Wireless carriers could face some serious trouble if emerging trends in text messaging continue, a new report from the Wall Street Journal contends.
Citing a recent study from the CTIA, the Journal pointed out that 1 trillion text messages were sent in the U.S. during the second half of 2010. That number, while impressive, was up just 8.7 percent compared to the first half of 2010, representing the smallest gain ever in SMS use.
For the top two carriers in the U.S., Verizon and AT&T, things are even more disconcerting. According to Journal, the average … Read more
After an extended vacation, The 404 is back sans one Jeff Bakalar who's reportedly having a miserable time in Hollywood, Calif., for the E3 gaming expo. We've got Joey Kaminski filling in for him today, and there's so much to talk about! From Monday's Apple iCloud, iOS 5, and OS X Lion to the Sony PlayStation Vita and Nintendo's Wii U, The 404 has all of this week's tech bases covered.The 404 Digest for Episode 835 Apple unveils iCloud, shows off features of Lion, iOS 5 How to stay synced with iCloud Sony PlayStation Vita hands-on at E3 E3 2011: Hands-on with Wii U tablet and games iOS 5 beta jailbroken in less than 24 hours Episode 835 Subscribe in iTunes (audio) | Subscribe in iTunes (video) | Subscribe in RSS Audio | Subscribe in RSS Video… Read more
Perhaps when iOS 5 arrives this fall, it will offer a way to delete text messages en masse. Currently, your deleting options are limited in the iPhone's native texting app, which is disappointing to anyone with dozens if not hundreds of old text messages littering your inbox.
At the present, you have three methods to delete texts:… Read more
Twitter is now giving its users more control and clarity over what information third-party apps are allowed to access.
As defined in a recent blog, third-party apps are those that "automatically share your tweets on other networks, connect you to players on gaming platforms, or instantly tweet whenever you update your blog."
Common examples include third-party Twitter apps such as TweetBot, TweetDeck, and Twitterific. But they can include any Web site or service that taps into your tweets.
Such third-party apps need your permission to access certain information about your account. But in an effort to be more … Read more
Trillian, the popular multiple-personality IM client, recently upgraded to version 5, giving it a refreshed interface, improved social integration, and, get this, all of the Pro features from previous versions, all for free. Now every user can enjoy themes, activity history viewer, and multiple location sign-in, along with the newly developed continuous client feature, which keeps chats synced across all devices. For now, these upgrades have only hit the Windows client (download) and the now free Android app (download). Mac, iOS, and Blackberry are all on deck.
While the idea of free is nice, as we all know, nothing ever … Read more
The most audacious start-up pitches are those that propose changing people's communications habits. No matter how clever a company's technology or gorgeous an app's interface, getting users to adopt new modalities of communication is perhaps the hardest job in tech.
It's a social challenge as much as a technological one, which means that if you get it right, your technology spreads from person to person--virally, as the overused term calls it. Lately, social start-ups have been adopting strange, mutated viral models: Path is a social app that launched with a bizarrely limited way to join networks. Color opens you up to pop-up social networks based on physical proximity. Both clever but far outside most users' comfort zones.
A new app, CloudTalk (previously Pana.ma) is a person-to-person voice and video messaging app. On paper it looks like an unpleasant mashup of voice and SMS, but it's not. CloudTalk is a very smart system for sending asynchronous voice (or video or text) messages to your contacts, and I believe its interaction model is appropriate for the way people communication today--especially kids.
As CloudTalk founder David Hayden (formerly of Magellan and Critical Path) says, as we discuss the younger generation's growing reliance on text messaging, "It's not that kids don't like to talk. It that they don't like phone calls." CloudTalk is designed around recording voice messages. You can also send photos, videos, or text, but the interface favors voice. Conversations appear in a list window much like a iPhone's display of an SMS thread or an instant message chat.
I was skeptical that this app would add anything worthwhile to the standard quiver of smartphone communication tools we all have, but to my surprise it works well, and it's worth using. I've never seen an application that does such short work of sending voice messages or that makes it so straightforward to mix modalities in a message thread. If you want to reply to a voice message with text or video, it's easy. Or vice versa. The only thing you can't do yet is call or FaceTime a person for a real-time discussion from within an asynchronous thread.
It's easy to add people to your CloudTalk address book by scanning through your smartphone's address book to find people who are also CloudTalk users. You can also search the online directory for users you know, much as you can with Skype.… Read more
If you usually keep a known amount of hard-drive space clear, and suddenly find your system running low on space, a problem with the way the system handles log files may be to blame. You can use a tool like DaisyDisk or GrandPerspective to check the relative file sizes on disk, and if the problem is because of large log files then you may see these programs report one or two files using a large proportion of the hard drive. Many times a random increase in disk usage can be attributed to a problem with OS X's log management … Read more
Some interesting Apple news this week from AppleInsider revolves around Apple's acquisition of the iCloud domain name. Apparently, according to sources, Apple paid Sweden-based company Xcerion an estimated $4.5 million for the domain. It is rumored that the cloud service will be announced this summer at Apple's Worldwide Developers Conference here in San Francisco.
There have already been plenty of rumors that Apple's cloud service would enable users to stream music to iOS devices, but according to the article, it may also offer a personalized "locker" where you can keep photos and videos as well. It will be exciting to see how this all pans out at WWDC, and whether people will be more inclined to sign up with iCloud than with MobileMe, which received a somewhat lukewarm response from users.
What kind of things would you like to see offered in an Apple-based cloud service? What would be a reasonable price for such a service? Let us know in the comments.
This week's apps are an instant voice mail messenger and a full-featured MMORPG that closely resembles one of the most popular games of all time.… Read more
While working with a client today, I uncovered a handy tip that could save you an extremely large amount of hard drive space on your Mac. My client had just purchased a new 13-inch MacBook Pro and had her information transferred from her old machine.
Shortly thereafter she began receiving error messages that her startup disk was full and that she needed to delete files on her machine in order to continue using it.
The first place I looked for extraneous files was in media folders. Typically, deleting video and high-resolution photo files will give the quickest relief to a … Read more