,560 x 1,440 pixels!

The LG G3 should be offered in three color options, white, black, and gold, and will likely have a home across many major wireless providers.

GSM Arena

The post LG G3 specs all but official thanks to new leak appeared first on AndroidGuys.

22
May
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T-Mobile kicks off its VoLTE service in Seattle


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T-Mobile, not to be outdone by some of the bigger carriers, has announced its Voice over LTE (VoLTE) service. Chief Technology Officer, Neville Ray, advised in a blog post today that T-Mobile has started offering the LTE Advanced-capable VoLTE in Seattle for select models. Specifically, those who own the LG G Flex, Samsung Galaxy Light, and Samsung Galaxy Note 3 customers can get in on the feature. Looking ahead, T-Mobile anticipates bringing VoLTE to addition customers across the year.

T-Mobile

The post T-Mobile kicks off its VoLTE service in Seattle appeared first on AndroidGuys.

22
May
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FreedomPop calls up trio of LTE-equipped Samsung smartphones


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FreedomPop on Thursday announced that it has added three new Samsung smartphones with 4G LTE capabilities. Available today, customers can now also choose from the Samsung Galaxy Victory, Galaxy S4, and Galaxy S III to pull down LTE speeds.

Pricing breaks down as so:

  • Samsung Galaxy Victory – $119
  • Samsung Galaxy S4 – $349
  • Samsung Galaxy S III – $189

FreedomPop, an MVNO which piggybacks off of Sprint’s network, is also kicking off a new $20 rate plan. For your money you’ll get unlimited text and voice as well as 1GB of 4G LTE data (throttled to 3G after).

Lastly, FreedomPop has debuted a FreedomPop Free Voice and Text app for Android-powered devices.

The app allows any android user to take advantage of FreedomPop’s free voice and text services, while providing a new phone number, voice calls and texts – free. It is also the first OTT app that will allow users to port an existing number.

FreedomPop

The post FreedomPop calls up trio of LTE-equipped Samsung smartphones appeared first on AndroidGuys.

22
May
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Google Fiber won’t charge content providers for quicker access


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Irked that your internet provider is strong-arming media services into connection deals just to guarantee the quality you were expecting all along? You won’t have to worry about that happening with Google Fiber. The gigabit-grade ISP has declared that it isn’t charging companies for peering agreements, fast lanes or anything else that gives content hosts and delivery networks better performance than they would otherwise get. In fact, companies like Netflix already colocate in Google’s spaces — there won’t be any hitches in that 4K House of Cards stream if you’re using Fiber.

The search firm argues that there’s simply no incentive for it to extract cash from other sites. Video doesn’t slow down the network, and a better connection ultimately helps everyone; data traffic gets cheaper and customers are happier. We doubt that this stance will have companies like Comcast or Verizon rethinking their pay-to-play strategies any time soon. However, it does mean that you can turn to Google Fiber if you believe that paid prioritization violates the spirit of net neutrality… assuming you can get Fiber in the first place, that is.

[Image credit: Barta IV, Flickr]

Filed under: Networking, Internet, Google

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Via: GigaOM

Source: Google Fiber Blog

22
May
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Watch Morpheus take off and (hopefully) land itself at 2:30 PM ET!


The brains behind the Morpheus lander have made significant progress since it’s ill-fated, but spectacularly fiery first voyage. But then, that’s what makes rocket launches fun to watch: like a NASCAR race, anything can happen. This time, Morpheus is doing a completely autonomous free flight, with the entire series of planned maneuvers under computer control. If the weather holds, you’ll be able to watch it via the UStream link below in half an hour or so, and hopefully it’ll run as smoothly as the SpaceX Dragon launch did a few weeks ago.

Broadcast live streaming video on Ustream

Filed under: Science, Alt

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Source: NASA (Twitter)

22
May
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The Aluminum iPhone 6 Mold Being Used By Case Manufacturers


Recent weeks have seen a number of cases and physical mockups for Apple’s rumored iPhone 6, and now we’re getting a good look at the aluminum mold being used by case manufacturers as they prepare for the upcoming launch, courtesy of MobileDirect.ro.

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Rather than a dummy model made to resemble the iPhone 6 directly, the mold is intended to represent the general shape of the device for the purposes of creating cases to fit the device and its physical features. As a result, the mold contains holes and depressions to allow it to be attached to machines for making the cases.

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The iPhone 6 is expected to be available in two display sizes, both larger than the current 4-inch display on the last several generations. A 4.7-inch version has been rumored to be launching first around the September timeframe, with an even larger 5.5-inch model reportedly following several months later.

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