Welcome to The 411, my column answering all your questions about cell phones and cell phone accessories. I receive plenty of questions about these subjects via e-mail, so I figured many of you might have similar queries, too. At times, I might solicit answers from readers if I'm stumped. Send your questions and comments to me at email@example.com. If you prefer to remain anonymous, let me know in the e-mail.
Question: I've done some research, played with the Blackberry Curve and Droid 2 at Verizon, but still can't make up my mind. I want … Read more
NEW YORK--Though not much of a surprise, Samsung and Verizon officially unveiled the Samsung Continuum at a press event in Manhattan today.
The latest in Samsung's Galaxy S series of Android phones, the Continuum is special in that it has two separate displays: a larger 3.4-inch Super AMOLED touch screen on top and a smaller 1.8-inch ticker display on the bottom. The ticker display is customizable and streams real-time information from your social networks and your news, sports, entertainment, and weather feeds.
The idea is that you can simply look at the ticker display for quick updates … Read more
The Motorola Droid Pro will be available for preorder starting tomorrow, Verizon Wireless announced today.
According to the carrier, customers will be able to preorder the smartphone at Verizon Wireless stores or on the company's Web site. Those who want to wait can buy the Droid Pro on November 18 when it officially goes on sale. It will retail for $179.99 after a $100 mail-in rebate with a two-year contract, Verizon said.
The Android 2.2-based Droid Pro, which sports a 1GHz processor and 5-megapixel camera, is a world phone. Customers should be able to access voice service … Read more
In the early days of the smartphone, physical keyboards were the way to go if you wanted the phone for messaging or email. That's why the Palm Treo and the early BlackBerrys proved popular back then because of their full QWERTY keyboards. The trend has carried onward to today's smartphones, with devices like the Samsung Epic 4G, the T-Mobile G2, and of course the recent crop of BlackBerry phones (the BlackBerry Style, for example) still carrying on that QWERTY keyboard tradition.
But ever since the rise of the iPhone, touch-screen smartphones have caught on in popularity, with many … Read more
IntoMobile is reporting today that the next release of Android--Gingerbread--is expected to debut November 11.
Likely to be marked as v2.3, Gingerbread is said to focus more on aesthetics as opposed to additional features. Other details include WebM support, better copy and paste functionality, and improved social-networking features.
Reading the tea leaves, it certainly appears that an SDK announcement is around the corner. A giant gingerbread man statue was dropped off at Google headquarters two weeks ago, where he now stands next to previous delicious builds of Android, including Froyo (2.1) and Eclair (2.0).
Typically, Google announces … Read more
Dell is looking to market its own smartphone as an alternative to the BlackBerry and is starting the push with its own employees.
The PC maker will give its BlackBerry-carrying employees new Venue Pro smartphones in return for their existing phones. The transition is expected to save the company around 25 percent in mobile communications costs, mostly by getting rid of its BlackBerry servers, Dell's chief financial officer Brian Gladden told The Wall Street Journal.
The 25,000 employees who currently have BlackBerrys will receive Venue Pro phones with both voice and data plans; remaining employees (about 71,000) … Read more
As the Internet and TV converge in living rooms, lots of folks, including the New York Times, have been drooling over the idea of smartphones as next-gen remotes. On the surface, this seems like a cool idea. After all, smart mobile devices have touch screens, keyboards, and all sorts of other bells and whistles that should equal an enhanced, enjoyable smart-TV experience.
Once you scratch the surface, however, you soon realize what a terrible and impractical idea an app-enabled smartphone remote really is.
It's kind of like wanting to see Freddy Krueger and Jason Voorhees in the same film. At first it sounds great: two horror-movie icons in one great slasher epic. What's not to love about that? But once the movie shows up, you realize that Freddy and Jason are cool and all, but they probably shouldn't be forced into a shared (and regrettable) experience.
Here, then, are nine reasons your smart device is a lousy TV remote.
9. It's still a phone A phone that changes the channel on my television. I admit, that is cool. But what happens if someone calls me during my smartphone-as-smart-remote-dress-up-party? A big bucket of terrible, that's what happens.
Do I miss the call? Do I pause the TV? Do I take the call and leave the program temporarily remote-less? As much as I hate my cable remote, it never interrupts my show with a call from a telemarketer.
8. Battery life Using your phone as a remote eats up your battery faster than Homer Simpson can eat a doughnut. Mmmmmm, doughnuts. Even the New York Times points out "the toll [remote control apps] took on [a phone's] battery."
7. A phone is a personal device The phone is first and foremost a device built for one person. Sure, in the bad old days, you had to call into a switchboard and have an operator connect your call, but these days the smartphone is a bicycle built for one. … Read more
Mobile-app developers still cite the iPhone as their platform of choice, but Android is increasingly winning their hearts and minds, according to the results of a survey released today by Millennial Media.
Among the several hundred developers and publishers polled for Millennial Media's "State of the Apps Industry Snapshot," 30 percent said they're currently creating apps for the iPhone, the highest percentage of all mobile platforms. Though Apple's smartphone grabbed the top spot, its popularity is down a bit from last December, when 48 percent of those polled were eyeing the iPhone as their platform … Read more
A handful of leaked Verizon documents are providing clues as to when customers can expect to see the carrier's first two Android-based world phones.
First up, we have the Motorola Droid Pro, which looks to be carrying an attractive $179.99 (after $100 mail-in rebate) price tag. Although Verizon hasn't committed to a specific launch date, Android Central is reporting that the phone will be available for preorder starting November 9. According to their source, the handset will be widely available on November 18.
As a refresher, the Blackberry-esque Droid Pro runs Android 2.2 and features a … Read more