Seattle Stories July 31, 2014

T-Mobile’s VoLTE service rolls out nationwide following Seattle launch

T-Mobile announced during its earnings report that it has now completed its US roll-out of its Voice over LTE service after its launch in Seattle back in May and expansion to 16 markets last month.

With more than 8 million VoLTE-capable devices on the T-Mobile network, our customers have made over 52 million crystal-clear VoLTE calls to date.

VoLTE offers faster call setup and better audio quality during calls through HD Voice, as well as the ability to switch seamlessly between voice and video calls. It’s supported by a limited number of handsets at present, with the Galaxy S5, Galaxy Note 3, Galaxy Light and LG’s G Flex among them, but is likely to become a standard feature over time. Verizon has also announced that it will be launching its own VoLTE service nationwide later in the year.

T-Mobile also noted that JD Power just ranked T-Mobile the highest in customer service among the top four major U.S. wireless providers, AT&T taking second place, Verizon third and Sprint Nextel fourth.

Seattle Stories June 4, 2014

Update: Amazon has officially announced its 3D phone dubbed the Fire Phone. You can read the full breakdown here.

Amazon has just announced that it is holding a press event in Seattle on June 18th. The company says that it will unveil a new device at the event. Amazon is also letting anyone request an invite to it by simply filling out a form on its website.

The company also posted a video showing reactions to the new device by customers. One person remarked that “it moved with” them and another claimed that they’ve “never seen anything like” it before. All the customers are essentially moving their heads around with the device. It is widely expected to be a 3d-capable smartphone, which the company has allegedly been working on for quite a while.

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Seattle Stories May 22, 2014

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Following announcements earlier this month from both AT&T and Verizon, T-Mobile announced today it’s introducing Voice over LTE support starting with Seattle. The first three devices to support the new tech include the LG G Flex, Samsung Galaxy Note 3 and Galaxy Light.

So I’m thrilled to congratulate my team on the launch of Voice over LTE (VoLTE) in the Seattle area for our existing LG G Flex and Samsung Galaxy Note 3 and Galaxy Light customers. Our friends at MetroPCS were the first to launch VoLTE in the U.S. back in 2012, and we’ve been working hard on a LTE Advanced version of VoLTE, which we plan to roll out to more T-Mobile customers throughout the coming year.

T-Mobile’s CTO Neville Ray noted that the new technology, which brings voice calls onto the same LTE radio layer previously reserved for data, will allow “faster call setup times (almost twice as fast as a non-VoLTE call setup) and the ability to enjoy lightening fast LTE data speeds while on a call.” It will also support the HD Voice or wide-band audio feature supported lots of newer hardware. Ray explained how the technology works: expand full story

Seattle Stories April 4, 2014

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Amazon, just days after announcing its FireTV set-top box, has now announced a new home accessory dubbed the “Dash.” The Dash is a wand-sized device that has built in Wi-Fi, a barcode scanner and a microphone. The goal of Dash, according to Amazon, is to make shopping and remembering things you need even easier.

Simply hold down the microphone button and say the name of an item, like “orange juice”, and Dash will automatically add it to your shopping list. You can also scan the barcode of any item with the built in LED scanner to add items to your shopping list.

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Seattle Stories February 28, 2014

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It’s not just fictitious towns you have to look out for on Google Maps: Microsoft engineer and former Marine Bryan Seely demonstrated to ValleyWag how he was able to exploit the open nature of the product to intercept phone calls to both the FBI and Secret Service.

The technique Seely used was incredibly simple …  expand full story

Seattle Stories March 13, 2013

Google doubles its Seattle offices in Microsoft/Amazon’s backyard to work on the ‘biggest, baddest’ Cloud platform

Google is blowing up its Seattle presence, already the company’s third largest after Mountain View and New York City, reports the New York Times.

Google plans a major recruiting effort to increase its Seattle-area engineering staff by as much as five times. There is already fierce competition among tech companies for talented engineers, and many of those with skills in cloud computing work at Google’s rivals in Seattle.

“We’re not the first in this rodeo, but we have the history of Google,” said Brian Goldfarb, Google’s leader of cloud platform marketing, who joined the company last year after a decade at Microsoft. “We have the best data centers on the planet. You can’t really give engineers a bigger, badder thing to work on.”

Google is also adding 180,000 square feet to its office in Kirkland, Wash., which together with its Seattle office already houses more than 1,000 employees, making it Google’s third largest in the country after its headquarters in Mountain View, Calif., and its office in New York.

Oh, some interesting  App Engine Stats were slipped into page 2:

The company says that 250,000 developers use it to run 1 million apps that generate up to 7.5 billion page hits a day.

Seattle Stories November 16, 2012

[tweet https://twitter.com/googlemaps/status/269499168354091008]

As noted on the Google Maps blog, Google continues to update maps with new aerial, satellite, and 45-degree imagery for many cities in the U.S. and abroad. Google’s most recent addition to maps is a new collection of 45-degree imagery for 60 new cities—40 in the U.S. and 20 internationally— in places like Switzerland and Luxembourg. That brings the total number of cities with updated aerial and satellite imagery in Maps and Google Earth up to 164 cities in 108 countries. Google walked through a few of the recent updates, such as the Space Needle in Seattle and Bridges in the Sky art installation in Austria, but also provided a full list of cities with new high resolution imagery (below): expand full story

Seattle Stories October 8, 2012

Sprint says ‘accidental dual fibercut’ on network causing nationwide outages, attempting to fix issues

A widespread network outage on Sprint’s network started at 7:30 a.m. PST today and hit Portland, Ore., Seattle and Tacoma Wash., Minneapolis, Minn., and San Francisco and Sacramento, Calif. Sprint just confirmed it is working diligently to fix the issue.

Sprint’s statement to 9to5Mac:

“Earlier this morning, an accidental dual fibercut occurred on Sprint’s network causing a disruption in data and voice services for some Sprint customers in parts of Portland, Oregon; Seattle and Tacoma Washington; Minneapolis, Minnesota; and San Francisco and Sacramento, California. Sprint network technicians are working aggressively to resolve this issue and we hope to have service restored soon.”

This article is cross-posted on 9to5Mac.

Seattle Stories July 18, 2012

Verizon extends 4G LTE to 33 new markets, touts more coverage than competitors combined

Verizon Wireless plans to expand its 4G LTE coverage tomorrow to 33 new U.S. markets. The carrier will then boast 337 LTE markets, which places it ahead of competitors by a wide margin, and it hopes to reach 400 total by the end of 2012. Verizon also announced it is broadening coverage in 32 existing markets.

Check out the list below (via Verizon Wireless): 

  • The 33 new markets: El Dorado/Magnolia and Russellville, Ark.; New London County, Conn.; Fort Pierce/Vero Beach and Melbourne/Titusville, Fla.; Columbus and Rome, Ga.; Burley, Idaho; Mattoon, Ill.; Anderson and Muncie, Ind.; Manhattan/Junction City and McPherson, Kan.; Lafayette/New Iberia, La.; St. Joseph, Mo.; Bozeman/Livingston, Kalispell and Missoula, Mont.; Goldsboro/Kinston, Roanoke Rapids and Rocky Mount/Wilson, N.C.; Zanesville, Ohio; Meadville and Punxsutawney/DuBois/Clearfield, Pa.; Orangeburg, S.C.; Sherman/Denison, Texas; Cedar City and Logan, Utah; Rutland/Bennington, Vt.; Lynchburg and Winchester, Va.; Bellingham, Wash.; and Beckley, W.Va.
  • The 32 expanded markets: Mobile, Ala.; Los Angeles, San Diego and San Francisco, Calif.; Washington, D.C.; Fort Lauderdale, Miami and Sarasota/Bradenton, Fla.; Hilo, Honolulu and Kahului/Wailuku/Maui County, Hawaii; Blackfoot/Idaho Falls/Rexburg, Idaho; Peoria, Ill.; Indianapolis, Ind.; Wichita, Kan.; Baton Rouge, La.; Baltimore, Md.; Kansas City and Springfield, Mo.; Akron, Cleveland, Columbus and Toledo, Ohio; Allentown/Bethlehem, Harrisburg and Scranton/Wilkes Barre, Pa.; Columbia and Greenville/Spartanburg, S.C.; Provo/Orem and Salt Lake City/Ogden, Utah; Fredericksburg, Va.; and Seattle, Wash.

“With more markets than all other U.S. wireless providers combined, our customers are the first to learn of the great advantages of the Verizon Wireless 4G LTE network for streaming video, downloading files, uploading pictures and so much more, at consistently reliable fast data speeds,” said Verizon Wireless’ Chief Technical Officer Nicola Palmer.

This article is cross-posted on 9to5Mac.

Seattle Stories July 12, 2011

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While Google Offers has been available in Portland, OR for sometime, Google has today launched offers in New York and San Francisco. Google Offers gives users daily deals on local items and services, just like GroupOn, Living Social, and GILT City. To start using Offers, locals can sign up on the Offer’s website or use the Google Shopper Android app.

Google also announced that Offers will be on its way to Austin, Denver, Washington D.C., Boston, and Seattle soon. See any good deals? expand full story

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