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Sprint® to levy $10 data plan surcharge for smartphones

Sprint recently announced that data plan charges for smartphones will be increased by $10. It is extending the premium data surcharge that it currently charges for data services for 4G enabled smartphones. Thus the price of its plan comprising of unlimited data download and unlimited texting has been increased to 39.99 dollars. According to a press release by Sprint, this would help them to offer its customers a simple and affordable unlimited plan in order to get a rich mobile experience. This would avoid them capping their data limits like other carriers. Current users of phones that are not smartphones will not have to pay the extra amount unless they shift to a new smartphone. The press release stated that Sprint also offers a full range of traditional feature phones, including popular eco-friendly or touch-screen handsets that do not require the Premium Data add-on charge, but still have a great range of capabilities with voice, text and data access. The existing Sprint smartphone customers would not be affected unless they upgrade to or activate another amartphone.

According to analysts comparing the services offered various carriers, Sprint actually comes out cheaper than Verizon or AT&T. The comparison is based on the offer of a bundle of 450 minutes of talk time unlimited data usage and unlimited free messages.This could however prove to be an advantage for T-Mobile which has cheaper plans. This increase in fee is a direct result of the changing economy and the high usage of data by consumers. Sprint claims its smartphone users use approximately 10 times more data services than other phone owners. Smartphones users now actually use a lot of data services to exploit the full potential of their phones which pushes up the cost to company and hence Sprint has increased the charges by 10 dollars in order to face the economy changes and to not suffer a loss. AT&T had recently withdrawn its unlimited data plan due to similar concerns and had shifted to a tiered approach. However, according to Dan Hesse, Sprint Nextel’s chief, Sprint has maintained it has no such plans of making a move similar to AT&T.

The Sprints press release says that the company’s current unlimited data plans being offered, with or without the $10 charge, continue to beat the offerings of their top competitors, who cap users’ data, charge data overages, and do not offer the unique functionality of Any Mobile, Anytime, which gives subscribers on the Sprint network unlimited calling to any other wireless user in America regardless of the carrier.

Google™: Nexus One Gingerbread update is coming soon

Android, Google Nexus One Smartphone and Android developer phone are terms which are inter-related with each other. Originally, Android Inc. developed an interesting mobile operating system called the Android. Google bought this company in the year 2005. In 2007, the mobile industry leaders and a multinational alliance of technology leaders like Google Inc., T-Mobile, HTC, Motorola and others collaborated on the development of the Android through the open handset alliance, further growing into the Android open source project. With Google spearheading the venture, it was really interesting to see how the concept grew. Google then went ahead to introduce the Nexus One.

Naturally, this Google flagship smartphone got priority over everyone else in updates of all kinds. A logical question that now arises is, with the Gingerbread OS introduced already on other phones, why is the Nexus One still not privy to the same. In the case of Apple, or Windows-based smart phones, all updates keep coming periodically, automatically to the existing devices up to the limit of the hardware capability existing within the phone.

Android is different. In the case of Apple or Windows, the users are dependent on new introductions, changes and updates on the said companies and all they need to know is how much needs to be paid. The Android Open Source Project instead has everything wide open and transparent about everything in the pipeline or ready or implemented, with all information of development and open knowhow. Here, the phone user is dependent on the manufacturer, the carrier and other factors before he gets an upgrade or an update. Android users also have the facility of many manufacturers with a wide variety of firmware at very low prices in comparison to Apple or Windows.

Probably, in the case of the Nexus One, Google wants to benefit from its new product, the Nexus S. The Nexus S has been launched with the latest OS – Gingerbread – the Android 2.3. Early January, a Tweet, also referred to Google having officially announced that Gingerbread would be coming to the Nexus One in a few weeks. Something is holding them back. Even after all these questions have been raised, Google has confirmed that Gingerbread for the Nexus One is on its way.

It is difficult to imagine why the Google or the Android team is delaying the implementation of the Gingerbread OS. The Gingerbread OS has various features, over its earlier 2.1 and Froyo updates. Better speed, better battery life, better application management, a more interesting user interface and a color scheme to add. Least but not the last, the new keyboard supporting multi-touch input and smart auto correct function, better camera management, Near Field Communication (if your hardware supports it), larger screen sizes, Internet calling – SIP based, improved camera management and file management are some of the features to look for.

The new apps integrated help better download management and even a system clipboard for cut and paste improved features. Barely has the Gingerbread been introduced, all Android users are already waiting for their new and Honeycomb OS. The application arena with the Android Open Source Project is a big eye-opener for one and all.

T-Mobile® Finally Ends Sidekick Service

T-Mobile has announced the end of Sidekick service from May 31 onwards. T-Mobile has terminated the service originally known as the Danger Hiptop, this May 31 and the result of it is that the Sidekick devices will lose most of their features.

The operator T-Mobile has announced its intention to terminate the services of the company for cloud Danger Hiptop (which was acquired by Microsoft) by May 31 next, after nearly 10 years in operation. After that date, users will no longer have Sidekick access to the slew of services for social networks and messaging.

T-Mobile will propose plans for migration to other terminals and is now offering users to export their personal data to its online storage service. In order to ensure that the T-mobile Sidekick product users can easily transfer data to the new Sidekick smart mobile devices, the Danger cloud service will offer consumers a web tool to facilitate the T-mobile sidekick users to access their products, contacts, photos, calendars, and other relevant information.

According to the website All Things Digital, there are  number of causes because of that the company planned the end of the service. The company is not very sure about this platform now because of some past experiences.

Actually, there was a crash in 2009 following a maintenance problem. T-Mobile wants to build on the mobile OS from Google and highlight its mobile network HSPA +. Sidekick brand should not disappear but it will pass under the flag Android. If we can understand that the operator seeks to change terminals to exploit the latest technologies.

T-Mobile® ships Motorola® CLIQ 2 with driving mode app

The Motorola CLIQ 2 smartphone has the Android 2.2 Froyo operating system. It has a slider mechanism and comes with a 5-megapixel digital zoom camera. It also has dual LED flash and an automatic focus for photography. The Motorola CLIQ 2 smartphone supports text messaging, multimedia messaging, instant messaging and e-mailing.

T-Mobile has provided the innovative DriveSmart Android app with the Motorola CLIQ 2 smartphone. Users can easily shift between the driving and basic modes. The driving mode mutes all calls and messages to ensure that the risk of accidents is minimised. The calls are either forwarded to a Bluetooth activated head set or to the voice mail box. The graphical user interface of the application is extremely attractive and the entire program is very simple and easy to handle. DriveSmart enables you to use Motorola CLIQ 2 in a hands-free manner. It also allows you to set an automatic mode to reply to incoming messages. The basic version of DriveSmart requires manual toggling. On subscribing to a monthly plan of $10, the driving mode is automatically set using a GPS. Thus, the DriveSmart app provided by T-Mobile on the Motorola CLIQ 2 smartphone is really innovative and useful for subscribers.

Samsung® Denies Charging Carriers for Android™ 2.2 Update

Samsung has denied rumours that it will charge carriers with regards the Android update, thus forcing T-Mobile in withholding update to Samsung Vibrant. Earlier it was reported that Samsung was not intentionally updating the operating system of Vibrant to Android 2.2 as had been committed to customers, fearing that the update will lessen the interest for the upcoming 4G enabled version. A T-Mobile employee told Android Spin that Samsung did not allow T-Mobile for pushing out the update. In addition to that, the source disclosed that original Vibrant may use 4G fully which they are not disclosing.

Samsung Mobile dispatched an e-mail addressed to Phone Scoop briefing that Samsung is not in the practice of charging the carriers for updates of Froyo to Samsung Galaxy S. They expect to obtain more information on the current status very shortly. Samsung felt that it was important for making the Android 2.2 Froyo obtainable only after they felt that one could give the owners of Galaxy S a reliable and simple experience of upgrading. Owing to complication and unique nature of functionality for each Galaxy S device, they were conducting additional type of testing and were working to offer the Andorid 2.2 Froyo upgrade to all owners of Galaxy S as early as possible, including the Samsung Vibrant.

T-Mobile® G-Slate info page teases Android™ Honeycomb

T-Mobile in collaboration with LG has revealed the G-Slate to counter Motorola Xoom. It is an Android Honeycomb powered tablet. It will be the first 4G Honeycomb tablet to be available. This tablet would be one of the first to be powered by Android 3.0 which is designed for tablets keeping in mind their form factors and design. The Honeycomb is a platform which provides the user with an enhanced user interface and a rich experience in terms of widgets, multi tasking, browsing, notifications and customization. Jeff Hwang, president of LG Mobile Phones, said that LG is dedicated to continue its role as an innovation leader and was thrilled to announce its entry into the tablet market with the G-Slate. He elaborates on its key features by saying that it provides a rich multimedia experience with 4G speed and the latest in Android technology. It is also packed with the latest Google Mobile technology including Google Maps 5.0 with 3D interaction Google Talk with voice and video chat.

It has a display measuring nearly 10 inches with 3D capability, 3D recording capability. It is powered by the LG Tegra Dual Core CPU. It has multiple USB ports and HDMI connectivity options, and 4G forms an essential part of its connectivity package. One of its key advantages over Motorola Xoom is that Xoom comes with the option to upgrade to 4G while the G slate is already 4G enabled. This is quite an advantage for G slate as it will come bundled with T Mobile’s HSPA plus network. T-Mobile has already updated its network to speeds of 42 Mb per sec capability of 4G.

Android Honeycomb which would be powering the G slate comes with features like multi touch and video chats to empower tablets. It has a new and exciting user interface with high performance 2-D and 3-D graphics with support for multiple home screens. It provides support for multi core processors, multimedia options, enhanced connectivity options Google Talk with video chat support and a new web browser. It also has the killer Google Maps 5.0 with 3D panning features enabled.

The G slate is expected to be launched in the second quarter of 2011, and would probably follow the launch of Motorola’s Xoom tablet. Thus it might come into a market where consumers will be looking first for its 4G enabled services which Xoom currently lacks. These two tablets are being tagged as iPad killers but their first competition would be with each other. They both are powered with the NVIDIA Tegra 2 Core and is a much powerful device than the ARM based tablets.

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