Spotify added to EE Music Data Pass

When we detailed the new EE plans you may have noticed that one streaming service wasn’t included in the “data free” list, and that was Spotify.

Well, my friends, this morning I can tell you that EE have added Spotify to their Music Data Pass, so if you pay for that you can listen as much as you like without it impacting your data allowance.

Spotify added to EE Music Data Pass

The Music Data Pass is part of their new Smart Plans, available either as an inclusive Swappable Benefit for EE 4G and 5G Smart Plan customers or as a standalone Pass for £7.99 per month.

Spotify now joins Apple Music, Deezer and Tidal. Get more detail on the EE website.

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ByteDance getting into the smartphone business

ByteDance getting into the smartphone businessGiven the difficulties currently being experienced by Huawei when it comes to the American and European markets, it’s likely that we’ll soon be one major smartphone developer down. Huawei will be able to continue trading within their home country of China, but without access to Android’s operating software or any major apps, it’s difficult to see how they can survive elsewhere. When one door closes, though, another one opens. There’s a new manufacturer getting involved in the smartphone business – and it’s a manufacturer like no other we’ve seen before.

ByteDance getting into the smartphone business

The company in question is ByteDance, but it’s far less likely that you’ll have heard of them than their most popular product. ByteDance is the company responsible for TikTok – a short video sharing app which has racked up over a billion downloads among young people while confusing their parents, who don’t understand its purpose. While still considered a startup, it’s considered to be the world’s fastest-growing social media app, and is currently being downloaded at a faster rate than Facebook, WhatsApp, or Instagram. Now, it seems ByteDance want to capitalize on that popularity by releasing what’s being described as a ‘TikTok phone.’

Development Well Underway

Although news of the impending TikTok phone has only just reached us, it would appear that ByteDance has been working on the project for some time. If reports are to be believed, they’ve already acquired patents and a specialist team from established mobile phone manufacturers Smartisan, who are better known in China than they are elsewhere in the world. With the hardware and the expertise already in place, ByteDance can focus on putting together the software -and there’s plenty of evidence that they excel in that field.

ByteDance getting into the smartphone business

TikTok isn’t the only product that ByteDance are responsible for creating. The selfie app FaceU is popular with young people, and they’ve successfully launched several chat and entertainment apps within China. In all cases, their creations are more popular with under-25s than any other demographic. That means their audience is young, and therefore cool. That’s a robust platform upon which to be launching a smartphone. If they’re suddenly seen as cooler and more relevant to the young than the latest iPhone, then based on the sheer size of TikTok’s audience, Apple may suddenly find themselves with an unexpected challenge on their hands.

Lessons From History?

ByteDance might be new to making smartphones, but they’re not the first company to try to break into the market off the back of success in other fields. Facebook experimented with the idea during a brief partnership with HTC, but eventually had to admit defeat and back away slowly. The less said about Amazon’s attempt to get involved with the mobile phone business with the Fire Phone the better – there are still executives within the company sore about the $170m write-down they suffered because of its complete failure. Google eventually succeeded with Google Pixel, but it took them years.

ByteDance getting into the smartphone business

Whereas Facebook and Amazon failed in America, there is precedent for app developers successfully becoming smartphone manufacturers in China. The Chinese app Meitu was developed for people who love taking selfies. When they started making Meitu phones, they developed them according to the principles of what had already made them popular. Meitu phones have powerful cameras mounted on the front of the phone instead of the back, and software that automatically selects the perfect filter for each photo. It’s a phone-based around selfies, but it makes Meitu more money than they could ever have made through the app alone.

Starting A Trend? 

At this point, it’s not clear where in the world the proposed TikTok phone will be available. It could yet be a Chinese exclusive – although given the fact that news of the phone has been deliberately published worldwide, that seems unlikely. Presuming there is a European and/or American launch, the established players will be watching on with interest. Apple and Samsung are thrilled that they’ll likely be rid of Huawei within the next year. The last thing either of them wanted or expected was for another company to muscle in on the freshly vacated turf.

Should the concept of a phone-based around an app or service prove to be a success, it could pave the way for other mobile-based apps and services to start releasing specialist phones of their own. It’s not difficult to imagine Facebook making a second attempt to break into pones by essentially copying the Chinese Meitu model, only using Instagram as the selling point. Thinking logically, Uber could also try getting involved by offering phones with enhanced satellite tracking, greater connectivity, and faster access to rides.

Further afield, there would likely be interest in developing mobile technology from the mobile casino world. Gambling through phones is big business worldwide, with millions of people playing online slots every day. Specialist gaming phones, optimized for playing mobile slots, would likely be a hit with people who indulge in the hobby. If special offers, rates or deals on playing mobile slots or accessing mobile slots websites were made available on gaming phones, they would likely be a hit. They could even be considered the adult alternative to the TikTok phone.

The only piece of information lacking from the early reports is how the phones will directly relate to TikTok. As it’s a video sharing app, it might be a case of issuing a phone with a superior camera and recording equipment, but it’s possible to make videos to a high standard with an iPhone and the right set of software tools now. TikTok would have to offer something substantially different to stand out, but it doesn’t make sense for them to consider releasing a phone if they don’t have something up their sleeve. If the reports that the phone has been in development for several months turn out to be accurate, we may not have to wait all that long to find out.

As many people have been pointing out for years now, iPhones and Android phones have more in common than they have differences. The phone market has felt bereft of ideas, and a little stale. We should welcome any viable new products, and this left-field concept could be exactly what we’ve been waiting for.

The post ByteDance getting into the smartphone business is original content from Coolsmartphone. If you see it on another news website, please let us know.

Source: CoolSmartPhone.com News

Microsoft App Brings Spam Filter, AI Sorting to Your Text Messages

Microsoft SMS Organizer is an alternative SMS app for Android that includes a configurable spam filter and several smart sorting and filtering features. The app was launched in India last year, but xda-developers discovered that it has now become available in the US, UK, and Australia as well. The app uses machine learning to automatically sort incoming SMS messages into categories such as promotional, transactional and personal. Promotional messages are considered spam; they won’t trigger a notification and can be deleted automatically after a configurable amount of time. The apps also detects and helps organize info received by text about travel, tickets, and bills. The app can also backup and restore messages from Google Drive. The app is available now, for free, from the Google Play Store.

Source: Phone Scoop – Latest News

Virgin Mobile launches Family Plan

Virgin Mobile launches Family Plan
OK, so you’re at home and you’ve got Virgin Media for your internet. You can browse safe in the knowledge that your devices are protected and your internet connection is safe and filtered.

However, what happens when you go out? When your son or daughter uses their phone outside of your WiFi?

Yep, they’re subject to all sorts of nastiness again.

Virgin Mobile have a solution to this, called the “Family Plan”. It’s exclusive for Virgin Media customers who have broadband or TV services and delivers simplicity, safety and savings.

You can add up to five SIMs onto the Family Plan, saving £2 a month per additional SIM after the first. That means you can save up to £96 per year. It adds online security features, meaning that you can take control on phones no matter where your kids are. You can even set time limits.

The main account holder can view each mobile plan, manage data and device usage to keep track of all usage easily.

The security features are powered by F-Secure at no additional cost for 12 months. As well as immobilising devices after a certain time period, you can control which apps can be used, block content types (such as video) and locate your child securely.

Further information can be found in the press release below. Weirdly I can’t find anything about this on the Virgin Media or Virgin Mobile website at the moment, so perhaps just call them on 0800 952 8046.

Virgin Mobile operates using the EE masts.

Virgin Mobile launches new Family Plan for savings, simplicity and safety across multiple SIMs

· New Family Plan offers Virgin Media cable customers easy way to manage multiple mobile plans

· Customers can save up to £96 per year on their mobile services

· Online Security features help parents manage their children’s mobile usage

· Flexible mobile deals available so customers can mix and match to suit their family’s needs

Virgin Mobile is today launching Family Plan, a new mobile offering which brings together SIMs, savings and safety in one place to help Virgin Media cable customers manage their family’s mobile services.

This comprehensive new plan, which is available exclusively to Virgin Media customers who also take a broadband or TV service from the company, provides one account for multiple SIMs, making it easier for busy families to juggle their mobile bills. Customers can add up to five mobile plans onto their account and will be rewarded with a £2 monthly discount for every eligible additional SIM taken after the first – offering a total saving of up to £96 a year.

So families can always stay in touch and share important moments, Family Plan also comes with unlimited calls between family members on the account.

The main account holder can view each individual mobile plan, manage data and device usage and stay on top of how much is being spent across the account quickly and easily via the My Virgin Mobile app. Other members of Family Plan are also able to view their own individual usage and allowances through the app.

Virgin Mobile’s multi-SIM plan also includes Online Security features, powered by F-Secure, to give parents peace of mind and to help protect their families – at no additional cost for 12 months. The award winning security features include:

· Time limits: Internet access and selected apps can be immobilised at specific times to help balance children’s mobile usage and screen time

· App control: Allows parents to see what apps their children have installed and apply restrictions if needed such as completely blocking the app or adding time limits

· Content blocking: Enables parents to make decisions about the content they feel is suitable for their child to view such as certain video content

· Finder: Allows parents to securely locate their child’s device and view the location

These controls can be accessed and amended by the account holder at any time via the F-Secure app.

Virgin Mobile’s Family Plan gives families flexibility to choose from a variety of SIM Only deals or Freestyle plans – mixing and matching to suit each individual’s needs. For example, customers could choose to have a 12 month SIM Only deal and two Freestyle handset deals all registered under one Family Plan account*. Customers will also be able to choose from Virgin Mobile’s entire handset range so if the kids want an iPhone Xr and Mum wants a Samsung Galaxy Note 10, the whole family will find something for them.

Annie Brooks, Executive Director of Virgin Mobile said, “Juggling family life isn’t always easy in today’s digital world and the growing number of devices can make it even more complex. Our Family Plan aims to take some of the pressure off parents, making their family’s mobile services simple, affordable and safe. Together with our unrivalled ultrafast broadband and fully loaded TV services, our Family Plan gives customers the ultimate line up of fast, flexible and reliable connectivity in home and on the go.”

Virgin Mobile’s flexible plans come with data rollover and data-free WhatsApp, Facebook Messenger and Twitter as standard and superfast 4G that’s faster on average than Vodafone, Three, Sky and O2. Customers also have the freedom to change the airtime element of their plan every 30 days, so if they want more data or minutes they can pick a tariff that suits them.

Virgin Media recently launched new bundles, which for the first time bring together all of its services – broadband, TV, mobile and landline – into one package so customers can connect to everything they love for a great price. And for a limited time only, Virgin Media’s top bundle, The Ultimate Oomph, is available for just £89 per month – the lowest ever price for this bundle. The Ultimate Oomph includes the UK’s fastest widely available broadband with average download speeds of 516Mbps – seven times faster than BT and Sky – as well as a mobile SIM with truly unlimited data, texts and calls and top notch TV with two V6 boxes, unmissable Box Sets and more than 270 channels including Sky Cinema HD, Sky Sports HD and BT Sport in 4K Ultra HD.

The post Virgin Mobile launches Family Plan is original content from Coolsmartphone. If you see it on another news website, please let us know.

Source: CoolSmartPhone.com News

Three 5G goes live in London today

Three 5G goes live in London today
It’s a brave new world for UK network, Three. They’ve gone from having the smallest amount of spectrum to the most thanks to their plentiful 5G allowance. It means that they can deliver “true 5G” thanks to 100MHz of contiguous spectrum. This will, according to the network, support ultrafast speeds and a better customer experience.

Today marks the switch-on of their 5G service in London with 5G home broadband available today too. Buy this and you’ll receive a free “plug and play” with optional same-day delivery if you want it immediately.

How mich? Well, Three are only charging £35 per month for “truly unlimited data” in the home. That, I have to say, is really going to shake up the traditional fixed-line broadband that people tend to look to for home broadband.

If you’re in London, head to the Three store at 297 Oxford Street and you can get a glimpse of the “Living Room of the Future” via a clever 5G-powered mixed reality experience.

Three 5G goes live in London today

Get the full details in the press release below or go to the Three home broadband pages to check your postcode area. If you can’t get 5G just yet they’re also offering 4G broadband from £22 per month. No phone line needed.

For me it’s not London that’s the exciting bit – most of our capital city has really good connectivity. Instead, I believe that this new Three Home 5G will properly benefit those relying on similarly-priced ADSL or FTTC connections where upload speeds aren’t too great.

Three will have 5G mobile and broadband available by the end of the year in Birmingham, Bolton, Bradford, Brighton, Bristol, Cardiff, Coventry, Derby, Edinburgh, Glasgow, Hull, Leeds, Leicester, Liverpool, Manchester, Middlesbrough, Milton Keynes, Nottingham, Reading, Rotherham, Sheffield, Slough, Sunderland and Wolverhampton too.

Three switches on 5G today: 5G is in the house

One single 5G home broadband plan with truly unlimited data for £35 per month
No landline, no fibre and no engineer required
Three showcases 5G through 5G fuelled living room of the future alongside designer Henry Holland

Maidenhead, UK. Monday, August 19, 2019: Today Three switches on its 5G service, the first stage in building the UK’s fastest 5G network. Set to revolutionise people’s homes, the introduction of Three’s new, high speed 5G Broadband in London means customers can simply order a 5G ‘plug and play’ hub with optional same day* delivery, to immediately transform their connected home experience.

With one single 5G plan at £35 per month for truly unlimited data in the home, the 5G service will shake up the broadband market entirely. 5G will mean customers can cancel their landline and instantly access fibre-like, ultrafast speeds compared to what the average UK customer currently obtains using traditional, fixed broadband services.

The 5G ’plug and play’ hub means no digging up roads or lengthy waits for an engineer to set up a landline connection either. Customers can simply plug in the device and away they go – instant access to superfast streaming and connection in the home. So streaming multiple 4K football games or movies, playing the latest online games, or just staying in touch through clear, uninterrupted video calls is a breeze. Three’s 5G Broadband keeps you connected.

Also, if you move house you can literally unplug it and take it with you**. So putting up with slow connections, stuttering pictures and lingering loading bars are now a thing of the past.

Three 5G Broadband tariff details:

One single 5G plan with truly unlimited data, £35 per month
12 month contract
Same day delivery for £20, next day delivery free

Dave Dyson, CEO at Three, said: “Three’s 5G is going to revolutionise the home broadband experience. No more paying for landline rental, no more waiting for engineers, and even a same day delivery option. It really is the straightforward plug and play broadband that customers have been waiting for.

“We’ve taken a simple approach with one single truly unlimited data plan to give customers the opportunity to fully explore 5G and all its exciting possibilities. The ease and immediacy of it all means home broadband using 5G is going to be key to the future of the connected home.”

Clifford Harris from Kings Cross, London, is one of the first to have signed up to Three’s new 5G Broadband service after being part of the initial customer trial. He said: “I was lucky enough to be part of the initial trial and I was blown away with the results. I was able to send very large files and work from home with ease as if I was in the office. It meant I could work really efficiently and rather than having to upload documents overnight, I could actually just go and make a cup of tea.”

Recently, Three announced that it will be rolling out 5G across 25 cities in the UK by the end of the year and that all of its 10 million customers will have access to 5G at no extra cost. Customers will be able to access 5G once they have a compatible handset and in a 5G area, and coverage will continue to expand throughout 2020 and beyond.

Three‘s customers will benefit from the vast 5G capacity, reliability and speeds that only Three has access to, due to the amount of spectrum (airwaves) it owns. Three is the only UK network that has 100MHz of contiguous spectrum that supports ultrafast speeds and enables a better customer experience of the power and potential of 5G.

To celebrate the launch of Three’s 5G Broadband, designer Henry Holland and Director of Immersive Experiences Connie Harrison have combined forces to create the ‘Living Room of the Future’. An immersive mixed reality experience delivered via Magic Leap augmented reality technology fuelled by 5G that is available to see at Three’s flagship store at 297 Oxford Street, until November 2019.

To be one of the first to get Three’s 5G Broadband in your home, visithttp://three.co.uk/store/broadband/home-broadband

to check your postcode area is live and purchase online or in-store.

The post Three 5G goes live in London today is original content from Coolsmartphone. If you see it on another news website, please let us know.

Source: CoolSmartPhone.com News

Google Stops Sharing Coverage, Speed Data With Carriers

For two years, Google shared coverage and speed data, collected from Android phones, with network operators worldwide. Google shut down the program this April over concerns that it might attract scrutiny from privacy regulators, according to a report from Reuters. The data was only collected from Android users who opted in to sharing location history and usage and diagnostics with Google. Data shared with carriers was aggregated so as not to identify any individual users. The data was essentially a map of signal strength and data speeds. It included data relating to a carrier’s own service and that of competitors, which were not identified by name. Google provided the service for free and many carriers found it useful for improving service.

Source: Phone Scoop – Latest News

Will Huawei’s woes alter our buying habits?

Will Huaweis woes alter our buying habits?
Chinese tech giant Huawei has struggled of late thanks to bans from the USA government that have prevented them from working with US companies. Thes bans have had far-reaching consequences and directly impacted the most anticipated Matebook laptop sale this year. Huawei pulled their recent laptop release due to those problems, but will we be seeing more issues? 

Perhaps the biggest “hit” for Huawei was the moment when Google stated that to-be-release Huawei smartphones would be blocked from accessing the Google Play store. While this doesn’t affect the Chinese market where Google is censored and banned, these steps drastically affect Huawei’s international sales and reach. 

Not having access to Google products makes Huawei phones and other products almost useless outside of China. Among the apps that are affected are..

  • Gmail
  • Google Maps
  • Instagram
  • YouTube
  • Twitter
  • Google Photos

This does not include the thousands of apps that are available exclusively through Google Play. Other phone platforms like the Amazon FireOS and the Fire Phone failed miserably because of a lack of easily downloadable apps. 

Currently though, Huawei phones and all existing kit can access Google Play. But what next?

Will Huaweis woes alter our buying habits?

Well, now Huawei have announced something pretty big. They’ve unveiled their own operating system that can run phones, computers and other smart devices. The operating system will be called “HarmonyOS” and will be seen initially on smart appliances, cars and virtual reality devices. They’re also said to be “considering” using it on the Huawei Mate 30.

The company also stated that apps such as Gmail, Facebook and WhatsApp could be transferred into HarmonyOS with only a small amount of work.

However, Huawei were keen to point out that it was not their preferred option. They wanted to continue using Android and, although they currently have a temporary reprieve, this expires shortly and means that access to Google Play would cease.

European and American customers alike will not purchase Huawei tablets and smartphones if they do not have access to the basic apps that most of us have now grown to rely on. The latest Huawei news indicates that people may not easily jump to an unknown and new OS either.

Will Huaweis woes alter our buying habits?

Instead, research shows that customers will instead decide to shop elsewhere, buying from Apple and Samsung. Customers may also opt for Huawei competitors such as Xiaomi, OnePlus, Asus and Oppo. Each of these companies have made incredible technological strides in phone innovation. Motorized cameras and notch-less displays are just some of the newest features from these companies. 

Will Huaweis woes alter our buying habits?

The US ban on Huawei extends beyond smartphones though. American companies cannot supply the company with software or hardware. The ban, as we mentioned before, has already affected the launch of the new MateBook. In fact, Huawei CEO, Richard Yu, indicated that the tablet may be scrapped indefinitely due to being blacklisted by the United States. While Huawei is not a big player in the laptop and tablet market, the company had aspirations to become a massive played in the market. To date, their products have been reliable and high quality.

Since the US ban, Huawei international sales have dropped by about 40%, with expected revenue losses in the billions over the next few years. Australia, Japan, and New Zealand have already blocked the tech company due to cybersecurity concerns and the company’s close ties to the Chinese government. 

The US government’s resolve to ban Huawei may hinge entirely on future US and China trade agreements. Rumours of the Trump administration compromising on its Huawei ban have prompted Senator Mitt Romney to submit an amendment to the National Defense Authorization Act regarding the tech company delineating specific conditions that must be met before removing the ban on Huawei. 

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Source: CoolSmartPhone.com News

Motorola Updates 5G Moto Mod, Adds Z2 Force Compatibility

Motorola has updated the software for its Moto Mod accessory that adds 5G to existing Moto Z-series phones, improving functionality for all phones, and adding compatibility with the Z2 Force for Verizon. The update improves both 5G download speeds, and enables two-way charging between the phone and the Mod when the battery is low in either. The update is available now for the Z2 Force and Z3. The update comes pre-installed on the Moto Z4. The Z2 Force was launched in August 2017 and carried by Verizon until October 2018.

Source: Phone Scoop – Latest News

Fingerprint unlock finally coming to WhatsApp.

Fingerprint unlock finally coming to WhatsApp.

Back In February this year, WhatsApp had rolled out the authentication feature for iOS beta users, making it possible to use Touch ID to unlock the app. Now finally after more than six months, the feature has finally been made available for Android beta users today.

The Fingerprint lock feature will allow users to open the app using the fingerprint sensor on their phone. Users can still reply to messages from the notifications shade and answer calls, even when the app is locked.

This new feature is available in the latest 2.19.221 beta version of the app. If you have already updated WhatsApp to the latest version and still do not see the Fingerprint lock feature, you should try reinstalling the app after backing up your chat history. If after all that the feature still doesn’t show up, all you can do is wait for it to be activated, provided your device meets the requirements.

Fingerprint unlock finally coming to WhatsApp.
Fingerprint unlock finally coming to WhatsApp.
Fingerprint unlock finally coming to WhatsApp.

To enable the feature, head over to Settings > Account > Privacy and tap on the Fingerprint lock option. Once you enable it, you will need to touch the fingerprint sensor every time you wish to unlock WhatsApp.

You can also choose how long the app should stay unlocked once you open it. You can have the feature automatically lock the app after 1 minute or 30 minutes. If you disable the ‘Show content in notifications’ option, WhatsApp will no longer show the sender and message preview when you have Fingerprint lock feature enabled.

As yet my version hasn’t received the new update – has yours?

The post Fingerprint unlock finally coming to WhatsApp. is original content from Coolsmartphone. If you see it on another news website, please let us know.

Source: CoolSmartPhone.com News