Weekly Cell Phone News in Review–September 29, 2014

FBI Blasts Apple, Google for Locking Police out of Phones
FBI Director James B. Comey sharply criticized Apple and Google on Thursday for developing forms of smartphone encryption so secure that law enforcement officials cannot easily gain access to information stored on the devices—even when they have valid search warrants. His comments were the most forceful yet from a top government official but echo a chorus of denunciation from law enforcement officials nationwide. Police have said that the ability to search photos, messages and Web histories on smartphones is essential to solving a range of serious crimes, from murder to child pornography to attempted terrorist attacks. Story by Craig Timberg and Greg Miller for The Washington Post.

Flight Attendants Absolutely Do Not Want In-Flight Cell Phone Use Legalized
Less than a year ago, the FCC floated the idea of allowing cell phone use in-flight, a movement that most think would be a terrible, terrible decision. This week, the Association of Flight Attendants, an organization that represents about 60,000 flight attendants working across 19 carriers, confirmed that it too thinks allowing passengers to use cell phones in midair would be absolutely insane. Going beyond the sheer aggravation it would cause, people on cell phones would ultimately be more distracted and less attentive to directions from a flight attendant, creating huge safety concerns in the case of an emergency. There is also the question of whether the signals could interfere with flight operations. Story in Jaunted.com.

iPhone 6 Outshines 6 Plus over Launch Weekend
The iPhone 6 is so far more popular than its bigger sibling, according to the latest mobile data. The new iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus officially hit the retail market Friday across several regions, including the US, UK, Canada, Puerto Rico, Japan, Hong Kong, Singapore, Australia, France, and Germany. Apple revealed on Monday that it sold 10 million iPhone 6 and 6 Plus handsets over the weekend. Story by Lance Whitney for CNet.

Cellphones Will Likely Be Allowed in NYC Schools
It’s never been permitted before, but soon, students in New York City may be able to bring their cellphones to school legally. Not every New York City public school adheres to the no cellphone policy, even though the Department of Education officially restricts cellphones from every campus in the 10,000 school system. By the mayor’s own admission, the current system allows principals and other school administrators to turn a blind eye to phones in schools, and schools in poorer communities tend to enforce the ban most strongly. Story by James Ford for Pix 11.

What Dating Was Like Before Cell Phones
Millions of people have bought the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus, and they probably can’t imagine life without their new device, even though they’ve had it for less than a week. But imagine your life without any mobile devices. For older millennials, that’s a world we remember.for younger millennials, it’s a prehistoric nightmare scenario. I’m not going to lie—life before cellphones was pretty bad. Especially when it came to dating. I lived the early years of my romantic life smartphone-free (because they didn’t exist yet) and it was awful for so many reasons. Story by Aaron Goldfarb for MTV.

2/3 of Mobile Connections Will Be Smartphones by 2020
A new study predicts two of every three mobile connections in the world will be smartphones by 2020. The study from GSMA Intelligence, entitled “Smartphone forecasts and assumptions, 2007-2020” also predicts the number of global smartphone connections will triple over the next six years. Story by John Oldshue for SaveOnPhone.com.

BlackBerry Unveils Its Passport Smartphone
BlackBerry’s first major phone launch in nearly two years underscores Chief Executive John Chen’s commitment to the device business. But tests loom as Mr. Chen pursues his ambitious turnaround of the company amid uncertain demand for the new phone. BlackBerry unveiled its 4.5-inch square-shaped Passport Wednesday simultaneously in Toronto, London and Dubai, touting the device’s large screen and apps geared to professionals as part of a larger strategy to win back its traditional corporate and government customers. Story by Ben Dummett for The Wall Street Journal.

When Is It Ok To Use Your Cell Phone?
The survey asked over 1,000 adults when they thought it was acceptable to use a cell phone, looking at specific scenarios. Results showed that age groups varied significantly in their opinions, with 18-49 year-olds being more accepting of cell phone use than those over the age of 50 when walking down the street, while watching TV, during a work meeting to share information with the group, while eating with others in a restaurant to share information with the group and for personal use and at the movies during previews. Story in Virtual-Strategy.

About John Oldshue

John Oldshue is the creator of SaveOnPhone.com. He worked for over 15 years in television and won an Emmy award for his reporting. He covers long distance and cell phone topics for SaveOnPhone.