The big news in the wireless business this week has been AT&T's upcoming purchase of Leap Wireless, which the FCC approved yesterday. The deal has been in the works since July of last year. That leaves AT&T in an interesting spot, since it now owns the CDMA-based Cricket Wireless, which directly competes with the budget-focused Aio sub-brand. Apparently AT&T prefers the more established brand, because the company said it will combine the assets of both under the "Cricket" name.
Like all of the current writers and editors for Android Police, I'm American. Which means that my understanding of cricket is something along the lines of, "like baseball, but more British." That gives me the vague impression that during the seventh inning stretch everyone stops to sing God Save The Queen and heads to the concession stand for tea. If you know more about the noble sport of cricket than I do, you'll be pleased to hear that Google just added support for scores and schedules to Google Now.
All joking aside, we know this is a big deal for sports fans in India, Australia, South Africa, Pakistan, and several other countries.
Today is a good day to be a Galaxy S III owner. Before the Verizon variant's update even had time to get cold, Cricket's is now fresh out of the oven as well. The OTA brings along the changes from Android 4.2 and 4.3, plus Galaxy Gear support and a lot of UI changes which serve to make the software look and function more like the Galaxy S4's stock ROM.
With this update, all US-based carrier variants of the Galaxy S III have received Android 4.3.
You know what? There are entirely too many versions of the Samsung Galaxy S4. I feel like I've written this same story a half-dozen times, though that's probably because it's essentially the same software update across the Galaxy S4, S III, and Note II. In any case, if you're rocking Samsung's 2013 flagship on budget carrier Cricket, you might see an over the air update prompt today: it's your turn to get Android 4.3.
In their never-ending quest to bring CyanogenMod to every Android device on the face of the planet (or at least all of them with unlocked bootloaders, modern hardware, and a big user base - not all that many, in fact, forget I mentioned it) the CM team is expanding the 10.1 build to three new devices this weekend. The unlocked international LTE version of the Galaxy S4 (GT-i9505) and Cricket's branded variant both get new nightly builds of the ROM, as does the WiFi-only version of Sony's Xperia Tablet Z.
If you're in the market for a Cricket Wireless phone, the carrier is offering some downright fantastic deals at the moment. They're offering massive mail-in rebates of $200 off the Galaxy S4, Galaxy S III, and HTC One SV (in addition to their regular web discounts), delivered in the form of a Visa prepaid card. Thanks to a surprisingly low starting price, Samsung's Galaxy S4 is just $329.99 with the rebate - and that's not a contract price.
Samsung's newest flagship phone has infiltrated just about every US carrier already, but we can add one more to that list today. Cricket Wireless has started taking pre-orders for the Samsung Galaxy S4 with an expected shipping date of June 7th.
Cricket Wireless is a pre-paid carrier that operates partially on the networks run by Sprint, MetroPCS, and others (as an MVNO). Cricket does have its own CDMA towers on 1700 and 1900MHz in many areas.
Cricket Wireless wants you to know that they'll have the Samsung Galaxy S4, just like the big boys. They just don't have it yet. In a press release issued today, Cricket revealed its own special version of the Galaxy S4 (which is exactly like all the other LTE Galaxy S4 models), and it will be available to customers in-store, online, and at authorized resellers on June 7th. The cost for Cricket's unsubsidized phone is a wallet-searing $599.99, but those who are short on green can put $54.99 down and pay it off over a couple of years.
Last night, Cricket quietly added the Engage LT to its website for $179.99. Amusingly, with the current set of sales, it's the same price as its older and better brother, the ZTE Engage (no LT in the name). David posted about the ZTE Engage shortly before it released late last year. Neither phone is particularly interesting and both have lower-end specs with mid-range pricing.
Here are the relevant specs:
- Android 4.0
- 4" TFT WVGA (800 x 480) capacitive display (233 PPI)
- 1 GHz Snapdragon processor (model is currently unknown)
- 3.2 MP rear camera w/LED flash, VGA front camera
- 1 GB RAM
- 1900 mAh Lithium Ion battery
What makes the original Engage better than the Cricket-branded newcomer?
The app has arrived just in time for "squeaky bum time" in the English Premier League, and the score of every single game that is being played in the Football League will be available to view as each game progresses.