If you thought Google Fiber sounded like a game changer, you may want to keep an eye on this story. According to the Wall Street Journal, which has a history of having well-placed sources, Google has held talks with Dish Network discussing the possibility of partnering on a wireless carrier to compete with AT&T, Verizon, and all the rest. At first, it sounds like a pipe dream. The kind we've been hoping for since the G1. Thing is, this time, it has a shot of not being complete bupkis.
Before we get into why this might be true, though, let's take a look at why it might be false: for starters, according to WSJ's own sources, the talks are not very advanced and "could amount to nothing." Keep in mind companies talk to each other all the time without releasing products.
If you're convinced that LTE is the way to go and aren't interested in picking up the Nexus 4, then Amazon Wireless is running a couple of deals right now for those who have been considering making the jump the Sprint.
First off, the HTC EVO LTE is now only $20. Twenty. Not a bad deal for such a solid phone, especially if you plan on installing CyanogenMod 10 on it. If you're not really the HTC type, though, the Galaxy S III was also on the receiving end of a price cut. You can now get this handset for $50 with a new two-year agreement.
Considering the multitude of leaks surrounding the device,, you probably already know basically everything there is to know about the ZTE Flash for Sprint. And now, The Now Network has made this mid-ranger official. The device features some pretty modest specs, along with a very Galaxy Nexus-esque form factor:
4.5" 1280x720 Display
1.5GHz dual-core processor
12.6MP rear shooter
8GB storage, microSD card slot
5.27 inches (H) x 2.56 inches (W) x 0.38 inches (D)
To go along with this new 4G offering, Sprint also announced several new additions to its LTE network:
Sure, we're only a few hours away from the Nexus 4 and 10 launches, but that doesn't mean we can't have a software update or two while we're waiting. Some users on Google+ and Twitter are reporting that the Galaxy Nexus is receiving an update to Android 4.2 as we speak. Of course, if you're on a Sprint or Verizon device, you will probably be exempt right now, but if you see your miracle upgrade, speak up!
The new software brings Photosphere support, Gesture Typing (don't call it Swype), Gmail 4.2 with pinch-to-zoom, lockscreen widgets, notification quick settings, and more.
We've heard quite a bit about the upcoming ZTE Flash on Sprint over the last couple of weeks, but Best Buy just spilled all the details of the upcoming mid-ranger. According to previous leaks - which have now been confirmed by Best Buy - the Flash has a 4.5-inch 1280x720 display, 1.5GHz dual-core processor, 1GB RAM, and Android 4.0. The handset's claim to fame, however, is its 12.6MP rear shooter - a first for a device in this class on Sprint.
This newcomer to Sprint's 4G LTE network was originally rumored to be available beginning today along with the Optimus G, Mach, and Galaxy Tab 2 10.1 LTE, although BB has it listed as "out of stock" at the moment.
If you've been aching to buy a new device on Sprint, today may be a good day to stroll through the doors of one of the carrier's retail shops to check out the new arrivals: the LG Optimus G, LG Mach, and Samsung Galaxy Tab 2 10.1 LTE.
The Optimus G is, of course, the flagship of the bunch, sporting a 4.7" TrueHD IPS+ panel, 1.5GHz quad-core Snapdragon S4 Pro, 2GB RAM, and Android 4.0. This device is, for all intents and purposes, a non-Nexus version of the Nexus 4. Even though the OS is now dated, the hardware is still solid and performance should be among the best in its class.
Samsung is back again with a fresh batch of source, today dropping open source kernel files for the Note 10.1 (N8000), its LTE counterpart N8020, the Stratosphere II (SCH-I415), and Sprint's version of the Galaxy Tab 2 10.1 (SPH-P500). The most interesting device on the list, though, is probably the Galaxy Camera (EK-GC100), which is just arriving at UK retailers this month, with no firm date announced for a state-side debut. Though the Galaxy Camera is a somewhat unconventional Android device, it's still great to see Samsung keeping up with its pattern of timely open source file releases.
If you've been waiting to put your hands on the official kernel source for these devices, or just want to take a peek at what makes them tick, hit the appropriate link below.
After Google's release of "experimental" binaries for Sprint's Galaxy Nexus variant, Jean-Baptiste Queru (Chief Android Release Engineer) confirmed that the binaries represented not full AOSP support, but the "taking down [of] many hurdles that were preventing [AOSP support]," citing bugs in the network stack as one of the issues yet to be addressed.
Less than one month later, it would appear that those issues have been sorted, as Google today published the toroplus' factory image for the first time. The image, for those who are wondering, carries Android 4.1.1 (build FH05).
So what does this mean? For one thing, it means that four months after Verizon's Galaxy Nexus started getting with the program, Sprint's Galaxy Nexus has caught up.
Call it a new found boldness after the Softbank acquisition, or just an attempt to bolster its numbers in the continued fight against AT&T and Verizon, but Sprint is not letting up. Today, the nation's number three carrier announced it's going to buy up some of U.S. Cellular's spectrum and customers in mid-west states including Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Missouri and Ohio. Among the newly Now Network'd markets are Chicago and St. Louis.
The spectrum offerings that the company is picking up will be used to bolster LTE service for the markets that Sprint is taking off U.S. Cellular's hands. It's not a monumental deal, by any means, but given that the Softbank-owned carrier could use any advantage it can get as it races to compete with the near-duopoly, it's definitely a good sign.