At this point in my life, a solid 70% of everything I've ever said resides on Google's servers somewhere. If the company were to ever close its doors, those words would be lost to history. But that's about to change. Google's rolling out the ability to easily download a copy of your Gmail and Calendar data, so you can migrate it to another service when the unthinkable - or the inevitable - happens.
Gmail data will be provided in the MBOX format, while Calendar will shoot out your schedule as an iCalendar file. You can start exporting right away, but for the time being, most people will only have the option to export their calendars. Read More
One more KitKat feature spotlight for the evening. This time, it's Wi-Fi TDLS. Added in Android 4.4, Wi-Fi TDLS, as Google describes it, is "a seamless way to stream media and other data faster between devices already on the same Wi-Fi network." TDLS, for those that don't know, stands for Tunneled Direct Link Setup.
Essentially, Wi-Fi TDLS allows two devices on the same Wi-Fi network to link directly to one another and share data without burdening the network/router/other devices in the process. According to the Wi-Fi Alliance:
Two TDLS devices automatically use their highest common performance and security features, regardless of the feature level supported by the network. TVs, smartphones, cameras, printers, PCs, projectors, and gaming devices, for example, can connect directly to each other to transfer content and share applications quickly and easily.
If you're the sort who already worries Google has too much of your personal information, this is not for you. For everyone else, Google is reportedly developing a new opt-in data collection service that will reward users for passing additional mobile usage data back to Mountain View. The so-called Mobile Meter app is expected to come to both Android and iOS.
Android already provides Google with various bits of data like location and search activity. Mobile Meter would presumably go much farther, perhaps monitoring which sites you visit and which apps you're using. The data would be anonymized and fed into the Google machine so that it may better understand us. Read More
We've all heard the horror stories of overseas data charges where overages can quickly run into the thousands of dollars. If a picture posted (of all places) on a Shakira Facebook fan page is accurate, T-Mobile is set to do away with overseas roaming (at least partially) in more than 100 countries as part of Uncarrier Phase 3. The announcement is coming today at 8:15PM eastern. Note: Check the update below.
Update: Verizon has responded to our inquiry about the Nexus 7 LTE registration issues. A company representative said that the Nexus 7 LTE would be certified for the Verizon network at some point.
That isn't much to go on, but it's certainly promising - it implies that Verizon is at least aware of the problem and taking steps towards upgrading the company's infrastructure to compensate. Of course, it could take any amount of time for Verizon to certify a new, unlocked device for their network (and Verizon isn't exactly known for speedy response when it comes to devices and software).
Verizon will need a some kind of system for allowing unlocked devices eventually - see the Block C LTE requirements below. Read More
Everyone held out hope that when carriers started offering shared data allowances, it would actually be a good deal. Oh, how naïve we were. The plans on AT&T proved to be a little pricey, especially for those who only needed a little data. Well, Ma Bell is trying to make it right with some more low-end plans at 300MB and 2GB.
These new plans slot in on either side of the 1GB plan, which used to be the low end. The 300MB plan costs $20 per month plus $50 per phone on the account. The 2GB is $50 with each phone adding $45 to the bill. Read More
While the Explorer Editions of Google Glass are making their way out to the lucky early adopters (with extra cash), the rest of the world is wondering when it can get its eyeballs on the product. According Eric Schmidt speaking to Radio 4, the answer is roughly a year from now.
He also believes that the technology behind Google Glass goes beyond just this one product:
"At the moment what you do is you wear it. There are tremendous numbers of applications that can be imagined - augmented reality - where you see what's going on in real-time and then we annotate that.
The rumors were true and now T-Mobile has launched its new, simplified, contract-free plans. Starting at $50/month for unlimited talk and text with 500MB of high-speed data (throttled, but sans overage fees after that), the new services allow customers to forget about counting minutes and messages and focus solely on data. This could be good or bad news, depending on your usage, but perhaps the most important aspect of these new plans is that you can get them without a 2-year commitment.
You can select to get the new plans with or without a new device (which some carriers will allow you to do already), but if you do decide you want to buy a phone from T-Mobile, you'll have two tabs: 'Monthly Payments' or 'One Payment'. Read More
Have you ever wanted to scale a giant mountain? It's a really cool thing to do that challenges you to reach your peak physical condition, invest heavily in gear, and the payoff is joining a tiny percentage of the population that can say they've seen the world from one of its highest points. Or you could just go to Google Maps, now that the company has added images taken from the peaks of the Seven Summits, the highest mountains on each of the seven continents.
The company sent several of its engineers to scale some of the highest mountains in the world and bring back Street View (can we really even call it that at this point?) data that you can now explore. Read More