Verizon Wireless VP of Network Engineering explains recent network woes

by Robert Nazarian on
tagged

Verizon Wireless had a tough December to say the least. There were three major outages, and of course, with all the holiday buying frenzy, it couldn’t have come at a worse time. Should we panic? Absolutely not. Verizon has the best network in the U.S. and they are the leaders in 4G LTE. With that comes growing pains.

Verizon Wireless VP of network engineering Mike Haberman recently spoke with GigaOm to explain what’s been happening and what they’re doing about it.

“Being the pioneers, we’re going to experience some growing pains,” Haberman said. “These issues we’ve been experiencing are certainly regrettable but they were unforeseeable.”

» Read the rest

Custom Controls and Themes Added to CyanogenMod 9′s Music Player

by Jack Holt on
tagged , , , , , , , ,

The other day we brought to you a preview of CM9′s brand new launcher, Trebuchet. Well today we bring you news regarding CyanogenMod’s take on the stock music player. While Ice Cream Sandwich‘s music player is no slouch, the Cyanogenmod team is slated to have a host of features on top of those already there. The folks over at The Verge, were able to wrangle out the details on the music player by one of CM9′s developers, Andrew Neal.

There is a whole slew of customizations and features that make the music player that much more awesome. There will be a custom shake action feature that you can set up to go to the next song or play/pause for example. They will work through out the OS and even while the screen is off. You will see custom  notification area controls with the ability to add or subtract controls to your heart’s content. There will be an ability to search the Android Market, set ringtones, and you will see swipe-gestures through out. It’s also planned for a full theme engine addition that will allow you to customize both the look and feel of the app.  » Read the rest

Amazon Enjoys Record Year For Kindle Family

by Roy Alugbue on
tagged , ,

The celebration continues at Amazon. In addition to the Kindle Fire outselling the competition, Amazon can now lay claim for its Kindle family having record-breaking sales. While not giving a specific number, the company claims “customers purchased millions of Kindle Fires and millions of Kindle e-readers”. It isn’t as if it’s a complicated formula for Amazon either. That attractive $199 price point and assortment of features makes it much more accessible for consumers wanting to enjoy a tablet experience. All of this adds up to the Kindle Fire being the best-selling product on Amazon.com’s mobile website and across all of Amazon.com’s mobile applications.

Also of note are the successes of Kindle book downloads & sales from authors as well as the sales of products from 3rd party businesses. Amazon highlights “In 2011, Kindle Direct Publishing and CreateSpace author CJ Lyons reached #2 on the Amazon best seller list, #2 on the New York Times best seller list, and #4 on the USA Today best seller list”. The company also points out “the number of sellers who exceeded $5,000 in sales during the holiday season increased 44 percent year-over-year. For the year, businesses on Amazon sold hundreds of millions of units worth billions of dollars worldwide”. The champagne certainly must be flowing at the Amazon corporate offices even though we’re still a few days from the new year. Hit the break to see the full presser from Amazon.

» Read the rest

Yup… Verizon Wireless Customers To Pay Extra $2 When Paying Bills Online

by Roy Alugbue on
tagged

Verizon is set to create an unwanted trend among the mobile carriers. Starting January 15, 2012, Verizon plans to charge its mobile subscribers a new $2 fee every time they pay their wireless bills online or directly over the phone.Verizon has yet to come out and provide a formal response or press release regarding this, but the company can bet it will receive staunch criticism from both customers and the media.

Keep in mind this doesn’t apply to all Verizon customers. Verizon will not be charging the fee to those of you paying with an electronic or paper check, enrolled in automatic bill pay using a debit or credit card and finally, those paying with a Verizon gift or rebate card. Despite this, this is not the type of precedent to set if you’re a leader in an industry— especially if you’re the largest mobile carrier and experience record growth annually.

If you’re an Android owner or Verizon subscriber, feel free to let us know what you think and feel about this in the Comments section below.

[via CNET]

AT&T HTC Vivid review

by Robert Nazarian on

The HTC Vivid launched side by side with the Samsung Galaxy S II Skyrocket two months ago as the first LTE phones available on AT&T. Currently it’s available in both black and white for $199.99, which isn’t a bad price considering Verizon is selling most LTE phones at $299.99. The only issue with the Vivid is that AT&T’s LTE service is only available in 15 markets. For those Sense lovers wanting something future proof, this could be the device for you. This is my full review, but you can also checkout my initial hands on video.

» Read the rest

Android 4.0 Port Gives DROID Bionic Taste Of Ice Cream Sandwich Glory

by Roy Alugbue on
tagged , , , , ,

The list of devices running some sort of Ice Cream Sandwich build is steadily growing by the day. While most Android users are anxiously waiting for their particular phone to be graced with ICS— whether an official version or through a port, at least owners of the Motorola DROID Bionic have reason to smile today. We already know Motorola plans on upgrading the device to Android 4.0 in the not-too-distant future, but many of us just can’t wait for Motorola to bring ICS with their BLUR topping to the Bionic. As such, some crafty developers took matters into their own hands and decided to bring an Alpha ICS build to the Bionic.

Based off CM9, the ICS build is for the most part fully functional too. The touchscreen, capacative buttons, bluetooth and built-in screenshot are among the items that work like a charm. However there’s one major function that’s missing at this time and it’s a big one– the 3G/4G data does not work as of right now, though the developers are trying to work the kinks out and will likely get data working sooner than later. In the meantime, there’s always WiFi, right? Be sure to hit the DroidForums link below for additional details and progress of the ICS build for the Bionic.

[via DroidForums]

Samsung Announces 1 Million Galaxy Note’s Shipped, Confirms US Bound

by Stacy Bruce on
tagged , ,

When Samsung launched its phone/tablet hybrid, the Galaxy Note, back in October, many felt that it was too big of a screen for a smartphone and thought sales would be bleak. Well here we are about two months later and Samsung reports that they have already shipped over 1 million units, proving there is actually reasonable desire for such a large smartphone.

As it stands right now, the device is only available in select countries overseas but Samsung aims to bring the Note to the states as well. Along with the 1 million units announcement today, Samsung also confirmed plans to embrace the US market with the  Galaxy Note’s presence. No word on which carrier/s would get dibs on the phablet, but I imagine AT&T is already lined up since we have already discussed its compatibility with their 4G network.

Who’s been holding out for this bad-boy?

[via Sammy Hub]

 

Get 50GB of Storage Through Box.com/net Without Root With This Sneaky App

by Jack Holt on
tagged , , , , , ,

If you are the owner of a Sony Xperia Play or any one of the various LG smartphones then you should be aware of the deal where Box is giving away a 50GB upgrade to its cloud storage service until  the end of this year. This means that you have until the day after tomorrow to get in a 50GB lifetime storage limit. This deal however, did leave the rest of us out in the cold. Perhaps the reason for this was some sort of promotional deal between, Box, LG, and Sony as a way to make their phones more marketable, but alas, I do not know for sure.

But fear not if you aren’t the owner of a Xperia and LG smart phone as the folks over at XDA have created an app that will give any Box account the 50GB upgrade. Thanks to redphx you can do this without needing to root and editing your build.prop or even witchcraft. All this program requires is the ability to log into your Box account.

» Read the rest

Qello App Brings Concert Experience To Google TV

by Roy Alugbue on
tagged , ,

Qello has long been a popular app among Android users. Music aficionados have been able to watch concerts and documentaries of popular music artists in all their glory on Android phones and tablets. While the ability to watch on the Android handsets has no doubt been great, isn’t it just a wee bit better if we could watch content on a High Definition screen instead? Well friends, the Qello app is now available with Google TV. That means you’ll finally be able to see the music content right from the space of your living room or bedroom and rock out to Devo or enjoy that Diddy documentary using that shiny new HDTV you got for Christmas. Happy days for all music fans— especially those who have Google TV.

[via Google TV Blog]

Android Market link

 

Deal Alert: Expansys USA Unlocked GSM Galaxy Nexus For $690 And At Negri For $670

by Joe Sirianni on
tagged , , , ,

The Internet is all a buzz lately as sales for the Galaxy Nexus are popping up everywhere.  Right now you can snatch a brand new unlocked GSM Galaxy Nexus off contract for only $690 over at Expansys USA as well as $670 over at Negri.  This is a pretty good deal considering the device has mainly been available for around the $700-$730 mark.  The sites are offering 3-5 day delivery at no cost to you and the deal is solid for the 16 GB model only.  If you think you’ll be good with only 16 GB’s and want to snag the device now, check out the source links for yourself and don’t forget to let us know what you think in the comments below.  Enjoy your non-branded and non-bloatware device :)

Update:  Looks like the Negri device is up to $674.50 (Still worth it!)

[via Expansys & Negri]