When Apple announced the iPhone XS, XS Max, and XR, the company announced that — for the first time — it would be possible to use two phone numbers on the same phone using eSIM technology.
What is an eSIM?
An eSIM takes the place of the small plastic SIM card your phone uses now. The advantage of an eSIM is that it’s embedded into the phone, and can be programmed — and reprogrammed — to work with various carriers.
Also: Apple sprinkles iPhone X magic on iPad Pro, MacBook Air, but challenges remain CNET
Eventually, it makes sense for phone makers and carriers to adopt eSIM technology instead of having to manage the plastic SIM cards that have been a staple of cellular technology.
Which iPhones support eSIM?
Currently, only the iPhone XS, XS Max and XR support dual-sim service using an eSIM. iOS 12.1 is required.
In China, Hong Kong, and Macau, Apple released an iPhone XR and an iPhone XS Max with dual-sim card slots. So, instead of a single SIM card slot, and an eSIM, the two devices have space for two physical SIM cards.
Why add a second number?
Adding a second phone number to your iPhone can be useful when traveling overseas, where data roaming fees are too expensive. You can purchase a data plan for a local carrier, add it to your iPhone, but keep access to your standard phone number for calls and texts.
Also: iPad Pro 2018: Cheat sheet TechRepublic
Another use case is to have a personal phone number and a work number tied to the same device.
Or, depending on the cost of adding another line, a second line could be used to help manage potential dates or Craigslist transactions.
What about carriers?
Right now, at least for those in the US, carrier support is the last hurdle. With the release of iOS 12.1 to all iPhones worldwide, your phone is ready and able to work with an eSIM number. However, Verizon Wireless, AT&T, and T-Mobile aren’t quite ready to support the feature.
Here’s the current list of carriers that either offer support right now, or for the listings with an asterisk, will have support later this year:
Things to keep in mind
There are some details you’ll need to navigate in order to use the eSIM feature:
- You need an unlocked iPhone to use two different carriers.
- If your main SIM is for a CDMA carrier (Verizon or Sprint), the second line can’t be a CDMA line.
- Only one line can be activated with iMessage and FaceTime. The other line will still send and receive regular text and photo messages.
When you’re ready to add a second line to your iPhone, you’ll need to either visit a wireless carrier’s store or download and install the carrier’s app. If you’re traveling, it’s probably easier just to visit the store and talk to a human instead of trying to navigate through an app that may very well be in a different language.
Also: I replaced my iPhone 6 with an XR and this is how it feels
The wireless carrier will give you a card that has a QR Code on it. You’ll need to go to Settings > Cellular > Add Cellular Plan to scan the code, then follow the rest of the prompts to complete setup.
Another method is to set up the eSIM using a carrier’s app, which walks you through the process. Right now, Truphone’s app works with the new eSIM feature and lets you add a secondary data plan to your phone.
Previous and related coverage:
Yes, I bought a 2018 Mac mini (and here’s how I spec’d it out)
Apple finally updated its long-ignored Mac mini. With all the pro specs David Gewirtz has been asking for, lo these many years, he bought one. Here’s what it’s got under the hood.
Want an iPhone 8? Apple’s now selling them for $499 refurbished
Apple offers a cheaper way to get an iPhone 8.
Apple Maps’ big update: Tons more detail but it only covers tiny part of US
Apple Maps gains parking lots, putting greens, harbors, beaches, and race tracks.
Reddit is shutting down Dubsmash and integrating video tools into its own app – TechCrunch
Reddit is shutting down Dubsmash, its short-form TikTok-like video platform, on February 22, 2022. The company says after February, Dubsmash will no longer be available for download in the Apple App Store or Google Play Store. Currently downloaded apps will stop functioning on the same date.
The company acquired Dubsmash in December 2020 and had said it would integrate its video creation tools into Reddit. Following the acquisition, Dubsmash’s leadership team joined Reddit. Now, nearly a year later, Reddit says the Dubsmash team has been accelerating the app’s video offerings and that parts of Reddit will feel familiar to Dubsmash users.
“Since joining, the Dubsmash team has been working to integrate their innovative video creation tools into Reddit — with a goal of empowering Reddit’s own creators to express themselves in original ways that are authentic to our communities,” Reddit said in a blog post. “Combining forces has been a perfect match. Reddit is where passionate communities come together for timely, interactive and authentic exchanges about topics that matter to them, and video is increasingly core to how people want to connect.”
As part of the integration, Reddit has announced that it’s rolling out new video creation tools. New camera features include the ability to change recording speeds and the option to set a timer. Users can now also upload videos in landscape, portrait mode and fill, as well as adjust and trim multiple clips. The company is also adding a new editing screen that includes text Stickers, a drawing tool and filters. And users have the option to add voiceovers or adjust the volume directly on the editing screen.
In August, Reddit rolled out a video feed feature for iOS users, which shows a stream of videos in a TikTok-like configuration. When presented with a video, users can upvote or downvote, comment, gift an award or share it. Similar to TikTok, users can swipe up to see another video, feeding content from subreddits the user is subscribed to, as well as related ones. The launch of the new video feed came as Instagram’s Reels feature and Snapchat’s Spotlight tool were gaining traction, as social media platforms were looking to compete with TikTok.
Reddit says video content is soaring on Reddit, as it has seen nearly 70% growth in overall hours watched. It notes that there has been a 30% increase in the growth of daily active video viewers. The app has also seen a 50% increase in quarter-over-quarter short video viewership, which it describes as less than than 2 seconds, in its new video player.
It’s worth noting that Reddit first launched its native video platform in 2017, which allows users to upload MP4 and MOV files to the site. Then, in August 2019, it launched RPAN (Reddit Public Access Network), which lets people livestream to selected subreddits.
Now that Reddit has completed its Dubsmash integration, it’s no surprise that it’s looking to garner more users with the launch of its new video creation tools as it aims to continue to compete with TikTok. However, apps like TikTok and Snapchat go beyond simple video creation, as they also leverage sounds and music on their platforms. It’s unknown if Reddit will take its video ambitions further by following suit in the future.
World Mobile Group bringing Zanzibaris online through mobile network built on blockchain – TechCrunch
As the world quickly transitions into a global village thanks to the rapid penetration of internet networks, it is easy for some people to be left behind owing to the remoteness of their locations. In most parts of Zanzibar, an autonomous island in East Africa, for example, services by terrestrial cable and satellite networks are deficient, leaving a big percentage of the population uncovered. But, if plans by the World Mobile Group — a global telecommunications operator — materialize, many Zanzibaris will be connecting to the internet for the first time in the next few months.
World Mobile is building infrastructure for last-mile connectivity using spectrums like free-space optical communication and other radio transmitters, which do not require licensing, translating to less expensive internet access.
The spectrums connect to multiple air nodes to create a mesh network, providing internet coverage to far-flung villages.
“There’s a lot of fiber optics that have been laid throughout the continent, and we pick up on the last mile of fiber and use alternative spectrums like free-space optics, or other radio spectrums that do not require licensing,” World Mobile group CEO and founder Micky Watkins told TechCrunch.
Watkins said that because they do not require licenses for these alternative spectrums they get a massive tax saving, which translates to cheaper internet for users.
“We use these alternative spectrums to build the backhaul (connection between an access node and the core network) and then create a device (node) that people can use to pick up from that backhaul,” said Watkins.
For sustainability, the air nodes will be owned by private entities, through a one-off fee of about $7,000 that they will recoup over time by earning income or rewards in the form of World Mobile Token (WMT), the operator’s cryptocurrency, as people connect to the internet through their access points. The network operator is working with micro-lenders in financing entrepreneurs to buy the nodes.
Each air node provides reliable Wi-Fi internet to 500 to 700 people, and other ancillary utilities like public lighting through integrated solar-powered floodlights.
Watkins said the concept of a sharing economy reduces operational expenditures incurred in maintenance, security and leasing costs, while also powering a self-sustaining business model.
“And now the residents have a choice; do I own livestock or is it better for me to own part of a telecom infrastructure and run a telecommunications platform? This option was never there before; so, just like Uber or Airbnb, we are operating under the sharing economy model.”
World Mobile is currently serving about 3,000 customers on the five pilot sites, but has plans to expand to 30 sites by January — as it moves to fast-track the connectivity efforts.
Watkins said that current users spend about $4 a month on internet usage. The operator has a network of vendors where users onboard their fiat cash or buy WMT, the company’s digital currency, to connect to the internet.
World Mobile has a more ambitious plan of covering Zanzibar in five years, making internet available to the entire population of 1.5 million people, stepping up competition for traditional network companies like Zanlink and satellite internet companies like GlobalTT teleport and operator.
“We have a few deals that are coming through the pipeline that will allow us to have connectivity throughout the whole of Zanzibar, including the whole shoreline and in between mainland (Tanzania) and the borders of Zanzibar, allowing us to implement IoT, as well as connectivity for the people,” said Watkins.
The company is set to roll out the network in Kenya and Tanzania, where they already have operations, over the coming months.
“This is a movement, and this can be the biggest mobile network in the world that is run by the people. No one has ever done that before. So that’s what we’re actually going for,” said Watkins.
How Zanzibar is tapping connectivity to build a digital economy
As more citizens get connected, the Zanzibar government has started implementing its digital economy framework, a plan it had shelved for over a decade.
Among the many ideas it had laid out and is now on course for includes tapping connectivity to grow its blue economy and to develop solutions that protect Zanzibar’s blue economy from illegal fishing trawlers.
Zanzibar’s ocean-based activities provide employment to 33% of its labor force and contribute more than 29% of the island’s GDP, but could realize more from its ocean-based wealth with better technologies.
It will also help in building infrastructure that will help it automate all its administrative tasks and processes. This means building an e-government system that would allow the interaction of government with its citizens, businesses, employees and between its agencies. The investment will make the government more accessible to its citizens, who no longer need to physically visit offices for services or information.
“The new administration is really focusing on digital transformation. We need to get there. But first we’re going to ensure that everybody can access the internet at an affordable rate,” said Said Seif Said, director general of the E-Government Agency of Zanzibar (eGaz).
The agency was established to promote policies, standards and other practices to improve ICT uptake across the public institutions.
“We might have a different solution like an integrated blue economy management system — which means we’re including satellite automatic identification systems, vessel management systems and drones. So, all this is to solve the problem of illegal unreported and unregistered fishing. And all these technologies need the connectivity to be in place.”
The urgency to digitize has partly been fueled by the COVID-19 pandemic, which has accelerated Zanzibar’s plan for a digital government and economy. Zanzibar is now compensating for the time lost by quickening its pace toward that transition.
“The COVID pandemic has really changed how we do everything and we need to enable our citizens to do what they need to do from their homes. We have to ensure the sheer accessibility of government services countrywide in an affordable, effective and efficient manner through the appropriate use of ICT, and that’s where this collaboration with the World Mobile Group and Input Output Global (IOG) comes in,” he said.
In the partnership, IOG, a blockchain and digital identity firm behind Cardano blockchain, will automate Zanzibar’s systems by implementing blockchain technology in registry systems to provide “digital identifications with traceability”. It will also integrate back-end government systems to enable business-process automation and facilitate the flow of communication within government institutions.
World Mobile subscribers will access Atala PRISM, IOG’s digital identity solution for services such as education, banking and healthcare.
Meanwhile, Zanzibar is launching a blockchain academy that will, beginning early next year, hold conferences as the tourist destination positions itself as a blockchain center of the future.
Twitter iOS update prevents tweets from disappearing while you’re reading them – TechCrunch
Twitter is updating its iOS app to prevent tweets from disappearing while users are still reading them. The change comes as the social media giant recently updated its web platform to no longer automatically refresh timelines with new tweets. Twitter acknowledged that in the past, tweets would often disappear from view as users were reading them when their timeline would automatically refresh, creating a frustrating experience.
“We’ve made some updates on iOS to prevent Tweets from disappearing mid-read. Now when you pause your timeline scrolling to look at a Tweet, it should stay put!,” Twitter outlined in a tweet.
In September, the company noted it would be rolling out updates to the way it displays tweets so that they wouldn’t disappear mid-read. These updates have now rolled out to Twitter’s web and iOS platforms. Twitter notes that it’s working on making changes to the disappearing tweet experience on Android too, but it’s unknown when the updates will roll out.
Twitter also recently announced that it will no longer automatically crop image previews on the web, after rolling out full-size image previews on mobile earlier this year. On Twitter for the web, images will now display in full without any cropping. Instead of gambling on how an image will show up in the timeline, images will look just like they did when you shot them. The social media giant first tested the change in March with a small subset of iOS and Android users.
These tweaks come as Twitter has been working to enhance its platform and make its services more accessible. The social media giant recently rolled out the ability for users to share direct links to their Spaces to let others tune into a live audio session via the web without being logged into the platform. The company also recently introduced its in-app tipping feature to all Android users above the age of 18.
Galaxy Z Fold 3 cameras found an ally in DxOMark
While the Galaxy Z Fold 3 had notable upgrades, like the S Pen support, it was also heavily criticized for...
Pixel 6 can’t fly some DJI drones because of an incompatible app
It’s not really that unusual for some mobile apps to stop working on newer phones, especially if the app hasn’t...
Galaxy Note production has reportedly ended
As if Galaxy Note fans needed more reason to be glum this year, more news just dropped over the weekend...
The green future of big rigs is almost here
Anyone who has driven the highways in their part of the country has seen semi-trucks out delivering goods and other...
Like to shift gears? Here are some vehicles you can still get with a manual transmission
Years back, it was easy to find vehicles with manual transmissions. Most models had a budget-friendly manual-transmission option that many...
Social2 years ago
CrashPlan for Small Business Review
Gadgets3 years ago
A fictional Facebook Portal videochat with Mark Zuckerberg – TechCrunch
Mobile3 years ago
Memory raises $5M to bring AI to time tracking – TechCrunch
Cars3 years ago
What’s the best cloud storage for you?
Social3 years ago
iPhone XS priciest yet in South Korea
Security3 years ago
Google latest cloud to be Australian government certified
Social3 years ago
Apple’s new iPad Pro aims to keep enterprise momentum
Cars3 years ago
SK Telecom and Samsung to collaborate on 5G for enterprise