Yesterday, we published an article asking an open question: what is up with T-Mobile band 12 support being removed from some unlocked smartphones?
Today, T-Mobile contacted us to speak about said article. Unfortunately, T-Mobile was unwilling to provide any official on-record responses to our questions. But after a short discussion, I can provide you some information I have learned on background (journalist speak for "cannot be directly quoted or attributed to anyone"). First:
- On T-Mobile, any device on its network with band 12 LTE data support must also support T-Mobile Voice over LTE services and E911.
The E911 part isn't particularly important in terms of the certification requirement - all phones sold in America are technically E911 compliant, because by law they have to be. Read More
Hangouts version 4.0 has been released, to both relief and derision among the Android faithful. We're still finding some of the cool stuff that it can do, but at least one member of the /r/Android subreddit beat us to the punch. "Tutsumi" noticed that if you should happen to change between mobile and Wi-Fi networks while you're in an active video call, the connection won't drop out like it used to.
I gave this a shot on both Hangouts 3.0 and 4.0. On the previous version, switching from Wi-Fi to Verizon's local LTE network or vice versa caused the call between my PC and Nexus 6 to drop out, as you would expect. Read More
OnePlus finally announced the OnePlus 2 the other day, and potential buyers are currently coming to grips with several missing features including NFC and Quick Charging. It appeared at first that some international users were going to have a much more substantial shortcoming to deal with as the device apparently lacked several important LTE bands. OnePlus has quietly updated its specs to confirm support of these bands, so all should be fine. Read More
VoLTE is finally starting to roll out on devices, but who uses their phone as a phone anymore? Luckily, there's a next-gen standard for text messages too, and T-Mobile is the first carrier to support it. T-Mobile's CTO just announced support for "Advanced Messaging" on the Rich Communication Services (RCS) standard on T-Mobile, and it's starting its rollout now. Read More
Most over-the-air updates include a few bug fixes, maybe a new bloatware app or two, and are thus not really worth getting excited over. Not so for the latest addition to T-Mobile's customized version of the Sony Xperia Z3. In addition to the long-awaited upgrade to Android 5.0, today's update flips a software switch that enables access to band 12, the 700MHz spectrum that T-Mobile began using for LTE earlier this year. If the prospect of wider, faster LTE for your phone doesn't make you excited for an update, I don't know what will.
Beginning June 3, the Sony Xperia Z3 will have a mandatory software update to Android version 5.0.2/ Build 23.1.C.0.385 available via OTA push or Sony PC Companion over Wi-Fi only.
Opera Max debuted on Android way back in December of 2013. Today it gets a major update - major enough, at least, that Opera thinks it's worth putting into a completely new app listing. Here's the original Opera Max, and here's the new "global" version (from the file name). The biggest visual change is a spiffy new interface with a bunch of Material Design elements. And that's nice, but what's really interesting is the ability to select specific settings for Wi-Fi or mobile (3G and LTE) connections.
Opera Max isn't a browser, it's an app that allows users to apply Opera's VPN and data compression technology to all of the non-encrypted data sent or received by an Android device. Read More
It's been, what, five weeks since Google announced Android 5.1? In all that time the update has still not arrived on many of Mountain View's Nexus devices. But at least one more is joining the 5.1 club today, and it's a little unexpected—the LTE Nexus 7 2013. No, the WiFi version still hasn't popped up.
Quick poll, Verizon customers: what's the one thing you want from America's most-hated (but admittedly most reliable) wireless carrier? OK, now those who are clamoring for phones with unlockable bootloaders, sit down - everyone left standing wants unlimited data. But you shouldn't, at least not according to Verizon shill Jack Gold.
OK, so maybe it's not fair to call Mr. Gold (seriously, that's his actual name) a shill. He's an analyst, founder and president of J. Gold Associates, LLC. The fact that he appears to be the only one doing any analysis, and that the website of this "technology industry analyst firm" looks like something from 1998, should probably raise some alarms for anyone looking to get some research done. Read More
Ok, I am going to keep this brief because I don't expect this deal to last long. In preparation for the imminent release of new Samsung tablets, Best Buy has the Samsung Galaxy Tab S 8.4" 16GB LTE tablet at closeout prices. They are available with either AT&T or Verizon antennas for just $279.99. That's a staggering 220 bucks off retail and 20 dollars less than the Wi-Fi only model on Amazon (which was already a good deal).
Even though it launched in June of 2014, the Tab S is still a formidable device with plenty of power and, in my opinion, the best screen on any Android tablet. Read More