Posts Tagged ‘Users’
How is a regional carrier to compete with the big boys these days? If we’re to learn from MetroPCS and others, it’s by creating partnerships with services that they can bundle with their plans. Cricket did this last year, when they created an unlimited music download plan. But that works with only one handset, and a non-smartphone at that. MetroPCS has upped the ante with their new service, which ties in with Rhapsody’s unlimited music. It’s for Android users, too, and it might just be up your alley.
Here’s the skinny. Any MetroPCS customer with an Android handset, whether the 4G Indulge or one of the normal 3G models, can upgrade to the $ 60 plan to get unlimited music from Rhapsody. That allows users to download unlimited music to their Android devices. It also syncs with the web service, so you can stream while you’re at home and sync up your playlists with your Android. It’s just another way of enjoying all the music you can handle.
Which application do you use most frequently on your Android? For me it’s not even close. Every day when I’m out, whether in the car or taking a walk, I load up Pandora. For my money it’s the best freely available streaming radio option, and it works like a charm on my N1. The one thing it lacks is a widget, but it was only a matter of time before someone developed one. Imagine my delight, then, when I saw such a widget on xda. As you can see in the screenshot, it’s a transparent widget, too, blending seamlessly into your home screen. You can track forward, pause, thumbs up, or thumbs down a song without going back into the app. It’s also nice to see the artist and song on your home screen, rather than in the notifications bar.
There’s no Android Market listing for this one, so you’ll have to allow for non-Market apps (Setting -> Applications -> Check the Unknown Sources box) and then go to http://db.tt/jFS4st1 to download it.
A year ago AT&T changed the cell phone industry by moving away from the standard of unlimited data plans to a system of tiered ones. Verizon and T-Mobile have since followed, leaving Sprint as the only major national carrier to still offer data without limits. Yet AT&T did throw its then-current subscribers a bone by allowing them to stay on their unlimited data plans. Grandfather clauses last only so long, though, and it appears that the time has come for AT&T to shuffle all those data hogs off their unlimited plans. They don’t plan to do this by direct force, but rather, by making the unlimited plans as obnoxious as possible. Sure, you can still use as much data as you want, but don’t dare fall into the top five percent of users. That will slow your data connection to a crawl.
It’s an interesting tactic to ween people off of unlimited plans. Clearly, those on tiered data plans are unaffected by this, because they pay for a specific amount of data. That is, AT&T wouldn’t throttle someone on the 2GB plan who was using, say, 10GB per month, even if that 10GB does fall into the top five percent. That customer is paying $ 125 for that data, and AT&T would rather have that income. But an unlimited plan subscriber using 10GB might fall into that top five percent, at which time he’d experience slow speeds until his billing cycle resets.
Prepaid isn’t what it used to be. Back in the mid-2000s it was mainly a means for the credit-deprived to get cell phone service. Since then it has evolved into a low-cost alternative to postpaid cellular service. Many carriers are even starting to add smartphones, including Android handsets. There are many limitations on prepaid that you don’t have on postpaid. One of them involves voice minutes. If you go over your minutes on postpaid you might have to pay overages, but on prepaid you’re cut off. That’s why an app such as Limit Your Calls is so essential for any prepaid Android user.
The app can keep your call times in check in a number of ways. You can receive notifications at certain intervals, until you’ve reached your limit. Once you’ve reached that limit, you can keep going, with the knowledge that you need to end the call ASAP, or you can just have the app hang up. I kind of find this hilarious. Just mid-conversation, boom, the call ends. But hey, it will make sure that you have enough minutes to get you through the month, or however long it is before you have to add minutes again.
If Gmail is your primary email client, and you go through a lot of emails, chances are you also make heavy user of labels. They do take a little getting used to, coming from a folders-based system, but most people I know, myself included, have come to prefer them. They make it a bit easier to keep your inbox clean and distraction-free while you tend to actual work. Unfortunately, there are no label-specific notifications on your Android. And app that performed this function was inevitable, and Android Central has kindly pointed it out. It’s called Gmail Label Notifier, and well, you get the gist.
The app has plenty to offer, including the ability to set different alerts for each label. This includes LED, notification sound, and vibration — which includes vibration patterns, for the truly OCD. The app also gives you the ability to select a different color Gmail icon for each label, making them even easier to discern in the notifications bar. Each label shows up as a separate notification, which means you don’t see the subject line or sender on the notification pull-down. (That’s fine, though, because if you have more than one email you only see the count, anyway.)
Why are so many apps that cost money in the Apple App Store free in the Android Market? I had a friend gripe about this issue a few weeks ago, in regards to Angry Birds. Sure, the Android version has ads running over it, but the fact remains that it’s free, while it costs a few bucks on the iPhone/iPad. The reason might be as simple as this: Android users just aren’t as apt to pay for apps. At least, that’s what it feels like. For those wondering if there is any statistical backing to this anecdotal evidence, I turn you to a recent Distmo report that contains information about paid apps in the Android Market. It does seem to jibe with the general feeling about the app environment.
Microsoft had a great opportunity with Windows Phone 7 to show how a company with tight control over its operating system can coordinate update releases amongst multiple smartphones without falling into a fractured, fragmented mess, as Android is often described. That expectation has fallen short of reality, with the release of NoDo subject to … Read More