Smartphone theft is a growing problem. With more and more people carrying around a $500 gadget in their pockets, muggers and pickpockets are targeting smartphone owners for a quick and easy buck on the aftermarket. Municipalities all over the country have noted the rise in cell phone theft, and so have the manufacturers. But as CBS News reports, when Samsung built in a user-accessible kill switch to deter thieves, the CTIA and the five largest carriers in the country wanted nothing to do with it.
If you've been waiting for an opportune time to switch to AT&T, it's now. AT&T is currently offering a limited-time sale on a handful of on-contract devices, some of which are pretty desirable. It doesn't cover everything (the almost brand-new Galaxy Note 3 is notably absent, for example) but you should be able to save a pretty penny on your purchase.
The best deal of the lot is probably the LG G2, at least if you're looking for cheap, powerful hardware.
Remember that Android 4.3 update that started rolling out to the AT&T Galaxy S4 last week? Well, you can stop waiting for it and hitting the update button every 10 minutes – there's been a little hiccup.
Remember when everyone was pissed off that the Verizon version of the Galaxy Nexus couldn't use Google Wallet because of "security concerns"? ISIS Mobile Wallet, the alternative carrier-sponsored NFC payment system (and the reason that last sentence was equipped with sarcastic quote marks) is finally available, just two years after Google Wallet was coincidentally blocked by the carriers that are pushing ISIS. Nice work there, fellas.
ISIS has been in a beta testing mode in limited markets for just over a year - the necessary Android apps have been available on the Google Play Store since then.
So far Samsung has been right on the money when it comes to the much-anticipated Android 4.3 update for its major phones. Today customers with the AT&T model of the Galaxy S4 are getting the last version of Jelly Bean, according to this (very long) thread on XDA. It looks like the update file started going out to customers a few hours after midnight, so technically Samsung is a day late - then again, the schedule was leaked, so it's hard to hold that against them.
Update: Welcome back to Android Police. And now, here's an AT&T representative with a report on the recent Galaxy Note 3 software update.
A software update for the Samsung Galaxy Note 3 was made available for AT&T customers today. It provides general performance improvements.
AT&T's Galaxy Note 3 is barely out of the starting gate and it's already got an OTA update, probably fixing a few issues discovered as the Samsung phone was disseminated to a few hundred thousand users.
The LG G Flex, a device that can survive a thousand mild scratches, is apparently destined for American shores after all. While it was first thought to be exclusive to Europe and Asia, noted leaker of phone-related business, @evleaks has said the phone is headed to AT&T, Sprint, And T-Mobile. In fact, he used the word "confirmed."
LG G Flex confirmed for AT&T, Sprint, and T-Mobile.
— @evleaks (@evleaks) November 13, 2013
Remember when people used to tape point-and-shoot cameras to their Nokia candybar phones and jokingly call it a "camera phone?" If you'd like to see the modern incarnation of that bad joke, you can but it on AT&T starting today. The Galaxy S4 Zoom, a mid-range smartphone with an admittedly decent point-and-shoot camera strapped to the back, is now available for purchase.
You can pick one up for $199.99 on-contract, or $529.99 if you want it free and clear.
The Moto X got a price drop on all American carriers late last month, bringing the on-contract price down to $100 for all American carriers (though you can find it cheaper at some retailers). It looks like Motorola is following suit with the unlockable developer versions of the phone, which are sold directly from the manufacturer and without subsidy. Previously the Developer Editions were $649.99, but you can now pick one up for $549.99.