A new AT&T plan will allow wireless customers upgrade their smartphones every year.
The carrier announced AT&T Next, an option that lets a smartphone or tablet owner snag a new device every year at no additional costs.
AT&T Next will work similarly to plans introduced by rival T-Mobile, which scrap traditional contracts in favor of paying for phones through monthly installments. The AT&T plan would allow a consumer to acquire a smartphone and make monthly payments for the full price of the phone with nothing down, then opt to upgrade after 12 months. If a consumers decides to keep their phone, they make payments for an extra 8 months.
AT&T says installments range from $15 to $50 a month, depending on the device. For example, a 16 GB iPhone 5, which carries a full price of $649.99, would be available for $32.50 per month.
The plan will be available nationwide starting July 26. Read More
One of the main tracks today at the Black Hat 2012 conference in Las Vegas is Mobile. The most compelling one to me was Don’t Stand So Close To Me: An Analysis Of The NFC Attack Surface by the famous Charlie Miller. The others raised important concerns, but only Miller’s made me cringe. His presentation included a demonstration of the use of a malicious NFC device which, simply when placed close enough to a user’s phone, resulted in a complete compromise of the phone, or what security people call “remote code execution.”
Dr. Miller, formerly of the NSA, is well-known in the security field as a top security researcher and probably the top researcher of Apple products. He has won many awards for impressive attacks on Macs and iPhones. He is currently a principal research consultant for Accuvant Labs.
NFC is designed for close wireless communications with the most famous application being wireless payments. It’s very similar to RFID in design, but devices can exchange much richer sets of data. NFC communications are very close-range. Miller said he heard of it can be made to work as far as 10 cm, but 4 cm was about where he found the outer range.
It turns out that, at least on Android, if your phone is on and awake, NFC is active. And if it’s asleep and locked, an attacker who knows the number can wake it up with an SMS message. Google addressed this some in Android 4 (Ice Cream Sandwich) by turning NFC off when the phone is locked. You have to first unlock it with the passcode. Miller did all his testing on Android and on a Nokia phone running Meego. Read More
Leaked details from iOS 6 show that Apple has beefed up privacy controls for user contacts, something the company was criticized for earlier this year.
Apple will offer users a way to manage which applications have permission to access their contact information as part of a new privacy control panel that’s coming in iOS 6.
The feature comes in tandem with a new privacy pop-up that asks whether users want to give a particular application access to contacts, as pointed out by MacRumors today.
Apple said it would add such a feature as part of a “future software release,” back in February, though the company did not specify when exactly that would be.
At the company’s annual developer conference earlier this week, Apple took the wraps off iOS 6,
which will be released to consumers in the fall. That software was given to developers under a non-disclosure agreement, however, details beyond what Apple shared during its press conference have since leaked out.
Demands for a specialized address book privacy settings came after controversy when Path — a popular iOS and Android application — was found to be collecting user contact information without permission. Path quickly issued an apology on the issue, saying that it was using that data to alert users to when their friends joined the social network. The company then introduced an updated version that required users to opt-in to the feature.
Apple responded by saying “apps that collect or transmit a user’s contact data without their prior permission are in violation of our guidelines.” Read More
Nokia Phi Pops Up On WMBench with Windows Phone 8(Photo: WMPoweruser)
Nokia is the leading manufacture for Windows Phone, and the Finnish giant has only been selling devices only since November of 2011, that’s a full six months ago. The Lumia 800 was the first of many Windows Phone 7.5 devices. However, the company is not slowing down, and it now appears a Windows Phone 8-based Nokia is already in the works.
The device that is simply called the Nokia Phi according to WP Bench, a tool that allows users to benchmark their Windows Phone. The device showed up on the tool with Windows Phone 8 as the OS of choice, which leaves us wondering if we will see this device at Microsoft’s Windows Phone Developer Summit next month. It would make sense for Microsoft to use a Nokia branded Windows Phone 8 handset as its test device at the summit since both companies are tied in bed together. Read More
As we all know, the spike in smartphone adoption is changing the way users interact with their mobile devices. For instance, phone calls are no longer the point of phones for many of us.
Instead, we expect our phones to perform more complicated tasks in shorter amounts of time, and we take them with us wherever we go. People also treat the smartphone as a first screen, rather than a second screen, because it’s the go-to device to instantly source real-time information like directions, prices, and reviews.
In fact, most people look at their phone about 150 times a day, (that’s roughly once every 6.5 minutes), according to Qualcomm CEO, Paul Jacobs. Those glances are to check incoming e-mail and text messages, but mobile web browsing is exploding as well. This begs the question: what about mobile shopping?
These days, consumers are indeed using their smartphones to bridge the gap between brick-and-mortar stores and ecommerce. IBM reported that Black Friday sales were up 24.3% in 2011 and attributed some of these gains to mobile device purchases, which “surged to 9.8% from 3.2%,” compared to the same time last year.
In an effort to learn more about who these mobile shoppers are, we conducted a quantitative study, zeroing in on adults (we define adults as anyone 18 years old and above) who used a smartphone or tablet to shop during the holiday season. What we found is that consumers are constantly integrating their smartphones into their shopping routines all year round. Below, are seven other interesting facts about how this plays out. Read More