With the exception of the Apple iPhone 4 which was a piece of crap, from the 4s model on, Apple has not stumbled until their recent admission of throttling some of their devices. Unfortunately, Apple's hardware is practically obsolete and years behind the Android camp. When your main AMOLED screen supplier is also your largest competitor, that cannot bode well. What all of this means is there has never been a better time to buy last year's Flagship models. If I was in the market for a new device, the iPhone 7, and 8 series would be my first choices for iPhones. For Android, the Samsung S8 series is great and I've been enjoying my S8+. I also like the recent LG models with the exception of the G5. All of these are a great choice and won't break the bank. After all, they may not be the newest on the market but they are proven, and new to you.
Where I believe Apple has the upper hand though is with their iOS operating system. When there's an issue, they will quickly push out a software update to all users. This is the biggest problem I see with Android OS. When you have dozens of device manufacturers, this process ends up taking considerably longer. Obviously, Google is going to push out updates for their own PIXEL models much faster. That's likely the biggest issue in owning a Samsung product. Don't hold your breath for new software updates and patches.
That being said, Andoid OS has become far more stable and secure than in the past. One of the things that Apple has always done right and Android still needs help with is default settings. Apple iPhones will give you an excellent experience right out of the box. I noticed Samsung had my S8+'s resolution set for standard, not HD. I obviously changed this setting to HD. I also hated the Samsung keyboard but rectified this by downloading Google's "GBOARD" which is awesome and FREE. Same with Samsung's calendar, It sucked! I quickly changed that to Google's calendar and have my iCal desktop and Pro Book calendars syncing with my Google calendar so all is good. I never was a huge fan of SIRI as some days, "she" seemed like she was stuck on stupid. Now, I have a whole team of virtual assistants. Alexa, Cortana, Bixby and Google's Assistant all seem to be as good or better than SIRI. In a nutshell, if you're not into having to make changes on your device to optimize the experience, get an iPhone.
T-Mobile for Business Offer: We’re doing the TM pre-order thing for these models and are our offering our TM business and government customers $100 off (via EIP bill credits) the Galaxy S9 or Galaxy S9+.
I've been using an S8+ for almost 6 months and it certainly is the best phone that I have ever owned. Samsung has made it so easy to migrate over from iOS and these devices offer so much more per dollar than Apple offers. That being said, there has never been a better time to purchase the S8/S8+ models. After all, they are waterproof, have bigger screens than Apple, similar biometric and facial recognition features, are proven, and still offer the 3.5mm headset jack that Apple took away.
Effective February 28, T-Mobile is dropping the price on the Samsung Galaxy S8 and even further on the GS8+! Customers can save $54 on the Samsung Galaxy S8 and a total of $154 from the original price of the Samsung Galaxy S8+! Both price drops will be applied automatically. Contact Dr Wireless to take advantage of this.
AT&T is doing for Net Neutrality, what Roman Polanski and Bill Cosby did for Quaaludes! Yesterday was officially the first day Net Neutrality went into effect. I sure wish the oddsmakers in Las Vegas where taking odds on which wireless carrier would first take advantage of this, I would have won a bundle! Today, AT&T is offering "Sponsored" Data and doing exactly what they said they would never do. Thanks, Ajit Pai!
Most people get a warm and fuzzy feeling when they think about AT&T Wireless. They don't realize that the "real AT&T Wireless" ceased to exist many years ago. On October 26, 2004, AT&T Wireless was acquired by Cingular Wireless, a joint venture of SBC Communications and BellSouth, to form the largest wireless carrier in the United States at that time. This was a strategically brilliant move because Cingular, unlike AT&T had a very poor reputation for coverage and customer care.
On November 16, 2004, all those blue AT&T store signs and globe logos were replaced with Cingular's orange signs and logos, but not for very long. Strangely, a few months later, all of the original AT&T stores that were changed to Cingular branding were once again sporting those AT&T blue globe logos again. In fact, all of the original Cingular stores also became AT&T branded stores. I found that to be one of the smartest things SBC management did.
Coincidently, about the same time, there was another wireless telecom company serving the other side of the country called VoiceStream. They also had a poor reputation for coverage and customer service. Their parent, Deutsch Telecom, decided it was time to change their name too. Say hello T-Mobile!
"The FCC’s net neutrality decision is a study in just what’s wrong with Washington. This agency failed the American public. It failed to listen to their concerns and gave short shrift to their deeply held belief that internet openness should remain the law of the land. It turned a blind eye to all kinds of corruption in our public record—from Russian intervention to fake comments to stolen identities in our files. As a result of the mess the agency created, broadband providers will now have the power to block websites, throttle services, and censor online content. This is not right. The FCC is on the wrong side of history and the wrong side of the law and it deserves to have its handiwork revisited, reexamined, and ultimately reversed."
The above quote was attributed to FCC Commissioner Jessica Rosenworcel this morning. I'm betting she'll be getting a stern reprimand from FCC Director Ajit Pai who is responsible for undoing all the great things his predecessor, Tom Wheeler accomplished. Politicians better wake up. What do you think is going to happen when they take away your internet, and/or hijack you for higher monthly rates. My dad taught me the lesson about the "Golden Rule" at a very young age. That rule states that "whoever had the Gold, was the one who made the rules."
You don't mess with my internet, or try to drill for oil in my ocean, and still get my vote!
Boy, it's my business but am I getting tired of this crap! This morning, I received an e-mail from US Bank stating that "your account experienced what appears to be an unauthorized login attempt". Please click in the following link to update your security information. The impulse was strong to immediately click on their link. I then recalled that the only relationship I ever had was with US Bank was a short term start-up business that I had dissolved years ago.
As a Cyber threat Consultant, this is my business. I checked the link and it turned out to be disguised and a well known "Phising" site. Phising is a ploy where the bad guys try to trick the gullible public into providing them with your personal information that they can later exploit. If you ever receive and e-mail like this and do bank with the entity they are representing, never click on any links provided in your e-mail. Instead, launch a new browser and pull up your bank that way. Another trick is to run your mouse over the return e-mail address. It's usually bogus if you look carefully.
The United States just accused Russia for the latest "NotPetya Global Cyber attacks". It is believed that these were developed to be used against the Ukraine initially, but have since gone global. Previously, it was the "WannaCry Ransomware threat that the US accused North Korea of perpetrating.
If these countries were using sarin, mustard gas, or other heinous chemical weapons, we would never condone it or resort to using these in retaliation. As cyber crime is more covert and hard to prove, we need to shut up and show the bad guys who is their daddy. Let's not be naive. Who invented the internet and has been it's biggest pioneer? We have allegedly used it as a weapon, probably more than once. The stuxnet virus, attacked Iran's centrifuges as well as a nuclear reactor in Russia. Iran blamed the Israelis and the US who both obviously denied knowing anything about this. This is real life James Bond stuff and will likely launch a few good novels and movies. Have you had any bogus attempts to divulge your personal information?
Recently, I noticed that every time I tried to open a link on my Desktop Mac, it would go to my default Google launch page instead of opening the link. The only thing I had done recently was download the new latest version of Apple's High Sierra. As I was not having this problem when using Chrome previously, I figured it had something to do with Chrome interfacing with the new Apple iOS. It did!
I checked my chrome settings and everything looked fine. I then clicked on "About" under Chrome and saw that there was a newer version available. As soon as I downloaded it, problem solved! Windows are opening normally again. If you have recently downloaded High Sierra and use Chrome, this is the problem and it's a simple fix.
Boy, this has been a terrible year for Apple's Software development team. First, they release their new version of High Sierra with a major security flaw. It turns out anyone typing in the word "Root" as password without even entering a password becomes a "Super Administrator" and gets read and write access, of other user accounts on the same computer.
Apple apparently also has big problems with their recently released HomePod. I'd think not having multi room usage capability, or stereo pairing to be a big enough problem to delay release but they went ahead anyway. If this wasn't bad enough, there are now reports all over the internet that this device is also damaging wood furniture.
If the above issues weren't hurting Apple, covertly sneaking a processor throttling feature in an iOS software Update sure is. They are facing over 18 Class Action Lawsuit in the US alone. Their first solution after admitting to this was to offer their $79 batteries for $29 to those affected. The problem was that Apple stores were inundated and my local Apple store wouldn't even schedule and appointment for me. They wanted me to drive 40 miles away to another store that had available appointment times. Apple finally realized they had better reverse this problem and will soon be releasing a new iOS 11.3 software version with "Battery Management" settings allowing users to turn off the throttling very soon.
Just when they likely thought they had a handle on things, here comes possibly their biggest problem. Apparently, if anyone sends you a message containing a certain character in the Indian Language, your device will crash. It appears that Apple must be aware of this because the bug is not present in their iOS11.3 Beta version.
Recently, I had to give my vehicle back to the dealer to fix an issue. They graciously provided me a loaner car and said it could take a week. As the dealer was five freeways and forty miles away from my home, I decided to pair my phone to the loaner car's BlueTooth sound system before leaving the dealer's lot. It's illegal in the state of California to talk on your phone while holding it. I also didn't want to waste time on re-programming the radio stations. By pairing my phone with the car's BlueTooth system, I figured to solve that problem, along with the music by listening to my Amazon music. Step #1 was to go into the BlueTooth Pairing mode on the car and make it discoverable. I then attempted to pair it with my SmartPhone but kept getting an error message denying me.
As this has been my business for the last 25 years, I quickly determined the problem was capacity. The last three people to use this loaner vehicle had apparently also paired their devices. You can only have three paired devices simultaneously and I was obviously #4.
Two of the three users had actually downloaded and left all of their contacts. Next time you rent a car, or receive a loaner car, it's okay to sync the BlueTooth services. In many cases, you will even be prompted on whether you wish for all of your contacts to be downloaded. If you plan to use your phone for outbound calls, this is a good idea. If not, don't bother. In any case, before turning the vehicle in, make sure you go the car's settings>BlueTooth>Devices and be sure to delete your device which will also delete all of its contents. In my case, I deleted all of the other devices.
It's all about "Band 71" and the LG V30 is the first phone to support T-Mobile's newest 600mHZ network. This will give TM the rural coverage they lacked previously. It should also give T-Mobile better indoor coverage too.
What to Know
One of the wireless industries best kept secrets has always been that Verizon is the only carrier that sells their SmartPhones totally unlocked. Why would they do this when none of the other carriers did? This was a mandatory concession that they were forced to make when they petitioned the FCC to allow them to acquire 700mHZ bandwidth for 4G LTE.
This morning, Verizon decided they "want to help prevent iPhone theft" and will begin locking their SmartPhones again. I guarantee that they would have never tried this when Tom Wheeler, was the acting FCC Chairman. Verizon and the rest of the wireless industry powers wrongly thought that having an FCC Chairman that was a former President of one of their trade groups, the CTIA (Cellular Telephone Industry Association), would benefit them, not consumers. It turned out that Tom Wheeler did far more for consumers than the carriers. That's why AT&T and Verizon were probably jumping up and down doing cartwheels when the POTUS installed Ajit Pai as his new FCC Director. Mr Pai's top priority was to reverse Mr Wheeler's Net Neutrality policy and re-establish their "Old Boys" relationship.
What I find almost humorous is the fact that Verizon either forgot, or totally ignores the fact that they, along with the other carriers and the CTIA joined together to include antitheft tools making it all but impossible to unlock and reuse these phones. If Verizon is to be believed, thieves would be asking their victims what network their phones were with before stealing them. As Apple does not allow carrier branding on their devices, it is impossible to tell which carrier an iPhone is with by looking at the device. My colleagues at CNN did an interesting article about this.
Why does any of this matter and who gets the short end of the stick? The rest of the industry is watching. Now that the FCC has reversed Net Neutrality and turned over wireless issues to the FTC, I doubt there will be any fines or negative repercussions for Verizon, even though they would appear to be in violation of their "C-Block" agreement.
To make matters worse, even if you were to pay off your device in full, most carriers require a minimum 40-60 days depending on carrier, before they will even unlock your device. T-Mobile is 30 days, Sprint 40 days and AT&T is 60 days. That means if you are traveling overseas and want to purchase an overseas SIM card, forget it or plan well ahead. Same if you want to move your device to another carrier. You will now need to contact Verizon who will need to contact Apple to unlock it in their Network Operation Command center.
Update - While Dr Wireless is no longer in the Cellular activation business, we did hear some important news that Verizon Wireless subscribers need to know. Apparently, our friends at JoyofAndroid.com have said that Verizon's best kept secret of not locking their devices just came to an end. If you have a new Verizon device that you need to use on another wireless network, you better visit their site.
Joel Saltzman has over twenty years of wireless industry experience. He is currently CEO and Chief Wireless Analyst for Dr Wireless.