First thing you’re probably wondering is how the xbox 360 has anything to do with phones. Well, the new big dashboard update actually incorperates some Windows phone 7 controls into the mix. That’s nice and all, but does the whole package improve upon the old dashboard layout, or does it fall flat?
Smartphones are amazing things, they help us organize our lives, keep in touch with friends and they manage to take countless amounts of hours from us with addictive games. With the big 10 cent Android Marketplace sale going on I thought it would be a great time to ask the staff what their favorite smart phone games are. Some didn’t even play games on their smart phone… amazing I know! But at least half our staff had some favorites they wanted to mention. The very first one on our list is obvious enough…
Over the past decade cell phones have went from simply “mobile phones” to “mobile computers”. We can surf the web, check on our finances, pay bills, stay connected with social media and even use GPS to find our way around the world. It seems that with every year our Phones become more and more essential to our daily lives. Well, that is about to take another leap this very year. Google has just released, though limited, Google Wallet, an Android exclusive application.
Google Wallet, available only on the Sprint Nexus S (for now), is literally what it claims to be, your wallet. Anyone with an Android phone will be able to link their credit and debit cards to one simple application. Each card will be protected with a PIN code, which you unlock for every purchase. No more losing credit cards and scrambling to get it locked before someone uses it to buy a yacht. Now, if you lose your phone, horrible in its own way, you can feel better in knowing that your finances will remain secure.
Android phones outfitted with Near Field Communication (NFC), will be able to go to any store and purchase goods with a simple wave of their phone. The amount of stores accepting such a device are limited at the moment, but growing fast. You can search via the program itself, by entering your zip code, and find locations near you already accepting the new program. We searched for locations in Philadelphia and found dozens accepting Google Wallet.
At the moment only Citi Bank Mastercard is linked to Google Wallet, but Google already has deals planned with Visa, Discover and American Express. In the meantime you can use google’s prepaid card within the application and add money from any card you please. What does this mean for our Cell Phones future? And with such a major change to how we do finances, how will Apples iPhone respond? Competition is healthy, and this can only mean great things for us.
Numerous banks already have finance applications linked to your account, but just imagine having them all in one simple location, in your pocket, protected with the same security as an ATM. No more clunky wallets, no more scrambling for that one specific card for that one specific store. All new Android phones will be NFC compatible, which is some bad news for older Droid users. Or is it? Visa is actually working on MicroSD cards with NFC technology. If such technology gets released, anyone with a microSD slot in their phone will be able to enjoy this application (and future ones to come). Droid X, Reality and even the very first Droid by Motorola could be potentially compatible.
But don’t count Apple or Windows out. If there is one constant in the world it’s that when one company innovates, the others copy and possibly enhance. Apple has been known to go toe to toe with Google on the software market. Apple will respond, and in turn, will cause Google to respond in kind. When that response will be is unknown at the moment.
But why the limited release? This seems like such an incredible program that anyone and everyone will want asap. According to Tech Crunch, Google wants to ensure the security and functionality of the NFC technology behind the Google Wallet. Considering this program could be potentially holding millions of people’s credit cards, it’s a wise choice to field test it as much as possible. Their goal is to make Google Wallet more secure than having a physical card on you at all times. Just having it be PIN activated already makes it slightly more secure than its old plastic cousins. This is only the beginning though, so our flimsy credit cards will probably live on for a few more years before the general public will trust such a program. Now we simply wait for the competition and see what innovation comes next.
Have you ever been watching an old movie and wonder to yourself, “HOW”?? How did these people get anything done without a cell phone with them at every waking moment? I think about this sometimes and still cannot fathom how it was possible. I use my phone ALL the time. I use my phone for things I never would have thought I would need a phone for. It is my calculator, my directions, my restaurant guide, my night-light, my watch, and I also make calls with it. I have even used my phone as a prop to seem like I am keeping busy while I am actually loitering- you know you have too. With the introduction of the smartphone, the idea that a cell phone is just a phone has completely gone out the window. Applications have taken over. There are now over 300,000 Apps available in the Apple App Store, with close to 10 billion total downloads. If one were savvy enough, they could potentially automate a great deal of their life through applications. There are apps to pay bills, apps to help the cost-conscious shopper, apps to track sleeping habits, apps to locate the closest bank, gas station, or bodega. Apps rule the roost when it comes to the phone dominating your life. Continue reading »
The moment we have all been waiting for has finally come. For years we have had our hopes raised and then crushed. Tech blogs have spurred the rumor mills and created ongoing disappointment for those not wanting to sacrifice service bars for the next hot phone. It was announced yesterday that the iPhone 4 will be released for Verizon on Febuary 3rd for existing Verizon customers and on Febuary 10th for everybody else. Since 2007, the Apple iPhone has ruled the technological world. AT&T customers have enjoyed the advantages offered by the iPhone while Verizon Wireless customers remained loyal, touting their superior network. Withyesterday’s announcement of the new iPhone 4 on the Verizon network, will the loyal Verizon customer base be rewarded witha superior device on a superior network, or will Verizon mismanage the influx of users and bandwidth as AT&T reportedly did when they added the iPhone to their network? Continue reading »
The huge influx of Androids, iPhones, iPads, Blackberries and other “App” capable devices have allowed every-day people with a little coding knowledge to create their own programs. Everything from finding happy hour specials at local bars to doctors being able to analyze x-rays can now be seen in apps for mobile devices. This open-source theme, is about to take a step to the next level.
Bug Labs, a small firm out of New York, is attempting to provide this freedom to not only applications, but the devices themselves. Using their hardware, anyone can invent a device that will be compatible with their mobile plans. Pete Semmelhack, CEO of Bug Labs, explained to the New York Observer, “Right now there are hundreds of thousands of apps but only a few dozen mobile devices. We want to create an ecosystem for mobile hardware that is just as robust as the one which exists for software.” Continue reading »