There’s a post on MacWorld’s iPhone Central that indicates AT&T is going to lose iPhone exclusivity. If that turns out to be true, then most likely this means T-Mobile will get the iPhone sometime in late 2010/early 2011. Given that Verizon has screwed the pooch by releasing the Droid commercial, I highly doubt that Jobs will permit his baby to graze on that network. Plus, it would be a royal pain to get the Jesusphone to work on CDMA anyways. No, it would seem that the easiest way for Apple to expand the customer base would be to allow both AT&T and T-Mobile to sell their baby.
If that should come to pass, it would be interesting to see how many net adds T-Mobile gains vs. jumpers from AT&T. I’d especially be interested in seeing how many folks would be willing to jump from AT&T to T-Mobile with their existing iPhone. That would be a pretty damning indictment of AT&T’s network.
Of course, this probably also means that Verizon will not be getting an iTablet next year either. I can’t imagine Jobs would be willing to let his new baby play on a network that was abusive towards his old baby.
AT&T Introduces A-List for Free Unlimited Calling
AT&T’s recently announced A-List plans on September 20, 2009. This calling feature lets customers talk with up to five people on any network for free, including landlines. The service is very similar to T-Mobile myFaves, which provides free and unlimited calling to customers’ five favorite people. The A-List feature is available on individual Nation plans that cost $59.99 or more. FamilyTalk customers with plans costing $89.99 or more can choose up to 10 people to talk with free of charge.
Want even more free calls beyond what AT&T offers? Add your Google Voice number to your A-list so now you can talk to anyone in North America without using your minutes. Google Voice acts like a conference call with the number you want to talk to (incoming or outgoing). The call with Google Voice is free which connects you to the number you want to talk to. When someone outside your network calls your Google Voice number, your Google Voice then redirects that call to you. So now the conversation is between your AT&T number and Google Voice. If you want to make a call outside your network, call your own Google number and sign into the Google voicemail system, you’ll have the option to place a call. Just press 2 and enter the number. You can also visit Google Voice mobile on your phone.
So what are you waiting for? Log into www.att.com/alist now and add your out of network numbers for free unlimited calls.
Categories: Cell Phone, Computers, Electronics, Household, iPhone, Lifestyle, Travel, Tutorial - How To, Work a-list, at&t, free unlimited calling, google goice
iPhone Visual Voicemail Notification Fix
One of the most frustrating and surprisingly under reported issues is with AT&T and iPhone Visual Voicemail notifications. When you receive a voicemail on your iPhone, an alert appears and you can play your voicemail as if its a song. There is now a solution!
Since the iPhone 3GS was released, some customers experienced lack of alerts for voicemail (me being one of them). I recently found a fix for it while I was researching tethering for 3GS. Apparently, tethering your iPhone may cause this issue.
So here’s the fix. Navigate to Settings → General → Network → Cellular Data Network and within the Visual Voicemail section add “acds.voicemail” into the APN field. Your visual voicemail will now work once again.
CAUTION: This fix does break the tethering. You can’t have voicemail notifications and Internet tethering work at the same time.
Via Apple Blog
Categories: Cell Phone, Computers, Electronics, iPhone, iPhone Apps, Lifestyle, Reviews, Techniques, Tutorial - How To at&t, iPhone, tether, visual voicemail
Google Voice Now Fowards SMS To Email
One of the most popular feature requested from Google Voice was the obvious forward inbound text messages to email. You can now receive incoming text messages to your email. Furthermore, you can even reply from email as well. Users previously could respond to the Google Voice text message on their phone but email forwarding was previously not an option.
Now, once we can have Gmail push to our iPhones then I can cancel the ridiculously priced text messaging plan from AT&T.
Categories: Cell Phone, Computers, Electronics, iPhone, iPhone Apps, Lifestyle, Reviews, Tutorial - How To, Work at&t, forward, free, google, messaging, sms, text, voice
As everyone in the tech world knows, the FCC is poking into why exactly Apple decided to reject the Google Voice application from the App Store. The investigation has dragged in Google and AT&T as well, with the FCC asking some hard questions about what exactly happened. Today, all three companies delivered their responses. I strongly urge you to read their responses via TechCrunch, because of the flurry of commentary that’s popped up on the web since the release, it’s my opinion that TechCrunch has gotten to the heart of the matter in Michael Arrington’s unique style.
Here is TechCrunch’s commentary on AT&T’s response, as well as the full text of the AT&T letter.
Here is TechCrunch’s commentary on Apple’s response, as well as the full text of the Apple letter.
Here is TechCrunch’s commentary on Google’s response, as well as Google’s response.
Most importantly (and if you want to skip over the previous to get to the meat of the matter), here is Michael Arrington’s insights into Apple’s distorted reality as evidenced in their letter. Even someone like myself, who writes about gadgets out of love and as a distinctly part time hobby could see issues with Apple’s responses.
Mr. Arrington points out something that didn’t even occur to me until I read his post – aside from the email app and the phone, most of what I do with my iPhone does indeed revolve around Google-provided services. I use Safari to access Google Reader. I use third party apps that get me to POI’s via Google’s mapping app. I use Google’s mapping app as a poor man’s GPS when I am too lazy to fire up my Mio. I’ve already swapped out Apple’s Contacts and To-Do apps with an app that sync Google Calendar to my iPhone (and, god willing, will allow Tasks syncing in the near future). As Google improves the Safari version of gMail, I’ll probably start moving over to using that more than I use the Apple mail client, especially because Apple seems incapable of providing a universal inbox a la the Palm Pre. He’s absolutely right that the iPhone is a very pretty shell around a bunch of Google services, with Google Voice supplanting yet more iPhone functionality.
Dammit I never should have sold my Google stock. At this rate, AT&T will be a dumb (albeit expensive) pipe to an Apple manufactured platform that provides a pretty (non-Android) version of the Google OS.
Is exclusive relationship between the Death Star (aka AT&T) and Apple reaching the breaking point as well?
The FCC recently sent AT&T, Apple and Google a letter of questions in regards to the removal of Google Voice App for the iPhone. AT&T has kept quiet until recently and now showing it’s true selfish colors but blaming publicly that it is all on Apple
AT&T Is the Death Star
“AT&T does not manage or approve applications for the App Store. We have received the letter and will, of course, respond to it.”
Now, it doesn’t take a genius to know that AT&T more than likely do not have paper trails that could hold them liable for anti-competitive behavior. Nope, a phone call to Steve Jobs to have him authorize the removal of Google Voice app will do just fine. Google Voice iPhone App can offer free SMS messaging which competes with AT&T and other telecom companies highly lucrative paid SMS service. Typically, you are paying for both incoming and outgoing text message. This isn’t true when it comes to receiving an international phone call. Only the person making the call has to pay. The recipient does not.
It will be very interesting to hear the responses from Apple and AT&T for the FCC inquiry in the coming days.
I was recently aware of this problem when I noticed I wasn’t getting visual voicemail for the past several weeks. I dialed and held the #1 on my keypad to see if I missed any voicemail. Turns out I had over 20 business and personal messages. So I Googled only to find out this problem has been going on for weeks and has appeared on both CNET and TechCrunch.
AT&T Reveals Its New Service the Death Star
This leads to my rant on why the Visual Voicemail issue isn’t even the worst part. What really bothered me was AT&T’s lack of responsibility to notifying and informing their customers of this issue so people could manually check their voicemail until this issue has been resolved. AT&T is aware of this problem and has been supposedly working on a fix for several weeks now. Therefore, it is absolutely inexcusable for AT&T not to publicize this failure. Voicemail is an integral to our lives as email.
I contacted AT&T Tech Support twice and both customer service representatives were not aware of this problem. How can a system wide issue not be communicated to even their own support staff?
My real estate agent was also missing my voicemail until I told her about this issue. She’s had several dozen messages that were missed. Another friend of mine missed over 40 messages. How much loss in business do you think could have been prevented if AT&T advised their customers to check their voicemail manually? What has changed? There were not any new features in Visual Voicemail that could have broken it!
Our GadgetMETER writer, Jay Chang, made a wonderful suggestion: switch to Google Voice. Which is exactly what HE did.
Here is our laundry list of complaints with the Death Star known as AT&T….and yes, I cannot wait for the Class Action Lawsuit. Maybe George Lucas will make another Star Wars Trilogy.
- AT&T did not notify customers about a known issue with visual voicemail causing loss of business and life disruptions.
- Poor 3G service in New York City and San Fransisco. Would you bother upgrading to 3GS knowing you would get shady service in these cities?
- Long term contracts. I get it. The contracts help subsidize the iPhone purchase. However, AT&T has taken advantage of this by overcharging because Verizon is not in the iPhone game. Once Verizon is, I’m giving AT&T a two fingered salute goodbye!
- Still no official 3G tethering. I’ve heard they are planning to charge more. Why does AT&T plan to rape their customers? We already paid for the data plan, it shouldn’t matter what devices use it. Comcast Internet doesn’t charge me extra for additional devices I use on my Wi-Fi connection at home. If you want to do a simple hack to tether the iPhone 3.0, check out our post here.
- Telecom companies have never been known to innovate and move technology forward. It’s always been Silicon Valley. Once we move to Wi-Max and Google offers its own low cost or free universal Internet Access, I would excpect to see low cost data and voice plans.
If you are having iPhone visual voicemail problems, try these steps from CNET. It didn’t work for me but apparently it worked for others.
I cannot imagine all the problems in people’s lives this has caused. Share your stories with us.