T-Mobile is giving its customers unlimited data in South Korea during the 2018 Winter Games, the carrier has announced.The unlimited data will be free and available anywhere within South Korea (only during the duration of the Games, mind), also being joined by free unlimited calls from the nation back home to the United States.T-Mobile announced the new perk in a statement today, pointing out that its customers already get free texting in more than 140 countries, one of which happens to be South Korea.The perk will go live starting on February 7 and will remain running through March 20.Subscribers won’t have to do anything to ‘activate’ the perk; it’ll just start automatically if you’re a T-Mobile customer.There is one small “catch,” though, and it’s that you must be a postpaid subscriber; prepaid customers don’t get this benefit.
If you’re lucky enough to be headed to South Korea in a few weeks to catch the Winter Olympics, you’re practically required to share your good fortune with folks back home.And while that doesn’t mean buying everyone you know a plane ticket to Pyeongchang, it does mean keeping all your friends and family members abreast of the action taking place in the world’s greatest sporting event.With T-Mobile, you’ll quickly become the most popular person around, as you take advantage of the Un-carrier’s free unlimited high-speed data, free unlimited calls to the U.S., and free texting.So whether you’re watching figure skating, hockey, or downhill skiing, you can pretend that your friends and family are with you.The free data and unlimited calls within South Korea are available throughout the winter games, while free texting is already including for T-Mobile subscribers in more than 140 countries and destinations.Conveniently, you won’t have to do anything at all to reap these rewards (except, of course, be a T-Mobile customer).
Reddit has finally joined other major web properties in adding two-factor authentication for all users.It’s been available for mods and some testers for a while, but this is the first time the vast multitudes of redditors will have access to it.Turn it on and you’ll have to enter a six-digit code sent to your phone whenever you have a new login attempt.You’ll need Google Authenticator, Authy, or any TOTP-supporting auth app — texting codes is no longer recommended (and really, it was always a bad idea).There’s not much to setting it up: go into the password/email area of the site’s preferences once you’ve logged in on a desktop browser.Enable two-factor authentication and follow the instructions.
Image: Google / Project Fi (Twitter)One of Google Allo’s biggest features, when compared to regular SMS texting, was the AI-powered Smart Replies that Google brought over from Google Assistant.But if you, like most people, don’t actually use Allo, you’ll soon be able to take advantage of smart replies in the regular Android Messages app, as announced by the Project Fi Twitter account.Smart Reply for Android Messages lets you text with a tap, rolling out starting today on Project Fi.— Project Fi (@projectfi) January 24, 2018The feature seems to work similarly to how it does in Allo, Gmail, or Assistant: Google analyzes the text of the conversation, and automatically generates contextual responses in the messaging app that you can select for quick replies.
Apple is starting to preview the next major point update to iOS, iOS 11.3.It’ll have some new ARKit features and the promised updates to battery management.But most importantly, Apple is adding four new Animoji characters to the iPhone X.That’s right: now, with the power of hundreds of dollars of some of the most advanced technology ever put into a smartphone, you can pretend to be a bear, a dragon, a skull, or the most adorable lion ever while texting your friends or making karaoke videos.The four new Animoji will join the 12 already included on the iPhone X for a total of 16 when iOS 11.3 launches sometime this spring.
The world of dating and relationships can be a minefield.Add technology into the mix and you’ve got yourself a recipe for... well, mistrust, it would seem.More recently the term ‘micro-cheating’ has been bandied around by the media, managing to add even more confusion to what should actually be a pretty black and white arena.According to dating expert Melanie Schilling, micro-cheating is “a series of seemingly small actions that indicate a person is emotionally or physically focused on someone outside their relationship”.Of course, there’s a difference between texting someone harmlessly and getting pulled up on it by a jealous partner, and messaging someone regularly and in a manner that makes you want to hide it.“The problem with social media is that it’s all about validation,” dating coach James Preece tells HuffPost UK.
Smartphones were the leading cause of a major fall in psychological well-being in American Adolescents after the year 2012 according to a new study.This study was conducted by researchers at The University of Michigan, and was published in the scientific journal Emotion this week.The study showed that adolescent self-esteem, life satisfaction, and happiness rose between 1990 and 2011, then fell dramatically starting in the year 2012, just as smartphones began to take hold of the planet.This study was lead by Jean Twenge, a professor of psychology at San Diego State University.“We found that teens who spent more time seeing their friends in person, exercising, playing sports, attending religious services, reading or even doing homework were happier,” said Twenge.“However, teens who spent more time on the internet, playing computer games, on social media, texting, using video chat or watching TV were less happy.”
So says a new study from San Diego State University, which pulled data from over one million 8th-, 10th-, and 12th-graders in the U.S. showing teens who spent more time on social media, gaming, texting and video-chatting on their phones were not as happy as those who played sports, went outside and interacted with real human beings.But is it the screen time bringing them down or are sadder teens more likely to insulate themselves in a virtual world?Lead author of the study and and professor of psychology Jean M. Twenge believes it’s the phone that contributes to making them unhappy, not the other way around.“Although this study can’t show causation, several other studies have shown that more social media use leads to unhappiness, but unhappiness does not lead to more social media use,” Twenge said.Though abstinence doesn’t seem to fix the problem, either, as noted in the study, there’s something to Twenge’s theory.Another recent study by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and also lead by Twenge, found a spike in depression and suicide among teen girls increased the more time they spent on their phones.
If you know anything about me, you know that I'm all about saving time and making tech more efficient.And one thing that can always use a potent productivity booster-shot is the act of inputting text from our mobile devices.We've indeed talked about the time wasted with smartphone text input before — not that long ago, in fact, when we were getting into the subject of macros and advanced text substitution.As of this week, though, there's an even easier way to create and use templates for common phone-based responses, and it's built right into one of my favorite messaging apps.With Pulse, you can view and access your messages from practically any device imaginable, including multiple Android phones and tablets as well as desktop computers.Your messages are always synced and available anywhere you sign in, and it's as easy to see or send a text from your laptop as it is from your phone.
Happiness is not a warm phone, according to a new study exploring the link between adolescent life satisfaction and screen time.Teens whose eyes are habitually glued to their smartphones are markedly unhappier, said study lead author and San Diego State University and professor of psychology Jean M. Twenge.To investigate this link, Twenge, along with colleagues Gabrielle Martin at SDSU and W. Keith Campbell at the University of Georgia, crunched data from the Monitoring the Future (MtF) longitudinal study, a nationally representative survey of more than a million U.S. 8th-, 10th-, and 12th-graders.The survey asked students questions about how often they spent time on their phones, tablets and computers, as well as questions about their in-the-flesh social interactions and their overall happiness.On average, they found that teens who spent more time in front of screen devices--playing computer games, using social media, texting and video chatting--were less happy than those who invested more time in non-screen activities like sports, reading newspapers and magazines, and face-to-face social interaction."Although this study can't show causation, several other studies have shown that more social media use leads to unhappiness, but unhappiness does not lead to more social media use," said Twenge, author of "iGen: Why Today's Super-Connected Kids Are Growing Up Less Rebellious, More Tolerant, Less Happy--And Completely Unprepared for Adulthood."
In August, Verizon split its unlimited data plan into three new options with some annoying limits and restrictions on video streaming.The basic of those three plans, Go Unlimited, will soon work in Canada and Mexico.But there’s still some annoying restrictions.If you’re a Verizon customer on the basic plan, you won’t have to pay for an additional data plan if you travel overseas, according to Droid Life (via Engadget), and the changes to the plan kick on on January 25th, 2018.The change brings Go Unlimited up to speed with the company’s other unlimited offerings, Beyond Unlimited and Business Unlimited Plans, which already included the international calling, texting and data.With the change, Verizon appears to be keeping pace with its competitors.
A specially crafted webpage will knacker Apple's Messages and Safari software on iOS and macOS, allowing miscreants to spread merry mischief by texting fans a link to the dastardly HTML.The page also causes other programs, such as TextEdit on Macs, to hang when opened.This is due to, from what we can tell, it being stuffed with characters that confuse the operating system's font-rendering code, resulting in applications hanging forever or being automatically killed.The programming blunder in the iGiant's display code is triggered by, according to a note in the aforementioned webpage, overloading "the title property with massive characters containing heavy ligature."This, it seems, causes the rendering routines, or components related to them, to enter an infinite loop and thus become unresponsive.This leaves folks with non-working software.
The long story built by partnerships between the two giants, Google and Huawei, is about to win a new chapter.This time, both companies will work together to accelerate the adoption of RCS messaging.Google has announced that its RCS Android Messages App will be integrated into all Huawei smartphones, through future EMUI updates.“With Android Messages and RCS messaging, HUAWEI devices will offer a rich native messaging and communications experience.Features such as texting over WiFi, rich media sharing, group chats, and typing indicators will now be a default part of the device.Messages from businesses will also be upgraded on HUAWEI’s devices through RCS business messaging from Google.
Google’s Gboard keyboard for iOS and Android packs a bunch of useful features, but it’s not flexible enough to get me to switch from SwiftKey.However, it looks like the company is working on adding a ‘Smart Reply’ feature to the keyboard, and if it happens, it’ll probably do the trick and convert me.Smart Reply is already available in certain Google apps, like Inbox, Gmail, and Allo.Now, 9to5Google has spotted code that details the inclusion of this feature in an upcoming version of Gboard for Android, which leads us to believe that, based on the contents of your screen, it’ll suggest contextually relevant phrases that you can use to reply with, just by tapping once instead of having to type.Since it’s still sorta in the works, we can’t yet see what the feature will look in Gboard.But for reference, here’s how Smart Reply works in Gmail:
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