Verizon to put some video playback limits on its unlimited data plans

Unlimited limits

We hope you had a chance to see the amazing eclipse yesterday, but if not, good news: the next one to cross a major portion of the U.S. — and Mexico — is just seven short years away, so start planning your trip now. Anyway, there’s lots going on in tech today, including a reshuffling by Verizon of their “unlimited” cellular data plan, which will now consist of two unlimited plans that include many more limitations.

The basic “unlimited” plan, known as the Go Unlimited plan, restricts video playback to a nearly unwatchable 480P on phones and 720P on tablets, along with a long list of other restrictions, including giving Verizon license to throttle your data stream any time they want, all for just $75 a month. Add a few more dollars for the oxymoronically named “Beyond Unlimited” plan and you bump up video to 720P on phones – but that’s it.

That’s right, no Netflix or Amazon Video or HBO GO in HD for you or anyone using the Verizon network, apparently. Seems like actually giving people actual “unlimited data” isn’t a great business plan, thus the growing list of limitations. Here’s an idea: if it’s not an actual “unlimited data plan,” then stop calling it that.

Google cans

When Apple deleted the headphone jack from the iPhone, lots of people thought it was mostly a ploy to force – or at least strongly suggest – that a pair of wireless Apple-owned Beats headphones would be accessory number one. That really hasn’t happened, but it looks like Google was taking notes, and now 9to5Google is saying Google may be working on a pair of “smart” headphones to pair with its upcoming Google Pixel 2 smartphone.

9to5 says they found reference to a product code-named “Bisto” that appears to be a wireless headset with Google Assistant tech built in. Apparently, Google Assistant will be able to vocalize notifications and you can respond via voice, which would be pretty cool. No design info for the Google cans was discovered. It’s all conjecture at this point; Google may or may not even make the headphones, but it does kind seem right in line with their overall plans.

The bus we all truly want to take

If you’re a vintage VW fan, great news: positive reaction to Volkswagen’s recent unveiling of their I.D. Buzz microbus concept car has been so strong, Volkswagen says they are going to put it into production with a release date of 2022. Lots of good news here too: the new microbus will be a full-on electric vehicle, and with that relatively long wheel base, that means room for lots of battery storage – and therefore some decent range and power – maybe upwards of 300hp.

Additionally, the rig will be packed with assisted driving tech, although the fold-away steering wheel for autonomous driving shown in the concept model will likely not make it into the production – at least at the start. Now, about that name: I-D Buzz may need a rethink. Let us know what you’d like VW to call the new microbus in the comments section.

We’ve got more news on our Facebook page and YouTube channel, and be sure to tune in to this week’s DT podcasts: Close to the Metal (computers and such) on Tuesday, Trends with Benefits (general tech shenanigans)  on Thursdays, and Between the Streams (movie and TV topics) every Friday.

Home Theater

Google, Amazon take aim at AirPods with their own upcoming true wireless options

Reliable Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo says that supply chain information points to Google and Amazon developing their own true wireless headphones, with both tech giants looking to take on Apple's hyper-popular AirPods in 2019.
Mobile

We tried all the latest and greatest smartphones to find the best of 2018

Smartphones are perhaps the most important and personal piece of tech on the planet. That’s why it’s important to pick the best phone for your individual needs. Here are the best smartphones you can buy.
Digital Trends Live

Digital Trends Live: Marriott data breach, Android Auto, and more

Changes to Apple Music, as well as the second largest corporate data breach in history, highlighted today's episode of Digital Trends Live. We also sat down with filmmaker Pete Williams to discuss his latest film, The New Breed.
Digital Trends Live

Director Pete Williams on making a documentary about social entrepreneurs

Director Pete Williams stopped by the Digital Trends Live studio to talk about his new documentary, in which he follows social entrepreneurs as they try to solve the world's problems through capitalism.
Digital Trends Live

Digital Trends Live: YouTube Premium and drones that fly forever

On this episode of Digital Trends Live, Greg Nibler welcomed Laura Major from CyPhy and Ben Lee from Rootstrap to the show. Plus, the future of YouTube Premium after news that the streaming giant will be offering exclusive content for free.
Digital Trends Live

Digital Trends Live: HyperloopTT’s Dirk Ahlborn discusses the future of travel

We chatted with HyperloopTT's Dirk Ahlborn about the newest way to travel. The Hyperloop travels at nearly the speed of sound and has already been commercially approved in China and the UAE.
Digital Trends Live

Digital Trends Live: A runaway Tesla, new Airpods, and Hyperloop updates

On episode 28 of Digital Trends Live, host Greg Nibler and guest Adrien Warner explored the biggest tech news of the day, including rumors of new Airpods, a police chase involving a Tesla, and more.
Digital Trends Live

Digital Trends Live: Alexa-enabled Billy Bass, ‘Gear.Club Unlimited 2,’ and more

Alexa-enabled fish and Boring Company lawsuits highlighted this episode of Digital Trends Live. We also welcomed Chris Rosario to talk about Gear.Club Unlimited 2 and Ian Williams of Deadstock Coffee joined the show from Tokyo, Japan.
Digital Trends Live

Digital Trends Live: Harlem Globetrotter Big Easy talks new app, favorite gadget

We welcomed Harlem Globetrotter Nathaniel Lofton to talk about how he became a Globetrotter 14 years ago. Big Easy also told us about the brand-new Harlem Globetrotters app that is now available on Android and Apple.
Digital Trends Live

Digital Trends Live: First 5G phone, Batcole Foundation, and a new data breach

Tuesday on Digital Trends Live, Greg Nibler discussed trending topics such as the Quora data breach, and Jeremy Kaplan was joined by Katie Linendoll from the Batcole Foundation to discuss the benefits of AR and VR in hospital rooms.
Digital Trends Live

Filmmaker Justin Ching talks about empowering underrepresented voices

Justin Ching, filmmaker and founder of production studio J-school, believes it is important to empower underrepresented communities to tell their own stories. He appeared on Digital Trends Live to talk about his journey and J-school's…
Digital Trends Live

Pro4Ma CEO Liz Dunn explains the retail trends of Black Friday, Cyber Monday

Black Friday is a day of sales, but also of chaos. Pro4MA CEO Liz Dunn appeared on Digital Trends Live to discuss the shifts she has seen in Black Friday weekend, and what they mean for consumers.
Digital Trends Live

Digital Trends Live: Self-driving cars, ocean exploration, and holiday shopping

Today on Digital Trends Live, we discussed the first self-driving car service in Phoenix, an expedition heading to the bottom of the world's oceans, and talked to Liz Dunn from Pro4ma about holiday shopping trends.
Digital Trends Live

Digital Trends Live: Alexa updates, Uber’s self-driving cars, and more

On this episode of Digital Trends Live, Senior Editor Caleb Denison discussed the best streaming devices and we welcomed Danny Pyell and Felia Mano, the Nintendo Power Couple, and Kelly Dachtler from OBVS to the show.