Zact is a brand new Mobile Virtual Network Operator (MVNO) that might just change the way you think about cell phone providers. Its unique approach is built on software provided by parent company ItsOn, and enabled with a mix of Android hardware and proprietary services. The result is unlike anything else available at the moment. With a completely customizable selection of voice, text, and data features, a la cart app-based data, and unprecedented sharing and parental controls, Zact might just be the perfect phone service... at least for those who fit into some admittedly specialized situations. Zact service is scheduled to go live in June, but the company gave us a quick look at what makes it different from other cell phone providers.
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. For those concerned, stores do check to ensure the mobiles still work, wipe any data or settings, and package them up with any requisite accessories.
Thanks to the high cost of traditional cellular service, contract-free wireless service is becoming more and more appealing to many customers. Two fairly big names in both cellphone sales and pay-as-you-go wireless service - RadioShack and Cricket Wireless - have now teamed up to offer RadioShack No-Contract Wireless service. I kind of wish they would've come up with a catchier name. ShackMobile. ShackWireless. ShackPack. Boom Shack-a-lacka Mobile. But I digress.
The service will start off with but two phones - one smartphone and one feature phone - both manufactured by Huawei. The only one that is of any interest to us, the Huawei Mercury Ice, is a low-to-mid-range Android device, packing a 1.4GHz processor, 4" display, 8MP rear shooter, and Android 2.3.
Owner's of Verizon's LTE-enabled Motorola Xoom should be expecting an update soon, bringing system software to version HLK75F. The update is a tiny 7.8MB, and brings with it compatibility for Pay As You Go LTE service.
Verizon's informational document about the update is tacit on the subject, listing the following benefits:
Now offers month to month, pay as you go 4G LTE Mobile Broadband service.
Updated Google Setup Wizard to improve reliability of Pay As You Go detection on first device power up.
For those interested, Verizon also has a document outlining how to obtain the software update. There's no word on exactly when this update will begin rolling out, but Verizon has attached a reassuring "COMING SOON!" tags to the links leading to the update's documentation on the Xoom's system update page.