Back when I was an officer in the US Coast Guard I signed up for banking with USAA Federal Savings Bank and it was probably the best financial decision I ever made. USAA is a bank designed for military members and has a ton of awesome services for those on the go. I have only seen one physical branch in my entire life and all my banking is done remotely. USAA was one of the first banks to launch an iPhone application and according to the New York Times an updated version will be launched this week that lets you take a photo of a check with the iPhone and have it deposited to your account.
Smartphones and Cell Phones
It seems everyone in business has a smartphone today to keep connected to the office and enjoy their time away from the office. Matthew Miller provides you with news, commentary and in-depth reviews of the latest in mobile phones sporting iOS, Android, Wi
Matthew Miller started using a Pilot 1000 in 1997 and has been writing news, reviews, and opinion pieces ever since.
A couple of weeks ago T-Mobile sent me the myTouch 3G to try out and I posted my first impressions with a statement in there about no plans to upgrade since my G1 has the same software with the addition of a full awesome QWERTY keyboard. I then committed my wireless data services to T-Mobile and found I had a couple of lines with upgrade discounts available. I was thinking that I would use my upgrade to buy the T-Mobile Touch Pro2 that will be available on 12 August (stay tuned for my full review), but after further use of both the myTouch 3G and T-Mobile Touch Pro2 I decided that the myTouch 3G was the one for me. I was able to buy one for $200 and went with the Merlot (burgundy) color because it was a bit different and yet still professional looking.
I tried to move my entire five line family plan to AT&T just about a month ago as I discussed a bit in MobileTechRoundup show #177, but this ended up being a failed experiment as I detail my move back to my old friend T-Mobile in MobileTechRoundup show #179. James, Kevin, and I also talked about the HP Mini 5150 and Toshiba NB205 netbooks. Two phones I checked out recently include the myTouch 3G and BlackBerry Curve 8520, one of which I have now purchased.
As I posted here yesterday, I jumped back to T-Mobile USA yesterday as my primary carrier with five phones on their family plan. I have been playing with an eval myTouch 3G for a couple weeks as well and along with this device came several applications that you can also now download on your T-Mobile G1. To begin fresh with T-Mobile I completely reset my G1 and started over with the latest firmware. I then went on to load up a ton of apps, but a few I wanted to discuss that are timed with the myTouch 3G release and recommended by T-Mobile are Visual Voicemail, Sherpa, My Account, Mobile Backup, and WorldTour.
Earlier this morning T-Mobile issued their 2nd quarter report and as Larry stated their churn rate was up slightly this quarter. In case you didn't know, churn is the term used to measure the number of customers who leave or switch to another service provider, usually stated as a percentage. The slight increase this quarter, from 1.9 to 2.2 percent, is tough to blame on a single cause. I personally left T-Mobile after 6+ years to switch my family to AT&T so I could reduce my family monthly fees by having a single carrier instead of two. I selected AT&T over T-Mobile because of AT&T's 3G data and iPhone services. However, after spending the last 3 weeks experiencing constant dropped calls in areas where our various phones showed a full signal I had enough and switched back to T-Mobile last night.
The Google Android platform is one of my favorite and as a a follow-up to my T-Mobile myTouch 3G post I wanted to let you know you can pick one of these up starting today at T-Mobile. The more I use the device the more I like it and find it to be a nice upgrade to the G1 if you don't need a QWERTY keyboard. In other Google Android news, Qik announced an update that gives you on device editing capability and speed sharing functionality. Qik is a live video streaming application that runs on Google Android, Symbian, and Windows Mobile devices.
Many of the ZDNet tech bloggers have been writing about their Dead Finger Tech for a special August feature. I have owned over 100 mobile devices, most of them phones, and thus you would think I have one or two favorites that I could consider as DFT devices. My iPhone 3GS is getting more and more useful as applications like Quickoffice improve functionality for me and my Nokia E71x is my top Nokia star. However, my T-Mobile G1 is the device I consider as my DFT mobile phone for a few reasons I will explain below.
My King of the QWERTYs series wrapped up a couple of days ago and I am now ready to provide you with my summary and personal preferences on this class of devices. As I stated in each article, these devices are targeted to the messaging user and all run mobile operating systems that have been around for years.
Social networking apps are some of the most popular on mobile phones today and I admit to using Twitter and Facebook quite a bit to staying in touch with family, friends, and fans. AT&T announced the availability of a new integrated social networking application, AT&T Social Net, that combines Facebook, MySpace, Twitter, and customizable news feeds into a single interface. As you can see in the screenshots there are different tabs in the carousel menu that let you quickly switch between the services you have setup. Selected features phones and a couple of smartphones are included in the list of compatible phones that can use this application.
The HTC Touch Pro2 (read about my hands-on experiences) is the device I believe has one of the most amazing QWERTY keyboards ever produced on a smartphone. We all know the device will eventually be coming to all US wireless carriers and it looks like T-Mobile will be first with the just announced 12 August release date.