It was a little over a month ago that Google introduced Google+ Sign-In. The basic idea being the same as it is with Facebook and Twitter: use one account to access all your sites. So, what makes this different from those other networks? Well, allegedly this will result in less social spam and a better integrated experience. Oh, and also, now that Mountain View has signed deals with Janrain and Gigya, the big red button should be just about everywhere on the internet.
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.
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.
Wi-Fi-only tablets are pretty popular and for good reason. No one wants to pay for a second data plan just for their slate, and the hardware is cheaper if you get it without 3G/4G radios anyway. Seems like a win. Until you get out of your house and curse your disconnected device and its inability to Google Jeff Goldblum's height at the drop of a hat. Enter FreedomPop.
The service may not be new, but it is novel: 500MB of free data per month.
If you've spent any time gaming on Android, you probably remember OpenFeint. Nearly every major game integrated it in some way, usually allowing players to log in with a single username, collect achievements, and post scores to a global leaderboard. It was handy for what it did, but if you didn't care about competing, it felt a lot like obnoxious spamware. Unsurprisingly, it closed down in December of last year. Today, however, it's being sort of reborn as OpenKit, a project headed by one of the co-founders of the original service.
Samsung's on stage today at CES announcing all the devices (TVs, cameras, smart fridges and microwaves... seriously). Among them is a shiny new LTE version of the Galaxy Note 10.1. No word on how much the unit is going to cost but it will be arriving on Verizon sometime this month.
There's also no word yet on how much the plans will cost, but we can likely expect it will launch with comparable prices to the myriad other LTE tablets with Share Everything plans.
AT&T has already launched its version of the Galaxy Camera, so now it's Verizon's turn. Arriving in both white and black options, the nation's largest carrier will be offering the high tech point and shoot for $550 without a contract. This is a little bit steeper than AT&T's $500, but to make up for it, the carrier is allowing customers to add this device to their existing shared data plans for $5/month.
Bad news for Verizon subscribers: Verizon isn't just raping you on your bill, they're really getting you up the pooper because they're making a few more dollars off of you by selling your personal data. Things like where you are, what you're doing on your phone, your gender, age, and personal details like whether you're a "sports enthusiast, frequent diner, or pet owner."
Meanwhile, the FTC is investigating Google for possibly "abusing its dominance of internet search in violation of antitrust laws" and - get this - "misusing patent protections to block rivals' smartphones from coming to market." What?
Those of us with rooted devices and a penchant for flashing ROMs know just how valuable a great backup tool can be. Titanium backup is undoubtedly one of the most popular (and most useful) backup tools around, and it just got an update to version 5.6.0.
The update, which had been floating around as a "test version" prior to official release, brings a few UI enhancements and fixes, an updated set of translations, and improved "Market Doctor" and "Force Attach" functions to repair broken links between apps and the Play Store.
Now here's a novel idea - a carrier actually helping you save money on your bill. That's exactly what US Cellular is providing with a new app that just landed in the Play Store.
Basically, the app sits idly in the background, watching for "partner" Wi-Fi hotspots. Once it locates one, it automatically connects, which ultimately saves you, the customer, money on your bill (or at least conserves some data). Pretty rad, no?