Listen, I don't really have a problem with Binge On itself - it's a pretty nifty value-add for T-Mobile customers that allows them to throttle all their video streamed over mobile data to 480p, in exchange for some of that video (Binge On partner services, like Netflix, but notably not YouTube) not counting against their plan's data cap. I consider this a "pretty fair deal." In exchange for reducing the burden of video bandwidth on T-Mobile's network, you get to stream all the [partnered] OK-quality video you want. It's nice!
But T-Mobile has come under fire - and I think rightly so - for the fact that Binge On is an opt-out service that does not explicitly disclose to subscribers just what they've automatically signed up for. Read More
AT&T has sent out an internal communique to employees today that signals a change in the way the carrier sells devices. It's getting with the times and ditching the two-year contracts that used to be standard for the US wireless industry. The change happens on January 8th, so you'll want to hurry if you were planning to get a phone on contract for some reason. Read More
LG has continued to offer more modular phones that appeal to those offended by Samsung's move to unibody devices. A new leak from VentureBeat's Evan Blass (AKA @evleaks) claims that the G5 will take things a step further by adding a "Magic Slot" for installing new hardware modules, as well as a secondary display a la the V10. The report also backs up a few details we've heard before. Read More
Android's rapid rise to the top of the mobile market was accompanied by a number of legal battles, and perhaps none of them was so central and so contentious as Oracle versus Google. The fight over the legality of patents and copyrights in some of the portions of Android that used allegedly proprietary Oracle-owned Java software has been raging since 2010, eventually being considered for review by the US Supreme Court before being bounced back to the lower appeals court. The fight was a constant, and sometimes dramatic, part of legal software news at one point.
Apparently Google is as tired of dealing with the legal headache as we are of writing about it, because the company has confirmed that Android will do away with the remaining Java APIs starting with Android N, which will probably be released sometime in 2016. Read More
Sony rushes from one flagship phone to the next, making only iterative changes most of the time. With the Z5 generation, there are three different variants of the phone—a standard Z5, the Z5 Compact, and our focus today, the Z5 Premium. What makes it premium? Well, it's the first phone with a 4K display. Does that really do you any good, though? Let's find out. Read More
In 2016, Samsung wants you to make one of its new Smart TVs the center of your smart home (assuming your home is smart, that is). The company has announced that each of its upcoming models will be able to connect to other Samsung devices and serve as SmartThings hubs, allowing them to connect to all SmartThing-compatible devices. Read More
We often write about big battery pack deals here on Android Police: 10K, 15K, 20K, or as much juice as anyone could stick in these portable accessories. This deal is different. It's about a small 2000mAh battery that costs three Washingtons or less than a cup of Starbucks coffee.
But what good is 2000mAh really? It isn't enough to fully charge any modern smartphone even once so why bother with it? Well, this one measures 3.8 x 2.4 x 0.25 inches (9.65 x 6 x 0.63 cm) so it's small enough to fit in a pocket or the hidden zipper of a purse, and carry with you everywhere. Read More
If you drive a tiny car like I do, you know the struggle of a long car ride, two passengers, two phones, and only one power port. If you'd like to alleviate that frustration, head on over to Amazon. Today you can grab a Tronsmart car charger that has two ports for just $7.99 with a coupon. The charger is compatible with Quick Charge 2.0, and on both ports to boot. If that's not enough to convince you, they're throwing in two MicroUSB cables for free.
To take advantage of that low price, add the Tronsmart charger to your cart, then check out and apply the coupon code "DUALPORT" to bring the price down from $19.99 to $7.99. Read More
Even as we're swimming in mobile payment systems from such wide poles of the electronics world as Google to WalMart, one has to admit that Samsung Pay's ability to pay for goods and services using most standard card-swipe machines is pretty neat. A recent report from Reuters says that Samsung has even more plans for mobile payments, and it doesn't have much to do with "mobile" at all.
Reuters quotes Thomas Ko, a co-general manager of Samsung Pay, who said that the service would be coming to a wider variety of Samsung phones and to online payments "within the next year." Expanding the contactless payment system to more mobile devices is a no-brainer - the more people that can use it, the more Samsung earns in transaction fees. Read More