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Carriers

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Yes, Please: Google Allegedly Tracks Stats For Manufacturers' OS Update Speeds, May Publish Them

According to a Bloomberg article published this morning, Google has been actively tracking the time it takes Android device manufacturers to update their handsets to a new version of the Android OS. Better yet? There are supposedly discussions happening inside Google as to whether or not to make the stats public, as a sort of "name and shame" directive to encourage manufacturers and carriers alike to update their handsets more quickly. To which I respond: oh god yes please, do this, Google.

The report also mentions a few other tidbits that are interesting, and we'll get to those, but let's focus on what I will now call The Android Update Wall Of Shame, which should very much be what it is called if Google does, in fact, publish it.

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Republic Wireless Announces New 'Clear Choice' Plans With More Data And No Refund System

Republic Wireless recently announced it was finally changing the way it runs its service with a GSM partner and support for a number of unlocked phones like the Nexus 6P, Nexus 5X, and Galaxy S7. To go along with this v3.0 revamp, the carrier has announced new plans with simpler pricing and higher data tier options. However, the cheapest plan is getting more expensive.

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AT&T Is Simplifying Phone Financing With Just Two Plan Options (12 And 24 Month Upgrades) Starting June 9

AT&T's existing "Next" plans offer the option to upgrade after a certain amount of the device has been paid off, but there are four different versions and the naming can be confusing. For example, Next 24 is actually a 30-month pay-off schedule with an upgrade at 24 months. Well, AT&T has announced it's cutting the options down to just two, and it's adding a new Next Every Year plan for annual upgrades.

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Google Play Carrier Billing Expands To Vodafone In The UK And Italy, Sunrise In Switzerland, And More

Google Play supports all manner of payment options these days, but for many, carrier billing is still the easiest. You don't have to input any payment details or log into an external account. You just buy things and pay for them on your monthly bill. However, it requires carrier support. Customers on five more carriers will have the option now, according to Google's support site.

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T-Mobile Announces Cuba Roaming And International Calling Deal

With the end easing of the Cuban embargo, T-Mobile is looking to expand its services to the island. As the company points out, it has many customers of Cuban descent, and they'll soon have more options when calling or visiting the country. This is thanks to a new deal with Cuban carrier Empresa De Telecomunicaciones De Cuba, S.A. (ETECSA).

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Leak Claims Uncarrier 11 Will Include 'T-Mobile Tuesdays' Giveaway App And Free T-Mobile Stock

T-Mobile is moving forward with its Uncarrier plans, and things are getting weird now that all the low-hanging fruit is taken care of. The carrier has done away with contracts, added data stash, and offered free movie and music streaming data. Now, it's just going to start giving stuff away, even little pieces of the company.

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The HTC 10 Will Not Be Sold By AT&T, But The Unlocked Version Will Be Compatible

HTC has just announced its latest flagship, the HTC 10. This phone is seen by many as the company's last chance to get back on track. It's not off to an amazing start, though. AT&T, a long time partner of HTC, won't be carrying the HTC 10. That has to sting. It's only going to be sold directly by Sprint, Verizon, and T-Mobile.

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T-Mobile Announces New 'Data Gone Wild' Spring Promotion

T-Mobile has run a few recent promotions for family plans with four or more lines, but what if you don't need that many? T-Mobile is starting a new promo tomorrow that might be just what you're looking for. The new (and unfortunately named) Data Gone Wild promo includes two lines with 6GB of data each for $80 per month.

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AT&T And Verizon Offer Free Calls And Texts To Belgium Following Terror Attack [Update: Sprint And T-Mobile Too]

Most mobile plans these days let you call just anywhere in your home country without incurring extra fees, and a few even have some international calling included. Phoning Europe from the US is usually spendy, though. For the next few days, a couple carriers have waved all fees associated with calls or texts from the US to Belgium in the wake of Tuesday's terrorist attacks.

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AT&T Offering Device Insurance Open Enrollment Now Through April 30th

Device insurance is a contentious issue—it's expensive, and you probably won't ever need it. However, if you do destroy or lose a phone, you'd probably much rather pay an insurance deductible than buy a new device. If you like to play it safe, AT&T has open enrollment for insurance now through April 30th.

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