With T-Mobile? AT&T will give you $450 to switch … kind of

Photo: Fox
Photo: Fox

AT&T has announced incentives worth up to $450 for T-Mobile customers who switch to their service. The move is being made in response to T-Mobile’s Uncarrier offers, after AT&T recently said that it too expected to move toward separating device and service charges.

Proving the old adage that there’s no such thing as a free lunch, the deal of course comes with strings. First, $250 of that is the maximum you’ll receive in return for trading in your existing T-Mobile handset. To get the full $250, you’ll need a recent handset in good condition – in which case you’d almost certainly get more selling it privately …  Read more

Google promotes Speak2Tweet for Syrians without internet access

EgyptTwitter_avatarv2

Google made an announcement on its official Europe Blog today to confirm it is reactivating the Speak2Tweet service following Internet access being completely shut off in Syria yesterday. It originally launched the service two years ago to allow Egyptians without Internet access to send tweets using only a voice connection. Google noted in the post that since yesterday its “transparency Report has shown that Internet access is completely cut off in Syria.”

For those interested in using the service… Google explained:

Unfortunately we are hearing reports that mobile phones and landlines aren’t working properly either. But those who might be lucky enough to have a voice connection can still use Speak2Tweet by simply leaving a voicemail on one of these international phone numbers (+90 212 339 1447 or +30 21 1 198 2716 or +39 06 62207294 or +1 650 419 4196), and the service will tweet the message… No Internet connection is required, and people can listen to the messages by dialing the same phone numbers or going to twitter.com/speak2tweet.

Android 4.1.2 update released starting with Nexus 7, which also looks to get storage upgrade

Today Google announced on its Android Building group that Android version 4.1.2 is being released to the Android Open Source Project, the same build spotted running on an LG Nexus prototype yesterday. While the update is listed as minor by Google, improving performance and fixing bugs, it also enables the ability to enter landscape orientation for the Home screen on the Nexus 7. According to reports from Android Police and others, Nexus 7 users are already seeing the 31.3MB update arriving over the air. We have yet to see the update ourselves, but the images above and below come from EETimes.

In other Nexus 7 news, Phandroid pointed us to a retailer’s inventory listing showing the 16GB model as “end of line” and indicating the model would be replaced with a 32GB variant. It’s unclear exactly what this would mean for pricing of the 8GB and 32GB models, but it looks like Google might be planning to drop the 16GB and lower pricing on the remaining models.  Read more

Netflix update makes Android app UI more tablet-like for smartphones [Video]

Netflix just announced a new user-interface experience for Android smartphones.

“Compared to the previous version, the new Netflix experience on Android phones is much more immersive,” explained Netflix on its official blog. “It is much closer to the Netflix experience on tablets, which got a major upgrade late last year.”

The updated app now shows more titles and galleries, bringing it up to par with the tablet version, and it features a new browse row at the top of the screen that lets users continue watching content previously started. Just tap the browse menu to access genre lists.

The Instant Queue, which is available in select regions, is now on the Home screen under the Top 10 list, and a new experience area further below displays several rows filled with personalized recommendations. Tap on any title to view more information or double-tap to start instant playback.

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Samsung plans a big non-phone Galaxy announcement for August 15

We just received an invite from Samsung Electronics America to “Save the Date” for a major Galaxy announcement. This business division is not to be confused with Samsung Telecommunications America that handles mobile phones.

What could it be?

We are hoping the Samsung Galaxy Camera lands, but it will likely be a tablet or TV.

SAVE THE DATE

August 15, 2012

10:00AM EST

Please join Samsung Electronics America for a major announcement and unveiling of the newest GALAXY device. An exclusive press conference will take place where full details will be disclosed.

An invitation with details will follow soon.

Thank you.

More as it comes in. Read more

Google launches Gmail SMS service in Africa

In a blog post on the official Google Africa blog today, the company announced it created Gmail SMS. It is a new service that will allow users to send and receive Gmail messages via SMS. Rolling out first in Ghana, Nigeria, and Kenya, Google explained the feature would hopefully make Gmail even more accessible to users who often find themselves without an Internet connection:

You can now send and receive emails as SMS messages using your mobile phone, regardless of whether or not your phone has an internet connection, like Wifi or 3G. Gmail SMS works on any phone, even the most basic ones which only support voice and SMS. 

Gmail SMS automatically forwards your emails as SMS text messages to your phone and you can respond by replying directly to the SMS. You can control the emails received by replying with commands such as MORE, PAUSE and RESUME. Additionally, compose a new email as an SMS and send to any email address recipient – who will find your message in the right email conversation thread!

Receiving Gmail messages via SMS will be free, but your standard SMS rates will apply for replying to messages and everything else. Google has instructions for how to sign up for the new service on its blog.
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