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Mobile Miscellany: week of November 5th, 2012

Zachary Lutz

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If you didn't get enough mobile news during the week, not to worry, because we've opened the firehose for the truly hardcore. This past week, Virgin introduced a WiFi calling service in the UK, a new smartphone leaked for Cricket and RIM announced a free app giveaway for Canadian residents. These stories and more await after the break. So buy the ticket and take the ride as we explore the "best of the rest" for this week of November 5th, 2012.

RIM celebrates the holidays in Canada with free app giveaway

Mobile Miscellany week of November 5th, 2012

Showing some true holiday spirit, Research in Motion is pouring out some love to its home crowd with a free app giveaway that lasts between now and December 31st. In all, the apps are valued at $40, and some of the biggies include Shazam Encore, BeWeather and TuneIn Radio Pro. Also in the mix are games such as N.O.V.A., The Adventures if Tintin and Midnight Bowling 2. Eligible recipients must reside in Canada and have a BlackBerry 7.1 smartphone. Rather than a staged rollout for the giveaway, all apps are immediately available for download, which means the only thing to remember is to take advantage of the great promotion. [MobileSyrup]

LG heralds arrival of pink Optimus Vu II in South Korea

Mobile Miscellany week of November 5th, 2012

Astute readers will recall that LG announced a pink variant of the Optimus Vu II upon the smartphone's initial reveal, but now those who've held out for the vibrant phablet can get in on the action. This week, LG announced the availability of this "pretty in pink" creation in its home country of South Korea. Like its black and white counterparts, this version sports a 1.5GHz dual-core Snapdragon S4, along with a 5-inch 1,024 x 768 AH-IPS display -- naturally, with a 4:3 aspect ratio -- and the new Rubberdium Pen 2.0. The Optimus Vu II is priced at 966,900 won, which translates to roughly $890. [LG Newsroom (translated)]

LG Optimus Regard leaks for Cricket

Mobile Miscellany week of November 5th, 2012

It seems that Cricket will add a new Android smartphone to its roster this holiday season, as promotional materials have leaked for the carrier that pair the LG Optimus Regard with the Android mascot in full-on Christmas attire. Specs for this one haven't been completely nailed down, but the phone is said to sport Android 4.0, along with a 1.5GHz dual-core processor, a 5-megapixel camera and an HVGA display that measures somewhere between 3.5 and 3.7 inches. Pricing and a release date remain unknown for the Optimus Regard, but you'll know more once we have something concrete. [@evleaks (Twitter)]

Virgin Media introduces SmartCall in the UK, better known as WiFi calling

Mobile Miscellany week of November 5th, 2012

Virgin is looking to shake up the telecom industry yet again with a new service known as SmartCall. Essentially, wherever wireless internet is available, users will be able to route their call through their Virgin Media landline service, which brings the potential for great savings to subscribers in the UK -- especially when you consider the provider's unlimited plans. SmartCall will open to select Virgin Media customers in the coming weeks, and is said to become available to all subscribers in early 2013. [Virgin Media PR]

Movie ticket purchases tipped for Siri in iOS 6.1 update

Mobile Miscellany week of November 5th, 2012

The folks at 9to5Mac have outed a new feature for Siri that's said to emerge in iOS 6.1. Should the stars align, the update will bring the ability to purchase movie tickets via Siri. Beta testers report that the service is tied to the Fandango app, which still manages the actual transaction. If users don't have the Fandango app installed, they will be prompted to download it from the App Store. It's an incremental refinement, for sure, but it's always nice to see that Siri is still learning. [9to5Mac]

Other random tidbits
  • T-Mobile has repurposed its HSPA+ network to the 1900MHz spectrum in Washington D.C., Baltimore, Md., and Houston, Texas. The transition is necessary in the buildup to the carrier's deployment of LTE over its 1700MHz (AWS) spectrum. [T-Mobile]
  • AT&T has extended its LTE network to Bakersfield, Calif., Little Rock, Ark., and the Florida Keys. [AT&T PR 1, 2, 3]
  • The Motorola Electrify M, a rebadged version of the Droid RAZR M, is now available at US Cellular for as little as $100 with a two year contract... after a rebate, anyway. Unfortunately, for those in non-4G areas, the price jumps an additional $50. [Phandroid]

[Mobile Miscellany photo credit: Thristian / Flickr]

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