We've seen a few apps and services offer virtual phone numbers before - numbers that aren't tied to a specific SIM card and can be used with an account connection rather than dedicated hardware. It's especially handy for bring-your-own-device situations at work. But T-Mobile seems to be the first major American carrier to embrace the idea with its new DIGITS system. The service allows customers to use any number of, um, numbers tied to their wireless accounts, including disposable numbers that can be added and abandoned with ease. Read More
Straight Talk makes the cost of smartphone ownership slightly more bearable than the usual US providers, offering unlimited talk and data (albeit throttled after 3GB) for $45. Now the company is doing its part to bring the rates down, so to speak, for tablets as well. The carrier recently introduced tablet plans, and now customers can bring just about any GSM tablet over to take advantage of them rather than purchase one from the carrier. They just need to buy a SIM card and pick a data plan to get started.
Options range from 1GB ($15 a month) to 5GB ($50). Read More
One of the problems with the pricing structure of American carriers is that people who buy their phones outright don't get any kind of break on the service plans themselves, giving people fewer incentives to get away from subsidies. T-Mobile has addressed this (by essentially throwing out subsidies all together), but today AT&T fires back with the new Mobile Share Value Plan. Basically it's a $15 discount if you buy a phone unsubsidized, including the new AT&T Next plans, or if you've already paid off your on-contract device.
New customers can choose the Mobile Share Value Plan when they bring a phone to the service (like, say, a Nexus 5), purchase a new phone outright, or start an AT&T Next plan (which carries its own zero financing monthly charges). Read More
A few days ago, I posted about a student project at a Russian University that aims to run two or more instances of Android at the same time on a single device. It's a technology called virtualization, and we already use it on web servers and developer machines everywhere.
At first glance, the idea sounds interesting, but seems to lack practical uses for the majority of people. Sure, some developers will save a few hours on testing, and industrious users might want to run the latest CyanogenMod nightly ROM alongside their daily driver, but this kind of stuff doesn't really appeal to your neighbors or parents. Read More