Verizon has taken some flack lately for being the only US carrier to lock the bootloader. Workarounds have been implemented, but Samsung's taken it a step further by announcing a developer version of the device. Today they...well, they haven't quite made good on that promise, but they have created a landing page for the device on their site that announces the 32GB Pebble Blue version will be "coming soon".
Samsung's Android devices have always come with easily unlockable bootloaders, so seeing the Verizon version of the Galaxy S III locked down at the request of the carrier (we don't buy your excuse, Verizon) was quite a shocker to many enthusiasts (not like it stopped them). Samsung, realizing how important it is to have unlockable bootloaders on its devices, decided to go the same way Motorola did back in January and release a user-unlockable Galaxy S III Developer Edition specifically for VZW.
Last night Samsung released the kernel source code for the Verizon Galaxy S III. While it's good that Samsung is making good on timely source releases, this particular bit of code didn't do a whole lot of good in way of GSIII development because of the VZW GSIII's locked bootloader. Fortunately, Team Epic has changed this with a new workaround called kexec hardboot (kernel execution hard boot) that should allow users to effectively "sideload" custom kernels without having to actually flash them on the device by bundling the kernel with the custom recovery.
The wait is nearly over! Just a few days after AT&T announced the Galaxy S III would be available in stores soon, Verizon enters the fray with its own announcement. The much sought-after device will be available in Verizon stores starting July 10th. So, if you've been holding off on pre-ordering until you see it for yourself, your wait will be over in a week.
Both the 16GB and 32GB models will be available for $199 and $249 respectively.
Verizon and T-Mobile may not regularly make headlines together, but this morning the two companies have announced that they've struck a deal to swap spectrum (and some money) to bolster both companies' LTE networks. Yes, including the one T-Mobile has yet to build. While specifics haven't been disclosed, it sounds like T-Mobile will be the big winner here, walking away with a net gain in spectrum holdings—something the company desperately needs—while paying an undisclosed amount of money to Verizon for the trouble.
Verizon announced the Droid Incredible 4G LTE back in May, and... well, that's it. We haven't heard anything else about the device since (on an official level, anyway), even though it was supposed to be available in "the coming weeks" after the announcement. In all fairness, "weeks" could be any range of time, but we generally think of that as two or three, not seven or nineteen.
Finally, though, a probably release date has leaked.
Looks like it's the time of the month for Verizon to flip its 4G LTE switch to 'on' in new markets. It seems that the rollout has been in hyperspeed lately, as more and more cities are getting their taste of the blazing fast 4G service; this time Big Red is giving it to 46 new markets:
- Florence, AL
- Harrison, AR
- Yuba City/Marysville, CA
- Panama City, FL
- Carrolton, Gainesville, and Newnan, GA
- Blackfoot, ID
- Decatur/Effingham, Kankakee/Bradley-Bourbonnais, and La Salle/Peru/Ottawa, IL
- Columbus and Michigan City/La Porte, IN
- Greater Portland, ME
- Greenville/Greenwood, Jackson, and Tunica, MS
- Houghton and Traverse City, MI
- Jefferson City, Lake of the Ozarks, and West Plains, MO
- Binghamton, Elmira/Corning/Hornell, and Oneonta, NY
- Burlington, Hickory/Lenoir, Jacksonville, and New Bern, NC
- Bedford and Sharon/Farrell/Hermitage, PA
- Anderson, Florence, and Greenwood, SC
- Lufkin/Nacogdoches, Midland, San Angelo, and Waco, TX
- Danville, VA
- Ashland, KY
- Huntington and Logan, WV
- Fond du Lax, Janesville, Beloit, and Sheboygan, WI
- Gillette, WY
- The Lihue, HI (launched on June 11)
And expand in 22 existing markets:
- Denver and Fort Collins/Loveland, CO
- Philadelphia, PA
- Wilmington, DE
- Daytona Beach, Gainesville, and West Palm Beach, FL
- Hilo, HI
- Boise/Nampa, ID
- Chicagoland, IL
- Lafayette, IN
- Hammond, LA
- Springfield, MO
- Glens Falls and New York, NY
- Charlotte/Gastonia and Greensville, Washington, NC
- Indiana, PA
- Hagerstown, MD
- Chambersburg, PA
- Sioux Falls, SD
- Norfolk/Virginia Beach, VA
- Seattle, WA
- Appleton, Oshkosh, WI
Yay for 4G in more places!
And you thought carriers/manufacturers didn't care about their customers! You should be ashamed of yourself! Turns out that carriers actually do care - why else would Big Red be preparing an OTA update for the old school Droid Incredible. Sure, it's far from a major update, but it it something:
Device Features, Improvements, & Fixes
Verizon just started pushing a small OTA update to the Droid Bionic that brings a few small enhancements to the device:
- Recalibrated volume of the call connect and disconnect tones to be more comfortable for Bluetooth® users.
- Improved Visual Voice Mail to ensure delivery of a notification to the Status bar.
- Reduced data stalls to improve 4G LTE data connectivity
While it's not ICS, hopefully it will fix the LTE issues that users have been experiencing for quite some time.
According to a recent FCC filing, Qualcomm is hard at work on a new radio chipset that would support seven spectrum bands, including three below 1GHz. The introduction of this chipset could offer an effective solution to LTE spectrum fragmentation, which is a thorn in the side of manufacturers looking to cleanly execute broad product releases.
LTE fragmentation has also stirred debate among carriers, though. Smaller carriers operate within the Lower A block of the 700MHz band, in Band Class 12 while larger carriers like AT&T operate on the Lower B and C blocks in Band Class 17.