Sprint is continuing to expand the reach of its 4G LTE network, and today it has unveiled that faster data speeds are now available in seventeen new markets. Areas affected by this expansion stretch from coast to coast, though a third of them are concentrated in the Northeast. Both New York and Pennsylvania see three markets apiece join the ranks, with the large Buffalo and Pittsburgh metropolitan areas accounting for the most people.
It's impossible for new customers to buy unlimited mobile data from Verizon. But this wasn't always the case: back in the glory days of, uh, 2010 and earlier, Verizon Wireless was still offering true unlimited data for as little as $30 a month. It's been increasingly hard for users who want to keep their unlimited data to do so: since late 2012, they haven't been able to buy a new subsidized phone without switching over to a plan with a data cap, and the "grandfathered" unlimited data customers who download the most are already subject to "network optimization" when using Verizon's 3G network.
Look, we get it - MediaTek isn't the first name you want to hear when it comes to innovative new SoCs. The company doesn't have the best reputation when it comes to releasing source code, which is a huge no-no in the Android world. But still, this is probably worth talking about, because it's pretty neat.
This morning, MediaTek announced the first 64-bit octa-core processor for smartphones. The chip, model number MT6795, can run at speeds up to 2.2GHz, and supports native 2K displays (2560x1600).
The 2013 Nexus 7 LTE, now known as the bastard child of the living Nexus family, has not received any updates in the recent round of Android 4.4.3, and subsequently 4.4.4, releases. All of a sudden just now, the 4.4.3 factory image finally showed up, and we can only speculate how long it'll be before we see 4.4.4. For those who are counting, that's 22 days since the Nexus 4, 5, Wi-Fi 7, and 10 have all had their respective factory images available.
In case we didn't make it clear with yesterday's post, we were more than a little miffed at Verizon's dismissal of Chromebook Pixel LTE owners. The company told customers that it had unceremoniously ended Google's free 100MB/month data bundle for the Pixel LTE after just one year, despite the initial two-year service promotion. Today Google is offering a consolation prize to those customers who bought the Chromebook Pixel LTE from the Play Store: a $150 refund credit.
Google and Verizon Wireless seem to be in a perpetual state of "it's complicated." The protracted issues with the Nexus 7 LTE, the infamously terrible launch and support of the Verizon Galaxy Nexus, and a few other spats come to mind. Now JR Raphael of ComputerWorld is reporting that Verizon has unceremoniously dumped the 100MB per month of free packaged wireless data that came with the LTE model of the Chromebook Pixel that went on sale last year.
Of the Big Four American carriers, AT&T has the best selection of Android tablets available... which, admittedly, isn't saying much. Today their shallow ranks get bolstered by two new Samsung tablets, one in the original Galaxy Tab line (which is now the de facto budget option) and one in the new Pro series. The Galaxy Tab 4 10.1 and the Galaxy Note Pro 12.2 will be available on the carrier starting this Friday, June 6th.
Samsung has been dabbling around with the Galaxy Note 10.1 2014 LTE Edition's KitKat update for a while now, first rolling out the update to the Wi-Fi only version of the tablet several weeks ago. Now SamMobile reports that the LTE Edition, SM-P605, is getting its taste of Android 4.4 now in select countries. The first up are those in the Nordic region such as Denmark and Finland, with more on the way.
If you want a mid-sized tablet with a high-resolution screen, LTE connectivity, and you don't mind going with Amazon's ecosystem, but don't want to spend much money, today's Gold Box deal should be particularly compelling. The Kindle Fire HD 8.9 LTE version (the previous high-end Kindle Fire model, from late 2012) is discounted by $80 today, bringing its price down to $219.
There's just one catch: it's a refurbished model.