Instagram Adds Geostickers to Stories

Instagram has taken a page from Snapchat and given users in New York City and Jakarta access to geostickers for their stories. Instagram says more than a dozen location-specific stickers are available for the two cities, allowing people to add context to their stories. Instagram users will see a sticker icon appear when taking photos or video. Each geosticker is meant to “match the vibe of the location it represents” — such as major landmarks and neighborhoods. The tool supports multiple stickers, each of which can be adjusted for size. Moreover, geostickers are interactive: people who watch a story can tap the sticker to see the location page. Geostickers have been added to the latest version of Instagram for both Android and iOS. Instagram didn’t say when it might add more locations.

Source: Phone Scoop – Latest News

AT&T Says LG Phoenix 3 to Reach GoPhone March 10

AT&T recently announced the LG Phoenix 3, a low-cost Android handset intended for its GoPhone prepaid service. The device includes a 5-inch FWVGA display, and it is powered by a quad-core processor with 16 GB of storage. Both the front and rear cameras have 5-megapixel sensors, and the user-facing cam includes a selfie light. Other features include a slim design, 2,500mAh battery, and Android 6 Marshmallow. The LG Phoenix 3 goes on sale online and in stores March 10 for $80.

Source: Phone Scoop – Latest News

MWC – Remember when we used to hunt for WiFi?

After returning from the Barcelona madness, I’ve finally got chance to reflect a little on the experience. It’s somewhere I don’t get to see a great deal, and instead it’s the inside of taxis or the rather excellent Metro system which runs through the city that I see more of. The Fira Gran Via also becomes a second home, with days starting early and finishing very late indeed. It’s one of the largest exhibition floor spaces in Europe and, whether you’re press, an exhibitor or a visitor, you get access to free WiFi too.

MWC   Remember when we used to hunt for WiFi?

That is also true of the launch events. At the LG G6 launch we had WiFi and again at the Huawei event. Trouble is, as a “Congress Veteran”, I know just how quickly this WiFi falls over. Hundreds, sometimes thousands, of reporters, bloggers and live YouTube broadcasts will quickly saturate the network, and you’ll find even small images failing to upload. It’s frustrating, especially when speed and timely reporting is key.

As I was covering the event, there was one place where a network connection (and an Ethernet port!) was guaranteed.

The Press Centre.

MWC   Remember when we used to hunt for WiFi?

Each year this has a HUGE quantity of bandwidth, and even whilst the BBC, CNBC and other media organisations are uploading their footage, you’ll still get an extremely speedy upload.

Except. This year. It wasn’t.

This year attendance figures to the event were through the roof. More than 108,000 visitors attended, up 7%, and it wasn’t just the food queues slowing down. It was the WiFi too.

The public WiFi was slow, the “special” Press WiFi was slow. It was overloaded.

MWC   Remember when we used to hunt for WiFi?

This year though, I’d taken a different route. In our Coolsmartphone Global Command Centre we didn’t have any fixed broadband. Everything was delivered via the mobile network. Likewise, when I actually got to the Congress, I turned the WiFi off on my LG G5 and used the Vodafone 4G instead. Even in the Press Centre I found that my Vodafone handset, whic has now showing a “4G+” symbol, beat the fixed Ethernet connection hands-down. I mean, it smashed it. Videos, pictures and a lot of my articles were uploaded either over my MiFi (which was hooked into Voda as you’ll see below) or straight from the Vodafone LG G5 in my hand.

MWC   Remember when we used to hunt for WiFi?

I’d hooked into the Vodafone Business Traveller plan, which meant (for a £2.50 daily charge) that I just used the phone as if I was in the UK. You then just pay the same charges as you do in the UK for your calls, texts and data.

Plus, and I can attest to this, there was no restrictions. I merrily burned through my existing data package just as I would’ve done in Birmingham, even though I was in Barcelona. It meant that I could continue blogging and posting at live events all over the city, even when others were moaning about the dead WiFi connectivity. It even, and this is probably a shock to commuters in London, worked underground. In the tunnels too.

MWC   Remember when we used to hunt for WiFi?

With Britain deciding to exit Europe, we’ll be keeping a close eye on charges for travellers. At the moment, we’ve got some great shock-free roaming approaching in June, so let’s hope it stays that way and “roam worry” becomes a thing of the past.

The post MWC – Remember when we used to hunt for WiFi? is original content from Coolsmartphone. If you see it on another news website, please let us know.

Facebook

  • Google+
  • RSS Feed
  • Twitter
  • YouTube
  • Podcast
    Source: CoolSmartPhone.com News

  • BlackBerry Sending March Security Patch to Its Android Phones

    BlackBerry is pushing the March security patches from Google to its BlackBerry Priv, DTEK60, and DTEK50 smartphones. Google made the security patches available to its own Nexus and Pixel devices earlier this week. The combined March 1 and March 5 patch plugs a significant number of vulnerabilities, including at least 10 classified as critical. Critical holes can lead to remote code execution, which means hackers can take control over devices from afar. BlackBerry says Priv, DTEK60, and DTEK50 owners should see the update appear over the next few days. Alternately, users can seek the update manually via their phone’s system settings.

    Source: Phone Scoop – Latest News

    AT&T Bundling HBO for Free with Some DirecTV Now Plans

    AT&T is rewarding what it calls “loyal” customers of its DirecTV Now service with free HBO. People who subscribe to the Go Big and Gotta Have It packages will receive HBO for free for 12 months. People who subscribe to the less expensive Live a Little and Just Right packages will receive a $5 discount on HBO for up to six months. Those who’ve already added HBO to their DirecTV Now service will see their bills adjusted accordingly. AT&T says subscribers will be able to use their DirecTV Now login credentials to access HBOGo, as well.The loyalty reward is available to any DirecTV Now customer with an account active as of March 6. AT&T launched DirecTV Now in November 2016. The service offers four packages that range from $35 to $70 per month with up to 120 channels. It is available to Android and iOS devices, as well as the web.

    Source: Phone Scoop – Latest News

    Verizon Pushing Nougat to Moto Z Droid Play

    Verizon Wireless is distributing the Android 7 Nougat system update to the Moto Z Droid Play handset. Nougat includes several marquee features, such as native split-screen multitasking and more granular control over the home screen experience. The Moto Z Droid Play smartphone scores a number of new features with the improved OS. Some include fast app switching, bundled notifications, expanded emoji selection, data saver, and improved doze mode. Nougat users will also enjoy greater control over notifications, the Quick Settings panel, and the main settings tools. Android 7 Nougat is free to download over WiFi. The update is being rolled out over the next few days.

    Source: Phone Scoop – Latest News

    A remote controller actuator. What could be greater?

    A remote controller actuator. What could be greater?
    So, I’m pretty geeky guy with the home automation gadgets. I started off with a Nest thermostat, which a lot of even my non-geeky friends are getting into. It’s a simple and clever way to save cash on your heating bills. Put simply, it knows when you’re not at home and it’ll learn your routine so that you’re not heating up an empty house. Likewise, it means that you’re not cranking up the heating to full blast when you get home – thereby heating up a freezing cold house and having to wait for it to reach the right temperature.

    To go deeper into the home heating cleverness, you can have a look at radiator thermostats. They will take the Nest a step further, and Devolo have a system which will monitor each and every room in your home, turning individual radiators up and down as required so that you’re not heating empty rooms. 

    A remote controller actuator. What could be greater?

    All of this should, if you use it properly, save you cash.

    You can go further though, and the advent of the Amazon Echo devices means that you can simply say, “Alexa, can you turn the heating up to 25 degrees” to set your heating. Even if your hands are full. Even if you don’t have your phone with you.

    But wait…. you can go further still.

    How about all those open doors ? 

    It’s all very well having each radiator going on and off automatically, but if you’ve got an empty bedroom with a radiator turned off AND the door is open, you’re going to get a cold breeze blowing through your home. 

    Let me introduce you to something called an actuator. It’s a device for moving or controlling a mechanism or system. There’s different types of actuators, and some can turn valves, but the one I’m thinking of is a simple electric linear actuator that will convert electric into motion in a straight line. Yes, I’m thinking of getting one attached to a door so that it’ll close or open on command.

    A remote controller actuator. What could be greater?

    Why am I thinking about this? Well, it all comes after I spotted this Wi-Fi actuator control app. It’ll basically let you push doors closed or open them up via remotely-controlled actuators within the app.

    A remote controller actuator. What could be greater?

    Think of it. To an extent this is already being done with pet-feeding systems and remote garage-door control systems. It’s just a little motor pushing or pulling a flap or door. If you take it to the next level you could open windows and doors around your home. If you’re posh enough, you could even close and open the gates to your home or your office. Perhaps even close and open curtains, or open cupboard doors and so on.

    Yes, everything I’ve mentioned – although a bit geeky – is sensible and understandable. However, you can also use actuators to build your own robots, or to lift a TV up a wall, or to move furniture – perhaps even lower a set of bikes from some roof space or lower the loft ladders. The possibilities are endless 🙂

    The post A remote controller actuator. What could be greater? is original content from Coolsmartphone. If you see it on another news website, please let us know.

    Facebook

  • Google+
  • RSS Feed
  • Twitter
  • YouTube
  • Podcast
    Source: CoolSmartPhone.com News

  • MWC – A chat with Marc Allera as EE increase coverage.

    My first ever mobile phone was connected to Orange. I stayed as a customer all through the transitional phase as T-Mobile and Orange joined forces to eventually become EE. The new brand seems to have woven its way into our subconsciousness rather quickly, and they have pushed hard to maintain their 4G lead after being the first in the UK to roll out the technology on a major scale commercially.

    MWC   A chat with Marc Allera as EE increase coverage.

    Earlier this week I had sat down for a chat with EE CEO, Marc Allera, to see how the recent BT purchase was going to change things going forwards. I also wanted to see whether the brand we’ve only just got used to is to change again.

    Things started off with him asking me a question, and it’s a familiar query. Just what is the “Mobile World Congress Trend” this year?

    MWC   A chat with Marc Allera as EE increase coverage.

    At each event there’s usually a theme running through. Last year it was all about modular technology and virtual reality. This year? Well, that’s a tricky one. If I’m honest I’ve not really “felt” any great theme. There was, however, an obvious effort to push 5G and talk about the next big technological leap.

    “I don’t think we’ll be seeing that for a few years yet. There’s still a lot more mileage to get out of 4G yet”, said Mr Allera.

    Across the hall Sony had shown off their new Xperia XZ smartphone and EE have already achieved 1Gbps speeds across 4G.

    But what of the BT purchase? Are things going to change? Will we be seeing a re-brand again? It certainly doesn’t seem to be on the cards any time soon, and BT appear to be aware that the EE brand is working well. One thing that will change is coverage, and it’s something that the company is pushing hard to improve. Marc is adamant that coverage for EE customers will be “everywhere our customers go” in the UK, and they’re spending money on new mast locations and improvements to existing infrastructure.

    It’s an expensive business, filled with technological and legal challenges, but the new EE seems to be more than keen to get that coverage built out. I asked whether the BT purchase would help, especially considering the challenges of purchasing or renting land for masts to live on. “What about telegraph poles? Could you use those? They’re owned by BT?”

    MWC   A chat with Marc Allera as EE increase coverage.

    “Potentially, yes. The green boxes at the side of the road too. BT has a colossal amount of sites across the UK”

    The chat ended with a selfie. Something Mr Allera asked for and refreshing to see from the CEO of such a massive mobile network.

    That night, whilst sitting in a local restaurant and gazing at this guy playing on a gambling machine, it hit me.Surely, if EE can indeed stick their kit on BT telegraph poles, if they don’t necessarily have to open up those poles to other mobile networks, then they’re going to get a massive leg-up in the coverage race.

    That said, BT already have something called MiiS – short for Mobile Infill Infrastructure Solution. This lets mobile operators use “selected poles” with the provision of new powered street cabinets. It’s ideal for mobile providers, not just EE, as a way of filling in not-spots. A pole and a powered street cabinet means that mobile providers can place transmitters at the top of the pole, then radio equipment can be placed inside the cabinet along with a connection to copper or fibre network connections.

    Of course, with EE pushing to add hundreds of new masts, it’ll put pressure on other networks to compete, which hopefully means better coverage for everyone – not just EE customers.

    MWC   A chat with Marc Allera as EE increase coverage.

    Why? Why is EE pushing so hard? Well, after a few beers in that restaurant my mind was wondering a little. Why also has that man walked all the way to a restaurant just to play on an arcade machine when he could be using a real money slots app instead? It’s not quite a Royal Vegas online casino is it?

    Where was I? Ahh yes. What’s the driving force behind this? Well, there’s a system called TETRA which the Emergency Services are using. It relies on transmitters which tend to sit on or near mobile masts but it’s about to be ditched after EE won the contract to deliver 4G data and voice services. Trouble is, despite the shortcomings of the TETRA / Airwave (such as slow data capabilities), it has a massive 97% coverage at the moment, and EE has to match that target. They also have to ensure that coverage is available on the London Underground and other areas where current police, fire and ambulance radios currently work. After all, they’ve won a £1.2bn contract, and they need to ensure that they meet expectations.

    Two years ago all operators pledged to provide coverage of at least 90% of the UK landmass by now. EE plans to extend 4G to 95% geographic coverage by 2020 and they’re already putting some interesting ideas in place to fill gaps in the event of disasters so that the emergency services can communicate.

    The post MWC – A chat with Marc Allera as EE increase coverage. is original content from Coolsmartphone. If you see it on another news website, please let us know.

    Facebook

  • Google+
  • RSS Feed
  • Twitter
  • YouTube
  • Podcast
    Source: CoolSmartPhone.com News

  • Stores without apps and cities without streets

    Nokia may well be springing to life again with the announcement of new models at MWC, but according to most commentators Windows 10 Mobile is still manifestly kicking the bucket. Can’t you just hear that clanging sound?

     

    Much of the blame for Windows Mobile’s failure to take off has always been put on the ‘app gap’, the absence from the platform of key popular applications, although according to Steve Litchfield’s article at All About Windows Phone (allaboutwindowsphone.com), the situation isn’t half as bad as some people make out.

     Stores without apps and cities without streets

     But certainly Windows 10 Mobile seems to be at a standstill, treading water at a point between having been killed off by Google’s wilful lack of support, and re-emerging as an integrated part of the entire Windows platform – backed up by universal apps that run on any Windows device no matter its size.

     

    Windows Mobile as it currently stands, though, has drawbacks and weaknesses not found in either the Android or iOS ecosystems, both of which have stores where a wealth of applications constantly twinkles with life. Windows Store in contrast is a barren, dusty place where owls hoot and cobwebs drape. All this means there is a type of mobile phone user that should definitely avoid Windows Mobile.

     

    Take photos for instance. Not long ago Microsoft allowed Windows phone users 30GB of free online storage. This comprised 15GB as standard, and an additional 15GB bonus easily obtained by setting the camera roll on a mobile device to use OneDrive for image backup. But in 2015 the free storage was reduced to 5GB, while the 15GB camera roll bonus was discontinued. Bah, humbug, Microsoft.

     

    If you’re a Windows phone user, Google apparently considers you unworthy of attention. It certainly wants you to keep your grubby hands off its own apps and services, nearly all of which are nowhere to be seen on the Windows 10 Mobile platform. This is a shame, because Google Photos is undoubtedly the king of cloud storage for your images.

     

    Google provides unlimited free photo storage through its Photos app, so long as you don’t mind a degree of file compression, one which anyhow doesn’t in normal circumstances affect the quality of your images. Your Gran is hardly going to be complaining that she’s had her pixel count reduced in that picture of her adjusting her dentures on Eastbourne seafront. Needless to say, Google Photos is not available on Windows Mobile, along with all other Google goodies. It just isn’t.

     

    My personal Windows Mobile bugbear is the inferiority of the default maps. Several years ago I took up a job in Cambodia, South-East Asia, and was astonished to find that the country’s map on Windows was practically non-existent, consisting of main roads and a few labels (unlike most other countries in the region it was not available for download either). It looked more like a minor underground transport system than a busy city’s road network.

    Stores without apps and cities without streets 

    Now, Cambodia may well be a lightly populated country of little significance to most Europeans, but it receives plenty of tourists each year, most of them admittedly French visitors looking in on an ex-colony, but still. And let’s not forget it has one of the most impressive Hindu Temples in the world, Angkor Wat.

     

    To add insult to injury, Microsoft phones were heavily promoted in the country’s capital city, Phnom Penh. In fact, when I was there in 2015, a large Nokia store had just undergone transformation into a ‘Microsoft’ outlet, and was selling all the latest Lumias of the time. Yet I’m certain that no salesman would have dared remark that the Lumia 640 was a great phone ‘unless you want to find directions to the next block down the street’. Cheeky? I’d say so.

     

    Returning to the app gap, the Windows platform is not a terribly suitable phone for those looking for romance either. Or at least not if you’re gay. For while Tinder, a dating app for straight people, is at least supported by third party alternatives such as 6tin, there are no options for platforms such as Grindr, one of the most popular gay dating services. Sadly – or indeed happily – any gays going to Cambodia will just have to find partners the old-fashioned way by eyeing up other guys in bars.

     

    And how about Snapchat, that social media phenomenon for the young and wordless who like to transmit quaint pictures of themselves all over the universe? Well, forget it. Snapchat is as missing as an expletive in a monastery on the Windows Mobile platform.  

     Stores without apps and cities without streets

    So, it seems that if you’re a gay photography buff who generates a ton of images to save to the cloud, and who just loves to send out cartoon-emblazoned selfies while on vacation, and you’re going to be navigating the Kingdom of Cambodia for the first time, then leave your Windows phone at home and take an Android device instead. Then you won’t get lost, lonely or frustrated.

    The post Stores without apps and cities without streets is original content from Coolsmartphone. If you see it on another news website, please let us know.

    Facebook

  • Google+
  • RSS Feed
  • Twitter
  • YouTube
  • Podcast
    Source: CoolSmartPhone.com News