Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Newest HTC One smartphone now available from Verizon

The new HTC One (M8) is now available online and in stores for $199.99 with a new two year activation. Customers looking to get their hands on the device in a store, and purchase one to take home, can do so starting today as in-store availability is exclusive to Verizon Wireless stores through April 9. Select Verizon resellers will have the device in stores starting March 26. For a limited time, customers who purchase the new HTC One (M8) for $199.99 can get a second one free, each with new two-year activation.
The advantage of getting hands-on time with the smartphone is being able to feel the all-metal unibody design and experience features such as the dual front facing speakers with BoomSound™ in person.
High quality cameras on smartphones have become essential for social media mavens looking to capture their life digitally. The HTC One (M8) has a Duo Camera with an advanced sensor to capture more light and detailed depth from a scene. Users can create professional-looking images by altering the focus of the image after the photo has been taken and choosing what to focus on.
And a great way of sharing photos is through text messages. Verizon Messages gives users a personalized way of picture messaging with collages, sketching and caption features. And with a MORE EVERYTHING plan, customers get unlimited international messaging to say hola, bonjour, kon'nichiwa through words and images to friends and family across the globe.
Forgetting one’s wallet used to mean chaos and panic. Today, smartphones can replace a wallet with the option for mobile payments so its now ok to forget the wallet at home. The all new HTC One M8 is ISIS-ready and comes with an NFC SIM card pre-installed. Isis Mobile Wallet turns the smartphone into a wallet and eliminates the need to carry credit cards, loyalty cards and special coupons. With a single tap, a customer can make a payment or redeem an offer at participating merchants.
Customers can add the new HTC One (M8) to their MORE Everything plans and get services such as 25 GB of cloud storage. The Verizon Edge program is also available for eligible customers who want to upgrade.

Saturday, March 15, 2014

Verizon tops J.D. Power rankings of wireless performance

WESTLAKE VILLAGE, Calif., March 6, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- The incidence of wireless network problems with data quality has declined, driven primarily by network upgrades and increased network capacity through an expansion of 4G service coverage, according to the J.D. Power 2014 U.S. Wireless Network Quality Performance StudySM—Volume 1 released today.

KEY FINDINGS

  • Overall wireless network quality problem incidence is 12 problems per 100 (PP100) network connections. The overall incidence rate has been consistent since 2012.
  • Data quality has been the primary driver of the improvement in wireless network quality during the past three years. Total data quality problems have declined to 14 PP100 in 2014 from 19 PP100 in 2012. 
  • Both data speed and connectivity improve this year. Issues related to slow mobile Web experiences have declined to 17 PP100 in 2014 from 21 PP100 in 2012, which is largely attributed to broader rollouts of 4G networks. Similarly, issues with email connections have declined to 5 PP100 from 7 PP100 during the same time frame.
  • Customers with 4G smartphones experience 3 PP100 fewer problems with data-related issues than those with smartphones operating on previous generation technology (3G). Customers using 4G smartphones experience 6 PP100 fewer problems with slow mobile Web, compared with 3G customers.  
  • This increasingly positive experience with their network is translating into increased engagement for wireless customers. For example, 25 percent of customers using 4G smartphones say they "strongly agree" that they are committed to their carrier, compared with 20 percent of those using 3G smartphones who say the same.
  • Customers using faster, more efficient 4G networks are 14 percent more likely to recommend their wireless carrier than those using networks that have not yet been upgraded.   

"While the performance of network data quality has improved, given the robust upgrade to 4G technology across the country, there is still performance disparity across user segments and type of devices," said Kirk Parsons, senior director of wireless services at J.D. Power. "Based on the varying degree of consistency with overall network performance, it's critical that wireless carriers continue to invest in improving both the call quality and especially the data connection-related issues that customers continue to experience as 4G service becomes even more prevalent."

Now in its 12th year, the semiannual study evaluates wireless customers' most recent usage activities in three areas that impact network performance: calling, messaging and data. Overall network performance is based on 10 problem areas that impact the customer experience: dropped calls; calls not connected; audio issues; failed/late voicemails; lost calls; text transmission failures; late text message notifications; Web connection errors; slow downloads; and email connection errors. Network performance issues are measured as problems per 100 (PP100) network connections, with a lower score reflecting fewer problems and better network performance. Carrier performance is examined in six geographic regions: Northeast, Mid-Atlantic, Southeast, North Central, Southwest and West.

The 2014 U.S. Wireless Network Quality Performance Study—Volume 1 is based on responses from 25,142 wireless customers. The study was fielded between July and December 2013.

Wireless Network Quality PP100 Rankings               
J.D. Power.com Power Circle Ratings
(Based on Problems Per 100 Network Connections)      
For Consumers






Northeast Region 





Verizon Wireless     
10
5
AT&T       
13
3
Northeast Average
13
3
T-Mobile             
15
2
Sprint Nextel            
18
2



Included in the Northeast Region are Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New York, Rhode Island and Vermont.



Mid-Atlantic Region





Verizon Wireless
9
5
AT&T
11
3
Mid-Atlantic Average
11
3
Sprint Nextel
14
2
T-Mobile
15
2



Included in the Mid-Atlantic Region are Delaware, District of Columbia, Maryland, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Virginia and West Virginia.



Southeast Region 





Verizon Wireless      
10
5
AT&T             
13
3
Southeast Average       
13
3
T-Mobile            
15
2
Sprint Nextel              
19
2

Included in the Southeast Region are Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina and Tennessee.



North Central Region





Verizon Wireless          
8
5
North Central Average 
11
3
AT&T    
12
3
T-Mobile      
15
2
Sprint Nextel 
16
2

Included in the North Central Region are Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Ohio and Wisconsin.



Southwest Region 





Verizon Wireless       
10
5
AT&T                
12
4
Southwest Average
13
3
Sprint Nextel     
15
2
T-Mobile        
15
2

Included in the Southwest Region are Arkansas, Kansas, Missouri, Oklahoma and Texas.



West Region





Verizon Wireless      
10
5
West Average     
13
3
AT&T         
14
3
T-Mobile     
14
3
Sprint Nextel   
17
2



Included in the West Region are Arizona, California, Colorado, Idaho, Iowa, Minnesota, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New Mexico, North Dakota, Oregon, South Dakota, Utah, Washington and Wyoming.

Power Circle Ratings Legend5 – Among the best
4 – Better than most
3 – About average
2 – The rest

Thursday, February 27, 2014

iPort unveils all-in-one charge case and stand for iPad Mini with Retina Display and iPad Air

 
iPort is now offering two new products – Charge Case and Stand for iPad mini with Retina display and iPad Air – on iPortProducts.com. The iPort Charge Case and Stand is an all-in-one iPad case, wireless charger and stand – it features three distinct mounting angles allowing for FaceTime, movies, or typing, two charging orientations (portrait and landscape), and is the first of its kind to allow users to snap an Applesmart cover directly onto their ultra-slim, magnetically-equipped Charge Case.
 
On the heels of the company’s initial release of its Charge Case and Stand in November 2013, consumers worldwide can now order the product for a family of iPad models, including iPad Mini with Retina Display, iPad Air, iPad Mini, and iPad 4th generation.
 
“The initial launch of Charge Case and Stand at the Apple Store and online was a huge hit,” said Derick Dahl, product manager at iPort. “The product is the culmination of 14 months of work as we analyzed nearly every iPad accessory on the market and identified the benefits of combining the best of a wireless charger, case and stand in a seamless design that serves to elevate the iPad experience.  Once customers get their hands on Charge Case and Stand, it transforms how they can use iPad in their lives.  We believe it’s the iPad side-kick everyone has been waiting for.”
 
The iPort Charge Case and Stand is an effortless solution for consumers – whether traveling, at work or at home, users can mount and dismount the iPad to and from the stand via small discrete magnets embedded into the case and stand. For the utmost portability, the charge case contains a removable module for use with Apple provided power supply.
Charge Case and Stand for iPad Air and iPad mini with Retina display ship in February for $119.95 and $99.95 respectively, and will be available at the Apple Store in addition to iPortProducts.com. 
 
For more information on the iPort Charge Case and Stand collection for iPad or to browse iPort’s full product inventory and categories, please visit iPortProducts.com and LaunchPort.com. 

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Nexus 7 tablet now available from Verizon

The Nexus 7 (Black, 32GB model) tablet will be available from Verizon Wireless starting Feb. 13 for $349.99 online and in stores. For a limited time, users can purchase the Nexus 7 for $249.99 with a new two-year activation. Users who have already purchased the Nexus 7 (2013 model) will also be able to activate their device on the Verizon Wireless network after they download the latest software update. Users can add the tablet to their Share Everything plan for an additional $10 per month.
The Nexus 7 runs on the Android 4.4 KitKat operating system and comes with a suite of Google apps, including Google Play to download additional apps, games, books, movies and more. The 7-inch full HD display creates a great movie-watching experience and the compact design makes one-handed use easy. Google Now is also available so users can get real-time information such as weather, traffic updates, news and more based on location.
To accessorize and protect the Nexus 7, the Nexus 7 Folio will be available in Black and Red color options for $49.99. The Speck StyleFolio for Nexus 7 also lets users protect their new tablet and doubles as a stand, ideal for watching movies or doing work. The Speck StyleFolio will be available in Blue, Black and Pink color options for $34.99.
 
 

Sunday, February 9, 2014

Xfinity TV offers tips to experience the Sochi Winter Olympics

The Winter Olympic Games represent a time when nations come together to celebrate the world’s top
athletes and witness amazing feats of speed, endurance and skill. In 2010, 190 million Americans
watched the Vancouver Winter Olympics on their TVs and this year’s Games promise to bring even more  excitement.

Together with NBCUniversal, Comcast’s Xfinity TV is bringing you more ways than ever to enjoy all the action. No matter how, when or where you watch your favorite sports, events or athletes, Xfinity TV will  ensure you experience Every Minute. Every Medal. On Every Screen.

So what type of Olympics viewer are you? The traditionalist, the newbie or the superfan? Regardless,
Xfinity TV has you covered with tips to make the most of your Olympics viewing experience whether at  home or on the go.

The Traditionalist:
 You prefer getting your Olympics fix on the biggest screen in your house. With more than 500 hours spread across five different NBCUniversal networks, there will be more coverage than ever available for a Winter Olympics through your Xfinity TV service. If you miss an event or just want to replay a Gold-medal moment, you can tune-in to Xfinity On Demand to watch the full Opening and Closing Ceremonies, complete event replays, and medal-winning highlights.

The TV Everywhere Newbie:
 Picture this: Your favorite athlete is expected to take the Gold, but you’ll be at work during the
competition. You know you can watch it live online through NBCOlympics.com but you’ve never
watched anything on a computer or mobile device before. Don’t worry. TV Everywhere is easy
with Xfinity TV. All you need to start watching is the username and password you use to access
your Comcast.net email account and Comcast’s online properties, including www.Xfinity.com
and www.Xfinity.com/TV.
 Once you get set-up, head over to Xfinity.com/NBCOlympics to find integrated channel listings
of what’s showing where across platforms (live TV, Xfinity On Demand and online), set your
DVR, and even watch highlights and recaps from the Games’ can’t miss moments chosen
specifically by Xfinity’s editorial team.
 Don’t know your username and password? As an Xfinity TV customer, you can simply go to
www.MyComcastID.com and select the option that fits, such as “Find Your Username” and
answer a few questions to verify your account.
 To ensure you don’t miss a moment while you get set-up, you’ll be given a one-time two-hour
Temp Pass to instantly watch live events on www.NBCOlympics.com and the NBC Sports Live
Extra app.

The Sochi Superfan:
 You’re no stranger to TV Everywhere and plan to take is as many Gold medal moments as you
can. Together with NBCUniversal, Xfinity TV is making mass consumption easier than ever. For
example, once you sign in to NBCOlympics.com you’ll stay signed in throughout the games.
 If you’re idea of the perfect day at home means watching live TV broadcasts while
simultaneously watching another event on your computer, one on your tablet and one on your
phone – all at the same time – Xfinity TV makes this Olympics multitasking easier than ever. As
long as you’re in your home and get Xfinity Internet, you’ll be automatically logged in to
NBCOlympics.com or the NBC Sports Live Extra app—no need to enter your user name and
password to access the online coverage.
 If you’re an Xfinity TV customer with an X1 set-top box, you’ll have unprecedented access to
NBC Universal’s coverage of the Games. For the first time, all 1,000 hours of NBC’s online
content will be accessible directly on the biggest screen in the house though the availability of
the NBC Sports Live Extra app on Comcast’s X1 Entertainment Operating System. Also, the
popular X1 Sports app will be refreshed for the Sochi Games, featuring Olympics-specific
content including: medal counts, search, and tune-in capability to live coverage and Xfinity On
Demand content.

New Xfinity Offerings for Sochi Olympics
-- More than double the amount of NBCU live streaming hours from Vancouver, including 13 new events
-- First time for live streaming of NBC’s Olympic Trial coverage on Xfinity.com/TV and on Xfinity TV Go app
-- SEEiT: The Sochi Games are the first SEEiT Olympics. SEEiT links Olympic-related conversations happening on  Twitter to viewership. Directly from Twitter, Xfinity TV customers will be able to tune to NBC’s primetime show or Instant On Demand: In select markets, Comcast is testing a new technology that makes NBC’s primetime show
available On Demand a few minutes after start, including the Opening and Closing Ceremonies
-- X1 Sports Viewing Companion: the existing X1 Sports app will be refreshed for the Sochi Games, featuring Olympics-specific content including: medal counts, search, tune-in capability to live coverage and access points to Xfinity On Demand and the Live Extra app on X1.
-- More mobile app integration - Customers accessing Xfinity TV Go app will be seamlessly directed to the NBC Sports Live Extra app to
-- Set DVR recordings from the NBC Sports Live Extra app or the Xfinity TV Remote app
-- 4K Ultra HD: Xfinity Showcase Events in Philadelphia, Washington, D.C. and San Francisco will enable audience to experience key highlights of the Sochi Games in 4K.

For more about the Xfinity Olympic viewing experience, visit comcastcorporation.com/sochi.

Bose unveils new SoundLink Bluetooth speaker III; promises better sound, longer battery life

Bose has introduced the SoundLink Bluetooth speaker III, the latest in its acclaimed SoundLink product line. The speaker has been redesigned, offers longer battery life, and accessory covers in five colors.

It connects  wirelessly to your smartphone, tablet or other Bluetooth device, instantly allowing you to
share your favorite music out loud, wherever you are and wherever you go.

The new SoundLink III integrates Bose proprietary technologies to reproduce music with
fullness, clarity and depth. Four neodymium transducers and dual-opposing passive radiators
combine with a new digital signal processing algorithm and improved electronics to play
louder than its predecessor, while maintaining balanced and natural sound at higher listening

The SoundLink III is engineered for durability and grab-and-go use.  Its new industrial design is inspired by the SoundLink Mini Bluetooth speaker -- sturdily built, with curved edges and a thin profile that eliminates the need for a built-in cover or stand. A silicone button panel protects from dirt and dust, and a wraparound metal grille resists fingerprints. For personalization and added protection, new accessory covers are available in gray, blue, green, orange and pink.

The SoundLink III weighs just 3 pounds, and measures about 5 inches high, 10 inches wide  and only 2 inches deep. It includes a rechargeable lithium-ion battery that provides up to 14  hours of listening, so the speaker will play all day long without the need to recharge. The SoundLink III streams music wirelessly via Bluetooth A2DP. New Bluetooth LED signal lights make pairing and/or switching a
Bluetooth device easier. The six most recently used Bluetooth devices are stored in memory,
eliminating the need to pair again. And control is simple: use the buttons on the top of the
speaker, or through the smart device itself.

Pricing and Availability
The new SoundLink speaker III is available now from Bose for $299.95 at Bose retail stores, Bose.com and toll-free at 1-800-444-BOSE (2673). Accessory covers are available separately for $34.95 each.

Saturday, January 11, 2014

Hyundai launches enhanced Blue Link in-vehicle telematics system; plus Google Glass App

LAS VEGAS – Hyundai Motor America launched its enhanced Blue Link in-vehicle telematics platform, secured and integrated by Covisint,. The next-generation Blue Link system features a destination search powered by Google, a Genesis Intelligent Assistant app and a Google Glass app. All these enhancements launch on the new 2015 Genesis sedan, which goes on sale in the Spring. Hyundai also used the event to debut its latest infotainment system premiering in the 2015 Genesis sedan.

“Customers told us they want Blue Link to work like their smartphone and we’ve worked with Google, Covisint and Station Digital Media to deliver this level of functionality,” said Barry Ratzlaff, executive director, Customer Connect and Service Business Development, Hyundai Motor America. “Blue Link subscribers now have access to Google’s accuracy and massive database when they search for destinations. Plus our engineers have developed a variety of new features aimed at delighting our customers.”

Blue Link Enhancements

  • Destination Search powered by Google – users will be able to take advantage of Google’s powerful destination search via the Blue Link button (voice recognition) and navigation display, or through myhyundai.com and the Blue Link mobile app to send a destination to their car
  • Remote Start – now includes an engine timer (1-10 min.), remote stop, remote climate control and remote defroster
  • Automatic Collision Notification (ACN) and SOS Emergency Assistance –includes user-selected emergency contacts notification via SMS and e-mail
GENESIS INTELLIGENT ASSISTANT APP
The Genesis Intelligent Assistant is a proactive app for automobiles intended to save the driver time and provide an even higher level of convenience. The app combines Blue Link features, data from the vehicle, the owner’s smartphone and the internet with multiple layers of intelligence. This allows the Genesis Intelligent Assistant app to send proactive notifications and recommendations to the Genesis owner in preparation for their drive.

Genesis owners will no longer need to remember to remote start their car on a hot or cold day. The Genesis Intelligent Assistant app will remind them to do it through their smartphone.
 

Genesis Intelligent Assistant Functionality:
  • By providing commute information and access to their smartphone’s calendar, owners can have the app automatically estimate appropriate departure times and send reminders for any upcoming appointments that require a drive.
    • Departure reminder messages are determined by up-to-the-minute commute times from the user’s current location to the destination, accounting for traffic.
    • Temperature outside the vehicle is determined via zip code prior to the estimated departure time. If the temperature is above or below the default level, the user will receive a notification, asking if they would like to remote start their vehicle to heat it up or cool it down.
    • Recommendations for gas stations are provided, allowing the user to select a station and send the location to the vehicle’s navigation system.
  • Vehicle health status will also be communicated through the user’s smartphone when an action is required. This will allow the customer to schedule car care for their Genesis directly from the app.
  • Many additional Blue Link features are included within the app, making it a single, integrated solution for all driver’s vehicle needs.
  • The Genesis Intelligent Assistant app is a framework for the future with additional proactive functionality becoming available over time to provide the customer with the ultimate luxuries of time and convenience.

HYUNDAI BLUE LINK GOOGLE GLASS APP

Hyundai Motor America also demonstrated a Google Glass app today as part of their exploration into how wearable technology and Blue Link fit into a customer’s lifestyle. The app currently contains the core Blue Link functions as building blocks for future activities. Partnering with Station Digital Media and Covisint, Hyundai plans to expand the app features, building on the concept of “Time as the Ultimate Luxury” and leveraging the proactive functionality of the Genesis Intelligent Assistant app. The Hyundai Blue Link Google Glass app is powered by the Covisint AppCloudAPI framework platform.

Released in limited numbers to early customers known as “Explorers,” Google Glass is a computerized, lightweight headset that can project text and images for the wearer to see on a special optical display. Google Glass Explorers can perform functions through voice commands and swipes or taps on a thin touchpad along the side of the frame.

Through the new app, Hyundai owners will be able to use Google Glass to access Blue Link’s vehicle safety, service and infotainment features. Blue Link will be available to Google Glass Explorers through a special experience created specifically for the new wearable technology.

“Google Glass offers an innovative opportunity for Hyundai to define and extend the customer experience outside of the vehicle,” said Ratzlaff. “Blue Link, combined with Google Glass, delivers a unique experience for customers that makes popular features and functions even more convenient to access.”

The Google Glass Blue Link app includes a host of popular functions at launch, including:
  • Remote vehicle start
  • Remote door lock/unlock
  • Remote Find My Car (search for your vehicle location to receive directions to it)
  • Point of Interest search sent to the Hyundai navigation system
  • Search for a gas station to send to your car
  • Call roadside assistance
  • Talk to a Blue Link agent
  • Locate nearby dealers

Google Glass Explorers can download the new glassware for the next generation Blue Link telematics platform from their MyGlass site. An active Blue Link subscription and compatible vehicle is required to login and access the app.

NEXT GENERATION INFOTAINMENT SYSTEM
The all-new 2015 Hyundai Genesis will launch in January at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit and will go on sale in the spring of 2014. Before the official reveal, Hyundai is showcasing at Pepcom its next generation infotainment system that will be available on the all-new Genesis. The new infotainment system represents Hyundai’s latest and most innovative approach to in-vehicle technology.

This next-generation infotainment system features:
  • Integration with Apple’s Siri-powered “Eyes Free” mode
    • Functionality allows owners of compatible vehicles to perform a variety of in-car tasks without taking their eyes off the road
  • SD Navigation
  • Pandora integration with smartphone
  • SoundHound integration with smartphone
  • SiriusXM Audio – 6 preset (record, play, pause, back)
  • SiriusXM Travel Link and Traffic
    • Sports scores and schedules
    • Stock ticker
    • Movie times (new feature)
    • Fuel prices (new feature)
    • Weather/alerts
  • Advanced voice recognition
  • Swipe technology
  • Music, video and picture storage
  • Customizable home screen (my menu)