One of the problems with the pricing structure of American carriers is that people who buy their phones outright don't get any kind of break on the service plans themselves, giving people fewer incentives to get away from subsidies. T-Mobile has addressed this (by essentially throwing out subsidies all together), but today AT&T fires back with the new Mobile Share Value Plan. Basically it's a $15 discount if you buy a phone unsubsidized, including the new AT&T Next plans, or if you've already paid off your on-contract device.
The AT&T-branded Samsung Galaxy S4 is once again getting its Android 4.3 update as an OTA. After an unexplained issue with the last Android 4.3 push, everything looks to be getting back underway according to Samsung's site and early reports on XDA. This is a big update for the GS4, but AT&T is probably going to take it slowly this time.
How did we ever live before the days of PR-run social media accounts for major corporations and CEOs of said corporations randomly engaging in internet sabre-rattling with competitors? This truly is a golden age, and AT&T, T-Mobile, and John Legere reminded us of that fact yesterday, when the three got into it over a disgruntled AT&T subscriber ready to head for pinker pastures. Jay Rooney, the subscriber in question, tweeted the following yesterday around 11AM:
Following close behind the arrival of KitKat for the Moto X on both Verizon and T-Mobile, AT&T has now announced that it, too, is pushing out an OTA. Between Verizon's version of the handset getting the update before anyone else and the Moto X getting Android 4.4 pushed out before the Nexus 4 and both Google Play Edition devices, there is a lot to be surprised about here. Surprised, and impressed.
Samsung Galaxy S III owners have waited patiently for their Android 4.3 update, and though Samsung put the international version's update on hold, American carriers have started to push out OTAs to their customers. T-Mobile got the ball rolling yesterday, and now AT&T is doing the same. The company is distributing the most recent version of Jelly Bean via an update to build number I747UCUEMJB.
The download is over 600MB.
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.