AT&T and Samsung are both notoriously bad with Android updates, but they've done a good job with this latest update for the Galaxy Note5 and the Galaxy S6 edge+. Not only does this update bring the latest security update, but it also adds support for AT&T WiFi calling and Advanced Messaging.
Nearly a year after Android 6.0 Marshmallow first debuted on the Nexus 5X and 6P, the AT&T models of the Samsung Galaxy Note 4 and Note Edge are finally receiving an OTA for 6.0.1. Samsung has never been reputable for fast updates, and neither has AT&T. This incredibly late update is what happens when you mash the two together.
With the almost limitless number of Android devices on the market, the amount supporting WiFi Calling on AT&T is somewhat limited. The first Android device that AT&T allowed into the WiFi calling club was the LG G4, even after the LG G5 had been available on the network for some time.
Aside from the G4, the only other supported devices were various iPhone models, a few recent Samsung flagships, and two other LG phones. Now the LG V10 is joining that list, with a software update pushing out to owners with the new feature.
The update, with a build number of MRA58K, apparently only includes the addition of WiFi calling; sorry if you got your hopes up for a Nougat update.
AT&T started rolling out WiFi calling to some of its devices a few months ago, starting mysteriously with the LG G4. The GS6 Active and LG K10 followed that, but now a pair of newer flagship phones finally have it too. The Galaxy S7 and S7 Edge are getting WiFi calling in the latest OTA.
There are certain things you have to expect when buying a phone on AT&T. For example, updates are going to take longer than other carriers (even Verizon as of late), and that's even more true when the device is a bespoke piece of hardware for the carrier. The Samsung Galaxy S6 Active is such a device, made exclusively for AT&T. It has just now received the Android Marshmallow (6.0.1) update, which includes WiFi calling.
Many carriers now offer some form of WiFi calling, but Republic Wireless bases its entire business model on making WiFi calls a seamless part of the experience. A new feature of Republic Wireless' hybrid MVNO network called Bonded Calling aims to improve call quality by using both WiFi and cellular data at the same time to fill in the gaps when you're stuck on a spotty WiFi network.
Update: Today's the day. Sprint has added the update support pages for both the G3 and the G Flex. Some of you should be seeing the update over the next few days, with everyone updated in a little over a week.
If you're using LG's flagship G3 or the oddball G Flex on Sprint, expect some new software next week. According to an internal Sprint document, both phones will be updated with some minor software patches, version ZV26 for the G3 and ZV9 for the G Flex. Just to make it clear, you're not getting Lollipop, at least not yet: the document shows that it's mostly security and bug fixes, plus international Wi-Fi calling.
Republic Wireless offers a variety of super-cheap calling and data plans thanks to its WiFi-cellular hybrid calling setup. In just a few days you'll be able to pair the reasonably priced Moto E with those plans. Republic will start selling the Moto E for $99 on October 15th.
There are no contracts on Republic Wireless, so that $99 price isn't subsidized at all. It's not much cheaper than the Moto E usually is, but you can't just bring any device to Republic. Phones need to have the right tweaks to work with its deeply integrated WiFi calling system. Most customers will need to wait until the 15th to order, but a limited number of people who signed up for information will get access tomorrow.
Republic Wireless saw success with its offer of the Moto X last year, and now the carrier has made good on its promise to start selling the low-cost Moto G. For a mere $149 you can get the 8GB Moto G on Republic with no contract and cheap WiFi calling.
Republic Wireless piggybacks on the Sprint network, but augments that with WiFi calling when you're connected to a network. Unlike other VoIP solutions, Republic Wireless can hand-off a call from WiFi to cellular if you lose connection.
The Moto G comes without any sort of contract, but it will only work on Republic Wireless.
Sprint started rolling out Wi-Fi calling earlier this year, but so far the carrier has only introduced the feature to a couple of eclectic devices. Now another device is making the list. Starting today, Sprint Galaxy Note 3 owners should receive an update enabling the feature. According to the change log, it doesn't look like this OTA will bring about anything else. The version number is N900PVPUCNC5.
Once the update lands, users will be able to make voice calls and send SMS messages over Wi-Fi without using up their plan (for those who don't have unlimited minutes/text). The setup process will require visiting Sprint account settings and registering your Wi-Fi networks.