Belkin, a little early to the CES party, has just dropped a couple of announcements regarding its WeMo brand. WeMo, for those who don't know, is Belkin's brand of electronic components (so far including a "switch" compatible with anything you could plug into a normal outlet, a baby monitor, and a motion sensor) meant to allow users to control their electronics from anywhere using their mobile device. Until now, however, WeMo has only been compatible with iOS devices.
With CES just days away, we're about to head into a dense week of tech product news. New devices across the board - phones, tablets, accessories, TV's, speakers, cameras, and more. A large chunk of those product announcements will probably, at least in some roundabout way, be relevant to Android.
But it's the phones and tablets I think that we're all most excited for, and that will probably make the biggest bang during this year's show overall.
Like most in the Android world, I've been steadily increasing my comfort zone on how big a screen I want. Back in the day, I was obsessed with getting my phone as small as possible, like Zoolander. Then I got my first smartphone in the Windows Mobile 6 days, and ever since then every device I get has a bigger screen than the last, and I end up being happy about it.
If you want to use Sprint's network without signing a contract, there are a lot of options out there, including its subsidiary Boost Mobile, the American MVNO Virgin, and hybrid provider Republic Wireless, among others. Sprint hopes that there are at least some prepaid customers left out there, because starting on January 25th, it will be offering its service in contract-free flavors.
Update: Sprint confirmed the new service to Fierce Wireless and provided some additional details.
Tomorrow, Ron Amadeo and I will begin a pilgrimage. To tech Mecca - aka CES. If you've never been, CES really is like a religious journey of sorts. If you weren't in some vague way obligated or naturally inclined to go, you probably wouldn't. Perhaps that's a little jaded, but ask any member of the tech media, and they'll probably corroborate: CES is fun, it's awful, it's spectacular. Funawfultacular, if you will.
I miss you, HTC. My Evo was the first phone I ever truly loved, and between 2007 and 2010, as a company you did remarkably well for yourself. Then the Thunderbolt happened, and then Beats got involved and... Well, let's just say it hasn't been a great couple years. So, when I hear that your CEO, Peter Chou, is planning some bold new changes for 2013, I'm hopeful. Skeptical, but hopeful.
If you're a dedicated Cricket customer looking for something new and shiny (without breaking the bank), hang on to that Christmas bonus for a little while longer. The prepaid carrier announced today that the HTC One SV, itself only just debuting in the UK, will be available on January 16th. The mid-range ICS phone will run $349.99 on Cricket's non-subsidized 3G and LTE plans.
To refresh your memory, the One SV appropriately sits between the One S and One V models.
It's easy for the tech world to forget that not everyone is looking to buy a new $200 phone on contract every six months. Vodafone UK hasn't forgotten, though. The British carrier is launching a new service to help put top-tier smartphones in the hands of pay-as-you-go customers by selling them lightly used hardware. More specifically, phones exchanged within the carrier's 7-day return window.
If you're buying a phone without a contract, the up-front cost would be slightly cheaper, as one would expect from a used device.
Welcome to the Android Police Podcast, Episode 40.
Don't forget - the Android Police Podcast's live broadcast is every Thursday at 5PM PST (www.androidpolice.com/podcast). The unedited video version of the podcast can be found here - and will likely include various verbal expletives, technical snafus, tangents, and probably a good 5-10 minutes of pre-podcast banter as we prepare. Watch at your own risk!
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- Matthew Smith, Host
- Bob Severns, Editor, A/V
- Cameron Summerson, Co-host
- David Ruddock, Co-host
- Eric Ravenscraft, Co-host