It's that time again. AT&T has been busy adding and upgrading several markets with high-speed LTE. This round of upgrades seems to focus a bit more attention to the Northeast, particularly in the New York and New Jersey areas. Still, quite a few other locations are popping up around the country. With most new spots checking in with populations below 100,000 people, and some below the 10k mark, AT&T is closing in on its target to finish covering the United States with LTE by the end of this year.
Two-year contracts are a drag for all sorts of reasons, but AT&T just found a way to make them even more annoying. The carrier has quietly altered its upgrade terms to stipulate that customers have to wait for the full 24 month term to be up before getting subsidized pricing on an upgrade. You can see the before and after versions of Ma Bell's upgrade page below.
It would be one thing if the change only affected new contracts from the effective date of June 9th, but it also pushes back the upgrade date for anyone whose contract ends after March 1, 2014.
If you're looking for an audio-focused smartphone and some sweet speakers to use it with, have we got a deal for you. Today the AT&T website published one of its occasional package deals, a 32GB HTC One plus the Beats Audio Pill Bluetooth speaker for $99.99 together. Naturally you'll need to sign a new two-year contract with AT&T in order to take advantage of the price, but even if you don't care about the portable speaker at all, it's $100 off the base price of one of the best Android smartphones around.
Perhaps you've noticed tantalizing flickers of AT&T 4G LTE on your handset in recent weeks. That's a sure sign something about to break loose, and now it has. AT&T is firing up LTE in 22 new markets and expanding coverage in 10 others. Most of the new markets are mid-size cities, which really tells you how far along AT&T is in its rollout.
The @evleaks Twitter account has become a surprisingly accurate source for pre-release hardware information, and the elusive Samsung Galaxy S4 Active is its latest target. The tipster revealed to The Unlockr that the ruggedized version of the S4 will be headed to AT&T's network in the near future, along with a handful of other Samsung phones, including the Galaxy S4 Mini, S III Mini, and the Galaxy Mega 6.3. Only the Active was shown with a convincing set of AT&T-branded press shots, so that's what we'll focus on.
There's a lot happening in the CyanogenMod world this morning. First and most importantly, the AT&T variant of the Samsung Galaxy S4 now has official CyanogenMod 10.1 (Android 4.2) support, following the T-Mobile and Canadian versions. According to this Google+ post, supporting the AT&T S4 was simply a matter of patching a previous build. One nightly ROM is available at the time of writing, with more stable releases sure to follow soon.
AT&T's upgraded LTE network has finally expanded enough that it can generally be counted on in most major metropolitan areas, but the lion's share of the coverage area is still rocking ye olde HSPA (AKA "just 4G"). For residents of Dover, Salem, Asheville, Roanoke, and a few other midsized cities and towns, AT&T has flipped the Long Term Evolution switch. Here's the full list of 11 new markets:
- Ocean City
- Port Townsend/North Whidbey Island/Camano Island
AT&T is also expanding LTE coverage areas in Casa Grande, Arizona, Albany, New York, Calvert county, Maryland, Linglestown, Pennsylvania, and both Stafford and Spotsylvania counties, Virginia.
If you saw the Aurora Red version of the omnipresent Samsung Galaxy S4 yesterday and decided you just had to have it, AT&T has got you covered. Just let your fingers do the walking to the AT&T web store and get a pre-order in, and it'll be on its way in a little over two weeks. At present the $200 16GB model ($639.99 off-contract) is the only one available in a hue that matches your ruby slippers.
Developer editions of the Galaxy S4 have appeared on Samsung's site, and they have their sights set on AT&T and Verizon customers. Note, this is not the $649 Nexus-like version that Google unveiled at Google I/O. This developer edition is good for tinkerers who still want all of Samsung's software and Verizon customers who really don't have any other option if they want a Galaxy S4 with an unlocked bootloader. Variants for both carriers seem to be only offered in Black Mist color.
Attention, Verizon-shackled Samsung fans (like me): the Galaxy S4 is available today. Like, right now - you could probably drive down to the Verizon store and it would just be sitting there, waiting for you to fondle its 1080p screen. If you want to take it home, it'll cost you $199.99 with a new or extended two-year contract. Still clinging to that unlimited data like the last slice of pizza in the frat house?