T-Mobile announces unlimited global roaming to 100+ countries

In the first two rounds of T-Mobile’s uncarrier initiative, we saw the death of traditional contracts and the introduction of JUMP, a plan that allowed folks to upgrade their devices early. Less than an hour ago, T-Mobile took the wraps off its “third phase” in the company’s ongoing uncarrier initiative, and it looks to be yet another game changer.

This time around, T-Mobile is “tearing down [global] borders” by introducing unlimited global data and texting to all Simple Choice customers starting October 31st. The new roaming service applies to both individual and business subscribers, and covers over 100 so-called Simple Global countries. Those looking to make calls while abroad will also be able to do so for an extra charge of 20 cents a minute...

Read the full story here... Source: Android Authority

iOS 7 Beta Tidbits: Per-App Cellular Data Usage, Live Clock Icon, Panoramic Wallpaper and More

While the most obvious change in iOS 7 is the look and feel of the user interface, Apple's engineers have packed the update with numerous changes both big and small. 

Here are a selection of changes noticed by folks in the MacRumors Forums and elsewhere. 

Cellular Data Tracking by App - In Settings / Cellular, users can track cellular data usage on a per-app basis. Apps can have their cellular data access disabled individually as well. 

Update Apps Manually - The App Store now updates apps automatically, but for users who prefer to handle things themselves, automatic updates can be disabled via a slider in Settings / iTunes & App Stores. 

How to Get to Spotlight - Spotlight is now accessible from the home screen by swiping down from the middle of the screen. Additionally, in Settings / General / Spotlight Search, users can manually turn search result categories on and off, as well as change the order results are presented in. 

Live Clock Icon - The clock icon provides the correct time, including a live second hand. The weather app does not update -- it is always partly cloudy. 

Newsstand Has Permanent Icon - Newsstand's icon remains the same regardless of what publications are inside it. The app itself works similarly, though the design is substantially different. Newsstand can now be put inside a folder as well. 

App Permission for Microphone Access - Apps are now required to ask permission to access the microphone, similar to how apps currently ask to access location data or the camera. 

Multitasking Switcher Works in Landscape - The app switcher works in landscape mode. Double-tap the home button to access. Control Center can also be used in landscape. Apps can also be manually quit by swiping up, and multiple apps can be closed at the same time...

Read the full story here. Source: Mac Rumours


How Apple handles the data processed by Siri

After raising questions about Siri's privacy policy, Wired received a response from Apple spokeswoman Trudy Miller that confirmed Apple anonymizes Siri data and stores it for up to 24 months.

According to the Wired report, your iOS device records what you say to Siri and sends that clip to Apple's servers for analysis. As part of the voice recognition translation and response, Apple assigns a set of random numbers to the clip to identify the user from which it originated. This number is used during the back-end voice processing to make sure the response is sent back to the correct phone.

Apple stores this clip along with the random number for six months. After six months, the number is stripped from the file and the file is kept for up to 18 months.

The practice of storing anonymized data for several years is common among tech companies that handle large volumes of data. Wireless carriers, for example, keep select user data like text message history for up to five years.

[Source: TUAW]

Facebook launches real-time graphs to highlight its data center efficiency

Curious as to the effect that your poking wars are having on the planet? Facebook is outing power and water usage data for its Oregon and North Carolina data centers to show off its sustainability chops. The information is updated in near-real time, and the company will add its Swedish facility to the charts as soon as it's built. The stats for the Forest City, NC plant show a very efficient power usage effectiveness ratio of 1.09 -- thanks, in part, to that balmy (North) Carolina air.

[Source: Engadget]

Do Mobile Phones Pose a Health Hazard?

The mobile phone has become one of the biggest necessities that a person could own and the one thing people are still debating about is the issue of what health hazards that your modern day mobile phone could cause to the human body.

Many people are concerned about the low levels of radiofrequency energy that mobile phones emit, and how the radiation could cause cancer or other serious health problems. Many studies have been conducted over the past 15 years by scientists who are looking at the effects on the human body caused from the frequency of the mobile phone, but the studies have failed to prove that any frequency from the handheld device has any impact on the said person's health.

Studies show that almost 80 million mobile phones in the UK are in operation, therefore the threat of causing any damage to your health directly from the mobile is one in which each corporation must consider as part of their business module. With times changing, the modern day mobile phone has a considerable amount of data flowing through it compared to 5 years ago. 

Ed Yong, who is head of the health information at Cancer Research UK, has released information to the global population in which he states that despite the dramatic rise in mobile phone sales since the 1980s, the rate of brain cancer has not increased at the same rate as the production and usage of the handheld device has.

There is not yet enough known information to completely rule out the risk of health implications due to using a mobile phone, but very little research suggests that this could be the case.

What do you think about this controversy? Post your thoughts below.

EE launches limited edition 4G price plans - budget £31 contract and 20GB 'super-user' plans

When EE (Everything Everywhere) first launched its 4G LTE service in the UK, two common complaints focused on the price of its subsidized smartphone contracts and the 8GB ceiling for data allowances. Today it seems the carrier's ready to test the water with some more adventurous price plans, as for a limited time it'll offer a budget-centric £31 per month, 24-month deal, along with a new "super-user" contracts with 20GB of data per month. 

The £31 per month plan costs £5 per month less than EE's cheapest standard contract, and will be available to customers from Jan. 31 to Mar. 31. Like all of EE's smartphone-inclusive plans, it runs for 24 months and includes unlimited calls and texts. Phones offered on the £31 plan will include the HTC One SV (check out our review) and the Windows Phone-powered Nokia Lumia 820, so there's a clearly a focus on entry-level hardware here.

But it's the second limited edition contract that'll probably be of interest to Android Central readers. For £46 per month on a 12-month, SIM-only contract, EE's offering a whopping 20GB of data per month. Alternatively, customers can get the new 20GB deal with a subsidized smartphone on a 24-month, £61 per month contract. The 20GB plans will be available in stores from today until Feb. 28, EE says.

In addition, EE says it's introducing a new 8GB, 12-month SIM-only plan costing £41 per month.

Due to its current monopoly over 4G LTE in the UK, EE's prices remain higher than rival networks. But the company will be hoping that this diversification of its range of price plans will help it scoop up some additional customers before rival networks launch their LTE services later this year.

Any UK readers tempted by EE's new tariffs? Let us know in the comments.

[Source: AndroidCentral]

Data hungry apps revealed with Onavo Count, free usage tracker for iOS

Yes, you can currently snag a data usage tracker for iOS, but if you're wanting to know exactly which apps are sapping your monthly data, then Onavo Count is where it's at. The free app just debuted in the App Store, which allows users to pinpoint the most data hungry titles with a handful of lovely graphs. Like other apps, Onavo Count will help you from exceeding your monthly allotment by tracking your last 30 days of mobile data usage, and if you really want to geek out, you can even break it down by week. Not to stop there, the app is also integrated with Onavo Extend, which compresses unencrypted data in order to help users squeeze a bit more from their data plan. If your interest is now piqued, be sure to hit up the video after the break, or simply head over to the App Store, where you can snag it for yourself.

[Source: Engadget]

Permanent quartz glass data storage announced by Hitachi, could hit market by 2015

Sure, we can store huge quantities of bits in a tiny space, but how long will that data last? Current optical, magnetic and flash storage media have limited shelf lives, so Hitachi has announced a new way of locking up ones and zeros in quartz glass for hundreds of millions of years. The data can be etched with a laser in three layers on the crystals at a density slightly higher than a CD, then read out with an optical microscope, meaning that future generations could restore the info without needing a proprietary drive. The technology could come to market in three years, according to the research lab -- but would likely be targeted at companies first, who would need to send in their data to be encoded. Hitachi said the media withstood two hours of 3500 degree Fahrenheit temperatures in testing without data loss, meaning that archaeologists from the future may one day uncover your questionable taste.

[Source: Engadget]

LaCie's eSATA Thunderbolt Hub pushes data transfer to the max

The move from traditional I/O options toward Thunderbolt across the Mac line (with the notable exception of the Mac Pro) has meant some headscratching moments for users of high-end storage. Buying all-new Thunderbolt-ready RAIDs isn't an option for those on a budget, especially when there may be big investments already in eSATA-connected equipment.

As more Thunderbolt peripherals and accessories have made it to market, this conundrum is beginning to clear. LaCie's eSATA hub Thunderbolt Series, at $199, delivers eSATA performance and convenience for high-end video and graphics users at a price that's not out of balance.

[Source: TUAW - Read the full story]

Apple files plans for Oregon data center

The Apple Oregon data center is moving closer to reality. Apple has filed formal plans with the city of Prineville, and it looks like Apple will build a 500,000-square-foot facility. It's likely the data center will serve the Apple app stores and iCloud.

The plan shows two buildings with more than 500,000 square feet of what are described as 'data halls,' The Bend Bulletin reported Wednesday. The plan doesn't say when Apple might start building.

"They really didn't say how long they are looking at," Prineville senior planner Joshua Smith said.
An Apple spokeswoman, Kristin Huguet, referred Wednesday to the company's early statements on the development, which forecast "hiring dozens of people and bringing hundreds of construction jobs to the area" but didn't set a construction schedule." The two data centers will be neighbors across the street from the other.

[Source: TUAW]

Google adds real time traffic data in maps to 130 new U.S. cities, expands global coverage, too

Real time traffic information is a real day saver, and todays news from Google brings the service to a further 130 U.S. cities within Google Maps. 

These smaller cities such as Kalamazoo, Michigan and Portland, Maine, will now benefit from traffic information and estimated travel times around the arterial routes within the cities. Hit the source link below for more information on which cities have been added.

The United States isn't the only place to see expanded coverage either. Panama City, San Jose (Costa Rica) and Bogota all join in for the first time too. Additionally, the coverage is being expanded throughout parts of Brazil, Canada, China, Czech Republic, France, Germany, Italy, Mexico, Russia, Spain, Sweden, and the United Kingdom. Good work, Google.

[Source: Android Central]