So it’s 4G now

AT&T has relabeled their existing 3G data network as a 4G network. By definition, 4G network standards like LTE (Long Term Evolution) run at speeds of 1 Gbit/s for low-mobility connections like cellphones.

AT&T claims:

“The whole industry has come to equate more speed with 4G,” said Ralph de la Vega, chief executive of AT&T’s wireless unit. He says consumers generally won’t notice the difference in speed between AT&T’s HSPA-plus and upcoming LTE networks, so it makes sense to call both 4G.

John Donovan, AT&T’s chief technology officer, said speeds on HSPA-plus and LTE phones will feel similar now, but users will start to notice a difference in the two technologies once richer applications become available. [Source: Motherboard]

In US, SMS can cost 400% times more

Each text message costs 20 US cents without subscription. (Source: Techcrunch)AT&T SMS price plan

However, their unlimited plan is pretty attractive if you’re a huge texting fan. In Singapore, text messages costs SGD$0.05, pay per use. Unlimited plans are almost strictly available for students. In Japan, they probably don’t use SMS, they email instead which is really cool by the way. Email is a much better option without the byte restriction.

Review: AT&T Pogo browser (it sucks)

And yeah, it wasn’t all that good. I got the invite some time back. I was preoccupied that time and I didn’t really explore well till today. Pogo is another one of those browser that does the 3D thingy (not that we actually need another more of those).

Pogo web browser

I wish the browser makers could wake up one day and understand that 3D browser is not something humans want – maybe cyborgs could’ve totally drool all over – but not humans.

Collections in Pogo

Pogo does a few things wrongly, they tried to reinvent the way people bookmark without a strong social element. They put all the 3D engine into this collections thing that look really cool if not for my 770 delicious link that basically hung the browser for a couple of minutes ’cause it’s generating screenies for the bookmarks. The 3D uses JavaScript which tends to give warnings due to script running too slowly.

And what’s with different names to the word ‘bookmark’. Internet Explorer calls it ‘Favorites’. Firefox calls it ‘Bookmarks’. Pogo calls it ‘Collections’. If I wrote a browser, I’ll call it – let me think, okay – ‘Elephants’. Whatever.

Pogo browser history

Another cool thing is the history browser, also uses screenshots of web sites. Pogo, unfortunately, is not intelligent enough to know how to give the appropriate screenshots, the offset is usually wrong and the screenies are either too big or too small never just right.

To worsen what already is bad enough, it uses Firefox 2 instead of 3 as the back end. Firefox 3 sorts out lots of memory issues and it’s amazing that I can now open 50 tabs and till smile. By the way, in Firefox 2, I used to open 50 tabs and chat with my friends on MSN just ’cause the browser is taking eons to respond. In Pogo, opening 12 tabs makes me cry.

Pogo logo

On the lighter note, Pogo does have a nice logo. (Somehow reminds me of string theory.) I felt it could’ve been packaged into a Firefox plugin instead of compiling a whole browser out of it. Associating a web site with a screenshot is not enough, the screenshot is just too small to allow me to know what I am clicking on.

My impression of the browser wasn’t good, it’s trying too hard to be different but has not necessarily succeeded in the usability department. Good try on aesthetics. The social element is missing too and there is no way to way any Firefox Add-ons which is just a deal breaker. Stars! Yea, 2 stars out of 5.

[Pogo is just a project name and would probably be called AT&T Freestyle, AT&T Lenz or AT&T Bezel.]