Tag Archive: mobile & wireless


2014 World Cup

Soccer fans around the world would rather be in Brazil right now than anywhere else. But most will stay home for the 2014 World Cup. If you’re not spending the next month in Brazil, you can still catch every game, no matter where you are. WatchESPN will live-stream all 64 games, available both online and on your mobile devices. Univision will also stream every match of the tournament’s first two rounds for free on Univision Deportes.

If you are going to Brazil – or you’re already there – here’s how to prepare your tech the trip, thanks to Verizon:

  • Make sure your phone will work. Check out Verizon’s Trip Planner to see whether your device will work abroad. Trip Planner provides information on the global services you’ll need, as well as pricing and coverage information.
  • Global Ready Check, now accessible through My Verizon Mobile, is an easy way to determine if your device is ready to make the trip with you. And you won’t need to call or visit a store!
  • Got an incompatible device? Don’t worry. Under the Global Travel Program, Verizon can ship you a device to use for the duration of the games. There are no daily rental fees or security deposits-just pay for the calls you make and receive-and you can keep your regular phone number and transfer contacts using Verizon Cloud or Backup Assistant Plus.
  • If your device is compatible, you’ll need a Global Services plan. Choose from a variety of plans for service in more than 220 countries.

And, until July 13, you can get the International Value Plan and/or World Messaging Unlimited free for 3 months.

Google Glass

Ready to become a Google Glass “explorer?” You’ve once again got the chance. One month after putting a limited stock of Glass on sale for a single day, Google said Tuesday that the face-mounted computer is available to consumers once again. Last month was the first time Glass was made available to the general public. Glass was initially available only to developers, but Google slowly expanded the program to include regular people. The company terms these early adopters “Google Glass explorers,” and the project remains in beta mode. In a Google+ post, Google said Glass will remain in the explorer program while the company tweaks its hardware and software. But as long as supplies last, anyone in the United States can buy one on Google’s online store.

Read the full story at CNN Money.

iPhone Battery

I worked on the Genius Bar for almost two years, and the most difficult issue to solve was short battery life. It was extremely difficult to pinpoint the exact reason why someone’s battery was draining. I made it my mission to discover the specific reasons for iOS battery drainage. This article is a product of my years of research and anecdotal evidence I gathered in the hundreds of Genius Bar appointments I took during my time as a Genius and iOS technician, as well as testing on my personal devices and the devices of my friends. iOS 7.1 came out recently and brought with it a bevy of design tweaks and performance enhancements. However, some users are reporting poor battery life since the update, and many blogs are reporting it as fact. This is not one of those “Turn off every useful feature of iOS” posts that grinds my gears.

Read the full story at Overthought.

Android

I don’t know how many people found an Android smartphone among their holiday gifts although I suspect it was more than a few. There’s no lack of good options available from Samsung, HTC, LG, Motorola and others. No matter what Android phone you might have unwrapped, however, there are a few easy things you can do to make the experience a great one. Find a keyboard that works the way you do. I actually like the stock Google keyboard that comes with Android, but everyone is different. Luckily, Android lets you install and use the keyboard – or keyboards, for that matter – you prefer. A quick search in the Google Play store will get you started but most people can’t go wrong with SwiftKey. This app uses smart word prediction combined with a way to intelligently learn your personal typing styles by analyzing messages from Facebook, Twitter (twtr), Gmail and more.

Read the full story at Giga OM.

Sprint and T-Mobile

In a television interview on Monday night, Sprint chairman Masayoshi Son said he wants to buy smaller wireless carrier T-Mobile US and plans to press forward despite likely opposition from regulators. Son told Charlie Rose of PBS that a combination of the nation’s third- and fourth-largest wireless companies would enable Sprint to better compete with industry giants Verizon Communications and AT&T. When asked if a deal is in place, Son said he has yet to come to an agreement with T-Mobile. He also expressed uncertainty over whether a deal will happen. “We have to give it a shot,” Son said. “We would like to make the deal happen, but there are steps and details that we have to work out.” Son, who is also the chief executive of Japan’s SoftBank, led a $21.6 billion buyout of Sprint last year after fending off competing bids from Dish Network (DISH).

Read the full story at Fox Business.

Foursquare

Foursquare is getting some help from Microsoft as it seeks to turn its location-based mobile app into a sustainable business. Microsoft has invested $15 million and agreed to a strategic partnership with the New York-based startup, Chief Executive Dennis Crowley said in an interview. The investment will be added to the $35 million investment round Foursquare announced last December and which valued the company at about $650 million. In addition to an equity investment, Microsoft has signed a multi-year contract to license Foursquare data in services such as its mobile operating system and Bing search engine. With that deal, Microsoft becomes Foursquare’s single biggest data licensee, though Crowley declined to specify how much the contract is worth. Foursquare has collected a trove of data about more than 60 million restaurants, shops and other points of interest within cities.

Read the full story at The Wall Street Journal.

Best iPhone Games of 2013

I love year-end lists! It’s my favorite thing about turning over the calendar. Here are my picks for the best iOS games on iPhone and iPad of 2013.

Ridiculous Fishing ($2.99 for both the iPhone and iPad version)

Ridiculous Fishing is my vote for Best iOS Game of the Year. A ridiculously (no pun intended?) simple concept had me hooked (again with the puns!) for hours. The game asks you to cast your line and avoid fish as long as you can on your way down. Once you hit the bottom – or once you hit a fish – you start to reel your line in and try to snag as many fish as you can on your way back up. When you make it to the surface, blast those fish out of the sky with shotguns and rocket launchers! If you’ve ever played a mobile game that’s had you saying, “Just one more run. I promise,” Ridiculous Fishing is for you. It’ll have you casting your reel just one… more… time… in the goal of getting that top-tier weapon to blast more fish to smithereens.

Plants vs. Zombies 2: It’s About Time (free for both the iPhone and iPad version)

In just about any other year, the amount of time I put into Plants vs. Zombies 2 would have far surpassed any other game; that should tell you how much I love this game. The first Plants vs. Zombies game is one of my favorite computer games of all time. This mobile-only sequel works perfectly on the iPad, and makes me forget about playing with a mouse altogether. The game has you defend your house from increasingly tougher hordes of zombies by using plants to ward them off. With dozens of plants and even more zombies, there’s no end to the variety you’ll encounter. Since it’s free, there’s no reason for you not to check this game out. Plus, PopCap is doing its part to help keep this game around – every couple days, I get push notifications to return to my game for new levels, new challenges or new seasonal upgrades.

Knightmare Tower ($2.99 for both the iPhone and iPad version)

Knightmare Tower is like Fruit Ninja, except the fruit fight back. And instead of fruit, it’s monsters. You’re tasked to rescue a dozen princesses from an evil overlord, and progressing through the levels earns you coins to unlock new stronger weapons, bigger bonuses and better potions. And once you beat the main game, you unlock a Survival Mode where you can keep playing forever… if you’re good enough to survive. The great art style, addictive gameplay and easy-to-understand controls will hook you instantly and keep you coming back for more. I loved this game.

Hundreds ($4.99 for both the iPhone and iPad version)

What year-end best list would be complete without my first favorite mobile game of the year? This game came out waaaaaaay back in January and occupied most of the time on my flight to and from CES. If you’re looking to show off your iPad’s multi-touch abilities, check this out. This is game is deceptively difficult; you’re asked to make circles grow until their combined total hits 100. The first level is one circle with nothing around it. Hold down your finger and beat the level. Sounds easy, right? Not when you have spikes popping your circles, or when the circles are dancing all around. This made my five-hour flight to CES much more tolerable, and it can do the same for you.

Rayman Fiesta Run ($2.99 for both the iPhone and iPad version)

Rayman’s returned in a big way the past few years. The franchise has seen two awesome platformers make their way to home consoles, and two on-rails platformers – that might be even better! – make their way to mobile. Fiesta Run is the sequel to Jungle Run, which launched a few years back. It’s very approachable for anyone who picks up an iPad, but can really ramp up the difficulty if you want a challenge. Collecting all the lums throughout the levels will require timing, skill and a whole ton of patience. Plus, the game is gorgeous to look at, so even if you’re frustrated, you can sit back and enjoy the art!

Best (of the Rest) iPhone Games of 2013

BEST OF THE REST: Games I Haven’t Tried Yet

My video game backlog is obscene. I buy far more games every year than I could ever get through. There are a handful of games on the iPad that I think I’ll totally love – I just haven’t played them enough (or at all) to recommend them. If you’re looking for some more games to check out, here are a few I’m looking forward to playing.

  • Badland ($3.99 for both the iPhone and iPad version)
  • Cut the Rope 2 ($0.99 for both the iPhone and iPad version)
  • DEVICE 6 ($3.99 for both the iPhone and iPad version)
  • Pathogen ($0.99 for both the iPhone and iPad version)
  • The Room Two ($4.99 for both the iPhone and iPad version)

Uber Taxi

Uber, the San Francisco start-up that gained something of a cult following by helping people summon a luxury sedan with a smartphone app, is trying something new for people who ride with friends. It said on Monday that it would add the ability to split fares between multiple passengers with a few button taps. The fare-splitting feature will become available when iPhone and Android users download a software update. To split a fare, a user requests a ride and then taps an arrow next to the driver’s information. An option labeled “Split fare” will show up, and the user can select friends from his or her address book. The friends then receive a text message from Uber with a link to tap on. Those who are registered with Uber will be directed to the app, and those who are not will be asked to downloaded the app, sign up for an account and enter their credit card information. The app will take care of the payment at the end of the trip.

Read the full story at the New York Times.

Google Maps

Google Street is well-known for whisking people across the world to any location from the comfort of their computer screens – you can visit Venice, the Galapagos Islands and beyond – but it’s added a new practical use: helping you preview international travel. Google Maps now features a range of international transit locations, including 16 airports, more than 50 train and subway stations and even details of a cable car station in Hong Kong and the inside of an Emirates A380 plane at Dubai Airport. Google Maps is already a well-used tool for planning travel – across both short and long distances – so adding images to help users familiarize themselves with their points of transit makes a lot of sense, and is likely to be welcomed by many. This interactive map shows where the new locations are situated.

Read the full story at The Next Web.

New York City

Mayor Bloomberg’s government is often finding ways to keep The Big Apple as connected to the internet as can be. Tuesday, in an effort to bring more connectivity options to its residents (and tourists), the City of New York announced that it’s teaming up with Cablevision and Time Warner Cable to add WiFi hotspots to 32 parks across the five boroughs. Of course, these will be available in addition to free services already provided by companies such as AT&T in select parts of the city. Unlike with similar offerings, however, these new hotspots will require potential users to be Cablevision Optimum Online or Time Warner Cable broadband subscribers in order to get free access. Those who have the proper credentials will be able to connect gratis via a WiFi-enabled device anytime, while non-subscribers can do so at no cost for up to 30 minutes every 30 days, or for 99 cents per day.

Read the full story at Engadget.

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