Tag Archives: smart phone

You can now sign up for Google’s Project Fi cell service without an invite

photo: TechCrunch

With Project Fi, which runs on the networks of T-Mobile and Sprint — depending on which one offers better receptions in a given area — customers pay a base fee of $20 per month and then an addition $10 per GB of data. If you overpay for your data in a given month, the service simply refunds you the difference. Unlimited domestic calls and texts, WiFi tethering, (3G) data coverage in 120+ countries, as well as international texts are also included in the plan. […] The biggest drawback, though, is that Fi is only supported on Google’s own Nexus phones (the 6P, 5X and Nexus 6). There have been reports that it also works with a few other unlocked phones, but your mileage may vary (and you won’t be able to switch between networks). – Frederic Lardinois, TechCrunch

Netflix on iPhone is about to get a lot better

photo: BGR

Netflix revealed at MWC 2016 that customers who’re using iPhones and iPads to stream movies and TV shows will get an improved experience starting Wednesday, Business Insider reports. The update includes the ability to auto-play the next episode of a show, and a “more fluid” design. The idea is, apparently, to “make things really, really stupid simple,” according to Netflix vice president of product innovation Chris Jaffe. – Chris Smith, BGR

Error 53: Apple remotely bricks phones to punish customers for getting independent repairs

After much stonewalling silence, Apple has confirmed that Error 53 is invoked when the phone determines that it has been serviced by non-Apple personnel, and there is apparently no way to reverse the process. An Error 53’d phone is rendered permanently useless — and the data on it is permanently inaccessible. – Cory Doctorow, Boing Boing

US LTE Speeds Rank a Dire 55th Fastest in the World

According to an updated report from Open Signal, the US ranks 55th in the world league table for LTE speeds. Its paltry average of 10Mbps places it just below Russia and above Argentina in the listing. That is, however, up three places compared to last year. […] The US does do one thing well, though, and that’s coverage, where it ranks 7th in the world, providing LTE to 81 percent of those who try and connect. – Jamie Condliffe, Gizmodo

T-Mobile Says Binge On Customers Are Streaming Twice As Much Video, Adds Amazon Video Support


Today, T-Mobile added support for a few streaming services that were notably missing from their selection of nearly 40 existing services. Online video addicts can now also stream Amazon Video, Fox News, Univision NOW, and their favorite wrestling moments for the WWE Network without cutting into their data plans. – Lucas Matney, TechCrunch   

T-Mobile’s Binge On: When throttling may not break the rules

T-Mobile CEO John Legere fired back at critics today in a blog post and video. Using the word “throttling” to describe T-Mobile’s video downgrading is just “semantics” and “bullshit,” he said. “What throttling is is slowing down data and removing customer control,” Legere said. “Binge On is neither of those things.” While Binge On streams video at lower bit rates, using less data, the data that is delivered to consumers isn’t slowed down, he said. – Jon Brodkin, Ars Technica

At CES, TV Manufacturers Face an Unexpected Competitor: Mobile Phones

Phones coincidentally are also emerging as one of traditional TV’s fiercest competitor. With bigger and better screens, mobile devices take up more of our time, and are increasingly being used for video viewing, and not just for short clips. YouTube revealed last summer that the average mobile video viewing session now lasts 40 minutes — up from 20 minutes in 2014. In September, Yahoo reported that consumers now spend more time every day interacting with the apps on their phone than watching TV. And data from Ericsson’s ConsumerLab also shows how the mobile screen is winning over the TV screen amongst younger consumers. – Janko Roettgers, Variety

EFF: T-Mobile’s Binge On is throttling video streaming speeds

Binge On

photo: T-Mobile

Today, the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) also went after T-Mobile and Binge On. The organization confirms that T-Mobile is lowering the data speed of all HTML5 video streamed by its customers, not just those available with Binge On. EFF ran a series of tests using the same phone, during the same time of day, and made sure that there was a good 4G LTE connection at all times. Each test was run twice, one using an HTTP connection which allowed T-Mobile’s network to recognize the video content and optimize it. The other test was dome using an HTTPS connection which prevented the network from optimizing the stream. – Alan F., PhoneArena

The Livestream Movi puts the power of a multi-camera setup in your pocket

photo: The Verge

The $399 Movi, which ships in April, is small, about 2.5 inches long by 2 inches wide. The camera’s covered in a nice black or white soft touch finish, with red accents on the microphone grill and at the top of the device. The lens has a 150-degree field of view — about as wide as most small action cameras, though not as wide as the 170-degree lens found on a GoPro — and the battery will last you an hour. […] Livestream has built a 4K camera that isn’t necessarily going to floor you with beautiful imagery. Instead, the company focused on creating software lets you crop in on that 4K image while you’re live streaming to set up a number of completely different shots, essentially mimicking a multi-camera setup with just one pocket-sized camera and an iPhone. – Sean O’Kane, The Verge
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