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By March 18, 2014 Read More →

Three slashes cost of ’08′ calling

three-ipadThree has announced that it is making 0800 numbers free for customers signing up to new monthly plans, as well as slashing 084 and 087 calls to 5p per minute, amidst new research that reveals that Brits shell out over half a billion pounds a year on 08 ‘freephone’ numbers a year.

These charges typically range from 14p to 40p. Existing customers can swap over from their existing plan without paying a fee and can keep their existing contract end date.

The research, conducted by YouGov on behalf of Three, found that:

  • 08 calls cost UK consumers over £600 million a year
  • 75% do not know what they’re being charged when they dial 08 numbers
  • 45% of those on a mobile phone contract have suffered from ‘bill shock’, upon receiving a bill that was, on average, £33.63 more than they’d anticipated

 The most prevalent reason for this was due to ‘out of bundle’ calls to 0800 numbers (31%)

When queried, premium mobile charges for 0800 numbers emerged as the most frustrating for consumers, something Three is responding to as part of its long term goal of making mobile bills fairer and easier to understand.

 

New research – conducted by YouGov – has found that mobile phone users are in the dark when it comes to the cost of making calls to 0800 numbers from their mobile phone.

Three quarters of people surveyed have no idea how much their operator charges them for an 0800 call and 10% think these are free, as they would be from a landline. Research also highlights that calls to 0800, 0845 and 0870 numbers cost UK mobile consumers an estimated £600 million a year.

The research also found that 47% of mobile phone users have experienced bill shock, with almost a third (31%) of these users saying this was caused by out of bundle expensive calls such as 0800 or 0845 numbers.

From today, customers who sign up to Three’s new plans can call 0800, 0808 and 0500 numbers for free, while all other 08 numbers, like 084 and 087, will cost 5p per minute. These charges typically range from 14p to 40p. Existing customers can swap over from their existing plan without paying a fee and can keep their existing contract end date.

Dave Dyson, Chief Executive at Three, said: “We asked people what frustrated them most about their mobile bills and confusion around the cost of calling 08 numbers came out top by a big margin.  These charges are often buried in the small print and they’re expensive enough to make most customers fear calling them from their mobiles. 

“We believe in making mobile simpler and better value – the cost of calling 08 numbers is something we want to address for our customers.

“UK mobile users are still afraid to use their devices in many circumstances.  That’s why we’ve made it possible for our customers to use their home allowance abroad in 11 countries, including the USA.  It’s why we’ve launched 4G at no extra cost and why we’ve committed not to raise our monthly recurring charges during the minimum period of a contract. ”

Under the new plans, customers will also be able to set limits to stop them going over their minutes allowance and limit spending on expensive numbers.

They will also receive text alerts to help them understand when they are close to using up their voice and data allowances.

To celebrate that 0800 numbers are now free, Three is launching a selection of fun and pointless 0800 numbers on 17 March for people to call and enjoy, including a Singing Dictionary line, a compliments line and a 24 hours lullaby line.

 

Posted in: News, Phones
By March 17, 2014 Read More →

Are Google thinking about launching their own network?

2014-03-15This question recently appeared on a Google Opinion sparking the rumour that Google might be launching their own network. Perhaps as an virtual network operator on a larger network however as they have dug in the wiring for Google Fibre is does not rule out the option that they might go to the expense of erecting their own towers.

The best news here is that Google would be charging less than the other networks as you can only use a Nexus device on their network. A master stroke for all those who love a Nexus, and lets face it, there are a lot.

At any rate, this is merely a rumour now. Gauging from public reaction Google might not both. For us little folk in the UK, we would be unlikely to see a Google network for a least 1,000 years.

Posted in: News, Phones, Rumours
By March 16, 2014 Read More →

Chromecast here on Wednesday?

Chromecast-peeking-630x348Sundar Pichai recently mentioned the Chromecast would come to other markets within weeks. The Chromecast app was updated with new languages and we even had a nice leak of the Chromecast being prepared for launch here in the UK. We just needed one more detail – when?.

The latest leak comes from Android Police. It’s an internal document that states a “new Google product” will be released this Wednesday, March 19th. This document is said to come from Dixons. It’s also labeled as “one of the biggest products this year from Google.”

Now, this document doesn’t specify it’s talking about the Chromecast, but we have been seeing many rumours and news about the HDMI dongle lately. We can’t imagine this being about any other product.

Price continues to be unspecified. The only details we know came from the last rumour, which suggests the price will be £30. Regardless, we will learn all this information very soon. Circle this coming Wednesday in your calendars, guys! March 19th is looking like the day we see the Chromecast arriving!

Posted in: News, TV & Home Cinema
By March 15, 2014 Read More →

Google Drive slashes prices

google-drop-priceMany have discussed what might happen the day your 100gb of free online storage runs out after purchasing a shiny Chromebook. Thankfully there is a nice answer. It looked like the end user was going to have to clear everything out and say “bye bye” and manage with 15gb or shell out some green to keep it.

Today Google announced some great news, lower the prices on all its paid subscriptions for Google Drive storage.

100GB of space now costs $1.99/m (down from $4.99/m); a gargantuan 1TB will now cost $9.99/m (down from $49/m) and if you’re really in need of cloud storage you can rent out 10TB+ for a monthly for starting from $99.99. The new pricing plans come into effect today. More details can be found at google.com/settings/storage. And if you already have a subscription Google say not to worry; anyone already signed up to a monthly plan will be automatically switched to the cheaper option, no input needed.

By March 14, 2014 Read More →

Mobile Tech Addicts Podcast 222: Louder than before

Podcast-Logo_thumb.jpgGareth and Dan are here with another UK update on the mobile front. Dan gives his thoughts on Mobile World Congress 2014.

This week Dan tells us what it was like to be on the ground at MWC, the most leaked phone of the decade, the HTC One (M8) and several of the new devices from Archos get discussed.

Featuring Gareth, Dan and Phil

 

Direct Download 

iTunes

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Download the Android App

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Posted in: News, Podcast
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By March 13, 2014 Read More →

Vodafone Ranked as Worst UK Mobile Network

resultsIn a report published by RootMetrics, Vodafone comes out at the worst of the UK Mobile Networks with EE taking an almost cleansweep at the top of virtually all of the metrics measured in the report. 

The report claims to be “the most comprehensive study of UK mobile network performance,” aiming to highlight the best carrier in the country.

Broadly speaking these results are pretty consistent with our experience here at tracyandmatt. We on the team all have SIM cards and contracts with the top 4 UK carriers and we all rate EE the highest in terms of coverage, speed and reliablility while there’s no argument from us that Vodafone’s position at the bottom is well deserved. We’re not on the fence!

Vodafone have just hit out at the report from RootMetrics and s Vodafone spokesman has gone so far as to say:

“We cannot take the results of this report seriously and neither should our customers,”

Vodafone said the network tests were not fully impartial, nor did they follow standard industry practices. In addition, some of the data included could be more than six months old, it suggested.

“The evidence we have seen of how Root Metrics conducted some of its tests leads us to believe that they were carried out in an inconsistent manner,” the spokesperson added, advising interested parties to use more established, independent researchers, “such as Ookla”.

 

 

Posted in: News, Phones
By March 12, 2014 Read More →

Google Nexus 8 rumours

Nexus7-9530We have a Google Nexus 8 Android tablet rumour to today. Apparently a new report sheds additional light on some of the hardware details of this potential device. Whilst there isn’t too much information there is enough to start dreaming and getting excited. Here are the proposed specs:

Google Nexus 8 Tablet Specification:

  • 8-Inch Display
  • Intel Atom “Moorefield” 64-bit 2.3GHz quad-core processor with enhanced performance memory
  • PowerVR G6430 GPU
  • Android 4.5

Supposedly, Google will announce the tablet later this year and it will be one of the first devices running their next iteration of Android, which will supposedly be 4.5. Using Intel hardware would be a substantial departure from the norm for Google, but we wouldn’t put it past them. The Nexus 10 is due a refresh first and with any luck we might just see version 4.5 on that and a version 5 arriving with a Nexus 8. One can only hope.

Posted in: News, Rumours, Tablets
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By March 11, 2014 Read More →

Asus Chromebox knock the ball out of the park, Stateside

61Q4AURMIvL._SL1500_It would seem the Asus Chromebox is a hit. Currently sitting at No. 1 on Amazon.com’s best seller list the Asus Chromebox makes a desktop companion of the ChromeOS similar to what the Chromebook has been doing for notebooks and laptops.  The Chromebox comes in three different flavours, the first featuring a 1.4 GHz Intel Celeron 2955U Processor with 2GB of Ram for $179, a Intel Core i3-4010U with 4GB of Ram for $409 and an Intel Core i7-4600U with 4GB of Ram for $590. Each unit also features a 16 GB SSD HDD, Intel HD graphics, Gigabit ethernet, 802.11n WiFi, Bluetooth 4.0, 2x USB 3.0 ports, 1x 3.5mm headphone / microphone port, 2-in-1 SD/MMC port and the ever evolving Google Chrome OS.

  • Amazon — $179 with free shipping, ships March 14th
  • Newegg — $179, ships March 14th
  • Tiger Direct — $179 with free shipping

The i3 and i5 variants do not appear to be as easy to track down however the reports are these ship on the same dates. At this price is it impossible not to at least be tempted by the box for $179, even just to plug into a TV or unused screen. No news of when this is to appear on the UK shores, right now Amazon.co.uk offer the Samsung Series 3 Chromebox running Intel 1.9GHz, 4GB RAM, 16GB SSD for £279. A nice alternative however likely to be superseded in the near future.

 

Posted in: Desktop Computing, News
By March 10, 2014 Read More →

HP 8 at a price to make you think twice

hp-8-leadHP is back in the Android tablet game with a new budget tablet. They have announced the HP 8, shockingly featuring an 8″ display size on the device. What’s really surprising is the affordable price of the HP 8. At only $170, this is easily the least expensive 8-inch tablet on the market. Of course, with that price you don’t expect that the specs will be anything spectacular to write home about and you would be right. We hope to get this in for a test as soon as possible.

 

Here are the HP 8 Specs:

  • 7.85-Inch (1,024 x 768) display
  • Android 4.2.2
  • A quad-core ARM chip made by the Chinese company Allwinner
  • 1GB of RAM
  • 16GB of expandable storage
  • Stereo speakers
  • 3,800mAh battery

hp-8-lead

Posted in: News, Tablets
By March 10, 2014 Read More →

The All New HTC One leaked again

m8_001The All New HTC One has had another leak, this time coming from China. Several picture of the device appeared on the local social network Weibo. The All New HTC One (Anho) will be officially revealed this month, on March 25 and has been referred to by many names over the last few month like the HTC Two, HTC One 2. Keeping the device a secret has proved difficult for HTC, or possibly all of these leaks are staged to remind folks dazzled by the Samsung Galaxy S5 to hang on in there as there is an alternative round the corner.

The photos of the Anho don’t really show anything we haven’t seen before, or reveal any new information only the size of the unit compared to the HTC One Max.

 

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