MMS enabled by T-Mobile for Google Voice users

Google-Voice-Large

Sprint has let users on Google Voice to receive MMS messages through Gmail. T-Mobile is following suit today, adding the feature to their own network, and making Google Hangouts an even nicer looking option. Verizon and AT&T have not mentioned anything yet regarding an update.

Alex Wiesen, a Google employee, posted some information regarding the news on his Google+ profile.

We’re happy to announce this week another step towards improving MMS support for Google Voice. T-Mobile has allowed MMS messages from their users to be sent to Google Voice users. Similar to MMS messages from Sprint users, these messages will appear in Gmail, and you can be notified of the message via SMS. We continue to work with other carriers to broaden support for messaging and bring MMS to Hangouts. More good things are coming!

Sounds good, and we’re looking forward to seeing what other great features are brought to Google Hangouts in the future.

Source: +Alex Wiesen

Facebook messenger is getting an overhaul, dropping SMS support

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While one tech giant announced the addition of support for SMS text messages in their product today, another has announced they are dropping the option for their product. Facebook announced today they are dropping support for texting with their Facebook Messenger app on Android. While they are dropping the SMS support, Facebook is set to release an update to the app to give it a fresh look and add some features they hope will encourage users to opt for Messenger when communication needs arise.
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Verizon releases ‘FamilyBase,’ gives nearly complete control over kids’ phones to parents

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It looks like the NSA is  about to have a rival in the spying business— good old Mom and Pops.

Got a feeling your kids are up to no good? Want to monitor your kids’ data usage? Need to lock your son out of his phone because he won’t do his homework?

Good news for you— Verizon has announced “FamilyBase,” which will let parents (or account administrators) monitor and limit calling, texting, app usage, app purchases, as well as set time restrictions and review contact lists. The feature to remotely lock their devices on demand is also available.

Big Red is making the service available for $5/month for up to 10 lines— it’s only for Android devices running 2.1 or higher. (So pretty much all of you can use it.) To set it up, parents can visit familybase.vzw.com, or by calling SAFE, or by texting SAFE to #7233. The apps are also available in the Play store.

Check out the press release after the break for more info.


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Bell introduces array of new unlimited talk and text plans

Canadian carrier Bell mobility has announced a slew of new unlimited talk and text plans that are slated to go head to head with Roger’s recently announced offerings. Unsurprisingly, unlimited data is nowhere to be found, but the company does manage to undercut a few other northern carriers in terms of pricing.

The new plans include:

  • $55/month 1000 minutes, 200 MB broadband data
  • $65/month unlimited local talk, 1 GB broadband data and 10 hours of Bell MobileTV
  • $75/month unlimited local talk, 3 GB broadband data and 10 hours of Bell MobileTV
  • $95/month unlimited Canada-wide talk, 5 GB broadband data and 10 hours of Bell MobileTV
Bell is also offering unlimited nationwide long-distance calling for an additional $10 per month. The new plans will be available beginning November 9th and can be purchased online or in any brick-and-mortar store.

Source: NewsWire

National Transportation Safety Board Recommends Nation-Wide cellphone Ban for Drivers

Alright folks, buckle your seat belts and put down your mobile phone. Actually that’s exactly what the NTSB (National Transportation Safety Board) wants you to do and recommends that all US states ban the use of cellphones while driving. Now this doesn’t mean that they want you to stop using navigation or music playback, they are gearing this more towards texting and making phone calls without the use of a hands-free method. The following quote from the NTSB sums it up fairly well:

The safety recommendation specifically calls for the 50 states and the District of Columbia to ban the non-emergency use of portable electronic devices (other than those designed to support the driving task) for all drivers. The safety recommendation also urges use of the NHTSA model of high-visibility enforcement to support these bans and implementation of targeted communication campaigns to inform motorists of the new law and heightened enforcement.

Although I am sometimes guilty of such an act (my girlfriend punishingly reminds me), I think this law should be in effect and nation-wide as well. If you have a decent Bluetooth headset or an in-car set-up, there should be no reason for distracting yourself while driving with your cellphone. You can even text with speech-to-text apps such as Vlingo, that don’t even require you to touch your phone. I have no excuse for breaking my states law and deserve the punishment if I were to get caught.

Thousands of people have been killed or injured due to drivers being ‘occupied’ by their phones, when in reality all attention should be devoted to the road. This recommendation from the NTSB stemmed from an accident in 2010 that involved a truck, 2 school buses and a teenager who had been sending text messages while driving. The crash killed two children and injured 38, reason enough for me to support a nation wide law against the use of cellphones while driving. I will definitely have to change my driving habits moving forward and I am going to make an honest attempt at doing so.

What are your thoughts, for or against?

[via NTSB]

 

LG announces the dual-screened DoublePlay for T-Mobile

LG and T-Mobile announced the DoublePlay, a unique dual touch screen smartphone. To celebrate, it will be used by 13 contestants in the fifth annual LG U.S. National Texting Championship for a chance to win $50,000 cash.

The DoublePlay is all about texting and multitasking as it features two customizable touch screens that operate independently or in tandem: a 3.5 inch main display and a 2.0-inch sub display. You will have access to seven home screens and up to nine touchscreen shortcuts. To go along with the displays you also have a full-slide out QWERTY keyboard and Swype.

For texting. the DoublePlay offers various options, including Cloud Text, which lets users send and receive texts from a PC or tablet, and Group Text, which lets users create group chats.

As far as specs go, you will also find a 1GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon processor, 5MP camera with LED flash, a 720p HD video recorder, and Android 2.3 Gingerbread.

Full press release after the break:


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Google Voice Takes First Step Toward MMS Support

The one thing holding me back from using my Google Voice account exclusively is the lack of MMS support. Sure, others with smartphones can just e-mail photos, but it never seems to work out that way. Yesterday, Google officially announced they have made a first step toward bringing this feature to its GV users. At the moment, only Sprint users are able to send MMS messages and to receive them you’ll have to turn on “enable text to e-mail forwarding” in your GV settings. Google is working on getting this to work with other carriers and getting the MMS messages to show up in the GV inbox, but this is a huge step forward. Most of us have been waiting for this since GV launched and may help to ditch using our main numbers all together. Stay tuned for more detailed information as it comes. Who’s excited?

[via googlevoiceblog]

Facebook Messenger comes to Android and contains code for video chat

With all the IM apps and the recent addition of Google Huddle, it has become the battle of the messaging apps. Now Facebook is looking to crash the party with Facebook Messenger.

Facebook Messenger will be like Google Huddle in that you can send and receive messages within groups.

Top Features

  • Message friends, groups of friends or anyone in your mobile contacts
  • Map your location, find your friends and make plans on the go
  • Get mobile notifications so you never miss a message
  • Include photos so friends can see what you’re doing


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T-Mobile introduces “Drive Smart”, an app to prevent unsafe phone practices while driving

It’s pretty simple: texting while driving is never a good idea. Thankfully, T-Mobile is taking some initiative with their new “DriveSmart Plus” application, which uses your phone’s GPS to calculate when your phone is going at car-like speeds and will automatically switch into this safe driving mode.


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