If you're anything like me, you text constantly. There are times, however, that I put my phone down and hop on the computer to do some more in-depth tasks or just enjoy some good, old-fashioned big-screen browsing. When I'm doing that, it's usually a pain to receive a text message, have to dig out my phone, open the messaging app, and use a tiny keyboard to reply, even though I'm sitting at a much larger, easier to use keyboard.
Have you ever been annoyed by SMS spam that attempts to convince you to pay for new Paris Hilton ringtones or something else you probably don't want? It appears that Verizon Wireless has too, as they have filed a federal lawsuit outlining a fraudulent SMS scheme that targeted its customers.
Among the violations that the scammers allegedly performed on Verizon customers:
- misappropriating approved short codes for unapproved “shadow” campaigns that did not comply with Verizon Wireless’ consumer protection and disclosure policies
- blocking certain IP addresses from accessing the websites associated with these shadow campaigns
- re-directing visitors to shell websites, preventing Verizon Wireless and its auditors from finding the shadow campaign websites in the normal course of monitoring Premium SMS campaigns for compliance
Customers who think they might have been on the receiving end of this scheme and think they might be entitled to a refund can visit www.premiumsmsrefunds.com to get the full scoop.
The latest Angry Birds update v1.5.1 that hit the Market yesterday introduced a whole bunch of levels, support for lower-end devices, and... a new SMS permission requirement. This not only prevented the update from being installed automatically, but also created quite a bit of user confusion, or even panic, around the reasons why the game would ever need to send or read our text messages.
Rovio's own Twitter account, probably manned by one of those evil pigs, insisted it was a mistake that would be fixed Monday, which calmed some of us down, but the truth ended up lying elsewhere.
Those of you who are familiar with F7U12 (FFFFFFFUUUUUUUUUUUU) comics will appreciate this: developer Jor dan has released a Forever Alone widget for the stock messaging app. When your unread SMS count is 0, the widget displays the Forever Alone face. When you have unread messages, it switches to the happy Forever Alone face (coincidentally, is there an official name for that?) and shows the count.
If this doesn't make sense to you because you're not familiar with the meme, perhaps the screenshots can help clarify:
Left: no unread messages because you're forever alone.
Though Google may have fixed two infamous SMS issues via the recent Android 2.2.2 and 2.3.2 updates, it appears at least one bug is still unconquered. Namely, some users are reporting that when they tap on the "New Message" alert in the notification bar, all their SMS conversations get deleted.
Our tipster experienced this on his HTC Desire Z, but he tells us that two of his friends - one using a Nexus One and the other on a Galaxy S - have come across the same bug.
As disappointing as it may be to see the Nexus One - Google's first officially anointed developer phone - still getting Froyo-based updates, that's exactly what just happened. According to several Android Central forums members, a 558kb update to Android 2.2.2 (or build number FRG83G) is currently rolling out over the air to the N1, bringing "important bug fixes" with it.
In related news, the Samsung-built Nexus S - Google's second developer phone - also received an update today, though this one is Gingerbread-based.
The process is fairly direct. After entering your mobile number, you agree to the various terms and conditions (it's nice that they list just 6 points that must be checked, rather than a 17-page agreement), and then enter in your account information. Once you've got everything all set, you simply check out, and they take over.
After weeks of frantic coding, SwiftKey, my favorite smart aftermarket Android keyboard, just released a private beta to all registered VIP forum members. While the beta itself (v22.214.171.124) is private and we can't provide you with a download link, what we can do is list all of the improvements and tease you with some screenshots.
About a week ago, Engadget ran an article covering two bugs in Android's Messaging app:
- The first involves an issue where users are directed to a different thread than the one they selected from the notifications bar or the main screen of the SMS app
- The second occurs when users are directed to the right thread but end up having their messages sent to a different person than the one involved in the thread
Shortly after, Google changed the bug's priority from "medium" to "critical" on the bugs Google Code page to show that the company cares.