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Google’s Project Fi has decided to expand its coverage even more. Previously operating with WiFi hotspots and the 4G LTE networks of Sprint and T-Mobile, the company announced over the summer that it will be adding U.S. Cellular coverage to its services. Project Fi claims that Fi users have a connection nearly 99% of the time, and spend about 95% of cellular time on LTE, which will improve even further with the addition of U.S. Cellular.
August 24th, 2015 | FAQ, Google, Mobile Apps | No Comments
Bloatware is the worst, and there is no one as guilty of pre-loading your phone with tons of random apps than Google. Personally, whenever I get a new device the first thing I do is go through and disable about 2/3 of these mostly useless apps. Recently, Google announced that it was pairing down some of the required apps, but that isn’t helpful for the phones that already have these apps locked in.
However, not everyone is likely to agree that all of them are useless and some of you might just find a few of these apps helpful. So to help you decide which apps to disable and which to keep, here are some of the most common Google Apps that you probably got preinstalled, along with what they do:
July 27th, 2015 | FAQ, Google | No Comments
One of the coolest things about iPhones and Windows Phones is their digital assistants, Siri and Cortana. But, if you have an Android, then you have something very similar (albeit a little less exciting): Google Now. Provided you’re using a smartphone with at least KitKat, then your device probably has a voice search function which can perform similar feats including opening programs, making notes, setting timers and more.
July 9th, 2015 | FAQ, Google, Mobile Apps | No Comments
Google is everywhere. The technology corporation has expanded and become a household name (even a verb in the dictionary) and there’s a better than 50% chance that you have a host of Google’s apps on your phone right now. But, in the nature of all tech companies, Google is constantly changing and updating and making little tweaks to its app suite which your average user probably is completely unaware.
May 26th, 2015 | Google | No Comments
The first round of invites to try out Google’s Project Fi went out earlier this month but if you didn’t get one, don’t fret. Google hasn’t forgotten about you. Unsurprisingly, there has been such a high demand for the service, Google has a backlog of invites and will be slowly expanding and sending more out over the course of the summer.
April 23rd, 2015 | Google | No Comments
Yesterday, Google formally announced and soft launched its new MVNO and, surprisingly, quite a few of the rumors revolving around the service were true. Called Project Fi, the MVNO uses a combination of Wifi calling and cellular networks from Sprint and T-Mobile. What makes Project Fi so exciting is the fact that the service is designed to use not one, but both networks, depending on which has better signal in a given area. Supposedly the switch between Wifi, Sprint or T-Mobile is seamless, but I’d have to see it to believe it. However, assuming that Google manages to pull this off, it could really be pretty amazing.
April 14th, 2015 | Google | No Comments
If there’s one thing that tech and science nerds love more than new technologies and services, it’s rumors about new technologies and services. But it’s cool; I’m just as guilty of it as anyone else, so when I read about a new leaked app that was made for Google’s MVNO, I kind of had to share.
April 8th, 2015 | Google | No Comments
Since the beginning of the year, the prepaid wireless world has been abuzz with rumors of Google launching a new MVNO that uses Sprint and T-Mobile networks along with wifi calling when applicable. Today, I read on 9to5google that the tech giant’s service might offer free international roaming to its customers at no additional cost. Yes, please!
March 9th, 2015 | Google | No Comments
Last month, Google stirred up everyone with rumors that it would be launching its own MVNO sometime soon. Last week, the company formally confirmed that a plan is in the works, but stated that it would be a ‘very small-scale’ effort and nothing that was going to threaten the major companies. And now, the WSJ and 9to5google are claiming that the service might only work with one phone–the Nexus 6.
March 5th, 2015 | Google | No Comments
In January, Google warned that it intended to stop pushing updates to browsers on anything older than Android Kitkat (4.4), because it was just not a good way to spend company time. Earlier this week the company made an official announcement that sometime in May it would no longer update Chrome on Android 4.0 (Ice Cream Sandwich) devices.
March 4th, 2015 | Google, MVNO | No Comments
In the last few months, there have been rumors circulating that several different companies are considering wading into the prepaid MVNO market. Some of them are pretty credible, while others are not. I was originally going to do a separate post on all three of the main rumors, but since it’s all heresay, here’s a roundup of what we think we know so far:
January 23rd, 2015 | Google | No Comments
Technology giant Google has been talking about launching their own wireless service since April 2014, but it looks like this year they might actually do it. Ars Technica and the Wall Street Journal have both reported that Google has signed agreements with Sprint and T-Mobile to become a prepaid MVNO, and that it might happen sooner than you think.
November 3rd, 2014 | Google | No Comments
According to the latest numbers from Strategy Analytics reported by 9to5Google, Android overwhelmed the OS competition in the global market this third quarter. In fact, the study showed that Android OS was installed in more than 8 out of 10 smartphones worldwide–or roughly 84% of smartphones.
October 17th, 2014 | Google, Prepaid Phones | No Comments
Google has announced an update to their popular Android operating system. Following the dessert-naming trend, this newest version has been dubbed Android Lollipop. Lollipop has been optimized for active lifestyles, switching back and forth between different screens and interacting with technology in different ways.
October 9th, 2014 | Google | No Comments
Ok, so I have to admit, this isn’t really super relevant for the prepaid market just yet. But I have been reading about the Google Project Ara recently, and I just had to share. Looking at the device and reading the reviews, it seems like Project Ara is going to either A) completely flop in the worst possible way or B) revolutionize the way that people look at and use smartphones. I’m hoping for the latter, but rather expecting the former because the idea is just so cool!
Anyway, for those of you who are feeling a little lost right now, I’ll fill you in. Basically, Project Ara has been under development for about a year or so, and is based around the idea that you should be able to customize your phone’s hardware the same way you can any other part. This ‘modular phone’ concept focuses on removable and interchangeable hardware that can be swapped out as necessary. Need a better camera for night shots? Done. Want an actual controller for gaming on your phone? Piece of cake! Cracked your screen? Just swap out a new one. It’s a rather ingenious idea.
September 29th, 2014 | Google | No Comments
The next Nexus phone is expected to be a phablet, shown here on the left.
Photo by Michael Sudol
If there’s one thing the internet loves more than new technology, it has to be rumors about new technology. So, today, I have some details on the rumored Nexus phablet from Motorola. Of course, I am certain that I don’t have to say that these are only rumors and nothing is solid yet. But… here’s what Gizmodo and a few other corners of the internet are saying:
December 3rd, 2007 | 700 MHz spectrum, Google | No Comments
We didn’t get a chance to follow up on this on Friday, but Google has officially announced their intentions to bid in the coming 700 Mhz spectrum auction. It had been assumed that the company would put down billions for the spectrum, but they had not registered their intent with the FCC until Friday. They’re looking to become fully ensconced in the wireless world, having formed the Open Handset Alliance in November. Now they could have their own carrier on which to run the software (though they don’t necessarily need one — Sprint and T-Mobile are part of the Alliance).
November 30th, 2007 | 700 MHz spectrum, Google | No Comments
We can only provide a sliver of this information, as our “free preview” of the Wall Street Journal covers the first paragraph and a half of this report. The gist, though, is that Google plans to officially announce their intent to bid on the 700 MHz spectrum. More as it comes.
November 13th, 2007 | Google | No Comments
The New York Times Bits blog raises an interesting point. Mobile software developers are already developing on too many platforms, including Windows Mobile, Symbian, Palm, Reasearch In Motion, and even the iPhone is opening doors to third-party developers. So why would they want to take on another platform, specifically Google’s Android? It appears that Google has considered this question, too, as they are offering 10 million incentives for developers to give their platform a go.
November 5th, 2007 | Google | No Comments
So it appears that, for now, there is no miraculous Gphone. What will be available, according to Google, is software that will “transform mobile phones into powerful mobile computers that could accelerate the convergence of computing and communications.” This we actually like. We’ve been holding off on getting a PDA for a while, and it appears that our wait might be worth it. By the second half of next year, we can expect to see the software available on handsets made by HTC, LG, Motorola, and Samsung. Now, for their mobile carrier partners…
November 5th, 2007 | Google | No Comments
We’re dying here. We really are. Today is the day that Google will finally announce its plans regarding the wireless telecommunications industry. It’s now 9 a.m., and we’ve heard nothing, which is only fueling the fire more. We’d expect the announcement in an hour or so, and we’ll post on it once all the information becomes available. But for now, a bit of speculation, courtesy of Amol Sharma of the Wall Street Journal.
October 31st, 2007 | Google, Verizon Wireless | No Comments
So remember when we were asking whether Google’s mobile development would be a physical phone or just an operating system? New developments suggest that it is the latter. The company is reportedly in talks with Verizon to “work together on mobile-phone software and services.” If the reports are true — the information is coming from leaks, not directly from either company — it would signal no bad blood between Google and Verizon, who fundamentally oppose one another on the rules of the coming 700 MHz spectrum auction.
October 11th, 2007 | Google | 1 Comment
Gphone, Gphone, Gphone. That’s all we hear nowadays. The speculation will likely continue until we hear confirmation from the company themselves, but until then, it’s fun to just guess, right? So yesterday, Lehman Brothers reported that we could see a Gphone by February 2008. Very nice. But then we go and read things other places that say it won’t be a Gphone, but rather a Linux-based mobile operating system. No, there is no further clarification on this issue. Both are still possibilities.
October 5th, 2007 | 700 MHz spectrum, Google, Verizon Wireless | No Comments
So it appears Google is really serious about this 700 MHz spectrum bid. Don’t get us wrong…we always thought Google was in this thing. But before, it seemed more of a position of aloofness. They talked about what they want, saying “yeah, maybe we’ll bid; it’s a possibility.” Now that Verizon has challenged the FCC rules, though, Google is a bit ticked. They’re telling it how it is: Verizon wants to squash competition and basically own the airwaves.
September 27th, 2007 | 700 MHz spectrum, Google | No Comments
You ever get that feeling that you’re missing a key piece of information when making an argument? Yeah, we had that feeling with Google and the 700 MHz spectrum auction. Yeah, their bidding on and winning a block of open-access spectrum seemed highly appealing; they’ve done a lot of good with the company, and it makes perfect sense that they would be the ones to bring us sensible cell phone service. However, there’s quite the obstacle standing in their way: the physical network. Current estimates have it costing $12 billion, and taking three years to build out. So is Google willing to make such a commitment?
September 13th, 2007 | 700 MHz spectrum, Google | No Comments
Speculation arose earlier this week that Apple was so fed up with wireless carriers in general — AT&T specifically — that it would enter its own bid in the 700 MHz auction. This unfounded rumor was quickly put to rest by the invocation of simple logic. If Apple profits so handsomely from their hardware sales, why would they make this foray into a completely unknown (to them) industry? As Mike Dano of RCR Wireless News might say: Would you want to get a haircut from Apple? But maybe this is all a little of what magicians would call misdirection.
September 6th, 2007 | Google | 1 Comment
We jumped into the telecommunications world just a month before the iPhone was to be released, so we’re not really familiar with the hype it received even before the project was announced. But we’re pretty sure it was something along the lines of the gPhone hype which is spreading now. Every day, it seems, we’re hearing something new about the Google-made cell phone. We’re to the point where even old news is fueling the speculation.
September 5th, 2007 | Google | No Comments
It was almost right on cue. Just as speculation grew as to a potential Google phone, Yahoo! and Microsoft rumors started running rampant. It seems that the three companies are continually linked, each trying to one-up the others. Or at least that’s how the media portrays it. So when the gPhone rumors started to gain steam, it was pretty much a given you’d hear something about a Yahoo and Microsoft phone, whether the rumors held any water or not.
August 28th, 2007 | Google | No Comments
Yesterday we mentioned an unconfirmed rumor that Google was in the later stages of introducing its own mobile phone. After such a rumor makes its rounds, the natural reaction is for everyone to put it in some kind of perspective. We’ve found one we like, so we’d like to share it with you. This idea centers around Google acting in a way Danger — the company that developed the Sidekick — did in its infancy. To us, it makes as much sense as what anyone else is saying.
August 27th, 2007 | Google | No Comments
All right, the iPhone is unlocked, so what’s next in the world of pop telephony? How about the GPhone? It’s been a long-rumored endeavor, though there has been little to no evidence of its coming to fruition. That is, until late last week. Rediff.com posted an article that claimed the Google-developed phone was getting ready for approval, and would be rolled out across the US and Europe rather soon. This could be a precursor to Google’s bid on the wireless spectrum.
August 22nd, 2007 | 700 MHz spectrum, Google | No Comments
You have to hand it to the guys at Google. Where many people would have backed out because of rulings that favor large telecommunications companies, they still plan to forge ahead with their bid on the 700 MHz spectrum auction. This is a boon for consumers, as Google is one of the very few corporations that truly wants to utilize the open-access spectrum, which was mandated by the FCC for 22 megahertz. They might be the only serious bidder beyond the big telecoms that has a shot at that area of the spectrum.
August 3rd, 2007 | Google | No Comments
It appears that Google wants to expand their lucrative Internet ad business to include cell phones. In fact, they’ve already socked hundreds of millions into the project, developing their search engine, e-mail, and even a Web browser in a mobile format. They’re even looking to develop a phone of their own.
July 26th, 2007 | 700 MHz spectrum, Google | No Comments
In a sad announcement for all of us who wanted a truly open spectrum hosted by companies that would provide us innovative products, FCC Chairman Kevin Martin has announced that they will not put a wholesale requirement on the 700 MHz spectrum. Mr. Martin believes — rightly so — that such a requirement would make the big players less willing to bid on and build the network. So what happens now?
July 24th, 2007 | 700 MHz spectrum, Google | No Comments
Woo hoo! No longer will Google be advocates of an open, wholesale spectrum — they’ll actually have the chance to own it. Word has it that they will bid at least $4.6 billion in the auction. It’s not certain if that amount will meet the government’s reserve price, but it’s tough to sneeze at $4.6 billion. However, as we’ve said before, there’s always a catch.