Live Help
Live Help
   Live Chat    Support    Domains    Forums

Category Archives: Wireless

Apple Makes a Move on Mobile Payments

applepay_applewatchSmartphone makers have been trying to replace our wallets with digital pay methods for several years. While the trend has yet to widely catch on outside of the tech sphere, Apple (so often the bridge between the super geeky and super chic) believes that they may be able to change that.

On Tuesday, Apple announced it would soon be offering its own version of the mobile wallet, dubbed Apple Pay. Apple claims to have already established relationships with three major credit card companies, and retail giants like Target and McDonald’s – meaning soon you’ll be paying for your Number 3 with your iPhone or Apple Watch.

While the mobile payments market remains in its frontier stages for now, Forrester Research expects it to reach $100 billion in the United States within the next five years. Apple feels that the opportunity is now ripe for them to make their move on the industry. Apple wants consumers to believe that Apple Pay is a safer payment method than traditional payment cards with “exposed numbers and the outdated and vulnerable mag stripe.” Apple promises that credit card information will not be stored on the devices or on Apple’s servers. But in light of the recent iCloud hacks, consumer’s unease over privacy and security may be cause for concern. However, if anyone has the power to persuade the general public, famous tastemaker Apple is the company to do so.

Initially, Apple Pay will only be available for the iPhone 6iPhone 6 Plus, and the Apple Watch.

Lenovo Pulls the Plug on Small-Screen Windows Tablets

Lenovo thinkpad 8When it rains, it pours; and for Microsoft, the hits just keep on coming. Following the announcement of drastic job cuts (18,000!) comes the news that hardware partner Lenovo will stop selling small-screen Windows tablets in the United States.

Lenovo, the world’s biggest PC vendor, cited lack of demand as the reason for pulling the 8.3-inch ThinkPad 8 and 8-inch Miix 2 from American shelves. Lenovo will continue to offer the models in other regions where they are more in demand.

We’re Not in Kansas Anymore, But We Wish We Were!


Google_fiber_logoGoogle’s chic new Internet service, Google Fiber, continues to expand! The city of Overland Park, Kansas will be the latest recipient of the gift of ultra-high speed Internet. Overland Park approved an agreement to bring Google Fiber, joining an ever-growing list of cities in the Kansas City metro area; Fiber is also currently available in Austin, Texas and Provo, Utah.

Just how fast does Google Fiber claim to be? Over 100 times faster than most U.S. connections, delivering speeds of up to 1 gigabit per second. For reference, at that speed, you can download a feature-length movie in about 30 seconds and a full album in less than six.

Arguably the best part about Fiber, aside from its ridiculous speed, the service costs less or about the same as pretty much every other premium ISP. Google plans to keep expanding the service, eyeing cities like Atlanta, Portland, Salt Lake City, and Nashville – just to name a few.

Understandably, the service is difficult to get off the ground, as it requires an expensive fiber-optic network that must be built underground. But if recent history is any indicator, Nationwide Google Domination won’t be too far off.

A message to Google from Phoenix AZ: Take us over please.

Keeping Up With the Drones’s

pocketdrone-0Recently, drones seem to be a reoccurring theme within the realm of technology. And until now, the idea of obtaining a drone for personal use has been one of science fiction. However, recent breakthroughs suggest that this idea is much more plausible in the near future than some may have thought. The media has already deemed 2014, “the year of the drone” and have attempted to capture the imaginations of the public. In the past, only governments and big corporations possessed the capabilities to see the world from an aerial perspective. Now, the Pocket Drone produced by Air Droids affords the everyday consumer that same ability.

The Pocket Drone is a flying robot which can carry high quality cameras (Go Pros, etc.) into the sky in order to obtain vantage points of everyday life, previously unimaginable (or at least inaccessible) to everyday “Joes.” Compact size and an ergonomic folding frame allow this product to fit comfortably into a cargo pants pocket. Additionally, the device comes stacked with convenient features, making it more advanced (and curiously more affordable than any of its commercial market competitors.

Users can pilot the Pocket Drone with a radio controller, tablet, or simply activate the autopilot feature enabled through GPS. Users can also link up with Google maps and direct the device to a specific location of choice. When there is no destination in mind, “dronies” can simply activate the “follow me” feature allows the drone to follow them hands free (obviously).

For anyone looking to capture moments from sporting events to everyday hobbies (hiking, biking, surfing etc.), this ultra cool device can raise the fun-meter considerably. Its ability to help consumers relive such moments, coupled with its undeniable cool factor, seems to be the real selling point – particularly as it’s offered at a relatively affordable price.

It is the only drone, currently on the market, with the capability to carry a camera for up to 20 minutes (nearly 2x’s longer than competitors) for under $500. President of Air Droids, Timothy Reuter, offered, “Flying robots are just awesome, and now everyone can have one.”

Yes, please.

4 Signs Your Biz. Is Ready For a Mobile App

HiResFor the last few years, mobile app usage has grown to such a colossal point that lately it seems like every business thinks it’s a necessary part of their development; “App up or perish in obscurity” is the new thinking. The problem: not every small business needs a mobile app, nor does

If you develop an app that your customers never end up using, not only will you have wasted significant money, but every time someone looks at your app, sitting unused on their device, they will begin to subconsciously associate your company is stagnancy and irrelevance – not exactly great branding. This is what we mean when we say that as much as a well-timed, highly engaging app can give your company a marked boost, an app that serves no practical purpose can do more than fail to help your company – it can actually hurt it.

If your company is currently debating whether or not to take your business mobile, take note of the following 4 signs. These are good markers for whether or not mobile app development would be a smart use of your time and resources.

1.     You have enough money

Mobile app development is not cheap, nor should it be. By now, there are individuals and companies out there who offer super cheap mobile apps but this is a situation where you truly do get what you pay for. The only thing worse than not having a mobile app when you could genuinely benefit from one is having one that looks or functions cheaply. Don’t cut corners here: if you don’t have enough money to hire a fantastic developer, you don’t have enough money for a mobile app right now.

2.     Your app opens growth potential

Like any other investment you make, there needs to be a possibility that the addition of a mobile app to your customer outreach arsenal is going to foster growth for your company. How exactly that looks for your business is a very unique formula, but that’s what makes the research part before development so crucial – you need to identify which parts of your market you aren’t currently fully engaged in, figure out how to reach them, and brainstorm ways to trigger that engagement with a mobile app. Until you’ve figured out that equation, there’s no real reason to dig into the process of going mobile.

3.     Your app fills a need in your market

You absolutely must check out what your competition is doing in the mobile market (and really, you should always be aware of your competition, not just when it comes to mobile) before you solidify your plans. Even companies who offer similar services and products can function very differently in terms of what their mobile app does. Ideally, your app will be the only one to fill a certain need in a market.

4.     Your app serves your business model

For example, if you run a yoga studio, maybe your app allows students to sign up for classes, pay their dues, and check schedules. The idea is to find a way to have an app support your preexisting business model, not create some brand new service or function that you didn’t have before.

Worldwide Smartphone Shipments Increase in Q2 of 2013

bigstock-Touchscreen-smartphone-300x285Global smartphone shipments may be on the rise, but if you ask research firms Strategy Analytics and IDC how many units were shipped in the second quarter of 2013, you’ll probably get a different answer.

According to the latest research from Strategy Analytics, global smartphone shipments grew 47 percent annually to reach 230 million units. Meanwhile, on the other hand, research from IDC shows vendors shipped a total of 237.9 million units.

“This was the largest volume of smartphones ever shipped in a single quarter,” said Neil Shah, senior analyst at Strategy Analytics. “Smartphones accounted for 59 percent of all mobile phones shipped globally.”

Shah adds, “The smartphone industry’s shipment growth rate, which is higher today than a year ago, is being driven by demand for 4G models in developed regions like the US and 3G models in emerging markets such as India.”

While they may give different answers, both did agree that when it came to vendors, Samsung is on top. According to Strategy Analytics, Samsung captured one-third (33 percent) of the global smartphone vendor market share, accounting for 76 million units; while IDC reported 72.4 million units shipped for Samsung in the second quarter.

Both reported that Samsung most likely saw the increase in volume since the second quarter came right on the heels of its Galaxy S4 launch. By the end of the quarter, IDC says Samsung saw more than doubled the total volumes of the next largest vendor, and shipped more units than the next four vendors – Apple, LG, Lenovo and ZTE – combined.

“Samsung shipped over two times more smartphones than Apple during the quarter. The flagship Galaxy S4 model experienced solid demand in China and worldwide, and helped to lift volumes,” said Shah. “Samsung’s next major flagship launch is likely to be the rumored Note 3 model later this year.”

As for Apple, Shah says the company shipped 31.2 million iPhones worldwide in quarter two, up from 26 million a year earlier. However, Apple grew just 20 percent annually, which is less than half of the overall smartphone industry average of 47 percent.

“Apple’s global smartphone market share of 14 percent is at its lowest level since the second quarter of 2010. The current iPhone portfolio is under-performing and Apple is at risk of being trapped in a pincer movement between rival 3-inch Android models at the low-end and 5-inch Android models at the high end,” said Shah.

According to Linda Sui, analyst at Strategy Analytics, LG was “a star performer” this quarter, as shipments doubled year-over-year to 12.1 million units. Sui says that if “LG can expand its retail presence and marketing in major countries such as the US or China, LG could quietly start to challenge Apple for second position.”

WiFi Drops Killing Your Vibe? Amped Wireless Is Here to Help

amped wirelessAmped Wireless wants to put an end to your Wi-Fi frustrations once and for all. Last April, Amped gave us the R10000G Home Router and the SR10000 Smart Repeater, which provided 10,000 square feet of glorious, high-quality Wi-Fi. Now, Amped Wireless is back with the ACA1 to ensure your Wi-Fi hotspots are as robust as your home connection.

The ACA1 is a high-performance, long range, 802.11AC wireless adapter that will extend the signal range and speed of any wireless router by three times. The ACA1 pretty much gives the user the same functionality of R10000G with the added plus of being portable. The adapter is a USB 3.0 powered device that users can physically attach to Windows and OS X machines and connect through a USB cable. All users will be required to do is install packaged Amped Wireless software on each respective computer/laptop for the adapter to work.

The device can be yours for $89.99. Still not convinced you need one? Well, if spending 90 bucks sounds too unsavory, you can always go the old-fashioned way and look into purchasing a 20-meter Ethernet cable. I’m sure everyone at Starbucks would just love that.

[News Ticker] Trade In Your Old iPad With Best Buy For $200

iPad-2-Best-BuyHave an old-gen iPad lying around collecting dust whilst you amuse yourself with fresher devices? Well, this weekend, Best Buy is the place to be.

Best Buy will be offering an iPad trade-in program in which consumers can get a $200 gift card in exchange for their used iPad 2 or third-generation iPad (does not include the original iPad or iPad mini). Best Buy claims that the gift card may exceed $200, depending on the model and condition of the trade-in. The gift card can be used either in-store or through Best Buy’s webstore.

The program begins Friday and runs through Saturday evening. Get the full details of the iPad trade-in program on Best Buy’s website. And note that not every Best Buy location will be participating in the arrangement, so be sure to check with your nearest retailer.

What will become of the old iPads? Best Buy claims to have a recycling strategy in place.

[Source: All Things D]


JUMP from T-Mobile: DUMP Your Smartphone Twice A Year

t-mobile-logo-624x397T-Mobile continues to disrupt the mobile carrier environment with the announcement of JUMP. With the plan, T-Mobile CEO John Legere promises, “We are going to redefine a stupid, broken, and arrogant industry.”

The new program (Just Update My Phone) allows T-Mobile customers to get new smartphones up to two times in a year. Users will need to enroll in the program with T-Mobile, and for $10 a month, they will be allowed to trade in their old smartphone for a new device after a minimum six-month period.

Earlier this year, T-Mobile began to position itself as the “un-carrier” with the company’s abolishment of contracts and subsidies. The March announcement enabled T-Mobile subscribers to pay a monthly Equipment Installment Plan (EIP), and opt out of a traditional two-year contract (usually the only way to get a cheaper price on a phone).

As so long as the trade-in is in “decent working order”, JUMP customers can swap their smartphone and T-Mobile will waive the rest of what is owed on the device through the EIP program – for any reason. Say your trade-in is broken or damaged, if you elected to enroll in the T-Mobile insurance program, you will only be responsible for paying a deductible (between $20 and $170) to upgrade to a new device.

T-Mobile is rapidly moving away from the orthodox mobile moguls (AT&T, Verizon), and looks to distinguish itself from the competition. And with the company’s big announcement on Wednesday that its super- snappy 4G LTE network has expanded to cover 157 million people in the United States (and will continue to expand), T-Mobile has a fighting chance to become the top dog in the rigid mobile operator showground.

As a T-Mobile customer, I will be the first to admit that the carrier is far from flawless – see questionable signal coverage, lackluster industry-standard pricing plans, current limitations on LTE. But nobody’s perfect, and that’s especially true of top U.S. mobile carriers. Bottom line: Love or hate T-Mobile, they are doing things differently; creating new plans based around transparency, and seemingly, striving to be as consumer friendly as possible. These should be refreshing traits for mobile users, and eye-opening practices for the mobile industry at large.

Pioneering Open Source: Firefox OS Gives Mobile Room to Breathe

Firefox-OS-logo1Mozilla broke up the stagnant atmosphere of 2000-era Internet with its free, and open source web browser Firefox. Now, the company looks to do the same in the mobile arena; Mozilla’s open web mobile platform, Firefox OS, is here.

This will be the first smartphone available that is based entirely on open web standards; everything on the phone is running in a web browser. Using HTML5, Firefox OS is constructed on open application programming interfaces (APIs) – actually intended to be shared and built upon. As opposed to a closed, proprietary approach to the web, Mozilla’s Firefox OS smartphones look to provide manufactures, developers, and consumers with more options at a much lower price.

firefox.osx299The first Firefox OS phones, the ZTE Open and the Alcatel One Touch Fire, will go on sale beginning Tuesday in Spain – each retailing for less than $100. The low-end smartphones running Firefox OS are not intended to take on expensive iOS and Android devices, but look to be the best converters in the feature phone market. And this makes sense as a large percentage of the world’s cell phone users still use feature phones. Firefox OS phones are intended to get first-time smartphone users on the Internet. While large manufactures may offer lower-end feature phones, they often cannot handle running new operating system updates. So what most are left with are cheap phones that don’t even work. Firefox OS is specifically designed to run on the inexpensive devices so the result is a highly functional, economically sound mobile experience.

So is Firefox OS the rogue player that will get us to set aside our Droids and iPhones? Absolutely not. Anyone who is familiar with modern, premium smartphone capabilities – namely their speed, size, and quality processors – will not be satisfied with the ZTE Open or Alcatel One Touch. But, as previously mentioned, that is not the goal nor point of Firefox OS. With Firefox OS, Mozilla looks to introduce a new way of developing for mobile devices, one that embraces openness and isn’t fixed around expensive proprietary software. What should excite you is that Mozilla is a major technology mind thinking beyond the confines of the status quo, and working to continuously improve developer and consumer experience. And beginning around $90, Mozilla proves that there is no price reason not to own a smartphone, no matter where you live.

[Source: Mashable, ReadWrite]