Three UK launches calls without a mobile cell signal

That quirky underground restaurant. Sitting on the train. Or your friend’s basement flat where you can only get signal if you stick your arm out the window.

On mobile networks, unfortunately there are times when you just can’t seem to get a signal. So we created Three inTouch for our customers – a free app that lets you connect through Wi-Fi even if there’s no mobile signal. Just download and activate.

No signal? No problem with Three inTouch – email, Three (16 October 2014)

All Three users in the UK – wait, that sounds like the company is really unpopular, let me try again. All the doubtlessly millions of people in the UK who use the Three mobile phone company have today been emailed about Three inTouch. This is an iOS and Android app that lets you make phone calls and send texts even when your phone has no signal. At least, when it has no mobile phone signal. It does have to have wifi.

But if you’re in a spot and moreover are in a wifi spot, you will be able to launch the app and get on with calling or texting. Or sexting. I don’t judge. That Three email says it works anywhere in the UK and that the cost of the service is effectively free: a call or text will cost you just whatever it would cost you if you were doing it over a mobile phone signal like 3G or 4G.

Also, when you phone someone this way, it looks and sounds to them like you’re ringing from your normal phone. I’ve made wifi calls before but using Skype; it’s not been the best experience but generally speaking neither is Skype.

If you’re a Three customer, you’ve got or you will soon get the email with details. If you’re not or you’re in a hurry, check out the Three company’s page about it online and go get the free iOS app or free Android app.

China’s Chongqing city gives texters their own lane

Not on the roads, not for driving, but for pavement walkers. Take a look at this picture from you get the idea immediately yet I’m not convinced it’s been entirely thought through. That’s the main smartphone user’s lane with a No Phones lane to the left. But don’t those arrows make you suspect you’re going to walk into people coming the other way?


Dot dot dot – waiting for them to finish a text reply

You’ve seen this in iMessage, you’ve seen it WhatsApp: you’ve sent someone a message and your screen shows you three little dots. Without ever being told, you knew that this means they’re writing back to you.

Actually, stop for a second. That’s really clever: without ever being told, still we know exactly what it means, we know exactly what it is happening.

Until the dots vanish and theres no reply.

“The three dots shown while someone is drafting a message in iMessage is quite possibly the most important source of eternal hope and ultimate letdown in our daily lives,” said Maryam Abolfazli, a writer in Washington who has tackled the topic. “It’s the modern-day version of watching paint dry, except you might be broken up with by the time the dots deliver.”

Bubbles Carry a Lot of Weight: Texting Anxiety Caused by Little Bubbles – Jessica Bennett, New York Times (29 August 2014)

You are not alone. Read the full piece.