AT&T Throttles on a Curve, Punishing Low Data Usage

by Ed Caggiani on
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What can a carrier do to keep their data networks running smoothly when the appetite for bits keeps growing? One method is called “throttling”. This simply means slowing down a user’s access to the network when that user passes a certain threshold of data used. The theory behind this is that heavy data users, once throttled, cannot continue to consume massive amounts of data when the pipe is made narrower, leaving more bandwidth for everyone else.

Last summer, AT&T announced new restrictions for users on their unlimited plan. The restrictions look at the top 5% of the heaviest data users who are grandfathered in to the plan, and throttle them for the rest of the billing month. The problem is that the amount of data used by the top 5% changes every month. So, for example, if the top 5% all used around 2GB of data, that’s where they set the threshold. Any user approaching that threshold would be warned, then throttled once they pass it.

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Prepare for Facebook Ads on Your Smartphone and Tablet

by Ed Caggiani on
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After filing for an initial public offering (IPO) earlier this month, Facebook is looking to generate more revenue from its mobile audience, which comprises nearly half of their traffic. According to the Financial Times, Facebook plans to start displaying ads in their mobile app and the mobile version of their web site by early March. The Facebook IPO filing states that the company isn’t making any “meaningful revenue” from mobile, but it seems that this is about to change.

The First Round of Mobile Ads
Facebook’s IPO filing hinted that it is considering rolling out mobile Sponsored Stories, which launched in 2011 on the desktop version of the site. These are ads that use your friends’ likes, check-ins,  and comments to determine what ads to display for you. From the IPO filing (emphasis mine):

Mobile Advertising. The global mobile advertising market was $1.5 billion in 2010 and is expected to grow at a 64% compound annual rate to $17.6 billion in 2015 according to an industry source. According to a third-party report published in September 2010, the Facebook app is the most frequently downloaded app across all major smartphone platforms in the United States. We had more than 425 million MAUs who used Facebook mobile products in December 2011. We currently do not show ads or directly generate any meaningful revenue from users accessing Facebook through our mobile products, but we believe that we may have potential future monetization opportunities such as the inclusion of sponsored stories in users’ mobile News Feeds.

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Get Your Wallpaper Into The Season With KF Hearts Live Wallpaper For Android (Video)

by Joe Sirianni on
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Like getting all lovey-dovey around this time of year?  Want to make a statement on your smartphone?  Well, this Valentine’s Day we have just what you’re looking for.  KF Hearts Live Wallpaper for Android offers all the gushy and gooey one can swallow as you configure drifting hearts across your desktop that are interactive to the touch.  The developer, Kittehface Software, is offering a donation version of the application which gives you the ability to change quite a number of features.  You can alter the appearance of the hearts, camera speed, background images, add hearts that allow you to input a photo of someone and more.  Ready to give it a go?  Head on over to the Android Market or check out the QR code below as well.  Don’t forget to let us know what you think of the app in the comments below.  Pics and video after the break.  Happy Valentine’s Day everyone.
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Swype Update for Ice Cream Sandwich on the Horizon

by Emily Aquin on
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On February 1st, a couple of tweets from the developers of Swype confirmed that we will have an update to their popular keyboard within the next few days.  Responding to another Tweet, the Swype team promised that the update would be for devices running Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich, plus some mysterious “goodies”.  There has been an unofficial hacked version of Swype for more than a month, so we’re looking forward to having the real deal updated.  If you’d like to be a beta tester, be sure to register for the update at forum.swype.com.  Otherwise, wait for the OTA update.

source: Twitter 1,2

Have Your Heart Set On A New Phone? Win A Droid RAZR With Verizon’s Twitter Contest

by Josh O'Donnell on
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Verizon is kicking off the Valentine’s “season” with a lovely (pun intended) Twitter contest! Tweet off a poem, a romantic(ally hilarious) moment, or tweet a picture with a Valentine’s Day confession. Close it off with a #tweetheart (nice one, Verizon) and you’re on your way to quite possibly owning a nice piece of Android hardware, a Droid Razr compliments of Verizon. Remember to be creative! This is a contest after all. The contest starts beating Feb. 13 and runs until the 14th.

Source: Twitter

Carrier Coverage comes to Android, Helps you decide which carrier is best for you [Video]

by Robert Nazarian on

Depending on where you live, it may not be so obvious as to which carrier will give you the best coverage and service. You can look at the carrier’s maps, but real world usage is where it’s at. This is where Carrier Coverage comes in.

You have to first download the app and then every once in a while the apps sends them your location, carrier, signal strength, and other useful info. Don’t worry, they promise not to go all “Carrier IQ” on you because the information they gather isn’t private, and it will only go towards helping everyone make better decisions. Carrier Coverage also promises your battery life won’t be in jeopardy, and you can chose how often data is sent, if at all.  Of course, the more users, the better the information is. Right now they currently have 1749 users across 77 different devices. For now it seems as though it’s only available in North America.

If Carrier Coverage continues to grow we can expect more things like reporting breakdowns between 2G, 3G, and 4G by June 2012 and data speeds by October 2012. They’re also hoping to give us the ability to be able to input a specific address. Checkout the short video highlighting Carrier Coverage and download links after the break.

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Motorola Atrix 4G Soak Test About To Get Underway

by Roy Alugbue on
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Well folks it looks like the Atrix 4G soak test we previously told you about is finally about to commence. Motorola has indicated the following heads up on the imminent update:

“Tomorrow after 12 Central/10 Pacific, you will receive a pop-up message on your phone that will mark the beginning of  the software pre-release test.”

Of course we speculate it’s likely the 4.5.141 software update bringing Gingerbread 2.3.5 and a few other enhancements. But part of me wants to reaaaaaaaaaally hope and believe it’s a surprise sweeter treat. Stay tuned with Talk Android for any further updates on the rollout of this mysterious update for Atrix 4G soak test participants.

 

Thanks Anonymous!

Hey Android Manufacturers, Too Much of a Good Thing Can Be More Than Enough!

by Jack Holt on
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Even as an Android fanatic I have to admit that its main competitor, the iPhone, does extremely well. As much as I hate to say it, the iPhone is here to stay and will continue to be a thorn in Android’s side. I have been sitting and wondering though on why so many folks go over to the iOS side or stray from Android. While I am not an expert I believe a lot of it has to do with how these phones are marketed coupled with the amount of Android phones that OEMs are putting on the market. » Read the rest

Further Clarification Offered for CDMA Galaxy Nexus “Official” Status Drop

by Jack Holt on
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For those of you who don’t know Google dropped official “developer device” support for the CDMA (Verizon) version of the Galaxy Nexus last week. While a statement was released explaining why, it apparently required further explanation as it wasn’t officially explained in full as to what this drop actually meant. So without futher hesitation here is what the official Google Group’s post has to say: » Read the rest

HTC Admits 2011 Devices Not Up to Par

by Emily Aquin on
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Following disappointing revenue results in the last quarter of 2011, HTC is conceding that their phones were under performing.  The company had previously announced that it would release fewer but more quality phones in 2012.  HTC had spread itself too thin by releasing a constant stream of devices.

Earlier today, the company had announced that its revenue in the last three months of 2011 had fallen 2.49 percent year-on-year, and a full 25 percent from Q3.  These dire numbers prompted HTC to reflect and improve on their previous strategies.  With the new outlook, 2012 will likely bring increases to HTC’s revenues.

Chief Financial Officer Winston Yung noted in a conference call with investors that HTC plans to produce phones that combine a long battery life and attractive design with fast 4G connection speeds.  In the past, HTC feels it had always sacrificed one of those components.  Yung expects these problems to be resolved in 2012, and using a 4G LTE phone will not require a compromise in quality any longer.

While Yung declined to provide details on future products or release dates, rumors have been flying about the HTC Edge and the HTC Ville.  Look for more details to emerge on these phones in the coming months.

source: Slashgear