Taking a look at the spec sheet for the new Nexus phones, you might notice that the LTE section lists band 12. However, this is by no means a guarantee of actual support anymore. T-Mobile has been leaning on unlocked device makers to block access to band 12 unless they get certified for VoLTE, and it looks like the new Nexus phones lack that. According to T-Mobile's Twitter account, neither phone will have band 12 enabled at launch. Read More
We've seen mobile hotspots for cars before, but I don't think I've ever heard of one that uses the ODB-II communications port on your vehicle for power, freeing up that precious cigarette lighter for things like chargers. The ZTE Mobley is just that.
Power is, of course, provided from the ODB-II port on your vehicle, and the hotspot theoretically should only function when the vehicle is on or in accessory mode. This leaves your precious cigarette lighter free for things like chargers, and also removes the associated bulk of what is likely to be an at least semi-permanent accessory for your vehicle. Read More
T-Mobile has been pushing some new network technologies lately, like the Advanced Messaging platform announced a few months back. Now it's moving on to video calling by adding native support to its network for select devices. It will require a software update to use, but the experience of placing a video call should be somewhat less annoying. Read More
There's a new LTE tablet headed to AT&T, and it looks pretty familiar. The LG G Pad X 10.1 will launch via the carrier's online shop on September 4th and will appear in stores on September 11th. AT&T has been stingy with the specs, but this device looks like a tweaked version of the recently announced G Pad II 10.1. Read More
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