Google Voice is a great service burdened by a lack of support, integration, and easy way to sign up (unless you're on Sprint, of course). Those who do decide to jump the hurdles and either get a brand new number—or port their existing one to Google—will find themselves in an uncomfortable paradise. On the one hand, you can text from your desktop, tablet, or phone completely for free which is awesome.
It's becoming increasingly common for users to share files over mobile devices instead of more traditional methods. The biggest problem here is that there isn't really a "standard" form of sharing - unlike with emails, SMS messages can't handle file attachments, and MMS isn't the most practical way of sending most files (not to mention that not all phones can receive MMS messages). There are, of course, things like Dropbox and Google Drive that store files in the cloud and make them easy for users to share, but that can be a cumbersome process on a mobile device.
Ok - here's the deal. A Google Search update happened, which means it's teardown time. Normally I post about unreleased, work-in-progress stuff, but Google Now is so context dependent, that it's pretty much impossible for me to tell if something is implemented or not. The one thing I've learned from my months of using Now is that Google Now is in charge, and you're just along for the ride. So, for today's post, we're just going to shoot for "new things that didn't make it onto the 'What's New' list." If you can get them to show up, awesome.
Today, Facebook made an announcement that's probably bigger than it seems at first glance. Now, if you want to use Facebook Messenger, you no longer need to have an account with the social networking giant. This, quite simply, is a really big deal that could easily go overlooked. The app can be used to message contacts via just their phone number, create group conversations, and share photos. Of course, you could do this with Messenger before, as SMS was an available option.
We've got an LG Nexus system dump and endless desire to spoil every Googley surprise we can. Today's edition of the Android 4.2 Teardown could be alternatively subtitled "The Super-Serious Security Edition," because we're talking about the sort of stuff that should make your sysadmin jump for joy.
Please keep in mind this is just as forward-facing and time-ambiguous as all my other teardowns. This is a list of new stuff in the 4.2 dump, not a list of "confirmed for 4.2" features.
Over the past year or so, my tablet has become my primary mobile device, replacing my phone for most things. However, while I appreciate the bigger screen and better battery life my tablet has over my phone, there are still things that I must use my phone for, like calling and texting.
I have a Bluetooth keyboard connected to my tablet a lot of the time, especially if I'm sending a lot of emails or taking notes for a review.
We've got a two-fer for you gamers today. While Android has always excelled at managing notifications, the one area that's always been a little bit troublesome is when you're using full-screen apps, like games. When receiving a message, your phone might vibrate, but you'll get no info on what kind of message you just received. NotifierPro and SMS Flash are two apps that are designed to help with this.
The first app, NotifierPro, provides a notification overlay that appears above whatever you're running.
All you Handcent loyalists should love this one - your favorite SMS app just received a pretty major up to version 4.0 in the Play Store. If you've been testing the open beta for the last several weeks, then none of these changes should be surprising to you, but if you haven't been in the beta loop, this version brings several new features:
What's in this version:
- Main update of Handcent,include universal messaging with free Handcent talk services and new style user interface
- Handcent Talk service,send FREE messages/picture to android & iPhone (Coming soon) users easily,fast,security
- Support ICS+SGS2,won't send double messages
- Support Group mms with iPhone,useful for US networks
- First version of Handcent SMS for jailbreak iPhone released
- New Handcent website
The update is live in the Play Store right now, so go ahead and hit the widget to grab it.
It seems Sprint just can't catch a break lately. After the LightSquared LTE fiasco (it seems eminently likely Sprint will be forking over $65 million and have to cancel the deal), this just seems a bit like kicking the company when it's already down. Comcast has filed suit in Pennsylvania against the nation's number-three carrier, and it's for patent infringement.
Namely, Comcast alleges that Sprint is violating patents it owns covering technologies like SMS/MMS, mobile broadband cards and hotspots, as well as certain traffic routing technologies (IP/MPLS).