- As rumored, Motorola XOOM is indeed going to cost $799 and will require a 1-month data package to unlock WiFi. February 24th remains the go-live date. Anyone still up for picking it up? Oh, and the same spelling errors are still present (/sigh).
- HTC Thunderbolt's regular, off-contract price is also confirmed at $749.99, just like we told you yesterday. Bummer. 2-year contract price is still $249.99.
Well, we knew it was coming. Did you honestly think Big Red would bundle your 3G and 4G into one big, happy family? Neither did we. An anonymous Engadget tipster snapped a picture of Verizon's latest data plans - probably set to be released in time for the iPhone 4. Check it out:
Droid-Life posted a helpful companion image of the old pricing for comparison's sake:
Notice the 150MB smartphone plan has vanished, along with an increased base data cap for feature phones. This is likely meant to simplify things for upcoming 4G devices and new iPhone 4 adopters - Verizon doesn't want to have more than one 3G smartphone plan confusing customers, they'll leave that to the more profitable 4G tiers.
Although Sprint's data plans are significantly cheaper than their competition, there was still some outcry when Sprint decided to charge a $10 monthly add-on charge to phones with 4G connectivity, even if your area isn't actually covered by their WiMax network. Now, however, all smartphones activated after January 30 will be subject to the same charge.
Sprint's reasoning - that “building, maintaining and expanding wireless data networks isn’t free" - is sound, and you can't argue that they still beat every other carrier when it comes to the price of their data plans. Data plans for the EVO 4G, Epic 4G, and EVO Shift 4G will remained unaffected as they are already subject to the fee.
Device updates that break root are fairly common - in fact, I'd go so far as to say that the majority of updates do so. What's a bit less common, though, is an update that resets your device because you're rooted. The device in question here is the NOOKcolor, and unfortunately it looks like that's exactly what's happening.
Before I dive into the details, I think it's important to note that I doubt that even as much as manufacturers and carriers dislike when people root their device, it's pretty far over the line for them to remotely wipe the devices of people who have done so.
From 1998 to 2002, a gentleman by the name of Erich Specht ran a company called "Android Data." Android Data went bankrupt in 2002, and Erich hasn't used the name since. However, when he heard of Google's use of the "Android" name, he put together a website to "prove" that Google had infringed on his trademark. Shortly after, he sued Google, Android Inc., and the Open Handset Alliance for infringing on the name for $94 million.
Luckily for us Android enthusiasts, the judge in charge of the case wasn't convinced and consequently threw both the lawsuit and Erich's original trademark out the window, stating that the latter could result in confusion with Google's trademark and that Erich had used his mark "as a sword" against Google.
In a word: yes. Wireless carriers in the US (Verizon, AT&T, Sprint, T-Mobile, etc.) have long been deeply opposed to net neutrality over their so-called "mobile broadband" networks, but today they've been given a power they have long desired to see the FCC put into writing.
If you haven't been following the net neutrality saga, you might want to find out what exactly "net neutrality" is, or what it means.
What is "net neutrality"?
It's a loaded term, to be frank. Net neutrality activists will tell you it means the complete freedom of information from corporate interference by requiring that ISPs (Internet service providers) do not give any preferential (or deferential) treatment to any information transmitted over their networks, unless it is clearly illegal or dangerous.
It almost seems like more worthwhile news comes from XDA-Developers forum members than from carriers and manufacturers, doesn't it? This time around, it's user sino8r with a handy guide on how to modify the ROM on your rooted phone so that your carrier doesn't throttle your data. In other words, this one isn't for the inexperienced or faint of heart.
What exactly do we mean when we say this isn't for the rookies? Well, you'll need to have the Android SDK installed with ADB support, the related drivers, and smali. Assuming you've got all those prerequisites lined up, you need to crack open your ROM and commence grabbing, editing, and replacing numerous files - and that's just part of it.
With Android 2.3, users will have not only a slew of new features (I can't wait!), but also a fix to a security issue present in the previous versions of Android: TapJacking. TapJacking occurs when a malicious application displays a fake user interface that you can interact with, but actually secretly passes interaction events, such as finger taps, to a hidden user interface behind it. Using this technique, a devious developer could potentially trick a user into making purchases, clicking on ads, installing applications, or even wiping all of the data from the phone. All around, TapJacking is not good!
In previous versions of Android, an attacker was able to display the fake user interface by creating a customized notification (called a Toast) to obscure the real interface.
Customers of the HTC EVO 4G as well as the Samsung Epic 4G may be "interested to know" that they can call the law offices of Scott A. Bursor at 646-504-7781 to confirm that they have indeed been charged the $10/month fee. His plaintiffs' argument is that Sprint's customers are already promised unlimited data within the $69.99 "Simply Everything" package.
Thing is, while the plaintiffs certainly do have the right to sue, I have my doubts about this here lawsuit making it anywhere.
As expected, today Verizon Wireless officially unveiled its plans to light up more than 1/3 of America with the next generation 4G LTE network. The switch will be flipped this Sunday, December 5th, but since VZW doesn't have any LTE-enabled mobile phones just yet, the only way to get a taste of the new network will be using one of the two USB modems VZW will be offering: the LG VL600 or the Pantech UML290.
The coverage area is pretty impressive, considering this is the first time LTE will be rolled out in the US - 38 major metropolitan areas and over 60 airports, which is pretty much unchanged from our report in October (see the full list in the PR at the bottom of this post).