Posts Tagged ‘Sprint’
If you haven’t been paying attention, a service called Carrier IQ has cause a bit of a stir lately. The premise is pretty simple. Manufacturers or carriers install the software on your phone. The software then monitors pretty much everything you do, and then reports back to the installing party. Clearly this causes some issues with users; no one wants someone spying on their actions. In the past few days carriers and manufacturers have spoken up regarding their relationships with Carrier IQ. The latest is Sprint, which admitted that it uses Carrier IQ. Does this make you feel less easy about using a Sprint Android phone?
Sprint claims that it uses the data collected by Carrier IQ to “analyze our network performance and identify where we should be improving service.” In that way it’s something like a SCADA, wherein the company is trying to manage its network by gathering as much data as possible. Of course, Sprint has available to it all sorts of other data via Carrier IQ, and their marketing department will likely benefit greatly from it. Will they simply not use the data that they receive — that they pay for — because there has been something of a controversy? Call me a skeptic, but I don’t think it will.
Unlimited data is a thing of the past. AT&T started it, capping their services at 2GB in 2010. Verizon and T-Mobile followed about a year later, though both added higher-tier options for heavy data consumers. But the point remains: gone are the days where you could browse, download, and stream with abandon. That is, unless you’re on Sprint. Throughout this ordeal they’ve not only retained their unlimited data plans, but they’ve continually reassured customers that they will, indeed, stay unlimited. The latest comes from CTO Stephen Bye (via CNET). He stated the challenges of maintaining unlimited plans, but also said that Sprint is willing to face that challenge.
This is plenty good news for not only Sprint customers, but customers wishing to jump ship. Customers grandfathered into unlimited plans with AT&T, T-Mobile, and Verizon won’t keep that plan forever. There will come a time when they will move everyone to a tiered plan. True, by then Sprint could follow suit. But it does seem that they’re committed to keeping this thing unlimited — even as they’re reportedly adding the iPhone, a device that could post them network capacity issues.
Today Sprint released the Kyocera Milano, a low-cost touchscreen slider device that runs Android 2.3. We’ve seen many carriers opt for mid-range handsets lately, which again highlights one of Android’s major advantages. They not only have high-end devices, such as the recently released Droid Bionic, but they can also play to other demographics. This helps it stand out in a market that Apple has long shaped. The Milano provides another example of what’s possible when a low-cost manufacturer decides to install Android on its device.
The Milano is really nothing special. It’s a little undersized, with a 3-inch screen at 240 x 320 pixels. Yet it’s also a little heavy, weighing 5.6 ounces. That’s quite a deal heavier than many of the lower-end Android handsets we’ve seen popping up. Of course, it’s all a trade-off for the rest of the features. As expected, it doesn’t have a top of the line processor, but it has a manageable single core 800 MHz chip and 512MB of RAM. That is, it’ll run fast enough, but it won’t blaze through operations sans lag. Again, it’s all about the trade-offs.
For nearly a decade, the iPod dominated the music world. It presented users with the greatest of conveniences: store tens of thousands of songs in one place, so you always have your favorite tunes with you. The next evolution of that concept involves mobile phones. Apple already has a head start there with the iPhone, but other platforms and services are catching on. The latest is Sprint, which has made available Sprint Music Plus, a music store available on, among other models, Android handsets.
From the sounds of it, the app works in manner similar to iTunes. That is, both the store and the media player. It organizes your current music, allowing you to sort and search. The store end allows you to buy DRM-free tracks, which will cost between $ 0.69 and $ 1.29. Best of all — or perhaps worst of all, depending on your self-discipline — the charges show up on your Sprint bill, so you don’t have to worry about entering in payment information. That is, when you find a song you can just download it. Clearly, Sprint is going for impulse buys here.