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
Is the 2-year smartphone contract dead yet? Not technically, but it probably won't hang on much longer. Sprint is the latest carrier to announce it's done with the contract approach to selling phones. This comes just days after Verizon made the same announcement. T-Mobile, of course, has been doing this for several years. Read More
YouTube has become a great place for indie musicians to get their work out to the public, and in a few cases, even make a little extra money with Google's automated Content ID music identifying and licensing service. That was all well and good, right up to the point where Google decided it would make its video site into a formal music service with YouTube Music Key. We heard of serious issues with the contract terms even before the service launched, but now one independent artist has spilled the beans on those terms, and how they've left her in a conundrum. Read More
In the Android community, there are a ton of freelancers working together to get stuff done. Whether it's a graphic design artist contributing to apps or websites, video editors helping with game trailers, developers hoping to create the next big thing, or writers churning out content for blogs (yours truly), the mobile space is filled with independent types coming together to accomplish great things. In our space, and in the broader world at large, freelancers need to sign agreements and write up documents that help guarantee payment and assign ownership of work. This legalese can require years of schooling or a personal lawyer to draft up, but there are ways to save the time and effort. Read More
It's been more than six months since we revealed changes in the code of the YouTube Android app that indicated the long-rumored YouTube streaming service was imminent. So what's the holdup? A rocky relationship between YouTube and independent music publishers may be to blame. Late last week the Worldwide Independent Network, a trade organization for indie musicians and labels, issued a press release decrying Google's treatment of independent labels.
The press release explicitly states that YouTube has approached labels both big and small with contracts for a new music service... and that the terms being offered to independents, or at least those represented by WIN, are unfair. Read More
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. Read More
If you've been eyeing the HSPA+ version of Google's Nexus 7, AT&T is now offering you a little incentive. If you buy a Nexus 7 with 3G and agree to a 2-year data plan contract, AT&T will give you a $100 bill credit. It's not the best deal in mobile, but if you're planning to stick with AT&T for a while it's free money. What? You're going to turn your nose up at free?
This promotion mirrors a deal AT&T started running on its officially supported tablets late last year. With that offer customers could get a $100 subsidy on the upfront cost of a tablet in exchange for signing a 2-year contract. Read More