Life & Technology - 2GB 15th February, 2015

Vodafone this week announced that it’s bringing 4G calling, also known as Voice over LTE or VoLTE, to Australia later this year. Phone calls are currently only made using 2G or 3G, as 4G was a spectrum designed for data-only. Using 4G for phone calls will mean quicker connection times and clearer audio!

 

In other telco news, Optus announced its dropped the price of three of its unlimited broadband bundles to just $90 per month. We've got more information about these bundles here, but what I really wanted to find out is how unlimited is unlimited? Sue Bailey, Optus' head of fixed line products. "When we say unlimited, we really mean unlimited," said Sue. Sue also said that more Australians are using more and more data, meaning the telco's new plans are designed to facilitate this. 

 

SanDisk this week launched its iXpand drive, a two pronged USB stick where one end is standard USB and the other end is a Lighting connector for iPads and iPhones. I had a talk to George Saad, SanDisk's Country Manager for Australia and New Zealand to learn a bit more. Aside from giving users an easy way to back-up photos from their iDevices, the iXpand also works as a media storage drive, meaning you can playback movies or music from the iXpand without taking up precious space on your iPhone. If you want to know more, we've got a review on CyberShack!

 

Many of us use Gmail and Google’s other online services, but how often do we check out our security settings? Google’s trying to get users to do this more often and will be giving away 2GB of free Google Drive storage for all people who run a Google Security Checkup before February 17 – Tuesday. The storage will be granted at the end of the month.

 

The Security Checkup lets you review your recovery information, to make sure it’s still current, lets you review you recent sign-in activity to make sure there’s no sign ins from someone misusing your credentials, and confirm which devices and apps have access to your account. This is something we should be doing anyway, but it’s nice that Google are giving some free storage away because of it. Click here to do the Checkup.

 

Kiwi umbrella manufacturer Blunt has partnered with Tile to make a brolly you can’t lose. I had a chat with Scott Kington, Blunt's co-founder and managing director. Blunt's umbrella has a special pocket where the Tile lives, keeping it both safe and about of the way. Technically it is the same effect as getting a Tile and sticking it onto an umbrella, but Scott said that it's been done in a thoughtful way that doesn't compromise either products, saying that just putting a Tile on the handle could be a very clunky affair.

 

After a couple of delays, Australians can now purchase Samsung’s virtual reality headset – the Gear VR. At the moment it’s only available from Samsung’s online store, and retails for AUD$249. The headset is powered by the Galaxy Note 4, so you’ll need one to actually use it. It doesn’t work with any other smartphone, Samsung or otherwise. 

 

There’s actually some pretty cool content available for it, including an amazing under water demo and a virtual reality version of Temple Run.