Make OS X's phone call feature the must-have it should be
A stand-out, landmark, must-have feature of OS X Yosemite is how you can now make phone calls from your Mac. We knew it wouldn't be quite as easy as it sounds and we were fine with having to set it up, we were fine with having to have an iPhone for it to work. We've been less fine since, because it's proved too fiddly. DockPhone, an app that promises to simply the process somewhat, is not perfect either -- but it's so very good that it caused us to start using the feature more than we have since it launched.
RingMeMaybe app's disposable phone numbers ideal for dating, Craigslist
Mobile developers yourVirtualSIM has announced the release of its app RingMeMaybe, a program able to generate disposable US phone numbers for iOS devices. Compatible with iPhone, iPad and iPod Touch, users can access unlimited numbers for anonymous communication, removing the need to publicly reveal primary phone numbers. Utilizing VoIP technology, anyone requiring temporary numbers -- such as those who may be casually dating, or buying and selling on Craigslist -- can do so for a flat rate of 99 cents per virtual number (the equivalent of '10 credits'). Each number can be generated within seconds, and remains attached to your primary number for one week, but can be extended with the addition of more credits. RingMeMaybe's VoIP feature also provides unlimited calling service for no additional fee. Users receive 20 free credits with their download, equating to two virtual phone numbers. RingMeMaybe is available from the App Store as a free download.
New line-up features cases for iPhone 5, 5S and 5C
SwitchEasy Limited, an electronics accessories company, has announced its release of Play for iPhone 5C, and Shades for iPhone 5 and 5S. Consisting of a form-fitting rubber construction and reversible wrist strap, Play is available in yellow, black, blue and pink for $18. The semi-translucent polymer case, Shades, is available for $30 in black, lime green and purple, and provides fully enclosed protection (with the inclusion of two protective films and two connector protectors) and metallic button covers. Both case products include a microfiber wipe and a squeegee for film application. SwitchEasy's products are available for purchase online.
Provides calls via home phone, acts as Wi-Fi hotspot for 10 devices
AT&T has updated its Wireless Home Phone service to include data access to the carrier's LTE network. The new service, building upon the prepaid options introduced in May, will provide a home phone service over the AT&T cellular network, similar to versions offered by Verizon, US Cellular, and Rogers, except that it will also provide its users Internet access.
Rogers launches Wireless Home Phone service using cellular network
Rogers has launched a new service, providing a home or small business phone service over its wireless network instead of through a standard wireline connection. The $29.99 Wireless Home Phone device connects to the Canadian carrier's network, provides ports for a cordless or corded phone, and is able to make and receive calls through the carrier's Wireless Home Phone plan for $10 per month.
Carrier to offer home base station with two-hour talk time on battery
US Cellular is planning to provide a home phone service, using a base station that connects to the carrier's wireless network. The system, similar to the Home Phone Connect service provided by Verizon, will allow calls to be placed through a normal corded or cordless home phone attached to one of its two telephone ports, as an alternative to having a home phone line installed.
Call promotion ends tonight, for existing users only
Skype is offering a free international calling for a one-month period, in an effort to promote its international calling subscriptions. Open to existing customers of the messaging and voice call service until the end of today, the promotion includes free calling to landlines in 40 countries around the world and mobile calls to seven, including to the US, Canada, and Hong Kong.
PhoneValet 6 released
Parliant has updated its small-business phone software, PhoneValet 6. The application features an unlimited number of voice-mail boxes and automated dialing that coordinates with Address Book. Call blocking, recording, logging, and screening functions allow users to filter their calls and manage messages in a variety of ways. The software also features interactive voice response capabilities and e-mail notification of messages. The update enables the program to function with any web browser.
Samsung Propel SGH-a767
Practically everyone has a mobile phones these days. While some people prefer the top of the line, latest gadget, others prefer less expensive, simpler phones. If you fall into this latter category, then you might be interested in the Samsung Propel SGH-a767.
Tell Us Your Bento Story
In brief: Milliamp offers iPhone 3G battery replacement, FileMaker launches "Tell Us Your Bento Story" sweepstakes, New Aperture 2, Mac OS Security Tutorials, and Freeway 5.1.3 adds Simplified Chinese localization ... Milliamp has announced a battery replacement service for the new iPhone 3G. "Although the new iPhone won't hit the U.S. market until later this week, we wanted the world to know that we have the capability to replace the battery in the new iPhone 3G," said Anthony Magnabosco, the owner of the iPhone battery replacement service provider. Milliamp LTD has been offering battery replacement kits for practically every iPod model, as well as battery replacement services for the more difficult-to-open iPods for three years. Every iPod and iPhone has a lithium-ion battery, so over time, the battery will fail to hold it's original charge and will eventually have to be replaced.
Vue 3D contest
In brief: We have posted the second part of our review of Steinberg Sequel, the Vue 3D Environment Competition 2008 has been announced, fmDataGuard has announced its "First Anniverary Sale," and there is a newly announced DEVONthink 2.0 upgrade grace period ... We have posted the second part of our review of Steinberg Sequel. The tool allows you to record using a MIDI controller or through an external microphone, which is very similar to GarageBand. We recorded live audio from a microphone and it worked well. The intuitive design worked as we thought it would. Cutting and arranging segments of recorded material is also similar to GarageBand. You can move segments freely or snap them to a metronomic grid.
Phone Plugins 2.1 released
Nova Media has released the latest version of its quick-dial/quick SMS cell phone-to-Mac integration application, Phone Plugins 2.1. The application allows users to easily link their Mac to their phone via Bluetooth, and with 'one-click', send a text message to that number from any application in Mac OS X 10.5 Leopard. Phone Plugins 2.1 brings compatibility with over 165 cell phones, including the latest models from Nokia, Sony Ericsson and Samsung. Feature changes in 2.1 include the addition of visual confirmation of sent SMS messages within OS X, a unique 'one-touch' Bluetooth connection wizard (that does not require a Mac restart), and also the addition of 'dial number' and 'send text' options to the Mac OS X Services menu.
Quick-dial for Leopard
Nova Media has released Phone Plugins, a utility that allows one-click dialing and text messaging from any application in Leopard. Users of OS X Tiger were able dial cellphones connected over Bluetooth, but Apple removed that feature in OS X 10.5. Nova claims the utility not only restores that lost functionality, but improves on it as well. The Berlin-based developer says the Phone Plugins include a Bluetooth wizard to connect cell phones in one step. Users can call or send a text message to any number within Address Book or other applications using the “services” menu.
Despite a series of conflicting news releases, Vodafone has confirmed that there will not be a pay-as-you-go version of the iPhone 3G available in New Zealand. NZMac.com first spotted the confusion in statements from Vodafone and Apple New Zealand which announced both contract and prepaid versions of the iPhone in various press releases. Vodafone cleared things up this morning, saying only the contract versions will be available in New Zealand and Portugal beginning in July 11.
3G iPhone impact mobile TV
Apple has a window of opportunity to make a significant impact on the mobile TV market with it's imminent launch of the 3G iPhone around the world, according to the latest report from Analysys Mason. Market research shows that many iPhone owners have accessed TV and video content, with greater frequency than subscribers using other types of mobile handsets. If a new iPhone based on AT&T faster "3G" network is announced during next week's Apple's Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC) it could mean big things for the mobile TV market.
- iToner 1.0.7 ($15) iToner lets you easily transfer your own MP3 or AAC audio files to your iPhone, and enjoy them as custom ringtones. The new release has fixes for iTunes compatibility. iToner should no longer prevent iTunes from removing iTMS ringtones. It also fixes a crash when syncing with iPod touch from iTunes and includes various fixes and enhancements. [Download - 7.2MB]
- Neverwinter Nights 2 Update 1.12 ($50) Role-playing game set in the fantasy world of the Forgotten Realms, tMac OS X. In the game, you play a character whmatures from peasant tfull-fledged herin an attempt tprotect Realms against grave threats. You can build a character that suits your style of play - good or evil, chaotic or lawful, with any number of skills, feats and professions.This is an official update for Neverwinter Nights 2. This patch has a variety of changes and will update any previous version of Neverwinter Nights 2 to version 1.12.1295. [Download - 62MB]
- Billings 2.5.6 ($60) time tracking and invoicing software from Marketcircle Inc. that delivers professional invoices in minutes. Enhancements in this release include Leopard compatibility. The tool integrates into Mac productivity workflows, co-operating fully with Mac OS X's Address Book, publishing events tiCal, and making information available via Spotlight. The new release fixes a bug that prevented the combine slips action from permanently sticking. [Download - 18.4MB]
- Default Folder X 4.0.6 ($15) makes it easier for you to manage files by adding features and correcting flaws in the file dialogs of all Mac OS X applications. Default Folder X 4.0.6 now remembers the width of columns in "column view" within your file dialogs. After you make a column in an Open or Save dialog wider to see long filenames, Default Folder X will automatically set columns to that width the next time you use that dialog, saving you the aggravation of resizing columns every time you open or save a file. This free update also resolves compatibility issues with Kodak Preps, Web Confidential, Parallels Desktop, Quark Xpress, and moving back and forth between Intel- and PowerPC-based Macintoshes. [Download - 8.4MB]
- DragThing 5.9.3 ($30) alternative dock application. It allows multiple docks, each customized to
suit your exact needs. DragThing 5.9.3 works around a number of bugs that were introduced in Mac OS X 10.5.3. Specifically, there were some problems that stopped dock windows from coming to the front in a reliable fashion. In order to fix this, the Desktop Trash will no longer appear in all Spaces by default. If you use Spaces and want the Desktop Trash appearing in all of them, set DragThing to appear in all Spaces in the "Exposé & Spaces" section of System Preferences. [Download - 8.1MB]
Digital Foci framer
In brief: We have posted a review of Incipio Leather iPod and camera cases, Digital Foci offers Custom Framer Program, Robosoft to develop for 3G iPhone, HTML snippets set for Typinator debuts ... We have posted a review of Incipio Leather iPod and camera cases. The camera case, unlike most portable camera cases, has no frills, fuss or pockets. It is simply a hard leather box with a fold-over lid. The case clips onto your belt or pocket with an attached black hard plastic clip. The top flap secures with a magnet. This is a quick shot solution, i.e. the camera is always at your fingertips to whip out with one top flip and pull. The case does have a cut out on top through which you can thread the strap, but I never used it because it adds another step to camera removal. When out on a shoot, I often carry more than one camera and it’s convenient to attach one securely to my belt.
Philips touch screen phone
Philips is preparing to launch two high-end touchscreen phones - the X800 and Xenium X-Connect - which feature large color screens and several luxury features. The X800 offers users a tri-band GSM/GPRS platform, which uses a 2.9 inch touch screen to display information, with a screen resolution of 240 by 400 pixels. It also features handwriting recognition, a 2MP autofocus camera, a MicroSD slot, Bluetooth, and an office document reader. Battery life for the unit sits at 850 hours standby, and 8 hours of talk time.
Samsung intros i200 phone
Samsung on Wednesday announced the release of its newest bar-style smartphone, the i200. The tri-band GSM phone is aimed at business professionals with its use of the Windows Mobile 6.1 OS with Office Mobile. For wireless data transfer or Internet capability, the i200 supports HSDPA and EDGE data networks.
American Technology Research analyst Shaw Wu has reversed a prior downgrade on share's of Apple Inc, changing his rating on the stock to from Neutral to Buy. Wu's downgrade came right before Apple's blowout March quarter, in which the company announced record revenues on surging Mac sales. Barrons quotes Wu: "We overestimated the potential negative reaction on the quarter and in hindsight should have moderated our near-term posture rather than downgrading. While AAPL shares will likely remain volatile and may offer a better entry point, we need to align our rating with our longer term view on fundamentals." Wu has set a $210 price target on Apple's stock. Barrons also notes that RBC Capital's Mike Abramsky has raised his target price on Apple to $220 from $200, predicting that Apple will sell 14 million iPhones this year.
New iMac RAM upgrades
In brief: We have a review of PowerPhones Pro headphones, RAM upgrades for the new iMacs are available, a guide to FileMaker-driven Web sits debuts, and an iPod cord wrap for tangle-less headphones has been released... We have posted a review of the PowerPhones Pro headphones, which ship in a simple easily recyclable cardboard box, but inside the earphones are tucked in a stylish silver case. A velvet storage bag and an extra set of flanged silicone ear buds for smaller ears are carefully packed under foam in the case. For the price, I expected a second set of each size in a zip-lock bag, as are found in many other comparably priced earphones. The unique PowerPhones Pro design makes them easier to use when moving. An around-the-neck lanyard doubles as a headphone wire and the weight of the headphone wires reduced the possibility of the ear buds accidentally popping out of the ears.
First Look: magicJack
For the longest time, the three most popular ways to make phone calls was through a landline, a cellular phone, or a voice over Internet protocol (VoIP) phone system such as Skype. Landlines offer near-perfect reliability and sound quality, but with varying costs and limited mobility. Cellular phones offers mobility but at the cost of high fees. VoIP phones offer mobility with unlimited free calls anywhere in the world, but are often restricted to calls placed to other VoIP users. If you want to use a VoIP phone to call a landline or cellular phone, the charges jump up dramatically. Fortunately, there’s now another calling alternative called magicJack.
Apple refreshes Mac TM
In brief: We have a review of the Tannoy i30 iPod speaker system, Apple refreshes the "Macintosh" trademark, a 36-hour iPhone programming marathon takes place and iSync phone plugins gets new device support ... We have posted a review of the Tannoy i30 iPod speaker system. This heavy-duty speaker system has an oval shape that is flat from the front view, but extends the oval in the back, complete with an inset hidden handle. The clean front design has not a button to be seen; so all the controls are on the small remote. The front is graced with two non-removable gray grills that cover 4-inch iCT, Inductive Coupling Technology , speakers and an iPod dock, under which is a gray TANNOY label. When removed from its suitcase-like box, the sheer weight of the speaker system is impressive, as is the simple packaging.
LG new black series phone
LG Electronics on Monday announced the global launch of the third LG Black Label Series handset, yet unnamed by the company. LG reveals the new phone will utilize the latest smart phone technology including a 5-megapixel camera in the slimmest body in the industry, which prompts us to believe it will be similar, if not identical, in spec to the KF750 slider first seen at CeBIT. Carbon fiber and tempered glass will also be part of the phone's design.
signal boost case
Griffin Technology has announced ClearBoost, a protective case for iPhone with a built-in booster antenna. Thee polycarbonate case claims to offer greater coverage and faster downloads as well as the protection from bumps and scratches. Griffin says the ClearBoost for iPhone is the first of a family of antenna boosting cases based around the "ClearBoost technology." The company says the case works by capturing more of the available wireless signals and passing it to the internal iPhone antenna. ClearBoost for iPhone, priced at $30, is available now.
CTIA Nokia and HTC gallery
Electronista is on hand at the CTIA 2008 conference in Las Vegas, and has assembled an image gallery of various new HTC and Nokia offerings. HTC showed its new ultraportable Shift X9000 – a tablet-style PC that slides away to reveal a compact keyboard, and features built-in EVDO functionality. Also available to see was the HTC TyTN II. Nokia showed its WiMAX-enabled N810, and the iPhone-like N96, with 16GB of internal storage. The A-GPS bearing N78 was also featured on the show floor.
Direct Connect handsets
Sprint today unveiled the LG LX 400, Motorola V950, and Samsung Z400/Z700 series phones, rounding off a landslide of announcements from the carrier at the CTIA Wireless 2008 Conference [1|2|3|5|6|7]. The LG LX 400 features a 1.77-inch main display, and works on both 1900 and 800MHz frequencies. It also features Sprint's Direct Connect push-to-talk network, as well as several multimedia communications options such as PCS Picture Mail, text, voice messaging, and email. Bluetooth connectivity and a 1.3-megapixel camera are also included.
JumpStart for FileMaker
FMWebschool recently announced JumpStart, a web-based application that allows users to access FileMaker databases from remote locations using a cell phone. JumpStart allows users to visualize their database, and configure which layouts are viewable with which permission sets. FMWebschool is offering JumpStart to FMGateway hosting clients for no charge, while non-client users can pay $10 per month to access the service.
iPhone 'push' mail support
Apple today announced that it is implementing ActiveSync for Exchange mail support on its iPhone. The word came today during a planned meeting at the company's Cupertino campus, where Apple promised to discuss the future of software on the iPhone. ActiveSync for Exchange mail support, or 'push' mail, comes alongside promises of improved security for the mobile handset, according to phonemag. Stanford University has already purchased hundreds of iPhones for faculty and students, according to Apple, and the Cupertino-based company promised built-in Cisco IPsec VPN capability with certificates and identities with WPA2/802.11x. [updated]
Nuvio sues Garmin
Nuvio today announced that is has filed a trademark infringement suit against Garmin International in the U.S. District Court of Kansas. Nuvio claims that Garmin's recently announced Nuvifone infringes upon a prior Nuvio tradmark that the company uses on phones as well as its own telephony services. Nuvio attempted to reach a "mutually satisfactory resolution" with Garmin, but no resolution was reached. That led to Nuvio filing a legal complaint against Garmin to protect its rights.
Panasonic TV phone
Claiming to mimic the design of its Viera line of Plasma televisions on a handheld device, Panasonic has introduced the P905iTV, a new sliding handset featuring "one-segment" mobile TV on Japan's DoCoMo network. The device offers frame conversion technology from 15 frames to 30 frames per second on 3.5 inch full-wide VGA large screen. The new handheld's screen has a contrast ratio ratio of 4000:1 and uses "LCD Artificial Intelligence" which adjusts the brightness of a display automatically and LSI based on "UniPhier" for mobile phone for power saving. The phone also features 3G international roaming and HSDPA, autofocus 2.0 megapixels camera with six-axis image stabilizer and link functions to audio and visual equipment.
Dutch car manufacturer Spyker is allegedly doing its own take on the iPhone, since the mystery device was recently spotted at the Mobile World Conference in Barcelona. CNET reports that a Spyker branded iPhone-lookalike was visible behind a glass case, but with a physical keypad, rather than relying on the on-screen keyboard of the iPhone. Spyker did not have any literature available for the device, and merely acknowledged that it is part of the company's product portfolio, saying little more.
Sony-Ericsson is expected to unveil a new G-series of phones, which consist of two predicted models. Enthusiast news site SEfanatics reports that the new models will be called the G900i and G700i, and are expected to be shown February 10th. The G900i, codenamed Tyra, will supposedly feature a 2.6-inch screen, WLAN, and a 5-megapixel camera. Meanwhile, the G700i, codenamed Josephine, will also feature the 2.6-inch screen, but with a 3.2-megapixel camera and sans WLAN.
iPhone vs. rivals
Apple ranked third in the global hardware market during the fourth quarter of 2007, according to canalys.com, with its iPhone garnering a whopping 28 percent of the smartphone market. Smart mobile device shipments reached 118 million last year, up 53 percent over 2006, while converged device shipments of smart phones and wireless handhelds rose 60 percent to hit 115 million in 2007. Apple entered the market late in the year, and has thus far shipped only one device.
LG Rumor update
Sprint is offering an over-the-air software upgrade for the Rumor by LG that reportedly resolves an issue where the phone's firmware can be erased during startup if certain keys are pressed. Spring says the update also provides important updates to text messaging and "enhances the user experience." There are two ways to obtain the software update: on the phone, go to main menu>settings/tools>tools>update firmware. Alternatively, you can go to a Sprint retail location for assistance in updating the phone software. Company officials said "While we have confidence in the quality of this device, we do encourage Rumor users to take advantage of this simple over-the-air upgrade to ensure that your Rumor by LG is performing at its best."
VONaLink update for VoIP
Arcosoft recently announced an update for VONaLink ScreenPop, its VoIP service enhancement software, adding outbound dialing restrictions. VONaLink ScreenPop works with any SIP compatible VoIP phone system, including Vonage and Asterisk. By hooking a computer that hosts the software to a hub, users can monitor and manage outgoing calls, preventing undesired charges and fees from unauthorized phone calls. Arcosoft is selling VONaLink ScreenPop on its website for $30, with a free demo version also available.
Mobile growth slowing
Growth in the mobile phone industry is expected to slow to the single digits going forward from this year, according to market research firm IDC. Last quarter saw a rise in unit sales of 11.6-percent, with the previous holiday quarter fluctuating between 18- and 30-percent. Despite the slowing growth, more than 300 million mobile units were sold during the quarter, which is a record for any quarter, historically. Overall, 1.14 billion phones were sold worldwide, which is 12.4-percent more than the year prior.
Apple wins iPhone patent
Apple has won a total of 14 patents since the arrival of 2008, including its iPhone cellular handset which may be one of the fastest granted patents ever recorded for an Apple product. The U.S. Patent & Trademark Office has published patents covering Apple's iPod, iPod shuffle, iPod dock, MacBook, MacBook Pro, QuickTime Player, and others.
Yahoo Go 3.0 at CES
Yahoo recently introduced Yahoo Go 3.0 at CES 2008, an update to its suite of internet utilities for mobile devices. Revisions to Yahoo Go were based on customer feedback, such as an updated user interface with many new features, a personalized start page, and support for third-party “widget” plugins. The new interface is designed to be both aesthetically pleasing, while maintaining a high level of functionality, optimizing the small screen on most cell phones. Users can view available components in either the traditional icon view, or the new carousel layout.
Motorola CES photos
Motorola unveiled the Z10 and ROKR E8 media phones during the first day of CES 2008, as well as several new speaker products. The compact EQ5 and higher-end JBL-powered EQ7 speaker systems use Bluetooth to interface with compatible music phones to provide richer sound than the phone’s built-in speaker. The Bluetooth-based ROKR S9 headphones were another highlight, giving users a utilitarian, albeit sporty headset option. Motorola had plenty of demos on hand to demonstrate to curious show-goers.