When Windows Phone hit the market, it launched with one of the worst navigation systems on the planet. Bing Maps was barely able to offer directions, much less route you in a decent way, to your choice of locations. Turn by turn navigation didn’t exist and due to the deal that Microsoft cut with Navteq back in the day, they weren’t able to offer turn by turn directions on mobile devices. Little did they know what put them light years ahead of the competition in the PC market would end up creating a total disaster for them in the mobile space.
Fortunately for Microsoft, Nokia partnered with them and brought along some amazing software based on the Windows platform. Nobody gave the OS much of a glance until then, but with Nokia’s monstrous developer network in place, the Apps began rolling out to make Windows Phone a contender. Of all these Apps, the most valuable had to be access to the Here mapping system.
The question is, what relevance does this have to Google, Android and Windows Phone today? Rumors have been flying that Nokia is willing to part ways with their mapping division. Here. If Microsoft was smart, they would be executing a buyout of the Here division for whatever Nokia wants for it before it even hits the market. If Google has a chance to purchase Here and merge it with their own mapping system, it would solidify Google Maps as the best system on the planet.
If Google is able to make this move, this would stall the primary navigation system that most Windows Phone users depend on. If Google stopped providing updates to Here, Microsoft’s deal with Nokia to have 10 years of access would still hold strong, but the App would eventually frustrate users to the point that they would look elsewhere for their mobile navigation solutions.
With this one deal, Google would steal Microsoft’s saving navigation grace, Here, and swipe one of the most powerful tools in the Windows Phone toolbox. Will it happen or not, we have no idea, but if it does, Windows users better watch out.
File this under the too good to be true columns, but FreedomPop has once again stepped up their game by not only offering you free mobile service, but also offering you a steal on a reconditioned LG Optimus F3 device. That’s correct, you get free service and the Optimus F3 for just $29.
For starters the Optimus F3 is a decent starter phone. Powered by 1.2GHz Snapdragon 400 processor and 1GB of RAM, you won’t notice much lag in the F3 when using it for daily tasks. The device ships with Android 4.1.2 out of the box, which isn’t the latest and greatest, but it’s far from some of the older Gingerbread models that many are using on the FreedomPop network. The 480×800, 4” display is clean, clear and remarkably easy to read. The 4GB of internal storage is a bit small for today’s standards as well, but with just a bit of wrangling, the 32GB MicroSD card you install in it can handle most of the heavy lifting.
The Optimus F3 also features a 5MP rear camera, with flash and a VGA resolution front facing camera. The camera also features HDR mode and a voice activated shutter. The rear shooter also captures 1080p HD video as well. The Optimus F3 was the follow up to the very successful LG Viper and netted a 4 star review from Phone Scoop users.
You can grab your Optimus F3 by clicking the link below and take the FreedomPop service for a test drive for less than $30 right now. If you’ve been wanting to try cutting your cellular bill from $100’s every month to almost nothing, or nothing at all, this is the best chance you will have for some time.
Many in the wireless universe have been looking forward to the new Google Wireless service. While it’s hardly revolutionary, the concept behind the service is to leverage your own, as well as public Wi-Fi networks to take the place of tradtional cell towers, thus making your bill lower than ever before. While this is a good idea in theory, it’s the same idea that carriers like FreedomPop and Republic Wireless have been using for some time.
The Google network should be backed up with T-Mobile (GSM) and Sprint (CDMA) when Wi-Fi isn’t available. The concept of Google’s Wi-Fi service dates back to the original Google Voice service that became popular after Google acquired a popular VoIP calling service. Today, extending the service to mobile devices over a data connection is a simple extension of the extremely popular Google Voice/Hangouts system that has been in place for quite some time now.
We have not been able to confirm pricing or availability of the service. Nor has Google confirmed the launch date as of this post. Look for the service to hit the non-carrier branded Nexus 6 devices soon.
In an almost common move now, Net10 Wireless is now offering a discounted phone upgrade program that will use points accrued by paying for your monthly plan. In as little as 6 months, you can earn a $200 discount on the Net10 handset of your choice. Of course, if the $80 a month bill for the “unlimited” plan is too much for you, you can slow your upgrade pace by quite a bit by signing up for the $60 plan that will take you 18 months to earn that handset credit.
Of course, one only has to exercise a bit of common sense and maybe purchase a piggybank in order to do a bit better than this deal on their own, but having the money actually spent before you spend it on something else might make it a bit easier. For example, the plan is a dead knock off of their $45 monthly plan with auto pay. This means for the $60 plan, you are paying an additional $15 a month (or $270 for that $300 phone discount) or an additional $25 a month (or $300 for a $300 discount) or even a monstrously high $35 a month ($210 for a $200 discount). Unless you are piping in on that 18 month deal, you really won’t come out too far ahead on this deal.
Even still, if you are in the market for a plan that will sock away a bit of cash for you, so you don’t have to worry about dipping into savings to buy a new handset. The $300 discount would certainly come in handy right now for grabbing a Galaxy Note 3 for $150 or an HTC One M8 for just $99. Of course, by the time you get your $300 discount, you’d probably be looking at the Note 5 and the M10, but who’s counting. Anyway you look at it, whether you bank your credit through Net10 or just that piggybank at home, it’s always fun to get a new device. Maybe stocking up a few phone credits towards that new phone is the way you need to stash that cash so you can do it more often.
Source: Net10 Wireless
If you are the one that is always on the lookout for freebies, today is a lucky day for you. Our buddies over at Amazon are giving out $105 in free Apps and games today. Many of them are repeats from the past, but there are a few new ones worth checking out. If you haven’t hit up the Amazon store in a while, you should point your browser on over there and grab these guys before they are gone.
For a complete list of the 26 titles, hit the link below!
When most people ask about Verizon Wireless MVNO’s, the first answer is usually Red Pocket Mobile or Page Plus, since both offer LTE speeds with their service. Then you have the illustrious Straight Talk which also offers that precious high speed data. Then there are a bevy of other higher priced options that just don’t quite as much bang for the buck. If you look really hard though, you will find a new player in the game and that player is Total Wireless. Total Wireless is a Verizon Wireless MVNO offering found at Wal-Mart that offers some amazing pricing, but that might not be a good thing once you look at the actual service plan.
First off, if you are a talker, they have an unlimited talk and text plan for $25 a month. This is substantially cheaper than Verizon’s own prepaid offers if you don’t need data. That said, for just $10 a month more, you can add 2.5GB of data to that plan. If you need more data than that, it’s a flat $10 per 1.5GB more per month. That means a 5.5GB plan on the Verizon Network will only run you $55 a month.
Shared plans are an even better value at $60 for two lines and 5GB of share data. You can also do 9GB for $85 or 12GB for $110 with three or four lines respectively. This brings the cost of doing business with Total Wireless down to $27.50 per line with 3GB of data per line average. Under $30 a line and being able to use Verizon’s network is a number that should turn everyone’s head very quickly.
Total Wireless also has a very strong selection of entry to mid-level handsets available for a reasonable cost. With pricing ranging from the sub $100 Moto e to around $200 for some of the more powerful options, the expense of jumping into their system can be minimal. Of course, if you have a compatible Verizon device already, you can simply purchase an activation kit for it and get rolling right away. Be sure to check the compatibility of your device before purchasing the activation code.
Here’s where the not so pretty starts, you don’t get to use Verizon’s entire network. Actually, to be honest, according to the Total Wireless website, you don’t get to use much of the network at all. Sure, the coverage map looks just like the Verizon website, but if you pay close attention, you’ll see one major difference. The map is all red. There’s no various shades of red indicating voice, 2G data, 3G data and LTE data. There is just he one shade of red showing the voice and 3G data coverage that you get with your total wireless plan.
While this won’t be a big deal to the budget conscious shopper that is just looking to cut their bill, to a Verizon users that is hooked on that LTE reliability and speed, this would definitely be a deal breaker. Verizon’s 3G speeds usually operate about 1.2Mbps on the download, compared to their LTE speeds which run anywhere from 12-20Mbps. In reality, the 1.2Mbps is more than enough to do simple things like browsing the web and downloading some smaller files, but if you are hooked on that speed and like to stream your videos, you probably want to look elsewhere.
Overall, if you are a voice and text user and only need data for things like social networking, browsing the internet and have access to Wi-Fi for downloading larger files and updates, Total Wireless could be a great fit for you. If you need that higher speed internet on the road or use features like the Verizon Hot Spot or other services that Big Red offers, you might want to hang on to that higher price plan a bit longer. But if you just want a nice combination between the two, check out the CDMAV offers at Red Pocket Mobile and see how much you could save.
When you are considering buying that next non-contract device, but still want to get the big name phone, here’s a bit of a secret – you might want to buy a Verizon Wireless device instead of your current carrier’s model. Yes, you read that correctly, the Verizon Wireless model. There are a few reasons for this, but first and foremost, all Verizon Wireless devices ship unlocked. Second, most Verizon phones ship with a global mode now. This enables the popular 850/900 2G/Voice bands for AT&T and T-Mobile in the US. They also include the 1900 MHz bands that are used for high speed data (HSPA+) and even a compatible LTE frequency for T-Mobile. Finally, there is a larger selection of MVNO’s available for Verizon devices since you not only have the GSM world bands in that device, but you also have the CDMA/LTE radios for Verizon as well.
Of course, if you are dead set on keeping your current network, check the bands that it uses before making this jump. When comparing network signal strength in the Seattle area between an Verizon Wireless HTC M8 and the M8 for T-Mobile, we found our T-Mobile signal was about 5% less powerful to our Verizon branded handset. This is probably due to the fact that T-Mobile uses AWS bands that are not active in the Verizon device, but it was not enough to change voice quality or impact our service level noticeably.
Verizon Wireless handsets usually cost about $50-100 more than some of their counterpart devices on other carriers, but the fact is that they do ship unlocked. If you are thinking about getting that new HTC One M9 or Samsung Galaxy S6, you might want to consider forking out a bit more so you can access those money saving networks down the road. Red Pocket Mobile, Page Plus and Total Wireless are all accepting BYOD Verizon Devices now, so it may just be a matter of time before your device of choice becomes active in their system and you can start saving cash on your bill every month.