Crunch Gym app lets you avoid check-in lines

Fitness chain Crunch today unveils its first app, which is free, for iPhone and Android users to more easily find locations, see class schedules, and avoid the lines by checking in remotely.

Not that Crunch gyms, of which there are roughly two dozen throughout New York, California, Florida, and Oregon, are boasting terribly long lines these days. Founded in 1989 by former stockbroker Doug Levine, the chain was bought by Bally in 2001 and filed for bankruptcy in May 2009, at which point it was acquired by New Evolution Fitness Company, which in turn was co-founded by one of the … Read more

Report: All iPhones with OS 4.3 to get mobile hot spots

Yesterday Verizon (finally) announced that it is getting the iPhone for its wireless network. It wasn't much of a surprise--the rumors have been around for years and really came to a head in the last couple of weeks. But a revelation that wasn't widely expected was that the Verizon iPhone could work as a personal Wi-Fi hot spot. This essentially allows the iPhone to act as a Wi-Fi access point for up to five devices, allowing them to connect to Verizon's 3G network wherever the phone has coverage.

This type of easy tethering caught the attention of … Read more

Who has better coverage in your area, AT&T or Verizon? This app shows you

Want to know how Verizon's network coverage compares with AT&T's for a particular location? Wondering if Sprint or T-Mobile might be better than either one? Maybe you just need to find out which direction to drive to get a decent signal for your broadband modem. Whatever your need, there's an app for you: Coverage?

That question-mark isn't a mistake; Coverage? is the app's official name, and its choice of punctuation reflects its capability to provide an answer.

All you do is run the app, let it hone in on your location, then tap one or more carriers to see coverage data overlaid on the map. You can, of course, scroll and zoom the map to see coverage for any areas, not just the one you're in.

Because different carriers offer different levels of coverage for different types of service, Coverage? lets you choose which data to display: 3G, 2G, or Roaming. That can come in very handy if, say, you're headed out of a town and want to know what to expect, service-wise, at your destination.… Read more

'Google Places' Yelp rival comes to iPhone

Google's Google Places pushes further on Yelp today as it joins iPhone. Like Yelp, the free app, originally released for Android, lets you look up and rate local business. Since it's Google, the Places app ups the ante with another feature, recommendations supplied by Google's Hotpot recommendations engine.

To start using Places, log into your Google account and begin either searching for local businesses or browsing by category for nearby listings. Categories include the usuals--coffee, restaurants, gas stations, post offices, hotels, and so on. In addition, you can effortlessly add your own search categories even if they'… Read more

The 404 737: Where Chinese mothers fight to the finish (podcast)

The 404 is back with our first show featuring all three of us back in our home studio, and it feels great! CBS MoneyWatch's Financial Decoder Jill Schlesinger, aka #AuntJill, makes her 2011 debut and answers a few listener questions about the uphill economic battle in 2011 and planning for your retirement.

We haven't had a chance to talk to Wilson about his month away in China, so he tells us how he got hit by a bus in Guangdong, and would you believe it? His iPhone was not to blame! Sounds like the Asian driver stereotype might actually be true when it comes to Chinese bus drivers.

Speaking of stereotypes, Amy Chua from the Wall Street Journal sparked some controversy for an incendiary article entitled Why Chinese Mothers are Superior so Jill posted her response that examines the surge of wealthy women in China and the effect that strong parenting can have on a country's economy. We all agree with Chua when she says that "nothing is fun until you're good at it." Sage advice!

Finally, Jill answers questions from listeners wondering about reporting taxes without a Social Security number, the best way to save for retirement, how to refinance or purchase a home, and what kind of economic growth we can expect in the new year!

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Verizon Wireless adds 16 New York cell sites

Verizon Wireless is beefing up its service in and around New York City.

The carrier announced today that it has added 16 new sites around the Big Apple, including one in the city. Verizon customers in Yonkers, Bronxville, and other locations can also take advantage of the improved service. The cell sites will provide better access to the company's 3G network, Verizon said.

"It is important for our customers to know that we are also committed to holding our position as the most reliable 3G network in the nation," Verizon's New York Metro region president, Pat … Read more

Remember: At Verizon, it's not just iPhone

Judging by the elated reactions to today's announcement of the iPhone 4, a significant contingent is poised to switch to Verizon, or switch to the iPhone, anyway, if they're already a Big Red subscriber.

The Verizon iPhone has plenty to offer, but keep in mind that it won't do it all. There are still plenty of other phones on Verizon's deep bench poised to deliver on superb hardware specs and software capabilities--including brilliant displays, high-resolution cameras, support for Flash video, HD video capture and playback, and HDMI support.

At CES last week, we saw four new 4G LTE Android handsetsRead more

iPhone speed test: Verizon vs. AT&T

The Verizon iPhone is finally official, but there are a number of questions that remain unanswered. Will Verizon's network be able to handle the deluge of iPhone users? Is Verizon's 3G network better or worse than AT&T's?

Obviously, the Verizon iPhone isn't out in the hands of the general public yet, so only time will tell if Verizon can deliver on its claims of being the "nation's most reliable network." However, just for kicks, we decided to do a little speed test comparing the AT&T and Verizon iPhones while … Read more

Verizon iPhone First Take

Yes, it's finally here. After almost four years of endless gossip, analyst forecasts, and so-called leaks, the Verizon iPhone is a reality. We're thrilled, to be honest, if only because we never have to write another rumor story again. The iPhone 4's arrival on a second U.S. network is significant, of course, but the smartphone market is a thousand times more mature than it was in 2007 when the first iPhone hit. So, though we expect Verizon to gain a lot of new customers, its iPhone faces heavy competition from rival carriers, and even from within … Read more

The 404 736: Where we see an iPhone on the Verizon (podcast)

The exclusive partnership between Apple and AT&T wireless has finally come to an end! At a press conference in New York today, Verizon's COO Lowell McAdam announced that the company will begin selling its own iPhone 4 starting next month. Wilson's off covering the announcement, so Digital City's Joseph Kaminski fills in for an agnostic perspective on the release.

The Verizon iPhone 4 will be the same model that AT&T carries now except that the Verizon version will connect to the CDMA network instead of GSM. Aside from better service (hopefully), Verizon will also offer personal Wi-Fi "hot spot" access that lets up to five devices connect wirelessly to the iPhone at once- no word yet on how much extra you'll have to pay for that, however.

Additionally, one of the limitations is that CDMA is that the network won't allow for simultaneous Internet browsing and voice calling, which might be a dealbreaker to some, but most will just be satisfied to make uninterrupted phone calls.

Starting on February 10, a 16GB and 32GB model will cost $200 and $300 respectively with a 2-year contract dea, but we're still in the dark regarding data prices and whether or not there will be an unlimited options on deckl.

So this leaves current AT&T subscribers in a tricky situation: jump ship now and pre-order the Verizon iPhone 4 or wait a few months for Apple to release the next version, hopefully with access to Verizon's superfast 4G LTE network? Check out today's show to hear our best advice for prospective iPhone owners!

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