Tag Archives: AT&T

Forced Desktop Activation for Mobile?

Setting up mobile via desktop?  Really??

 

Popped a SIM into a Galaxy Note and found this lovely message.  There’s no way around the activation process on the desktop which makes little sense to me.  I’m not a new or novice user and this is far from the first device I’ve even activated on AT&T.  Having gone through the desktop process now I see they want to make it theoretically easier for a user to add their account credentials and tweak some basic home screen settings, but that’s really not hard in your hand.  It would be nice to see a choice.

I can’t even use the Note until a code gets sent back to the handset.

Actually … with a few extra taps back you can apparently exit out and start with a Google Account, but that’s not exactly obvious.

No Early iPhone 5 Upgrade for You … or Me

Like I’m sure many people did yesterday, I checked the upgrade availability for the new iPhone 5 on Apple’s site, but I was surprised to see that unlike previous years, there is no early access.  Instead, what I found was that I am “eligible” for the unsubsidized price until May which is obviously disappointing.

I have no intention of paying $649 for the 64GB phone or even $449 for the 16GB option. I can’t imagine I’m the only one in this situation as I bought the 4S when it was initially released.  Not sure what this might do to those anticipated holiday sales, but it’s likely to slow a large portion of the potential upgraders into next year as a result.

Now would be a great opportunity for another carrier (hello, VZW, Can you Hear me now?) to swoop in and offer a competitive switch opportunity.  It could generate a great deal of good will, brand love and of course a new base of recurring payments on the network.  This is common in car sales where a competing brand might offer a dealer incentive to get you out of another car’s lease early.  I don’t believe there is any precedent in wireless for this, but hey no time like the present!

AT&T and Metro North Testing Wifi?

I spotted a new hotspot while waiting to depart from Grand Central tonight …

ND ATT Metro North Trial

Unfortunately, I was unable to connect from my iPhone or laptop, but signal was pretty decent for a few fleeting moments regardless. I really hope that this is an active test and that wifi starts to rollout. Currently there is wifi along the train line via Cablevision, Time Warner and Comcast though it’s impossible to actually use on the go.

Battle of the cable company wifi networks

I obviously have no helpful information on this possible test, but can say I’d be very interested in using it and would even pay.  AT&T is looking to glean an extra $45/mo for tethering and while that would be bandwidth I could use all to myself, a slightly slower shared connection would be of great use.  I tend to use the iPad rather than my laptop, but there are plenty of times when the laptop would be handy …

I wonder if Metro North is serious with this and even if they’d consider free.  For pay, I’d love to see it packaged or validated with a monthly rail pass.

 

AT&T Mark the Spot app fails

AT&T Mark the Spot - fail

The AT&T Mark the Spot iPhone app which launched this week seems like a good idea until you actually use it. As I’ve discovered it fails to function in two key moments … When there is no data available regardless of gsm signal strength and again when you have no coverage.

As these two moments are the likely times when you’d like to share a location ping for the network to have fixed it seems impossble to share. I’m thinking this app is far more about the PR is earns than the problems likely to be resolved.

Nokia Booklet 3G – Coming Soon to the US for $299

IMG_1298

Today Nokia confirmed pricing on their upcoming netbook, the Nokia Booklet 3G. Initially, you’ll be able to scoop one up at Best Buy for a subsidized price of $299. There will also be an contract free option which will be offered for $599.

$600 bucks is a lot for a netbook, but the Booklet 3G brings quite a bit to the table. It’s clear that Nokia has really developed something considerably more premium than the typical $300 machine. The aluminum construction is very solid and feels quite like a micro macbook. I’m sure this feel as well as the actual design was no accident and think a lot of people are going to really like how this notebook looks. The 10″ display offers a 720p ready resolution which is higher than standard, but also not too high. I was unable to confirm what the HDMI port can drive on an external display, only that it’s higher than the standard screen. This will be great for users looking to dock at home, though I could see using this in full laptop mode all the time.

Of course the real appeal of the Booklet 3G is the always-on connectivity combined with an impressive 12 hours of battery life. During the press Q&A it was unclear whether this battery life was with or without wireless and clearly using the device intensely will impact things a fair bit. That said, I would be surprised if you did not see over 8 hours of battery usage which certainly classifies itself as an all day machine in my book. Windows 7 will be the standard OS which is excellent. In my own netbook tests, Windows 7 has been an excellent performer and I would expect the same for the Booklet as well. I would expect the home edition as the standard install …

Best Buy will be the exclusive retailer when the Booklet 3G becomes available in time for holiday shopping while AT&T will be the exclusive launch operator for those looking to buy with a plan. The standard $60/5G/mo plan will be standard, though AT&T alluded to some lower priced price options coming as well.

In general, the Nokia Booklet 3G looks like a very compelling mobile computer. I could definitely see using this as my work computer. For my daily tasks managing email, web and social streams it would be perfect and the addition of always on connectivity along with stellar battery performance make it a just about a slam dunk. I’m looking forward to getting a real test machine to confirm my assumptions, but am very excited by what Nokia has done here.