Review: Booklet

Score:
73%

There are many ways for you to browse through Facebook. American iOS users have had the opportunity to download Facebook’s own ‘Paper‘ client, which creates a magazine-like interface with their content. It might not be identical, but JDB Pocketware’s Booklet client brings the idea of curated topics and subjects from Facebook to your Windows Phone. While the app is still labelled beta, there’s enough here that I like that it’s worth a closer look on AAWP.

Author: JDB Pocketware

Version Reviewed: 0.0.6.0

Buy Link | Download / Information Link

You’ll need to log onto Facebook when you open Booklet. As is standard nowadays you don’t give Booklet your password, but give it permission to get access to your Facebook account inside Facebook. That means you can reject access to the app from any browser at a later date.

 BookletBooklet 

Once you are logged in, you’ll see posts that would normally appear on your timeline in a strip along the bottom half of the screen – these scroll left to right and are as media rich as possible. If there is an image attached to the post then it will be displayed in some form. Tapping any of these brings up a full screen view of the post, where you can see the likes, comments, and the full text of the entry. It’s a very clean look on offer here, which makes posts easy to read.

It does seem a bit strange to navigate Facebook in a horizontal scrolling mode as opposed to a vertical mode, but there is some logic to this, because a swipe on the top half of the screen to the left or right allows you to choose the ‘topic’ you are viewing. The first topic is ‘You’, but you get the chance to add other topics from the setting screen (which is reached with a downward swipe from the top of the screen).

It feels a little bit like the panorama view of Windows Phone, but in a unique environment. It does take some getting used to it (and I would love to see the UX model used here applied to a full Windows Phone Design Langauge UI, but that’s an exercise for another time and another app).

 BookletBooklet 

Adding topics requires a little bit of trust in Booklet’s system. Driven (mostly) by the groups and pages you have liked on Facebook, you add topics such as ‘Music’, ‘Media/News/Publishing’. ‘Sport’, and ‘[Mobile] Apps’, and mark out your own groups that you want to have displayed. All the possible topics are listed in the bottom area of the screen, and you can slide up your chosen topic into the Booklet stream at the top (which is also where you can reorganise the order).

When you return to the main interface of Booklet, you can now swipe in the top half of the screen to switch topics and bring up the specific stories in the lower timeline. It’s all rather swish and you can navigate your chosen topics very quickly to see what’s new, although it does feel rather immediate and it can be quite tiring if you want to scroll back in time more than a few hours.

I understand the reasoning behind this form of curation. It uses Facebook’s own topic system to drive the categories, it increases the serendipity of finding a good story, and for the majority of users it lets them start using Booklet’s primary function as quickly as possible and with little fluff. In the same breath, I have to note that I am a power user, and I would hope that in the next version JDB gives some consideration to allowing user-generated topics to be created in exact detail by the user.

 BookletBooklet 

You also have access to the more personal Facebook elements, including your direct messages, IMs, and notifications. While the font is slightly different, it seems that Booklet is defaulting back to using an embedded view of the mobile website and not bringing the Booket UI to bear on these areas. I’m fine with that decision, Booklet is about creating mini-magazines on specific topics out of Facebook, and not replacing every element of the social network in a single application. Given the choice between triggering an embedded web browser, or not having access to the personal interactive elements of Facebook, I’ll take the former.

The exception to the mobile browser is posting your own status updates, which remains inside the Booklet code. As well as your status, you can add photos, tag your location, and tag people from the single page view. You also have the functionality of ‘Tile’agram‘ (sic) embedded in Booklet, so you can combine pictures, dates, and location graphics in a single collage. Tile’agram is also available as a standalone app from the same author, so it’s a subtle and appropriate piece of cross promotion that feels natural and not something I would want to begrudge an indie developer.

 BookletBooklet 

Booklet is not perfect – I’d love to see the UI expanded to take in the personal elements in a later version, and there are some issues around the lack of filters when choosing topics and the news items to show – but these are granular issues that I would hope are slowly polished as the application is developed. For a piece of code labelled ‘beta’, Booklet is slick, professional, and is a delightful addition to the Facebook experience. Definitely recommended if Zuckerberg’s network is one of your primary news resources.

Reviewed by at 12:30 UTC, February 28th 2014

Filed: > >

Platforms: Windows Phone 8
Categories: Applications
 

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All About Windows Phone

FIFA 14 arrives, now fully ‘freemium’, well balanced, still Xbox Live!

Published by at 15:32 UTC, February 28th 2014

Possibly the premier football game/sim on Windows Phone, FIFA 14 is the latest annual version and now comes in a full ‘freemium’ package, where you can get started and playing for free, but may wish to buy extra players and game modes within the game as in-app-purchases. You may remember that Ewan raved about last year’s FIFA 13 here? And yes, this is still an Xbox Live title, don’t worry!

From the Store description:

This app offers in-app purchases. You may disable in-app purchasing from the Kids Corner section of your device settings.

REAL PLAYERS. REAL TEAMS. REAL LEAGUES. Welcome to the most authentic football game on WindowsPhone 8. Feel the excitement of every pass, shot, and tackle with new touch controls. Plus, live every moment of real-world football mastery with EA SPORTS™ Football Club Match Day.

FEEL THE PASSION
Featuring 34 leagues, over 600 licensed teams, and more than 16,000 players. From the English Premier League to La Liga and beyond. Plus, for the first time on mobile, listen to commentaries in English, French, German, Italian and Spanish! 

BUILD YOUR ULTIMATE TEAM
Earn and trade, or buy and sell FIFA players to create your own fantasy team. Choose your play style, formation, kits, and more. Compete in tournaments to earn coins, then spend them on new players and items to improve your team. Play for free or purchase packs. The choices are endless! 

FIFA FANATICS!
Classic modes like Manager, and Kick Off are available for purchase in-game. 

You’ll need at least 3GB free for the download and install process, plus you’ll (of course) need a phone with 1GB of RAM, ruling out a lot of the budget Lumia handsets.

Here are some glimpses of FIFA 14 in action:

Screenshot, FIFA 14Screenshot, FIFA 14Screenshot, FIFA 14Screenshot, FIFA 14

You can download FIFA 14 for free in the Store here. We’ll get Ewan onto a full review as soon as possible. Initial impressions are that FIFA 14 is well balanced in terms of freemium/IAPs and that it deserves to be a big success. 

Source / Credit: Download from the Windows Phone Store

Filed: > >

Platforms: Windows Phone 8
Categories: Games
 

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All About Windows Phone

Guest Post: Meeting the demands for the smarter home

by Paul Routledge, senior business manager with D-Link

Thanks to our new found attachment to smartphones and always-on access to the digital world, we have become impatient for ever more information and control. Vendors everywhere are scrambling to develop yet more devices to enable us to access, monitor and manage our homes when we’re not there. We can already keep an eye our homes using IP cameras. We can also stream music and films from home servers and monitor and control use of our networks when we’re out, but that just isn’t enough, so soon we’ll be able to do a whole lot more. But why is the home automation market suddenly flourishing?

According to a recent report from Juniper Research, service revenues from what it calls the ‘Smart Home’ market could reach over $ 72 billion per annum in just four years – driven primarily by entertainment services such as on-demand TV.

Similarly, IDC estimates that the global Internet of Things market [IoT] could reach $ 7.3 trillion by 2017 1, further predicting that by 2020 there could be some 212 billion connected ‘Things’ in a market worth $ 8.9 trillion.

Unsurprisingly the biggest names in technology are already gearing up to address this demand.

Not least Google which made a spectacular entry into the Internet of Things arena when it splashed out $ 3.2billion in January 2014 for Nest, the intelligent home appliance vendor.

Widely reported as delivering a significant boost to the home automation market, the Nest acquisition will enable Google to further leverage its expertise in cloud computing – an arena in which it already excels – and extend its reach right into the home.

Moreover, with Google’s financial support and global customer base, the developers at Nest are expected to further extend its range of devices and home automation services beyond the ‘Smart’ thermostat and smoke detector.

Microsoft, too, is keen to get in on the act. In October 2013, for example, Microsoft started to re-position Windows Embedded as a potential ‘OS of things’ supported by SQL Server for data management and Azure for cloud.

Speaking of leaders, my own company – D-Link, has an extensive portfolio of products and services to facilitate home automation connectivity from consumer Wi-fi, through IP surveillance to enterprise grade switching and storage.

Moreover, we already have a number of products and services that can be used to deliver the Internet of Things ecosystem and we are working to extend and develop this capability further.

Not least by leveraging the cloud as the best way of managing and making them accessible to home users and small businesses, in a way that is both simple and secure.

D-Link is at the forefront of development here with over 1.5 million subscribers already signed up to our mydlink cloud solution.

Through this platform, users are able to access, view, manage and control D-Link routers, cameras and storage devices, anywhere at any time using a laptop, smartphone or tablet.

They can also access documents remotely, stream music and movies to mobile devices on the move and keep an eye on what’s happening via live video streaming from their D-Link cameras.

To these existing capabilities we are now adding support for home automation with a number of products being readied for release, starting with a Wi-fi Smart Plug able to monitor and manage any devices plugged into it.

Home automation will be, primarily, serviced by Wi-fi using a home broadband router to provide the necessary connectivity to the Internet.

Additionally, at MWC 2014 in Barcelona, D-Link was taking the opportunity to showcase emerging technology to enable users to control their home environment by remotely monitoring and managing heating, lighting and general power use, anywhere, any time.

As speed and reliability problems are becoming less and less of an issue for the majority of homes across the country, throughout 2014 consumers are likely to see a raft of new products coming onto the market to enable them to control devices in the home from their mobile devices.

This will enable home users to save money by being smarter with their power and energy consumption and any initial outlays they make will be recouped soon enough as they see the benefits that this type of service can bring.

Author biog

Paul Routledge has been with D-Link for over three years, previously responsible for European business development. He has over 20 years experience of developing channels in the UK and across Europe. Before his appointment at D-Link, he held business development and channel sales management roles with vendors and distribution partners including CCI Distribution, Adaptec and Eurologic Systems.

Notes

1. IDC forecast for Worldwide Internet of Things spending by
vertical market 2014-2017


GoMo News

Guest Post: Meeting the demands for the smarter home

by Paul Routledge, senior business manager with D-Link

Thanks to our new found attachment to smartphones and always-on access to the digital world, we have become impatient for ever more information and control. Vendors everywhere are scrambling to develop yet more devices to enable us to access, monitor and manage our homes when we’re not there. We can already keep an eye our homes using IP cameras. We can also stream music and films from home servers and monitor and control use of our networks when we’re out, but that just isn’t enough, so soon we’ll be able to do a whole lot more. But why is the home automation market suddenly flourishing?

According to a recent report from Juniper Research, service revenues from what it calls the ‘Smart Home’ market could reach over $ 72 billion per annum in just four years – driven primarily by entertainment services such as on-demand TV.

Similarly, IDC estimates that the global Internet of Things market [IoT] could reach $ 7.3 trillion by 2017 1, further predicting that by 2020 there could be some 212 billion connected ‘Things’ in a market worth $ 8.9 trillion.

Unsurprisingly the biggest names in technology are already gearing up to address this demand.

Not least Google which made a spectacular entry into the Internet of Things arena when it splashed out $ 3.2billion in January 2014 for Nest, the intelligent home appliance vendor.

Widely reported as delivering a significant boost to the home automation market, the Nest acquisition will enable Google to further leverage its expertise in cloud computing – an arena in which it already excels – and extend its reach right into the home.

Moreover, with Google’s financial support and global customer base, the developers at Nest are expected to further extend its range of devices and home automation services beyond the ‘Smart’ thermostat and smoke detector.

Microsoft, too, is keen to get in on the act. In October 2013, for example, Microsoft started to re-position Windows Embedded as a potential ‘OS of things’ supported by SQL Server for data management and Azure for cloud.

Speaking of leaders, my own company – D-Link, has an extensive portfolio of products and services to facilitate home automation connectivity from consumer Wi-fi, through IP surveillance to enterprise grade switching and storage.

Moreover, we already have a number of products and services that can be used to deliver the Internet of Things ecosystem and we are working to extend and develop this capability further.

Not least by leveraging the cloud as the best way of managing and making them accessible to home users and small businesses, in a way that is both simple and secure.

D-Link is at the forefront of development here with over 1.5 million subscribers already signed up to our mydlink cloud solution.

Through this platform, users are able to access, view, manage and control D-Link routers, cameras and storage devices, anywhere at any time using a laptop, smartphone or tablet.

They can also access documents remotely, stream music and movies to mobile devices on the move and keep an eye on what’s happening via live video streaming from their D-Link cameras.

To these existing capabilities we are now adding support for home automation with a number of products being readied for release, starting with a Wi-fi Smart Plug able to monitor and manage any devices plugged into it.

Home automation will be, primarily, serviced by Wi-fi using a home broadband router to provide the necessary connectivity to the Internet.

Additionally, at MWC 2014 in Barcelona, D-Link was taking the opportunity to showcase emerging technology to enable users to control their home environment by remotely monitoring and managing heating, lighting and general power use, anywhere, any time.

As speed and reliability problems are becoming less and less of an issue for the majority of homes across the country, throughout 2014 consumers are likely to see a raft of new products coming onto the market to enable them to control devices in the home from their mobile devices.

This will enable home users to save money by being smarter with their power and energy consumption and any initial outlays they make will be recouped soon enough as they see the benefits that this type of service can bring.

Author biog

Paul Routledge has been with D-Link for over three years, previously responsible for European business development. He has over 20 years experience of developing channels in the UK and across Europe. Before his appointment at D-Link, he held business development and channel sales management roles with vendors and distribution partners including CCI Distribution, Adaptec and Eurologic Systems.

Notes

1. IDC forecast for Worldwide Internet of Things spending by
vertical market 2014-2017


GoMo News

Think Gaming launches Scouting Reports service to help form top grossing games

think-gaming-650

Think Gaming has announced the launch of its Scouting Reports service, aimed at helping mobile game developers turn their games into top grossing applications, with the help of new publishers and investors. The reports measure apps and compare them to data from over 5,000 mobile games, offering developers a look at how their games can be improved.

Each Scouting Report analyzes and scores games based on user retention, monetization, market size and expected longevity. Think Gaming takes this data directly from the submitted games, and then compares that data to existing top grossing titles.

After receiving a positive Scouting Report, developers can use this data to interest potential publishers and investors. Likewise, publishers can take the initiative, seeking out games that have high scores, removing the need to search through the thousands of games that have been submitted to the App Store.

On the other hand, if the game’s report isn’t so positive, developers will receive customized feedback on how they can improve their apps.

Developers, publishers and investors can learn more about the free Scouting Reports service on Think Gaming’s website.


Inside Mobile Apps

Farming Simulator 14 offers a 3D world but is ultimately all about farm finance

Published by at 9:45 UTC, February 28th 2014

Somewhat unbelievably, ‘farming simulators’ are something of a ‘thing’ in the tech world – surely the real thing isn’t so attractive as to want to simulate it on a mobile phone screen? Or am I missing something? Maybe it’s the lure of getting to drive the combine harvester? Regardless, Farming Simulator 14 is new in the Windows Phone Store and shown off below…

From the Store description:

Start your agricultural career in Farming Simulator 14 on mobile and tablet! Take control of your farm and its fields to fulfil your harvesting dreams.

As well as a refined look and feel, Farming Simulator 14 gives you double the number of farm machines to control, all authentically modelled on equipment from real agricultural manufacturers, including Case IH, Deutz-Fahr, Lamborghini, Kuhn, Amazone and Krone.

Features:

– New highly detailed 3D graphics and a slick user interface take your gameplay experience to the next level
– Plant wheat, canola or corn and sell it in a dynamic market
– Mow grass, tedder and windrow it to create hay bales to feed to your cows, then sell their milk to the highest bidder
– Make money by selling grass or chaff at the biogas plant
– Hire computer-controlled assistants to help you with your work

Ahem. My “harvesting dreams’? I seriously doubt that many people dream about farming – especially not managing the minutae of planting, harvesting and then selling in what is, at the end of the day, a numbers game.

Having said that, the visuals and 3D world are very well done, as you can see in our screenshots:

Screenshot, Farming Simulator 14

Plenty of money spent on visuals here – the vehciles are all authentic too, though tiny and somewhat pixellated by necessity in the game itself…

Screenshot, Farming Simulator 14

Ah yes, the crux of the game is evident up-front – it’s all about numbers, buying, selling and expanding – your typical ‘Sim’ title.

Screenshot, Farming Simulator 14

You do get to drive the vehicles though, with full control of attached tools, throttle and steering. And…. you get to blow the horn. Woohoo!

Screenshot, Farming Simulator 14

…And then it all comes down to the (probably) boring bit – selling crops and, ultimately, buying new vehicles and expanding the farm. 

Screenshot, Farming Simulator 14

The in-game currency can be earned, as mentioned above or you can short-circuit the hard agricultural slog by using in-app-purchases…

Screenshot, Farming Simulator 14

You can still have fun exploring the farm world and driving the vehicles, however much you choose to interact with (or try to avoid) the money side of things….

You can grab a trial version of Farming Simulator 14 here in the Store to see what you think. It seems that there’s a £2 paid version that lets you play most of the game and the IAPs then let you buy the more exotic vehicles, should you be a real farming ‘nut’. Does that sound like you?

Source / Credit: Windows Phone Store

Filed: > >

Platforms: Windows Phone 8
Categories: Games
 

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All About Windows Phone

EE’s Clone Phone – nice idea when it works

Hardware clinic: Free phone backup service has issues

On paper, the Clone Phone service from UK MNO EE is a ready great idea. All you need to do is download the Clone Phone app – and there are version for Apple’s iOS; Google’s Android and BlackBerry. Once you run the app, in effect you are storing all of you handset’s data in the cloud so if you do have the misfortune to lose your handset or have it stolen, then you can get all of your handset’s data back. Even better news as GoMo News just discovered, if you migrate from the old orange or T-Mobile brands over to EE and take up a 4GEE plan, you get the Clone Phone Lite service for free. So what can possibly go wrong? Answer – the app doesn’t work with all Android & BlackBerry phones for starters.

What GoMo Newswas hoping was that by setting up the Clone Phone service, we could effectively migrate our personal data over from our long-standing handset to the newly acquired model.

Better still, we were effectively migrating from one mobile platform (Android) over to another – BlackBerry’s BB10 courtesy of a Q5.

So if we ran Clone Phone on our old Motorola Android device, we could move all of the contacts and photos, etc onto a completely different type of smartphone.

No need to play with desktop PC software at all.

Which is where it all went horribly wrong. The Android handset on which all of the important data was stored was an old Motorola RAZR XT910.

Bad news folks. That particular handset isn’t supported on Clone Phone although the RAZR i XT890 is supported. And, although not directly mentioned, it runs on the Moto G as well!

So we could port from the XT910 to the Moto G and then run Clone Phone. Sadly, it isn’t worth the effort.

Because – guess what? Although we initially thought the app would run on the Q5, it doesn’t.

Hence we would have to dig out our old Curve 9320 – use that for Clone Phone and them move all of the data over to the Q5.

Luckily, there’s a standard BlackBerry built-in feature – Device Switch, which makes the whole migration process a piece of cake.

Which will please our Indonesian readers intending to migrate to the Z3.

Tony is currently Editor of GoMobile News. He’s a veteran telecoms journalist who has previously worked for major printed and online titles. Follow him on Twitter @GoMoTweet.


GoMo News

NimbleBit releases animal collecting game Disco Zoo on iOS

disco-zoo-650

After releasing a teaser for the game in January, Tiny Tower developer NimbleBit and Milkbag Games have released Disco Zoo on iOS devices. The game allows players to travel around the world collecting animals for their zoo, from farm animals to dinosaurs, and mixes zoo building with casual puzzles for collecting animals.

Players start with a hot air balloon, which allows them to take trips to the farmland to collect animals like sheep, cows and horses. Players turn over tiles on a grid to find coin bonuses or animal squares. It’s a setup not unlike a game of Battleship, as players may need to tap randomly to find one animal tile, but can then tap on surrounding tiles to find the remaining pieces.

After rescuing animals, they’re assigned to individual pens back at the zoo. Animals generate coins automatically, but will fall asleep after a few minutes or hours. Players need to tap on the habitats to wake the animals back up, triggering the production of more coins, which are then spent to rescue additional animals, continuing the cycle.

Over time, players unlock additional animal regions, like the outback, savanna or jungle (among others). Gamers can collect multiple units of the same animal, increasing the time before animals fall asleep, and increasing their coin earning rate.

When coins are low, users can trigger a disco party with premium currency. This keeps all animals awake and doubles their coin production rates for a set amount of time. For instance, spending one premium currency triggers a one-minute party, while 50 premium currency keeps the party going for eight hours.

Disco Zoo is now available to download for free on iOS, and is planned for release on Android later this Spring. Check back soon to follow the game on AppData, our tracking platform for mobile and social apps and developers.


Inside Mobile Apps

Wi-Fi calling should come standard on all smartphones

I’m sitting in my grandmother’s house in my hometown, and I want to make a call. I pick up my phone, dial a number, and hit the giant red Call button. It fails.

I remember T-Mobile has literally no service in Pinnacle, North Carolina, so I connect to her Wi-Fi network. “I can use Wi-Fi calling,” I think. Nope. The Moto X doesn’t support Wi-Fi calling.

People, this is 2014. This should not happen. I have a perfectly good Wi-Fi network and a perfectly capable smartphone in an area with no service, and I still have no way to place a call, unless I pick up the landline and dial a 10-digit number on the plastic brick bolted to the wall.

With some hackery, you can enable VoIP on any smartphone.

I use my Google Voice number to place a VoIP call using GV Mobile+ and Talkatone from my iPhone. Sometimes I’ll use the official Hangouts app to do the same thing. From Android, you could use Viber to place calls using your mobile data instead of your minutes, or you could use an array of different calls which route your Google Voice calls through a data connection.

But that’s sidestepping the point. This is a function that should be built into every phone. Every phone. And it shouldn’t require users to jump through a series of hoops to route a phone call through another service.

t-mobile-wi-fi-calling

For what it’s worth, T-Mobile has the right idea … sort of. It has offered Wi-Fi calling for ages, at no additional charge. Making and receiving calls over Wi-Fi uses your plan minutes which, for most now, means it counts towards your unlimited number of minutes. No big deal. You can place and receive calls and text messages over available Wi-Fi networks until your heart is content.

Ideally, it would make even more sense for minutes and SMS used over Wi-Fi not to count towards your total allotment, just as data consumption is completely independent of your monthly data allowance. But it’s not that straightforward, since Wi-Fi calls are still tied to your 10-digit number. (Why we’re still on that archaic model, I don’t know.)

Either way, Wi-Fi calling is an option on T-Mobile and its monthly service is about as cheap as it comes here in the States (without going full prepaid), and unlimited, no less.

t-mobile-wi-fi-calling

However, Wi-Fi calling isn’t available to just any smartphone on T-Mobile. The feature has to be supported on your device. The software isn’t encapsulated in an application, but rather coded into the operating system. And that’s where T-Mobile’s whole model breaks.

Users can’t simply buy just any phone – in my case, a Nexus 5 or Moto X – and expect to be able to make calls over Wi-Fi. Even though the Moto X, Nexus 5, and any other smartphones, really, is capable of placing and receiving calls via Wi-Fi, it’s not possible with T-Mobile’s current setup.

At least it’s available on some devices, right?

Well, no. The bigger problem here isn’t the incompatible devices on T-Mobile, it’s that not every smartphone comes with the ability to place VoIP calls over Wi-Fi, out of the box.

moto-x-data-usageImagine if Wi-Fi capabilities were disabled on all smartphones, and users were forced to only use their data connection that they pay for each month. You would be at the mercy of the provider’s service and their data pricing.

If that were the case, I probably wouldn’t have three lines. I’d have one. And most of the money I spend on multiple lines, I’d be spending on data from one provider. Say I had Verizon. Based on the amount of data I use across all my lines, I’d be spending more than I pay for my T-Mobile service in data on Verizon alone – $ 90 per month, just for data. Chances are, I’d still go over, with all the music and podcast streaming I do.

As silly as having no Wi-Fi capabilities on a smartphone sounds, not having Wi-Fi calling is almost as ridiculous.

“But what about my number, Taylor?”

Forget about your 10-digit number. Apple and Google have the right idea. We should be using email addresses, usernames, or online identities for these types of communication anyway. I use Google Hangouts and Apple’s iMessage most of the time, as it is. If you place a voice or video call through FaceTime, it’s connected to your email address, primarily, though you can tag a number to your account, too. It’s the same with Google’s Hangouts service. On iOS, you can place a video or voice call through the official Hangouts app. And this is tied to your Gmail address. If you’ve signed up for Google Voice, it’s synonymous with your Google Voice number, but it works perfectly fine with nothing more than an email address.

No wireless service provider has 100 percent data or voice coverage everywhere. I’m reminded of that every time I leave the Charlotte metro area with my T-Mobile phone. A 30-minute drive in just about any direction leaves me on EDGE until I hit the next metropolitan area.

And visiting my grandmother’s house usually means I throw my phones on Airplane mode and leave them in the car. It’s not like I’ll get service anyway.

But if I want to make a call, I shouldn’t have to jump through hoops to do something our species has been doing since the late 1800s.


Pocketnow

Google VP chats Galaxy S6, Nexus 6, Whatsapp, and more

sundar-pichai

Google Senior Vice President Sundar Pichai recently sat down with French website Frandroid where he discussed a number of Android-related topics. Among other things, Pichai touched on the relationship between Samsung and the Android team, Whatsapp, and, of course, future smartphones.

On Samsung‘s decision to employ Tizen for the Gear 2 smartwatch, Pichai indicates he would have liked to see them use Android. Then again, it’s just one of hundreds of devices.

Looking ahead to the next-generation of Galaxy S smartphones (presumed Galaxy S6), Sundar says that Samsung will again use Android for the flagship brand. Yeah, we know it’s entirely too early to start looking at something that’s likely a year off but, hey, whatever.

As for the overall relationship between Samsung and the Google (Android) team, we’re told that it’s more boring than the press would have us believe.

In terms of the next-generation Nexus smartphone, Pichai advises that we won’t see it in the first half of the year. Makes sense, really, as the last few Nexus handsets made their debuts in the fall. It’s unclear if this will be known as the Nexus 6.

Contradicting recent reports, Sundar Pichai says that Google did not make a play for WhatsApp. Purchased by Facebook for $ 16-$ 19 billion earlier this month, WhatsApp did, however, meet with Google.

It is worth pointing out that the original article is in French and that some of what we’re passing along can be a little lost or garbled in translation. The whole article is worth a quick read as it also touches on the Nokia X and general security issues for Android.

Frandroid

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