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Verizon confirms that it’s considering a move into Canada, identifies Wind Mobile as one option Jun 19th 2013, 17:45
Verizon logo Pantech MarauderWell, that didn’t take long. Shortly after a report claimed that Verizon is considering an entry into the Canadian wireless market with an acquisition of Wind Mobile or Mobilicity, the big red carrier has confirmed that it is thinking about making a move to the north.

In an interview with The Wall Street Journal, Verizon Communications CFO Fran Shammo said that his company is “looking at the opportunity” of entering the Canadian wireless market and taking part in a Canadian spectrum auction that’s set for January. However, Shammo went on to explain that Verizon is currently just “dipping [its] toe in the water,” saying that the company is still in the early stages of weighing an entry into Canada and warning that such a move could be complicated by regulations.

Shammo wouldn’t say which Canadian carrier(s) that Verizon is currently in talks with, but Verizon spokesman Bob Varettoni later confirmed that Wind Mobile is one of the entities that Verizon is interested in. “We constantly evaluate a wide variety of business opportunities, and this is one of many,” Varettoni said in a statement to Bloomberg.

Verizon is currently one of the two largest U.S. operators, and with the Canadian government’s desire to create a fourth major wireless operator to take on Rogers, Bell and Telus, Verizon could very well decide to enter the Canadian market. With its experience in rolling out LTE service and spectrum purchases, it’d be pretty interesting to see what Verizon could do if it does end up invading Canada. Now we just have to wait and see if the Verizon thinks that the possibility of becoming a major player in the Canadian wireless market is worth the effort of buying up a smaller carrier and taking part in a spectrum auction. Do you think that Verizon will make a move into Canada?

Via FierceWireless, Bloomberg, The Wall Street Journal


Samsung Galaxy Mega 6.3 Video Review Part 2 Jun 19th 2013, 16:45
If you thought the Galaxy Note II and LG Optimus G Pro were enormous, take a look at the Samsung Galaxy Mega 6.3, because it takes “big” to a whole new level. It’s packed to the gills with some nice features, but it’s a huge piece of phone. Specifications include a 1.7 GHz dual-core Snapdragon CPU, 6.3-inch HD display with 223ppi, 8-megapixel camera with 1080p HD recording, 1.5 GB of RAM, 3,200 mAh battery, and Android 4.2.2 with TouchWiz. It’s available for purchase through online specialty retailers like Negri Electronics.

From a hardware perspective, it’s a mid-range smartphone, but it offers a new display size for those that want to merge their tablet and phone experiences into one. Better yet, by virtue of being new, it brings over some of the features from the Galaxy S 4. Is it worth buying unlocked (and unsubsidized)? Part 2 of 2.


Samsung Galaxy Mega 6.3 Video Review Part 1 Jun 19th 2013, 16:35
If you thought the Samsung Galaxy Note II was huge, take a look at the Galaxy Mega, because it’s even bigger! It’s packed to the gills with features, but it’s a gigantic smartphone. Specifications include a 1.7 GHz dual-core Snapdragon CPU, 6.3-inch HD display with 223ppi, 8-megapixel camera with 1080p HD recording, 1.5 GB of RAM, 3,200 mAh battery, and Android 4.2.2 with TouchWiz. It’s available for purchase through online specialty retailers like Negri Electronics.

From a hardware perspective, it’s a mid-range experience, but it offers a new display size for those that want to merge their tablet and phone experiences into one. Is it worth buying unlocked? Part 1 of 2.


LG Optimus F7 expanding Boost Mobile’s 4G LTE lineup on June 27, pricing set at $299.99 Jun 19th 2013, 15:50
LG Optimus F7 Boost MobileJust like the rumors foretold, Boost Mobile today announced its plans to launch the LG Optimus F7. The Optimus F7 will be hitting Boost’s shelves on June 27 for $299.99 sans commitment, and when it does, it’ll boast compatibility with the Sprint 4G LTE network. Sprint recently expanded its LTE coverage, growing the network’s footprint to 110 markets.

Along with LTE connectivity, Boost’s flavor of the Optimus F7 features a 4.7-inch True HD IPS touchscreen, “Instant Alert” home button with LED and a 1.3-megapixel camera on its face, as well as an 8-megapixel shooter on its rear. Inside the Optimus F7 is Bluetooth and Wi-Fi support, a 1.5GHz dual-core processor and compatibility with Sprint’s 3G and 4G LTE networks. The Optimus F7 comes preloaded with Android 4.1 Jelly Bean and some LG-exclusive software add-ons, like the VuTalk app that lets users share notes with one another in real time and the QuickMemo app for taking screenshots and scribbling down a note or two on them.

As with other Android phones on Boost Mobile, the Optimus F7 can be used with the operator’s $55 Android Monthly Unlimited plan with Shrinking Payments. The plan includes unlimited talk, text and web, though users will see their speeds slowed after consuming more than 2.5GB of data in a single cycle. For every six on-time payments that a customer makes, his or her monthly cost will drop by $5, eventually getting as low as $40 per month.

With its large, high-res display and 4G LTE connectivity, the Optimus F7 slots nicely into the higher-end of Boost Mobile’s lineup. It’s also worth noting that the Optimus F7 is Boost’s fourth LTE-capable smartphone, which is an impressive stat considering that the Sprint MVNO only began offering LTE-compatible handsets a little over three months ago. If you’re interested in getting a better idea of what the Optimus F7 is all about while waiting for its arrival on Boost’s shelves, Aaron’s hands-on with the international variant of the F7 is available below.

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Via Boost Mobile


LG’s rumored always-on voice commands sound amazing Jun 19th 2013, 14:45
When you saw the laundry list of features that the Samsung Galaxy S 4 boasts, what was your initial thought? After you looked over the list, and you saw all those fancy features with the word “smart” in front of them, did you immediately think they were all gimmicks? Just cheap tricks to get you to buy the phone? Or did you think all those new abilities added to the overall quality of the device, and justified its price tag?

Where you fall on either side of that fence depends on a lot of things. The truth is, I personally think that some of those features are indeed just gimmicks. However, I will also admit that I believe Samsung does indeed add quite a bit of value to their devices, courtesy of the built-in software features. If they are gimmicks, then they’re simply gimmicks because they’re new technology, or even just new ideas using old tech.

If they are a gimmick, then they are a gimmick now, and will hopefully become the standard at some point in the future.

Samsung’s marketing played a big role in my attitude towards the features they’ve packed into their newest flagship device. If you just see them on paper, or even two pieces of paper, you may just shake your head and dismiss the majority of them, simply because you’re a traditionalist and you want to use your phone like everyone else (who doesn’t own a GS 4), or even how you used to use your phone before you picked up the new shiny toy from Samsung.

There’s nothing wrong with wanting to use your phone the way you used to use your phone. The touchscreen on our phones are still there to be touched after all. But obviously Samsung wants you to interact with your phone in new and different ways. And, in some specific situations, they want you to interact with your phone that makes it easier on you.

So, what’s easier than waving your hand in front of your phone’s display? How about voice? Voice is pretty easy, right? I mean, sure, you’ve got to hit a button to activate the voice controls, but once you get passed that little hurdle, you’re good to go. Just tell your phone what you want, and as long as the command is supported, it gets done. No taps on the display. No digging in menus. No reading text messages. Your phone is there to serve you, and with a gentle prod from your vocal chords, your wish will be done.

How can we make voice easier? Well, what if we remove that whole button pressing thing, and just have voice controls always on?

Wait, wait. You’re telling me that already exists, sort of? Why yes, yes it does! The Galaxy S III, and now the Galaxy S 4, both feature the ability to wake the device from its slumber by saying something like, “Hi, Galaxy.” After you do that, you’re able to throw a few more voice commands at your phone, courtesy of S Voice. Easy, right?

Apparently that isn’t easy enough, because LG wants to try their hand at making it even more streamlined. According to a report from Gotta Be Mobile, LG is currently gearing up to launch a phone in 2014 with always-on voice commands. So, your phone is always listening, just waiting for you to tell it to do something.

The obvious question you should be asking yourself is, “How is that different than what Samsung has?” Well, S Voice’s abilities are pretty restricted, just as Apple’s Siri is restricted, and Microsoft’s Windows Phone’s voice controls are pretty straight forward in their role. Google Now, too, just can’t quite do everything (except read your mind). So, how is LG planning on making it better?

Well, they plan on incorporating the Qualcomm Snapdragon 800 processor, for one. But, more than that, they plan on making it possible for someone to literally tell their phone to do anything, and it will do it. In the initial report, it’s suggested that the owner of this new LG-branded device could open Google Maps, and then tell their phone to zoom in, or pan right, or zoom out.

You’d be able to switch home screen displays. You’d be able to open, start, close, transition, and everything else on your device without ever touching it. All by telling it what to do. This is, obviously, just the next logical step for voice commands on our devices, and indeed there are rumors out there that hint that LG may not be the only company planning this sort of new movement in their phones.

Samsung would be an obvious shoe-in for this sort of thing. But, could you imagine a phone like Motorola’s upcoming X Phone with this technology? Combine the action of voice commands for every part of your phone with the sensors that know where your phone is at all times? That’s a pretty exciting idea right there.

I love new technology in phones, and if LG (and any other manufacturer working on this idea) can make it work flawlessly right out of the box, then I think there’s definitely a place for always-on voice commands in our phones. Though, I can only imagine how it would look with someone sitting in a coffee shop, telling their phone over and over again to pan in and out of a Google Maps session.

So tell me what you think of the idea. Would you use a feature like that at all? If you have a Galaxy S-branded device with S Voice, do you use the similar feature now? Would you use it more of its functionality was broadened significantly? Or, do you think this is a pointless idea? Let me know!


AT&T grows 4G LTE footprint with new and expanded coverage Jun 19th 2013, 13:15
AT&T Samsung Focus 2One week after its previous 4G LTE network expansion, AT&T has announced that its LTE footprint is growing once again. The big blue carrier said this morning that its LTE service is now available in five new markets and that it has expanded in an additional four locales. The announcements made so far are as follows:

New markets

  • Florence-Muscle Shoals, Ala.
  • Gallup, N.M.
  • Rio Grande Valley, Texas
  • Tri-Cities, Wash.
  • Tuscaloosa, Ala.

Expanded markets

  • Logan, Ohio (now includes portions of Hocking and Meigs counties)
  • New Bedford, Mass. (now includes portions of New Bedford, Acushnet, Berkley, Freetown, North Dighton, Marion, Rehoboth and Westport)
  • Providence and Kent counties, R.I. (now includes parts of Chepachet, Coventry, Exeter, Glocester, Johnston, North Smithfield and West Greenwich)
  • Salinas, Calif. (now includes parts of King City)

More LTE coverage is always a good thing, especially when the new and expanded service is sprinkled throughout the U.S. like today’s AT&T’s expansion is. If you live in one of the areas listed above and are rocking some AT&T LTE-compatible hardware, be sure to swing by the comments section below and let us know how the network is treating you on this fine Wednesday morning!

Via AT&T (1), (2), (3), (4), (5), (6), (7), (8), (9)


HTC Butterfly S debuts with 5-inch 1080p display, quad-core chip and 3,200mAh battery Jun 19th 2013, 12:30
HTC Butterfly S colors officialJust a week after posing for some “in the wild” glamour shots, the HTC Butterfly S has been made officially official. This new entry in HTC’s Butterfly series doesn’t look terribly different from the model that launched last year, which hit Verizon in the U.S. under the “DROID DNA” name, save for the addition of dual front-facing BoomSound speakers. However, the Butterfly S does sport some upgraded internals that make it a pretty nice successor to the original Butterfly:

  • 5-inch 1080p Super LCD 3 display
  • 1.9GHz quad-core Snapdragon 600 processor
  • UltraPixel rear camera, 2.1-megapixel front-facing shooter
  • 16GB storage, microSD card slot
  • 2GB RAM
  • 3,200mAh battery
  • HTC Sense 5 with BlinkFeed
  • HSPA+ connectivity
  • Available in gray, red or white versions

In addition to adding an “S” to its name, this new Butterfly appears to have borrowed some features from HTC’s flagship One smartphone to help cement itself as one of the manufacturer’s top high-end handsets. One big improvement that the Butterfly S has over both the One and the Butterfly is its 3,200mAh battery, which is considerably beefier than the One’s 2,200mAh pack and the Butterfly’s 2,020mAh battery. A larger battery may not be the most attractive-sounding spec upgrade ever, but it is a pretty major feature that ought to keep Butterfly S owners connected for quite a while.

HTC says that the Butterfly S is slated to arrive in Taiwan in July with a price tag of NT$22,900 (around $767 USD). There’s no word on when or if the Butterfly S might make its way to other regions, but the OG Butterfly ended up hitting places like Japan and the U.S. in addition to Taiwan, so it’s certainly possible that we’ll see something similar happen with the Butterfly S. Until then, you can check out an quick HTC promo video for the Butterfly S below.

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Via HTC Taiwan (Google translation), HTC Butterfly S product page


AT&T Street Charge program bringing 25 solar-powered charging stations to New York City Jun 18th 2013, 17:45
AT&T Street Charge solar-powered charging stationThe smartphone industry is made up of many different platforms and manufacturers that can divide users into different camps, but one of the few things that affects everyone is battery life. Sure, your Galaxy S 4 may have a ton of extra software features or you might be rocking an iPhone 5 with iOS 7, but none of those things matter all that much if your phone’s battery is dead. Battery life is becoming (slightly) less of an issue for residents of New York City today, though, because AT&T is launching solar-powered charging stations throughout the city to help keep devices topped up.

AT&T has teamed up with design firm Pensa and mobile solar tech company Goal Zero to install 25 solar-powered Street Charge charging stations in New York City, including places like Metrotech Plaza, Rockaway Beach and Union Square Park. The New York Times notes that each station can charge six different devices at a time and features plugs for iPhone, Android and BlackBerry hardware as well as standard USB cables. The stations are capable of filling a phone’s battery in two hours, but they can also provide a 30 percent boost of juice in 30 minutes.

The structures themselves are 12.5 feet tall and feature a trio of solar panels at the top. They’ll be rotated throughout different locations in New York City, with stations getting moved every three to four weeks through October. The companies involved also prepared these charging stations for situations in which they might go without sunshine for a period of time; each unit features a 168-watt battery pack that can keep the station going throughout the night.

These Street Charge stations look like pretty handy ways for cellphone owners to top up their devices while out and about. Not only can it be tough to find an outlet in some areas, especially in places like parks where many of these stations will be located, but not everyone wants to carry a charger and cable with them at all times. That’s where this charging stations come in, and the fact that they harness solar power to juice up gadgets make them even neater.

The Street Charge program is currently in its pilot phase, by AT&T says that it could roll the service out to other cities if it proves successful. A promotional video highlighting the charging stations can be found below.

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Via The New York Times


Weekly Bone: Galaxy S 4 vs. iPhone 5, iOS 7 changes, and more! Jun 18th 2013, 17:40
The Weekly Bone is back, and Marco is talking about Aaron’s dogfight between the Samsung Galaxy S 4 and iPhone 5, along with changes to iOS 7. It’s a complete overhaul for Apple, and while the new design is receiving mixed reviews, it is a ground-up revision of what we’ve seen in the past. Also discussed, the next iteration of Apple’s iPhone and what it will bring to the table against its competitors. It was a busy week in mobile – catch up with it all in this week’s episode!


Dish Network doesn’t submit revised bid for Sprint, says it will focus on Clearwire offer Jun 18th 2013, 12:30
Dish Network logoJust a day after the Sprint-Clearwire-Dish Network love triangle took its craziest turn yet, some news regarding Dish and SoftBank’s battle for Sprint has surfaced. Dish announced this evening that it doesn’t have a new offer for Sprint following the revised agreement struck between Sprint and SoftBank last week.

In a statement issued this evening, Dish explains that factors like the “extreme deal protections” included in that agreement make it “impractical” for it to put together a counteroffer by the June 18 deadline set by Sprint and SoftBank. As a result, Dish says that it will “consider” its options regarding Sprint and focus on getting its deal with Clearwire done.

Sprint and SoftBank first announced their plans to get together back in October 2012, and the two companies recently announced a new agreement that will see SoftBank dropping $21.6 billion for a 78 percent stake in Sprint. Their agreement has already been approved by several U.S. regulatory bodies, including the Justice Department and the Committee on Foreign Investment.

Dish’s attempt to acquire Sprint threw a bit of a wrench into SoftBank and Sprint’s plans, but now it appears that their deal just got a lot closing to its finish line. While it must still be OK’d by the FCC, neither Sprint nor SoftBank seem concerned about gaining approval, saying that they expect their agreement to reach completion by early July.

Dish today also issued a statement regarding the lawsuit that Sprint has filed against it and Clearwire. Dish describes Sprint’s suit as a “transparent attempt to divert attention from its failure to deal fairly with Clearwire’s shareholders,” going on to accuse Sprint of trying to block Clearwire’s stockholders from getting a fair price for their shares of the company. Finally, Dish says that it’s confident that its offer for Clearwire will be upheld. Both of Dish’s statements can be found at the links below.

Via Dish Network: Sprint proposal, Sprint complaint


Bored with your smartphone? Create something new Jun 18th 2013, 11:05
You’re getting bored with your smartphone. It’s OK to admit it. My fellow editor, Evan, wrote a post not long ago asking how you all keep from becoming fatigued and uninterested with your devices. My question is, why? Why do we look at our current handsets — these powerful little computers that once seemed impossible — with a little dreariness and disdain?

We’re bored because we’re obsessed. It’s almost simple as that.

My smartphone obsession started almost 10 years ago, when I’d spend a good chunk of my days browsing Howard Forums. We’d talk about the hot new phones at the time, like the $500 Motorola RAZR, and there was even a community of buyers and sellers where we’d sell or trade phones. Exotic phones were all the rage, like the Motorola Ming, and it was pretty exciting.

Then, it was a new BlackBerry, Nokia, Helio, iPhone, Sidekick, and eventually, I moved to Android devices. Phones became prettier, more exciting, and very powerful.

After a while, though, smartphones have become pretty homogenous. There are few slider phones, flip phones, double-slider phones, back-flipping phones, swivel phones, and so on. Today’s devices are slabs — giant slabs of screen and apps and processing power. What distinguishes one manufacturer’s flagship smartphone from another’s flagship just doesn’t seem terribly exciting anymore.

For a little while, apps saved us from becoming completely turned off. But like the devices themselves, apps have also saturated us to tears. There are hundreds of camera and photo editing apps, boring games, social networking apps, and utilities. Many of you suggested that downloading new apps or new skins and launchers were temporary fixes for your boredom.

However, I believe our boredom is a symptom of something bigger. I’m not sure what that is, but it’s probably the same thing that keeps us wanting new cars, clothes, shoes, appliances, computers, and other junk when what we have now is perfectly fine.

If new apps, cases, skins, and launchers don’t help in giving you that out-of-the-box feeling all over again, try creating something new with your phone.

I’ve seen incredible photos and videos that have been shot and edited with smartphones, for example. We’re not talking shaky home videos here, but featurettes and shorts that make you question whether they were really shot on smartphones.

If still photography or videography isn’t your thing, why not create a little art? We’ve all seen the New Yorker cover that was painted on an iPhone, but if you’re not up to that speed yet, it couldn’t hurt to try and hone that craft.

Or you can make sweet music on your smartphone or tablet. Think of all the music and instrument apps there are out there. Remember the iPad DJ? Or the band that played together in the NYC subway using their smartphones?

Whatever it is you’re into, don’t just think about it. Do it. Go make a crazy video that has us scratching our heads as to how you made it. Explore street photography with your smartphone’s discreet camera. Make music. Download apps to learn a new language. Create fun projects for yourself that uses your smartphone as a tool, because that’s what these things are — powerful and versatile tools. And they’re affordable and fit right in our pockets.

Pick something, or a few things, and create something every day. Stick with it and keep consistent. Just remember that the things you can create with your device are more powerful and moving than just customizing your launcher so that it looks different from the way it did last week.

When you do make that cool new video, painting, or music track that you’re proud of, share it with us!


Windows Phone 8 beats stock Android in PhoneDog’s Official Smartphone Rankings! Jun 18th 2013, 09:50
Aaron’s back to round up the best smartphones as voted on by YOU in PhoneDog’s Official Smartphone Rankings!

For week 67, the HTC One remained in the first place spot, beating the Samsung Galaxy S 4 with a total of 442 votes! On the People’s Choice chart, the Galaxy S 4 stayed in the second place spot with 147 votes, while the Galaxy Note II remained in third place with 62 votes. In fourth, the Nokia Lumia 920 with 42 votes, and in fifth place, the Google Nexus 4 with 37 votes. On the Expert’s Choice chart, the HTC One remained in the first place position for another week while the Apple iPhone 5 held onto its third place spot.

Windows Phone 8 jumped ahead of a stock Android smartphone this week, proving that Microsoft’s OS still has a leg in the OS fight. Which devices will win next week? Cast your vote and be part of the conversation!


Samsung Galaxy Ring now available from Virgin Mobile with Android 4.1 and $179.99 price tag Jun 18th 2013, 09:15
Samsung Galaxy Ring Virgin MobileHot on the heels of its launch of the Samsung Galaxy S III 4G LTE, Virgin Mobile today added another Galaxy handset to its lineup. Dubbed the Samsung Galaxy Ring, the new device is a bit more affordable than its Galaxy S III sibling, coming in at just $179.99 without a contract.

Along with having one of the most appropriate “Galaxy” names in Samsung’s Android-powered roster, the Galaxy Ring includes a 4-inch display, 1.4GHz processor, 5-megapixel rear and 1.3-megapixel front cameras, 4GB storage, microSD card slot and 1GB RAM. Android 4.1 Jelly Bean comes preloaded on the Galaxy Ring, and there’s also a 1,750mAh battery powering the whole package.

While the Galaxy Ring is obviously a bit of a step down from the Galaxy S III in terms of specs, its feature set still seems respectable, and its price tag is also $120 lower. Meanwhile, the fact that the Galaxy Ring comes with Android 4.1 preinstalled helps it to stand out among the multitude of other 3G-only Android handsets in Virgin’s lineup. Both the Galaxy Ring and its big “Add to Cart” button are waiting for you at the link below.

Via Virgin Mobile


Featured user review Samsung Galaxy S 4 (6-18-13) Jun 18th 2013, 08:33
So, you should know by now, yesterday, we launched a new Official Smartphone Rankings giveaway, Splash into Summer! As long as you vote for a smartpone this week, you’ll be entered* into the drawing. (*Official rules here). The smartphone with the most votes, will be the smartphone given to one lucky winner! So will enough of you vote the second place, Samsung Galaxy S 4 into the lead? Time will tell so be sure to vote for your favorite!“AWESOME” By ALEJANDRO COLLADO on June 17, 2013

The S4 is a perfect form, and it is superior to all other cells phones in software. Samsung really focuses on the usability and the quality of the software. It is smooth, beautiful screen, so many different settings, that makes the phone customizable to you. However, the phone does lack in designs. Samsung should be using premium material like metal, and compared to its others competitors it does lack in a solid feel.

Display 5/5
Battery Life 5/5
Apps & Media Support 5/5
Reception & Call Quality 5/5
Design/Form Factor 3/5

Overall 4.6

Official Smartphone Rankings™, vote now then leave a review.

Did you pick up the Samsung Galaxy S 4? Tell us about it here.


Huawei executive says company is ‘open-minded’ about acquiring Nokia Jun 18th 2013, 07:40
Huawei logo CESAlong with its announcement of the new 6.18mm-thick Ascend P6 today, Huawei today teased that it would be interested in acquiring Nokia as a way to help grow its business. Speaking to the Financial Times, Huawei consumer product chief Richard Yu said that his company is exploring ways that it could get bigger, adding that an acquisition is one avenue that Huawei is interested in. Yu then name-dropped Nokia, saying that the two firms might have “some synergies,” but that such a deal would require Nokia to be onboard. As for Huawei? “We are open-minded,” Yu said.

While Yu did specifically call out Nokia as one company that Huawei would like to acquire, it’s worth noting that there’s been no evidence that Huawei and Nokia are actually holding discussions regarding a buyout. If there any whiffs of acquisition talks between Huawei and Nokia were to surface, I’m betting that Microsoft would fight pretty hard to ensure that Nokia keeps cranking out Windows Phone products since Nokia is clearly a huge part of that platform’s ecosystem. Still, it’d be interesting to see what a combined Huawei and Nokia would look like and what types of products it would create. Do you think that Nokia would ever actually get acquired by Huawei? Or is such a deal unlikely for one reason or another (like Microsoft)?

Via PhoneScoop, Barron’s, Financial Times


PhoneDog 101: How to backup contacts Jun 18th 2013, 07:15
We’ve all been there, or at the very least heard horrific stories about that phone that was dropped in the deepest, darkest puddle in the parking lot. You know, the one where the phone was recovered, but the user was left with nothing but a very wet and expensive piece of plastic. Today, it seems we store our entire lives on our smartphones, but the very foundation of our personal information is in fact our contact list. Without it we would be lost. So this week I want to talk about a few ways you can prevent losing your contact list for both smartphone and basic feature phone devices.

Basic feature phone backup processes

There are many different ways to backup your information from your smartphone, but I want to start off with just the basics including a couple tips that will also help those with more basic feature phones. With any contact list management process, you first want to find where you can store your contacts. If your phone has a SIM card you can start there; traditional GSM carriers like AT&T and T-Mobile us these small cards to put your account profile on your device. Often, you can opt in to simply save every new contact as a SIM contact, other times you may have to simply select to export or copy your contacts to the SIM card. Doing this will ensure that wherever your SIM card goes, your contact list will follow.

Another card that a majority of devices utilize for extra storage space, is a micro SD card. It’s always good practice to have at least a small capacity SD card where available. Like SIM cards in a way, microSD cards allow the user to save valuable information to them. However, unlike SIM cards, the SD format isn’t limited to just contact storage, but can store data like pictures, video, and music as well. They come in various sizes from various brands, so be sure you know the capacity limit of your device before you purchase an extra card.

Carrier backup systems

There are some situations still where the user doesn’t have an SD card slot on the device and the carrier they’re subscribed to doesn’t utilize SIM cards. In these instances you may have to get creative. Some carriers like Verizon and AT&T for example, provide users with a wireless contact backup system. With these backup options users can store and manage their entire contact list on the carrier’s network. With these systems you still want to make sure that you are frequently backing up your contact list, depending on how often you add contacts. You don’t want to get stuck with a list from last year, so backup when you can.

Google to the rescue

For Android users, your Gmail account is a critical part of your life. The information kept on this account not only keeps your phone running smoothly and efficiently, but if used correctly can help you recover personal data when something happens to your device. On most Android phones, the user can now simply go to the contacts application, and within the settings select the “contacts merge” button and your Gmail account should synchronize with your contact information. For devices that don’t have a “merge” option, simply export your contacts to an SD card and then import them back onto your Gmail account instead of the phone.

You want to always double check on this process by logging in to your Gmail account and selecting the contacts tab to see what has been backed up. Be sure to take advantage of Google’s intelligent system, as you can delete duplicate contacts and thoroughly manage your list.

iCloud makes your life easy

For iPhone users, backing up contacts is a painless process. The easiest and most popular way to backup information like a contact lists is to utilize the free iCloud service. Any iPhone using iOS 5.1 and higher will be able to log into an iCloud account and start backing up immediately. To do this, go to your Settings application and scroll down until you see the iCloud option tab. Select the option and log in using your iTunes account information. Once logged in you can select what information you would like to have backed up to your iCloud profile, including contacts.

Once you have selected the contacts option, scroll all the way to the bottom of the page and tap the Storage and Backup tab. This will bring you to your storage page where you can turn on the backup feature. With iCloud backup turned on, the device will automatically backup whenever you have the device plugged in, locked, and under a Wi-Fi network. Having this option on means that you will never have to manually connect the device to your iTunes program on your computer, and you will never go without your contacts ever again, no matter what happens to your device. Once again it’s always good practice to check and make sure your information is in fact being backed up. To double check go to iCloud.com and log in using the same log in information as before. From this website you can access the features of your iCloud including your contact list, calendar, Find My Phone feature, and many more.

Please note that these methods are not by any means the only way to backup information. You can utilize applications like Dropbox, Google Drive, SkyDrive, and even backup and synchronize contact information with Outlook on your Windows phone 8. But, by utilizing these basic services you will be walking down a much more secured path in terms of contact list insurance.

So readers, do you have a different method for backing up important information like contacts? Do you prefer one over another? Let us know in the comments down below!


AT&T to launch BlackBerry Q10 on June 21 for $199.99 Jun 18th 2013, 06:25
AT&T BlackBerry Q10 officialAfter kicking off pre-orders for its version of the BlackBerry Q10 earlier this month, AT&T today revealed exactly when the QWERTY-fied BlackBerry 10 handset will be landing on its shelves. The BlackBerry Q10 will be available from AT&T’s stores and website starting on June 21, aka this Friday, with pricing set at $199.99 on a two-year contract or $584.99 without a commitment. AT&T is also running a trade-in program that will allow consumers to knock at least $100 off of the price of a new smartphone when they trade in their current device.

Following the launch of the full-touch BlackBerry Z10 earlier this year, the BlackBerry Q10 recently launched on T-Mobile and Verizon and is now headed to AT&T, giving anyone that’s still addicted to hardware keyboards a new device to check out. Smartphones with physical keyboards seem to be a bit of a dying breed lately, and so the Q10 is kind of a big deal for folks that still prefer to type on actual keys rather than a piece of glass.

The BlackBerry Q10 also features a 3.1-inch touchscreen, giving users the option of tapping on their device’s display if they’re in a touchy mood, as well as support for AT&T’s 4G LTE network. The Q10 product page on AT&T’s website can be found bit hitting up the appropriate link below.

Via AT&T announcement, BlackBerry Q10 product page