Life & Technology - 2GB 22nd March, 2015

Just two more sleeps until Netflix lands in Australia! It's been a long wait, but its almost finally here. To celebrate the video on demand service's impending launch, I had a chat with Cliff Edwards this week, Netflix's Director of Corporate Communications and Technology. According to Cliff, just about every smart device in Australia will support the service ranging from smart TVs to game consoles to smartphones to tablets. There'll be three levels of service, standard definition, high definition and 4K, but it looks like we'll need to wait until Tuesday to find out pricing. Bring it on!

 

TPG will acquire 100% of iiNet for AUD$1.4 billion according to a joint announcement made last week by the pair of Australian internet service providers (ISP) made this morning. The move would see the two combine as Australia's second largest ISP, overtaking Optus. The merger is subject to shareholder approval, but it will be interesting to see how this affects the industry if it goes ahead!

 

The Apple Watch isn't the only smartwatch  on the horizon; LG has its own premium offering hitting Australia before the middle of this year: the LG Watch Urbane. Dubbed the Watch Urbane, LG's newest wearable is more about fashion than just cramming technology onto your wrist, according to Brad Reed. LG Australia's Senior Marketing Manager. I had the chance to check out the Watch Urbane while I was at Moblie World Congress and I was pretty impressed. Click here for some video I shot.

 

Alcatel might not be the first name you think of when you think smartphones, but the budget manufacturer is definitely going to be one to keep an eye out for this year. I had a chat to Regional Director Sam Skontos this week and the company will be bringing some very competitively priced handsets to Australia later this year, which despite a low cost, still have features that go toe-to-toe with the big boys. Here’s our hands on with one of their new smartphones, the Alcatel Idol 3.

 

Telstra this week announced Telstra Mobile Protect, a free service that allows parents to restrict their children's smartphone and tablet usage. Mobile Protect allows parents to set a safe list of numbers children can receive phone calls and messages from, apply internet filters, block access to select websites, get reports on which websites are being accessed, and set times during which data services can be used. However, all data and internet related restrictions will only work when the smartphone or tablet is connected to Telstra’s network, and not connected to WiFi.

 

HTC this week announced the Australian availability of the One M9 - its latest flagship smartphone this week. The One M9 will be available on March 24- that’s Tuesday – at an outright price of AUD$1099. Telstra, Optus, Vodafone and Virgin will all be ranging the handset, and if you’re eager you can pre-order it now. Harvey Norman will also have it if you want to purchase out right. Click here for more pricing information!