Wednesday, December 14, 2011

New Recommendations for Hands-Free Mobile Devices Suggest Major Change

Earlier this is year we blogged about the expansion of hands-free texting laws across the U.S. Since then, the topic has pervaded local, state and federal agencies, bringing to light the often-overlooked safety concerns surrounding not just texting while driving, but also calling. As the percentage of automobile accidents related to mobile phone usage increases, more regulators and law enforcement officials are questioning whether the devices should even be allowed on the road.

In fact, the National Transportation Safety Board (N.T.S.B.) made headlines in The New York Times recently because of its latest recommendation suggesting something similar.

“No call, no text, no update is worth a human life,” said Deborah A. P. Hersman, chairman of the N.T.S.B., an independent federal agency that investigates driving accidents. The board recommended a ban that includes all hands-free devices. Hersman said she recognized it was a challenging recommendation, as most individuals depend on a mobile phone for communication, but it was the right one.

The agency supported its suggestion with evidence from its investigation of numerous accidents in which mobile phone distraction was a major contributing factor.
Despite the federal recommendation, states have the final say as to whether they want to follow the new safety suggestions or not.

More than 30 states already have hands-free device laws in place including, Calif., Pa., Nev., Maine and Ind.

Monday, November 21, 2011

Four Must-Have Holiday-Survival Applications

Say hello to delicious food and family gatherings; the holiday season is here! But, before you rush off to grab your wrapping paper and winter sweaters, check your applications.

This season, your smartphone can be your best friend. Besides sharing pics on Facebook or checking email, think outside the box. What else can your smartphone do? Try step by step instructions for cooking Thanksgiving dinner or finding the least expensive gas station closest to you. Here are our top four must-have holiday applications!

Chow: Thanksgiving Dinner Coach will guide even the most amateur chef through the process of cooking the big bird (say goodbye to your mother-in-law’s endless turkey tips). The application, which is available for iPhone and Android, provides step-by-step directions with tutorials and pictures for roasting the turkey. No need to scour cookbooks, the application even supplies a shopping list and cooking times based on the size of the bird. It can’t get much better than that!

TGIBlack Friday will come in handy post-Thanksgiving feast (let someone else do the dishes, you prepared the turkey!). The application, also available on iPhone and Android, displays Black Friday shopping deals from all the top retailers. You can even build a specific list for each person in your family.

If you plan on traveling in the car over the holidays, GasBuddy will provide you a list of the least expensive gas stations nearest you. Crossing state lines can sometimes mean more than an accent change—don’t get stuck paying astronomical gas prices.

Who can forget ESPNScore Center? With so many BIG football games taking place over the holidays you don’t want to miss a beat. ESPNScore Center will send updates to your phone each time your favorite team scores a touchdown, just make sure the Missus doesn’t catch you checking it during her family’s holiday party.

Happy Holidays! Follow us on Facebook and Twitter for more holiday application updates.

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Android tops iPhone with 45 percent of US smartphone sales

The iPhone 4S and its new personal assistant, Siri, have dominated headlines since its premiere in September. The public’s on going love affair with the phone would suggest that it holds the top spot in smartphone sales. But surprising, new research from ComScore shows that Google’s Android mobile operating system is the queen bee of smartphones. With 45 percent of the smartphone market, Android tops the iPhone by almost 28 percent (the iPhone sits at a comfortable 17 percent). These statistics might be unexpected but there are several things to consider when analyzing these numbers.

For one, Apple’s iOS operating system only functions on the iPhone. It cannot be legally transferred to another handset. Since the iPhone is the only device to host iOS, it naturally decreases the percentage of its market share.

On the other hand, Android is available on multiple smartphones. From the ever-popular Samsung Galaxy to the new Motorola Razr, the Android operating system is offered by many mobile phone makers and carriers.

Along with restrictions on operating systems, each phone premiered with different terms. Since its birth, Android was available on every top mobile phone carrier. This gave consumers more than one option. The iPhone debuted on AT&T and remained exclusively with the carrier until early this year, when Verizon started selling the device.

Things that could change this trend include:

  • The iPhone 3GS is free with a two-year contract. This could increase sales on the iPhone. While it may not be the iPhone 4S, it contributes to the total percentage of market share the operating system possesses.
  • Apple also added a new carrier. The iPhone is now available on AT&T, Verizon and Sprint.
  • Android’s ability to keep consumers happy. The new software, Ice Cream Sandwich, is slowly making its way into the market and it will have to compete with iOS5.

The iPhone has a long way to go in order to catch up to Android, but who knows-- maybe Siri will surprise us!

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Angry Birds Ham’O'Ween

Just when we thought Halloween could not get any better, Rovio surprises use with a new Halloween-themed Angry Birds.

The mobile game, which has been downloaded over 400 million times, has released seasonal games in the past, but never with a new bird. Rovio introduced the newest angry bird- a yellow bird- to the pack with a short film; and it looks like the new angry bird is just as protective of his candy as we are!

In this short video, the new bird fights against the the pigs to capture a piece of candy. While he’s at it, he premiers his new destroying abilities, blows up several times his original size and ultimately destroys the pigs’ castle. The birds safely return to trick-or-treating without ruffling a feather.

We’re not sure if the yellow bird is here to stay or not, but players can use the new bird on 30 different Halloween-themed levels. The good news is the game is only 99 cents, and once downloaded it to your phone it is saved until you delete it.

This game will get you in the holiday spirit and add some spice to your mobile gaming life. Too bad you can’t give it away to trick-or-treaters.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

The iPhone 4S is HERE!

Apple's CEO, Tim Cook, gave the keynote at Apple's unveiling of the iPhone 4S.

2007 was a BIG year for the smartphone industry; it was the year that Steve Jobs introduced the iPhone. Response to Jobs’ announcement was unprecedented! Within weeks, thousands of people from around the world were lined up outside of Apple stores waiting to buy the phone.

And just like that, the unveiling of the new iPhone became a tradition; so much so that tech bloggers, industry leaders and consumers anxiously await the premiere of a new model every summer.

This year, Apple introduced its iPhone 4S later than usual, which sparked rumors about a “better than ever” iPhone 5, and left us surprised when Apple showed a new-and-improved iPhone 4.

Where was the sleek new design? What about the new features? There seemed to be a cloud of disappointment floating above everyone’s head. While the iPhone 4S isn’t a total re-design, it’s worth taking a look at. It’s been re-built with an 8-megapixel camera, video recording in HD (1080p) and Bluetooth 4.0 wireless technology.

It revolutionizes the smartphone experience with its new Siri software. What’s Siri? Siri is everything you’d ever want in a personal assistant, except she’s in your phone. Siri can give directions, provide real-time traffic updates, interpret your verbal commands into a text message (for safe, hands-free texting while driving), schedule meetings, set reminders; it will even operate as a kitchen timer so you don’t burn your muffins (again)…

We could go on and on, but you should watch Apple’s video about Siri.

And what about the battery life?

  • Talk time: Up to 8 hours on 3G, up to 14 hours on 2G (GSM)
  • Standby time: Up to 200 hours
  • Internet use: Up to 6 hours on 3G, up to 9 hours on WiFi
  • Video playback: Up to 10 hours
  • Audio playback: Up to 40 hours

The iPhone 4S hits stores Oct. 14. Consumers can select either Verizon, AT&T or Sprint as their carrier. The cost starts at $199 for a 16GB and goes up from there depending upon carrier options. If you need a new phone and can’t wait for the iPhone 5 the software on the 4S is worth it. Plus, it’s the same price that the iPhone 4 was just a week ago.

Deal? We think so.

Signing Off

Saying goodbye is never easy. Over the past week, hundreds of Apple fans, technology bloggers and industry leaders have said their final goodbyes to Steve Jobs.

As an innovator and creative thinker, Steve Jobs gave the world a line of products that dared to defy the rules of design, software and communication. Today, millions of people use Jobs’ inventions to listen to music, communicate with business partners, video chat with family members and add custom apps to their smartphones.

Jobs challenged the status quo and pushed the boundaries of mobile and visual communication. With sleek and cutting-edge designs, he took ordinary objects and turned them into visually appealing and multi-functional products. Industry leaders were left to compete with Apple’s products, and they did! As a result, mobile phone users have the most expansive selection of smartphones and smartphone software, ever. Constantly pushing the bar higher and higher, Jobs changed the mobile phone industry forever.

He wouldn’t deny his ability to build the best products or employees either. He is famous for saying, “my job is not to be easy on people. My job is to take these great people we have and to push them and make them even better.” Even though Jobs challenged his workers to produce the best products, he also pushed engineers, thinkers and developers at other companies. Including ours.

Jobs’ iPhone challenged us to build the best application on the market. We met the challenge and we’ve seen downloads on the iPhone and Android continue to grow ever since then. Even in his absence, we plan to continue encouraging our engineers and developers to push the boundaries of mobile technology and create the tools users will one day grow to love.

With that said, we leave you with a quote Jobs gave to Fortune magazine in a recent interview:

In most people’s vocabularies, design means veneer. It’s interior decorating. It’s the fabric of the curtains of the sofa. But to me, nothing could be further from the meaning of design. Design is the fundamental soul of a human-made creation that ends up expressing itself in successive outer layers of the product or service.

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Hands-free calling law expanding across U.S.

Back in 2009, California passed a law prohibiting the use of handheld mobile devices while driving. Now, nine other states, the District of Columbia and the Virgin Islands have joined California in adopting hands-free calling laws.

Beginning Oct. 1, Nevada citizens will join their California neighbors by prohibiting driving while using handheld mobile devices. Motorists will only be issued warnings for now, but with the beginning of the New Year, tickets will be written. Law enforcement officers want to give motorists time to adjust to new law.

Don’t worry drivers! It’s not all bad news. Drivers can still talk on the phone just as long as they have a Bluetooth or hands-free calling device.

But states aren’t the only ones picking up the safe-driving cause. Oprah has been working on the “No Phone Zone”campaign for more than a year, encouraging fans to put down their phones while driving. Glee star, Jane Lynch partnered with LG to stop teens from texting while driving. Even Beyoncé made headlines for texting while driving, but quickly joined the no texting while driving campaign.

So, there you have it. Avoid a $100 ticket and higher insurance rates by using a hands-free calling device, and join the ranks of Beyonce, Oprah and Jane Lynch.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Just Text Me

“Just text me” has joined the ranks of common household tech terminology. In fact, it’s right alongside “Google it” or “Facebook me.” But, it’s not just kids saying it anymore. A new study by Pew Research Center found that 31 percent of adults would rather be sent a text message than receive a phone call.

Part of the shift from traditional phone calls to text messages is a result of increased digital communication. As younger generations continue to rely on social media sites and instant communication, telephone calls are becoming obsolete. Parents have learned to text in order to keep up with their kids’ whereabouts. In addition, texting can be an easy way to relay a simple message.

While the study showed that 55 percent of adults are heavy texters, young adults are even more active texters. Mobile phone owners between the ages of 18 and 24 send an average of 109.5 messages a day. Pew Research did the math and found that it equals over 3,200 texts per month.

Here at Privus Mobile that’s why we added text ID to our caller ID application. So, to the 83 percent of Americans who own mobile phones, if you aren’t texting, you should be!

Next month’s post, “Texters Acquire Arthritis.”

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

RIM’s BlackBerry Messenger carries the message during earthquake

You’re typing away on a memo for a client when suddenly your office building starts to shake. Not sure what to do, you grab your phone and keys and run out of the office. Standing with your co-workers outside of the building, you frantically try to send a text and make a call, but the only one getting service is your co-worker who has a BlackBerry. Unfortunately, this scenario occurred last week when a 5.8 magnitude earthquake hit the east coast. Residents in some of the nation’s largest cities including Washington D.C. and New York City were unable to connect with their worried loved ones across the country-- that is, citizens using iPhones and Androids-- BlackBerry owners had no problem getting the word out.

Throughout the dramatic event, RIM’s BlackBerry Messenger (BBM) remained steady and true to its users. While Android and iPhone users were fidgeting with their phones, BBM was sending and receiving texts and calls. Unlike other phones, BBM can run on either the phone’s data connection or a local Wi-Fi network, which gives it the ability to connect no matter the time, day or event. This software set-up has earned the phone an impeccable reputation. Mashable recently pointed out that BlackBerry was the only functioning phone during both the Chilean earthquake of 2010 and the events of Sept. 11 in New York City.

So what?

Well, smartphone users looking to change devices should give the BlackBerry strong consideration, especially if security is one of the top priorities.

We like the brand new 9900 because the processor is two times faster than previous models. In fact, one reviewer said he got three days of use out of the phone before its battery died. What businessman or woman would say no to that?

However, the BlackBerry gets low ratings when it comes to third-party applications and user interfaces. The phone’s stale growth rate could be attributed to its inability to evolve. For the most part, the BlackBerry functions as a corporate phone. It ranks among the best email devices and its information management apps like contacts, calendar, tasks and others make it a great business tool.

At the end of the day would you rather have fancy games or working cell service?

Monday, August 15, 2011

ICE, ICE Baby: Why THIS application could save your life

No one wants to think about the possibility of being knocked unconscious or seriously hurt, but it never hurts to be prepared. One of our very favorite applications is the I-C-E (In Case of Emergency) app. This application holds your medical history and emergency contact information. If you are hurt, emergency personnel and police officers are trained to look for the ICE application. In addition to holding emergency contact information, the ICE application has specific sections for you to save your medications, allergies, family doctors and preferred insurance.

Prior to the launch of the ICE application in May 2005, emergency personnel would often trace accident victims’ driver’s license numbers to home telephone numbers. However, as more families move to all wireless households, landline telephone numbers are becoming less and less useful.

At Privus, we’re all about safety. And it shows. Whether it’s Caller ID or Family Guard, we keep family and safety at the forefront of our mind. We suggest this application because a mobile phone is a life line we can’t live without. After all, who doesn’t always have their cell phone with them? Whether you’re five or 95, the ICE application can save your life.

Monday, August 1, 2011

Mobile users can keep an eye on who is calling loved ones with Family Guard application

Over the years, we have had an overwhelmingly positive response to our Caller ID application because of the extra security it offers. However, as the smartphone market continues to expand, we noticed a change in the security needs of smartphone users, primarily among parents, guardians and their children.

It’s no secret that kids are social media savvy, technology-inclined, computer whizzes. In fact, more often than not, they know what’s going on before we do! But, as more children acquire smartphones it’s becoming even more important for parents and guardians to install an extra layer of security in order to protect them. With our new application, Family Guard, parents and guardians can monitor the incoming calls their child or loved one receives.

The technology behind our other applications was adapted to create Family Guard. For example, when a phone call or text message is received, information regarding the incoming call is displayed on the handset (applications even have the option of audible alerts which announce the name of the sender for truly hands-free caller ID). With Family Guard, not only does the application identify the caller to the phone’s user, but it will also send a copy of the caller’s information to the designated parent or guardian’s monitoring the phone. Parents and guardians register their handset, along with their loved ones.

With our new Family Guard application, your loved one’s security is safe. The Family Guard application is available for download on devices supported by Android, Windows Mobile 6 and BlackBerry operating systems. The application only needs to be installed on the monitored device, while the guardian’s phone just needs to receive text messages or email. The app requires a monthly subscription fee comparable to landline caller ID services and can be downloaded by visiting on a compatible smartphone.

Friday, July 15, 2011

Lord of the Birds: Angry Birds invades the mobile gaming world

Who thought that a game with angry birds flying into walls and killing green pigs would provide hours of entertainment for millions of people. “Rovio’s Angry Birds” has become an overnight hit sensation with smartphone owners. Since its debut in December 2009, the game has been downloaded more than 250 million times, which is surprising considering the total number of combined iPhone and Android users is approximately 255 million.
Clearly, the game is addicting! In fact, I can personally attest to it.
The game is challenging. Each level introduces you to more challenges and different types of birds. The birds are angry because the green pigs have taken their eggs. At each level the goal is the same: kill as many pigs as possible and get to the new level. Let’s not forget, players can also accrue points.
What earns points? Hitting parts of their barricades earns points, defeating a pig is also worth points and for each bird you don’t use, you get 10,000 points (the currency is a bit high in this game). But, you can only destroy a pig by projecting angry birds at their barricades, which are set up to “protect” the pigs.
Exact calculations, concentrated strategy and extreme dedication are required if you intend on winning the game. Each level becomes increasingly harder as new birds are added along with various “slinging” methods. At the higher levels birds begin to explode and multiply.
Think you can play one time just to “test it out?” Wrong. This isn’t just another mobile phone game. Yes, Bejeweled was challenging, but Angry Birds will test your patience and reflexes. If you have an iPhone or Android, I strongly recommend this game. Whether you are riding home on the metro, sitting at a doctor’s office or waiting to pick up your kids from school, this game will provide you hours of fun.
The price of the game differs from platform to platform. For example, on the iOS and Android platforms, Angry Birds costs 99 cents. However, if you own a Nokia phone, it is $1.99. If you want to download Angry Birds as a computer game it is $4.95. The 3-D version of the game is rumored to be premiering soon. But, it doesn’t end there. Angry Birds is now available as a computer game, board game and tablet application.
Angry Birds has proved to be much more than a mobile gaming app. It shows that a game created strictly for a mobile device can present additional competition in the entire gaming world, including computer and board games.

Thursday, June 30, 2011

Securing Your Company's Wireless Phone Network

According to the new FCC report on the wireless industry, 89% of Americans own a mobile phone. As more Americans join the mobile phone market, security is an ever-growing concern.

Whether used for personal or business purposes, mobile phones are exposed to hackers, viruses and viral attacks. Hackers can download personal or corporate information from a mobile phone in a matter of minutes.

Security needs to be the primary focus of a corporation before distributing phones to its employees. More often than not, companies place large amounts of trust into the hands of their employees, hoping that they will conduct business in a secure manner. To overcome this, companies should centralize device security management by constructing a clear and understandable security plan. Having a step-by-step plan that outlines the expectations and procedures for employee-use ensures business information will remain confidential and protected.

Having a certified team you can count on makes a difference. Once a corporate mobile policy has been established, have IT go through a certification process. When planning, IT should keep three central ideas in mind.

  • Usability: Employees need to conduct business smoothly. If cyber walls are too thick, business can slow.
  • Accuracy: Mobile devices need to be current, especially if the company is not centrally located. Employees should be able to send and receive emails, files and presentations without jumping through a ton of fences.
  • Risk: Plan for the worst, which will ensure your company’s mobile network is prepared to handle any security threat. Remember, it only takes one virus on one phone to infiltrate the entire company’s system.

Finally, mobile security is a resource all corporations should offer to their employees who use a corporate cell phone. It is an ongoing effort that every IT team and company should be committed to. If your employees know how to identify a virus or security threat properly, the security risk greatly diminishes.

Monday, June 27, 2011

RIP Unlimited Data

Rest in Peace, Unlimited Data

Ladies and gentlemen, we have reached the end of the unlimited data era. Last week, Verizon Wireless joined AT&T by announcing its new “tiered” data plan packages.*

News of Verizon’s change comes as no surprise. Earlier this year, tech bloggers and wireless industry experts predicted the carrier would “re-evaluate” its unlimited data plan in the wake of AT&T’s 2010 re-structured data plan.

The new data plans are a result of unprecedented growth in the smartphone business. Currently, 142.8 million (or one out of in every two) Americans own a smartphone. Studies estimate that consumer use outweighs business use, but for many of us at Privus, smartphones serve a double duty. Access to the Internet anytime and anywhere is a valuable tool, one that many might have not considered because of unlimited data plans. Verizon agrees. South Area Vice President of Marketing and Sales Lee Williams sent the following to Verizon Wireless employees:

“Our legacy data pricing structure was designed to address a somewhat different customer need profile than what we are seeing and can expect in the future. Consider this. Data usage has more than doubled over the last three years. Consumers and business users alike are doing more and more with their mobile devices. The notion of “send and end” has migrated to “managing multiple aspects of one’s lifestyle through mobility.” Whether it’s social media (85%+ of Smartphone users), mobile internet (88%+ of Smartphone users), or email/applications (71%+ of Smartphone users), this usage has one thing in common—dramatically increased demand for data and media consumption. As a result, we are evolving our approach around how we package our data solutions and pricing to our customers.”

Carriers want to capitalize on the demand for additional data. With three major smartphones (iOS, BlackBerry and Android) dominating the market, change was inevitable. The new data plans look like they will be based on usage level, which seems to be a response to the money-losing proposition of “giving away” bandwidth for free.

Current subscribers to Verizon Wireless need not worry. The carrier has un-officially said it will allow current smartphone users to keep their unlimited packages, as to whether or not that will last until the end of your contract or the end of the year, nobody knows.

In the meantime, Verizon’s changes are set to take place on July 7. If you want unlimited, go now!

*Read the rest of Verizon’s internal memo here.

**This is the second post in the two-part series

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Mergers, Data Plans and the FCC: How the wireless world could turn upside down*

It could be the beginning of World War III for the wireless world. From reconfigured data plans (Verizon) to the ongoing AT&T/ T-Mobile merger, the telecommunications industry is dominating the news cycle.

Both events greatly influence consumers. But the merger, which was announced in March, will have the most lasting impact.

Here is what you need to know: AT&T announced a bid to acquire T-Mobile for $39 billion. Because of anti-trust laws the offer must be reviewed by Federal Communications Commission (FCC). If the FCC approves the acquisition it would merge the second and fourth largest wireless service providers leaving cell phone users with limited options. Past similar situations have been unsuccessful.

As a consumer, there are some things you should consider. One, the merger could affect up to 55 million Americans who currently have T-Mobile or AT&T. You’re probably thinking, “so what’s the big deal, I don’t have either provider?” Don’t jump the gun too quickly. While, consumers may receive better cell coverage and 3G connection, it means we will all pay higher prices, regardless of the service we use. Gigom reported earlier this year that because T-Mobile has been fairly aggressive in offering cheaper voice and data plans their competition has been forced to keep their prices down too. “This has worked well for U.S. consumers. With the merger of AT&T and T-Mobile, the market is now reduced to three national players: AT&T, Verizon and Sprint.”

Unfortunately, it looks like the consumer will get the short end of the stick, or should I say higher a phone bill. Let’s hope the FCC gives the merger some thought.

*This is a two part series.

Monday, June 20, 2011

Introducing Vietnam's NEW National Mobile Caller ID

We are pleased to announce the world’s first national roll out of mobile caller ID! Thanks to our work with Media Hub and Smart Media we will be making our caller ID application available to more than 25 million people with smartphones in Vietnam. Vietnam has recently emerged as one of the global leaders in wireless infrastructure and we are very pleased to be a part of this innovation.

In addition to being the first country to offer nationwide mobile caller ID, Vietnam boasts complete 3G coverage and was listed by AdMob as one of the ten largest consumers of mobile Internet advertising data in the world. Nearly 80 percent of the country’s population uses a mobile phone, while only one-third uses landline phone services. Vietnam is known for its biodiversity and there are more bikes and mopeds than cars in this country. What other interesting facts do you know about Vietnam?

Friday, June 17, 2011

Inside the all-new Apple iOS 5

Exciting news for Apple users! Scott Forstall took the stage at WWDC 2011 to announce some new upgrades and improvements in the Apple iPhone’s operating system. The new Apple iOS 5 is compatible with iPhone 4, 3Gs, iPad 1 and 2, and the iPod touch and will be available for download this fall. Check out a few of the cool new features that can be expected on the new operating system so far.

1. PC Free
With iOS 5, users can activate and set up their device wirelessly without a computer, iPad, iPhone or iPod touch. Users can get free iOS software updates directly on their device, and back-up and restore their devices automatically using iCloud.

2. Notification Center
Just like on Android devices, there’s a new Notification Center where users can get all of their alerts, all in one place: new email, texts, friend requests and more. Just swipe down from the top of the screen to enter the Notification Center.

3. Twitter Integration
For Twitter users, there’s an integration of Twitter to iOS 5. Sign in once in Settings, and tweet directly from Safari, Photos, Camera, YouTube, or Maps. (*crowd cheers*)

4. Safari Reader
iOS 5 brings even more web-browsing features to iPhone, iPad and iPod touch. Safari Reader displays web articles sans ads or clutter, and Reading List saves interesting articles to peruse later, while iCloud keeps your list updated across all your Apple devices.

5. Reminders
“A better way to do to-dos.”  Next time you need to remember something important, use your iPhone, iPad or iPod to make a note of it. Even better, the reminders are location based – so you’ll get an alert the next time you’re in the supermarket to pick up that milk you probably forgot about. Pretty sweet, huh?

6. iMessage
Finally! Apple users can BBM (BlackBerry Messenger) like BlackBerry users. iMessage is a new, exclusive service for iOS users, that has options like an indicator showing when the other party is typing.

7.  Camera features
There’s now a camera button right on your screen lock! Since your phone is always with you, it’s the best way to capture unexpected moments. Use grid lines, pinch-to-zoom gestures and single-tap focus to compose pictures on the fly. Then, press the volume-up button to snap a photo right in time.

8. Photos 
Turn your snapshots into frame-worthy photos in just a few taps right from your Apple device. Crop, rotate, enhance and remove red-eye without leaving the Photos app.

9. iCloud
There’s also amazing innovation in iOS 5 using cloud-syncing solutions. With iOS 5 and iCloud, enter your Apple ID and password, and – voila! It integrates your apps to wirelessly keep all your contacts, mails, photos, apps, books, music and updates across all your devices without connecting to a computer.

10. Newsstand
Extra extra, read all about it! iOS 5 organizes magazine and newspaper app subscriptions into one folder that lets users access their favorite publications quickly and easily.

We’re sure this is the first of many updates that can be expected before the fall release of iOS 5, but we still can’t wait! What new features are you most excited about?

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Got Your Head in the iClouds?

Apple recently unveiled a new system for automatic wireless syncing of all Apple devices. The iCloud will now allow for the sharing of photos, videos, music, apps, books, calendar events, mail and contacts. This unveiling also represents the end to the dreaded MobileMe, replacing its $99 annual charge with free services of the iCloud.

While all iCloud capabilities will not be released until the fall, some new aspects are available now. Music, apps and books can all be shared now by downloading iTunes 10.3 and changing the purchase settings in iPhones, iPods, iPads and Macs.

Find out more here.

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Raising The Bar - AT&T’s LTE Comes to Five Cities This Summer

Just in time to cure our blues from thoughts of being without a new iPhone 5 this summer, AT&T announced today its new 4G network, with the addition of LTE, will be released in five markets this summer – Dallas, Houston, Chicago, Atlanta and San Antonio.

AT&T hopes to add another 10 markets and cover more than 70 million Americans with this new network by the end of year. To sweeten the deal, AT&T plans to add 20 4G devices to its offerings as well.

Just last fall, Verizon Wireless launched its LTE networks in dozens of cities. The company said the service offers download speeds of up to 12Mbps and uploads of up to 5Mbps. Lab tests show AT&T’s LTE rates offer double the speed of Verizon’s advertised rates with  28.87 Mbps download speeds. A little healthy competition, perhaps?

AT&T’s Chief Technology Officer, John Donovan, posted a blog on AT&T’s Innovation Space about the LTE launch.

AT&T's 4G Evolution
Dallas, Texas, May 25, 2011 
AT&T has delivered five mobile broadband speed upgrades in recent years, including our HSPA+ deployment last year. And average nationwide speeds on the AT&T network have increased – more than 40 percent over the past two years alone.

The next network evolution will arrive this summer with the addition of LTE in five markets – Dallas, Houston, Chicago, Atlanta and San Antonio. We plan to add another 10 or more markets in the second half of the year, and cover 70 million Americans with LTE by year-end. We also have plans to add 20 4G devices to our robust device portfolio this year, with some of those being LTE capable.

We're positioning to deliver a great mobile broadband experience in the near term with HSPA+ and a growing LTE footprint.

We've invested $75 billion in our wireless and wired networks over the last four years – more capital invested in the U.S. than any company in any industry. And we plan to invest $19 billion in our wireless and wireline networks and other capital projects this year. The investments we've made to evolve our mobile broadband network in recent years, plus what we have planned for the future, put our customers in position to benefit fully from a host of coming mobile broadband innovations.

Does this “real 4G” network mean less dropped calls and faster tweeting, AT&T? If so, this summer may be a great one! Hold on to your seats, boys and girls.

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Thanks from Privus Mobile

We tallied up the numbers, and we just hit 131,000 total Privus Mobile downloads!! We wanted to take the time to thank all of our AWESOME users! You guys rock. Thanks for your continued support, and stay tuned for announcements we have coming soon!

Love Privus Mobile and want to share it with your friends? Send them this link to get started.

While you’re at it, send it on over to Billy Reid, too! Somehow we get the feeling he would totally dig Privus Mobile Caller ID.

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Sprint makes it easier, quicker for Android customers to purchase apps

Looks like Sprint has jumped on the carrier billing band wagon with AT&T and T-Mobile and rolled out support for their Android devices. Customers using phones powered by Android OS now have the option to purchase applications from the Android Market and charge it to their monthly Sprint bill. The carrier billing option supplements Google’s Checkout, which has seen limited success compared to other mobile payment methods. While the service is still currently rolling out, Sprint customers shouldn’t expect the services to be fully implemented for a few days.

The addition of this service support to Sprint Android devices is welcomed, as it becomes much easier for Android owners to purchase apps on their phones. Instead of setting up a Google Checkout account or entering credit card information on the device, the ability to add purchases to a monthly phone bill makes downloading applications a one-click transaction. In turn, this will help application developers to create and sell more software in the Android market, as a recent survey from Strategy Analytics shows that 38 percent of customers prefer carrier billing, and are therefore more apt to make purchases.

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Amazon’s Cloud Player, Sounds Like Music to Our Ears

A few days ago, Amazon rolled out its very own music-streaming service conveniently dubbed the Amazon Cloud Player which has since hit a high note with services like Google who’s also rumored to have a cloud-based music application in the works. Amazon customers in the U.S. can upload their MP3 purchases to a 5GB cloud space, which is upgradable to a one-year 20GB plan for free upon purchasing an MP3 album, with additional plans starting at $20 a year. This free-of-charge service makes for seamless, on-the-go access to music files anywhere a user has an Internet connection, including personal computers, Macs and any Android-powered smart phone. Users can listen to music downloaded from Amazon on Cloud Player for Web, upload music from their personal libraries or enjoy music on the Amazon MP3 with Cloud Player application for Android smart phones.

Friday, March 18, 2011

Sprint’s Android Devices Get Privus Mobile Caller ID Features

It’s been a busy year already for the mobile industry, as the iPhone made its expansion to Verizon, and Android surpassed BlackBerry for the leading spot in the United States’ smart phone market.

While this progress has left many smaller telecom companies in the dust, Privus Mobile is making big splashes with another exciting introduction for its fans. The Caller ID application developer is releasing a free, ad-supported version of its application for Sprint-powered Android smart phones.

Beginning in April, Sprint customers can enjoy the full features of Privus Mobile on their Android devices without the monthly subscription fee.

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Privus Mobile's Favorite Business-Friendly Apps for Androids

It’s finally happened. Android has surpassed Research in Motion’s BlackBerry to become the most popular smart phone in the United States. With more users migrating toward Android smart phones, it’s safe to assume users expect not only the technologically-savvy and cool aspects of an Android, but also that the device be able to accommodate their on-the-go business functions as well. With scores of apps in the Android Market and countless other features that can be customized on the handset, there are a few apps that can help to optimize Android devices to accommodate business needs in and out of the office.

5 Business-Friendly Apps for Androids

5. Astrid- Simple, but sweet, Astrid is a task-recording dashboard that prioritizes to-do lists into easy-to-manage categories. The simple features of adding tasks, viewing lists and marking completions are great features for helping business users maximize their efficiency and productivity by staying on top of looming tasks.

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

The BlackBerry and Android Mix: A Match Made in Mobile Heaven?

There is a rumor buzzing around that the upcoming tablet PC from Research in Motion, the BlackBerry PlayBook, will have the ability to run apps designed for Google’s Android operating system. For a company that has fallen far behind its competitors in terms of app development, the technological savvy and coolness of Android paired with the enterprise and functionality of the BlackBerry could make for a winning combination.

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Privus Mobile introduces free caller lookup app for iPhone in time for major switch

Just in time for the Apple iPhone’s big debut on a network other than AT&T, Privus Mobile has introduced a free, advertising-supported version of its iOS application, iPrivus Caller Lookup. Like Apple, this is Privus’ first substantial expansion in availability of iPrivus since it first became available in 2009.

The app, available for download through Apple’s App Store, allows users to input a phone number and see its associated name. The new, ad-supported version allows users to enjoy the great benefits of the app without paying a monthly fee.

As thousands of people are set to make the big switch over to a new iPhone handset with Verizon, the process of transferring data to a new handset may be time consuming and many contacts may not transfer between devices. Because Verizon doesn’t have the convenience of a SIM card, iPrivus Caller Lookup proves beneficial for those people who depend on their iPhones for work, family and other important parts of their lives where it’s crucial to have access to reliable Caller ID features.

Visit for more information regarding Privus Mobile for iPhone or other handsets. For more up-to-date news, check out Privus Mobile on Facebook and Twitter.