Google is always obsessed with speed. Their mantra is faster = better. This is true for their Google Voice mobile apps as well. When you want to make a call, your phone should connect you as quickly as possible, whether youâ€™re calling via Google Voice or not.
Today they are launching an enhancement to the Google Voice mobile app on Android and Blackberry phones, which makes placing calls much faster. They call this feature â€œdirect access numbers.â€ Hereâ€™s how it works:
Until today, the Google Voice app had to make a request to the Google Voice server every time you wanted to make a call to send us the phone number you wanted to dial. Then the call would be connected via a Google Voice access number. With direct access numbers, Google assign a unique phone number to every person you call. This means that they no longer need to use your data network to access the server each time you make a call, so calls will be placed much faster.
The updated Android app is available from Android Market starting today. For Blackberry users, you can download the app by visiting http://m.google.com/voice from your mobile device. You will need a valid Google Voice account to use the app, and at this time, Google Voice is available in the US only.
Right on time, the Pearl Flip has made its official debut on Verizon Wireless’ website and is now ripe for the picking. Surprisingly, sort of, the Pearl Flip has already been discounted — selling for $79 after a $70 mail-in rebate and two year contract instead of the announced $129.99. Apparently, Verizon included the Pearl Flip in that $50 price drop when it ended the BlackBerry BOGO promotion. For those who prefer a more personal shopping experience, the Pearl Flip is also available in stores today. Now with the 8230ccccccc out of the way, Big Red can focus on bigger and better ‘Berrys (Tour, anyone?).
Just because Verizon and Sprint have been hogging all of attention when it comes to the newly announced BlackBerry Tour 9630 doesn’t mean those who live in the home country of the smartphone itself have been forgotten by your pals at BGR. The latest rumor regarding the TELUS Tour has it launching on July 15th, much later than the previously rumored launch date of June 22nd. Delays (assuming that the first rumored launch date was even real) are never fun, but perhaps an included 1GB microSD card will be a good enough consolation prize for the extra 23 days of waiting. Ok, probably not — and definitely not if the rumored $249.99 3-year promotional price becomes a reality.
You read the headline right, kids — the new and insanely hot BlackBerry Messenger that we exclusively showed off to the World looks to be headed to all BlackBerry devices that will receive the OS 5.0 treatment. How do we know? Because we’ve been playing around with a recent build of OS 5.0 on a Curve 8900, and well, let’s just say that it and some other pretty awesome stuff is in there. But since we’re talking about BlackBerry Messenger, let’s just get right into it. We’ve already told you that the new Messenger has avatar support, GPS integration (including proximity sensing), the ability to set and group conversations by subject and a way to create a homescreen icon for messenger contracts, but it now looks like even more crazy stuff has been crammed in in addition to a little facelift.
So strap yourselves in, hit the jump and prepare to be green with envy as we show you an even newer version of BlackBerry Messenger!
Since we know that most of you are just going to gloss over the text and check out the ensuing screenshots, we’ll keep the list of what’s newer than new really brief:
- SMS support — You wanted threaded SMS? Well you’re finally going to be getting it!
- PIN barcode scanning — Too lazy to add your friend to Messenger by entering in their PIN? Just have them click the Barcode option on their devices and, you guessed it, a barcode will show up letting the other party scan it with their BlackBerry camera and immediately add that contact to your list.
- Backup/Restore Messenger list to microSD card — What else need we say?
So tell us, you BlackBerry freaks; were you able to make it through this entire post without having a heart attack?
According to a post from likely soon-to-be-ex-Vodafone forum moderator Ev from Vodafone, Vodafone Ireland has a few tasty morsels baking in the oven. First and foremost, the mod claims Voda will not be picking up the new Nokia N97 due to the high price point of the handset. Instead, the carrier will pick up the unannounced “N97 Mini” considering the device’s “competitive pricing”. Ev also states that Vodafone will offer the BlackBerry Storm 2 later this year, a foregone conclusion. Last but not least, the big mouthed mod suggests that due to exclusivity with a competitor, Vodafone will not be offering the Palm Pre. All of this falls into the rumor category for the time being of course, but it’s pretty interesting none the less. Will Ev elaborate? Will (s)he be gagged and locked in a basement? Keep your eye on the read link to find out.
BlackBerry users on Sprint have long griped that everything comes to them by the time it’s old and dated on Verizon, but this won’t be the case with the Tour 9630. Sprint has just announced that it will be carrying the device “later this summer” for $199.99 on a 2-year contract after a $50 instant rebate and $100 mail-in rebate. The pain that rebates cause in all of our rears aside, the price is good and by God the phone is, so what are you waiting for? Go and sign up to be notified when it’s available, already.
Speaking at a recent Barclays Capital conference in NYC, Verizon Wireless president and CEO Lowell McAdam discussed Verizon’s upcoming handset portfolio, again. Without revealing any release dates and sticking to his “six month” time frame, McAdam said:
You will see devices like the Palm Pre and the Cousin on our network from Palm. You will see a second-generation Storm. You will see a new device we call the Tour from BlackBerry as well. That is an upscale of any other QWERTY-based devices that we have from BlackBerry today. You’ll see Motorola back into our portfolio. We feel very good about the progress that the Motorola team has made. And, yes, you’re going to see Android devices as well.
Most of this is the same old information that McAdams has been spouting about Verizon’s upcoming handsets for the last month. We already knew about the Palm Pre rumor which Verizon and Sprint have been batting about like a badminton shuttlecock. The Storm 2 has been mentioned both by RIM and Verizon, and Android has gotten a mention or two as well. The Motorola lineup is presumably initiated by the Rival which hit Verizon just after this conference. Last but not least, we have the official public acknowledgment of the Tour by a Verizon executive. Now if we can just get him to slip a release date or two — especially one that starts with tuh, tuh, T-O-U-R and ends with July…
Barely any major updates since launching way back on those now sure-be-stuck-in-a-landfill BlackBerry 7290s, RIM’s latest version of BlackBerry Messenger — unreleased to the public — is absolutely awesome. They’re finally getting hip, people. Here’s some of the new features and enhancements we’ve find while quickly playing with it:
- Avatar support — set your own avatar using the Camera or saved photo on your device (this is displayed locally as well as shown next to your Messenger name on your friend’s buddy list)
- GPS location integration — you can now set permissions so friends can always see your location, have to request it each time, or never can see it
- Proximity sensor — we’re guessing this will let you know if you’re within a certain distance of friends (pending, of course, you’re both set to share locations freely with each other)
- Set conversation subjects — this will allow you to organize your convos on the main Messenger screen and label them with subjects to keep track of all your conversations
- Homescreen support — you can pin/sticky actual Messenger contacts directly to the homescreen for easy access!
There’s a bunch more we’re probably skipping over, but hit the jump for some shots of the new version of BlackBerry Messenger!
Well, our tipster was indeed correct. And let’s be honest here for a sec; we’ve nailed this puppy to the wall. Verizon faithful will be overjoyed to find out that the BlackBerry Tour has gone official (albeit without an official announce just yet). There isn’t a whole lot of information available on their product page at the moment, but hey, you’ve waited this long…
We just got a tip from a new tipster saying that Verizon Wireless will finally officially announce the BlackBerry Tour along with a release date tomorrow morning. This is not confirmed but would make sense given the July release date window is fast approaching and they’d want to avoid people switching carriers for upcoming handsets. The Tour website on Verizon’s site would also allegedly go live at announcement, and that is www.verizonwireless.com/Tour
Anyone heard anything about this?