When we discuss today’s technology and innovative products, inclusive of apps and other services, we the consumer are likely still cost conscious. And no doubt there are trade-offs. But an incident I encounter speaks volume to an old adage: sometimes you should know, but you don’t know, until now you do know. I am referencing to a dilemma, involving phone service with Straight-talk, and accessing the capabilities of I’m Watch. Let me set the stage.
The I’m Watch, (http://www.imsmart.com/it) and (http://support.imwatch.it/), is quite a fascinating gadget. If you look at the video, when synchronized, one can check email, connect to face book, get up to the minute news, and follow your favorite stocks, along with a host of other wonderful things. It’s also a great conversation piece, being relatively still new to the scene. On the other-hand, Straight-talk, (www.straighttalk.com), is among your cheaper phone service, where you can get unlimited talk, text, and data, for $45.00 per month, with no contract, no credit check, or deposits. You pay in advance and you get the service; if you don’t pay, the service ends. So, you ask, where the problem is. Well, as you can imagine, it’s tucked away in the terms and conditions of straight-talk, according to a discussion with their customer service unit; they take away the tethering/hotspot capability of a phone, which is needed to synchronize to I’m Watch, beyond the Bluetooth phone aspect. In my case, it would be for my LGL35G.
In fairness, though disappointed from losing the capability of tethering, as to getting online, checking emails, texting, receiving calls, downloading apps – give or take some issues, notwithstanding other ways of potential threats and compromises, the service is adequate to the average person. But there lies the crux of the issues. For us as consumers, at least a majority to guess, the concept of tethering is not at the top of out list in choosing a phone carrier. And yet, the mobile phone is and further becoming a very critical device, especially in a scheme of connectivity to our appliances, to cars, to any number of accessories, ranging from speakers and the like. Thus, where tethering/hotspots is needed, such as above with the I’m Watch, our investment in the phone, some gadget, time, etc., can be rendered moot and at a loss.
This also brings more to light our concern for other services we download to our phone; that have an ability to reach in and remove, un-notice, actual plus things built into our phones. Perhaps, the lesson changes the dynamics of questions we as consumer must add to our purchase considerations; at least, when an item may interface with other technologies, today and tomorrow. And just maybe, what we as consumers need is a list of capabilities that are actually being turned off, or blocked, at the time it goes into effect; beyond a broad statement word of tethering, paragraphed inside a document, at the initiation of service.