As we wish goodbye to 2016, we already know that 2017 is going to be quite a wild year. From Donald Trump’s presidency, to big mergers expect a lot of shakeup in the wireless industry- for better or for worse.
1. Zero Rating will be a Thing
Zero rating is the process of setting a specific service or product, such as YouTube videos, and saying that particular service doesn’t count towards your data allotment. You may be thinking this all sounds familiar. You’re right because not so long ago many tech companies were fighting to create net neutrality rules that prevented this. But then At&t started zero rating it’s new DirecTV Now service.
What this means is that At&t customers can stream as much video from DirecTV Now as the want without burning through their data limits. The FCC smelled something fishy and accused At&t of violating net neutrality rules by doing this. However, Trump’s FCC appointees will most likely dismantle those net neutrality rules creating little resistance to companies looking to zero rate specific services.
2. Video Throttling
While video throttling seemed to be a thing of the past, in 2016 more carriers moved towards limited unlimited plans that throttled video streaming quality to 480p (DVD quality). Other carriers like At&t have announced they will be adding this feature in 2017. With the fear of net neutrality nearly gone, expect this to become the new norm. On the upside this can generally mean cheaper data plans for everyone.
3. Mergers Everywhere!
During President Obama’s administration, many mergers such as the 2014 proposed merger of Sprint and T-Mobile and the 2011 At&t T-Mobile merger were shot down However, Trump has already shown criticism to the FCC’s net neutrality stance. Instead his administration is more open to mergers. Which could in turn mean big mergers between carriers, carriers and cable providers, and other players in the wireless internet field will be passed without any problems.
4. Drones Will Take Off
In 2016 it seemed like the biggest buzzword was drones. It was one of the top Christmas gifts of 2016. We also heard about companies like Amazon gearing up to deliver packages with Amazon Prime Air Drones. However, what we didn’t hear so much about was that the short range WiFi and Bluetooth signals that are used today won’t cut it for long distance drones. Instead they’ll need high speed cellular service to communicate with their controllers. At&t and Verizon have already created partnerships with long range drone component companies, but the industry is generally waiting on 5G networks.
5. 5G Networks Will … Be Closer to Reality
Well sort of. We’ve been hearing a lot of 5G phone service for a long time now. in 2017 carriers will actively be testing their 5G networks in select markets with select phones. This means by the end of 2017 you could be one of a lucky handful of Americans who are able to test out 5G as a replacement to your traditional home broadband line.
You can rest assured that US Mobile is working adamantly to ensure that you get the best cellphone service possible, by helping you figure out how much data you really need, to explaining how to save data we have you covered.
Let’s face it, a dead battery sucks. Nothing renders your phone more useless than a dead battery. Make sure you’re not doing these 9 things and you should be in the clear of a dead battery. Just don’t forget to charge it of course.
1) Your phone screen is too bright
Go to Settings – Display & Brightness and set your phone on “Auto-Brightness” which adapts to how light it is around you. There is no need to maximize brightness if it’s not even dark around you.
2) You’re underestimating Airplane Mode
If you won’t be using your phone for a while, and you know no one is going to try to reach you, activate airplane mode. There is no need to use up battery while you’re watching Rogue One.
3) You’re using apps that kill your battery
Go to Settings – Battery and get an overview of which apps are using the most battery. Facebook and Messenger can use up a lot of battery even when you’re not using it. Close the apps you’re not using and/or activate the Low Power Mode.
4) You have notifications on for all apps
Change the settings for apps you don’t need to get notifications from constantly. You’ll find this in Settings – Notifications.
5) You don’t update your apps
Come on people, wake up and smell the coffee. Developers tend to improve the app’s efficiency in an update which means it doesn’t use as much battery. If you don’t update your apps, you’re missing out.
6) You never update the phone’s operating system
Similar to the apps, a new version of the operating system will most likely be more battery efficient than your current version. We know, it is annoying when things change on the phone but isn’t it more annoying to run out of battery in the middle of catching Mew on Pokemon Go or trying to level up in Super Mario Run?
7) You don’t shut off WiFi when there is no WiFi around
If you continue to have WiFi on, your phone will keep on looking for a network to connect to. Even when you’re out in the middle of the woods.
8) You think that having it on vibrate is better
It’s wrong! Vibration uses more battery than a regular ringer. Think about it, to vibrate the whole phone has to move versus sending a noise to your speaker for a couple seconds at a time.
9) You have location on for most of your apps
This is really eating up your battery. While you know that Snapchat requires you to have the location activated in order to use filters, there are so many apps, where it’s completely unnecessary to have it on. Both for battery and privacy purposes. You don’t want people to be following you even if you don’t have the app open, right?
For other savings tips, check out:
As 2016 comes to a close, let’s take a look at some of the most popular phone related questions Googled this year. Some were a surprising, like people wondering how to spell cell phone / cellphone correctly. While others were expected as people are drawn to drama… Be honest – how many of these have you looked up this year?
In no particular order- The Most Google Phone Questions of 2016:
Which Phone Has the Best Camera?
This depends on what you define as “the best.” Having the highest megapixels doesn’t exactly mean that the camera will take the best pictrures. Some cameras with less megapixels but better aperture configurations or better colors sensors take better pictures than those with more megapixels. Our recommendation is to try the cameras on a few phones in person to see which one takes the photos you’ll take the most, best.
What Phone Do I Have?
This is actually quite simple to find out.
On an iPhone:
- Go to Setting
- Tap on General
- Tap on About
On an Android
- Go to Settings
- Tap on About phone
Is it Cell Phone or Cellphone?
Cell phone is short for cellular telephone. According to Merriam Webster, the correct way to write it it cell phone. While the Australian Concise Oxford dictionary says “cellphone.” Looking at monthly searches, “cell phone” is the clear winner.
The Brits tend to use “Mobile” instead and it looks like it’s catching on among Americans. “Mobile Phone” has a whopping 201.000 monthly searches in the US. So keep it simple, just call it a mobile phone and stop worrying about if it’s cell phone or cellphone.
How Do I Lookup a Cell Phone Number?
Trying to figure out who called you? Some times simply Googling the phone number will tell you if it was a business calling you back. However, that’s not always the case. Instead we suggest going to your email and typing the number in to see if it’s someone you’re on a email chain with. Googling the area code also helps you to track the caller down to a specific area. But if none of these work for you, you’ll have to pay for a reverse phone number look up service to truly find out the name of the person who called you. Or simply try calling them back.
Which Phone is Blowing Up?
Samsung’s misfortune with the Samsung Note 7 catching on fire when charging was one of the most Googled questions. In case you missed it, here’s what it looked like:
Is Snapchat on Windows Phone?
The simple answer is no. Allegedly Microsoft is still working on it but TBD on when that’s actually going to come out.
How to Find My Phone?
- iPhone has a built in tool for finding your phone:
- Go to your Home screen
- Tap Settings > iCloud
- Scroll to the bottom and tap Find My iPhone
- Slide to turn on Find My iPhone and Send Last Location
- Android has a Device Manager to help people find their phone:
- Open your device’s Settings app
- Tap Security
- Under “Android Device Manager,” switch Remotely locate this device and turn Allow remote lock and erase on
Head over to one of our previous posts for more information about finding and setting up your phone.
What Was the First Cell Phone?
That’s a pretty interesting questions. On 3 April 1973, Martin Cooper, made the first mobile call from handheld device, making a call to Dr. Joel Engel of Bell Labs his rival. The prototype weighed 4.4 pounds and was 9x5x2 inches. Before the cell phone Prof. Albert Jahnke claimed to have developed a wireless phone in 1908. However, Jahnke and the company he was working for, Oakland Transcontinental Aerial Telephone and Power Company, were both accused for fraud and the prototype never made it to production.
Is Mobile Phone Insurance Worth Having?
That’s a very personal question. We suggest searching within before searching Google. Phone insurance is often recommended for people who have the tendency to drop their phones, leave them behind, or be in situations where it can be stolen (may carrier cell phone insurance plans have theft protection).
What Cell Phone Has the Biggest Screen?
There are many large smartphones or “phablets” (phone + tablet) on the market today. Two of the largest are the Mi Mix with a whopping 6.4 inch display and the Huawei Mate 8 with a 6 inch screen. Other “large” phones have a 5.5 inch display as seen on the iPhone 7 Plus, Google Pixel XL, Huawei Nexus 6P, and Motorola G4 Plus.
Is Nokia an Android Phone?
For many years Nokia phones were been made by Microsoft and only ran the Windows Phone operating system. After being out of the limelight for a while, Nokia is rumored to be making a comeback in the mobile phone industry using Google’s Android operating system. Starting with the Nokia D1C, Nokia’s first ever Android phone, a handful of Android based smartphones will be released in the beginning of 2017.
Which Phone is Better?
The never ending and probably most disputed question in the phone industry. Apple fanboys and Android fanboys will always try to convince you that their phone(s) are better than any other on the market.
At the end of the day though, it all comes back to preference. Do you want a large phone or a small phone? Does the number of apps you can download matter? Do you want to be able to have Snapchat? (If so avoid Windows phones). Another big factor is budget. While Android and Windows phones come at a variety of price points, Apple’s iPhones start at $399 for the iPhone SE and can go up to $969 for an iPhone 7 Plus.
Make it easy on yourself by using our list of The Very Best Phones of 2016 to help pick the best phone for you.
This was just a selection of the most googled answered but we hope you learned something new!
2016 was a year like no other. While there were many things going on in politics around the world, the tech world continued to innovate. Cell phones were updated to be the best offering of phones ever. As we make our way through the holiday season, and into 2017 we wanted to take a few minutes to note the best phones of 2016 that are available today. We took a look at this year’s phones and judged then based on sales, bang for your buck, and features.
1. Samsung Galaxy S7 and S7 Edge
The S7 helped to start 2016 off with a bang, with wireless charging, SD card capability, water resistance, and Samsung Pay the Galaxy S7 was a sure winner. The S7 Edge improved on that by adding a edgeless display, with a few tricks of it’s own as well.
2. Apple iPhone 7 & 7 Plus
No best phone list would be complete without featuring the iPhone 7 and 7 Plus. Apple rocked the tech world this year by nixing the headphone jack on it’s phone, replacing it with just a single lighting port. Initially this created a ton of criticism for the iPhone, but later trickled off as sales continued to grow as expected despite the lack of headphones. The iPhone 7 Plus features 2 cameras that have been praised at the best cameras for a smartphone that’s currently on the market.
3. OnePlus 3T
This is OnePlus’ 4th phone, and it sure impresses. It does a good job of showing that you don’t need to be a major smartphone maker to have a superior phone. While it’s a slightly more expensive price ($100 more) than the OnePlus 3 which also debuted this year, you get a phone that has top features such as 6GB of RAM, up to 128GB of storage, and Dash Charge quick charging. The phone feels solid and well built in your hand, and is under $450.
4. Motorola G4
The best budget phone on the market got even better this year. The latest refresh gives budget conscious smartphone buyers a wider array of features. While costing just under $200 you get a water resistant phone with a 5.5 inch display, a 13 megapixel camera, expandable Micro SD card slot, and a solid phone.
5. Google Pixel
We would be foolish to not mention the fact that Google ditched it’s Nexus line of phones that partnered with other manufactures, to instead create it’s own phone. This took the tech world by surprise as many expected a simple update to their Nexus like. However, Google went in a different direction by creating an awesome phone that’s still hard to get today! One major turnoff for this phone is that it’s only offered from Verizon. However, since it is still an unlocked phone you can still purchase one from the Google Play store and run it on the US Mobile network (or any network).
Thinking about getting a phone for yourself or for someone else this holiday season? We have a list of some gifts that will also impress, without impressing too much of a dent on your wallet.
Peaking into 2017
We expect the 10th anniversary edition of the iPhone, dubbed the iPhone 8 will be revolutionary, as Apple will be pulling out all the stops to combat messaging from competitors such as Motorola who have been running ads talking about how Apple’s phones haven’t really changed much.
Samsung Galaxy S8
As we mentioned in our post on the S8, Samsung has many features planed for it’s next flagship phone. With a lot riding on the phone’s success we have no doubt the phone will surely impress.
Samsung’s much anticipated Galaxy S8, has a lot riding on it. The S8 is intended to be Samsung’s come back phone that not only has to take on the iPhone 7, but also has to make up for their huge Samsung Galaxy Note 7 Recall that tainted the company’s image. To do this Samsung is pulling out all the stops and making sure that this next phone which is expected to arrive in April 2017, will be feature packed and feature game changing technology.
To make it easier to keep track of all the latest rumors going around, we’ve reviewed them all and came up with a list of what we think we’ll actually see at the Galaxy S8 launch event.
Galaxy S8 Features
Bluetooth 5.0 is the latest iteration of Bluetooth technology which on paper promises twice the speed, four times the range, and eight times the broadcast message capacity of Bluetooth 4.0. This also means that if true, the Galaxy S8 will be the first phone to support it. Given that Samsung is a member of the Bluetooth SIG consortium, which according to BGR, stated that Bluetooth 5.0 will be ready in “two to six moths” we’re fairly confident this will be a feature.
Chance of Happening 80%
(Almost) All Screen Display
We previously reported that after the launch of the Xiaomi Mi Mix Samsung engineers were confirming that they plan to unveil phones that have all screen displays with as much as a 90% screen to body ratio and barely any bezel. This is expected to be one of the biggest game changers as phone such as the iPhone 7 and Google Pixel all still have the same subpar 66% screen to body ratio.
Chance of Happening: 90%
No Home Button
A larger display means that the bezel will be smaller, and the home button will have to go. Instead the S8 will either feature a finger print sensor around the rear camera, which is something they’ve already patented. To help Samsung will possibly introduce an iris scanner to allow people to unlock their phones by scanning their eyes, which a second front facing camera would do.
Chance of Happening 75%
Variations of the S8
Much like Samsung did with the Galaxy S6 and Galaxy S7, we anticipate that the S8 will come out in two versions: the regular Galaxy S8 and a Galaxy S8 Edge the will feature an edge to edge display. The S8 Edge would be larger with a 5.5 inch display and the edges would also provide information like the
Other rumors anticipate a larger version of the S8 to compete with the iPhone 7 Plus, but we find this highly unlikely because that category is generally taken on by the Galaxy Note. A reintroduction of the Note that will have features to take on the iPhone 8 Plus after the Galaxy S8 has launched is more likely.
Chance of Happening: 90%
Ditching the Headphone Jack
Many sources say that Samsung will follow Apple’s footsteps and ditch the headphone jack and instead opt to rely on the USB-C port to provide audio. We believe that this would be a big mistake on Samsung’s part because while Apple’s range of headphones and accessories is quite large, the support for Android phones is not quite there. Also, many believe that Android phones won some customers over who did not want to ditch the traditional headphone jack by upgrading to the iPhone 7.
Chance of Happening: 30%
Missing:Finger Print Sensors Under the Display
While many were hoping that Samsung’s larger edge to edge display will feature fingerprint sensors under the screen, we feel this will be unlikely. We believe that Samsung will continue to work on building up that technology and perhaps launch it with a new Note phone later in the year. This is a major blow to Samsung as it’s one of the most highly anticipated features of the iPhone 8.
Many sources point to a April phone unveiling at a private event in NYC (our guess is that it will be at the Samsung 837 Store). This would be right after Mobile World Congress which takes place Feb 27 to March 2 2017.
This blog will be continuously updated as we get closer to the launch. To keep up-to-date on everything related to the Galaxy S8, hit the button below to subscribe for email updates.
US Mobile plans to carry the Samsung Galaxy S8 when it goes on sale in late-April 2017.