Posts Tagged ‘keeping’
Question by Jon A: How do I cancel service on an iPhone while still keeping the phone?
I want to cancel the contract I currently have with AT&T, but I want to keep the phone I currently have, without the contract. I called AT&T, but they said that to cancel the contract I would have to return the iPhone, since I unlocked the iPhone, I need to keep it. How am I meant to cancel the contract?
AT&T said to cancel the contract I would need to return the phone.
Answer by Gab
Give your answer to this question below!
People store their emails, photos and documents online to keep them from being lost or accidentally deleted. But what about the records we never save to begin with, like phone conversations and text messages? These hold a lot of useful data and can sometimes be the only point of reference for important conversations.
I’ve been testing Calltrunk, a service that records, stores and transcribes calls initiated by its app or website; a manual feature on iPhones and Skype also enables recording incoming calls. It uses landlines, mobile phones or Skype accounts to place calls, and these calls are stored in a password-protected account for $ 5 to $ 50 monthly. I also tested Uppidy, a free service that, once installed on an Android phone or BlackBerry, automatically logs all text messages sent to or from that phone in a Web-based account for reading or sorting later.
The services worked, though neither notifies the person on the other end of the call or text that their words are being saved, which feels creepy. The exception to this rule is calls initiated on the Calltrunk iPhone app, which (by default) play a faint beep throughout. But this beep can easily be turned off in Settings. No such beep plays when calls are made via Calltrunk.com or Android phone.
Calltrunk co-founder Angela Clarke said federal law only requires single-party consent for recorded calls, though some states require all-party consent. Representatives from Calltrunk and Uppidy said they leave it up to users to notify people if they are being recorded.
Uppidy stores all text messages made on Android phones or BlackBerrys in a Web-accessible account.
On Tuesday, Calltrunk launched a search feature called ArgoSearch, and I got an exclusive first look at it. This search engine combs through specific words or phrases that were spoken in phone calls. For example, if someone talks on the phone with his mechanic about his squeaky car brakes and wants to remember how much the mechanic said they would cost to repair, he can type “car,” “brakes” and “repair” into a search box and find the exact place in the conversation where all three words were mentioned.
ArgoSearch worked well in certain cases, but wasn’t truly reliable. In one conversation with my husband, I ate lunch as we spoke and said “responsible” with a bite of bread in my mouth. The ArgoSearch engine still figured out what I was saying and found the word in our conversation. It also found the words “Facebook” and “Twitter.” But it failed to find simple words like “pounds” and proper nouns like car brands.
When words are found, they’re clearly marked in the timeline of the conversation with a different color for each word. A key to these words and their corresponding colors appears on the top right of the screen.
While the regular Calltrunk service charges a monthly fee, ArgoSearch is currently free, though a Calltrunk spokesman said the company would eventually charge for it. It works in Web browsers and on the iPhone, and by July it will work on Android phones.
Calltrunk’s ArgoSearch enables word-searching in calls, indexing words with colors.
Calltrunk is a bit confusing to use the first time because it rings your own phone back before calling the other person. I tested it using Calltrunk apps on the iPhone and an Android phone, as well as via Calltrunk.com. I told people on calls that they were being recorded, and in one instance, my friend reacted by refraining from saying more about one subject.
All calls are neatly sorted in a list on Calltrunk’s website and can be labeled with brief descriptions. Each call can be sent to Dropbox, Evernote or Box; downloaded (as an MP3 file); or transcribed by humans for $ 1.50 or $ 3 a minute, depending on quality.
Uppidy saves all text messages to its cloud-based site, even if you lose a phone, switch carriers or get a new phone. It works on Android phones and Research In Motion’s BlackBerrys, though not on the iPhone without a clumsy desktop workaround. I installed it on a Samsung Android phone and on a BlackBerry Bold 9930, and it ran in the background unnoticed.
I didn’t feel as obligated to tell people that their texts were being saved compared with how I felt the need to tell people their calls were being recorded when I used Calltrunk. I figured if they were writing a message, they knew there was some record of it, however temporary.
On the Android phone, a notice from Uppidy gave me the option to back up my phone’s entire text-messaging history. RIM doesn’t allow for such a deep dive into a user’s archives.
Settings on each phone’s app let me decide how often I wanted texts to be synchronized with Uppidy’s cloud service, which is accessible in a password-protected account on Uppidy.com. I opted for a 10-minute interval on the BlackBerry and manual syncing on the Android device. On Uppidy.com, I sorted texts by date, entering a start date and end date within which texts would appear. I could also narrow my list of texts to the people who sent them or to the phone I used for sending them, which is helpful for people with more than one phone.
Many people may think that since they haven’t recorded phone calls or text messages until now, they don’t need to start. But if these are of exceptional importance in your professional or social life, Calltrunk with ArgoSearch and Uppidy will be worth a try.
Watch a video of Katherine Boehret on Calltrunk and Uppidy at WSJ.com/PersonalTech. Email firstname.lastname@example.org
Rumors continue to heat up that Apple will enter the television market next year, stepping up its Apple TV “hobby” into a greater revenue-generating vocation. The company would clearly like to repeat the kind of rousing success it has seen in smartphones. There, it entered a market at least as crowded and competitive as that for televisions whereas most of its Windows rivals have barely been able to eke out a few models with nominal share..
Indeed, the challenge is not as much about competition as commoditization. At first glance, this would be a curious time for Apple to enter the TV space. The HD and flat-panel transitions on which premium manufacturer brands and retailers once feasted has long passed. “Flat-panel TV” and “HDTV” are now just “TV.” And prices for smaller sets are settling into a range familiar to those who remember what they cost back in the heyday of CRTs.
What’s different, though, is that the state of the smart TV market looks strikingly like the smartphone market did before Apple’s entrance. The market essentially has “feature TVs” that present a few popular canned services (YouTube, Netflix, Hulu, Pandora, etc.) and “smart TVs” that are a fractured mixture of homegrown offerings (from companies such as Panasonic, Samsung, LG and Toshiba) and an experience-challenged licensed OS (Android from Sony and Vizio).
The company has clung to the idea of TV as a passive experience.
Sometimes, too much technology can be a bad thing. Busy families struggle to coordinate schedules among all the devices they have using Microsoft Outlook, Web calendars and a multitude of apps. Yet, no single program unites all of these calendars in one place.
This week, I tested something that attempts to do just that. I’ve been using Skedi, a $ 10 app for the iPhone and iPod touch made by Rodax Software. It imports third-party calendars, lets family members create activities to which they invite or delegate one another (or other people, like a baby sitter) and it syncs Skedi events back to other programs, like Google Calendar. The best feature of Skedi is that it displays family members’ availability, much like Microsoft Outlook, so a person can see when others are free or busy.
As dreamy as this app sounds, it needs work. It’s only accessible on the iPhone and iPod touch and won’t work with Microsoft Outlook calendars. It also needs more adjustable settings. Future iterations will make it more accessible via other devices as well as the Web, according to Rodax. An Android app is planned for this year and an iPad app is expected this year or early 2012.
Over the past two weeks, I’ve come to really appreciate the value of an app like Skedi. My husband has been at a conference in California and I’ve made several attempts to make plans with friends for when he returns. One by one, I’ve had to cancel a Friday night dinner, a Saturday night concert and an attempted Sunday night rescheduled dinner because I made the mistake of thinking that no news of plans meant he had no plans.
Unfortunately, my husband couldn’t step away from the conference to test Skedi with me. (I tested it with a colleague.) This brings up another matter: Scheduling is a participation sport. The more people who use a scheduling app, the more useful it’ll be.
Skedi gives different people different permissions. Kids aren’t required or even asked to respond to an event, which is fine for younger kids whose parents plan their schedules. (The term “parents” can be used loosely; a grandparent or friend can be added as a “parent.”) One prompt encouraged me to add a car in the “kid” section so it was automatically reserved for an activity.
Left to right: The Skedi app lets you create an event, respond to the event and see when family is busy.
To set up Skedi, I created an account using my email and a password, and then followed prompts to add other parents, kids, baby sitters and friends to the account using their names and emails. People who are invited to Skedi get an email with a link that walks them through setting up an account. But they’ll each have to buy the app for their devices if they want to use it. The Rodax Software website suggests using Apple’s workaround for this: signing into each device with the Apple ID originally used to buy the app, but this can be a pain.
After adding people, I was prompted to add my calendars, though only calendars that follow an Internet standard called CalDAV will work. These include the Apple Calendar and MobileMe, Google Calendar, Yahoo and AOL. I added Google Calendar by entering my Google account email and password. In the final setup step, I told Skedi to use my Google Calendar as the default calendar for adding events.
Once setup is complete, Skedi doesn’t let users add or remove people from accounts. Rodax’s president and founder, John Boyer, said that fixes over the next two weeks would enable making these and other changes to calendars.
Skedi looks a lot like iCal on the iPhone, including “+” icons in the top of the screen that add events. Skedi is divided into three sections: Family Calendar, My Calendar and Notifications. Family Calendar shows an overall view of each person in the account, and color-shading—blue for parents, tan for kids and brown for baby sitters—on calendar dates represents when people are busy.
If someone in your Skedi account imports a calendar to his or her account, like her work calendar, appointments on that calendar are represented with the colored shading but are marked as Private. This lets family members know the times aren’t free but prevents them from seeing the details of that work calendar.
I created events by giving them titles, adding a location, specifying the start and end times, designating a person in charge and selecting the people in my Skedi account who I wanted to join. Skedi checks each person’s availability so I know who’s busy or free. Even if a person is busy, Skedi still lets me add them to the event.
The Notifications section tells you if someone has invited you to an event, delegated you in an event or canceled an event. Alas, these alerts are only accessible through the app, though Mr. Boyer said email alerts will be available in the next two weeks.
Back at my computer, I opened Google Calendar on my Web browser and saw events other people in my account and I had added using Skedi. A “booked by Skedi” note beside each event clued me in on how these events were added. This is especially helpful for people who add events on the go and forget they did it.
The current iteration of Skedi has too many kinks in it, and the app will be much more useful when it’s accessible by means other than the iPhone and iPod touch. Still, the idea of saving time by automatically showing family members’ availability is a big plus.
Write to Katherine Boehret at email@example.com
Ben Heck’s been busy — again. In the latest episode of his bi-weekly show he puts his considerable brain power to work on cycle safety. He uses Parallax ping sensors connected to an Arduino to measure whether you’re in any danger from nearby obstacles and traffic. The red and green LED indicators are hooked up to ambient light sensors so they don’t blind you while riding at night — looks like Mr. Heck’s thought of everything. This week’s episode also includes more secrets behind the prolific modder’s Android APK-based baby seat. Check out both projects after the break.
Earlier this year, HTC allowed its previously Verizon-exclusive brand name out to prowl the globe with the Incredible S, and now it’s doing the same with the heretofore Sprint-only EVO moniker. The EVO 3D, says a tweet from HTC’s French mouthpiece, is coming to the land of baguettes, stylish mustaches and stripy pullovers, though a little bit of mystery remains as to when exactly its arrival shall be. Whatever the schedule (the EVO 3D’s set for a “summer” release in the US), the rest of Europe’s unlikely to be left out, meaning a 4.3-inch superphone with a 1.2GHz dual-core processor, 1080p video recording in 2D and 720p in 3D, HTC’s newest Sense skin and Android’s freshest Gingerbread build, is headed out to the Old Wold. And that, fellow pilgrims, is a mighty awesome thing indeed.
Continue reading HTC EVO 3D coming to Europe, keeping the sexy name and specs
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Itching to put some sweet, crunchy AOSP Honeycomb on your hardware of choice? You might have quite a wait, as BusinessWeek reports that Google will not release the Android 3.0 source code in the near future, and we just received confirmation of the same. Google forwarded us the following statement, which pretty much says it all:
Android 3.0, Honeycomb, was designed from the ground up for devices with larger screen sizes and improves on Android favorites such as widgets, multi-tasking, browsing, notifications and customization. While we’re excited to offer these new features to Android tablets, we have more work to do before we can deliver them to other device types including phones. Until then, we’ve decided not to release Honeycomb to open source. We’re committed to providing Android as an open platform across many device types and will publish the source as soon as it’s ready.
It’s fairly clear that the company’s motivation here is the same as it’s been all along — Google wants to restrict Android to the devices it was designed for. Though the company long insisted that earlier versions of Android were not for tablets, manufacturers quickly adapted the source code to slates anyhow, and we can imagine the company wasn’t thrilled some of the middling results. At that time, Google’s only weapon was to deny access to Gmail, Maps and Android Market, which it did liberally (with a few exceptions to the rule) but this time it sounds like it’s simply withholding the “entirely for tablet” source code instead of sending cease-and-desist letters out. Another explanation, however, could just be that Honeycomb’s not ready for primetime without some OEM help — last we checked, smartphone support was a far cry from final, and even the finished Motorola Xoom still has a few software kinks to work out. Here’s hoping a nice cold bowl of Ice Cream will smooth things over with the open source community before too long.
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It’s almost Christmas, and if your family is anything like mine (I really don’t know how likely that is), there will be mile-high piles of wrapping paper and ribbon by noon on Saturday. We’ve tried to recycle paper and ribbons year-to-year, but there’s always more to be done to make sure your holiday cheer doesn’t take down more of the Amazon than it has to.
Inventor Spot has put together a sensible list of things you can do to minimize the environmental impact of your gifts — never mind the fact that the gifts themselves manufactured in factory towns in China, filled with toxic materials, and surrounded with blister packaging. But I digress, and that’s a whole other problem. There’s nothing wrong with minimizing the waste you create.
I particularly like the road maps idea. They’re big, they look cool, and they’re robust enough to be reused. I’m also a fan of plain brown paper — buy a huge roll of it and you can use it both for wrapping and packing material, and when you’re done, it’s perfectly recyclable.
Got any tips on how you keep things green during your festivities?
Today’s all about Windows Phone 7 (for better or worse). Microsoft is in New York showing off the goods, and Greg and John are there getting the goods. What I can say remotely is this: Microsoft is launching Windows Phone 7 across 30 countries, with one or two phones per country. Those of us in the U.S. are looking at an early November release date.
Had your current cellphone for the better part of the this century? Turns out you aren’t the only one — according to new research gathered by J.D. Power and Associates, Americans are holding onto their mobiles for longer than ever these days. In fact, the study found that the length of time customers keep their traditional wireless cell phone has increased by 17 percent from 2009, with the average customer holding onto their phone for around 20.5 months. That’s the longest period since this study began tracking the data in 1999, when the average was 17.3 months. Kirk Parsons, senior director of wireless services at the company, feels that the recent economic downturn has a lot to do with folks keeping their existing phones longer, while we’re guessing that it has to do with existing phones simply being “good enough.”
Furthermore, anyone who is even remotely tuned into the mobile world knows that widespread 4G is just around the bend, giving folks reason to hold off on renewing their contract until WiMAX / LTE comes to their carrier of choice. Curiously, phone prices are lower than ever before, which should mean that it’s even less expensive to upgrade now than in the past. Of course, none of that matters if your existing phone contract isn’t up (or you aren’t due for a discounted renewal), and the savings on the hardware is likely being devoured by the extra fees we’re paying for messaging and data. So, are you in the “run it till it dies” camp, or are you wondering who on Earth this survey (shown in full after the break) is referring to?
Continue reading Study: we’re keeping our mobiles longer, despite sinking prices