YouView boxes improved with both iPlayer and Netflix

Wednesday, November 5th, 2014

image

In the last week, there have been two very useful improvements to the YouView boxes announced. Firstly, the newer BBC iPlayer interface, which has already rolled out to many other set top boxes was made available on the YouView platform just under 2 weeks ago. Then, today, YouView have announced that Netflix is now available to a selection of the YouView set top boxes.

If you bought your YouView box from a retailer (and it is branded BT or Humax), you should find Netflix becomes available today, and, if you have a BT YouView box and you aren’t already a Netflix subscriber then BT YouView users will be able to subscribe and get the Netflix subscription charged to their BT bill (and there are rumours of an exclusive BT YouView offer from Netflix soon).

TalkTalk and Huawei YouView set top boxes are yet to receive the Netflix update, but it should be available in the New Year.
It’s very nice to see that Netflix will get integrated into the search facilities on the box for Netflix subscribers.

For those who aren’t yet a Netflix subscriber, or won’t get the update until next year, the new BBC iPlayer will at least offer you the last 30 days of BBC programmes (something that has recently rolled out to the website too), and BBC Connected Red Button services, which include BBC Sport video highlights.


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Linking existing Flickr account to BT Internet for free Pro account

Friday, March 18th, 2011

If you use BT Internet as your ISP, one of the perks open to you is a free Flickr Pro account (as part of the service comes from BT Yahoo!). However, if you already have an existing non-Pro Flickr account with lots of photos, it’s not obvious how to link the two together, but there is a way, although it takes a little bit of time and some careful actions.

I’ve listed all the steps (as I remember them!) however, if there are any mistakes in this process, please provide updates to me, and please don’t blame me (or UK Gadgeteer) should you lose access to your account, or any of your existing photos.

The important thing to understand is that each Flickr account is linked to a Yahoo account, but it’s possible to change the underlying Yahoo account used; in essence this process creates a new Yahoo account (which is granted Pro status) and then links this new Yahoo account with your old Flickr account.  This process will leave you with a new Flickr account that’s not connected to a Yahoo ID, and an old Yahoo ID that’s not connected to Flickr; you’ve receive an email about the Flickr account, and you can choose to delete this.

The overall steps are:

1. Head to the BT Yahoo! homepage from your ADSL line, login, and click on the Flickr link (in the column on the left under “BT Y! Services”); if you’ve never accessed this page before you may find the first time you do this it needs to be from Internet Explorer, as Firefox will leave you with a blank page.

2. Follow the steps to create a new Flickr account using your BTInternet email address and existing password & once complete, you should see this is listed as a Flickr Pro account.

3. Logout (select Sign Out)

4. Go directly to the Flickr Homepage and login with your original Flickr account (using a standard Yahoo account; you may have to select to login with a different account, as it’s likely to pre-populate this with your BTInternet details).  If you are still logged in, go to step 3!

5. Go into Your Account (selected from the arrow dropdown to the right of the “You” in the main menu).

6. In the “Your Yahoo! account” there should be an option to “Use a different Yahoo! ID for this Flickr account“; it’s not always there, if it’s not, go back to step 3 and try again.

7. Provide your BT Internet details.

That’s it! Your old Flickr account should now be associated with the BT Internet / BT Yahoo account, which offers a free Flickr Pro (whilst you remain with BT Internet) and will be a Flickr Pro account.

I can’t take the credit for this process; thanks should go to @tweetymike (aka Mike Stead from INQ Mobile) who provided me with the information originally, however, as already stated, neither myself, Mike, UK Gadgeteer or INQ Mobile accept any responsibility for any problems you encounter.


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London Underground trialling Wi-Fi on platforms

Monday, November 1st, 2010

It appears that from today, London Underground are starting a trial of Wi-Fi, which will cover both the station and the platforms.  Before you get too excited, firstly it’s only one station (Charing Cross Station), and it’s not free either (being part of the chargeable BT OpenZone system).

Having said that, it will offer free travel updates to all Wi-Fi users, and of course, many users (most but not all BT Broadband customers, and many iPhone owners) have some inclusive OpenZone minutes as part of their contract, so it will be very useful for many.

The trial will last 6 months, although it’s likely to expand (in my opinion) and become a key feature across multiple stations.  There are no plans for coverage within the tunnels.

More details on the TfL website.  Picture (c) Transport for London 2005.


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Is BT Total Broadband & 3UK iPhone the best deal?

Friday, June 25th, 2010

Yesterday I mentioned that the 3UK Apple iPhone 4 tariffs didn’t come with the 500Mb – 1GB of BT Openzone WiFi access of their competitors, and suggested you needed to take that into consideration when choosing the best tariff.  Well, BT have gone and changed the whole marketplace now…

BT have said that those BT Total Broadband users who used to have a limited number of minutes on BT FON and BT Openzone access points can now have unlimited access to all 1.5 million hotspots, in fact, BT went further and said that this change was the result of networks like O2 limiting the 3G data usage.  BT also make a point that you’ll be able to use this access on your phone, iPad and other tablet devices.

So, although your 3UK iPhone doesn’t come with any WiFi access, if you are a BT Total Broadband customer, you actually have more access to those hotspots than an O2 iPhone / Broadband customer does, and this, for some, might make this a better combination.

Also, BT announced that they will shortly be offering a downloadable application that will help locate the BT FON and BT Openzone hotspots.


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Eye-Fi now supporting Devicescape

Monday, May 10th, 2010

Eye-Fi Pro

Here’s some nice integration between different products…

The latest Eye-Fi card, the X2 range, can now use Devicescape technology to be able to connect to wireless hotspots, and some of the new X2 cards even come with 1 years worth of wireless hotspot access included in the price.  By using Devicescape, it’s possible to configure your Eye-Fi memory card with your BT Openzone, Orange, Vodafone, T-Mobile or Boingo user details, expanding the number of wireless hotspots you can connect to.  There appear to be 4 cards in the new X2 range;

  • The 4GB Connect X2, which supports over 25 sites (including Flickr)
  • The 4GB Geo X2, which adds geotagging to the Connect X2
  • The 8GB Explore X2, which as well as doubling the size, has the geotagging support, and also comes with 1 years hotspot access
  • The 8GB Pro X2, which builds on the Explore X2 by adding support for RAW files and supports Ad Hoc transfers too

With manufacturers like Canon and Nikon now building Eye-Fi support directly into the firmware of their cameras (so if you are in range and transferring a file, even if you shut the camera down, it is likely the camera will keep the memory card powered that little bit longer), they are definitely worth considering; yes, they cost more than a traditional memory card, but it’s the convenience factor you are paying for.

In fact, imagine you are out shooting photographs for the day; your camera knows about the Eye-Fi card, the Eye-Fi is connected to your MiFi device, and so your pictures are immediately uploaded whilst you are out and about, so that when you get home the pictures are already being displayed on your WiFi picture frame at home; that’s the type of integration we like here at UK Gadgeteer; it might need 3 or 4 different products, and some magical glue in the middle (such as a Flickr account), but it’s achievable by anyone today.

If you want to be even more clever, don’t forget you can use Pixelpipe with your Eye-Fi card (see here) which would allow you to distribute the pictures to multiple destinations with only one upload.


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A week of Nokia firmware updates

Thursday, January 14th, 2010

Nokia N900

Just like buses, you wait for ages and then two come along together…

It’s been a bit of a week for firmware updates, and many recent devices have seen updates this week.  The Nokia E72 has now got the v22 firmware, The Nokia N86 gets v21, and the Nokia 5800 XpressMusic gets v40.  Each of these offers improvements for the device, and are worthy of investigation if you own these devices.  Of course, the operator-specific branded firmwares will take a little longer to be released.

For example, the Nokia 5800 XpressMusic changelog includes:

  • Additional Kinetic Scrolling
  • Changed UI in the homescreen similar to the 5530XM
  • Updated Nokia Messaging
  • OVI Contacts pre-installed
  • New screen alarm when locked
  • Keyboard updated: when in vertical mode it’s alpha-numeric, if you turn your phone to landscape mode, it automatically changes to full qwerty
  • Keyboard updated: when you press a “key” the key that appears on top is now bigger
  • Software updater is now updated and has some more options
  • When phone key lock is on and you receive a call you see a slide to unlock and a slide to answer bar

However, the Maemo based Nokia N900 has had an even better week…

Earlier in the week, a small minor firmware update was released, which allowed the Ovi Store to become available for the Maemo platform, and then over the next day or so, the PR1.1 first major firmware release will start appearing on devices for applying.  This brings many little minor fixes to the platform, many of which were reported via the Maemo bug tracker direct to the developers, but probably the single biggest bugfix that is directly relevant to the UK is that 3UK SIMs are now supported by this firmware update.  So, if you have a 3UK SIM you want to use with a Nokia N900, then apply this update (2.2009.51-1) and then you should no longer suffer from “SIM card rejected” messages.

If you are yet to buy a Nokia N900, and have been put off by the high SIM-free price of the device, then Vodafone have announced they will be selling the phone soon.  There are rumours that stocks are already in store, but sales are being held to prevent it impacting on the launch of the iPhone on Vodafone, but I doubt whether anyone will be swayed from one to the other, as they seem to attract a very different customer.  Either way, this new firmware will be well worth applying to your Nokia N900 as soon as it’s available for you.

If you want to access this major update as an OTA (Over The Air) upgrade, you’ll need to apply the more minor upgrade from earlier in the week first, and then shortly afterwards this new firmware should become visible, however, if you use Nokia’s PC based Software Updater, you are able to jump straight to the latest firmware without the intermediate step.

The only issue with this firmware update is that is does not bring the portrait-mode support that was expected, so it’s likely we’ll see another firmware update for the Nokia N900 in the coming months to address that oft-requested feature; also, MMS is still missing, although there is a third party app providing MMS support if you really need it (see here for more details, and here for another program by the same author which allows a secondary APN to be defined on the device, which is often needed to be able to send MMS).  However, we should point out that Nokia and Maemo are aware that the OTA firmware update will not work if certain other software is installed (especially applications from the extras-devel repository, which is not enabled by default on the Nokia N900).  If you are directed to perform the firmware update via your PC, one option is to turn off this repository, and uninstall any applications installed from it, and see if that fixed the “under-the-covers” software problems.

If you really want to see a fairly complete list of fixes, then head to the Maemo PR1.1 release information, although be warned, it’s quite technical, and quite long too!

Finally, if you want to get the latest version of Vagalume (the Maemo Last.fm / Libre.fm client) streaming Last.fm on your Nokia N900, then nokiAAddict has also written up the information on how to achieve this here.

Nokia 5800 XpressMusic Changelog courtesy of nokiAAddict.


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Orange provide iPhone tariff details, with a sting in the tail

Monday, November 2nd, 2009

iPhone 3GS

Yet again, we’re very unhappy with the liberal use of the word “unlimited”, so let’s start with the sting in the tail; Orange are not providing unlimited tariffs with the iPhone; however, some of their plans are interesting, and worthy of a mention.  As a long term Orange user, it will be interesting to see what the offers are for existing customers, but with Orange’s past performance, you can guess that they won’t be as “good” as these…

So, the new iPhone 3GS will be available from 10th November, and will be free on contracts over £45 per month for 24-month contracts, whereas the iPhone 3G will be free on £30 per month for 24-month contracts.  Orange, however, have stated that “all plans” with come with “unlimited” 750MB per month UK data, and there is free “unlimited” 750MB per month data access to BT OpenZone Wi-Fi too.

For PAYG, the iPhone 3G (note not 3GS) will be £333 if you TopUp with £50 on purchase (so that’s £383 with £50 credit), and you will automatically get 250MB of UK data per month plus 12 months “unlimited” 750MB per month of BT OpenZone Wi-Fi access.

If you want to tether your iPhone (to allow you to access the net on your laptop / other device via the iPhone), plans are available that “start” at £5 per month (so I guess we can expect this to have a data limit, which increases with the tariff).

Orange have also launched a new high end “Traveller” tariff for £125 per month, which gives inclusive (note the lack of the word unlimited) call and data allowance.

Head off to here to see the full details; for example, a 32GB iPhone 3GS on a £30 per month 18-month contract will cost you £274 upfront!


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Symbian users and WiFi clients

Monday, May 18th, 2009

Nokia N95 8Gb Music

After mentioning WeFi now being available for Android, we thought we’d recap the situation for Symbian devices, where there are a fair few solutions available:

  • WeFi is also available for Symbian, which provices easy access to Free WiFi Hotspots, although you could use fring which now includes a WeFi plugin which we covered here).
  • Devicescape provide a Symbian client, although this concentrates more on easy logging it to paid WiFi Hotspots, as opposed to the free WiFi of WeFi.
  • Of course, another option we’ve covered before is HandyWi, which has just been updated to v2.0.  This new version adds a number of new features, including a fallback to 3G option (when no WiFi is available), and includes support for the new S60 5th Edition devices, and also adds support for entering WEP and WPA/PSK encryption keys.  Other handy features include a Logoff function (very handy if you are connected to FON or BT OpenZone hotspots to help minimise the charges when you paying for the service), and you can now also upload your Landmarks to the HandyWi server (for backup  restore purposes, plus you can then view them using Google Maps or Google Earth).

HandyWi v2

If you are an existing user of HandyWi, at some point in the next week or so you’ll be asked to upgrade to this new version.  For use, allowing you to backup and restore your Landmarks (which are additionally used by Google Maps, Nokia Maps, and Route66) is a nice feature, and may make this a worthwhile app to install and run every now and then if you don’t want the benefits of it’s main functionality.

In terms of other options; if you have a Nokia E71, you may find you can download BirdStep’s SmartConnect from the Nokia Download! area for free, and Psiloc’s Connect is another option to consider.


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Devicescape start charging for Easy Wi-Fi for Symbian

Friday, May 8th, 2009

Devicescape logo

Devicescape have traditionally released their Symbian application for free.  Easy Wi-Fi eases the process of managing multiple accounts to different Wi-Fi systems (BT OpenZone, FON, The Cloud, etc. etc.).  However, from their latest version, v3.0.70, they are now charging $4.99 for the Symbian version.  This is inline with their iPhone and iPod Touch applications, and whilst the Nokia Ovi Store is not yet up and running, they are handling the payment direct.

For existing users, Devicescape have stated that all v3.x updates will remain free, although they can’t promise this will remain for the future (ie only new users have to pay; the download will be for a 7-day fully functioning demo).  Also, for now, the Windows, Mac, and Nokia Internet Tablet versions will remain free.

As well as being able to provide Devicescape details of your home networks, it comes preconfigured with all open network hotspots (eg McDonald’s and Apple Stores).  This looks a very useful application, although there are other solutions (Psiloc Connect, BirdStep SmartConnect) which are also worthy of a look.


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iPhone and Starbucks

Monday, April 20th, 2009

iPhone 3G

From Today, Starbucks are moving all their coffee shop Wi-Fi systems to BT Openzone.  Over the next few months, all 678 Starbucks be converted.  O2 have reminded us that iPhones can use BT Openzone Wi-Fi hotspots as part of their Wi-Fi Allowance, so once all shops are converted, iPhone users will be able to enjoy Wi-Fi access whilst buying and drinking their coffees.


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