Carriers and Federal Gov Kick Off Emergency Alerts
The Wireless Emergency Alerts (WEA) service, a joint effort between U.S. wireless network operators and the federal government, officially launches this month. The WEA will deliver text message warnings to cell phone users based on a number of potential hazards, including tornadoes, flash floods, hurricanes, tsunamis, dust storms, extreme winds, blizzards, and ice storms. The messages are delivered based on location, so even those who are traveling will receive alerts for where they are, not where they live, if there's danger. Carriers participating in the program include AT&T, Cellcom, Cricket, Sprint Nextel, T-Mobile, U.S. Cellular, and Verizon Wireless. "These text alerts will be very brief, under 90 characters," said National Weather Service spokeswoman Susan Buchanan in an interview with USA Today. They "are intended to prompt people to immediately seek additional information through the wide range of weather alert communications available to them, such as the Internet, television, radio or NOAA Weather Radio." The alerts are not sent via the traditional SMS pipes, and are instead delivered through a system that is not affected by congestion. The WAE can also deliver both AMBER Alerts and Presidential Alerts. Wireless subscribers can opt out of AMBER and Weather Alerts but not Presidential Alerts.
Alcatel Announces the Idol 5S with Stereo Speakers
Alcatel today marked the debut of the Idol 5S, the latest in its flagship series. Like its predecessors, the 5S features an aluminum frame, curved glass front and rear surfaces, powerful stereo speakers, and a rear-mounted fingerprint reader.
Moto Z2 Force Drops 'Droid' Branding On Verizon
Motorola announced the Z2 Force today, which replaces both the Z and Z Force from last year. The phone will be sold by most U.S.
Coral Blue Galaxy S8 and S8+ Go On Sale In US July 21
Samsung today said the Coral Blue variant of the Galaxy S8 and S8+ handsets will become available to U.S. buyers starting July 21.
Samsung Makes the Galaxy J7 and Galaxy J3 Available Unlocked
Samsung today added the Galaxy J7 and Galaxy J3 to its list of unlocked smartphones. The two inexpensive handsets will be available to purchase directly from Samsung's web site as well as select retailers starting July 28.
Alcatel's Modular A50 Parties with Light Up LED Accessory
Alcatel today followed through on its promise to bring the A5 LED to the U.S., though it has changed the phone's name to simply the Alcatel A50. The phone, first revealed in February, is compatible with a handful of modular accessories, the most significant of which features an LED-covere panel that can blink a few dozen LEDs with color.