Verizon Wireless has announced a promotional offer for eligible Texas and Louisiana consumers that will provide unlimited calling to any mobile telephone number in the United States, regardless of the service provider. The "Unlimited Any Mobile" plans will be available for select cities in Louisiana with the 318 area code and select cities in Texas with area codes of 210, 214, 254, 325, 361, 430, 432, 439, 469, 512, 682, 806, 817, 830, 903, 915, 940, 956 and 972.
The new plans will be available from July 30th through October 31, 2010 and will include unlimited text message and Friends/Family options. Monthly rates for single line, Nationwide Unlimited Talk plans range from $59.99 to $79.99. Nationwide Family Share Plans with the unlimited option will range from $99.99 to $129.99 monthly. The plans are broken down as follows:
Single Line Plans:
450 minutes for $59.99
900 minutes for $79.99
Family Share Plans:
700 minutes for $99.99
1400 minutes for $119.99
2000 minutes for $129.99
To find out if you're eligible for these new plans, you can visit your local Verizon Wireless Store or contact Verizon's Customer Support at 1-888-800-6006.
Sigh. We hate to bring this info, but for those who hate the "feature" in Windows Mobile HTML email, whereby images have placeholders until you "agree" to download won't be pleased.
Evidently Windows Phone 7 uses the same approach, requiring an extra step and unsightly image placeholders until you sync up again. For those curious, this unique method is not present on the iPhone nor Android (Edit: Actually, you do have to hit "Show Pictures" on Android), both of which automatically just show the images.
The reason Microsoft chooses this system is security: opening an HTML email with inline images that is potentially malicious can send back information to the originating servers, hence the extra step.
We get that and totally like this ability as we understand the needs of enterprise can run pretty high. But we want it as AN OPTION not a default/you have no choice in the matter feature. Fact is, Windows Phone 7 is a consumer phone at this point and should therefore make email as transparent as possible--why not just give a simple initial warning sigh and give the use choice?
In short, throwing in his AT&T SIM card along with a travel plan, the phone switched to roaming with no problem as evidenced by the traditional roam triangle. Even better, data roaming is off by default--you have to go into settings to enable. While that seems like a not a big deal, Thurrrott compares it to the older iPhone experience, which according to him was far from ideal (it's now fixed).
Now the interesting question is how much data does WP7 consume, especially with automatic syncing to the cloud for email, contacts, backups, photos and social networking?
The T1 is the latest Bluetooth headset offering from BlueAnt. Billed as a durable, reliable device to give high quality audio in the most challenging condition, the T1 is sure to turn heads.
The T1 headset ($79.95) is the first to feature BlueAnt's Wind Armour Technology that boasts clear audio in wind speeds up to 22mph. The BlueAnt T1 also features voice commands similar to the BlueAnt Q1 headset. Instead of pressing a button to answer calls, you simply have to say "Answer" or "Ignore" to handle things. Other voice commands may be available dependent on your Windows Phone.
We had the opportunity to take the T1 out for a test drive and ease on past the break to see how it measured up.
We've been a little reluctant to post every since "demo" app that people are making for Windows Phone 7 for a few reasons, one of which is that there are almost too many to showcase (the other being we are still far from release and they are far from being complete).
But there have been quite a few games floating by lately and the folks at 1800PocketPC has compiled a nice montage video to serve as eye candy, to wet your appetite, if you will. It's a little brief, but hey, our OS is not even out yet!
We're still anxious to see what some of the traditional gaming studios have to offer (they have been pretty quiet so far), but independent developers seem to be having a blast.
A leaked ROM update for the AT&T Tilt2 surfaced the other day and we've had a few days to tinker with it. The ROM is based on the 21887 build of Windows Mobile 6.5 and runs HTC Sense 2.5. It also has an updated radio (188.8.131.52).
Compared to the original shipped ROM for the Tilt2, the updated ROM is noticeably more responsive. Sense 2.5 flows smoothly and apps are pulled up with little or no delay. ROM Chefs, such as NRGZ28, have already begun to incorporate parts of this build into their cooking. The ROM has potential but as is, still has a ways to go before it can be stamped "official" ROM.
As is, it's a nice building foundation but you will need to install or update a few items. Net CF is an older version (v2.1) and to run more current apps and modifiers, you'll need to install a more current version (v3.5). Neither BING nor Google Maps is preloaded. Office Mobile is an older release but the 2010 release is free over at the Marketplace. Nothing critical but you'll need to spend some time loading some additional apps or updated versions.
To address the bloatware, you can use Crud Scraper (requires .NET CF 3.5) to free up to 39mb of memory. I choose BSB Tweaks to help optimize the Tilt2 but other tweaks are available to help boost performance. I also installed Brian's Taskbar (requires SdkCerts installed) to help add some color to my notification icons.
Remember, a ROM update will wipe your device clean so a data back-up is highly encouraged. Also, read up on any modifiers you install. Check and make sure there aren't any required .cab files (e.g. .NET CF , SdkCerts, etc.) because without them you can crash your Windows Phone.
All in all, I like the direction AT&T has taken with this update. Just remember all is not lost if you update and don't like what you see. The original Tilt2 ROM is still available over at HTC's Support Site.
While we know a lot of developer units for Windows Phone 7 would be sent out in the last few weeks, we didn't know exactly how many.
Turns out it's just above 3,000. That's a lot of non-production prototypes if you think about it. Then again, it's a drop in the bucket in terms of developers who still want a device and who are needed to beat back the Android craze.
The number comes by looking at the official Windows Phone 7 Facebook app that comes with the device. The logic being that 3,000+ users have installed this app on their phones, hence the correlation.
Then there's probably the ten or twelve people like myself who don't have Facebook, natch. So more like 3,088.
While we all were getting excited about an October launch for Windows Phone 7, it appears the excitement will be over seas.
Microsoft's COO Kevin Turner recently gave a presentation on the new phone and in talking about release time frames stated, "October likely across Europe, November likely across the U.S.".
No explanation on why the U.S. markets will play second chair for the release. Maybe the wireless carriers need more time to "brand" their Windows Phone 7 device. But as closed the WP7 system is supposed to be, should this be an issue?
Regardless of the reasoning, one can't help but be a little disappointed with this news. We can only hope that with the extra month Microsoft will have, they will be able to release a more complete Windows Phone 7 package to the U.S. markets.
Namco Games has released the popular game Flight Control for Windows Phone.
Flight Control has players guide planes, jets and helicopters safely to their landing zones. Flight Control is easy to play—just select an aircraft and direct it to its landing zone. Flight Control has five different airfields and ten types of aircraft. As time passes, more aircraft start to fill the friendly skies, making Flight Control a game of strategy.
Flight Control is available over at Namco's website for $5.99. Currently it's only available for T-Mobile and AT&T customers (game billed through your wireless account) and slowly but surely Namco is populating the list of compatible devices. If you have trouble accessing the download link that is sent to your phone from Namco, check for the app in your wireless provider's app store/mall.
We hope to get a review up on Flight Control shortly but in the meantime, check out what our friends over at TiPb thinks of this gaming app.
The other day, Microsoft held and hour long video-chat on Windows Phone 7 and photography.
Not a whole 'lotta interesting info was gleaned, though it's still worth a watch for your diehards.
Video recording had a brief focus at the beginning where it was noted VGA recording is the minimum but OEMs can boost that up to HD and the device can handle it with no problem.
There seems to be some confusion over this last part at MobileTech World (who did a nice summary) where it was implied that it could record HD but not play it back. In fact, the question was convoluted: it assumed you had HD content from your DSLR camera and wanted to transfer it to your Phone--this is done through the Zune software. But if the phone has an HD camera, it can record and playback content with no problem.
Other aspects covered were:
no touch focus (use hardware button); no face detection
no in-depth video editing e.g. red-eye correction; MS is relying on 3rd parties to fill that gap
Automatic syncing/resizing to Facebook, SkyDrive (25GB free space) and Live services
Full size for emailing
GPS tagging supported
no HDMI out in the chassis spec
5MP in minimum; emphasis on quality sensors/hardware
Windows Phone 7 made a public appearance last week at a gadget show hosted by gdgt.com. Microsoft set up a booth and walked patrons through a demo of the software and gave everyone a little hands-on time with the phone.
Asides from the person trying to swallow his soda can around the 6:58 mark, the reactions were mostly positive about the Windows Phone. Everyone approach for their impressions were either an Android or iPhone user and "Really impressed", "Seems pretty cool" and "I liked it" were amongst the comments.
Two standout remarks were from Android users. The first "I was very surprised. I expected nothing good to come from Windows Phone 7. I'm an Android phone user and it was impressive enough that I might consider getting a Windows Phone 7." The second, "It was cool until we found out it didn't multi-task".
Hopefully these live demos will continue to give consumers a better picture of what to expect from Microsoft's new Windows Phone. It appears that most at the event found Windows Phone 7 interesting. Just not interesting enough to pull them away from their iPhones and Android phones.
Still, the positive comments is a good indication that Microsoft is headed in the right direction and gives us Windows Phone users a little hope.
Mobile App Match is designed to bring the people who build Windows Phone applications together with the end user. The site also has the latest news from Windows Phone bloggers, featured apps, and video showroom.
Already built an app? You can submit to the Marketplace through Mobile App Match. Do you need Development Tools? You can get them through the site as well.
It looks like an interesting place where developers and end users can get together and share ideas on app development and updates.
With the October (or late September) release of Windows Phone 7, we’ve heard very little about what hardware is going to be available before the holidays. We’ve heard from LG, that they will have multiple devices out by the end of the year. Now Samsung has a device jumping through the hoops to get certified.
The Samsung Cetus (SGH-i917) is listed by the Bluetooth SIG (Special Interest Group) as a Windows Phone 7 device with a 4” WVGA AMOLED screen, 5MP Camera, and a secondary (front facing) VGA camera. Though most of the specs given merely meet the minimums set forth by Microsoft and the given specs have some glaring holes (processor, memory?), it’s still nice to start seeing some real details about what Microsoft’s Partners have in store for us.