Mobile Miscellany: week of February 6th, 2012
Not all mobile news is destined for the front page, but if you're like us and really want to know what's going on, then you've come to the right place. This week, we've learned that T-Mobile is offering some of its best phones free after rebate (today only), and we've also spotted a new power management feature that seems destined for BlackBerry 7.1 OS. These stories and more await after the break. So buy the ticket and take the ride. Let's explore the "best of the rest" for this week of February 6th, 2012.

Today only: T-Mobile offers free phones, tablets and hotspots free after rebate


The Magenta-clad carrier is looking to spread a bit of love this weekend and is currently offering some of its best devices free after rebate, but for one day only. Today, customers may score a gratis Galaxy S II, Amaze 4G, G2x, Bold 9900, Lumia 710 or Radar 4G, along with a SpringBoard tablet or a plethora of other devices with a new two-year commitment. The deal is valid both in stores and online, but if you hope to take advantage of the promotion, you'd better act quickly. [TmoNews]

US Cellular intros new voicemail service powered by Nuance

Those on the Belief Network are eligible for one more add-on this week, as US Cellular has announced a new voicemail-to-text transcription service that's powered by Nuance's Dragon Voicemail-to-Text platform. The service is free to try for 30 days, after which customers will need to pay $2.99 each month. In return, the service offers unlimited transcription of all voicemails, which is then delivered to a user's phone via either text or email. So, next time your friend leaves a message that says, "Hey, call me," just chalk it up to a minute saved. [Nuance]

Orientation Lock app disables automatic screen rotation for Windows Phone


Jaxbot
has released a convenient new hack for Windows Phone that disables automatic screen rotation. Known as Orientation Lock, it works by temporarily turning off the accelerometer, and is simply a matter of flipping a toggle depending on your preference. Orientation Lock is said to work on most devices, but requires that your handset be developer unlocked. The app is still rather young in development, so your success may vary. [Windows Phone Hacker]

Leaked BlackBerry 7.1 OS hints at forthcoming battery saving mode


Version 7.1.0.247 of the BlackBerry OS recently leaked for the Bold 9790, and after a bit of sleuth work, a previously unknown feature labeled Battery Saving Mode was discovered. The software allows users to set a battery level threshold, and once the charge falls below that level, the phone will automatically enter a low-power mode to conserve battery life. [N4BB]

Verizon Wireless brings data restriction to Usage Controls subscription service

You may have never heard of it, but Verizon offers a horribly overpriced service known as Usage Controls that allows parents to determine exactly what their kids' phones can be used for, who they can talk to and when the device can be used. The service was expanded this week, which now allows content purchases to be restricted and data consumption caps to be imposed. While the service undoubtedly has its place, Verizon charges $4.99 per month, per line for its use. [MobileBurn]